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Different plant species produce different types of leaves. Some plants produce leaves or needles that are meant to last for a longer time, while others drop their leaves on a regular basis.
Most houseplants are evergreen. Evergreen species keep their foliage throughout the year. These leaves often cost more resources for the plant to produce, but it's an investment since they then can keep on the plant for several seasons. These leaves will however eventually also drop due to age but not based on what time of year it is.
Semi-Evergreen plants are not as strict in dropping their leaves on a regular basis as deciduous species. They prefer to keep them, but certain growing conditions like a period of drought or cold can make them drop their leaves. They are more opportunistic and try too keep their leaves as long as they can. It can also be species that loose some leaves but not all during a cold period or dry season, or tropical and subtropical species that loose their leaves for a very short period and quickly produce new leaves.
Deciduous leaves and needles are a common strategy for plants that experience seasonal changes. They produce leaves in the beginning of the growing season, and drop them in the end of the season. Most plants do this as a way of coping with winter dormancy in temperate and subtropical climates. It can also be a strategy to cope with a dry period in other climates. Instead of sustaining leaves with water during the dry period, they simply drop them and produce new next season.