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Chill out and help your plants warm to winter

Written by
Amy Earley
July
7
2023

Winter is a testing time for your indoor plants, particularly if they are native to the tropics.

It's important to provide the right temperature, light, and water to ensure your plant family gets through the colder months in tip-top condition.

Few tropical plants tolerate temperatures below 15C for long, but many succulents can cope in the cold if they are protected from frost.

Move plants away from hot air blasting out of heaters, which will dehydrate leaves in no time, and make sure no cold drafts are chilling your plants.

Houseplants generally prefer a room temperature between 18C and 30C, so if you feel comfortable in a room there's a good chance your plant babies do too.

Plants native to tropical jungles need high humidity so be sure to mist them or leave a little water in their saucers now and then.

Another popular idea is to place your indoor plants on a tray or large saucer full of gravel and water, which helps with humidity without the risk of rotting the plant's roots.

Grouping plants together is another way to boost humidity. Well-watered monstera often drips water from their leaves so are a good choice to group other plants around.

Icy tap water can be a shock to tropical plants so it pays to add a little warm water to the watering can. The same goes for water you use to mist plants.

Plants that aren’t actively growing over winter require less water and can rot if left too soggy.

Some species may do better soaking up light closer to a window over winter, but be sure to draw curtains and blinds at night to keep out the cold. Plants that live on a windowsill for most of the year may be better off in another spot over winter.

Growth slows in the colder months, so there's no need to fertilize your plants until spring. In fact, excess fertilizer can damage plants, so put the plant food away for now.

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