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How to Keep Perennial Plants Alive Indoors

By Jenny Harrington ; Updated September 21, 2017

Perennial houseplants are often tropical plants that are too tender to survive in cool outdoor temperatures. Many are evergreen, so they maintain green foliage year around. They bring a touch of natural color into indoor spaces and often are the only greenery available for centerpieces and display during the winter months. Caring for your perennial plants indoors so they continue to thrive is important; the conditions in your home may not be suited to their specific needs without some planning and continued maintenance.

Check the plant tag to see if the perennial is labeled as a low-light or medium-light plant. Place low-light plants where they receive indirect sunlight for four to six hours a day. Place medium-light plants in a sunny south- or east-facing window so they receive at least six hours of sun a day.

Keep the soil at the proper moisture levels. Stick your finger in the soil and water when the top inch feels dry. Water from the top until it drains from the bottom and into the drip tray. Empty the excess water from the tray 15 minutes after watering so the plant has time to absorb what it needs.

Provide humidity to the plants, especially in winter when home are dry. Many perennials require higher humidity levels due to their tropical origins. Fill the drip tray with pebbles and add water until it reaches the top of the pebbles. Set this under the plant so it provides humidity as it evaporates.

Maintain a temperature of 65 to 75 degrees Farenheit for foliage perennials and lower the temperature at night to 55 to 60 degrees Farenheit when plants are flowering. Avoid placing the plants near air or heat vents; the warm or cool drafts dry the plants and change the temperature.

Fertilize plants every four to six weeks with a liquid houseplant feed, following label instructions for application. Apply the fertilizer to the soil, making sure to keep it away from the leaves and stem of the plant, as the fertilizer may otherwise burn and damage them.


Things You Will Need

  • Pebbles
  • Fertilizer


  • Supplement weak winter light with fluorescent grow lights.
  • Fertilize plants in spring and summer when they are actively growing. Perennials don't require winter fertilization, as they are usually partially dormant at this time.


  • There are some pests and fungal diseases that effect indoor perennials. Treat pests and fungal diseases immediately with the proper control to prevent it from spreading to other healthy plants.

About the Author


Jenny Harrington has been a freelance writer since 2006. Her published articles have appeared in various print and online publications. Previously, she owned her own business, selling handmade items online, wholesale and at crafts fairs. Harrington's specialties include small business information, crafting, decorating and gardening.