As the warmer weather arrives, your houseplants will be slowly coming out of their dormant phase and will start to produce new growth once again. However, just as you would be thinking about spring cleaning your home, there are also a few things we recommend doing in the run-up to summer to prepare your houseplants for the warmer weather.
In this article, we will take you through our top recommendations for how to prepare your houseplants for summer!
Prune any leggy growth
During the winter months, it’s common for houseplants to become a bit leggy. This is because of a lower light level so it is often unavoidable. You will commonly find leggy growth on trailing houseplants and you’ll see a lot larger gaps between the leaves on the vines.
This leggy growth isn’t damaging to your houseplant we still recommend pruning it for two reasons. Firstly, it’s likely that the leaves are smaller which means they will pull in less light for photosynthesis and not be as useful to your plant. The second reason is purely for aesthetics as it will keep your plant looking fresher.
Adjust your watering routine
You’ve probably now become used to the reduced watering rate that your houseplants needed over autumn and winter. However, now that spring and summer are fast approaching, you’ll need to adjust your watering routine so ensure you’re increasing either how much water you give your houseplant each time, or how frequently you are watering.
The warmer weather will dry out the potting mix faster and your houseplant will need more moisture than it did in winter so this is a crucial one.
Clean the leaves
Although we always recommend cleaning your houseplants’ leaves at regular intervals throughout the year, make sure that you are giving them an intense clean in spring. You want to make sure that you remove any dust or dirt from the leaves to maximise the light exposure and aid photosynthesis.
Depending on the delicacy of your plant, you can either use a feather duster or a cloth to wipe across the leaves.
Begin your fertilizing routine
If there’s one rule to fertilizer that you remember it’s to never feed your plants in autumn and winter. This is the dormant period and you won’t be seeing much (or any) new foliage during these months. Feeding your houseplants during this time can be more damaging than beneficial so hold off until spring to start again.
There are a few different ways you can fertilize your houseplants but we prefer the liquid fertilizer method. It’s a great way to control how much you are feeding them.
Alternatively, you can use fertilizer sticks or pellets that you add to the soil.
Repot if rootbound
Spring is the best time to repot your plants (if they need it) because the warmer weather will hopefully enable them to grow into the new pot. Always check for signs of your plant being rootbound in spring and increase the pot size if they are.
Signs that your houseplant is rootbound include roots coming out of the drainage holes at the bottom, roots popping out of the top of the pot, roots being tightly coiled and a lack of new growth during spring and summer.
One thing to note as well when repotting your houseplant is to not choose a pot that is a lot bigger than the previous one. Not only does this increase the soil to root ratio which increases the risk of root rot as the soil takes longer to dry out, but it can actually cause your plant to become unstable.
Refresh the soil
Spring is a great time to refresh the potting mix for your houseplants which boosts the nutrient level. This is an optional one but still something that we recommend doing at least every other year.
Over time, your plant will suck the nutrients out of the soil in its pot, so refreshing it helps to increase the nutrients that your plant has available to them.
When refreshing the soil, replace one-half or two-thirds of the overall volume with fresh, high-quality potting mix.
Those are our main recommendations for ensuring that you are preparing your houseplants for the warmer weather. By following these steps you’ll often be rewarded with large luscious growth throughout the sunny months and will go a long way to keeping your plant happy and healthy.