Caring for houseplants in winter dormancy – IncrediGrow Garden Centre

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Caring for houseplants in winter dormancy


Cyclamens are popular indoor plants known for their vibrant, colorful flowers. They go through a period of dormancy after flowering, which is a natural part of their growth cycle. Proper care during this dormant phase helps ensure the plant's health and prepares it for the next flowering season. Here's how to care for a dormant cyclamen:

  1. Reduce Watering: During dormancy, cyclamens should be watered sparingly. Allow the top inch (2.5 cm) of the soil to dry out before watering. Overwatering can lead to root rot, so it's important to avoid keeping the soil constantly moist.

  2. Temperature and Light: Cyclamens prefer cooler temperatures during their dormant phase. Keep them in a location with temperatures around 50-60°F (10-15°C). Avoid placing them near heat sources or in direct sunlight, as this can cause the plant to break dormancy prematurely.

  3. Pruning: If the cyclamen's leaves start to yellow and wither during dormancy, it's normal. You can gently remove these yellowing leaves to keep the plant looking tidy. However, avoid cutting back healthy leaves, as they are still providing energy to the plant.

  4. Fertilization: Avoid fertilizing your cyclamen while it's dormant. Fertilizer is not necessary during this period, as the plant is not actively growing. Wait until you start to see new growth before resuming fertilization.

  5. Pot and Soil: Cyclamens prefer well-draining soil. If you notice that the potting mix has become compacted or has broken down, consider repotting your cyclamen after it finishes dormancy. Repotting is best done just before the plant starts to emerge from dormancy.

  6. Pest and Disease Prevention: Check the plant occasionally for signs of pests or diseases. Even during dormancy, certain pests can still be a problem. Treat any issues promptly to prevent them from becoming more serious.

  7. Rest Period: Remember that dormancy is a natural phase in the cyclamen's growth cycle. During this time, the plant is storing energy for its next flowering period. Be patient and allow the plant to rest and recharge.

  8. Monitoring: While your cyclamen is dormant, keep an eye on it to make sure it's not showing signs of stress or decline. If you notice any unusual changes, adjust your care accordingly.

  9. Regrowth: As the dormant period comes to an end and you start to see new growth emerging, you can gradually increase watering and provide a bit more light. Eventually, the cyclamen will come out of dormancy and start preparing for another round of beautiful blooms, at which point you can begin fertilizing it. 


Caring for a dormant caladium during its resting period is crucial to ensure its health and promote successful growth when it comes out of dormancy. Here's how you can care for a dormant caladium:

  1. Digging and Cleaning: When the growing season ends and the leaves start to die back, it's time to prepare the caladium for dormancy. Carefully dig up the tubers (underground storage organs). Gently remove any excess soil and trim off any remaining foliage, leaving about an inch of stem.

  2. Drying: Place the tubers in a dry, well-ventilated area to cure for about 1-2 weeks. This allows excess moisture to evaporate and prevents rot during storage.

  3. Storage Conditions: Store the caladium tubers in a cool, dry, and dark place. The ideal temperature range is around 50-60°F (10-15°C). Avoid exposing them to freezing temperatures or extreme heat.

  4. Container and Medium: If you're storing multiple tubers, you can place them in a box or a paper bag filled with dry peat moss, sawdust, or vermiculite. Make sure the tubers are not touching each other, as this can prevent the spread of diseases.

  5. Checking Periodically: While the tubers are in storage, it's a good idea to check on them periodically. Discard any tubers that show signs of rot, disease, or excessive drying out.

  6. Preventing Moisture: It's important to keep the tubers dry but not desiccated. If you notice they're drying out, you can lightly mist the storage medium to add some moisture, but don't make it overly damp.

  7. Monitoring for Sprouting: As the dormancy period comes to an end, the tubers might start showing signs of sprouting. This is an indication that they are ready to be planted again.

  8. Planting: When it's time to end the dormancy and plant the caladiums, choose a location with partial to full shade and well-draining soil. Plant the tubers about 2-3 inches deep with the "knobby" side facing up. Space them around 12-18 inches apart.

  9. Watering and Care: After planting, water the area lightly to encourage the tubers to wake up and start growing. Once new shoots emerge and the plants are established, you can gradually increase the watering, but be careful not to overwater, as caladiums are susceptible to rot.

  10. Fertilizing: Once the plants are actively growing, you can start applying a balanced, water-soluble fertilizer such as Mega Mass All Purpose. This will help support healthy foliage development.


  1. After Flowering: After the hyacinth bulb has finished flowering, cut the flower stalk, but allow the foliage to die back naturally over the next 4-6 weeks. Continue to care for the foliage until it dies. This allows the bulb to store energy for next year's growth.

  2. After Foliage Dies: Cut back the faded foliage once it turns yellow and withers.

  3. Digging and Cleaning: If the hyacinth is planted in the ground, carefully dig up the bulb. If it's in a pot, remove it from the pot. Gently brush off excess soil and remove any dead or damaged scales. Be careful not to damage the bulb itself.

  4. Drying: Place the cleaned bulb in a cool, dry, and well-ventilated area for a 1-2 weeks. This helps the bulb dry out and prevents rot during storage.

  5. Storage Conditions: Store the bulb in a paper bag, mesh bag, or a container with adequate ventilation. You can also add some dry peat moss or vermiculite to the container to help maintain the right level of moisture. Store the bulb in a cool, dark place where the temperature is around 45-50°F (7-10°C). Avoid storing the bulb with fruits and vegetables, as they can release ethylene gas, which can damage the bulb.

  6. Monitoring: Periodically check the bulb during its dormant period for any signs of mold, rot, or damage. If you notice any issues, remove the affected parts to prevent them from spreading.

  7. Planting: As the next growing season approaches, typically in the fall, plant the hyacinth bulb in well-draining soil. Choose a sunny to partially shaded location. Plant the bulb with the pointed end facing up, about 4-6 inches (10-15 cm) deep and 4-6 inches apart.

  8. Watering: Once planted, water the bulb thoroughly. Keep the soil consistently moist but not waterlogged. Hyacinths prefer slightly drier conditions during their dormant period.

  9. Fertilizing: You can apply a balanced, slow-release fertilizer when you plant the bulb in the fall. Avoid excessive fertilization, as it can lead to excessive foliage growth at the expense of flower development.

  10. Emergence and Growth: As the weather warms up in the spring, you'll see the hyacinth emerge from the soil and start growing. Provide regular water as the plant grows and begins to flower.