calathea in winter
3 minute read

Tips to help your houseplants through the winter months

Winter can be a challenging time for your houseplants. As the days grow shorter and the temperatures drop, your leafy companions may need some extra attention to thrive. Many indoor plants, especially those originating from tropical climates, are not well-suited to the lower light and drier conditions of winter.

In this blog, we will share some thoughtful tips to help your houseplants make it through the winter successfully.

Adjust the light and placement

During the winter months, sunlight becomes a precious commodity. To help your houseplants adapt, consider these adjustments:

Rotate your plants

Houseplants tend to grow towards the light source. To ensure even growth, periodically rotate your plants. This will prevent them from leaning too much in one direction.

Move your plants closer to the windows

If possible, place your plants near south-facing windows where they can receive the maximum amount of natural light. East and west-facing windows also offer good light conditions. Ensure that they get as much exposure to indirect sunlight as possible.

Use grow lights for your plants

If your home lacks sufficient natural light, invest in full-spectrum grow lights. These lights replicate the spectrum of sunlight and can provide your plants with the necessary light for healthy growth. Place them above your plants for the best results.


Control the temperature around your plants

Houseplants can be sensitive to temperature changes. Keep your plants comfortable by:

Avoid drafts

Place your plants away from drafty areas, such as near doors, windows, or vents. Sudden temperature fluctuations can stress your plants and make them more vulnerable to diseases.

Maintain a consistent temperature

Most houseplants thrive in temperatures between 18-24°C. Avoid exposing them to extreme cold or heat. A sudden drop in temperature can cause damage to your plants, so ensure they are not placed near heaters or radiators.

Manage the humidity around your plants

The air indoors can become dry during the winter due to heating systems. Most houseplants prefer higher humidity levels. To increase humidity around your plants, you can use a humidifier, place a tray of water near them, or mist the leaves occasionally.


Water your houseplants properly

In winter, houseplants typically need less water than in the warmer months. Overwatering can be a common mistake. To water your houseplants effectively:

Adjust your watering schedule during the winter months

Check the moisture level of the soil before watering. Stick your finger about an inch into the soil; if it feels dry, it's time to water. If it's still moist, wait a few more days before checking again.

Use room-temperature water

Avoid using cold water, as it can shock the roots of your plants. Room-temperature water is gentler and safer.

Water your plants thoroughly

When you do water, make sure to soak the soil evenly. Allow the excess water to drain out from the bottom of the pot. Empty the saucer under the pot to prevent waterlogging, which can lead to root rot.


Prune your plants and check for pests

Winter is an excellent time for some light pruning and maintenance tasks:

Trim dead or yellowing leaves

Removing dead or yellowing leaves helps your plants allocate their energy more efficiently. Use clean, sharp scissors or pruning shears to make clean cuts.

Inspect your plants for pests

Winter is a prime time for certain pests, such as spider mites and mealybugs, to infest your plants. Regularly inspect your plants for signs of infestation, and if you spot any pests, take steps to eradicate them.


Cut back on fertilising your plants

During the winter, most houseplants enter a period of dormancy or reduced growth. They require less fertilizer, so be conservative:

Reduce the frequency of fertilising

If you typically fertilize your plants every 2-4 weeks, reduce this to every 6-8 weeks during the winter.

Use a balanced, diluted fertilizer

Choose a balanced, water-soluble fertilizer, and dilute it to half strength. This will prevent over-fertilization and minimize the risk of salt buildup in the soil.


Caring for your houseplants during the winter can be hard, but with the right adjustments in light, temperature, watering, and maintenance, you can help your indoor green friends not only survive but thrive through the colder months. Remember that each plant is unique, so observe their individual needs and be patient as you fine-tune your care routine. By providing the right conditions and attention, you can enjoy healthy, vibrant houseplants that will eagerly welcome the return of spring.


PLNTS instantly make Renée happy as she's always on the hunt for cool plant trends. Inspiring our community with interior tips, surprising DIY's and fun lists is what she does best!

November 04, 2021
Hi, I'm Emma, your guide!

Hi, I’m Emma, your guide!