Winter is a tough time for plants. For home gardeners, winter can be a nightmare that most of their plants won’t survive.

Most outdoor plants should be brought indoors for the colder season. This change in environment and climate can be traumatic for plants. If you don’t take extra care during winter, they might not survive.

There are several things you can do to help your plants thrive during the winter. Let’s take a look at some simple tricks to strengthen your green thumb.

1. Adjust Your Watering Routine

When you bring outdoor plants inside, they don’t receive as much natural water as in your garden. Even if you live somewhere without significant rainfall, plants absorb water from the morning dew.

Compensate for the lack of water by changing up your watering routine. Whereas in summer you might only water your plants once a week, in winter you’ll need to water your plants more frequently and in smaller doses.

Watering the roots is important, but many plants absorb water from their leaves and flowers in addition to the soil.

Using the spray bottle ensures that your plants receive as much water as possible.

2. Increase the Humidity

Since plants absorb water from their leaves, it’s not surprising that many plants thrive in high humidity. Think about greenhouses. They’re much more humid than the environment outside.

Turning up the humidity will give your plants more water and heat. These are two of the main ingredients for happy plant life, and during winter plants usually don’t get enough of them.

You might not want to turn up the humidity in your house or have a practical way of doing so. In this case, you should look into plants that thrive in a dryer environment.

If you aren’t sure what plants are right for your house, check out this list of houseplants for dry environments.

One advantage to dry-air plants is that they normally require less attention to plants that thrive on humidity.

However, if you live in a humid climate, the opposite might be the case.

3. Move Them Into the Light

Winter is the darkest time of year. The farther North you live, the darker it gets. If you live in an area without much winter sunlight, you’ll need to take extra steps to ensure plant survival.

Even outdoor plants aren’t receiving as much sunlight or the same strength of sunlight as in summer. To help them out, move them around during the day.

Always be gentle when moving plants. They’re very sensitive.

If you keep your plants indoors, position them near a window with adequate sunlight. Western-facing spots are optimal. The evening light is stronger and warmer than mid-day or morning light.

4. Individual Attention

No two plants are alike. Your succulent has different needs than your venus fly trap. Even among similar types of plants or different strains of the same plant, needs will vary.

Trial and error is the best teacher when it comes to plant care, but research is another. Read as much as you can about the plants you have in your house before winter starts so you can plan how to care for them when the cold comes.

For information about how much variety there can be within a single plant species, here’s information on different strains of marijuana plants. Even if you aren’t planting marijuana in your home, it’ll give you an idea of how diverse single species of plants can be.

5. Cover Outdoor Plants

Covering outdoor plants protects them from wind, frost, and freezing temperatures. Even in places with a more temperate climate, temperatures can drop suddenly during the winter.

You might not need to cover your plants during the entire season if you live in a more temperate climate. If you know a cold front is coming through, you should cover your plants no matter where you live.

There’s no harm in covering plants, so there’s no reason not to.


Taking care of plants is tough. It takes time to develop a green thumb, so don’t be discouraged if it takes several years to get the hang of it.

Some winters are harsher than others, and some plants just won’t make it. Luckily with these tips, that’s less likely to happen.