Spring is the best time of the year for your houseplants – the start of the growing season, your plants will seem to come alive again right before your eyes. They’re excited for warmer weather and longer days, too! Up the ante in your plant care and reap the results in real time.
You might find yourself needing to water your plants more than usual to make up for the increase in temperature and hours of daylight. The best time to water is early morning or early evening, when temperatures are cooler and water is less likely to evaporate.
Remember that overwatering is the easiest way to kill a plant, so make sure to increase your watering gradually, and check on your plant regularly turning this time of adjustment. If they begin to wilt – water and mist more frequently. If their soil is soggy more than a day or two – water less.
For plants that thrive in moderate to high humidity, continue to mist them lightly in-between waterings. If you find yourself now needing to water a plant daily – you can help it retain moisture better by adding rocks to the top of the potting soil, or covering it with a plastic or glass cup in-between waterings.
If you kept your houseplants in a spot that receives direct sunlight for that hour or two during the winter, gradually move them further into a room or draw a sheer curtain during the day. The sun is stronger in the spring and summer, and the daylight hours are longer. Moving them to spot that receives indirect light will help them avoid leaf burn – ouch!
If you’re unsure if the sunlight your plant now receives with the seasonal change is too intense – put your hand in that same area during the middle of the day. If the sunlight is too hot for you, it’s too hot for your plant.
You can help your houseplant by rotating it weekly so each side gets equal sun exposure and nutrients.
*Remember that most cacti and succulents are considered exclusions from these seasonal tweaks – as they prefer dry heat and direct sun.
Do not blast your air conditioning in the direct line of your houseplant! Move plants away from cooling devices that create fluctuations in temperature and humidity levels. Most houseplants are tropical natives and prefer a warmer, more humid climate – preferably between 65-75 degrees F.
Regularly prune off dying or lackluster foliage, which can use up nutrients and water, leaving little for the rest of the plant, and attract pesky insects. Do not allow dropped leaves to collect on top of the soil – which can also increase the chance of plant pests and diseases.
Consider preparing your houseplants to be put outside for the summer. Most plants can be invigorated by a summer outdoors. Here in New York City, late-April is usually a good bet to start the move – or when nighttime temperatures are consistently higher than 55 degrees F. Just be sure to make the move gradual to avoid shock – for example, don’t move a plant from a dark corner indoors to a reflective rooftop outside in a single go!
We recommend placing them in a shadier spot first, followed by light conditions similar to what they enjoyed inside.
Make sure the planters have drainage holes in case of heavy rain, or place them where they won’t be soaked, which – like overwatering – can cause root rot. However, they ought to have a tray to collect water for when it is dry. Shelter smaller plants from strong winds.
Spring is the best time to repot your houseplants. Plants typically need to be repotted every 12 to 18 months – so if you can work it into your spring cleaning schedule every year or two, that’s ideal. A common misconception, repotting does not necessarily mean putting the plant in a new planter, but rather, changing its soil or potting mix. Fresh soil provides the plant with fresh nutrients.
You can find ‘signs you need to repot’, ‘what you need to repot’, and ‘how to repot’ – here!
Fertilization is one of those things that tends to get overlooked by most novices, but it can be quite important for the long-term health of your plant! Fertilizer should be thought of as vitamins for plants – not plant food (as plants make their own food via light and photosynthesis). There are a few rules surrounding fertilization, and even the types of fertilizer that you should use. Find our top 5 tips for fertilization here.