Winter is here whether we like it or not, and it can be a struggle to prepare all our plants for the cold. After all, most indoor plants originated in hot tropical climates, where dry air and temperature drops are not conditions they are accustomed to. Here is a quick guide on how to winter-proof your home to take care of your houseplants during cold weather.
Temperature and Humidity
Avoid sudden temperature and humidity drops for your most fragile plants. Plants do not like when changes happen too quickly (just like people!). A large fluctuation from warm to cold can lead your plants into shock, causing their leaves to curl up from stress.
The same goes when humid summer air becomes the bitter, dry air of fall and winter. While household heaters can help warm your home up, the average humidity can drop from 50% to under 20% in a heated room. Keeping an indoor humidity level of at least 50% is just as important as maintaining a consistent temperature.
Overall, the best thing you can do is introduce changes gradually, rather than adjusting too many conditions at once.
Here are some proactive tips you should take to winter-proof your home as a fellow plant parent:
- Move plants a few inches away from drafty windows.
- Do not grow any plants directly under heat vents or next to radiators.
- Use a humidifier.
- Water sparingly, as many plants go dormant in the cold season.
- Try not to fertilize or repot any plants until springtime.
- Consider LED grow lights to supplement lighting.
When should I take my outdoor plants inside?
When it comes to bringing outside plants in, keep an eye out on the weather. When temperatures drop under 50 degrees Fahrenheit (10 Celsius), it is time to bring your tropical plants indoors. There are always exceptions, but 50 degrees is usually the absolute minimum temperature that houseplants with tropical origins will tolerate.
Getting through the cold season with an indoor jungle of houseplants may not always be easy, but it is not impossible. You got this!