How to keep a palm tree from freezing

10 Ways To Protect Palm Trees From Winter Freeze, Cold, and Frost

Windmill Palms (Trachycarpus fortunei) under snow. Photo by Flickr.

While cold hardy palms can tolerate freezing temperatures, tropical palms may suffer from the cold damage. Usually, palm tree owners, that live in the warm climates, don’t need to worry about cold weather.

But, with unpredictable winters in the last couple of years, freezing temperatures don’t come as a surprise. Here is what you can do to protect your palm trees from freezing cold by applying:

  1. Palm fertilization
  2. Palm heavy mulching
  3. Palm heavy watering
  4. Antitranspirant spraying
  5. Copper fungicide spraying
  6. Palm warm cover
  7. Palm trunk and foliage wrapping
  8. Heater and light-bulbs
  9. Heat cables
  10. Temporary greenhouse

How Does Cold Affect Palm Trees

Windmill Palm Tree (Trachycarpus fortunei). Photo by Flickr.

Cold weather can affect palm trees in different ways. Cold temperatures will slow down the root activity and growth rate of the palm.

Freeze or frost can damage the palm tissue in the trunk, which may limit the ability of the palm to provide leaves with enough water. Unfortunately, palm trees can’t regenerate conducting tissue and will likely die after a while. If the bud, also called “palm heart”, gets damaged, the palm will not survive.

How Cold Is Too Cold For Palm Trees

Palm species very greatly in their sensitivity to cold. Some types of palms can tolerate cold temperatures down to 10 – 15F for a short period of time, while others gets damaged when the temperatures drop below 45F.

Cold tolerance of the palm also depends on summer care, plant age, and time of establishment. If you are trying to figure out what is the lowest temperature your palm can survive at, start by checking cold tolerant for this particular species.

You can find it in my palm tree catalog under ‘Cold Hardiness’ section in the palm profile. Keep in mind, that by providing winter protection, you can push a palm’s tolerance by one-half or full USDA zones which means a range of 20 – 30F (12-18C) for subtropical and temperate plants.

10 Ways To Protect Palm Trees From Winter Freeze, Cold, or Frost

Picture of snow covered palm tree. Photo by Flickr.

Before we talk about different cold protection options, it’s important to understand that a little bit of cold weather is actually good for the palms, because it promotes dormancy and also makes palms more cold tolerant (cold hardy). So, don’t start winterizing your palms too soon.

If there is no sudden temperature drop, let the palms acclimatize a little to the colder conditions. The goal is to protect the most important part of the palm which is the bud and to minimize the damage to the leaves and stems in case of an unexpected freeze.

Thankfully, there are number of things you can do to prepare and protect your palm tree during winter. Some of them are very simple while others are more complex. It’s good to know that even the simplest measures can add one-half to a full USDA zone to your garden.

1. Palm Fertilization

Palm tissue deficient in nutrients is less cold tolerant. Thus, it is important for the palm tree to receive right amount of fertilizer in the months leading up to the period of cold weather.

According to recent studies from University of Florida, fertilization improves cold hardiness of palms. Of course, the fertilization schedule will depend on where you live and the length of your growing season.

If you live in a climate with cold winters, the key is not to apply fertilizer late in the growing season, since the palms will continue to grow into the early winter. That will delay the dormancy and open them to more cold damage.

I recommend using a slow-release good quality fertilizer that has the same amount or close of Nitrogen (N) and Potassium (K). You will know the ratio by looking at the three numbers on the label (NPK): 15-5-15 or 20-15-15. Avoid using lawn fertilizer with ratio of 27-2-2 because it will promote foliar growth instead of root and flower development.

You can see what top 10 fertilizers I recommend in my palm tree fertilization post.

2. Palm Heavy Mulching

Heavy mulching is the most effective way to minimize leaf damage and maximizing tree survival.

You are probably already applying mulch all year round, but during winter mulch your palm more heavily. Adding 4-6 inches of mulch will protect ground from freezing deeply, thus protecting roots and lower trunk of the tree.

Since a lot of cold tolerant palms have their buds underground, mulch will keep the temperatures relatively constant protecting it from cold damage caused by rapid temperature fluctuations.

Also, unfrozen roots will be able to replenish the moister lost during winter transpiration. I recommend using organic mulch like course wood chips, maple or oak leaves, wheat straw or pine straw because they don’t compact too much over winter and moderate soil temperatures, suppress weeds, conserves moisture, and add nutrients to the soil as they decompose.

Another benefit of using whole deciduous tree leaves with the mulch, is that they release considerable amount of heat while decomposing. To keep the mulch from blowing away you can use a wire netting enclosure. Put the mulch 1-2 ft away from the trunk of a small palm and about 3-4 ft away from a large tree.

You should leave the mulch until your area is done with the frost and then gradually remove it over a period of a 3-4 days. Removing it slowly will provide your palm with more time to get used to increasingly stronger sunlight and also provide some protection against a late frost.

3. Palm Heavy Watering

While mulching will prevent roots from freezing, it won’t help with the water uptake that gets dramatically reduced once the temperatures falls below 40°F (5°C). Adding to the stress, cold winter winds in combination with the afternoon sun cause winterburn and defoliation of the palm.

To maximize water availability to the leaves, make sure the palm is well-watered entering winter season and the soil is saturated throughout the winter.

Since moist soil loses heat less rapidly than dry soil, water heavily the soil around the palm prior to a cold snap. I recommend using lukewarm water instead of a cold one because it will somewhat warm up the ground increasing the water uptake of the palm.

4. Antitranspirant Spray

Another way to reduce water loss from the leaves is to use antitranspirant spray. It forms a soft, clear, flexible film on the plant’s foliage which holds moisture reducing water loss during plant stress. I like spray called ‘Wilt Stop’ by Bonide.

I use it for winter protection or to minimize a transplant shock if I am transplanting a palm during growing season. It protects plants from drought, wind burn, sunscald, winter kill, transplant shock, and salt damage while at the same time allowing them to grow naturally.

You will only need to spray it once per season. BTW, it will also extend the life of Christmas tree by preventing it from drying out too quickly.

5. Copper Fungicide Spray

Stressed by cold temperatures, palm trees can become vulnerable to bacterial and fungal infections. The low levels of bacteria present on healthy palm tissue are harmless but becomes a problem once the palm has been damaged by cold.

That is why it is a good idea to spray the tree with fungicidal copper before the freezing temperatures in order to reduced the amount of bacteria to the lowest levels possible.

Spray the stem and foliage with a broad-spectrum fungicide/bactericide like Liquid Copper Fungicide by Southern Ag a few days in advance when you are expecting cold weather. It has a unique formula that helps fight both bacteria and fungi.

You should also spray open-crowned palms, because water collected in those crowns might freeze and thaw causing the damage to the tissues and providing perfect conditions for bacteria and fungi.

6. Warm Cover

During cold days, it is a good idea to cover your palm. If your palm tree is small, you can cover it with a weighted down box or a blanket. On sunny days, partially open a box to avoid air heating up to damaging temperatures inside.

This can happen even with the outside temperatures being below freezing. Don’t let the tree sit under the cover for more than 3 days in a row. After 3 days, uncover your palm during the day to provide it with some light.

For a larger palm, use a blanket, burlap or other warm material. Avoid using water-absorben cotton type of materials since they trap moisture resulting in the trunk rot.

When placing the blanket over the tree, allow for the cover to drape loosely so that warm air rising from the soil will be trapped under the cover. This will keep your palm 4-5 degrees warmer than the outside air.

You should remove all the covers once the weather is warm again. Avoid using a plastic for covering, as it may traps moisture underneath that will freeze and cause more damage.

7. Palm Trunk and Foliage Wrapping

Trunk and foliage wrapping is another great palm winterizing technique if you have a palm with a central trunk. Again, it’s best to use a material that does NOT absorb moister like synthetic blanket, burlap or a landscape fabric.

Before wrapping the tree, spray the area being wrapped with fungicide/bactericide spray like Liquid Copper Fungicide by Southern Ag.

Next, wrap the material around the trunk and secure it with a duck tape. Continue to wrap up around the lower leaves while gathering the leaves closer and closer into a bunch. Wrap as high as the stiffness of the leaves will allow it. Don’t worry, the foliage is not going to be damaged.

You can usually wrap the whole foliage mass of a smaller palm tree covering it completely. At this point, your palm might look like a mummy. During extreme weather, you can easily drape a cover over the open foliage on the larger palms removing it once the cold has passed.

While you can apply multiple layers, even one layer adds 2°-3°F (1-2C). Multiple layers of synthetic blanket can even add a full USDA zone of protection keeping the temperatures under the wrap 6°-8°F (4°-5°C) degrees warmer than the outside.

Some gardeners use bubble wrap, but I don’t like it because it might cause condensation that will lead to some problems.

Expert Advice: To minimize the fungal and bacterial problems, place sticks around the trunk before wrapping it so that the wrap does not touch the trunk.

It is safe to leave the wrap on until early spring.

8. Heater and Light Bulbs

Palm trees under snow. Photo by Flickr.

Another way to warm up your palm, is to place a small propane heater near the palm and use a fan to blow the warm air towards it. Keep the heater far enough from the tree to prevent overheating or burning.

Perhaps even more effective way, is to winterize your palm tree with Christmas lights. Simply wrap them around trunk a little denser than normal. As long as there is no wind, the lights will add 2°-3°F (1-2C) during cold winter night. In windy conditions the heat disappears too quickly to provide any warmth.

Using holiday lights underneath a loose landscape fabric, can add another 2°-3°F (1°-2°C) of heat. Some palm enthusiasts use the holiday lights underneath the wrap easily adding 10°-15°F (6°-9°C). While this sound like the best solution, it might dry up the tender leaves.

Expert Advice: Be careful with the light bulbs if you are relying on snow as your cover. The lights can melt the snow around the palm leaving it fully exposed to freezing air and cold winds.

9. Heat Cables

Another popular palm winterizing technique is the usage of the low-wattage heat cables. Typically used to wrap water pipes to prevent freeze damage, heat cables can be found in any of the hardware stores. Just like the holiday lights, they can be used around the trunk and the foliage of the palm.

The cool thing about heat cables is that they are extremely safe and reliable and most of them come with a built-in thermostat that automatically turns the heating cable on below 40°F and off above 55°F.

Some gardeners also use heating cables to wrap around the root ball when planting a palm. Then, they can active it during a cold winter to heat the root zone and prevent the roots from freezing.

Additionally, this warms up the water and as a result provides supplementary heating to the above ground plant tissues when the water moves up the roots system.

10. Temporary Greenhouse

If you have a lot of time and energy, you can build a temporary greenhouse around your palm. Adding a supplementary heat to the greenhouse will add two or even more full USDA zones to your garden.

This is the most involved method that will allow you to grow palm trees almost anywhere. Of course, the greenhouse structure has to be strong enough to withstand strong winds, freezing rain and heavy snow.

Built a wooden frame above the tree and cover it with double plastic sheet nailing it to the frame. Wet snow is very heavy, so make sure to built a slanted roof.


If I see a cold weather coming my way, I usually use heavy mulching, saturate root area with water, spray tree with broad-spectrum fungicide/bactericide and apply Christmas lights.

If the cold weather is going to last for a few days, I use antitranspirant spray and a wrap under Christmas lights. That’s usually enough. Since I live in a warm climate, I really don’t need more advanced winterization techniques.

I hope my tips will help you prepare your palm trees for cold weather. Let me know if you have any questions.

Related articles:

–Top 20 Palm Trees That Can Survive Freezing Weather
–10 Expert Tips On Growing Palm Trees In Cold Climates
–Secret to Growing Cold Hardy Palm Trees
–Importance of Microclimate When Choosing Cold Hardy Palms
–5 Steps To Saving Freeze Damaged Palm Tree

Latest posts:

What to Do About Palm Freeze Damage (and How to Protect Palms) | Davey Blog

We’re used to seeing palm trees flowing carefree in a breeze with a golden sun and blue skies as their backdrop.

But in some areas, palms don’t get to soak up paradise all year round. Take Florida, for example. Allison, a Davey blog reader from the northern half of the state, reached out for help with her freeze damaged palm trees. She said, “we had a hard freeze in Florida and our medium palms took quite a hit. I don't know if I should prune them down to nothing or let them be. I also don't know if they are still alive.”

Harsh winter weather can be tough on these tropical trees. Read on to learn how to help them bounce back.

How to Help Freeze Damaged Palms and Protect Palms from Freezes

With careful prep before and lots of patience after, some palm trees can survive a wicked-cold winter.

A cold freeze looks like it damaged my palm (areca, sabal, pindo, pygmy date, and coconut). What happened?

A visit from Jack Frost will have palm trees switch from leafy green to rusty brown before your eyes. Why is that?

Well, unlike hardwood trees that sprout new growth from multiple spots, palm trees only grow new leaves from one spot—the heart. The palm heart sits right in the center of the tree’s canopy, and if it’s hit with harsh cold, the damage trickles down to all the future palm leaves growing from it.

Plus, if a palm is planted outside of its growing zone, it’ll be extra vulnerable to cold damage. For example, pygmy date palms are meant for planting zones 9-11, areas that get almost no frost. That means they wouldn’t do so well in Allison’s neck of the woods in Northern Florida. The same goes for areca and coconut palms—frost can be fatal for these quintessential tropical trees.

But even if palm trees are tolerant to the cold (like pindo and sabal palms, which can bear 15- and 20-degree temperatures) a hard freeze can still spell trouble. No matter the type, always err on the side of caution with your palm trees. It’s really important to protect all palm trees whenever harsh winter weather is expected.

How can I tell if my cold damaged palm trees are alive?

By far, the best way to determine the health of your tree is to get an arborist’s opinion. In the meantime, here are a few things to consider:

  • Your tree needs time. It’s really hard to predict the future of a freeze damaged palm. Most palms won’t show any new growth for months after the damage was done, so patience is the best gift you can give your recovering tree.
  • Green is good. Even if leaves are mostly brown, any sign of green could mean the tree has a chance at survival.
  • Let nature take its course. Let your palm tree handle the healing process on its own. You may remove fronds that are completely brown to improve aesthetics.

How can I protect palm trees from freezes in the future?

Palms have a much better chance at surviving a winter freeze with these preventative steps:

  • Always plant palms that are suitable for your area. Find out what your planting zone is here!
  • Carefully cover short palm trees with a blanket or sheet before an expected freeze. For taller palms, contact an arborist to wrap the fronds together to protect the heart. Remove the sheet and unwrap the fronds after the threat of freeze.
  • Before a freeze, water your palm tree deeply, and seal in the moisture with mulch.
  • Keep your tree on a regular fertilization schedule. The nutrients in fertilizer may help support cold tolerance by improving tree vitality.

Call in an arborist for help with your damaged palm tree.



  • Palm Trees
  • Winter Damage

Related Blog Posts

Property Maintenance & Landscaping

Why You Should Start Looking For Winter Tree Damage

Spring is a great time to inspect your trees for both obvious and not-so-obvious problems.

Read More

Insect & Disease Issues

Invasive Palm Tree Pest: Palm Weevil Identification, Damage, & Management Methods

Palm weevils are invasive beetle species that pose a fairly serious threat to palm trees. Here’s what you should know about palm weevils, the damage they can cause, as well as treatment solutions.

Read More

Back to our Blog

Sign Up For Free Tree & Landscaping Tips! 

Subscribe to the "The Sapling," the Davey Blog's email newsletter, for the latest tips to keep your outdoor space in tip-top shape throughout the year.

Plus, receive a free instant download of our landscape seasonal checklists when you sign up!

Sign Up Now

Get In Touch With Us!

We pride ourselves at Davey Tree on providing prompt, professional and personalized service from certified arborists that live, work and engage in your community. Contact one of our Davey Tree specialists for your residential, commercial, utility, or environmental needs.

Contact Us

Frost not afraid? How a Krasnodar citizen grows palm trees in the open air | LEISURE AND REST

Alexander Vlasenko

Estimated reading time: 10 minutes


Palm trees feel great in the summer under the Kuban sun, but, as it turns out, they can withstand frost. / Anatoly Marchenko / From the personal archive

Anatoly Marchenko became interested in palm trees about seven years ago. He was very impressed by a beautiful photograph he saw on the Internet of someone's yard planted with these exotic plants. Although that picture was taken in warmer climes, the man got the idea to grow something similar at his home in Krasnodar. He was encouraged that by that time palm trees had been successfully growing in the ground at the entrance to one of the city's shopping and entertainment centers for several years. And the World Wide Web has confirmed that if you want to create the same beauty in your garden, anyone can, and not only a resident of the south of Russia.

Cold is not a hindrance

“There is a lot of information on this topic on the Internet, especially in English,” says Anatoly Marchenko. - It turned out that even in a cold climate, many types of palm trees can be grown outdoors. For example, they grow outdoors in the northern US state of Utah and in Stockholm, where it is much colder than Krasnodar. I started reading forums, delving into different nuances, and eventually did the same for myself.”

He started by planting five different kinds of subtropical palm trees in his dacha. Such a scatter was required primarily for the experiment. The goal was to check how each of the plants will show itself, because in any business there are difficulties in the transition from theory to practice. Anatoly Marchenko does not hide the fact that only one of those five palm trees has survived to this day, while the rest died for various reasons. But now he knows exactly what to do and how to do it. Now exotic beauties grow without problems not only in his country house, but also at work. The man admits that he planted three palm trees near the gas station in Khadyzhensk in order to attract the attention of motorists.

Anatoly Marchenko warms palm trees in winter with a luminous tape. Photo: From the personal archive/ Anatoly Marchenko

Choice in favor of the locals

Ideally, it is better to take on this matter following the example of Anatoly Marchenko, that is, having previously studied the issue. But for the first steps, the basics that he shared should be enough.

Start by choosing plants. According to the man, most palm trees that grow in the subtropics (not to be confused with the tropics) are suitable for central and southern Russia. For example, he himself grew species such as trachycarpus fortune, small sabal, squat hamerops, butia, washingtonia. Their advantage is the ability to withstand frost for a short time. The record holder for this indicator is the porcupine palm, which tolerates up to minus 30 degrees. But still, it’s better not to risk it, because hypothermia can spoil the appearance of even a “hardened” palm tree. In addition, much depends on the condition of a particular plant.

“It is important where it came from,” explains Anatoly Marchenko. - For example, palm trees from Europe are weaker than those grown in Sochi. We still have quite an extreme climate for them, so they are more hardened and adapted. I mainly bought local palms, although I also have one Italian that also fits. She spent the winter in Sochi and withstood minus 13 degrees. At the same time, she had normal leaves, while other similar palms had all of them burnt. That is, there are many nuances and you always need to look, choose.

Anatoly Marchenko planted this palm tree near a gas station in Khadyzhensk to attract customers. Photo: From the personal archive / Anatoly Marchenko

He also emphasizes that the age of the plant is of great importance. If the palm tree is very young, then one should not expect special frost resistance from it, no matter what species it belongs to. Therefore, given the fact that they do not grow quickly, it is better to take larger and older specimens.

Agrofibre - the key to success

According to Anatoly Marchenko, in Krasnodar adult palm trees of the most frost-resistant species are able to survive some winters without protection at all, because severe frosts do not happen often in the city. But it is unlikely that with this approach, these plants will retain a beautiful appearance for a long time, for which they are needed. That is, in order for a street palm tree to please the eye, you must always cover it for the winter. To do this, first of all, you need a special material that works on the principle of sportswear.

“There is no ready-made recipe for this,” continues Anatoly Marchenko. - For example, in one place you need to take into account the wind, in another - the rain. But in any case, ninety percent of success is the material. It is necessary to use agrofibre with a density of at least sixty. It removes moisture so that the plant does not rot, and at the same time retains heat. But the use of cellophane is a 100% way to death. Under it, on warm sunny days, the plant fades, as if under a magnifying glass. And if frost hits later, then everything that is rotten will freeze. Cellophane is definitely not suitable.

Before wintering, the leaves of the plant must be tied together and wrapped at least twice with agrofibre. You will also need to make a tent from this material to the size of a palm tree, the base of which can be knocked down from boards. Since the agrofibre gradually passes water, the structure must be covered from above with oilcloth from rain. For a greater insulating effect, the box is dug in with earth from below, and it is recommended to pour sawdust, straw or leaves higher around it. There are various other little tricks that make the wintering of the plant much easier.

Anatoly Marchenko has been helping for several years to save palm trees in Krasnodar's Avrora cinema from destruction, which are in danger due to building renovations. Photo: AIF / Alexander Vlasenko

Anatoly Marchenko recommends filling the winter "houses" of palm trees with five-liter bottles of water. Their number is selected depending on the size of the plant, but in principle, the more the better. Water helps create a more even microclimate inside the box. When it freezes, it gives off a lot of heat, and when it melts, on the contrary, it takes away its excess. If you paint the container black, the effect will be even stronger. But you don’t need to put everything directly on the ground, so as not to interfere with the rise of heat from it. The ideal option is to hang the bottles inside the box.

"Stove" from a light bulb

For Krasnodar, the described methods of insulation in most cases are enough. But even in the south, they may not be enough when the plant is young or if it is not among the very frost-resistant, like the same date palm. In this scenario, you will need to make a heating system. Anatoly Marchenko uses an old-fashioned luminous ribbon made on the basis of ordinary light bulbs for this. It fits perfectly, but it's no longer being made, so other people will have to look for alternatives.

Before wintering, palm leaves should be tied together and wrapped several times with agrofibre. Photo: From the personal archive / Anatoly Marchenko

“An American who grows palm trees in an almost arctic climate uses ordinary 100-watt light bulbs for heating,” says Anatoly Marchenko. - I think one lamp per plant is enough. And it needs a regulator to prevent overheating. For this, a thermostat of underfloor heating is suitable, which is set to a temperature of 7-10 degrees. It's not very convenient with light bulbs, but so far I don't see any other alternative, because everything else will overheat. To anyone who wants to make such heating, I want to remind you of the safety measures. In humid conditions, you have to be very careful with electricity.”

He himself now grows six palms: three are in his dacha and the same number at work. Plus, for several years he has been voluntarily helping to save palm trees in the Aurora cinema from death, which are in danger due to the repair of the building. Moreover, a man easily copes with such a number of "wards". Since everything has already been debugged for him (in addition to automatic heating, there is also automatic watering), then you need to make efforts only twice a year: to cover the plants in winter and open them in spring. Anatoly Marchenko hopes that the dissemination of this information will help make not only people's backyards more beautiful, but cities as well. At least, in his opinion, it would be quite possible to plant a whole palm alley in Krasnodar.

See also:

  • A scientist should not starve. Biologist on how ideas turn into business →
  • There are fish here... there! Why is it more profitable to grow carp than piglets? →
  • Efficient gardens. How to increase fruit yields in the Kuban →

Krasnodar Territory gardening councils

Next article

You may also be interested in

  • Landscaping with your own hands. Palm trees grew in the Krasnodar courtyard
  • In Sochi, after a snowfall, palm trees are saved from death
  • For the benefit of myself and others. A resident of the Kuban created a business by breeding worms


How to protect indoor plants from the cold in winter

Indoor plants can freeze in a warm apartment - unbelievable, but true. In winter, when it's cold outside, our green pets on the windowsill have a lot more problems than in the summer.

Green human companions

Indoor palms, ferns, dracaena, cacti and ficuses are just a small part of those green favorites that can be found in many apartments and houses. In Germany, for example, about 50 million euros are spent annually on indoor flowers. In my opinion, there are enough reasons to provide proper care for the plants in the winter. Indeed, despite the fact that indoor plants are protected from extreme external influences such as frost and snow, winter is still the most difficult time of the year for them. And, first of all, due to the fact that most indoor flowers come from the tropics and subtropics, which are more or less suitable for the temperature conditions of our apartments and houses, but insufficient lighting in winter becomes a real problem for them. “5-6 hours of daylight in winter is not enough for normal plant growth and development,” explains Markus Gregg, member of the Bundesverband Raumbegrünung und Hydrokultur, the federal association for indoor gardening and hydroponics in Bonn, Germany. In addition, it negatively affects indoor plants and dry air, which occurs during the operation of central heating and other heating devices. To ease the hard winter life of your green pets, you need to pay more attention to them and take certain steps.

In winter, a favorite plant can die from prolonged contact with cold glass, despite the comfortable air temperature in the room. Therefore, for safety reasons, it is better to move the plants away from the outer frame.

How to choose the perfect place?

In winter, we have to reconsider the location of indoor plants. They should take full advantage of the small amount of daylight that is present during the cold season. Therefore, move the plants closer to the window. Even those that grow successfully on the north side in summer can suffer from a lack of light in winter. If in summer the south window is contraindicated for the absolute majority of indoor flowers, then in winter it will be extremely suitable for almost all plants in winter. Curtains and blinds tend to block out daylight. Therefore, make sure that they do not become an obstacle to sunlight.

In winter, do not block the flow of light with curtains
Better open the curtains, raise the blinds so that the mean winter light can fill the room as much as possible.

There is never too much sun in the first half of winter. Therefore, the only thing that can cause danger to plants is water drops on the leaves left after watering. They act like a lens, multiplying the effect of the sun's rays. As spring approaches, when the sun becomes more intense, you need to be much more careful. “At the end of February or March, houseplants located on a south window can be in danger of sunburn,” warns Marcus Gregg. In this case, it will be better to keep the plants on the west or east window, and arrange them so that the leaves do not touch the window glass.

In winter, plants lack natural light
Most indoor plants prefer a bright location, so, first of all, in winter, the plants must be rearranged closer to the window.

Can houseplants freeze in the apartment?

At first glance, the question sounds absurd. However, in winter, indoor plants are at risk of dying from the cold. “If the leaves of your flower touch the cold surface of the window for a long time, they become soft and freeze,” says interior landscaping specialist Marcus Gregg. At a distance of a few centimeters, the plants will be safe. On the one hand, window sills, where sunlight gets the most, are the best option for placing indoor plants, but, on the other hand, green pets will not be very comfortable here in winter. We can say that the flowers are between the "hammer and the anvil": from below comes the heat from the batteries, and from above - the cold from the window. In such an unfriendly environment, our green pets feel very bad, as a result of which they can shed their leaves. The same danger awaits plants if they stand at an open window for a long time in frosty weather or are in a straight line from the window and door, that is, in a draft.

Cold air coming from below can cause a lot of damage to plants. "Poorly insulated stone or marble window sills can cause plants to become chilled," explains Olaf Beier, specialist at the Berlin Bundesverband der Einzelhandelsgärtner. He advises placing wooden coasters on cold window sills, or placing plant pots on felt linings. Irrigation water that has drained into the pan must be immediately poured out, since cold "wet feet" from excessive watering of plants in winter is the cause of root rot and the appearance of diseases.

And, in the end, indoor crops can die from hypothermia as a result of exposure to cold air currents from airing the apartment. “Once a fern survives winter airing stress at least once, it will gradually turn yellow and eventually drop its leaves,” explains Karen Falch, a specialist from the Saarland Horticultural Academy in Lebach. Therefore, in winter, during airing, it is recommended to take the plants out of the room or move them at least away from the window.

It is worth noting that a slightly cool room in winter will not harm indoor crops, since at this time of the year most of them have a dormant period. The main thing is to avoid sudden changes in temperature.

The floor may be too cold or too warm.

Plants standing on the floor have their own problems. Both too cold and too warm floors have a bad effect on their condition. In both cases, flower pots are recommended to be placed on stands, at a height of at least 15 cm from the floor, so that air circulates between them and the floor.

Optimum humidity level for indoor plants

In heated rooms, indoor plants are protected from frost and cold. However, due to heating, the air becomes too dry, as a result, insufficient air humidity increases transpiration and evaporation of water from the substrate, which can lead to desiccation, which is fatal for plants, primarily for tropical ones. In such cases, regular spraying of the leaves will help, as well as placing the plants on pallets with wet sand, moss, peat or expanded clay. In no case do not increase watering. Excessive moisture in the substrate in the pot leads to mold and subsequent rotting of the roots.

Warm, dry indoor air can cause indoor plants to be attacked by pests such as spider mites and scale insects. In order to respond quickly, you need to check your plants regularly. A sticky liquid on the leaves and stems indicates damage to the scab, small, like dots, lesions on the leaves are a sign of the appearance of spider mites. In the early stages, a hot shower will help get rid of pests on your favorite plants. If this is not enough, appropriate preparations should be used.

Plants suffer from dry air. “Optimal relative humidity is in the range of 40 to 60%,” says Gregg. The most common method of increasing the humidity around plants is by spraying with a mist sprayer. The plants will thank you for showering with warm, lime-free water if possible.

From time to time, have a bathing session in the bathroom of all your green pets. “It's also a good idea to pick up a large planter that fills the bottom with gravel and water so that the plant doesn't have direct access to water,” Falch says.

Spraying houseplants
Indoor plants suffer greatly from dry air. So they won't mind showering with warm water. As spring approaches, be careful not to leave drops of water on the leaves, which can cause sunburn.

How often are houseplants watered in winter?

As a rule, in winter, during the dormant period, plant growth slows down or stops, at this time the plants need less water, and they are watered much less often than during the growing season. However, the frequency of watering is determined by the physiological state of the plant and external conditions: air temperature, soil and air humidity, light intensity, moisture capacity and friability of the substrate, pot sizes, etc. It is desirable that watering be uniform - without sharp transitions from strong drying to waterlogging.

Learn more