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It's fall and that can be scary if you are a gardner. Yes, freezing can kill everything in one fast frost if you aren't prepared. What about what's going on inside your house though? How do you prepare for that?

Plants thrive indoors in the spring and summer but in winter they tend to dry out and die.

Part of the problem is that indoor humidity levels drop considerably when you fire up your heaters. Dry air can be a killer to houseplants, especially if you have some that are tropical (most are, by the way). Tropical plants need humidity to thrive.

Here are some way to help keep your plants green and growing, adding a touch of spring and summer to your cold surroundings over the fall and winter months.

Wipe them down
Just like your pores nothing good comes out of them if they are clogged. Accumulated dust on the leaves clogs the pores making it hard for plants to breathe. Just wipe them down with a damp cloth as part of a routine.

Water plays a crucial role so get a spray bottle and mist them. Ideally 3 times a day but once will work. It's no wonder people talk to their plants -- it's a lot of contact. Remember these plants need humidity so if you have some type of water feature in your home (like a waterfall) that you can place them by it will help you cut back on having to constantly mist them.

Let it shine
Sun is crucial to plants' well-being.The angle of the sun changes a great deal in fall and winter. Those plants that were basking for a few months are probably living in the shadows now. Move plants that require bright light to a new location and let it shine down on them. Also it's a good idea to turn them every couple of weeks so they get light on all sides evenly.

No fertilizing
The growth process slows in the winter so just wait until spring.

The killer
Even though you need to mist them and wipe them down you don't want to soak them. Over-watering is the number one killer of household plants. Because they grow slower you don't even need to water them as much as you do in the warmer months. You may find that you can cut back on the frequency of your watering schedule by half or even two-thirds.

Be nice -- nobody likes cold water thrown on them. Use water that's slightly tepid, rather than cold,

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