These Are the Best Places to Store Your Plants in Winter

You might be skeptical about our first choice, but hear us out.

Nurturing a collection of outdoor plants can be fulfilling and gratifying—until winter hits. Even if you follow all the outdoor plant survival rules, your plants in containers or planters can take a beating during the colder months. If you're a cautious plant parent (and have the space), you likely bring your plants indoors to ensure they'll survive the season. But indoor plant storage can be tricky.

Plants are, in the most literal sense, dirty. No matter how pretty your planters are, they likely get caked in dirt, leaves or petals, dust, and mud from watering. It's fine when they're outdoors for most of the year, but when it gets cold, and you bring your planters inside, they bring that dirt in with them. Here are three solutions for when you need to bring your outside plants in, plus tips on how to store them.

In the Bathtub

What is the best place to store plants in winter to avoid a mess? The bathtub. It sounds unorthodox (and maybe a little crazy), but hear us out.

If you don't use your bathtub often, putting that empty space to work as your plant center for a few months makes perfect sense. The tub can contain all the dirt, water, and other debris. Once those planters go back outside, the bathtub is easy to clean. Even better, it looks amazing. And if you have pets or little ones in the house, keeping plants safely out of reach in the bathtub is a safe option, too.

We first stumbled upon this smart idea at the West Elm Holiday House, a collaboration between West Elm, StreetEasy, Sherwin Williams, Leesa Sleep, Sonos, and more to display top holiday decorating ideas in a made-over New York City apartment. The primary bathroom in the Holiday House featured a bathtub overflowing with potted plants that gave the whole room a lively, jungle-like feel. In the midst of winter, when you're chilly and gloomy from the lack of sunlight, wouldn't it be nice to preserve some space in your home for tropical greenery?

In a Rarely Used Sink

Alternatively, a rarely used sink can also serve as an excellent spot for storing your plants during the winter. If you have a large standing shower, you can even set a thirsty plant in the driest corner. And if you keep indoor plants all year long, there's nothing wrong with keeping them in the bathroom, especially if you really don't use that tub. The goal is to keep the (inevitable) mess contained and the plants alive. And if it also comes with a little decorative flair, all the better.

In a Vertical Planter

No spare tub or sink? You may still want to avoid setting your planters on a hardwood floor or carpet. The fact is, they're bound to leave behind some not-so-pretty rings when you move them back outside.

In that case, consider investing in a vertical planter to create a living wall. This gorgeous (not to mention trendy) design element can enhance any room as long as it gets some sunlight. We recommend a vertical planter like the YardCraft planter ($154,, which holds eight 40-pound bags of soil, or the Tribesigns black wood planter ($209,, which features hooks for hanging plants.

Tips for Storing Plants in Winter

Different types of plants have varying light, temperature, and water needs. Call your local nursery for the best indoor care strategy for your plants, but here are some general guidelines for ferns and tropical plants.


  • Before bringing it inside, spray the fern with water to remove insects, dirt, or loose pieces of plant.
  • Place the fern in a sunny window.
  • Water the fern daily, keeping the soil moist but not waterlogged.
  • Mist the leaves often to maintain a humid atmosphere.

Tropical Plants

  • Before bringing it inside, spray the tropical plant with water to remove insects, dirt, or loose pieces of plant.
  • Trim the leaves.
  • Place the plant in a sunny window (artificial light works, too) and away from heating or air-conditioning vents.
  • Water a tropical plant about once a week.
  • Keep the temperature between 70 F and 80 F during the day and between 55 F and 65 F at night.

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