Because most common houseplants are tropical natives, winter can be a stressful season for them - even indoors. They're coping with less-than-optimal conditions like shorter days, lower natural light, and cool, dry air. Follow our tips below to help keep your houseplants happy and healthy until spring (we swear - it's coming soon!) Short on time? Scroll down for our cliff notes.
Diagnosis: A wilting plant is usually a sign of dehydration. Rx: Water lightly a few days in a row and see if your plant perks up. Moderation is key.
Diagnosis: Leaning to some extent is normal – indoor-plants tend to lean or stretch in the direction of the sun. Rx: If it’s an extreme lean, or your plant is become more stem than leaves (we call this getting “leggy”), move it closer to a window, and rotate the planter weekly so all sides of the plant receive some sunlight.
Diagnosis: Yellow leaves can be a sign of stress, or more often than not – a sign of overwatering, especially during the winter when most houseplants are semi-dormant (i.e. they don’t need nearly as much water as they do during the spring & summer months). Rx: Give your plant a little extra TLC. Trim off any yellow foliage that doesn't look like it will bounce back (FYI: a healthy plant’s leaves can turn yellow as a part of its natural shedding process – help it along by removing those leaves). Hold off on watering again until the soil feels completely dry, and water less than you did previously.
Diagnosis: Dry, brittle leaves that crumble when you touch them is usually a sign of under-watering and low-humidity. Is your skin feeling usually tight and dry? Chances are your plants are feeling the effects of that dry air, too. Rx: Up the moisture and humidity of your plant's environment by misting it weekly, investing in a humidifier, or setting planters on pebble-filled trays of water (make sure they're not sitting directly in the water, but just above it on the pebbles). Again, moderation is key.