7 Tips for Winter Houseplant Care

Plants on a windowsill

Gardeners often move potted plants indoors when the weather becomes cool. This can be a good technique, as long as a few steps are taken to ensure that indoor plants remain healthy and vigorous throughout the season. Here are a few tips for how to care for houseplants in winter.

Humidity

The white humidifier moistens dry air. Improving the comfort of living in the home, apartment. Improving the well-being of people.

Humidity in homes during winter tends to be lower than what houseplants would prefer.

  • If you have a humidifier, place houseplants nearby.
  • If you do not have a humidifier, there are a couple of solutions. 
    • Group plants together near a damp area such as the shower. 
    • Place a tray of water below or near the plant. However, make sure the pot is raised above the tray and not soaking the houseplant.

Temperature

Houseplants grouped together near a window
  • Move houseplants away from window sills and drafty areas. Many are subtropical and sensitive to cold temperatures.
  • Houseplants do not like fluctuating temperature areas either; such as fireplaces, stoves, and heat vents.
  • The ideal daytime temperature is 65 to 75 degrees F. The ideal nighttime temperature is 50+ degrees F.

Lighting

Houseplants on a wooden table near window
  • Move the houseplants near windows or areas where sunlight is available.
  • Clean off the dust from the leaves monthly. (see Cleaning)
  • If needed, use artificial light such as fluorescent bulbs to provide light and heat. 
  • Ten to fourteen hours of typical fluorescent office-type lighting is considered medium light. High-intensity light occurs within 2 ft. of a south-facing window from Oct. to March.

Watering

Woman watering houseplants
  • Reduce the frequency of watering by half.
  • Only water when the soil is dry. Check at least an inch below the surface for dryness.
  • Do not water with cold water; use tepid water instead.

Fertilization

Plants in pots on a table getting fertilizer added
  • Do not fertilize during winter. Instead, wait until spring to begin fertilizing houseplants.
  • Fertilize only if plants show signs of deficiencies.

Cleaning

Close-up of woman in casual clothing standing at window and cleaning leaves of houseplant with napkin
  • Clean the dust off the houseplants at least once a month.
  • Use a damp sponge and gently wipe the leaves of the houseplant.

Pest Prevention

yellow insect crawling on a plant
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Don’t forget about the importance of winter mulching. Check out our article Guide to Winter Mulching.

pet friendly houseplants

Visit our website or garden centers for all of your winter gardening needs. Be sure to check out our web specials page weekly to view select items on sale.