As the long-awaited spring finally arrives, it brings with it a sense of vitality and renewal. Bathing in the bright, rejuvenating sunlight, the whole world is coming to life, bursting with vibrant colors and energy. It is a magical time for plants as they start to awaken from their winter slumber dormancy and enter a phase of active growth. This period of increased growth and development is also an exciting time for plant owners, as it presents new opportunities to boost growth, enjoy blooming and propagate their indoor gardens.
Caring for houseplants in spring, however, requires a different approach than in other seasons. To maximize the benefits of the spring season, it's important to understand the specific needs of your plants and adjust your care routine accordingly. There are several factors to keep in mind which we will discuss shortly in this blog post. With proper care and attention, your green friends can thrive and grow, bringing beauty and joy to your home throughout the spring season and beyond.
[Acclimate and Prepare Your Plants]Acclimate and Prepare Your Plants for Spring
During the winter, most houseplants enter their dormancy and stop growing to save energy. The warm temperature and bright sunlight of spring are important signals for plants to enter their active growing phase. However, any sudden change in the living environment would cause a shock to houseplants. By taking time to acclimate your houseplants, you'll ensure a smooth transition to their active growth phase and set them up for a healthy and thriving spring season.
Direct sunlight is the best for any plant if it is not too harsh or intense. Spring sun is a blessing for all living things after a long, dark winter, so don’t let your houseplants miss it. Start with giving your plants a couple of morning sunlight daily, and gradually increase the time your plants are exposed to direct sunlight, but make sure you protect your beloved green friends from the scorching afternoon sun.
If you want to move your houseplants outdoors, keep in mind that they need to adjust to the wind, temperature, and humidity as well. Begin by placing your plants in filtered sunlight for an hour or two a day, gradually increasing the time over the course of 1-2 weeks. Keep a close eye on your plants for any signs of stress or damage, such as wilting or discoloration, and adjust their exposure time accordingly.
In winter, the lower sunlight levels and colder temperatures slow down photosynthesis in houseplants. As spring approaches and the days become longer and brighter, houseplants naturally increase their photosynthetic activity to support new growth. To help your houseplants make the most of this growing season, it's crucial to give them a thorough spring cleaning.
Pruning and trimming: Pruning and trimming your plants in spring is essential for encouraging growth and maintaining their shape. Remove any dead or yellowing leaves, and trim back any overgrown branches. This will help your plants to look their best and encourage new growth. Make sure to use sharp, clean tools and only remove what's absolutely necessary.
Clean the leaves for better photosynthesis: To improve your houseplant's photosynthesis, it's important to clean the leaves to remove dust and debris. This allows your plant to absorb more light and carry out photosynthesis more efficiently.
Clean your windows and doors: Cleaning your glass windows and doors also do wonders in helping your indoor plants receive enough lighting. A weekly cleaning to remove dust is recommended.
Most of the growth of the year happens in spring-summer time. During the growing season, houseplants have very specific care requirements that you need to keep in mind to optimize their growth.Light:During springtime, it's important to provide adequate lighting for your houseplants to support their growth and overall health. As the days get longer and brighter in spring, be mindful of the intensity of the light your plants receive. If the sun is too intense, it can scorch the leaves, while too little light can cause the leaves to become pale or drop. Rotate the pots every few days so that different parts of the plant can have the same amount of lighting exposure.
Water: The amount of water houseplants need depends on their growth rate and photosynthesis process. During the growing season, with a warmer temperature and more lighting, plants need more water, but it doesn’t mean that they like to sit in wet soil. Most houseplants love moist but not soggy soil, so make sure you water only when the topsoil is dry to the touch. Adjust the frequency of watering based on the moisture level of the soil. Good drainage is always your top priority to prevent root rot. Remember to use only room-temperature distilled or rainwater to avoid temperature shock. Don’t forget to mist the leaves often to increase humidity levels and keep the leaves clean.
Repotting: Springtime is the best time to repot, as your plants can bounce back from the transplant shock easily. Repotting boosts growth because it gives your plant more room to develop. Choose a pot that is one size larger than the current one with at least 1 drainage hole and made from a porous material like concrete, terracotta, or ceramic. Inspect the roots for signs of root rot and damage. If they look healthy, gently loosen them with your fingers before placing your plant in its new pot.
New soil: When you repot, don’t forget to use only clean, fresh soil. Different types of houseplants may require slightly different soils, but they all need well-draining soils. Generally, a mix of potting soil, peat moss, and perlite is a good choice for most indoor plants.
Fertilizer: Houseplants undergo renewed growth in the spring and therefore require more nutrients. However, each plant has different nutrient requirements. Some plants may require more fertilizer than others, while some may not require any at all. Typically, a diluted houseplant fertilizer can be used once or twice per month during the spring and summer seasons, following the manufacturer's instructions. For a sustainable and eco-friendly option, organic fertilizers like compost, manure, or fish emulsion can also be used.
Blooming: Many houseplants produce flowers during spring-summer. To encourage blooming, you can try to increase the amount of light exposure, temperature, and humidity level, and give your plants some fertilizer. Regular pruning and pinching back unwanted stems also help to produce more blooms. During the blooming time, don’t forget to remove dead or wilted flowers and stems to redirect energy toward new growth and new blooms.
The growing season in spring is the perfect time for propagation, as the success rate is much higher. Here are some common methods for propagating houseplants:Stem cuttings: This is one of the most common ways to propagate houseplants. Cut a healthy stem from the mother plant just below a node and remove the lower leaves. Place the cutting in water or potting soil and keep it in a bright, warm spot. Roots should start to grow in a few weeks.
Leaf cuttings: Some houseplants, like succulents, can be propagated from a single leaf. Remove a healthy leaf from the mother plant and place it in potting soil or water. In a few weeks, roots and a new plant should start to grow from the base of the leaf.
Division: This method works well for houseplants that have multiple stems or a clumping habit. Gently remove the plant from its pot and separate the stems or clumps into individual plants. Replant each division in a separate pot with fresh potting soil.
Common ProblemsDealing with pests and diseases: Spring can bring new growth and vigor to your houseplants, but its warm and humid conditions can also bring an increased risk of pests and diseases. Be on the lookout for common pests like mealybugs, spider mites, and scale insects. In addition, be sure to check for signs of plant diseases like fungal diseases, root rot, and powdery mildew then take steps to treat them promptly.
Environmental stress: Springtime can be unpredictable. The weather can have drastic changes and frost and coldness can linger. Make sure you check the weather before bringing your plants outside and protect them from sudden changes in the environment.