Say good-bye to those Winter worries because Greener House is on the case! We've collected together our best Winter indoor plant care tips and tricks to make anyone into an indoor gardening wizard. This year your indoor plants will not just survive, they will thrive!

Greener House Winter Plant Care Guide

How much water do plants need during Winter?

During Winter your plants will be growing slower due to the reduced temperature and daylight hours, not to mention the reduced evaporation. All of this means our plants need far less water than they were receiving during the growing season. A good rule of thumb is to try to minimize the quantity of water, and lower the frequency of watering.

Most indoor plants store a lot of water in their stems and leaves. The soil being dry is not an issue, but being too wet will kill them. For this reason we recommend watering just enough to rehydrate your plants but not enough to make all the soil super wet.

For small plants this might mean just one cup of water and just a litre for mid-sized plants. Thirsty plants like palms, and ferns will probably still need more than this.

How do I stop mould from growing on my soil?

If this has been an issue for you, I'd recommend trying bottom watering which keeps the top layers of soil nice and dry, helping to prevent any mould from growing.

Simply fill a tray (or the sink) with the desired amount of water and sit your plants in that. This way the plant gets a drink but the top part of soil stays dry! Just make sure that the plant isn't sitting in the water for more than 24 hours and keep the quantity of water low so that the soil doesn't become super wet. 

The colder air is, the less moisture it can hold. This is why dew will form on your cold windows each night in high humidity households. If this is happening you may want to look at ways to reduce the humidity in your home as this will also contribute to mould growth.

How much light do my plants need during Winter?

During Winter we have a reduced number of daylight hours and a lot of extra cloudy days. This might mean a previously adequate spot may no longer be able to support certain types of plants. If possible move your plants into a brighter position. This may help them to continue thriving throughout the darker months.

HOT TIP: If you're desperate for some extra light try setting up a smart light or lamp on a timer to give your plants a much needed boost each day! The best lights are LED, cool white, and as many lumens as possible. You don't need a special grow light to get started, just a regular bulb will do.

Is direct sun safe for indoor plants?

Yes! Morning direct sun is fine for nearly all indoor plants all year around. Afternoon direct sun is fine, but just be careful in the peak of summer as the heat can be a bit too intense. During Winter it is a great boost to your plants health!

Can indoor plants be in the same room as a heater?

Yes! Just be careful that the plants aren’t in the direct path of the air flow and that they aren’t being buffeted by any air currents. If you’re running the heating sporadically the humidity levels should be fine. Be careful if you leave the heating running for long periods as this can drastically reduce humidity and some plants may be sensitive. A small humidifier will help, or keep the plants in a separate space.

Macho FernWill my plant go dormant?

Some plants like Oxalis, Alocasias, and Caladiums can experience dormancy in cold conditions. In this case it will be totally normal for them to drop all their leaves and retreat into their root system. Often this is avoidable, by keeping the soil nice and dry all winter and by moving the plant into the brightest possible position. 

What to do if I overwater my plants?

In case of an over-watering emergency try to increase airflow and light levels. This can be achieved quite easily by putting your plant in a sheltered position outdoors. Fresh moving air will help to dry out the soil, as well as keeping any fungus or bacteria at bay. The extra light will help the plant to produce an optimal amount of energy for itself meaning it is healthier and better able to fight off any potential root rot. 

How can I warm up my plants without running a heater?

The soil your indoor plants are potted into is made up of 4 things. Organic matter, minerals, air, and water. To help keep your plants warm over winter make sure to keep the soil dry. This reduces the amount of water in the soil and while increasing the amount of air. The tiny pockets of air act as insulation for the plant's roots. Water is a good thermal conductor and will transfer the cold straight to your indoor plants roots. Try to raise your plants off the ground slightly if they are in contact with cold flooring.

TL;DR Wet things are cold, dry things are warm!

Should I increase my pot size?

Don’t do it, bucko! Most indoor plants quite enjoy being in small pots. Increasing pot size in Winter can be stressful and may lead to a quick death. A smaller amount of soil will dry out faster, and means the plant can focus on getting through winter instead of trying to grow roots when it shouldn't be.

Will the plants on my balcony/courtyard die?

A lot of indoor plants will be fine outdoors during a Melbourne Winter. Common varieties of Monstera, Philodendron, Sansevieria, and Ficus are happy to stay outdoors all year long provided they aren’t directly exposed to frost. Sheltered positions close to a structure, or under a roof/tree canopy will be safe. 

HOT TIP: Keep plants free of dust so that they can receive the maximum amount of sunlight available!

Alocasia cuprea

Greener House Nursery is an Indoor Plant Nursery located at 95 Sydney Road, Brunswick, in Melbourne, Australia. We have the specialised knowledge to make sure you get the right house plants, pots, and accessories for your home. Weather you're looking for low-light, low-maintenance, pet friendly, hanging, or air purifying plants, we've got you covered.


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Comments (2)

Oh no, what should I do if repotted my plants (devils ivy/pothos) AND upsized their pots in winter, to give them the best possible chance of surviving? So sad I didn’t read this article first!

Beatrix Brenneman

Great article and I’m glad that you’re back! I agree, less water during winter, but some people are hung up on “half a cup” of water etc.l I always say “put your finger int he earth and feel if it’s damp”. Works for me. I dont find that my two Kenia palms, bought in 2017 need all that much water – generally a once a month “dip and gurgle” watering suffices – they especially enjoy the worm wee in the water. I live in an apartment and have a larger bucket on my balcony, laced with Worm Wee, and each plant goes in and I submerge the plant until the bubbles stop. Drain well. I often feel as if I am drowning a baby…..

Julie Hcck