ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Indoor Plants Weathering the Cold

Updated on March 24, 2018
Kenna McHugh profile image

Kenna writes about the care of plants (indoors, outdoors, and in gardens). She wrote an orchid care booklet—a companion piece for workshops.

Source

Humans vs Indoor Plants

The growing temperatures for indoor plants are often determined by the comfort of the humans living in the house and working in an office. Luckily most pants and people are comfortable at the same temperatures. Humans find the temperature range of 60 -80 degrees comfortable. These temperatures are similar to the ones found in the tropical areas that most of tour indoor plants are native to. Although some plants can manage at 50 degrees, if it gets below or too high above the comfort zone they will suffer the consequence.

Source

Microclimate

In spite of the fact that temperature is seldom an issue with our indoor environment, we must be aware of the subtle difference in temperatures throughout the indoor areas. Large rooms, hallways and different exposures along with the doors and windows can affect the temperature of your “microclimate.” Some rooms are cooler or warmer. Even within a room, some areas are cooler or warmer than the rest of the room.

Office buildings sometimes have the temperature turned down on weekends and can cause chilling.

Drafts

Drafts are a problem for plants as well. Drafts that are too cold or too warm can cause dropping of leaves, flowers or flower buds. As a rule, plants can get damage if they are stashed in the corner where heat gets trapped.

Temperature affects the plants in several ways. If a plant is given all the factors needed for maximum growth, but the temperature is too cool, the plant will grow more slowly than it should or cause some noticeable problems.

Cold temperature problems generally show up slowly – unless you are a dracaena, ming aralia, kentia palm, snake plant or aglaonema (silver queen), and even some orchids show signs of being too cold.

Source

Would you adjust the indoor environment so your plants can grow better?

See results

Damage and Injury

In winter, cold damage and chilling injury can occur on window sills, especially when plants are behind closed drapes, the temperature of the air around the plant drops rapidly. It is also difficult to know if your plants are being cold damaged. Plants that have cold damage often have downward curled leaves and/or mottling (irregular coloring, blotching.)

Chilling injury can occur when the temperature is as high as 45 degrees. The outside temperature is very low, and its windy, the window sill temperature can get low enough to cause injury. Although most pants can recover from cold damage, plants exposed to chilling injury will not recover if there is long exposure to low temperatures. When the temperature of the glass is below freezing, plant parts actually in contact with the glass, will be frosted. In an extreme case, plants turn gushy yellow or blackish and disintegrate, rot or melt. To make sure your plant is not open to cold damage or chilling injury, you can touch the leaves and feel the cold they bear.

Source

Winter Season

Office buildings sometimes have the temperature turned down on weekends and can cause chilling.

Since winter comes but once a year, we may only think of cold being a problem during the winter season. In fact, we can face heat problems as well. Heat from heating vents or people moving the shades to get as much direct light as possible can cause heat stress. Leaves may turn yellow because glass from the windows can magnify the heat and burn the leaves. The tips and edges can become dry, as well as spindly or starched growth. But, winter sun is weak and plants, if positioned properly, actually enjoy the sun during the winter.

Internal Problem

Keep in mind that leaves exposed to sunlight may be several degrees warmer than the surrounding air. In this instance, the high-temperature problem is internal to the plant. The most common symptom is wiling. If the temperature is high enough, plants growing in moist soil will wilt. This may lead inexperienced gardeners to overwater a plant wilted due to high temperatures.

Move the Plant

Sometimes the only remedy for the cold and hot problem is simple – move the plant.

When plants are moved during the winter it may mean a trip outside. Always cover the plant with a plastic or paper bag and warm up the vehicle before putting the plant in it.

© 2018 Kenna McHugh

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • Kenna McHugh profile imageAUTHOR

      Kenna McHugh 

      4 months ago from Northern California

      Margie Lyn, Thank you for visiting my article. I have found during the winter months my indoor plants love being moved to new spots. Not quite like going outside and getting fresh air, but the change does them good.

    • Margie Lynn profile image

      Southern Accents 

      4 months ago from the USA

      Kenna, I have a lot of indoor plants and about a month before the weather will let me set them outside on my porch they get pretty sad looking. After they stay outside all summer they are beautiful again and ready to go back inside the house for the winter. Thanks for your great article! I am going to try moving them around like you suggested!

    • Kenna McHugh profile imageAUTHOR

      Kenna McHugh 

      7 months ago from Northern California

      Linda, Thank you for visiting my article. I was fortunate to work with some super-horticulturists who were passionate about indoor plants. They taught me a lot, so I want to pass what I learned to others.

    • AliciaC profile image

      Linda Crampton 

      7 months ago from British Columbia, Canada

      You've described some important things for people to think about if they want to keep their indoor plants healthy. Thanks for sharing the advice, Kenna.

    • Kenna McHugh profile imageAUTHOR

      Kenna McHugh 

      7 months ago from Northern California

      Thank you for the nice comment. Yes. Moving plants away from sources of trouble is a good idea.

    • Sherry H profile image

      Sherry Haynes 

      7 months ago

      Nice tips, especially for those living in apartments. I always overlooked the fact that direct heat can burn leaves. Moving them often could really help.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)