Getting Your Houseplants Ready for Spring
Spring is on the way, and we can finally start looking forward to warmer weather and new growth! As you start to notice buds on trees and flowers popping up from the soil outside, take some time to help your own indoor plants grow stronger this season.
Pruning helps conserve energy that your plants are sending out to dying or damaged leaves so that they can focus on new growth instead.
If your plant has leaves that are droopy, yellow, dried out, or otherwise damaged, cut off the affected area with clean scissors or shears (sterilize them first to reduce your plant’s exposure to bacteria and other yucky stuff). If the whole leaf or stem is affected, cut it off at the base but don’t cut the main stem of your plant! Typically, you should cut at a 45-degree angle.
For succulents, remove damaged or dying leaves from the bottom up, and avoid removing the top of the plant. Oftentimes, if you give your succulent leaves a gentle pull, the damaged or dying ones should easily come off. If tugging them off isn’t your style, you can also cut the leaves from the stem with a sterilized knife.
Repot Your Plants
As the new growing season approaches, spring is a great time to repot your plants to give them more room to grow. Although all houseplants grow at different rates, they will typically need to be repotted every 1-2 years into a pot that is 1-2 inches larger in diameter than their original pot size. Here are some signs to look out for when determining if it’s time to repot your plant babies.
- Roots are growing through the drainage holes.
- Roots are overcrowding the soil and may even be raising the plant out of its pot.
- Your plant has stopped growing or is growing much slower than usual.
- Your plant falls over easily and has become top-heavy.
- You are having to water much more frequently because the soil is drying out more quickly in between waterings.
Cleaning your plant’s leaves will not only make them look better, but it will also help your plants photosynthesize! To clean the leaves of your plants, all you will need is water and a clean cloth. That’s it! Using anything with wax or oils can clog your plant’s pores and make it harder for them to breathe. A gentle dusting with a microfiber cloth can remove dust, and plain water is all you need to give leaves a healthy shine.
As springtime brings longer days and warmer temperatures, your plants know that it’s time to start growing again! Because of this, you will notice that your plants will become a bit thirstier than they were during the winter. This means it’s time to establish a watering routine or increase your amount of waterings to give your plants what they need.
Remember: every plant has different watering needs, so it’s important to learn how to read the signs that they are thirsty. Here are a few to look out for!
- Drooping Leaves: Many plants will droop when they are thirsty, especially Pothos, Arrowhead Vines, and Coffee Plants. When you learn to notice this signal, a little water will perk them right up.
- Fingertip Test: Stick your finger into the soil to the first knuckle and remove it. If it’s dry, water the plant. This test is best for plants that should be watered when the top 1-2” of soil is dry.
- Moisture Meter: You can purchase a moisture meter from a garden center or online to get a more accurate reading of how dry your soil is. This is great for plants that get a little grumpy when they miss a watering, like a Fiddle Leaf Fig.
Each plant has its own water needs, so keep track of their ideal watering schedule using an app or keeping your own personalized list.
Spruce Up Your Plant Collection
As you embrace the new season and start your spring cleaning, spruce up your home with your favorite indoor plants! Get your plants a new pot or stand, rearrange your plant display, or bring home a new plant, like a blooming Easter Lily found in HEB stores this week, to add a fresh touch of lush greenery while you wait for the final spring thaw to come.
Have a Happy Spring!
Good luck with your spring cleaning, and get outside for some sunshine! You need it as much as your plants do.