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Wake Up Your Houseplants With These 5 Tips

by Kari Trail Butz 08/30/2021


Image by Engin Akyurt from Pixabay

Warmer weather and longer days mean that dormant plants are waking up. Annual plants both outdoors and indoors will show fresh growth for the first time in months during springtime and some may require some specific maintenance to start the new season fresh. This is especially important for indoor plants in small containers or in areas where the light and temperature might not be ideal.

Here’s how to help your plants “wake up” for spring:

Re-pot or Upgrade

Re-potting doesn’t mean you have to change pots entirely. Usually, re-potting just refers to adding fresh soil to the pot and doing some basic root maintenance. Regardless of the size, your plants will probably show growth both in the roots and above the soil. Check to see if your plants are going to need more space. If so, move them up a pot size, but be sure to do so gradually. It’s best to only increase the size of the pot by 1 to 2 inches so that the plants can remain mostly root bound.

Prune and Trim

It’s likely that your dormant plants either wilted or lost some leaves over the winter, but that doesn’t mean they’re dead. Spring is the perfect time to clean out the browned, withered or broken plant matter so that they have plenty of room to grow new leaves and stems. You can safely cut off any leaves that are yellow are brown. You can also remove any long, drooping stems to space for new ones.

Clean and Dust

Plants with large leaves collect a lot of dust. If it’s been a while since you last inspected, they might be due for some careful cleaning. You can clean leaves gently with a damp paper towel or sponge—just make sure it’s not too wet. Wiping away accumulated dust and other particles will make sure the leaves get as much light as possible and ward off some pests and fungus.

Feed

Hibernating plants are going to wake up hungry, especially if you have stopped or drastically cut back on adding fertilizer over the winter months. Now that your plants are going to need active nutrients again, it’s a great time to add some fertilizer to give them a boost. Just be careful not to over-feed. Plant experts recommend diluting liquid fertilizers even more than instructions on packaging will suggest.

Move

Are your houseplants still in the best potential spots? Consider relocating them for optimal sunlight and temperature. With longer days in springtime, the south and west sides of the home will get much more light than in the winter, making these windows your new high-sunlight zone. If you have tropical plants, move them out of the direct sun and swap in the cacti or succulents. Identify the best spots for air flow now that you might open windows more often. You can also move some plants outside once it gets warm enough as this can help promote growth.

Every plant has different needs, so it’s always a good idea to consider each one individually. However, these tips should apply to practically any indoor plant and ensure they start the new season in the best possible condition.

About the Author
Author

Kari Trail Butz

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Kari Trail Butz (pronounced Boots)

[email protected]