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Lifesaving Tips to Keep Indoor Plants Alive During the Wintertime

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at BU chapter.

With the winter months come less sunlight and colder temperatures, two conditions most typical indoor plants don’t thrive in. Still, just like we have ways to combat the cold, there are things you can do for your plants as well. Here are all the tips for keeping your plants happy and healthy throughout the winter months:

Reduce watering

Most houseplants go dormant during the winter months. When they are dormant, there is no need to water as much or even fertilize. Most people don’t fertilize at all during the winter months and their plants still thrive! Follow the standard watering procedure by poking your finger in the soil about an inch or two below the surface to check if it is dry. If the soil is dry, aim to water the plant with water around the same temperature as the air (to steer clear of shocking the plant’s roots). Yellow leaves, bugs flying around your pot, and moldy soil are all signs of too much winter watering.

Up the humidity

A common cause of death for plants in the winter is low humidity. Humidity levels in homes can drop by as much as 10 to 20 percent in the winter. There are many ways to increase the levels of humidity in your home: you could invest in a humidifier, place a tray of water near your plants, or if you have the time, mist the leaves multiple times a day. Another tip is to cluster your plants in groups because when one plant is transpiring, that moisture could benefit surrounding plants.

Keep the right temperature

Plants, just like Goldilocks, like the temperature neither too hot nor too cold, but just right. Temperatures between 65 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit are optimal. Fluctuations in temperature can easily kill a plant, so aim to keep plants away from cold drafts or sources of heat. 

Provide sufficient sunlight

Sunlight gives a plant the light energy it needs to photosynthesize. Photosynthesis is the process that uses light energy to convert water and carbon dioxide into storable forms that act as food sources for plants. So, long story short, more sunlight equals an alive and happy plant. Move your plants to the spots in your house that get the most sunlight and if this still isn’t enough, invest in an LED grow light. In order to make sure your plants get enough sunshine, clean the leaves of your plants with a damp paper towel to keep dust off. This will allow your plants to be more efficient at photosynthesis.

If our indoor plants could pack up and fly to a sunnier and warmer vacation spot, they would in a heartbeat. Sadly, just like us, they have to put up with the grueling cold. As long as you continue to love and care for your plants, they will get through these months with you. The things in life that we positively focus our energy on will always eventually blossom. Never give up, and may you and your plants stay warm this season!


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Writers of the Boston University chapter of Her Campus.