Winter Plant Tips | Part 1

It’s winter here in WI and, as I admitted in the article Volume One wrote about us, I am not a big fan. Your plants probably aren’t either so we’re going to help you try to avoid the planty winter blues… or rather crunchy dry leaves and help you “winterize” your plant setup.

Between cold drafty windows, forced air furnaces or other heaters blasting hot dry air and the overall lack of moisture in the air it can be a tough time to be a houseplant. There are quite a few different ways you can try to keep your plants happy and today we’ll share one that uses every plant parents favorite thing… plastic totes 🙂

If you’ve got a few plants that are really struggling with the lack of humidity, you’ll see the struggle appear as browning and crispifying of the leaves, you can make them a nice little winter home without too much cost or having to remodel anything in your house.


Clear plastic tote(s) – if you don’t have ones with a clear lid you can also use clear plastic sheets, a shower curtain, saran wrap or even a lid to a different tote if you have one lying around. The plants don’t care how pretty it looks.

Also suggested would be a heat mat, grow light(s) and pebble tray.

What types of plants you’re working with and the size of your totes will dictate how you set things up, if you’ve got a lot of taller plants you can put your tote on end and work with it that way or something I like to do is stack two totes as shown below.

Alternatively you can also set up the tote in the way it’s intended which leaves additional room to put a pebble tray in there for extra humidity. A pebble tray is simply a tray with water in it with some pebbles/stones added so that if you want to set plants in the tray they stay above the water line.

Humidity = moisture + heat so you can adjust your setup to get the optimal environment for your plants. If your grow box is sitting near a heat vent then maybe you don’t need to worry about a heat mat. However, if it’s next to a drafty window or in a basement then an additional heat source may be necessary. The nice thing about keeping the plants contained in the tote is that you don’t have to worry about hot air blowing on them directly and drying things out so you have a lot of options to keep your plant babies warm.

As far as lighting goes, you can make do with what you’ve got or look for something that works perfectly for your set up. While full spectrum lighting is the ideal option, to get your plants through winter any light will help. You can get inexpensive grow light bulbs and put them in a regular lamp or get led strip lights or grow lights with adjustable arms…. it will also depend what “color” light you want. We’ve all seen the grow lights that turn everything pink and purple and for some setups (in a closet, basement, out of sight) that may not matter at all. If you have your plants in a room where you’re often hanging out and the purple just doesn’t do it for you then you can find grow lights that give off a more white or yellow colored light.

As a final addition to your grow box you can also put in a little temp/humidity gauge to make sure things aren’t getting too crazy in there.

If you’ve got any questions about your winter setup for your plants feel free to reach out or stop by the shop!