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March 31, 2022 — 11:48 AM
Spring has officially sprung in the Northern Hemisphere, and that means your houseplants are springing into the season, too. Plants require different kinds of care throughout the year, so to help them transition out of winter, we asked Lindsay Pangborn, a gardening expert at Bloomscape, for her top spring plant-care tips—here’s what she had to say.
When it comes to the health of your plants, a lot can be determined by looking below the surface. As Pangborn tells mbg, root health is critical to plant’s overall health, so you should check them at least once per year—and spring is a great time to do so.
“Be sure the plant’s roots remain bright-colored and firm—not desiccated, slimy, or mushy, which can indicate problems,” she explains, adding, “This is also a great time to evaluate whether you need to re-pot.”
Simply slide your plant our of its planter (gently!) and inspect the roots. “A few signs that repotting is in order include if the roots are creeping along the top of the soil, roots are growing out of the drainage hole, or water rushes through the pot when watering,” Pangborn says.
2. Check for signs of pests & disease.
If you’re looking for your plants to flourish this spring, you’ll want to rid them of any pests and diseases. Pangborn suggests carefully examining the stems and leaves (including the undersides) for any warning signs, such as bumps, splotches, or sunken yellow or brown areas.
“A copper fungicide spray for disease and insecticidal soap for pests are good basic treatments to have on hand, but I recommend identifying the specific problem to be sure you’re choosing the most effective treatment,” Pangborn adds.
3. Take lighting into account.
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The lighting in your home will change throughout the year, Pangborn explains, so it’s important to take that into consideration come spring. (Some plants may not like the more intense rays, while some may thrive with them, for example.)
“Evaluate how the light enters your home and adjust plant placement as needed,” she recommends, adding that in the spring and summer, the sun travels at a higher angle through the sky, there’s more daylight, and trees that are bare in the winter will sprout leaves, blocking sunlight from certain angles.
4. Make sure you’re watering enough.
More sunlight and warmer temperatures mean your plants are likely going to be more thirsty. Plants also often go through “growth spurts” in the spring and summer (which we’ll touch on next), adding to the need for more water.
“You’ll notice this by the soil becoming dry faster, and in order to sustain your plant’s growth spurt, you should begin to water more frequently,” Pangborn says. “Always water deeply and thoroughly, allowing water to soak into the soil until it begins to drain out the hole at the bottom of the pot,” she adds.
5. Keep your eye out for growth spurts.
And last but not least, all of these tips have one thing in common, according to Pangborn: Many plants naturally go dormant in the winter, but some do not.
In any case, the best thing you can do for your plant come spring is to keep an eye on it, and especially watch for growth spurts, so you can make adjustments as needed (like watering more, or moving your plant to a place with more or less light, depending on its needs).
“Since plants and their growth cycles are so dependent on environmental cues, living in a steady indoor environment can sometimes trick houseplants into active growth year-round. Even so, with the changing seasons, your plant will likely experience a growth spurt, so it’s still a great time for a spring spruce-up,” she explains.
This season is all about rebirth, blooming, and growth. And with these tips, your favorite houseplants are sure to thrive throughout spring—and the whole year to come.
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