Spring Cleaning: Houseplant Style
The sun is finally breaking through the clouds, putting an end to the snowfall, which means spring is right around the corner for us. While a lot of us are planning vacations, managing to pull off the dreaded spring cleaning, or just enjoying the sun, our plants also need a little TLC during this transitional period. Last year, we wrote a guide on spring care for your plants, and this year we’d like to follow up on that. Read on for our tips and tricks to get your plants prepped for the growing season.
Spring is an ideal time to repot your plants. Most cacti, succulents, and tropical plants grow more during spring and summer than they will the rest of the year. To maximize their growth, it’s best to choose a pot that’s around two inches larger in diameter than the current one; too large, and you run the risk of overly-saturated soil when watering. Too small, and the roots may crowd each other, not leaving space for optimal growth to occur. It’s also important to be mindful when choosing a container for your plants. If you’re planning on keeping plants outside for the duration of spring and summer, choose a container with a drainage hole for when your plants receive a good watering from the rain.
If you ended up moving your plants around during winter to maximize the amount of sunlight they were receiving, now’s a good time to rearrange them accordingly for when the sunlight starts to get stronger. Most tropical, leafy plants enjoy bright, but indirect sunlight, meaning unobstructed windows with a western or southern exposure might be a bit much for them. Keeping them a few feet away is usually best to avoid any kind of sunburn they might experience otherwise. Cacti and succulents, on the other hand, thrive in direct sunlight, which western and southern exposures provide plenty of.
One of the best things you can do for your plants during this time is putting them outdoors, if you’re able. When placing them outdoors for their mini vacation, be sure to slowly transition the sun-loving plants to the direct sunlight outside. Being indoors (especially for the winter) makes plants — even cacti and succulents — susceptible to sunburn when they’re suddenly put outdoors. Try placing them outside in a shaded area to start off with. From there, place your plants in full sunlight for half an hour or so, then back to a more shaded area for the remainder of the day. By increasing their time spent in direct sunlight each day, you’ll start to acclimate your plants to being outside and have a much smoother transition period. Be sure to place them accordingly outside as well. For instance, try to place leafier plants underneath an awning or shady tree rather than in full sun, where they might still experience sunburn even after acclimating to being outdoors.
Spring and summer are always a fun time for both us and our plants. Hopefully these tips have helped you learn how to maximize your plant’s growth under sunny skies. If there’s a question or topic you feel like we might have missed addressing in this post (or if you have any ideas for a future journal topic), feel free to give us a shout down below, reach out to our HELP! page, or come in to one of our locations and chat with us!
Written by: Egan Thorne
Photos by: Emily Kellett