Maybe you noticed your plant hasn’t been growing that much lately or you just bought a new plant in winter and you are wondering, do houseplants grow all year round? or alternatively, are there any houseplants that do?
Most houseplants slow down their growth in the winter, and some go completely dormant and cease growing as soon as the weather cools down, such Fiddle-Leaf Figs and the Snake Plant. You will almost always see a reduction in growth. Others however, like Hibiscus, continue growing throughout the year and therefore technically grow all year round.
But what if you want to keep your plant growing the entire year, would that be possible or can it even harm your plant:
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Do Indoor Plants Have A Growing Season?
Yes, indoor plants have growing seasons, just like outdoor plants. Most plants slow down when the light levels drop because there isn’t enough energy for them to keep growing at the same pace as they do in the summer or spring.
Usually, the dormant or “rest” season is much more obvious in outdoor plants. They will show they are not growing by shedding leaves and flowers.
Of course, some keep their foliage, but simply slow down their growth.
Your indoor plants will probably respond similarly.
They may lose leaves, or they might just slow down while the days are short and the weather is cold.
As spring begins and the weather starts to warm, they will enter their growing season, and start putting out new shoots.
For more information, I wrote a great article about how indoor plants know what season it is, you can click this link to check it out.
Can You Make Your Indoor Plants Grow All Year Round?
You can make many indoor plants grow all year round. However, you should do a bit of careful research before doing this as some plants need to have a dormancy period in order to remain healthy, and they will die if they are deprived of this for too long. Before you try to force year-round growth, check your plant can handle it.
Venus flytraps, for example, need their dormancy period to survive, and you shouldn’t try to force them through the winter. This is a natural part of their growth cycle and without it, they will usually die.
The biggest factor that causes dormancy is lack of light, so the best way to make plants keep growing is to increase the amount of light they are getting.
A grow light will be necessary for this.
There are many different kinds, so you’ll have to choose one suitable for your plant, but these essentially give your plant the full spectrum of light it needs to keep photosynthesizing and growing.
If you are a beginner and just want to grow your plant faster, this is the grow light I recommend. It’s very affordable and all the features you really need for a few plants.
Also, if you are curious about how much light your plant needs or which type of grow light you will need for your plants, checkout this in depth article I wrote on the topic.
10 Plants That Grow All Year Round
You might be wondering if all plants need to turn dormant to survive the winter, and the answer is that many do – but if you can maintain normal conditions (using a grow light and keeping temperature and humidity levels constant), some may manage without a dormancy period.
Be aware that this is very much dependent on your circumstances.
Plants that may manage to grow all year round in the right conditions include:
Monstera deliciosa (it will need some help from grow lights)
Peperomia plants (which can manage in relatively low light conditions anyway)
Some species of Begonia
Episcia Pink Panther
Some kinds of Jasmine
You should always check a plant’s specific requirements before purchasing it, and remember that even if they don’t go completely dormant, most will have periods in which they grow more slowly.
There are also some plant species, such as the Cyclamen, which tend to turn dormant in summer rather than winter.
It’s important to learn about your plant’s needs to try and figure out when it is most likely to be dormant, and how you can minimize its dormancy period (or if it’s safe to do so).
7 Facts About Growing Houseplants All Year Round
Here are a few things you might be wondering about overwintering plants and how a dormant plant behaves:
1. Do Dormant Plants Grow?
Dormant plants don’t really grow, no. Dormant plants are essentially asleep, so they are not usually growing, or are only growing very small amounts. A dormant plant is conserving its energy for better conditions and focusing on its survival, so it will shut down unnecessary processes – like growing new leaves.
If you are looking at height, leaf size, leaf quantity, etc., your plant will not appear to be doing very much at all.
However, it is still running many internal processes, and just waiting for more favorable circumstances.
Remember that winter is not the only trigger for dormancy, so your plant may be dormant in other circumstances too.
2. Will Grow Lights Make Your Plant Grow All Year Round?
As long as the plant isn’t lacking in other resources, yes, grow lights will make most plants grow year round. Although your plant’s dormancy is triggered by other things, such as lack of warmth or even too much warmth, lack of light is the main reason they go dormant.
Not all plant dormancy is dependent on light levels.
Some plants will turn dormant when conditions are particularly bad for them – a drought can cause dormancy, for example.
However, for most plants, lack of light is a key factor in turning dormant, so a grow light can prevent the plant from going to sleep.
You can persuade many plants to grow all year round by installing a grow light near them and increasing the light levels during winter.
3. How Do Indoor Plants Know It’s Winter?
Indoor plants can feel the change in seasons, and they use the reduced light levels to let them know when winter is coming. Our homes are often drier in the winter, too; we turn on our heaters, and this saps the air of moisture. While we may not notice these small changes int the environment, our plants certainly do.
Based on this changes, most plants will go dormant and grow less if at all.
4. Do Indoor Plants Grow In Winter?
Most indoor plants will go dormant and will not grow in the winter due to lower light levels and lower temperatures. There are some exceptions however. Cyclamens, for example, are winter flowering and will grow and bloom in the colder, darker months. That is because their summers are too hot for them to handle, and winter offers milder conditions.
Many plants will only turn semi-dormant in winter.
They may still grow a bit, but will significantly have slowed down their growth in a response to the colder weather and lower light levels.
If your plants do not seem to be growing much, this is probably why. They don’t have enough light to grow.
If your plant is still trying to grow but struggling for light, it may grow long, leggy tendrils that are both weak and unattractive.
It is a good idea to increase the light for your plant if it’s trying to do this; it isn’t getting enough, but also hasn’t shut down for the winter.
5. Will Watering Your Plant In Winter Make It Grow More?
No, watering your plant in winter will not make it grow more. If your plant has turned dormant, excess water is a bad idea – it can often lead to root rot, as the cold conditions and lack of activity in the plant will cause the water to just sit in the soil.
In fact, it is recommended reducing your watering routine significantly in the winter.
The plant doesn’t need as much to drink even if it is still growing, and there will be a lot less moisture lost to evaporation at this time of year.
Do not increase watering for the winter period unless your plant is getting dried out for other reasons.
You should also avoid fertilizing much (if at all) during the winter.
If the plant isn’t growing, it doesn’t need food, and excessive fertilizer around a plant’s roots can cause root burn – which could kill the plant.
6. Do Indoor Plants Grow More In Summer?
Depending on the species of the plant, indoor plants do grow more in summer. Indoor plants make the most of the long, sunny days in summer to photosynthesize and grow.
They will usually do most of their growing in spring and summer, and most plants will bloom in the summer.
You should increase watering and fertilizing during the spring and summer growing season; this is when a plant will need both food and water in greater quantities to make the most of the season.
Remember that plants need food as well as sunlight in order to grow, so don’t forget to fertilize your plant, especially if it’s a hungry variety.
7. What Month Of The Year Do Houseplants Grow The Most?
Plants grow the most in the the month with the most amount of sunlight – especially if this coincides with a good fertilization routine.
That often means you’ll see the most growth in houseplants somewhere between June and August, depending on your location, and on the individual year.
If you have a particularly wet August but a sunny September, your plant may grow more then.
Growth tends to coincide with favorable conditions and lots of sunlight, not just the time of year.
Although most plants have a growing season, some houseplants do grow all year round, and you can encourage most to do so by giving them plenty of light and ensuring their conditions are good.
Reasonably warm (but not hot) temperatures, a good amount of humidity, and plenty of light are the keys to keeping your plants growing.
Remember not to over-water or over-fertilize in winter, and don’t use either method to try and pull your plant out of dormancy; they will probably kill it!
More light is usually the best way to wake your plant up and encourage it to grow for longer periods of time.