Do House Plants Experience Seasons?

My title may seem like a silly question, particularly if you haven’t taken your plants outdoors or if you live in a place that has relatively similar temperatures year round. But bear with me a moment and I think you’ll find that there is more to this and that yes, even if you never take your plants outdoors or if your climate is almost the same year round, your plants will still experience “seasons.”

How can this be? The first reason is the changing levels of light. All of us, no matter where we live, are undergoing dramatic light changes right now, whether we lose light in the northern hemisphere or gain it in the southern hemisphere. Even indoors, our plants notice this and react to it by needing less water (where we lose light) or needing more water (where we gain it).

Next, there are temperature changes. And again, while these may be more–or less–dramatic depending on where you live, they still happen. Even in more temperate climates, the outdoor air gets less humid and air conditioning runs less. That changes plant watering requirements as well.

For those of us about to go into the heating season, that is perhaps one of the most dramatic changes for a plant. Depending on the type of heat in the home, your indoor air can literally become as dry as a desert.

Since most of out “house plants” come from humid tropical rain forests (with the exception of cacti and succulents, of course), this dry environment just invites all sorts of issues: leaf troubles, spider mites and just a general struggle to survive.

So what to do? As winter (or summer, depending on your hemisphere) approaches, be alert to the changes in your plants. Notice if they are staying moist longer, or drying more quickly. Be especially alert for any insect pests so that you can catch and treat if necessary before they get out of hand and spread.

In this way, you’ll have your plants for many years to come.

2 thoughts on “Do House Plants Experience Seasons?

  1. tonytomeo October 24, 2018 / 11:00 pm

    Because many houseplants are tropical, they do not know what to make of seasons. It must be confusing for them.

  2. gardendaze October 25, 2018 / 5:03 am

    Heck, the older I get the more confusing it is for me! We went from air conditioning to heat in a 5 day time frame. No wonder the poor plants are confused!

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