Home & Outdoors

Here's the secret to keeping your houseplants alive this winter

Listen up, plant parents.

Plant Credit: Sagarmanis/Getty Images

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Taking care of houseplants can be hard. And taking care of houseplants in the winter? Even harder. How much water do they need? How much sunlight? How much heat?! There are so many things to consider...

But according to experts, the most important factor in "winterizing" your plants is location, location, location. Below is where you should (and shouldn't) put your plants in your house along with some of our top tips for keeping your plants alive all winter long.

The best place to keep your indoor plants

Plants
Credit: Getty Images

Choose your plant's home wisely.

Your plants will thrive in spots that have both the right amount of sunlight and a consistently mild temperature. "Extreme changes can stress plants out," The Sill, an online plant service, warns. That means you should avoid putting your houseplants near drafty windows (make sure the leaves don't touch the cold glass either!) and direct sources of heat (like by a radiator or under a heat vent) which dry out your plant.

As for the ideal temperature to keep your home if you want your plants to survive the colder months, The Sill recommends anywhere between 65 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit. You can also use a humidifier set at around 50 percent to recreate the greenhouse effect that most plants love.

Pay attention to the amount of light your plants are getting, too. Since winter days are shorter with fewer hours of daylight, experts suggest placing your plants by south- or west-facing windows, which receive the most direct sunlight.

How much should you water your plants in the winter?

To water more or less when the temperatures drop, that is the question. And The Sill says that the answer is less. "It’s better to under water your plants than to overwater. Too much water can lead to root rot," the plant retailer's website reads. "Plants need less water in the winter, when they’re growing slower, the days are shorter and sunlight is less intense." It adds to always check to make sure the soil is dry at least two inches below the surface before you water and to use warm water.

Other tips for caring for plants during the winter

Watering
Credit: Ryan J Lane/Getty Images

Winterize your plants to keep them safe this season.

There's more to taking care of your houseplants than just sunlight and water, too. Our photographer—and resident plant mom—Betsey Goldwasser shared some of her own favorite tricks to happier plants. First, she recommends investing in some red/blue LED grow lights (like these ones from Amazon) for plants that need lots of sun. And for plants that prefer more humid or tropical climates, she says she sprays them once or twice a day with a spray bottle so they don’t get dried out.

And don't forget about the soil. "I usually change out the soil every few months that my plants get fresh nutrients and can keep thriving," Betsey explains, adding that you should always check the care instructions for your specific type of plant first since each plant prefers different conditions, soil types, and watering schedules.

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