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How To Keep Plants Alive In Winter: Step By Step Guide

Thinking about how to keep plants alive in winter? We’re here to help! Help keep your houseplants alive during this cold weather spell by reading this blog post! By following this guide, you’ll be able to stop your houseplants from dying!

Why Should I Care For My Plants During Winter months?

Winter can be one of the most difficult times as a plant parent. Forget about growing, your main aim is to keep your houseplants alive! Winter brings many plants a multitude of problems, making your job plain and simple – keep your plants alive!

Although most indoor plants are fairly adaptable organisms, many indoor plants will struggle to stay alive, let alone grow, as there are fewer daylight hours and temperatures drop below 8°c and 12°c.

Every plant needs lots of air, water, and light to grow. Without this, many plants will become dormant or maybe even die! If you’re struggling, Gardener’s World has a fantastic blog post on this!

With freezing temperatures the main problems to look out for with indoor plants are cold draughts from windows and vast fluctuations in room temperature and humidity (due to central heating)!

As well as this, you may also need to cut back on your watering schedule and cease any fertilizing during the cold months. The last thing you want is to kill your indoor plants through root rot or root scorching.

So, what can I do to care for my indoor plants to help them survive winter?

Watering Houseplants In Winter

If you’re wondering about how to keep plants alive in winter, one of the easiest plant care tips you can optimise is your watering schedule. By making sure you’re not overwatering your plants, you’re winning half of the battle!

Why not begin your journey by investing in one of our Elho recycled 1.7L watering cans?

Do plants need less water in winter?

Yes! As a general rule of thumb, plants require less water during the Winter. With less light exposure, a plant’s capacity to continue growing is severely limited. In order to stay alive, many plants cut back on the amount of water they need as they stop growing.

By holding back on watering your plants during winter, you’re also preventing any chance of causing moldy soil, which can be a breeding ground for fungus gnats, thrips, and spider mites.

Use room temperature water

Looking for a top plant care tip? Watering plants with room temperature water can be extremely beneficial during winter!

Root shock from cold weather can be an absolute nightmare for your plants. 

In extreme cases, this can even cause the death of your indoor plant. By watering your potted plants with room temperature water, you’re minimising any risk of root shock

With room temperature water, you’re definitely making a smart choice!

Light For Indoor Plants In Winter

Giving your indoor plants adequate light during winter can also be problematic. In winter, there is not as much light as in summer.

In order to photosynthesize, plants need plenty of light during the day. This helps them to stay strong and continue growing.

If your plants are suffering with yellow leaves over winter, then this may be a sign of too much water in the soil and not enough sunlight.

You should always make sure your houseplants are getting as much light as possible during the winter period. South-facing windows provide bright light for your houseplants. If this doesn’t work, investing in a UV light is always a great shout!

Keeping Indoor Plants Warm In Winter

There are so many ways you can keep your houseplants warm this winter. One of the first things you can do is reposition your potted plants to be nearer brightly lit windows.

As the position of sunrise and sunset changes moving into winter, your house plants might not be receiving the same amount of light they were during the warmer summer months. It would be wise to check how much light they are getting and move them right up to the window in some cases.

Most indoor plants are used to living in tropical regions and often struggle to withstand cold conditions. Always try to keep your tropical plants at a temperature of between 68 °F and 70 °F.

However, always be sure to keep your houseplants away from any cold windows or heating vents. Major variations in temperature can be awful for the health of your houseplants!

Can indoor plants be in the same room as a heater?

Your indoor plants can certainly be kept in the same room as a radiator or heater. However, make sure your plants do not enter direct airflow paths and are not too close to direct heat sources.

Be Careful With Your Central Heating

If you’re running your central heating over winter, be sure to check the humidity levels around your plants. Having the central heating on may significantly reduce moisture or plants may become sensitive. A small humidifier helps. plants can also be positioned separately.

Not only can radiators damage the health of your houseplants, but they can even become a fire hazard. It’s always best to avoid any fire risks!

How can I warm up my plants without running a heater?

The soil in which the plant will grow is composed of four components. Biological substances, minerals, air and water. Keep the soil moist during winter. Keep the soil dry for winter. It also reduces soil water and increases air flow. The small pockets of air serve to provide insulation to the root system of plants.

So, keep your plants in dryer soil over this period and be sure to water plants less frequently. This will keep your plants in the best shape during the lower temperatures.

Repotting Houseplants In Winter

Avoid repotting plants over the winter. With less chance of new growth during winter, repotting can pose a serious risk to the health to a plant’s health. Therefore, this is definitely something to avoid if you’re wanting to keep indoor plants alive during winter.

Controlling Houseplant Pests Through The Winter

In winter our house plants are sometimes dormant, but did you know this can be a prime breeding ground for bugs and pests? Thrips, spider mites, and mealybugs will take refuge in your house plants’ soils as they will be warm.

Prevention is Better Than a Cure...

To minimize the chance of bugs and pests, it may be wise to invest in some topping stones for your house plants. This is a great preventative measure to stop pests from infiltrating your soil over winter.

The earlier one can locate the bugs, the easier it is. You should always inspect the plant each day as soon as you water it. If there are bug problems, treat them promptly.

If your plants do become infected, it is always a good idea to buy some neem oil or insecticidal soap spray. Be sure to treat until your winter pest problem has gone away!

Stop Fertilizing Your House Plants During Winter Months

During winter, house plants don’t require any fertilizer. To put it simply, houseplants see Winter as an opportunity for rest and dormancy. With this, plants not only tend to absorb less soil during watering, but they also don’t need fertilizing.

Cutting back on fertilizing performs one of two functions. With less water being absorbed, scaling back your fertilizing will reduce any chance of scorched roots. Sometimes, fertilizer can cause more problems than perceived benefits!

Not using fertilizer enables your houseplants to absorb many of the remaining nutrients in their soil. This means it is perfect to repot your houseplant for the growing season.

Humidity is Key For Winter Care!

You may think it’s only tropical plants that love to live in a humid environment. However, you would be wrong! Most plants love a good misting throughout all points in the year.

Keeping your plants humid over winter can really help to artificially replicate the extra humidity of the winter period when it tends to rain a little more!

If you’re wondering where to get a plant mister, why not have a look at our plant accessories page?

Use Radiators to Your Advantage

As we have the radiators on during winter, the indoor air is much drier meaning plants will become dehydrated quickly and their leaves could become dry and crispy.

A neat trick is to place a small bowl of water onto your radiators which will evaporate and help raise humidity levels in your home. Or, you could simply buy a humidifier – but these require additional electricity.

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