Caring for Plants in the Winter

Indoor plants are a great way to decorate your home and liven up the atmosphere all year round. They can also help purify the air and help you breathe easier which improves your overall focus and health. It is no wonder why classrooms and offices usually have plants on their windowsills.

To improve health and reduce fatigue and stress, it is recommended to have one large plant (8-inch diameter pot or larger) for every 129 square feet. To purify the air, one large plant for every 100 square feet or two smaller plants (4-5-inch pots) is suggested.

But indoor plants need to be cared for in order for them to be effective. This may be a harder task during the winter when temperatures are lower and there is less sunlight throughout the day. Here are a few tips on how to care for your plants during the cold winter months:

  • Lighting: The winter months only have a small amount of light, but your plants need it to survive and grow. Be sure to move your plants to windows and areas that get light. Also, make sure to clean your plant’s leaves so they can absorb the light better.
  • Water: Plants don’t typically require a lot of water in the winter months because not a lot of it is evaporated. Try not to overwater your plants and be sure to remove any sitting water.
  • Temperature: Houseplants prefer temperatures between 55-85 degrees Fahrenheit. It is best to place your plants away from heating vents or windows (unless they are absorbing light). Humidity also plays a factor; during the winter months, the air is often dry and can get drier with the heat on. To address this, you may want to use a humidifier.
  • Stay Alert: The changes of temperature, humidity, and weather can lead to pests. Be sure to examine your plants once in a while and eliminate pests like spider mites and mealybugs when you see them. It is also a good idea to experiment with the environmental conditions your plants are in and observe how they react to any changes.


Written by Emily Su, Class of 2022

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