How to Care for Houseplants in the Winter

Knowing how to care for house plants over winter is important as during these months plants’ growth rate slows significantly and many enter a dormant state – so you need to alter your care schedule to keep them happy.

It’s important to allow your plants to rest over winter. If you continue to water and feed them as you do in summer, this will encourage them to keep on growing, putting them under strain and leading to weak, spindly growth.

Indoor plant growth slows in the winter months so I basically leave mine be when it comes to fertilizing, pruning, and repotting. How to Care for Houseplants in the Winter ?

How to Care for Houseplants in the Winter

How to Care for Houseplants in the Winter

How often to water houseplants in winter

It might sound counterintuitive, but most indoor plants need less water during the winter. While it’s true that winter air is drier, plants experience a slower rate of growth during colder months; some even go completely dormant. Therefore, plants need less water to keep hydrated, and overwatering can lead to root rot. Keep in mind that different plants have different water needs—drought-tolerant cacti and other succulents might not need watering at all, while some tropicals might still require more regular watering.

Surface soil can dry out more quickly during the winter months, but that’s not a good indicator that the plant needs water. Push your finger into the soil to determine if it is dry an inch or two below the surface—that’s when it’s time to bring out the watering can.

Do not use cold water to water your houseplants. Use water that is about room temperature to avoid shocking the plant’s roots. Tap water can get very cold in some winter climates, so let the water sit for several hours before watering your plants. Gradual warming in this way also allows dissolved gases, such as chlorine, to evaporate out of the water.

How to Care for Houseplants in the Winter

How to Care for Houseplants in the Winter

Light / Exposure

You may have to move your plants.

The winter months are darker and the days are shorter. If you feel your plants aren’t getting the light they need, then move to a different location for more light.

If you move them closer to a window, just make sure they’re not up against the cold glass or catching any drafts from a window.

Rotate them if need be.

If the light source is coming from 1 side, then houseplants need to be rotated even in winter. I rotate mine every month or 2 depending on how they’re looking.

Keep them warm

Most house plants need a temperature of 12-18°C. They dislike large temperature fluctuations, so position them away from cold draughts and open windows or doors. If they’re on a windowsill, leave the curtains open if you can, as they trap cold air at night. Alternatively, move plants off the windowsill at night. Also keep plants away from heat sources such as radiators and fireplaces, which can scorch delicate foliage.

How to Care for Houseplants in the Winter

How to Care for Houseplants in the Winter

Pause the fertilizer

Most houseplants rest in the winter. They tend to grow very little, if at all. Because they are not producing new leaves and stems, they don’t require fertilizer. Stop fertilizing in fall, and resume again in spring as plants receive more sunlight, spurring them to actively grow again.

Can i repot house plants in winter?

Indoor plants need periodic re-potting to accommodate their growing roots and stop them becoming pot bound. It is advised not to repot house plants in winter during a dormant state. The best time to repot indoor plants is at the beginning of the growing season in March or April.

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