Springing forward into a new season brings fresh changes and growth. Our indoor plant friends will be waking up after their winter dormancy - which means it's time to bump up your houseplant care routine. Like all of us, they've been looking forward to warmer temps and longer days. Now which way to the beach again?
Just like us, houseplants have internal clocks that revolve around light. Wintertime bring shorter daylight hours, which means many of our beloved houseplants go semi-dormant and don't grow. When our daylight hours increase come springtime, it triggers active growth again, which means it’s time to change up your plant-care routine.
As we shift into spring, it's time to update your plant's routines accordingly. Check on them regularly so that you're all set for a thriving, lush indoor jungle come summertime.
Here are our best tips for spring houseplant care in New Zealand - yay for warmer weather!
1. Dust off that watering can
Since your houseplants are waking up in spring, it’s time to start watering them more frequently than you normally would over winter.
This will help to give them a healthy transition into the growing season. To avoid potentially overwatering your plants during the change of seasons, we recommend you increase your watering frequency little by little.
Check your plants more often during this time of adjustment. If you notice any curling leaves, coupled with dry potting mix, then it's your sign to water more frequently. If the potting mix stays super wet for two days or more, water less. You get the drift - there’s no hard-and-fast rule about how often or how much to water them; instead, it all depends on the conditions of your home.
2. Get those hands dirty and start repotting
Spring is the time to break out the plant tools and get ready to get dirty! Here at NODE we do most of our repotting in spring and summer when our plants are wide away.
Spring is a good time to repot your plants. But remember, repotting does not necessarily mean putting the plant in a new planter unless it has outgrown its current one and needs more space. What's more important is changing out its soil to a new potting mix to provide the fresh nutrients it needs so it can continue to thrive. If your planter is chocka full of big healthy roots, it's a good indication to go up a pot size, usually just a few centimeters at a time.
3. Pruning - out with the old and in with the new growth
As quoted by Marie Kondo, "Discard everything that does not spark joy"
Get rid of those sad-looking leaves. Over the winter, some of your houseplants may have become weak or leggy. It's normal for leaves to have dropped off too. Spring is a good time to get rid of old or weak growth. Trim off any browning, leggy, or dead leaves at the base of the plant. Pruning lackluster foliage gives your plants more encouragement for new, healthy growth and stronger roots. It can also eliminate potential pests.
4. It's time to fertilize again
Fertilizer is not food for your plants: plants make their own food using light during photosynthesis. Instead, consider fertilizer a multi-vitamin booster to help your plant grow and thrive. It replaces essential nutrients in the potting mix that are used up as your houseplants actively grow. In the wintertime, when your houseplants are sleeping and growing a lot, it's important to cut back on fertilizing.
Spring is a good time to begin to introduce fertilizer back into your watering regimen.
Your plants also need more nutrients when they start sending up new shoots and leaves. We are fans of using a houseplant-specific fertilizer like Plant Runner food or Dyna-Grow Foliage-Pro - most of these are concentrated formulas requiring diluting (instructions are always on the packaging). The more a plant grows, the more fertilizer it needs.
5. Spring clean your home and your plants
If you aren’t already cleaning your houseplant’s leaves regularly, now is the time to start!
A clean surface helps plants absorb more sunlight and respire more efficiently. Using a damp cloth with soapy water or some neem oil, gently wipe away the dust, dirt, and tiny particles that have accumulated on your plant’s leaves over time. Everyone loves a glossy, clean look anyways!
It's also perhaps time for you to get organized and sort out your plant shelf, or maybe consolidate all your plastic pots and bags of substrates and keep all your plant tools and kit in one area - trust us, we are guilty of leaving things everywhere, and we mean EVERYWHERE here at NODE. As the light changes, it's also a good time to move plants around the home, especially if you have consolidated them in one spot for winter.
And if there are some plants that have outgrown the space or no longer spark as much joy, maybe it's time to sell them on, do a plant swap with your plant buddies, or give them away to new plant enthusiasts so they can start their own indoor jungle this spring. At the end of the day, just do whatever makes you and your plants happy :)
Did we miss anything? What do you think? Have any spring plant tips to share? Spill!