The time of year has come again when the days are short but the cold season seems to drag on forever. In Ontario, we’re accustomed to the cold snaps and snow, keeping ourselves warm with added layers, hot cocoa, and cozying up to the fireplace.

While we know how to take care of ourselves, we may be unfamiliar with tending to our greeny, leafy houseguests during this time of year. Even though they’re safe and snug inside our homes, houseplants still need a little extra comfort to stay lush during the cold months. Follow our simple guidelines to keep your houseplants happy and healthy, despite winter challenges:

Dry Winter Air

Cold air doesn’t hold as much moisture as warm air does, and your tropical houseplants will definitely feel the difference. Just like our own dry skin and chapped lips, winter air can suck the moisture straight from our plants’ pores, too. Here are some ways to keep them hydrated all winter long:

Use a Humidifier. This is an investment, we know. But both you AND your plants will be thankful for it. Say goodbye to dry skin and excessive watering and get ready to glow!

Avoid Heaters and Grates. The air is already dry enough – the last thing we want to do is force more dry, heated air on your plant. If your houseplants are placed near an electric furnace, heat pump, or floor grate, you should move them ASAP.

Cluster them Together. Plants can actually create their own little ecosystem, feeding off of each other’s humidity, when placed close to each other. Plus, who doesn’t enjoy an oasis of green when everything outside the window is white?

Put Stones in their Saucer. Fill your plants saucer with pebbles or stones, and add water. This way, your plant gets the moisture it needs evaporating around it without outright drowning in it.

Bring them to the Bathroom. If you’re lucky enough to have a well-lit bathroom with lots of space, consider moving your plants in there. They’ll feel like they’re in a sauna every time you get a steamy shower!

Water and Mist. These are the obvious options, but they’re important to note, nonetheless!

Decreased Sunlight

Less daylight = less energy. It’s just an accepted phenomenon. When we return home after a long day’s work and it’s already dark out, we definitely feel more inclined to crash on the couch and watch some Netflix.

In a way, our plants are similar. Except plants rely on sunlight for energy even MORE than we do. 

Put Stones in their Saucer. Fill your plants saucer with pebbles or stones, and add water. This way, your plant gets the moisture it needs evaporating around it without outright drowning in it.

Bring them to the Bathroom. If you’re lucky enough to have a well-lit bathroom with lots of space, consider moving your plants in there. They’ll feel like they’re in a sauna every time you get a steamy shower!

Water and Mist. These are the obvious options, but they’re important to note, nonetheless!

Decreased Sunlight

Less daylight = less energy. It’s just an accepted phenomenon. When we return home after a long day’s work and it’s already dark out, we definitely feel more inclined to crash on the couch and watch some Netflix.

In a way, our plants are similar. Except plants rely on sunlight for energy even MORE than we do. 

With less energy from the sun, they simply can’t put as much effort into growing as they do during other months. Don’t worry, that’ll pick back up again in the spring.

It’s normal for plants to slow down growing in the winter, which also means you can expect them to use less water. During the summer, you might have rushed to water your plants at the first sign of dry soil. In the winter, you can let the soil be until its dry all the way down to your first knuckle.

Drafty Windows

Keep your plants away from drafty windows, doors, and vents. Our tropical friends originate from warm, humid regions, where temperatures rarely fluctuate. This means they really aren’t accustomed to below freezing temperatures of Ontario. You may think that plant on the windowsill or sitting over a blaring furnace is warm and cozy, but it’s actually much more uncomfortable than somewhere that has a reliable temperature.

In the winter, plants can play a huge role in boosting our mood and combating the winter blues. A little bit of green at home is exactly what we need when winter stretches stretches longer than a sleepy cat. It’s important for us to support our plants in return. By reducing the stress that winter imposes on them, we can ensure optimal health for when spring finally decides to show up.