Plant Decor Shop - watering can and houseplants

How Often Do You Water Indoor Plants In The Fall?

New plant owners usually assume your indoor plant watering schedule should be consistent year-round, but the truth is, watering frequency should change with the seasons. Throughout the hottest summer months, your plants require lots of water, but now that temperatures are dipping, you might be wondering: how often do you need to water your indoor plants in the fall? 

Even in a place like California, where the winters are sunny and mild, your indoor plants will still sense a shift in sunlight levels and will enter a period of dormancy. This dormant phase is important for plants to rest and conserve energy before their next big growth spurt through spring and summer. Fall is like the transition period from the active growing season into the dormant season, so you must change your watering practices accordingly.


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What Are The Proper Methods for Watering Plants in Fall?

While there isn't a one-size-fits-all approach to watering plants, the vast majority of houseplants require less water in fall and winter. Don't be afraid to let that soil dry out a bit more; underwatering is much easier to fix than overwatering! 

Say you've got a houseplant you water once per week in summer, like a spider plant or a philodendron. In fall, you can wait longer to water, around 10–14 days. Then, once winter rolls in, you can water even less. This smooth transition will help ease your plant into dormancy and won't disrupt its natural cycles.


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Watering Indoor Succulent Plants in Fall

Succulents like Echeveria and Senecio are more tolerant of dry soils and periods of drought than other plants because they've got those thick, fleshy leaves packed with moisture reserves. Remember, they naturally occur in desert areas, so periods without water won't instantly kill them. 

In summer, if your succulents are getting a lot of bright, warm light and they're growing quickly, you may need to water them once or even twice per week. But by fall and winter, you can gradually reduce the frequency of watering to once per month. 


Fertilizing Indoor Plants In Fall

Adding fertilizer to your plants will help fuel them up to produce thicker, brighter, healthier growth. When they're in a small pot, your plants will soak up loads of nutrients from the soil, and you'll need to replenish those nutrients with fertilizers. However, if you fertilize your indoor plants when they're about to enter dormancy, that can totally scramble their growth cycle! Without adequate time to rest, their new growth will be weaker than a Green Day album post-2010. 

Most plants should not be fertilized from October to February. This will give them enough time to rest up. Stop fertilizing in fall, and when spring temperatures start to rise, you can begin fertilizing again. Water-soluble fertilizer is great because it provides an instant fix of nutrients, and you can simply add it into the jug when you're watering. 


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How To Tell If A Plant Needs Water

Reducing watering frequency is necessary for the fall, but if you're worried maybe you've scaled back too much, keep an eye out for these signs that your indoor plants are in need of some hydration:

  • Wilting leaves
  • Dry, crispy leaf tips
  • Yellowing or browning leaves
  • Very dry soil

Succulents that need water will show some different signs than your typical houseplant. Their thick leaves will start to get shriveled and look dehydrated. Give it some water, and those bad boys should plump back up in no time. 

Want to fill your home with some pretty plant foliage to keep things fresh and vibrant through fall and winter? We've got a wicked selection of houseplants in our online store in California, available for shipping directly to your home, whether you're in chilly North Dakota or sunny Florida.


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