Winter may be a time for celebration and merriment for you. But what about your indoor plants? Caring for indoor plants in winter can be challenging. However, I have you covered with this blog.
Have your indoor plants started looking a little sad these days?
Do you see some yellow leaves emerging from your green indoor babies?
Has the growth of your indoor plants stopped all of a sudden?
Well, in winter, some plants go into a hibernation mode. Their growth slows down. Some of them can even become completely dormant.
As a human, you do everything to make your home cozy and feel comfortable in the winter. Sadly, your little green indoor babies cannot take this protection alone. So, as a plant parent, you must develop the habit of caring for indoor plants.
Now, this pertinent question may pop into your head: “Why do my houseplants shrink and suffer when they are not exposed to chilly winds or snow outside?”
It’s because of the change in the growing weather conditions indoors. Along with the climatic change outside, the environment inside your house also changes. Subtly, your indoors become darker and colder than before.
Does that mean a final departure of your indoor plants?
In this blog, I am sharing some effective tips on caring for indoor plants in winter. You’ll also learn about some deadly mistakes to avoid that can otherwise kill your indoor plants.
11 Surefire Ways of Caring for Indoor Plants During Winter
33.1 million people from the US population have indoor plants. You bring them home, nurture them, water them, and befriend them.
However, your houseplants cannot withstand the temperature changes in winter. Even though you keep them indoors, the dry air, chilly winds, lack of sunlight, and fluctuating temperatures overpower them. Sometimes, things can get out of your hand and you may lose your plants forever.
During such weather changes, the only way to make your green babies survive is by caring for indoor plants. Just like you, your plants need some extra TLC (tender, love, and care) to grow and bloom.
Why Caring for Indoor Plants in Winter is Necessary?
Undeniably your plants prefer the hot summer days to grow and thrive. You must be wondering why your indoor plants are a little partial to summer and spring and what happens to them in winter.
Well, the cold chilly weather and the dry winds of winter bring all the change. This sudden drop in temperature dries the leaves and stems. As a result, your plants fail to grow.
For the destruction and death of a tropical indoor plant, it needs exposure to cold temperatures for 12 to 24 hours.
So, if you are still keeping your indoor plants near or in front of a window, change their place immediately. Shift it to a warmer location in your home because the winter atmosphere and weather have already set in.
Start caring for your indoor plants today before you lose them forever.
11 Surefire Ways to Care for Your Indoor Plants This winter
Now, you already know why your indoor plants suffer in the winter. But as a responsible plant parent, you can still give your indoor babies some hope to survive. All they need is some love and care.
Are you ready to be the caregiver to your indoor plants this winter?
Don’t know how?
Here are 11 effective pointers on caring for indoor plants in the winter season:
1. Be mindful of watering your plants
Generally, winter comes with less sunlight. Pouring more water into the plants, thinking they’ll grow, will produce reverse results. Instead, follow the policy of ‘Less is more’ in the winter.
When plants get more sunlight, they get more thirsty, thereby demanding more water. On the contrary, limited sunlight calls for limited water. So, the indoor plant you used to water every day in summer will require water once in 3 or 4 days in winter.
To be mindful of the amount of water you are pouring into your indoor plants, invest in a small watering can. It will help you get rid of the temptation of pouring more water. For consistency, follow a tracking app.
2. Take notice of the sunlight
In winter, the sun rises late and sets down earlier. Naturally, plants get less sunlight than they do in the summer and spring seasons. This does not make your indoor plants thirsty enough to absorb water.
If you want your indoor plants to get enough sunlight, keep them close to the windows from which the sunlight enters indoors. It is better to place your indoor plants on a plant stand. This brings them slightly closer to the natural light.
The trick here is to rotate your plant pots after some time so that every part of the plant gets an equal amount of sunlight.
3. Don’t panic about leaves becoming yellow and dropping
With winter, comes the period of abscission for plants. It is the act of plants shedding leaves once a year. The growth of your indoor plants depends on auxin; the plant hormone that helps them grow and thrive.
While in spring, auxin develops at the base of your indoor plants’ leaves, in winter, the production of auxin slows down and comes to a point where it breaks naturally. Eventually, the leaves of your indoor plants turn yellow and start shedding.
Consider this whole process of leaves becoming yellow and shedding as completely natural. It is a sign of good health for your indoor plants. However, less light in the winter is also another cause for the dropping of leaves.
4. Say ‘No’ to extreme temperature fluctuations
First and foremost, these are your indoor plants. They have already adjusted themselves to the temperature indoors. Secondly, for better protection, if you move to a different place with severe temperature differences, they’ll automatically fail to survive.
Even if your indoor plants experience temperature fluctuations for shorter periods, it can create a negative impact on their lifespace. Like you, your plants also cannot take the stress caused due to these sudden temperature extremities.
Either they become extremely dry and crisp or suffer from cold damage. So, caring for indoor plants should be no less than a human baby – be soft and gentle.
5. Stop using fertilizers temporarily
Winters and plant growth don’t gel well. You will notice little to no growth of your indoor plants in the winter. Since your indoor plants do not produce new leaves and stems in the winter, you don’t need to stuff them with fertilizers. Instead, leave your indoor plants as they are. Let them be. Let them breathe.
6. Check for houseplant pests keenly
Winter is the perfect time for tiny little bugs, snaps, and mites to show their aura. To have their grand winter celebration, they choose your indoor plants as their perfect partner. The cozy, warm, and dry weather conditions of the winter are ideal for the pests to have a blast on your indoor plants.
The best way to shoo away these mites and bugs is to check every corner of the plants often. Turn over the plant leaves and the stems frequently and inspect their undersides thoroughly.
If you find any pests, wipe them off with your hand. However, a better solution here is to use a cotton ball soaked in alcohol. If your indoor plant has a large infestation, use neem oil or infestational soaps.
7. Enhance the humidity indoors
In the winter months, you surely love to switch on the room heater and curl up like a cotton ball. But have you thought if your indoor plants like this warmth?
Well, most indoor plants grow well within a humidity level ranging between 40% to 50%. However, in winter, this humidity level indoors falls to somewhere between 10% to 20%.
One effective method of caring for your indoor plants is to give them the desired level of humidity by clustering them together. When all your indoor plants stay together it will enhance their relative humidity through
- Water evaporating from the soil
- Water evaporating from the leaves of the plants
Another potent method of enhancing the humidity is to place your plants on a tray filled with water and pebbles. However, never let the surface of your plant pots touch the water in the tray. Otherwise, it’ll rot your plant roots. With the evaporation of the water, your houseplants get enough humidity to survive the icy winter.
8. Maintain a clean foliage
Indeed, a set of indoor plants with bushy foliage brings so much greenery indoors. Undoubtedly, it’s highly soothing for your eyes. But is it equally healthy for your indoor plants in the winter?
Well, considering the amount of limited sunlight in winter, it is better to clean the foliage. This will make way for sunlight to get into the intricate areas of your plants and up to the roots.
9. Avoid repotting
You may come back home with a set of colorful and vibrant pots, thinking your plants would look like a dressed-up Barbie in those pots. But doing this would put the last nail in the coffin.
When you repot your indoor plants, they get an unwanted shock. Think of yourself now. If you were forced to stay in a new place all of a sudden, wouldn’t you be overwhelmed? Would it not surprise you? Similarly, your green indoor babies fail to adjust to the environment of the new pots and die.
The ideal time to repot your indoor plants is when they grow – in summer and spring. So, even if you feel like repotting your cute plants this winter, resist yourself. If abstaining from repotting indoor plants can save their lives, nothing like it.
10. Pay attention to dust buildup
Winter is a dry season. You’ll see a lot of dust accumulated on various things. Your indoor plants are not an exception.
When a thick layer of dust settles on top of your indoor plants, precisely on the leaves, they fail to breathe. Secondly, these dust particles act as a barrier between the leaves and their nutrients. As a result, lack of nutrients pushes your indoor plants to death.
The only solution here is to use a damp cloth to wipe dust from the surface of your plant leaves. You can also use cotton balls. Soak them in water for proper cleaning.
11. Need for minimal trimming
You must have heard plant enthusiasts asking you to prune your plants often. Yes, pruning your plants helps them to stay healthy. But never do it excessively in the winter. Since the heavy growth of your indoor plants happens in the spring and summer, trimming them in the winter is not a good idea. You’ll not see your plants growing.
Instead, you can simply use your fingers to gently pinch and pluck a few stems.
When it comes to taking care of your indoor plants, you win some and you lose some. While some are too delicate to bear any weather changes, others need a little support from you to be a warrior.
I hope these 11 points discussed above will make your journey of caring for indoor plants in winter a little easier.
With a positive mindset, follow all these points and dream of seeing a colorful spring ahead with your green indoor babies soon.
Will it not be amazing to let your indoor plants bask in bright sunlight in spring?
Dreaming about it already?
Well, hope for the best!