How to prep your houseplants for winter

How to prep your houseplants for winter

It’s gotten chilly in the southern hemisphere! While we’re getting our jumpers and jackets out of hiding for winter, our houseplants are slowing down for a rest after the growing season. Turns out, as we’re noting seasonal changes and adapting with them, our houseplants are, too.

Winter watering

Plants are still plants, and they’ll need water to survive. But without the summer heat and sunlight drying up their soil, plants slow their roll a little and generally won’t be as thirsty in cooler months. Your best bet is to wait until the soil is fully dry down to the bottom of the pot. Once you’re sure that it is, give the plant a light but thorough water. Make sure you still wet most of the soil so there’s no dry pockets. Of course, if you have a Sensor, Willow factors in the season and your plant’s conditions and will let you know when it’s thirst quench time.

A good rule of thumb for soil dryness and watering: it all depends on the sun, so keep an eye on the weather forecast. You can count on winter to bring gloomier days more frequently rather than the consistent sunny days of summer. If your plant’s soil is dry but your local weather forecast says it’s going to be pretty overcast in the days ahead, wait a few extra days until you do water. If you are worried about your precious green gang missing out on the rays during the colder months, subsidising with a grow light is the best way to balance out the seasons!

Sleeping beauties

Some plants – specifically Alocasia, Colocasia and pretty much all plants originating from bulbs or corms – take slowing down in the cooler months to another level and will bid farewell to most of their leaves in a process similar to hibernation. 

Now why would they do such a dramatic thing? It’s their way of storing all energy for the next growing season and generating extra while they rest in winter. This process helps them grow those big beautiful leaves we all know and love over spring and summer.

Heaters and houseplants

It’s fair to say that most of us prefer staying warm and cosy during the cold winter nights and the same can be said for houseplants. Unlike their outdoor counterparts, houseplants won’t face the extremes of winter weather. They might keep growing as if there’s been no change in season at all while they’re loving the plush comfort of being indoors.

 What indoor plants won’t love? The hot, dry air pumping from your indoor heater. Try to position your plants away from heating and keep an eye on humidity. If it gets too dry, you’ll probably have some crispy leaves to deal with. 

For those Willowers with a Sensor, Willow will factor in the humidity in your space and your plant’s preference for it, and nudge you if it needs any action. 

Fertiliser Fallacy

Here’s a hot take: yes, you can (and sometimes should) fertilise during winter. Popular plant advice typically says to leave the fertilising for warmer seasons, but it’s a bit more complex than that. If your plants are still growing thanks to the aforementioned plush comfort of living indoors, keep the plant feed going! This is especially relevant for hungrier plant species (looking at you, Philodendrons). 

Need an extra hand? Our new Fertiliser Schedule in the app auto-populates with your plants and tracks when to fertilise them next. 

  • Plant Care