Changing Plant Care Habits in the Fall and Winter

Days are getting shorter and temperatures are dropping; these are hallmarks of the end of summer, but also an indicator you need to change your indoor plant care habits. Plants can sense the different conditions and develop different needs during this time.

Plants enter a kind of dormant phase in the winter and use less energy, which means they also need less water. It’s much easier to overwater a plant during this time than normally. As always the best way to check if a plant needs water is to poke your finger down a couple of inches into the soil – if it’s still moist, hold off on watering.

Here in California most of us are blessed with mild winter temperatures, but if you live somewhere colder you should be careful not to let plants get too cold or they’ll get a kind of frostbite. Indoor plants generally come from tropical regions so they prefer temperatures between 65 and 75 degrees F. Make sure the leaves of plants aren’t touching a window that gets too cold. And note that if you turn up the heat in your place, it’ll dry out the air, so this will affect how quickly the plant’s soil dries out. As always, avoid drafts and air vents.

Fewer hours of daylight and darker, cloudier days may make your plants sad. The best way to make sure they’re still getting enough light is to move them closer to a window (preferably south or east-facing if you’re in the Northern Hemisphere). You should also clean the leaves of any dust or grease to make sure they can absorb as much light as they’re getting, and in extreme cases consider using an artificial light source.

Plants always appreciate nutrients, but because their systems are slower during the colder months and are not in an active growing mode, go much lighter on the fertilization.

Of course these are all generalizations, and different plants have all sorts of different needs. The conditions in your place may also differ in terms of humidity, light, and temperature and these are all things you should take into consideration.

The Plant of the Moment: Elephant Ears

At Léon & George, we’re committed to delivering the most beautiful plants straight from our nurseries. We’re constantly refreshing our inventory with the highest quality plants available. Starting today, we’ll be featuring the latest Plant of the Moment.

Our star right now is the majestic Elephant Ears Plant.

The Alocasia, or Elephant Ears as it is commonly called, gets its name from its flat, jumbo-sized, heart-shaped leaves. Elephant Ears make a great decorative piece for a spacious room and instantly bring a lush, tropical vibe. They thrive best with indirect sunlight, humid settings and moist soil.

A few fun facts:

  • The entire plant is edible, but only when cooked
  • A popular houseplant since the 1950s, it can live as long as you do with the right care¹
  • In Asia the plant is known as “the great protector”

Our Elephant Ears are currently available in two colors:

If you’re convinced and would like a little bit more nature in your life, try Léon & George. We have a great selection of easy-care plants and beautiful pots and deliver them right to your door in the Los Angeles & San Francisco areas.


Plant Delivery Now Available in the Los Angeles Area

Last year we started Léon & George to help bring more greenery into San Franciscans’ lives with free delivery of beautiful easy care plants. In the meantime we’ve expanded both the number of plants we sell, as well as the geographical area we cover (these days we deliver to the entire Bay Area).

Now we’re launching the same plant delivery service in the Los Angeles area. We deliver our plants to Los Angeles proper as well as a few surrounding cities including Beverly Hills, Malibu, Santa Monica, West Hollywood, and more! Just as you’d expect, delivery is free, all plants are guaranteed for 30 days and include unlimited access to our plant care experts – so you’re guaranteed to never kill a plant again.

Give us a try today, and shop for plant delivery in the Los Angeles area.

If you’re looking for a quick and stress-free way of getting beautiful houseplants, try Léon & George. We have a great selection of easy-care plants and beautiful pots and deliver them right to your door in the Los Angeles & San Francisco areas.

When Should You Fertilize Your Plants?

Plants need light, water, and nutrients. Most plants get their nutrients from the soil, but over time a soil’s nutrients can get depleted, especially with potted plants. This is when fertilizer comes in handy. But there are a few things you should know about fertilizer before feeding your plant.

Most commercial fertilizers include 3 main nutrients: nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium (NPK for short). These are often listed as numbers on a fertilizer’s packaging, in the form of 10-20-15 or 15-15-15. The numbers correspond to the percentages of N-P-K in the fertilizer. All purpose fertilizer usually has them in equal proportions, but the labeling should be clear. There are special fertilizers for plants like orchids or roses that have different proprotions of NPK and other micronutrients the plants might need, and there are even fertilizers for stages of growth (ex: younger plants often need more phosphorous). A fertilizer’s label should tell you all you need to know about what it’s meant to be used for.

Now about when to fertilize: the general guideline is to fertilize during the growing season, which is usually spring and summer. The extra warmth and light during these seasons stimulates plant growth that pauses during the cold and dark of winter. This is also why plants need less water during the winter. Adding nutrients at the right time helps spur that growth.

Something else to note is that it’s very possible to give a plant too much fertilizer. It’s possible to “burn” a plant with too much fertilizer at once, and you’ll notice this if the tips of the leaves turn yellow/brown. Always follow the guidelines that come with the fertilizer you’ve purchased. Some fertilizer is liquid that you mix in when you water the plant, and some comes in solid form you stick in the soil or sprinkle above it.

Also note that new commercial potting mix generally already has fertilizer in it, so you wouldn’t want to fertilize a freshly potted plant right away – wait about a month or so.

That’s about it. Now go forth and feed your hungry plants!

Why The Pothos Is The Ultimate Plant For Beginners

The Pothos (botanical name: Epipremnum aureum) has a well-deserved reputation as the easiest houseplant to own. It develops long vining stems (that can grow up to 8 feet long!) with leaves that unfurl open and grow larger and more variegated with time. Though the plant grows best in bright light, it can survive even in dark corners of a home or office. It has lush leather-like leaves that come in all sorts of colors and varieties. The Pothos is also a terrific air purifier and it filters our indoor toxins like formaldehyde and benzene from the air.

It’s so hard to mess up with this plant that it’s been nicknamed the “Devil’s Ivy” because it’s just so darn hardy. It is the perfect plant for someone who’s never had plants before or thinks they have a black thumb (we wholeheartedly believe that plants are for everybody and a little basic plant care knowledge goes a long way).

The only serious mistake one can make with the Pothos is overwatering. If the roots are waterlogged they may develop root rot and begin deteriorating. But this is the case with almost all houseplants, and watering less often is easier than always worrying about maintaining wet soil.