Should You Fertilize Houseplants in the Winter?

Low sunlight, freezing temperature and dry weather with short days slowed down the growth of houseplants. Within no growth in some cases, houseplants don’t require fertilizers.

But, you must considering checking climatic conditions. If the plant is getting enough sunlight and winter is warmer in your region, then you might have to apply fertilizers once.

Winter houseplant care is far more difficult than care in the summer. This time of year, it is snowing, and the roads are frozen in many places. You are aware that keeping plants indoors, especially in the winter, has advantages.

However, taking care of houseplants in the winter when such days are short and plus the home is dry may easily become a major task. In most homes, the winters are too frigid and dry, and there is not enough sunlight for indoor plants to grow.

It is much more challenging to maintain healthy indoor plants in the winter due to reduced sunlight, dry air, and colder temperatures.

Although a common misconception, it’s not always true that plants don’t require fertilization throughout the winter. As long as it’s done correctly, winter fertilization can be beneficial for a variety of plants.

It’s a good idea to examine your soil for nutrient deficiencies before adding fertilizer. Check the amounts of phosphate, nitrogen, and potash, as well as the pH of the soil, using a soil test kit.

Let’s discuss more on this!

Should You Fertilize Houseplants in Winter?

No need to fertilize, but.

Most houseplants go dormant in winter, so they don’t need fertilizer to grow.

However, there can be some circumstance where it can be advantageous to use fertilizer.

Depending on the potting soil and watering schedule, you can decide whether to fertilize houseplants in the winter or not.

Houseplants in mild winter regions and those that is exposed to direct sunlight may require frequent watering.

When you regularly water your plant, nutrients in the soil will also be drained. So, you must need to fertilize the potting soil again. However, applying once will work throughout the winter.

It is acceptable to use a mild fertilizer mix that is diluted by at most 50% if you water your indoor plants a few times each week throughout the winter.

You can raise your feeding when the weather gets warmer and you start to notice new growth.

You won’t need to fertilize any indoor plants that you water once a week or less during the winter.

Also Read: How to Care String of Pearls in Winter?

How Cold is too Cold for Houseplants?

It is determined by the sort of plant you have. The tolerance of different indoor plant species varies greatly. 

To find out the precise answer to this question, it is best to research the tolerance of the particular plant you are planting. In fact, many houseplants cannot tolerate temperatures below 50 degrees Fahrenheit when growing indoors.

It is advised to bring houseplants inside before the first frost if they are kept outside throughout the summer to prevent frost damage.

Fertilize Houseplants in Winter: Why Shouldn’t you?

When it comes to houseplants and fertilizer in winter, it is better to come on the side of using too little rather than using too much. Wintertime is not the best time to fertilize indoor plants.

Most plants thrive when given a rest time once a year, which winter provides. At the time of their most active growth, they require plant food the most.

Similar to people, houseplants require nourishment to function, mainly during active growth. Feeding is required during the months of spring and summer but not in the winter.

Check this out: Peace lily Winter Care Tips

Fertilizing Houseplants in Winter: How much to use?

Throughout the winter, fertilize only once.

Fertilize only as necessary. The fertilizer should be diluted by at least 50%. You can resume feeding whenever you notice the plant starting to grow again.

  • Use slow releasing fertilizer as it won’t burn the roots and provide necessary nutrients through winter.
  • Choose fertilizer that is lower in nitrogen and higher in potassium. It will support the plant to stay strong and rooted.

Remember this: Excess use of fertilizers can burn roots and leaves. Eventually, your houseplant will fail to grow in the spring.

When is it time to quit fertilizing my houseplants?

Due to their dormancy and lack of growth throughout the winter, plants do not require fertilizer. But there are a couple of things to watch out for-

  • Utilizing fertilizer in the spring is where we begin. As the plants are not used to getting regular feed at first, begin with less fertilizer. After this, increase the frequency and amount of fertilization slowly.
  • Lessen feed and fertilization frequency as fall arrives, which is around the middle of August.
  • Additionally, it depends on the area to which you belong. Almost the entire year can be spent fertilizing the plant if you live in a tropical or subtropical area.

There is yet another circumstance in which using too much fertilizer is to be prevented, i.e. the plant grows slowly or not at all.

Also Read: Can You Leave Calla Lilies in Pots Over-Winter?

Ideal temperature to grow houseplants in winter?

It relies on your thermostat setting plans and the types of indoor plants you intend to grow. The recommended temperature ranges are 60 to 68 degrees Fahrenheit at night and 70 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit during the day.

But the majority of houseplants can adapt. At 55 degrees Fahrenheit, they might not be content, but they’ll make it. When others are made to shiver, they experience harm.

What Happens if you fertilize your houseplants in Winter?

The majority of indoor houseplants typically go dormant and stop growing throughout the winter. As a result, they don’t need additional food. Due to the plants’ lack of growth throughout the winter, less salt is drawn up from the soil by the plants.

Continuing to fertilize the plant over the winter months results in a variety of plant issues.

Some of the issues caused by fertilizing your houseplants in winter:

  • Fading leaves or yellowing
  • Drop-dead leaves
  • Burning of roots
  • Burnt-out leaves
  • Fall in Foliage.

To avoid the situation described above, we should reduce the feed at the beginning of the winter season, during Mid-August or September, and afterwards resume it around late winter.

To reduce humidity and benefit the leaves, we can sprinkle the plant frequently during the winter.

Also Read: 19 Best Non-toxic Houseplants for Cats & Dogs

How to Care for Houseplants in Winter?

Snow is falling as well as the grounds are frozen in many places at this time of year.

You are aware that keeping plants indoors, especially in the winter, has many advantages.

Here are some pointers for wintertime indoor plant care:

1. Provide light

Wintertime brings a limited quantity of sunlight into homes, and if your home isn’t facing the appropriate direction, you might only receive sunlight via limited rooms and windows.

Start preparing to relocate your plants near windows and light-filled locations during the winter. For the most sunlight, make sure the windows are thoroughly cleaned both inside and out.

2. Give them some water

When it comes to plants throughout the winter, people frequently overwater them rather than the other way around.

Test your plants’ soil thoroughly, not just the top layer. Go a few inches down and check the soil to see if it is dry because some plants require complete drying out before being watered once more.

3. Repotting indoor plants during the Winter

Repotting indoor plants over the winter should only be done in extreme cases. When houseplants are transplanted in the winter, fresh growth may result, although it is typically weak and lanky.

The stress of repotting plants might also make them suffer throughout the winter.

4. Managing houseplant pests over the winter

Wintertime factors that can encourage pests include greater heat from heaters, less sunlight, and increased humidity from humidifiers. Pests such as spider mites, fungus gnats, mealybugs, and others. Watch for them on your plants and take action to get rid of them if you see any.

5. Warming up indoor plants in the winter

The ideal temperature range for indoor houseplants is between 60 and 75 F. The best way to keep them warm in the winter is to put them in a warm environment rather than a frigid one.

Including a space heater in the space will also help indoor plants stay warm during the winter. Simply be careful to place the heater sufficiently away from your plants to prevent damage.

6. Winter fertilization of indoor plants

Because they go dormant over the winter, the majority of indoor plants don’t need to be fed.

So, don’t fertilize indoor plants throughout the winter.

The ideal course of action is to stop fertilizing them in the early fall and then, in the early spring, to re-feed them with a small amount of liquid indoor plant fertilizer.

Also Read: Can I Use Eggshells for Hydrangeas?

Why Winter Care is Valuable for Plants?

You should always have plants in and around your house. Even SAD (seasonal affective disorder) can be treated with the aid of indoor plants.

Plants must also be taken care of throughout these months for them to be productive. 

You may create a long-lasting indoor garden if you keep this in mind and follow the essential actions.


Check climatic conditions in your region. Sunlight exposure, watering frequency and temperature are to be seen before fertilizing the plant.

Most indoor plants don’t need fertilizers. As, you’re already fertilized them during growing seasons. In winter, due to cold and low levels of sunlight, plants experience slow or no growth.

With no growth, they don’t require fertilizer or frequent watering.

However, there are some exceptions. Gardeners living in warmer climates with good sun exposure can apply fertilizer once.

Winter may be a very challenging time for caring for indoor plants. But with these winter plant care suggestions at your fingertips, you may easily nurture lovely houseplants all year long.

Furthermore, houseplants can potentially aid in the treatment of seasonal affective disorder.

Plants must, however, also be taken care of throughout these months in order for them to be effective. You may create a long-lasting indoor garden if you keep this in mind and follow the essential actions.