Tips for healthy houseplants this winter - gardenstead Skip to content

Tips for healthy houseplants this winter

Your houseplants had a great time this summer… the sun was shining, the air was humid and they were happy! Whether your plants were outside or remained indoors, the season is changing and it’s time to adjust YOUR plant routine to help keep them happy.

In winter, the sun is lower in the sky which means lower light overall. For plants, this means less light = less photosynthesis = less food produced = less energy. Set yourself and your plants up for success this winter with the following quick tips:

1. Clean your windows

Clean them on both the inside and outside. A little bit of elbow grease will go a long way in maximizing the light in your space because dirty windows don’t let in as much light (and both YOU and your plants need as much as you can get in winter!)

2. Cut back on water

This goes back to: “less light = less photosynthesis = less food produced = less energy.” Light is FOOD for your houseplants! If they aren’t getting as much light in the winter, then they aren’t exerting as much energy and can’t consume that water as quickly as in the summer. Not drinking quickly enough means they will sit in wet which turns into root rot.

3. Rearrange

Although it makes more sense, design wise, to have your tallest plants near the windows and smaller plants placed inside the room, like sitting on your coffee table, that results in those smaller/shorter plants not getting ANY light! Reverse the order – place the smaller places closer to the window and the taller ones back so that they can all receive light.

4. Hold back on the fertilizer

In the winter, plants aren’t actively growing and therefore do not need the boost of fertilizer. Fertilizer is not plant food, it’s a supplement similar to the vitamins you may take! Think about fertilizer as an added bonus to them, WHEN they are actively growing. In the winter, they don’t need to be fertilized.

5. Let there be (artificial) light

Supplementing light with a grow light or two is a great idea to help keep your houseplants happy. There are many different types of grow lights on the market to suit your space and you can even buy timers that take the guesswork out. You can set the timer to be on for a couple hours a day for foliage plants or even longer for succulents and cacti.

6. Lastly, don’t stress!

Leaf loss on a plant is completely natural, especially during the winter. Your plants will struggle a bit with lower light and drier air but it’s all ok! They will be fine (just cut back on your watering!). Learn to appreciate not just how plants look but their growth cycles too and you’ll be better equipped to deal with your plant babies and their seasonal changes.

yellow petaled flower by elias sorey unsplash

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