How To Keep Your Pilea Alive During Winter
Updated: Apr 1
The seasons change, and your Pilea’s needs do the same. In the winter, your house becomes dry, cold and grey, the opposite of the warm, bright and moist conditions Pilea should grow in. Let's discover how you should care for your plant when the temperature starts to drop!
Light It Up
During winter, your house inevitably gets darker, and it's not easy to provide an adequate amount of light to your plant.
Make sure Pilea is getting enough light: don't place it too far from the source of light. Also, gradually rotate the plant every few days to help it grow straight and even.
You can also consider adding some artificial lighting if your home gets too dark. LED and CFL bulbs will work great; choose one that has minimum 1000 Lumens of output, and make sure to place the lamp about 1-3 feet away from the plant.
Keep It Warm
Pilea doesn't like cold drafts: if you’re feeling the chill, chances are that your Pilea is feeling it too!
Pay attention to where you put the plant. Keep it away from front doors and drafty windows, and don't leave it in an unheated porch or garage.
Let It Rest And Do Not Overwater
Feeling sleepy in the winter? Your Pilea does too. Tropical plants usually go dormant from October to February, and this changes the amount of water the plant needs.
You can choose to wait longer between waterings or reduce the amount of water: see what works best for your plant. In any case, don't water your Pilea until the soil becomes dry. Test the soil with your finger: if the top inch is dry, you can give it a shower!
Keep It Humid
Heaters make the air drier, while Pilea prefers humid conditions.
First of all, mist the leaves weekly. Then, you can run a humidifier, or put your houseplants in the kitchen or the bathroom if there's a window nearby. Another method is placing your plant into a humidity tray.
Last but not least, you can decide to group your Pilea together with your other plants: it will raise the humidity level around all of them. It also makes maintenance easier!
Don't Overfeed It
Your plant is doing everything at a slower pace: give it a break. Pilea still needs food during the winter, but less is more. Observe your plant and see if it's better to cut the doses in half. Don't feed more than once a month!
Don't Cry On Dead Leaves
It's common for plants to lose some of their leaves in the winter.
If your Pilea was growing fast but now looks like it has stopped, don't worry. It’s just adjusting to the season change!
Feel free to pinch off a few leaves: it can prevent further leaf loss and encourage new growth.
Make It Shine
During the winter, dust and indoor pollution tend to increase because of closed windows. Your Pilea's leaves can get a reduced amount of light when covered with dust, and since days are shorter, it’s important your plant gets as much light as possible.
Wet a soft cloth with a solution of half lemon squeezed into some water, and gently wipe the leaves. While cleaning every leaf, support it with your hand, so you don’t bend or break it.
Do it every two weeks, and your Pilea will look healthier and shinier!
Pay Attention To Pests
Winter is houseplant pests' favorite season.
Regularly inspect your Pilea. The earlier you find the bugs, the easier you can get them under control, so check the plant often. Ideally, you want to do it every time you water. Pests usually nest on the underside of the leaves and along the stem.
If you find an infestation, treat it immediately with some organic Neem Oil. It may take up to 7-10 days for your plant to recover.
Wait For Repotting
It's better not to repot Pilea during the winter unless it's absolutely necessary.
Wait for late winter or early spring: your plant's roots will expand better with warmer weather and longer daylight hours.
If you're going on vacation but nobody can take care of the plant, move your green friend away from the source of light. In this way, it will use less water, and it won't get dry.
Keeping Pilea healthy in the cold season takes a bit of extra effort, but it’s worth it, especially if you suffer from winter sadness. Taking care of your plant will give you the extra joy you need!
Do not worry if your Pilea doesn't grow as fast as before or doesn't make babies: most houseplants grow slower in the winter.