I’ve put together 5 Spring Houseplant Care Tips to help your plants thrive in the spring and summer months.
Spring is a great time to start giving your houseplants a little extra TLC. Most houseplants rest in the winter and tend to grow very little, if at all. Because they are not producing any new leaves and stems, they don’t require any fertiliser or plant food during that time.
As they start to come out of their long winter slumber, they may be looking a little bit tired and overgrown. And as the days start to get longer and the weather gets warmer, your plants will need more water, sunlight, and plant food in order to mature and thrive, so it’s important to adjust your plant care routine accordingly.
The watering overwhelm is real.
I’m not going to pretend that I’m perfect here. Re adjusting to watering your plants once or twice a week, along with monthly feeding can be a little overwhelming after a winter where the occasional prod of the soil as you pass by to check that they are still breathing and then watering them every two to three weeks at most, can be a bit of a shock to the system.
I’ve put together 5 Spring Houseplant Care Tips to help you come out of your plant hibernation with all the tools you need so that you don’t lose your mind or any of your precious plant babies along the way.
- It’s thirsty work.
Let’s start with watering. You will need to water your plants more regularly during the spring and summer months, but do not get carried away. The most common cause of dying houseplants is over watering and a soggy bottom can easily lead to root-rot. The amount of water your plants need will vary depending on the type of plant and their location. A plant on a sunny windowsill, for example, will need more regular watering than your shade loving house plants that thrive in the darker corners of your home.
In general, houseplants should be watered when the top inch of soil is dry. An easy way to avoid overwatering is to use a saucer or plant tray underneath your pot, that way the plant can take exactly what it needs and you can easily see when it needs topping back up.
- Don’t let them go to pot.
If or when you should re pot your houseplants is one of the most common questions that I get asked on my Instagram page @the_wooden_hill.
If your plants have been in the same pot for a while, they run the risk of becoming root-bound. This means that the roots have filled up all the available space in the pot and are now getting cramped around the edges. Best case scenario is that root-bound plants can become stunted in their growth so they won’t mature into that big, fabulous leafy plant that they have the potential to be. Worst case scenario is that they will become very unhealthy making them more susceptible to pests. The roots can also strangle and choke the plant, depriving it of the nutrients and oxygen it needs to survive.
To repot your plants, choose a pot that is one size larger than the current pot. Fill the new pot with fresh potting mix and gently remove the plant from the old pot. Badly root-bound plants may require the help of some scissors and a bit of brute force to get them out of the old pot, but do try and keep the roots as intact as possible so as not to cause the plant additional stress. Loosen the roots and then place the plant in the new pot. Backfill with potting mix and then water thoroughly.
- Feed me Seymore.
Houseplants need nutrients to grow and thrive. A good fertiliser or plant food will help to keep your plants healthy and looking their best. You should aim to add watered down plant food to your watering routine once a month during the spring and summer months. Using organic plant food is recommended and for best results, be sure to follow the directions on the label.
- Spring cleaning.
Number 4 in my ‘5 Spring Houseplant Care Tips‘ doesn’t tend to make me many friends on account of the fact that nobody needs yet another cleaning chore to add to their to do list, however, it is really important to give your houseplants’ leaves a good spring clean. Dust and dirt can build up on the leaves, which can prevent the plant from photosynthesising properly.
To clean your houseplants’ leaves, use a damp cloth or sponge to wipe them down. Be sure to avoid getting the dusty water in the plant’s crown, as this can lead to rot or attracting unwanted pests. You may have seen tricks on Instagram which involve cleaning your houseplants’ leaves with milk or yogurt, but my advice is to keep the dairy in the fridge where it belongs…good old water should do the trick.
- Turn things around.
Have you ever noticed that your houseplants lean towards the light? Any time a plant is indoors, it’s always going to direct its leaves toward the best light source. This is actually a natural growing process that helps plants in the wild find the sunlight to photosynthesise.
Unfortunately this can result in some wonky looking plants. To combat this, try to rotate your plants every few weeks if you can. This allows the plant to grow evenly and stops it from leaning over on one side or becoming bare at the back. An easy way to remember, is to try and turn your plants a quarter of a turn every time you water them.
By following these 5 Spring Houseplant Care Tips, you can help your houseplants thrive throughout the spring and summer months. With a little extra care, your plants will remain beautiful and healthy all season long.
Here are some additional things to look out for to keep your houseplants looking lush and green in the spring and summer season.
Check for pests and diseases.
Spring is a time when pests and diseases can become a problem for houseplants. Be sure to check your plants regularly for signs of pests, such as aphids, spider mites, and mealybugs. If you see any pests, take steps to control them immediately. You can use insecticidal soap, neem oil, or other pesticides to control pests.
Look out for signs of stress.
Houseplants can experience stress from a variety of factors, such as changes in temperature, humidity, or light. If your plants are showing signs of stress, such as wilting, yellowing leaves, or dropping leaves, take steps to identify and address the cause of the stress as soon as possible.
It takes time and effort to care for house plants properly. Don’t get discouraged if you do end up losing a couple along the way. Sometimes the hard way is the only way to learn, and with a little patience and care, you’ll be rewarded with beautiful and healthy house plants for years to come.
For more plant care tips, you can read Marianna’s new book ‘At Home with Nature‘.