Acclimating Plants


The environment of your space will vary vastly from that of a nursery greenhouse, garden centre, plant shop, or your friend’s home. Even specific areas within your own space can have their own unique microenvironments—think of the different conditions around your kitchen windowsill, bathroom vanity, or an office desk. Air quality, humidity, temperature, drafts, and light sources are the main variables that affect your plant’s performance.

Acclimating House Plants

 Photo Credit: @leoeye


Where was your plant before? Was it happy and thriving there, or struggling? Think about how moving your plant might positively or negatively affect its growth. How much light did it receive? Which direction was the light source? Most plants adapt to and are happy with eastern sunlight exposure. Try to place your plant in the most universally pleasing space, so it can not just survive, but thrive.

When you bought the plant, what kind of environment was it in? Humid greenhouse? Try acclimating it to your bathroom. Outdoor garden centre? Try placing it in a warm bright room, sunroom, or a south-facing windowsill.

Things to avoid:

  • Stagnant air: Plants enjoy proper air flow and quality air—just like us.
  • Drafts: Will the plant be exposed to drafts, perhaps from a nearby duct? Plants don’t like to be subjected to dramatic temperature fluctuations.
  • Temperature extremes: Will your plant have to endure chills from a nearby window or door? To ensure proper health, avoid temperature extremes. Chances are, if you’re comfortable your plant will be too!
  • Improper natural light: Offices are the worst culprit with fluorescent lighting and limited natural light. Be mindful of the light requirements of your plant. Low-light plants usually survive in synthetic light, but they may grow more slowly. If natural light is limited, consider purchasing grow lights.
  • Inadequate drainage: This point is key for plant newbies. Until you get a feel for your plant’s watering requirements, it can be challenging to know how much water is enough and what overwatering can look like. We often over-care for our plants and this tends to lead to drowning them. Knowing your pot has proper drainage holes provides room for error and allows you to better learn your plants’ needs.

As a general rule of thumb, your latest addition can take about two weeks to adjust to its new home. You might notice subtle struggles, but with the knowledge provided above, you’ll be better equipped to give your plants the best care possible in your unique conditions. Have patience and experiment with different strategies when troubleshooting your plant. As plant fanatics, there is nothing more satisfying than seeing your green friend thrive under your care.
Good Luck!

Acclimating House PlantsPhoto Credit: @innayatsun