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How to Help Your Houseplants Through Boise’s Winters

Blake Hunter
Blake Hunter
Posted on November 21
Tropical plants have already had to adapt to Idaho's climate, and they need extra help in the winter. (DuKai Photographer / Getty)

Tropical plants have already had to adapt to Idaho's climate, and they need extra help in the winter. (DuKai Photographer / Getty)

We’re not the only ones who need to adapt to the colder, darker months — keeping your houseplants alive during the winter requires some adjustments.

Here are some basics, although you might need species-specific tips for pickier plants:

  • Manage your expectations: In Boise, the winter solstice on Dec. 21 allows us less than nine hours of light. Because of that, your plants just aren’t going to grow as much as they do in the summer.
  • Consider supplementing for lost sunlight by checking out options for artificial lighting.
  • Treat your plants like they’re in the desert (which they are), and don’t overwater them. In faster growth periods, plants need more water and nutrients. If they’re not going to use the water, overwatering can lead to root rot.
  • Similarly, hold off on the fertilizer. They only need it when they’re growing, and too much can fry them to a crisp.
  • You’re probably going to have your heater on most of the winter, which dries out our already thirsty Idaho air. So put plants close together and consider using a humidifier. After all, most indoor plants are tropical plants, so low humidity can lead to lots of problems.
  • And don’t let them get too cold. If all your plants are located near windows or poorly insulated areas, move them to warmer areas of your home.

Keeping your green friends healthy through the winter can be a big boost for your mental health, so don’t sleep on them now. They’ll pay you back!

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