How to Keep Plants Healthy in Winter


As the weather cools down, winter is right around the corner. By now, any plants kept outdoors during the summer should be moved indoors. If you missed our post on How to Successfully Bring House Plants Back Indoors, check it out for instructions on how to properly clean and place your plants inside your home.


Now that your plants are indoors for the cooler months, it’s important to care for them properly to ensure their health. Winter is the harshest time of year for house plants, offering lower light conditions, dry air, shorter days, and cold temperatures. One of the most crucial changes after bringing plants indoors is water intake. Be sure to monitor water levels closely, as plants will use up more water inside your house due to the warm, dry air. If you use a humidifier, plants won’t need water as often. Overwatering can be deadly to plants as well; in order to avoid adding too much water, poke about two inches down into the soil. If the soil is dry near the root zone, add water.


To combat lower light and temperature conditions, move plants closer to windows if possible to allow for maximum exposure to light. Cleaning the windows and your plant’s leaves allows for higher light transmission and absorption. If windows frost overnight or let through cold drafts, keep plants several inches away and consider adding artificial light sources. Adding a heavy shade to your window will also protect your plants and insulate your home.


In mild climates, remember to fertilize your plants every third or fourth time you water. In order to reduce the salt and mineral deposits that build up from fertilizing and drying out, flush your plants with clean water at least once a month. To do this, place them in a bath tub or sink and allow the water to run freely over the soil and leaves. This process ensures the root systems stay healthy, allowing the plant to take in the proper amount of fertilizer. Flushing also helps wash away any insects that can be harmful. These simple tips will help your plants stay healthy throughout the winter so they will be ready to get back outside when temperatures rise again.