Do Indoor Plants Experience Seasons?

Thursday, December 8, 2022 17:00:09 PM America/Los_Angeles

The indoor plant trend is here to stay, and as they proliferate, plant parents may be wondering if seasons make a difference in the life of a plant. Though the simple answer is yes, the truth is that it really varies depending on the plant, season, region, and other environmental factors. Plants do experience seasons indoors, as they’re still affected by the amount of daylight and warmth of their environment. However, the summer and winter months can be especially different from an outdoor experience, because plants are exposed to the effects of indoor lighting and HVAC systems. 

Photo by Annie Spratt

Location, Location, Location 

The location of an indoor plant will be important throughout the year, as it determines how much light the plant gets in the course of a day. When plant location suggestions are provided such as whether a plant should be in the southeast or northwest corner of a house, it’s so that they’ll get the optimum amount of sunlight.

Many houseplants can go without too much light, which makes them well-suited for living inside to start with. But in summer and winter months, when the weather is more extreme, plants may need to be moved to either increase or reduce exposure to sunlight. Of course, this also depends on the type of plant you’re caring for. Poinsettias, for example, will need a longer duration of darkness than is typical for most houseplants in order to reach their characteristic color. 

Warmth and Heat

Perhaps equally as important as the outdoor weather is its effect on the indoor environment. Air conditioning and heating can make a huge difference in the health of a plant. When it gets hot or chilly outdoors, it’s not uncommon for us to crank up the AC and heater, which can reduce the level of humidity in the air.

Ironically, many of the most common houseplants thrive in high humidity, and using an HVAC can significantly affect the humidity levels inside a home. It would be wise to move plants away from vents during the summer and winter months in which AC or heating is used regularly. 


While houseplants are indeed affected by the seasons, we do have much more control over them when they live indoors. Whether it's moving them around, increasing or decreasing watering, or adjusting the temperature and humidity, there’s a lot that can be done to counter a season’s many negative effects on houseplants. Though caring for them through the seasons may require some knowledge and effort, indoor plants both freshen and warm up an interior with their vibrant leaves, making our humble abodes feel just a little bit more like home. 

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