Get our FREE quarterly e-zine Seek Inspire Create
November 30, 2020 —

5 tips for winter houseplant care

As winter begins to draw in, you may notice some of your houseplants that were thriving in the summer months are now looking a little worse for wear. Kat and Ellen from BAM Botanics share five expert tips on caring for your botanical beauties throughout the colder months…
BAM Botanics
Houseplant experts,
Save & share

The majority of houseplants go into what is essentially a dormant state in winter due to the temperature drop, so naturally won’t grow as quickly as they would in warmer months. Resist the temptation to overlook them during this time though! They still need regular TLC, we just need to adjust the way we care for them slightly.

Photo: Caroline Rowland
Photo: Caroline Rowland


The dormant winter months mean your plants will require less water. That said, factors such as central heating can dry them out. Prod the soil with your finger and if the top two inches are dry, your plant will want a drink.

Obviously this is very general and different types of houseplants have different needs, so it’s always a good idea to look up your plant’s natural habitat and try as best as you can to mimic this environment. For example, rainforest plants are happiest somewhere with high humidity like a bathroom and desert plants prefer a dry, warm spot.

Photo: Kasia Fiszer (for 91 Magazine Vol 10)
Photo: Kasia Fiszer (for 91 Magazine Vol 10)


Plants are sensitive souls so any sudden temperature change can send them into shock. Consider moving particularly delicate plants away from draughty spots and off window sills that get cold at night. You will also want to avoid placing them right next to a radiator!

Photo: Tiffany Grant-Riley (for 91 Magazine Vol 10)
Photo: Tiffany Grant-Riley (for 91 Magazine Vol 10)


Using tepid water rather than cold when giving them a drink will also help to regulate their temperature. Icy cold water from your tap in the depths of winter can shock and harm your plant! If you can, collect rainwater and bring it to room temperature to water your plants. Alternatively keep a jug of tap water on the side for a day before watering, this will allow any of the salts present in tap water to settle at the bottom of the jug and any chlorine to evaporate.

Photo: Cathy Pyle (for 91 Magazine Vol 9)
Photo: Cathy Pyle (for 91 Magazine Vol 9)


Our homes tend to collect more dust during winter due to the dry air caused by central heating and the fact that we’re generally inside more. Be sure to dust your plant’s leaves with a damp cloth, particularly those with a larger leaf span. This will enable them to make maximum use of available light and photosynthesise, meaning they’ll be happier and healthier with more growth.

Photo: Kasia Fiszer (for 91 Magazine Vol 8)
Photo: Kasia Fiszer (for 91 Magazine Vol 8)


The majority of houseplants love bright, indirect sunlight which can be hard to provide in the darker months. If you can, move your plants closer to windows (unless particularly draughty) this will allow them to absorb more light during the shorter days. Alternatively you can use LED grow lights and light bulbs, these are great if you have a particularly dark corner you want to inject some plant life into.

BAM Botanics specialise in low maintenance, hardy botanical babes that suit a busy urban lifestyle. View their website to find some easy care options for beginners:


Sign up for more articles

Join the 91 Magazine mailing list and we’ll send you our favourite articles, updates from our shop, news on the magazine and select promotions & offers.

More stories like this one

Easy Vegan Christmas recipe book by Katy Beskow
Go plant-based this Christmas with 80 delicious vegan recipes from Katy Beskow’s Easy Vegan Christmas. Here’s a little of what you’ll find inside… …

New in 91 Magazine

Ochre cushion on a bed and other items from lifestyle store Tusk
A casual chat in the garden flourished into a thriving family business – one that believes in providing a gentle yet inspiring…

Meet the Maker: Madeleine Kemsley

Shopkeeper Spotlight: Homeward Studio

10 stylish independent lighting brands

Home tour: Leah Gaeddert

Meet the Maker: Mary-Ann Aveline of Hello Marilu

Volume 16 has published!

Love What You Do: Hannah Paine of épanoui

Shopkeeper Spotlight: LAMP LDN

Self-publishing our first book: PLACES TO SHOP

Seek Create Inspire

Subscribe to the 91 Magazine mailing list

Subscribe for our free quarterly e-zine packed independent shops and cafes, interiors ideas, delicious recipes and DIY projects.

We’ll also send you regular articles, offers, shop promotions and competitions (but never spam).