We may not always be successful but for the most part Graham and I are able to keep our plants alive during the winter. We’ve learned some tips over the years on how to make sure your outdoor plants don’t die during the long, cold winter months here in the Chicago area.
- Bring the plants indoors. This is obvious, but they just won’t survive outdoors! We move the planters inside to the place with the most light in our house. We keep them away from too much heat, like a fireplace. If they are next to a window, make sure cold air is not leaking through.
- Notice the temperature of the water. We don’t pour cold water on our plants. Instead we make sure the water is room temperature. We also prefer to use filtered water and not just tap water.
- Let your plants go dormant, meaning don’t overwater them. Some plants won’t need to be watered that much during the winter. Check to see if the soil is dry within a couple inches of the surface and if so, then it could use a little water. Overwatering will cause rot and mold or other issues. You also don’t need to fertilize them.
- Check to see what plants you have and search online whether the plants need special care or a certain temperature.
- Add artificial light. We use a plant light to help our plants stay warm (but not too warm and dry) during the winter.
- Trim them. I don’t know if this helps but Graham likes to trim any yellow or brown parts in the winter to keep them looking nice.
- Maintain some moisture, whether with a humidifier or misting or another method.
Note: We are not garden experts, we just love plants! We have lost some plants from mistakes we have made over the years. If ever in doubt, check with a local garden shop or search online for tips on specific plants. Good luck!