A Few Tips On How to Keep Indoor Plants Alive In Winter

A Few Tips On How to Keep Indoor Plants Alive In Winter

By Contractors.com Team February 02, 2024

If there is one challenge that will test your patience, it is keeping plants alive throughout the winter. Imagine putting all that effort into cultivating and growing your cute, green friends, only to find them shriveled and dried up when the cold season arrives. It’s a real shame when you have to throw out lifeless husks of the plants that you put so much love and care into. It doesn’t have to be that way — not when there are ways to take care of your indoor plants even in the harshest winter.

Of course, there is no magic powder that you can sprinkle on your plants to make them look lively and healthy. But there are many practical ways of winterizing indoor plants, no magic required. Create a care and maintenance routine for your plants by keeping them well-nourished, cleaned, and warm. This way, they will stay healthy and green for years to come, regardless of how much frost and snow they witness. 

Natural Lighting and Grow Lights

Giving your indoor plants enough natural light is of utmost importance.

Giving your indoor plants enough natural light is of utmost importance.

If you are into horticulture, you may already know that some plants need more sunlight than others. Succulents, for example, are quite tolerant of the shade and don’t like direct sunlight. Plants like jasmines, moon cacti, gardenia, and basil need plenty of direct sunlight to stay alive. Your lighting fixture is most likely not going to provide enough light in this case.

Putting your indoor plants on the windowsill so they can soak up as much sunlight as possible is your best option. Locate the window that gets the most sunlight, be it because it has the most exposure to it, it’s big enough, or it’s not blocked by a neighboring house. If you happen to have a room in the attic with skylights or big panoramic windows, this would be ideal for growing full sunlight demanding plants. 

Different grow lights to choose from.

Different grow lights to choose from.

If consistent natural light is not an option in your home (unfortunately, true for many homeowners), you can invest in a grow light for houseplants in the winter months to help them grow and stay healthy. Grow lights are typically divided into three major categories: fluorescent lights, high-pressure sodium (HPS) lights, and light-emitting diodes (LED). All three have their own benefits and disadvantages, so pick them out according to your plants' needs. 

For example, HPS bulbs provide intense luminescence, so using these on plants that need partial sunlight may damage them. LED lights, on the other hand, come with customizable colors, allowing you to shine the exact light frequency that your indoor plants need, as this can also improve their growth and overall health.

Buy a Humidifier

While for you, humidity may be a question of how sticky your shirts are or how musky the air is, for plants, humidity is a much more serious matter. If the humidity is too high, you risk suffocating your plants with all the additional moisture that’s in the air. If the humidity is too low, you risk doing the opposite and drying them up until they are nothing but lifeless husks. 

Typically, indoor plants will ask for 40% to 50% humidity, and you need to control this humidity if you want to keep them alive and healthy. Contrary to popular belief, winter is actually a much drier season than summer. The humidity during the winter is much lower than in the summer, which means that you need something to help you humidify your home. 

The best thing to do in this case, if you have indoor plants that are sensitive to humidity, would be to invest in a humidifier and place it in the area where the plants are located. You can purchase portable and stylish humidifiers for less than $40 and put them near your plants during the winter to keep the air humid enough for your plants. 

A humidifier can keep your plants healthy.

A humidifier can keep your plants healthy.

Take Note of the Temperature

As with anything that’s living (except for the tardigrade, which is essentially nature’s Superman), plants require the right temperature to live a healthy life. One of the most important factors in how to keep indoor plants warm in the winter is to have a proper understanding of where the cold and warm areas of your interior are. Now, you may feel like your entire house is toasty and warm throughout the winter, but let’s not forget that plants are far more sensitive to temperature than humans, so what may feel like a little draft for you may end up freezing your plants. 

One of the biggest mistakes that homeowners make when tending to their indoor plants during the winter is they put them on a windowsill that gets the most sunlight but don’t consider that this window may have air leaks. Again, you may not feel the draft coming in as it may be very light, but your plants will likely get affected by it. The best thing to do before putting your plants on the windowsill is to perform an air leak test. It could also be a matter of your window panes having a low e-value, which determines how heat-retentive they are. If you do not have the time to replace all your window panes, consider investing in an indoor plant heater. These tend to be quite bulky and are designed to be placed on floors and tables, as opposed to the windowsill.

What you may find more useful, in this case, are more portable plant heating mats, which can be placed on almost any surface since they are foldable. Some of these mats allow you to adjust their temperature so that you can control exactly how much heat your plants receive. You can purchase these through online marketplaces for around $20, so they’re quite affordable. However, the mat alone will not be enough — you should still plug up any air leaks, as the direct draft can damage your plants even if they are getting heat from below. 


One trick on how to keep indoor plants green and healthy that people seem to overlook is the cleanliness of the plants. It’s not enough to simply water them and occasionally tend to the soil. Your plants, their stems and leaves, and especially the soil must be regularly cleaned of things like dust, loose pieces of junk, and other things that don’t go beyond the soil. 

All the junk you find in potted plants keeps water from properly reaching the roots below, meaning your plants are not receiving the nutrients they need to stay alive and healthy. Also, all that excess dust on the leaves could interfere with their photosynthesis, as it prevents them from absorbing as much sunlight, essentially cutting them off from a very important source of nutrients and energy. 

Pick out any bits of junk from the soil, clean the dust off the plants, and make sure to get some water on the leaves and stems as well to give them a light wash from time to time. Don’t use too much water; you risk drowning your plants instead. It’s not meant to be a thorough wash but a light sprinkling. 

Cleaning the plants and the soil is extremely important.

Cleaning the plants and the soil is extremely important.


Written by
Contractors.com Team

Written by Contractors.com Team

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