Winter affects everyone. SAD lamps exist for a reason. Noses get chapped. We wrap ourselves in blankets and hibernate.
And! Our plants are no different. When the temperatures dip down, our plants can get a little droopy. Leaves wilt or fall off. Stalks get yellow and tired looking. Sometimes, plants even die.
To help prevent this, we’re here with our Indoor Plant Winter Survival Guide to offer a few tips and hacks for helping your plants thrive during the winter months.
And, as a bonus, we’ll recommend some of our favorite (and some of the easiest!) plants that can survive the changing seasons all year round.
While it may seem counterintuitive (given how during the winter, we humans need to UP our water intake to keep from dehydrating more easily), watering your plants TOO much can actually hurt them.
Yellow leaves and moldy soil are symptoms of overwatering. Water only when your plants look thirsty and cut the amount you’re doing it in half, then adjust from there.
Like Goldilocks, plants want a temperature that’s just right. Plants are happiest in a stable environment, but winter’s cold drafty windows and dehydrating heating elements can make that difficult.
Consider also how your apartment is heated...if you have central air or a steam radiator - those plants might dry out. If you don’t have a humidifier, a small bowl of water near the heat source can work to keep the humidity consistent.
Light is vital to plant health.
If your plants are in a room that isn’t getting enough light as the days get shorter, consider adding fluorescent lights or an infrared light source.
A quick visit to your local plant shop or a search on Amazon will provide plenty of options. We like the ones that can clip on to the side of your plant pots.
Just like your mantle, plants don’t like to get dusty.
They breathe through their leaves, so it’s important to keep them clean and feeling fresh.
Wet a washcloth or paper towel (or use mist) to give them a little bath.
Windows - especially old ones - can be drafty.
If you have a lineup of plants near your windows, they tend to suffer far more than those in the rest of the house.
Seal your windows with plastic to protect them, or relocate them to a less drafty area for the winter months.
If all of this seems to be a bit much, you can buy plants that are more likely to survive and thrive no matter the season. Here are some indoor houseplants that won’t take much work:
This trailing vine plant has heart-shaped leaves and is super easy to care for.
If you forget to water often or are new to the plant game, these bad boys will likely be fine in your home.
They’re forgiving when it comes to light, and won’t die too easily if you overwater.
The ZZ plant is one of the toughest around.
A succulent with dark green leaves, they’re resilient and can handle low-light situations as well as can be.
If you travel a lot and can’t take care of it frequently, that’s OK. This guy will likely survive.
Peace Lilies are common houseplants. They have the white flowers and love a good bit of sunshine and moisture.
FYI though, the peace lily can be poisonous to dogs and cats. So if your pet likes to munch on leaves, maybe skip this one.
The Snake Plant is a hardy plant and can handle pretty much anything you throw its way.
Low light, forgetting to water, etc. It doesn’t balk and just keeps thriving.
With its dramatic look and arching leaves, it’s a perfect all-year plant that works well for beginners.
Sometimes called the airplane plant, this plant is wonderfully easy to grow and likes to trail.
When it’s happy and healthy, it will give off “pups” (that look like spiders) that you can use to propagate a new plant.
Hang it by a window or let it drape over a mantle.
Plants are a beautiful way to give your home a natural vibe, but sometimes caring for them can be a challenge. If you’re really looking to turn your space into a year-round jungle, visit a plant store and chat with a professional. They’ll be happy to help you find the best plants for your space.
Maggie Dodson is a creative writer living in New York City. An avid hiker and film buff, she spends most of her days sneaking wine into movie theaters and climbing mountains in the Hudson Valley with her husband and rescue dogs, Billie Holiday and Walnut. For book + wine pairings and her merry misadventures, follow Maggie on IG at @maggiesdodson.
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