Prepping Your Potted Plants for Winter

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Potted Plants

By:  Chelsea Lipford Wolf

Whether you live in the Deep South or have more northern roots, you’ll need to take a few steps to get your potted plants ready for winter.

Potted PlantsStop Fertilizing

The first step is the easiest! You don’t have to do anything but stop fertilizing your indoor and outdoor plants. Most plants will go dormant, or stop growing, during the winter months. So they won’t be needing any boost from fertilizer. A good rule of thumb is to stop fertilizing around the time of the first frost which will very regionally.

Keep the Water Flowing

Something else you can cut back on is how often you water your plants. With cooler temperatures, they aren’t pulling as much water from the soil. But you will want to keep watering them thoroughly until the first frost of the season.

Well-watered soil can actually help the plants pack heat around their roots and better survive cold temperatures. So as long as temperatures are above 40 degrees during the day, water your plants at least once a month during the winter. And water them in the morning so the water has time to soak in before it gets too cold again.

Relocate Plants

There are several ideas for relocating potted plants for winter. Smaller, lightweight planters can be moved indoors by a bright window. Be sure to trim any dead foliage before bringing them inside.

Larger plants can be grouped together in a sheltered or protected area to keep the freezing wind from destroying them. Place the most fragile plants in the center.

You can also plant in larger pots with lots of soil to help protect their roots.

Potted PlantsHouseplants

It’s hard to believe but indoor plants need a little attention during winter as well. Keep your same watering schedule. But use room temperature or warm water and use less of it. You’ll also want to dust the leaves to maximize the sunlight they receive.

You may even consider a humidifier to maintain 50-60% humidity. Not only will it make your plants happy, it’ll be good for your skin too!

Following these few simple steps will keep your plants happy during the most brutal months of the year. And your plants in return will be ready to show off for you when spring finally comes around!


Check out some other planter project ideas!

Planting Bulbs in Fall

Variegated Houseplants Guide for Beginners