How to look after indoor plants in the winter

Humidity-loving plants can also thrive in bathrooms, and some growers of plants that are particularly sensitive to humidity will opt for a humidifier.

Happy, healthy plants not only look better, but are also more resistant to pest infestation. For example, spider mites are usually worse in winter when our houses are dry. These sap-sucking insects tend to congregate on the undersides of leaves, where they look like the tiniest yellow or red pinpoints, but they’re so small that you’re more likely to notice their damage — yellow or white spots.

Remove badly affected leaves, then wipe the other leaves with a mixture of detergent and water, followed by neem oil or eco oil. Repeat this weekly until the mites are gone.

You can save time by watering less during the cooler months since most plants are less active and transpiration is less. Watering a plant with too much water is just as dangerous as giving it too little, and if you’re not sure if you need a drink, stick your finger in the soil and see how moist it feels.

Not all plants need to be watered the same way, some plants (including many succulents) prefer the soil to be completely dry between waterings, while others (such as anthurium and calla lily) prefer only the top layer to be dry.


Hoyas can be especially tough, and some bloom better in spring if you give them a completely dry month or so in winter. But when watering – with any plant – is to make sure it’s deep and really reaches the roots. Either move your pots to a sink or shower, or put a bucket under the hanging pots so you can wet them nicely.

Take this opportunity to clean the leaves as well. No one likes to see dusty houseplants, which also have a harder time photosynthesizing. Wipe the leaves with a damp cloth or place the entire plant in the shower.

If all of this sounds like too much work, and you have a lot of plants that aren’t quite happy, then maybe culling is in order. A few healthy houseplants are better than those that haven’t hit their stride.

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