7 Easy Tips to Help Your Houseplants Survive Winter

1. Move plants away from vents, radiators or drafty windows
Most plants aren’t big fans of extreme temperature variations, so try to keep them away from spots that get either too chilly or heated. Position sun-loving, draft-avoiding plants on a side table near the window, but not directly on the windowsill.

2. Check the air humidity
Many houseplants thrive in 40-50% humidity, but when the heat’s blasting and the windows are closed, the moisture level in your home is likely much lower. The easiest solution is to buy a humidifier (here are the top 10 humidifiers). This may seem like a big investment to make for a few ferns, but the added moisture will even help YOU breathe easier as well! Alternatively, pick up a mister bottle to spritz the plant leaves, particularly if they start to look dry or crunchy.

3. Maintain a steady temperature
While ideal temperature varies by species, most plants do well at a daytime temperature of 65 to 75 degrees fahrenheit and won’t mind a slight dip at night.

4. Give them a spin
To prevent your plants from growing unevenly, give them a quarter turn every time you water them. This will ensure that all sides get a chance to catch some rays.

5. Resist the urge to over-water
If you keep up with the same watering schedule that you followed in the summer, it’s likely you’ll end up flooding your plants. The best way to check the soil moisture is to poke your finger 2 inches below the surface, as the top of the soil dries out first. No matter the time of year, it’s always a smart idea to choose a planter with drainage holes, and don’t let the roots sit in excess water, which can cause rot.

6. Cut down on fertilizer
Resist the urge to fertilize your houseplants during the winter months, when growth is naturally at its slowest. When the weather warms up and your plants start growing again, that’s your cue to resume feeding.

7. Keep cacti cool (surprise!)
You may assume that cacti would appreciate a hot environment, but just as many deserts experience a drastic temperature drop at night, most varieties of cacti prefer a chilly (yet sunny) home during the winter.

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