Steps to Happier Houseplants this Spring
Spring is here and it is one of the most exciting times to be a houseplant parent! Indoor plants generally go dormant in the winter so come spring, you can have more fun with houseplant maintenance and watch your greenery thrive.
Whether you’re looking forward to repotting your plants or giving them fertiliser, here are some tips for taking care of your indoor plants this spring.
Time to repot your plants
It’s repotting season! As the temperatures get warmer, it's the perfect time to move your plants to a new home. Aim to re-pot in slightly larger pots than the current size, so as to not overwhelm your plants roots. It's also great to freshen the soil with additional nutrient-rich organic material and drainage.
Many species actually prefer to be root-bound and some plants don’t need to be repotted. If this is the case with your plant, you can simply take out your plant for a little root trimming.
Dust your leaves
Over winter, your leaves may accumulate dust on their surface. Dust can make it harder for your plant to properly photosynthesise and create energy. It can easily accumulate on fleshy, glossy species such as snake plants and rubber plants and spring is a great time to dust your leaves. All you need is water and a towel to gently wipe away the debris. For tougher buildups, adding a mild cleanser such as dish soap can help.
Whilst cleaning over your plant leaves, check for any bugs on your foliage. If you notice a pest outbreak, spray down your leaves with water and wipe them with neem oil to keep the creepy crawlers away.
Increase watering your plants
The rule of thumb with watering your plants is less in the cooler months and more in warmer months. With warmer temperatures, more water evaporates and an increase in water intake is required for your plant to flourish. Aim to water on a weekly basis and always feel out the soil before getting out your watering can. If the top 3-5cms of your soil is dry and the planter feels light, your plant will likely appreciate a drink.
Include fertiliser to your plants routine
As your plants start to flourish during spring they get bigger. Feed them plant food with extra nutrients so that they’ll grow even stronger. Ease your plant into fertiliser uptake. It’s better to start with less since too much plant food can burn your foliage. Follow the directions on the bottle or package of the fertiliser that you use — you may sometimes need to dilute your plant food. Plenty of different fertilisers exist out there, from slow-release pellets to liquid ones. Many plants can take a weekly fertilising schedule, but some only need to be fed once during the growing season. Spring is also an ideal time to put organic material such as compost into your soil.
Prune your plants
Winter may not be kind to all indoor plants. The cold and drafty conditions may cause leaves to drop. Some plants may even suffer the occasional bout of root rot if the soil gets too wet. Even if your plants reside in a relatively warm area of your house, they might be exposed to drying heaters that cause foliage to dry up and go brown. Come spring, round up all of your plants and give them a proper sprucing for both aesthetic and practical purposes. Remove fallen leaves and cut away desiccated foliage — these may attract fungus gnats! On the plus side, pruning leaves can encourage your plants to grow back fuller and lusher. Cut back your foliage in moderation, of course, but don’t shy away from removing dead and dying leaves.
Bring your plants outside
During the winter, you might bring your outdoor plants, such as succulents, indoors to prevent frost. Plants will appreciate getting extra sunlight and the outside air once the temperatures go up. If you bring tropical foliage plants outside, make sure that they receive partial shade as well. Since tropical plants usually grow beneath trees in forests, they might get leaf burn in full sun.