The winter gloom is a shock for houseplants: here’s how to brighten up their lives I Alys Fowler

Mirrors and diffusers will help your plants cope with darker days, but leave any repotting until the spring

In summer, my houseplants spend at least a week or two on holiday. They bask in gentle breezes, marvel at a real shower and get a suntan: that is, I kick them out of the house so they can get some real living.

The joy of this is that I get to really wash my houseplants down, drenching them to remove house dust and any pests that have built up, and feed them with smelly foods – organic chicken manure pellets or comfrey juices – that are just too much for indoor life.

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