How To Keep Indoor Plants Warm In Winter

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Droopy and withering, a wave of murky brown overtakes their once bright green leaves. The dark color has almost swallowed the initial pigment whole with a fierce determination, but its effort pales to your own motivation to restore the natural appearance.

You quickly provide all the tell-tale ingredients to cooking up a happy, healthy form of nature. But sunlight only supplies rays that futilely attempt to warm your frost-covered greenery and adding copious amounts of water to the soil only results in unwanted rot.

You try to salvage their dying form but it’s no use — the cold weather has effectively sucked the life from your previously jubilant shrubberies.

Don’t let your hard work raising your plants go to waste this winter.

Knowing how to keep indoor landscaping warm over the winter months is essential knowledge for an interior gardener.

For proper indoor houseplant maintenance over the winter, there are several things to consider. While your house is an optimal place to overwinter tender undergrowth, you must provide adequate heat, water, light, and soil nutrition over the winter months.

With proper care, you will have a beautiful indoor haven of vegetation when outside temperatures drop. But to attain this, you will need to keep a close eye on your florae during the colder months to keep them from becoming too frigid.

Use this article as a reference to learn how to do just that before the next winter hits. Read on to find out the best ways to provide the correct heating sources, the optimal storage conditions for indoor foliage, and other important factors to consider.

A plant is kept warm in the winder by being indoors.

Aim for the Appropriate Temperature

Houseplants fall into three categories: tender, half-hardy, and hardy. Each category has different temperature requirements.

Tender shrubs need the temperature to be 60° F (15° C), while half-hardy foliage requires 50-55° F (10-13° C); hardy florae require 45° F (7° C).

Keep in mind that not all florae are winter hardy or able to sustain low temperatures. For instance, tender plants need the heat of your home over winter. So, if you keep them outside in the summer, make sure to bring them inside for the colder months.

It is natural for some shrubs to go dormant in the winter, meaning they will die, and all their leaves will drop. Think of this process as their protection mechanism for longevity and ultimate survival. As such, you will not need to care for this foliage other than the occasional watering until you notice new growth in the spring.

A bunch of succulents sit on a ledge of a window

Know the Distinct Humidity Needs of Your Greenery

Winter care of plants does not have to be tricky. With a little bit of knowledge and a few supplies, you should be able to keep them from becoming too cold in the winter.

Knowing about the humidity needs for each of your shrubs is a great place to start! While some houseplants prefer low humidity, others require more moisture in the air, for example.

Tropical vegetation prefers high humidity, while non-tropical undergrowth requires a lower level of humidity.

Consider using a humidifier for adding moisture into the dry chilly air present in your home during the winter. Tap water will work for this and probably keep you more comfortable too, thus giving a double use for bringing it out.

Something else you can do is dedicate alternate rooms of your home for tropical and non-tropical floras to better cater to their differing needs. 

You will need to regularly check your floras for optimum indoor plant growth and gauge their specific watering, warmth, humidity, and light level needs.

Indoor air can be quite dry and vegetation needs to be checked regularly for how much water it may need. This is one thing you must not forget to assess, as understanding each plant type’s requirements for water level when overwintered is imperative.

Keep your shrubberies away from doors and windows that create cold drafts, as this can dry out the air and stunt their growth.

One side-effect of too much cold is plant death. To avoid this, remember to keep tropical foliage by a warm window and you should be in good shape.

How to Keep Your Plant Warmer When Indoors

One way to provide extra warmth to a colder space such as an unheated mudroom is to hang bubble wrap on the windows. This is one way to raise the temperature in a room by up to 15° F. Alternatively, consider purchasing a window insert. Both provide excellent insulation during the winter months and can raise the temperature of your room during spouts of cold weather.

Additional heat sources include space heaters, which you can easily use when you are home. This allows you to monitor the heat source for safety.

You can also use a heat mat to give a little extra warmth to your plants’ soil. Heat mats are great for starting seedlings in the winter for early spring planting in your outdoor garden as well.

A houseplant inside on a cold winter day

Store Your Plants in the Proper Places During Winter

How you store your plants will vary depending on the type of plant you are storing.

For example, while the tuberose could survive in a drafty garage, other shrubs, such as paddle and snake plants, must stay inside a heated home. But don’t store your indoor landscaping too close to heating vents, as this can create conditions that are too dry and may have fatal results.

Commonplace botany can be displayed from securely hung ceiling plant hooks in your house or kept on dedicated plant shelves. Windowsills are another appropriate place to keep smaller flora over the winter — just be aware of how much light is coming in through the window you choose to place them near.

While some greenery requires high levels of sunlight, others will be much happier in indirect sun. Make sure to read your plant labels or research online so you place your foliage in its optimal growing conditions indoors over the winter.

Kitchen windowsills can be a good spot for some of your houseplants, like succulents, and provide a breath of fresh air for them in the winter months, but others could get scorched by the intense amount of direct sun such a location provides.

Additional Considerations

Watering needs for undergrowth vary. Overwatering can cause root rot, and the difficulty is that you will probably not know root rot is a problem until it’s too late. If your plants’ leaves are starting to turn yellow, there is a good chance that you may be overwatering it and that you should water less often.

On the other hand, underwatering can deprive vegetation of much-needed moisture. Check the top inch or so of the soil with your finger. If it is all dry, this indicates the foliage requires watering.

Most plants prefer deep watering, although a few of them would rather be misted. Check their labels to know water needs.

If you notice leaves of your houseplants are dropping, that indicates a problem, such as not giving them enough water or light.

It is important to know that the majority of shrubs will want a moderate amount of water.

A plant kept indoor during the cold stays healthy

Houseplants have different light requirements. Check their label to see if they prefer strong light, indirect light, or something in between. If your home is on the darker side, you may need to invest in equipment to supplement your vegetation’s light level needs. Insufficient light levels can be corrected by using grow lights or fluorescent bulbs.

Take good care of your florae indoors over the winter, including giving the soil proper nutrition with fertilizer, and you will enjoy their beauty as well as a higher quality of air in your home. Then, when temperatures warm up, you will be able to bring some of your plants outside to enhance your outdoor landscape.


First, make sure you know what kind of shrubberies you have and what growing conditions they require, including heat, light, humidity, nutrient, and water requirements.

Then, strategically place your plants in the correct conditions and check on them frequently. If you have a room or area that is less than ideal, consider adjusting it by altering the light in the room and the amount of warmth it retains.

Keep plants well-nourished and watered throughout the winter and you will enjoy your indoor landscaping throughout the season. Remember, details such as humidity levels are important.

Keeping your foliage warm indoors in winter weather is worth the effort. Winter can be a bleak time of the year, and houseplants’ addition to your rooms will liven up your living space.

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About the author: Carley Miller is a horticultural expert at TheGreenPinky. She previously owned a landscaping business for 25 years and worked at a local garden center for 10 years.

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