Frozen plants in the winter.

How to Make Sure You Got the Right Temperature for Your Plants

Indoor plants originate from all over the world —from both tropical and temperate regions — and this is reflected in the temperatures they require to grow well. Try to match plant and position as closely as possible.

Every plant has an ideal temperature range in which it prefers to grow, and a wider one that it can tolerate. When grown in its ideal range — if all other circuit stances, such as moisture, are also adequate — the plant will thrive, maturing to produce lush foliage and rich flowers. In the range it can tolerate, growth will be slower, foliage harder and darker, and flowers smaller or nonexistent. Outside these ranges, the survival of the plant cannot be guaranteed.

Most plants can survive short-term seasonal changes, such as in winter when central heating is turned on However, they are less tolerant of sudden fluctuations of temperature, such as a draft from a door or window. Since many indoor plants hail from countries as warm as Brazil and Africa, it is understandable that they do not like the cold, and prefer a warm, humid environment. Check the growing requirements on the label before you buy.

Temperature Checklist

  • During the growing season, most indoor plants need to be kept at temperatures of 59—70°F (15—21°C)
  • Plants from temperate regions need a cooler site, at 50-59°F (10-15°C)
  • Young plants and seedlings grow best at 64—70°F (18—21°C), away from direct sun
  • Never site plants directly over sources of heat, such as fireplaces, or near air-conditioners
  • Keep sensitive plants away from drafts
  • Most plants need a winter rest period in cooler conditions
  • In winter, remove plants from the windowsill at night, since temperatures behind drawn curtains are generally colder than those inside the room
  • An unshaded windowsill facing the sun during summer will be too hot for most leafy plants, and even some succulents