Spring Houseplant Care

Friday, May 14th, 2010 by Jenny Watts
    • Flowering dogwood trees are blooming now to help you choose a beautiful small tree for a focal point in your garden.
    • “Topsy Turvy”®Tomato and Pepper Planters are a fun and convenient way to enjoy these popular vegetables hanging right outside your kitchen door.
    • Enjoy the bright yellow colors of goldfinches outside your window by putting up thistle feeders for them.
    • Prepare for planting season! Turn in cover crops and do a soil test if your garden had trouble last year.
    • Flower seeds can be sown directly in the garden now. Cosmos, marigolds and zinnias will give you beautiful flowers all summer.

Spring Houseplant Care

Spring is a time of growth for houseplants. Plants start to wake up from their winter rest, and begin to grow faster as the day-length increases. This is a great time to catch up on needed plant maintenance, such as repotting, fertilization, and propagation. Here are some tips on spring houseplant care.

As houseplants begin to show increased growth in the spring, you can start fertilizing them more frequently. Do this slowly at first then increase the frequency and dosage of fertilizer as the weather warms. Be sure to follow directions on the container, as each type of fertilizer works differently.

Re-potting is best done during the springtime, so that plants will have the opportunity to grow into their new pots. When repotting, choose pots that are only an inch or two bigger than the existing pot. Choosing one that is dramatically larger will result in a large volume of soil that stays wet for a long time when you water, because it is not full of roots to take up the available water. This may encourage root rot, so smaller is better.

Houseplants may need to be watered more frequently since they dry out faster when light intensity increases. During this cool, damp spring they may require less water, depending on house temperatures, but as daytime temperatures increase, watering needs increase as well. Keep an eye on your plants, especially those unforgiving ones like Nerve Plants, orchids and ferns.

Spring is also a great time to take cuttings, and to propagate some of your favorite houseplants. Take 4 to 6 inch cuttings from vigorous, healthy shoots. Cut just below a node (where a leaf is attached) with a sharp, clean knife, and root in water or moist vermiculite.

Some plants may have become leggy over the winter and now is a good time to give them a trimming. This will encourage new growth so that they can fill out and be more bushy and attractive.

Give your plants a thorough grooming by removing dead and dying foliage. Take this opportunity to look for insects, especially if the leaves look mottled or pale. Treat plants for any problems you discover.

Most houseplants will benefit from being moved outdoors during the summertime. They should be placed in a semi-shady place where they will be protected from wind and sun. They will need more frequent watering outdoors, so check them daily in hot weather. Fertilize them monthly, and check occasionally for insects or diseases that may attack them outdoors. Remember to move them indoors by mid-September before the cool weather returns.

House plants make a beautiful addition to any indoor space, adding color and texture to the room. As you gain experience caring for your houseplants, you will enjoy them more and more.