Houseplants are usually small potted plants that are grown indoors to decorate the rooms and enhance their look.
Green plants are a refreshing sight and have a soothing effect on people’s minds. Common houseplants grown include epiphytes, cacti, and succulents.
Though houseplants are less demanding when it comes to their maintenance, improper plant care during the harsh winter season can cause them to die.
For your houseplants to survive the chill weather, you must take proper care of your plants so that they remain well-nourished.
Do Houseplants Grow In The Winter?
Winters are a harsh season for plants to survive. The cold temperature, low humidity, and insufficient sunlight inhibit plant growth. However, under adequate plant care, cautionary measures, and adjustments to living conditions, your houseplants can make it through winter. These include changing the plant’s growing position (placing it closer to natural sunlight) and using a humidifier to keep your plants hydrated.
How to Take Care of Houseplants in Winter
All of us feel uncertain whether our houseplants can tolerate the chilly winds and dry afternoons. It’s a pain to see beautiful plants wilt and relinquish to the rough climate.
But if you take proper plant care measures, your houseplants can live through cold winters
There are several methods to protect your plants from winter’s thrall. Let’s discuss them all one by one.
Provide Sufficient Natural Sunlight
During winters, the sun is low in the sky, and clouds smother most of the sunlight. Consequently, the amount of sunlight that reaches plants is not enough to fulfill their needs and requirements.
Moreover, the cold climate is harmful to plant growth.
Low temperatures cause plant cells to freeze and block pathways for smooth water flow. And hence, the lack of adequate water intake by mesophyll cells causes leaves to wither and die.
To overcome this situation, you must place your houseplants next to a large open window. The natural sunlight that floods through the window keeps the plant warm and enables it to carry out photosynthesis at an optimum rate.
If you live in a country where temperatures drop low and the sun barely shows up, you can move towards other options.
A great idea can be to make use of artificial lights and fluorescent bulbs. Position them a few inches away from your plants to ensure your plants remain warm.
Protect Your Plants from Chilly Winds
Most houseplants grow in tropical regions, where the temperature is between 70 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit (21 to 25 degrees Celsius). Temperatures below 45 degrees Fahrenheit (7 degrees celsius) interrupt the metabolic activity of plant cells and render growth impossible.
For this reason, it is crucial to place your houseplants in centrally heated rooms, where the temperature is comfortably warm. Moreover, move your pots away from windows at night.
As soon as the sun sets and nights become cold, close off windows and any exterior outlets. Maintaining a warm interior prevents your plants from getting frosted.
Typically houseplants require air with a humidity of around 50-60%. A low humidity encourages the growth of pests like mites and also causes browning of stems and leaves.
The perfect way to enhance humidity indoors is to station a humidifier close to your houseplants. Make sure you only turn it on in the late hours of the day, when humidity levels are reasonably low.
Another method can be to mist your plants. Although not as efficient, misting can help solve the issue of dry air.
Avoid Overwatering Your Plants
The most common mistake is to believe that more water can compensate for the lower humidity.
The reality is that plants become dormant in the winter season.
As a result, they require less water as the metabolic rate slows down. Overwatering is harmful to your plant as it gives way to pathogen attacks and rotting.
Make sure you do not water your plant too frequently. Only water them when the roots have soaked up all the moisture, and the soil appears dry.
Wipe the Leaves
As mentioned before, the amount of sunlight that reaches the ground during winter is significantly reduced. For your plants to absorb as much sunlight as possible, it is essential to ensure that the leaves remain clean.
Wipe the leaves/stems of your houseplants to remove any foreign dust particles that have accumulated. These substances block sunlight and inhibit the absorption of light by the chlorophyll cells.
Avoid using fertilizers
Since the plant’s activities reach an all-time low during the cold season, its requirement for nutrients and organic matter also falls. Reduce fertilization drastically during winter time.
Once spring comes, you can resume fertilizing the soil and allowing your houseplants to flourish and grow.
Frequently Asked Questions About Houseplant Growth in Winter
Is it advisable to re-pot houseplants in winter?
For most houseplants, it doesn’t matter at what time of the year you re-pot them. However, for some plants, since cold temperatures interrupt proper metabolic activity and growth of plants, winter is not the ideal season for re-potting. If you need to, then under adequate plant care, re-potting houseplants in winter won’t cause any problems.
Do houseplants lose their leaves in winter?
It is not uncommon for houseplants to shed their leaves during winter to support the proper nourishment of the rest of the plant. All you can do is to ensure you water it appropriately, expose it to enough sunlight and keep the plant warm during the cold months.
Marcel runs the place around here. He has a deep passion for houseplants & gardening and is constantly on the lookout for yet another special plant to add to his arsenal of houseplants, succulents & cacti.
Marcel is also the founder of Iseli International Commerce, a sole proprietorship company that publishes a variety of websites and online magazines.