How to care for your houseplants during the cool winter months

As the weather conditions change during the winter months so should your houseplant care routine. Changes in weather conditions such as colder temperatures, lower levels of light, drier air, and shorter days can all affect how your houseplants fare during the cold season. From Treehugger’s Melissa Breyer and plant guru Maryah Greene, you can find tips below to ensure that your green friends do well this winter.

  1. Prune, prune, prune
    “The best thing you can do for your plants when they feel the effects of winter is to cut or pull off any browning or yellowing leaves,” says Greene. “Pruning not only makes your plant look healthier, but it also encourages new growth in the plant by preventing it from channeling so much energy into dying leaves.”
  2. Mind the windows
    While windowsills may be a strategic spot to place your plants, they can also be prone to drafts. If that’s the case, Greene advises “to move your plant away from the window while also making an effort to ensure that it gets similar amounts of light in its new location. In order to maximize the amount of sunlight coming through your windows, make it a habit to wipe down your windows.”
  3. Watch the watering
    While winter air is drier, plants experience a slower growth rate during the cold weather. This means that your indoor plants may need less water, though this may also depend on the kind of plant it is. The bottom line — pay attention to each plant and adjust the watering frequency accordingly.
  4. Consider a grow light
    Just like people can feel the effects of shorter days and reduced sunshine in the winter, so can your plants. Artificial light can help here. Look for any “Full Spectrum LED” grow light, suggests Greene.
  5. Watch humidity levels
    Low humidity levels are among the biggest challenges facing houseplants during winter. If your home has dry heat, the relative humidity can lower down to 10 to 20 percent; most plants like it between 40 to 60 percent. Keep this in mind with watering levels as well.

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