Plant Care

Advice from Plant Mom: Help Indoor Plants Survive the Winter

During the winter, tropical indoor plants are at the mercy of drafty windows, drying furnaces, and colder temperatures.

To help your indoor plants survive the cold winter months, follow these tips from Bloomscape’s own Plant Mom!

Tip 1: Water less frequently 

Your potted plant will not need as much water during the winter months since the growth rate of most plants slows down considerably during this period. Overwatering can lead to root rot, especially in the winter. This does not mean, however, that you should completely ignore them!

Monitor the moisture of your plant regularly by checking the soil using your finger: push your finger about 2” down into the soil and only water if it’s dry. Be sure to water thoroughly — the roots of tropical plants like heavy (but infrequent) watering.

Remember that just as in the summer months, plants have different needs, so get to know your plants’ individual preferences. If you need a refresher on indoor plant watering, here’s how to water indoor plants correctly.

Tip 2: Humidity is key

Your plants will appreciate increased humidity during the winter months. Many homes are very dry in the winter due to heaters and fireplaces, and most plants can be sensitive to dry air. Grouping indoor plants together is an easy way to create more humidity because it creates a microclimate as plants naturally transpire, or release water vapor, from their leaves, flowers, and stems.

You can also set up a humidifier near your plants, or place your plants near a tray of water, or even on top of stones in a tray filled with water (also known as a pebble tray). If you want a more in-depth look at humidity, here’s how to increase the humidity for your indoor houseplants.

Misting can also help, but you should be consistent and mist often.

Tip 3: Keep the temperature consistent

Woman placing a plant on a windowsill

Be conscious of where your plants are located in your space. You may need to move them to avoid drafts or window panes to protect them from the cold temperatures outside. It’s also equally important to be aware of heat sources such as heating ducts, radiators, and fireplaces.

Average day temperatures for your plants should range from 65–75 degrees and at night, no lower than 50 degrees.

Tip 4: Adjust fertilizing 

how to fertilize your indoor plant

You may not need to fertilize during the winter depending on your location and climate. Where you live can affect your plants’ growth rates, so if you live in a colder environment during the winter, your plants may not be actively growing throughout the season.

During this time, plant food can do more harm than good because plants will not fully utilize the nutrients and it can upset the natural growth cycle of the plant. However, if your plants are actively growing during the winter, it is okay to fertilize them as normal.

Tip 5: Dust regularly

advice from plant mom: getting your plants ready for fall

Be sure to keep your plant clean and dust-free. Insects love to hide out in the dust on the leaves, which makes it harder for you to find them. Your plant is more vulnerable in the winter because they go into a state of dormancy, which makes them prone to pests.

Also, since the humidity is much lower, your plant can become the perfect breeding ground for spider mites and other insects who love to hide in the dirt on plant leaves. Wipe your plants’ leaves regularly with a damp cloth and remember to remove any dead or yellowing leaves with a pair of clean, sharp scissors.

Always Ask for Help

No matter what your question is or what kind of indoor potted plant you have, the Grow-HowTM Team is here to answer any plant questions you may have. We’re here to help by empowering you with the knowledge you need to grow and care for healthy plants throughout the year. Contact the Grow-HowTM Team for all your plant care needs today!