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How To Keep Your Plants Alive During the Winter, Whether They’re Outdoors or in Your Home

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Winter is basically here, and if you’re like me, you’ve already started worrying about how you’re going to keep your plants healthy as the temperatures drop. At this point, I’d settle for just not killing them considering my poor track record. Now that it’s cold out, it’s harder for some outdoor plants to thrive and they might need to come inside. While indoor plants may need a new location or watering schedule. Luckily, we put together some tips on how to best take care of all plants during winter.

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Indoor and outdoor plants have always been a huge part of most of our lives, and owning plants has only gotten more popular lately. More and more people are buying plants for their home or experimenting with gardening. For many, it became a calming hobby during the stressful pandemic months. But while it’s easy to keep some of them alive during summer, some plants struggle during winter.

The most at-risk plants are those that typically live outdoors but have to come inside during the winter. In fact, most plants prefer the temperature to stay above 55 degrees, especially tropical ones like Birds of Paradise and any kind of palm. If you live in places where the temp has already dipped way below that at night, it’s time to consider whether you should bring some of them in. Follow this handy guide for tips on how to best do so.

Outdoor Plants

1. Check for pests!

One of the biggest mistakes you could make when bringing outdoor plants inside is to bring any unwanted little pests along with them. All kinds of little bugs could come in your home, hidden within the leaves. So before you bring your plants inside, it’s best to hose them down and thoroughly check them for bugs and pests. Be sure to look at both the top of the leaves and under them, as well as between stems.

2. Go easy on the fertilizer.

If you have to repot some of your plants to bring them inside, it’s fine to use fertilizer as usual. But you might want to stop using it after they’re all set. Since most plants don’t grow in the winter, they won’t need all that added plant food. It could end up harming them since they’re not using the nutrients it adds.

3. Make sure you know how much water they need.

If you have outdoor plants, chances are you might not be as diligent about their watering cycle since rain helps you out. But now that they’re inside, it’s all up to you! Double check what kind of watering schedule they need and remember that plants typically need less watering during cold weather.

All-Year-Round Indoor Plants

1. Water lightly.

While you might already be used to a watering schedule for your indoor plants, it’s worth reconsidering it during the winter. Plants typically require less water since some of them aren’t actively growing. Always see what kind of plant you have and what its needs might be in the winter by simply searching the plants name or species. For example, succulents go totally dormant in the winter and only need to be watered once or twice during the season. Overwatering them from November to March is one of the most common ways to kill succulents.

2. Move your plants away from windows.

Lining your window sill with plants, or keeping them near a window to get more light, isn’t always the best idea in the winter. Since windows let in more of the outside temperature, your plants could suffer from the constant changes going on outside. Bring them away from windows and heat sources to make sure they maintain a consistent temperature, hopefully between 65 to 75 degrees.

3. Get a humidifier.

If you live in a place where you constantly need your heat on to stay warm, a humidifier might be the best thing you can do for your plants during winter. Most plants like more humid conditions and the heat tends to zap out any moisture in the air. You can fix that by running a humidifier near where you keep them, or simply be diligent about misting them.

While it might require some extra steps, taking care of your plants during winter isn’t as hard as it seems. Just follow these tips to make sure they make it through the cold weather.

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