There's nothing quite like a vibrant houseplant to brighten up a gray January day.  If your potted plant friends seem to be catching the winter blues, try adjusting one of the following. 

Water: If you keep your house cool during the winter, you may find that you can water less often than you would during the rest of the year.  If you keep your house warm, you will probably need to water more often than usual.  In general, check your plants' soil and water if the soil feels dry.  You can then adjust your winter watering schedule accordingly.   

Temperature:  Avoid placing your plants near heat vents since the dry, hot air can damage the plant. Also avoid positioning plants too close to doors or other drafty spots.  Most house plants are tropical and don't want to be exposed to temperatures below 50 degrees Fahrenheit.  

Light: Since the days are shorter, you might have to get creative to give your plants all the light they need.  If your plants normally sit near a northern window, try moving them to a western or southern window.  You can also use a damp rag to wipe dust off of plants' leaves and maximize their ability to soak up the sun.

If your plants still aren't growing as aggressively as usual even after you've given them some TLC, don't panic!  Houseplants naturally "slow down" in the winter and "wake up" in the spring and summer.  Until you swap out your snow boots for sandals, focus on maintaining your plants' health so that when spring comes, they'll be ready for their next active growing season.

Flora Michler