Caring for Indoor Plants in Winter

Plants grown inside, whether they always live indoors or you bring them in to winter over require certain things to remain healthy and green.

Essentials for Healthy Plants

Light – Place your plants in a sunny, preferably south facing window. Even plants that can’t take direct sun will enjoy the winter light from the south. You might want to put these plants out of direct sun, but still in the light. Keep leaves free of dust so they can absorb the light better.

Water – Plants that live indoors need watering less often.  Plants will take up the available water differently, so it’s important to have a water meter to determine when the plants are dry. More houseplants are killed by overwatering than underwatering.

For the first few weeks, measure the water for each plant and make note of how long that much water lasts. Note the date you water and how much, then let your meter tell you when you need to water again. If it is too short a time between waterings, you can try increasing the amount of water until you have a set schedule of 1-3 times a week. You can group plants that need similar water together so you know that those plants all need 1 cup of water or whatever your ideal amount of water is.

Temperature – Most plants will cut back on growth in temperatures below 65 degrees, especially if they are tropical plants. Other plants that you may have brought indoors may be more hardy and can withstand temperatures down to 55 degrees.

Repotting – If some of your plants have outgrown their pots, for example they look crowded, or roots are growing out of the bottom of the pot, you may need to prune them a little and repot them. Succulents don’t usually need repotting. Woody plants can go dormant in winter months and that is a good time to repot them to be ready for new growth in the spring. Use a quality soilless potting mix.

Keeping plants indoors can purify the air in your home; and some plants even remove formaldahyde and other toxic chemicals. Some plants to try are Boston Fern, palms, rubber plants, English Ivy, peace lily, golden pothos, Sansaveria (mother-in-law tongue).