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  • HDT Team

Winter Care for Indoor Plants

Indoor plants brighten our lives by providing much-needed color in the winter months. Research suggests they may also reduce stress and anxiety, as well as providing other benefits.

So what do you need to do to help indoor plants?

Four plants in front of two windows
Photo by Anna Smith

Monitor Watering

With lower light levels and cooler temperatures, plants tend to require less water. Check the soil moisture before watering to avoid overwatering, which can lead to root rot. Water your plants only when the top inch of the soil is dry.

Adjust Lighting

Since days are shorter in winter, natural light may be limited. Consider placing plants near south-facing windows to maximize sunlight exposure. You can also use artificial grow lights if necessary, especially for plants that require high light levels.

Two sets of green plants under grow lights
Photo by Anna Smith

Maintain Humidity

Central heating systems can create dry indoor environments, which may adversely affect humidity-loving plants. Increase humidity by misting plants regularly, using a humidifier, or placing a tray of water near the plants (make sure the pot is not directly in the water to avoid root rot).

A white bowl of water in a bed of indoor plants
Photo by Anna Smith

Resist Repotting

Plants are not actively growing in the winter months and can become stressed when transplanted at this time. Best time to repot is spring and summer.

Pay Attention to Temperature

Keep plants away from drafty windows and doors as cold drafts can damage or stress them. Also, keep plants away from heat vents. Maintain a consistent temperature to provide a stable environment for your plants.

Two green indoor plants spaced away from widow
Photo by Anna Smith

Fertilize Sparingly

Plants generally grow slower during the winter months, so they require less fertilization. If you do fertilize, use a diluted concentration of a balanced fertilizer to avoid overfeeding or stop fertilizing all together until spring. 

Prune Selectively

Trim any dead or yellowing leaves to promote new growth and maintain the overall health of the plant. Pruning also helps to improve air circulation, preventing pests and diseases.

A spider plant before and after pruning
Photo by Anna Smith

Rotate Plants

Rotate your plants regularly to ensure even light exposure on all sides and prevent them from leaning or reaching towards the light source.

Look For Pests

Winter conditions can encourage pests such as spider mites and mealybugs. Inspect your plants regularly, especially the undersides of leaves, and treat any infestations immediately to prevent them from spreading.

Washing Leaves

For light dusting on plants with delicate or fuzzy leaves, you can use a soft brush, such as a paintbrush or a makeup brush, to gently sweep away dust from the leaves. For larger leaves, you can use water and a damp cloth or sponge to gently wipe both sides of the leaves. Make sure to support the leaf from underneath to avoid putting too much pressure on it. Leaf shine products should be avoided as it clogs the leaf’s stomata openings (tiny pores) with oil or wax, which limits the essential gas exchanges stomata play a crucial part in.

A hand demonstrates how to wash plant leaves
Photo by Anna Smith

By following these tips, you can help your indoor plants survive and even thrive during the winter months. Remember that different plant species may have specific care requirements, so it's essential to research individual plant needs for the best results.


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