Understanding the Dormancy of Indoor Plants

Indoor plants are a wonderful addition to any household, providing a touch of natural beauty and improving air quality. However, they do require some upkeep, including knowing when they go dormant. Dormancy is a period of rest for plants, where they conserve energy and slow down their growth. In this article, we will explore when indoor plants typically go dormant and how to care for them during this time.

What is Dormancy?

Dormancy is a state where plants slow down or stop their growth and development temporarily. During this period, the plant conserves energy and resources, and its metabolic activities are reduced.

Why Do Plants Go Dormant?

Plants go dormant due to several reasons. The most common reason is the change in temperature and light conditions. As the days shorten and temperatures drop, plants respond by slowing down their growth and conserving energy. The plant eventually goes into a state of dormancy.

Key takeaway: Indoor plants go dormant during fall and winter months due to decreased light and temperature, and during this period, they require less water, fertilizer and reduced light. To bring them back to life, gradually introduce them to light, increase watering and fertilizing, and prune [any dead or damaged leaves](https://plantly.io/plant-care/dying-vs-dormant-how-to-know-if-your-plant-is-unhappy-or-just-sleeping) and stems.

When Do Indoor Plants Go Dormant?

Indoor plants go dormant during the fall and winter months when there is a decrease in light and temperature. The length of the dormancy period varies depending on the plant species, environmental factors, and care.

Signs of Dormancy

Some signs that your indoor plant has gone dormant are yellowing leaves, slowed growth, and reduced water intake. The plant may also drop leaves or appear wilted.

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How to Care for Dormant Plants

During dormancy, plants require less water and fertilizer. Avoid overwatering, as this can lead to root rot. The plant should also be placed in a cool, dark area where it can conserve energy until the growing season.


Water the plant only when the soil is dry to the touch. Reduce the frequency of watering to once every few weeks.


During dormancy, plants require less fertilizer. Reduce the frequency of fertilizing to once a month or stop fertilizing altogether.


Reduce the amount of light and keep the plant away from direct sunlight. This will help the plant conserve energy and maintain its dormant state.

How to Bring Dormant Plants Back to Life

As the days begin to lengthen and temperatures rise, it’s time to bring your dormant plant back to life.

Gradual Introduction to Light

Start by gradually introducing the plant to more light. Move the plant to an area with indirect sunlight and increase the amount of light exposure over time.

Increase Watering and Fertilizing

As the plant begins to grow and develop, increase the frequency of watering and fertilizing. This will provide the plant with the necessary nutrients to support healthy growth.


Prune any dead or damaged leaves or stems to encourage new growth and maintain the plant’s shape.

FAQs – When do indoor plants go dormant?

What does it mean when an indoor plant goes dormant?

When an indoor plant goes dormant, it means that it is slowing down its growth or activity during a specific period of time. This period is usually triggered by changes in the environment, such as a decrease in light or temperature, which can affect the plant’s ability to photosynthesize and produce food. During dormancy, the plant’s leaves may fall off, the growth of stems and roots may slow down, and flowers or fruit production may stop.

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When do indoor plants typically go dormant?

The timing of dormancy for indoor plants will vary depending on the species of the plant and the growing conditions. However, many indoor plants will go dormant during the fall and winter months, as this is when light levels decrease and temperatures tend to be cooler. Some plants may also go dormant during the summer months if they need a period of rest after a period of active growth.

How can I tell if my indoor plant is going dormant?

There are a few signs that your indoor plant may be going dormant. One of the most obvious signs is a change in the growth or activity of the plant. For example, the plant may stop producing new leaves or flowers, or the leaves may start to turn yellow and fall off. In some cases, the plant may begin to lose its leaves altogether. Another sign that your indoor plant may be going dormant is a change in its watering needs. During dormancy, many plants will require less water than they do during periods of active growth.

What should I do if my indoor plant goes dormant?

If your indoor plant goes dormant, the best thing you can do is to simply leave it alone and let it rest. During this time, it is important to avoid fertilizing or watering the plant as much as possible, as this can disrupt its natural cycle. Once the plant begins to show signs of new growth or activity, you can resume your regular care routine. In some cases, you may also need to provide additional light or warmth to help the plant come out of dormancy.

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Can indoor plants die during dormancy?

It is possible for indoor plants to die during dormancy, especially if they are not given the proper care and attention. For example, if you overwater a dormant plant, it may develop root rot and eventually die. Similarly, if you do not provide enough light or warmth to the plant, it may not be able to come out of dormancy and may eventually die. However, if you take the proper precautions and provide the right environment for your plant, it should be able to safely go through its dormant phase and come back to life once conditions improve.

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