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7 most common houseplant winter problems

Everyone has their own story, and the same applies to houseplants. There are about 380,000 different plant species and they all require a different kind of care. That is why being a PLNTSparent is kind of a full-time job!

As the winter months approach and the temperature drops, many of us retreat indoors, seeking warmth and comfort. Our houseplants, on the other hand, may not be as thrilled about the change in seasons. Winter can be a challenging time for indoor plants, and several common problems tend to crop up during this period.

In this blog, we'll explore some of these issues and offer solutions to help your leafy friends thrive through the colder months.

1. Low light levels

One of the hardest challenges for houseplants during winter is the reduced daylight. With shorter days and less sunlight, plants receive less energy for photosynthesis. As a result, they may become leggy, lose their vibrancy, or stop growing altogether. To address this issue, consider moving your plants closer to windows or provide a grow light.

Expert tip! Make sure to dust the leaves regularly to maximize light absorption.


2. Overwatering

During the winter, most houseplants enter a period of dormancy, meaning they require less water than in the warmer months. Overwatering can lead to root rot and other moisture-related problems. To avoid this, adjust your watering schedule by allowing the top inch or so of the soil to dry out before watering.

Expert tip! Use a water meter or your finger to test the soil's dryness.

3. Low humidity

Humidity is a big term among our PLNTSlovers. It indicates the percentage of water vapor in the air. Especially tropical plants thrive in a higher humidity, because they‘re used to it by nature. Because in the winter the heating is turned on more often the humidity in the house will drop faster. Not so nice for you and your plants. A lot of plants show this by having discolored leaves or dried-up curled leaves. This can easily be solved by using a humidifier.

Expert tip! You can also use a plant sprayer around your plants to keep the humidity between 40% and 60%.


4. Temperature fluctuations

Houseplants can be sensitive to temperature changes, especially drafts or extreme temperature fluctuations near windows and doors. This is why it’s extra important to keep your plants at a constant temperature during winter. Try to keep your plants away from the drafty areas and maintain a consistent temperature in your home.

Expert tip! Avoid placing your plants near radiators or heaters.

5. Pests

Winter months can bring unwanted guests in the form of pests. Indoor environments provide a cozy shelter for insects like mealybugs, spider mites, and aphids. If you notice any pests, isolate the affected plant and treat it with natural remedies or insecticidal soap.

Expert tip! Regularly inspect your plants for signs of infestation, such as discolored leaves, sticky residue, or webs.

6. Fertilization

During the growing season, we’re used to spoiling our plants with plant nutrition. In winter, however, they prefer to skip this meal. Because of the lesser amount of light and the lower temperatures, the growth of the plant stops in winter. That’s why feeding your plant isn’t really necessary in this season. Too much nutrition can even harm your plant because too many minerals in the soil can damage the roots.

Expert tip! You can feed your plant during the winter months with a reduced fertiliser or a slow-release, balanced fertilizer to ensure your plants receive the necessary nutrients without overfeeding them.

7. Repotting

While it's essential to repot your houseplants when they outgrow their containers, it's best to avoid repotting during the winter months. Repotting can stress your plants, and they need all the stability they can get during this time.

Expert tip! Wait until spring when they start actively growing again to consider repotting.

Winter can be a challenging season for houseplants, but with some extra care and attention, you can help your green companions thrive. Do you still have questions about the health of your plant after reading this blog? Check out our PLNTSdoctor page for the best care and most common plant problems.

Renee portret

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!

January 11, 2022
Hi, I'm Emma, your guide!

Hi, I’m Emma, your guide!