House Plant Maintenance in the Frozen North

It’s December, a dreary, cold, dark month here in the frozen north and if forecasts are right by the time you read this we will have some plowable snow on the ground. All of that makes for some very unhappy tropical plants.

This is my “sunniest” and warmest window so this is where all the plants that need the most sun go. Regardless, I am still getting a decent amount of leaf drop from most of the plants here.

The croton hold their foliage well. For everything else, (tropical hibiscus, variegated lemon and that very sad oxalis in the first photo), I might as well get a leaf blower in here.

In early morning, when it’s quiet, I can actually hear the falling leaves. It’s almost funny.

Fortunately most of these plants have enough leaves to survive the winter. And the oxalis are bulb-like, so they can go dormant and revive in the spring.

But when I talk about houseplant maintenance–or say that my plants emphatically do not grow here in the frozen north in the winter–perhaps this gives you a better idea of what I mean.

2 thoughts on “House Plant Maintenance in the Frozen North

  1. tonytomeo December 12, 2022 / 11:53 pm

    Well, even here and farther south, where such plants live outside in home gardens and landscapes, they do not grow much, if at all, through winter. It is natural for most to be dormant at that time. Only a few of the most tropical sorts try to grow through winter. My blue ginger is trying to grow right now, and it is not going well.

  2. gardendaze December 13, 2022 / 4:28 am

    You probably don’t spend too much time on Instagram. Lately, neither do I. But last winter, there was this whole group of house plant people trying to debunk the idea that houseplants don’t grow much in winter. It really got tedious. It was nothing but reel after reel of leaves unfurling.

    So, yes, of course, even I will have an occasional new leaf in the winter. But it’s not as if it’s natural for that to be the true growth habit in winter, as you say.

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