Surviving Winter With House Plants

Surviving Winter With House Plants

When the environment changes, so must our plant care. Changes in seasons mean our indoor plants require an adjustment in care to meet their also changing needs. We’re all familiar with what happens when the seasons change, but these are a few of changes specific to winter that affect our plants the most.

  • The sun isn’t in the sky for as long anymore, decreasing the amount of light your plants are getting from their natural sources
  • The air is naturally more dry, and most of our indoor friends are from tropical climates and love that humidity and will feel the difference
  • You’re probably running the heat in your home, which is likely circulating dust that may not have been flying around during the summer. This means more dust can collect on your plants’ leaves, hindering photosynthesis and presenting the perfect spawning grounds for pests 



Because of these changes, there are some things our plants will do or be more susceptible to naturally that might alarm a new plant parent who hasn’t experienced winter with them before. Here are some things to be aware of so you don’t freak out if they happen, and actions you can take to help your plants through this winter.

  • Your plants might drop some leaves. They naturally cycle through growth and sometimes let the older ones go to allow energy to be put towards new growth. It’s not a problem if your plant ditches some of its leaves, as long as it doesn’t become constant or start to affect a large majority of the plant. If you see leaves beginning to discolor or die off, it may be helpful to your plant to remove them.
  • Some types of plants go completely dormant over the winter. This means that they’ll be big chillin and won’t sprout any new growth for a few months. Some more dramatic species even kill off all of their leaves, but will sprout new growth if you begin to water it again come springtime. Caladiums and some Alocasia will do this, so check your plant and find out if it has a dormant season. 
  • Since there’s more hot, dry air coming from our vents that circulates dust, our plants are more susceptible to pests that love those conditions. Increasing the humidity in your plant areas and keeping your plants’ leaves clean through regular dusting will go a long way in preventing any pest problems. 
    • This is also important to keep in mind - pests don’t mean you’re a bad plant parent. As much as we do to prevent them, sometimes they float in on things outside of our control, and having to treat a plant or two is not the end of the world. 
  • Overwatering is a lot easier when plants aren’t getting as much natural sunlight to help them use it. Really pay attention to the moisture level of the soil before you water again, and double check to make sure any excess standing water drains away from the soil. You can also supplement with grow lights, which I recommend for areas that end up with little to zero sunlight over the winter (like my office). Check out the ones I use here and here.

If you need any planty guidance or support through these darker months, Slow Green Death is always here to help. You can always reach out at, or schedule your free 20 minutes with a Houseplant Specialist here to help you address specific needs or concerns. 

Thanks for being here, and may all your plants’ deaths be Slow and Green. 


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