The Complete Guide to: Autumn Indoor Plant Care

A guide on how to care for your indoor plants during the Autumn seasons of September, October & November.

Plants are at their most active during the Spring & Summer months in which the abundance of light and warmth promotes growth. As we approach the cooler months, our plants begin to slow down, and thus we must make a few small changes to their care.


Indoor Plant Light Requirements During Autumn

Autumn brings with it shorter days, which means less daylight for our plants to soak up. If we’re lucky, September can be a relatively sunny month with darker evenings not setting in until mid October. Summer plant care can continue into September until you notice the days getting darker, colder & less sunny. 

When the days do begin to get shorter, it is best practice to move your indoor plants closer to a window or source of light, allowing them to get as much daylight as possible. Particularly plants that are sun-worshippers. Some plants can happily live in the shade, such as the ZZ Zamiifolia, Cast Iron, and some Ferns.

During these months of transition, it is best to judge the weather and light conditions yourself depending on your location. Here in the Northern Hemisphere, the days tend to get shorter in October. However September is a month you will need to judge yourself depending on the weather.


How much water to give your plants during Autumn.

Watering can be cut down in October. Watering frequency is best judged by the amount of light your plant is receiving. Less light will always mean less water for your plants. A gradual reduction is best. You can reduce the amount of times you water your plant, not the amount of water you give them.

Pay attention to how the soil feels, you can test it with your finger tips. Only water when the soil is beginning to feel dry. Succulents will need to dry out completely before watering.

Test the soil every 5-7 days, then when it is time to water, give it a good soak until you see plenty of water coming out of the bottom of the pot. Individual plants have different watering requirements, so it is best to be aware of your plant’s needs.

At Clay, we provide a care guide for each individual plant, that will specify its requirements.


Should you feed your plants during autumn?

Feeding your indoor plants during the Autumn seasons can vary. If we are experiencing a particularly sunny, warm Autumn (September, early October) then you can continue feeding your indoor plants, whilst tapering off as we approach cooler weather and shorter evenings.

As a general rule, October will see shorter evenings, meaning we can stop fertilising our indoor plants completely. Plant food is best used when the plant is growing; feeding it at any other stage may overwhelm the plant, and lead it to its demise.


As the temperatures get cooler outdoors, we begin using central heating again indoors. This isn't a huge issue for most plants once they are kept a reasonable distance from radiators, fires and stoves. It's true that plants prefer humidity over dry heat but most can withstand the effects of central heating once they are not completely overwhelmed by it. A safe two meter distance from a radiator will suffice. 

Scientifically speaking, heat rises, creating a pool of dry heat around your ceiling. For this reason, we recommend moving plants that are kept up high (on a tall shelf or hanging), so as not to overwhelm the plant with heat. 

Equal to central heating, indoor plants are not equipped to deal with very cold temperatures. Indoor plants will not be happy if kept in a very cold room with no heat at all, we advise moving them to a space that you would be happy to sit in with no coat on!

Stick to this general guide and your indoor plants will survive the Autumn months with ease.

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Words by: Clay: The Contemporary Botany Company

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