Winter Temps and Tropical Plants


Indoor tropical plants

Ahhhh, the cool and crispness of the air as winter is getting closer! Some people love the colder weather because it gives a nice break from the summer heat and means they get to enjoy the leaves changing colors, wearing boots and scarves, and warming up by the fire with a nice cup of hot chocolate!

What people do not realize is that colder temperatures are also a great time for tropical plants – as long as they’re properly cared for. Tropical plants need care as well as the winter comes! Even though tropical plants love the warmth of the sunshine, rainy days, and high humidity, these still do very well indoors as the temperatures outside have dropped. Interiorscape designs use tropicals inside our homes and offices, especially when it’s cold outside, in part because everything outside is dreary and grey! People LOVE tropical plants inside because it brings a sense of warmth, tropical weather, and a well-needed contrast of beautiful greenery inside that reminds them of warmer times!

To make the best of your tropical plants inside during the winter, here are some tips on how to care for your tropicals and help them cope on the inside while it is cold outside:

Generally, the ideal temperatures for tropical plants are between 65-75 degrees Fahrenheit, and anything below 50 degrees can start to cause problems. It is smart to avoid keeping plants near heat sources or cold draft areas. Drafty areas should be avoided with delicate tropical plants. Instead, try some cold tolerant varieties, like Norfolk Pine, Aspidistra, Ivies, Holly, Sago, and Chamaerops Palm varieties.

Lighting in the winter months is reduced (by as much as 40-50%), so keep this in mind with placement. Moving plants closer to a window exposure may not be possible, so to help them cope, you may add some artificial lighting to the area – fluorescent is a good choice.

Many plants do not exhibit the same growth during the winter months, so watering needs are often reduced during the cooler months. To check, poke your finger into the soil about 2 inches or so if the root zone feels dry, if so then water, let the soil dry out in between waterings. Keep the specific plant’s watering needs in mind as you adjust this basic rule of thumb for each situation.

Humidity is equally important to tropical plants, as there ideal humidity level is around 40-50%.  Cold weather temperatures outside and heaters on the inside can be very drying to plants in the interiorscape. Most buildings and homes are only at a 5-10% humidity level during this time. Humidifiers can help to raise the humidity levels. If using a humidifier is not possible, consider improving the humidity with a sprinkling, misting, or spritzing the plants. This easy step can be vital to their success.

We are monitoring your weather and taking steps to protect your plants in transit. We know to box or double sleeve, and often staple the top of the sleeves, during these colder times to protect the foliage of plants as they are moved from off the truck and delivered to you. Even a short amount of time to frigid air can cause cold damage to exposed foliage. When in doubt, box the plants or double sleeve and staple.

You should also be watching the LTL truck line delivery schedules – the holidays change the delivery schedule for your shipments. Ensuring that you have planned ahead for your delivery time reduces the hassle in getting the plants off the trucks quickly and back into temperature controlled environments. Check with us for your truck line’s shipping schedule to be on top of things.

Colder temperatures are the perfect time for tropicals! In Florida, the temperatures are still nice and warm. The plants have been getting plenty of rain and good Florida sun. Call us today to find out what tropicals are available to provide that great tropical look and “warm up” any interior!

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