The days are getting longer and warmer, the birds start singing and flowers begin to bud. Our favourite season is just around the corner - Spring! These lovely longer days don't only make us feel happier, but they also signal your houseplants to wake up from their winter dormancy.
With Spring being one of the most important times of year for your indoor plants' growth, it’s time for you to help them wake up with a little extra care and maintenance to them well on their way into the warmer months.
Here at Bloombox Club, we’re all prepping our plants at the nursery and in our homes following these 5 tips and tricks on how to take care of a plant in Spring. Use this checklist to make sure your care routine is up to scratch and read through some of our top pointers to get your indoor plants ready for those warmer months!
1. Give your plants a Spring Clean
After sitting on the sidelines all winter, your plants have most likely built up a rather impressive dust collection. Whilst dusting isn’t essential during the winter, giving them a spring clean will help them grow and photosynthesise better. Not only is it better for your plant’s health, but it also makes them look plush and green again! After a good wipe down, they’ll look sparkling new and ready for their big growing season.
To clean your plants’ leaves, there are various methods you can use. These are some of our favourite and most practical methods when it comes to how to care for a plant. For best practice, try and clean your plant leaves every 2-3 weeks or when you start seeing dust accumulate on them.
Using a damp cloth:
A damp cloth is perfect for larger plants with a bigger leaf surface area. Run a soft cloth (micro cloths work excellently) under lukewarm water and squeeze it. Hold the leaf with your spare hand to give it some support and run the cloth down the leaf.
If your plant is extra dusty, make sure to rinse the cloth in between wipes. Chinese Money Plants and tropical plants such as Monsteras and Fiddle Leaf Figs are perfect for this method, especially when they get larger!
Hose them down in the shower:
If your plant has lots of smaller and more finicky leaves, sometimes it’s best to just put them all into the shower and wash them. This method is great as you can wash and water your plants all at once - very handy for us plant hoarders!
To wash your plants, make sure to get the water running at a lukewarm temperature before hosing them down. It’s always best to use a mid-strength stream of water to gently wash your plant, as blasting them might damage the leaves. Make sure to also rotate the plants so you get all those sides sparkling clean! Once you’re done, leave them in the shower (or bath) to dry off and put them back in their favourite spots.
Use a duster:
One of the simplest methods, you can just use a delicate duster to brush off excess dust. This method is great for general maintenance, however, it won’t get your plants a good wipe down. Gentle is key here: when using a duster, make sure to be gentle as you can easily damage the leaves with excessive wrist swinging!
2. Repotting: upgrade to a bigger home
As your plants prepare for their growing season, repotting them will help stimulate your plants, give more room to grow into and provide new nutrients to thrive off.
Before you go to repot, check to see if they require repotting. The most obvious signs to look out for is whether the roots are poking out at the pot’s drainage holes, top-heavy growth, the roots are pot-bound and drooping leaves that are still green.
Whilst some plants love to be repotted, others prefer to be root bound. This includes Hoya species, some succulents and many others. If you prefer to avoid repotting altogether, make sure to check out our blog on 12 easy-going plants that won’t require repotting every year!
Bear in mind, when repotting always increase the pot size by a maximum of 1-2 inches. Otherwise, the plant pot may hold too much water and promote root rot.
3. Fertilise: Feed your plants some well-needed nutrients!
As your plants begin to wake up from their winter slumber, they’re going to be rather hungry. Giving your plants some extra fertiliser in early March will help them kick start their growth and provide them with some well-needed energy.
Here at Bloombox Club, we love to use organic liquid fertiliser diluted in water. Typically, most plants prefer a balanced fertiliser with an equal N:P:K ratio, so just look out for what your plants need and feed them accordingly.
When feeding your plants, always go with less is more. Sometimes giving your plant too much fertiliser can have negative effects, such as burning the roots or stunting growth. Mix your liquid fertiliser with plenty of water, pour it into the soil and always avoid leaf contact.
4. Give your plants a haircut
Whilst it's best to avoid pruning your houseplants after Autumn, your plants may be looking a little on the rough side on the other side of winter.
Pruning your green babies is best done in early Spring, as the longer days gives your plants that extra energy boost they need to recover. Not only does getting rid of dead foliage make them look better, but it also allows more light to come in and gives the chance for new leaves to grow.
Start by inspecting your plants and checking for any sad looking, diseased and discoloured foliage. Start by pinching off yellowed, brown and dead leaves from the base, and use secateurs or garden scissors to trim back tougher and stronger foliage.
Sometimes during winter, your plants can start growing taller and leggier, in desperation for more light. If you don’t like this acquired look, and you want it to look bushier and fuller, sometimes the best thing to do is to cut it all back.
Top tip: The best way to promote fuller growth is to cut your plants all the way back to a leaf node, where a new branch or stem can go from. When you’re done, leave the plant to do its thing and watch it flourish!
5. Move your plants to their favourite locations
If you’ve moved your plants during winter, Spring is the time to move them back to their favourite spots! Getting the right conditions will help them flourish and grow to their max capacities.
First, work out what their preferred light and temperature conditions are. Do they love indirect bright light, shaded areas or full-on dazzling sunlight? In general, south-facing windows are great for sun-loving plants, whereas north-facing windows are better for shade dwellers.
South-facing windows are perfect for plants such as cacti, succulents and others such as jade plants and crotons, whereas north-facing is great for golden pothos’ and money trees. Parlour palms, Snake plants, Philodendrons and Monsteras will all tolerate these lower light conditions - so there are certainly options!
On the flipside, west-facing rooms enjoy more sunshine in the afternoon and evenings, whilst east-facing rooms are sunnier in the mornings. These conditions are great for plants that love dappled sunlight, such as the fantastic Fiddle Leaf Fig tree and even most tropical plants.
Now that you have all of our tips and tricks, you can be well on your way to prepping your spring indoor plants - now get yourself in gear and get ready for some Spring prepping!