Why Do My Houseplants Die In The Winter?

It can be tricky to keep houseplants alive at the best of times; there seem to be any number of diseases and issues that can face these little creatures!

The colder months are often the hardest, and you may be left wondering “why do my houseplants die in winter?” We’re here to help you find out what to do!

Why Do My Houseplants Die In Winter?

why do my houseplants die in winter

It is very disheartening when your houseplants die for no reason. But if the reason is the Winter, then you will want to know why!

Plants need light and warmth to survive, and these are two things which are greatly reduced in the winter.

A combination of the shorter days, less light and colder temperatures can wipe out many a houseplant, especially those which are not particularly healthy to begin with.

Many plants also like a bit of humidity, and although winters may be wet, the warmth in the air is less, reducing the humidity.

If you want your houseplants to stay alive through the winter, you will have to do a few things to keep them healthy:

  • Keep them warm. Plants do still need to be kept heated – as we do!
  • Hold off on the water. Your plants won’t be growing as much in the winter, so you won’t need to water them as much.
  • Stop feeding them. Your plants won’t need extra nutrients in the winter as they won’t be growing; too much extra feed could cause them issues.
  • Give them as much light as possible. Sunlight decreases in winter, so you might have to make sure that you give your houseplants the most light that you can.

How Do You Keep Houseplants Alive In The Winter?

Thankfully, there are many ways you can keep your plants alive and healthy in the winter months, and they don’t take too much adjusting to.

  • Reduce the watering. Your plants will not be using as much water in the winter, so watering them the same as you do in the summer can lead to root rot.
  • Stop fertilizing. As your plants won’t be actively growing as much, you won’t need to be feeding them at all during the winter.
  • Ensure they have enough light. The winter months are much darker, and although your plant is more dormant it will still need light.
  • Keep them warm. Moving your plants out of the way of drafts and cold blasts of air will do a lot to help them stay healthy in the winter.
  • Prune when necessary. Winter is a good time to give your plant a bit of a haircut, so don’t hold back on the secateurs!
  • Avoid repotting. Unless it is absolutely necessary, plants shouldn’t be repotted in the winter as it will stress them out and they will take longer to recover.

Here is a great article about how to care for your plants in the winter, plus a list of winter-growing plants.

How Often Should I Water Houseplants In Winter?

Watering helps the plant to grow and thrive, right? Well yes, it does – but in the winter your plant will not being doing nearly so much of these things!

Plants tend to enter a “dormant” phase in the winter, where growth slows or stops, and the plant appears to sleep until the spring.

Overwatering at this time can cause serious damage to your plant, as it will simply not be using the same amount of water to survive.

You only need to water your plants every few weeks in winter; any more than this can damage the roots.

You should still check your plants’ soil for dryness during this time, but you really should hold off on the watering can until the warmer weather comes back.

Should I Fertilize Indoor Plants In Winter?

Should I Fertilize Indoor Plants In Winter

Fertilizing is a great tool to help your plants grow strong and healthy – after all, they can’t survive without nutrients!

However, the winter months are not the time to fertilize your green babies. They will not be using any nutrients at this time, so they will not need any added.

In fact, too much fertilizing can actually cause your plants some damage – they can get “burnt” from too much plant food.

Another issue is that the salts from the fertilizer can just sit on top of the soil, without being absorbed.

The best thing you can do for your plants in the winter is to just let them sleep… No one wants to be disturbed when they’re sleeping, right?

Give your plants a break from watering and feeding in the winter – you’re not being cruel, you’re actually helping your green babies.

Where Do I Put My Plants In The Winter?

Winter is a cold, and in many cases a wet time of year, and even houseplants that are not out in the weather will be affected.

Your house will naturally be a little colder, and chances are you will have your heating on, which can dry out the air.

  1. Try to avoid leaving your plants near doors or windows which will be colder in the winter months.
  2. Don’t place them too close to radiators, fires or other heat sources, so they don’t get too dry.
  3. The hours of available light will decrease, so you may need to move your plants to a spot where they get more of the available sunlight.
  4. If you have a heated greenhouse, this is a great place to put your plants in the winter.
  5. Avoid feeding or watering them too much, as this can affect their growth – you may think you’re doing the best for them, but too much care can actually be too much.

This video shows you some great tips to keep your plants happy and healthy in the winter, using grow lights:

Once you have figured out how to keep your houseplants alive in the winter, you won’t have to look at the colder months with as much trepidation.

At least if your indoor jungle is alive, that’s something that can distract you from the fact that your garden has gone completely dormant!

2 thoughts on “Why Do My Houseplants Die In The Winter?”

    • Many of us struggle with the problems of insect invasions, and sadly the cold weather is not enough to kill them all off. Many can hibernate or go dormant in the soil, just waiting for the warmer weather to pop out again. If you have a pest problem, it’s best to deal with it before the winter, when your plants are at their lowest ebb.


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