Winterizing Plants

Story and graphic by Isabella Trujillo


It’s that time of year again when not only animals go into hibernation, but plants do as well. Winterizing your plants in anticipation of the colder months will help them thrive again once Spring arrives.


Winterizing plants is when you help prepare the plant for colder temperatures by improving the plant’s resistance to the cold.


Houseplants require certain changes in care compared to outdoor plants to prevent the plant from feeling the effects of the harsh winter weather. Since indoor plants won’t feel the full wrath of winter like outdoor plants do, you need to make only a few changes.


Since each plant is different and requires different needs, always try to mimic the natural winter habitat that plant would be in for the best results.


  1. Always Check for Pests
    • During the summer, if you like to place your plants outdoors on a terrace or porch, pests such as aphids, scale, and spider mites like to latch onto the plant which could kill the plant. Always check underneath the leaves, stems, and soil to make sure there are no pests since bringing an infected plant indoors during the winter helps the pests thrive and you could potentially infect other indoor plants. If you do find pests, clean the plant with a damp paper towel or cotton ball using alcohol. If the infection is larger, using neem oil or insecticide soap is recommended.
  2. Water  Less
    • Plants in the winter require less water than they would in the summer because of the slower growth rate they experience. Some plants, such as pothos variants, snake plants, aloe vera, and monstera variants, go into dormancy. When this happens, you might see a few leaves drop or the plant not look as full as it did before. That’s normal and the plant’s vibrancy will return once the weather warms up. Watering less will also prevent the plant from getting root rot. Always make sure the plant has enough water by checking the soil. Put a finger into the soil and if there’s one to two inches of dry soil, it’s time to water the plant. Avoid cold water which can shock the plant’s roots.
  3. Introduce a Humidifier
    • Keeping the humidity levels high is a must for plants. Since the humidity levels in a home can drop dramatically in winter, it’s best to find ways that plants can still access humidity. Using a humidifier, you can place it close to the plant or plants and see the full effects that it gives. If you don’t have a humidifier, placing plants close together can also help. Plants release water through their leaves, so having the plants together can help moisture levels.
  4. Have Consistent Temperatures
    • Since plants enjoy temperatures between 65 to 75 degrees, you want to try to keep your plants away from cold windows and drafts, and away from hot vents, ovens, and fireplaces. Keeping a consistent temperature for plants prevents them from getting shocked, which could kill the plant.
  5. Follow the Sunlight
    • Since wintertime has decreased sunlight, sunlight exposure for plants is crucial. Make sure your plants are getting enough sunlight by placing them in an area of the home that gets the most sunlight. Make sure to clear off the leaves of dust and grime since it can affect how much sunlight the plant receives. If you know you don’t have enough area or sunlight that your plant needs, investing in grow lights is recommended. Using grow lights helps the plant get the sunlight it needs, but you’ll need to leave the plant under the light longer than natural light since grow lights don’t give the same amount of energy as natural light.