The “Plant Parent” movement bloomed during the pandemic, with so many of us filling our homes with new plants and greenery to spruce up our space and make staying at home feel more fulfilling. But come wintertime, all of those plants we lovingly nurtured during the summer growing season can take a bit of a turn – think browning and shedding leaves – with reduced sunlight and dry air from indoor heating. Winter isn’t a time when your plants will thrive, but they can survive and last through this dormant period with the proper care and attention.
Plant pros have plenty of simple steps you can action to keep your greenery healthy in the winter, and here are some of my fail-proof favourites below, plus a shopping list on the best winter houseplants:
Think about a new placement
Look for spots in your home that still get the most sunlight, but avoid putting plants too close to drafty windows or radiators. Grouping plants together is also a great way to regulate moisture because plants release vapour into the air, so gathering them together can create a cluster of humidity between them
Don’t repot or fertilize
Your plants won’t have the energy at this point to process fertilizer, and you’re going to have a buildup of salt and that material in the root system that could potentially damage the plant. Instead of following your spring/summer watering schedule, look for signs of thirst, like curling or drooping leaves, since your plants won’t be consuming the same rate of water.
Outdoor plants experience fog, rain, and mist. Indoors? The air is dry from your heating system. Give them a little spritz from a mister every few days to keep houseplants happy.
Yes! This is true. It’s essential to keep your plants clean because when they get dusty, they can’t breathe. It plugs their leaves, which have tiny pores called stomata. If you cover a leaf surface with dirt, it won’t get the full effect of photosynthesis sunlight.
Rotate them often
Your houseplants like light all over, so don’t forget to rotate them. An easy tip: turn your pots a quarter of a degree every time you water them, so you don’t forget.
Ask any plant expert, and they often say the snake plant is “indestructible,” and it’s usually one of the most recommended low-maintenance winter plants out there. They’re ideal for beginners, and they can even survive in windowless rooms. Because it naturally grows in dry climates, it’s remarkably drought-tolerant, so it won’t be bothered by too much dry heat.
I love the look of this one because of how it trails down the pot, and it, too doesn’t require a lot of direct sunlight. It’s a very sturdy plant, and it can handle a variety of different light levels.
This large succulent is a common houseplant and remedy for soothing burns or itching. If given ample light throughout the year, aloes flower profusely in winter. They need well-drained, coarse soil and bright light.
Succulents and cacti are very well known to be some of the most low-maintenance plants, so these are particularly great for winter. They’re found in the desert, where it doesn’t rain a lot, and there isn’t a lot of humidity either, so they’re not going to mind the cold weather. That said, if you can, place them near a window (even if it’s drafty) because they tend to require a good amount of sunlight.
These are probably the most recognizable orchids out there, with no shortage of these sold year-round. Give them filtered light and average soil moisture, and they will bloom for months with little more maintenance.