Spring is finally here, and your indoor plants are showing new growth after a months-long period of rest. After emerging from winter dormancy, indoor plants will benefit from rejuvenation and TLC in the form of spring houseplant maintenance. Read on to learn more about caring for houseplants in spring.
Houseplant Spring Care: Repotting
If your plants need a little more space, spring is a good time for repotting them into slightly larger containers. Don’t repot if it isn’t necessary, and keep in mind that some plants are happier if their roots are a little crowded. Avoid too-large pots, as the excess moisture can cause root rot.
How to tell if a plant needs to be repotted? Look for signs like roots growing through the drainage hole, circling the inside of the pot, or growing mat-like over the surface of the potting mix. A pot bound plant may be so packed tight with roots that water runs straight through to the drainage hole.
If you don’t want to move the plant to a different container, you can also repot in the same container. Just remove the plant gently from its pot, trim any damaged or discolored roots, then return it to the pot with a little fresh potting mix.
Give newly repotted plants time to adjust to their new digs by putting them in lower light for a few days.
Propagating New Houseplants In Spring
Repotting is the perfect time to propagate new plants from plants that produce offsets, pups, or plantlets, such as sansevieria, strawberry begonia, spider plants, kalanchoe, and many succulents.
Plants such as philodendron or pothos are easy to propagate by simply putting a healthy stem in a glass of water.
Spring Houseplant Maintenance: Feeding Houseplants in Spring
Feed your houseplants every couple of weeks beginning in spring, using a water-soluble fertilizer diluted by about half strength. If you’ve just repotted, the new potting mix probably has fertilizer mixed in. If this is the case, wait a few weeks before adding supplemental fertilizer. Too little fertilizer is always better than too much.
Spring Houseplant Tips: Spring Cleaning
You may notice brown or yellowing growth in spring. This should be removed because it’s unsightly and also draws energy from the plant. You can also remove long, leggy growth. Trimming the tips of new branches will trigger new, bushier growth.
While you’re at it, wipe dusty leaves with a soft, moist cloth, or put them in the sink and spritz them lightly. Use a pipecleaner or a soft brush to remove dust from African violets and other fuzzy-leaved plants. Dust will block sunlight, detracting from the appearance and overall health of the plant.
Spring cleaning is an ideal time to look for signs of pests or disease. Discard plants that didn’t make it through the winter.