A friend of this column called in to a relate a sad houseplant tale, one that points out the importance of knowing all aspects of houseplant care.
In winter, most plants are dormant and should be treated accordingly. That means equal attention to each aspect of your indoor plants, including so little water as to keep them dormant, and how those aspects affect one another. How many of us have put a favorite plant (in my case, it was an old, reliable rosemary) in a south-facing window for the cold season only to see it wither because of temperature fluctuations and lack of humidity?
Take away any one and your houseplant suffers. As I did with my rosemary, we sometimes overcompensate on one of the plant’s needs while ignoring others. Certain tools can help us keep an eye on things, things like humidity that we might otherwise ignore. The ability to monitor and pay close attention is an important gardening skill.