Our Expert Tips For Caring For Houseplants in Winter

how to care for plants in winter

3 min read

January is almost here and some of the coldest weather of winter is about to arrive. Just like us, houseplants react to the changes in conditions. However, many plant-related ailments at this time of year are often not the result of Jack Frost but of us trying to get warm.

Many people think caring for houseplants in winter requires foregoing the warmth of central heating, but that’s not necessarily the case. We’re going to show you that with a few little tricks you can keep your houseplants happy and healthy all winter.

Here’s what our own florists recommended:

Don’t give them too much water

Watering can and plant

This is a good piece of advice for any time of the year, but this is especially true in winter. Even if you keep your home particularly toasty, too much water could be a life or death decision.

It might feel tempting to water them as usual, but generally speaking, less is more during the winter. Because humidity in your home normally increases with the lack of fresh air and use of heaters during the colder months it’s very easy to overwater plants.

We recommend waiting until the soil is nice and dry before giving them a drink. When it’s time to water them, simply give them a little (but not too much) and allow any water to drain out. Whatever you do don’t let them sit in water.

Keep them away from draughty windows

frosty window

Most houseplants originate in tropical locations and therefore cold winds are their nemeses. With many species like orchids or poinsettia, this may mean a change in location during the colder months if they are placed in the path of chilly draughts.

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We would recommend keeping most houseplants away from windows, especially during snowy weather as glass can frost up and allow cold to pass a lot easier than other materials. All you need to do is find another suitable home or even just moving them a few inches back from the glass should be enough.

Don’t place them on top of or near radiators

Grey house plant on top of radiator

Heat rises and while indoor plants can appreciate a little heat too much is going to make them suffer. Radiators and heaters pack quite a lot more power than we sometimes imagine, especially to our immobile plant housemates.

To prevent stressing out the plants too much, try to avoid placing plants on surfaces on top of or beside radiators or heaters.

Remove any yellowing or dead leaves

Close up yellow leaf

Plants need all the energy they can get during the darker days of the year. They instinctively go into a form of hibernation when the light is dimmer and this is why they don’t tend to grow as much during winter.

A great way to help them along during these low energy months is to remove any brown or yellowing leaves from the plant. This allows the plants to redirect the energy being transferred to these dead or dying appendages to the healthier greener leaves or (better still) new growth.

Some plants need a little extra care with this step. Find out how you can do this yourself with orchids or poinsettia in our special guides.

What are your top strategies for caring for your houseplants? Let us know in the comments below.

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