Houseplants, Indoor Gardening

Caring for Houseplants in Winter

You may have read that houseplants go dormant in the winter, and while many of them do, this does not mean that they don’t still need care.  In fact, many houseplants die in the winter due to improper care. Following our tips will help insure that your houseplants survive winter happy and healthy.  

LIGHT

We are not the only ones who miss the extra hours of daylight in the winter.  Houseplants do, too. In order to make sure that your plants are getting the light that they need, move houseplants to the area of your home that gets the most light.  Even plants that normally require low light will benefit from being in an area with more light during the winter. Washing the leaves of your plants will not only make it look better, but it will also allow them to absorb more light.  While you are at it, wash your windows, too. Just imagine how fresh and clean your house will feel with freshly washed houseplants AND windows. Win for you. Win for your plants.

While grow lights are probably not necessary, you can add some fluorescent lighting to your home.  While fluorescent light may “wash you out”, it is actually beneficial to houseplants.

TEMPERATURE

We are all about you saving money and reducing your carbon footprint by not keeping your house too warm during the winter.  But for garden’s sake, consider the houseplants! Houseplants are tropical, so they do best in temps between 65-75℉. If the temps in your home drop below 50℉, your houseplants will suffer.  So keep them (and you) warm and cozy.

HUMIDITY

We know your skin feels the effects of lower humidity in the winter.  Your houseplants do, too. During the summer, most of our homes stay between 30-40% humidity.  In the winter, that humidity can drop to as low as 5%–not good for your green friends. Keep your home humid with a humidifier, or check out this page for some great DIY tips.  Both you and your houseplants will benefit from a more humid home.

WATER

While you do want to more water in the air, you don’t necessarily need more water in your pots.  It is actually quite common for people to overwater their plants in the winter. Don’t be one of those people.  Let your plants dry out completely between waterings. That means to feel the soil before you water, even stick your finger down into the soil.  If there is moisture, you do not need to water. Wait a few more days. The exception to this rule is ferns and citrus plants–they need to be kept evenly moist.  If you are taking steps to keep your home more humid, this should mean you can water even less.

FERTILIZER

Houseplants are barely growing during the winter, so they don’t need fertilizer. Winter is a resting time for your houseplants.  In the spring when you see new growth, you can start fertilizing again.

Your houseplants can survive winter just fine if you care for them properly.  Another tip–don’t repot your houseplants in the winter. We get it…we miss having our hands in the dirt, too.  But your plants will be much better off if you wait until the spring to repot them.

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