After a cold and windy winter we're all looking forward to a little warmth, including our plants! If you've been wondering why your plants haven't been popping out many new leaves lately, or why it may be looking a little sad, then spring marks the beginning of better days for you.
In the cooler winter months, our indoor plants may enter a more dormant phase, reducing their growth rate and possibly even looking a little sad. Soil takes longer to dry out between waterings, and it's easy to overwater your plants without realising. Overwatering can also lead to common pests such as Fungus Gnats, which love damp soil and old forgotten leaves (More on how to deal with Fungus Gnats here).
Now that it's getting warmer, it's time to give your plants a good, healthy start to the new season. Here are a few things you can do to give your plants a nice wake up from their winter dormancy:
1. Dead leaves and trimming
The first thing you should do when helping your plants into Spring is to take off any dead leaves, stems, or debris laying on the soil. Give them a nice big clean up and get them back to looking green and healthy. Once you've removed all the dead bits, you can trim your longer vines back a bit to encourage new growth or bushiness, especially if your vines are looking a little lanky.
If these off-cuts contain nodes (easiest to spot by the aerial root bump near each leaf on the stem) then you can pop it in a jar of water and leave it in a bright position for a few weeks to propagate a whole new plant!
If you've had your plant in the same pot for a few years, it may be the perfect time to give it an upgrade! There are two ways to encourage root-growth in your plants; you can pot-up your plant into a slightly larger pot, or you can take your plant out of its current pot, remove the soil and trim the roots slightly, then re-pot back in the same pot.
Plants bought from Leaf&Pot have been potted-up to a slightly larger pot already and will be happy in these pots without re-potting for up to a few years!
Your plants generally don't want or need fertiliser throughout winter, as they aren't trying to grow and the fertiliser can instead burn their roots. Coming into the growing season of Spring however, your plants will definitely appreciate some extra nutrients!
One of the easiest plant food combinations we can recommend is using both a tonic such as Seasol and a liquid fertiliser together, diluted more than recommended to give your plants a nice, gentle feed without risking your root health. Using both will encourage plant health and growth, but don't mistake a plant tonic for a fertiliser! The two should generally be used hand-in-hand.
4. Give them a wash
Your plants may have collected a bit of dust on their leaves over winter, and this can clog their pores and restrict their breathing. Take a soft, damp cloth and gently wipe the top and bottom of all your leaves to unclog the pores and help them breathe.
If you'd like to give them an extra bit of shine, you can use a leaf-shining spray or solution such as white oil or Neem oil, but always make sure they are diluted from their concentrated state. The weaker the better when it comes to Neem oil, as you want to avoid burning the leaves. This will not only make your leaves look shiny and lush, but will also act as a preventative measure against pests!
5. Re-assess the light in your home
As the seasons change, so does the light in your home. With more bright light and the possibility of hot direct sun patches creeping into your home, it's important to check the conditions that your plants are now in and make adjustments where necessary.
Indoor plants generally won't appreciate strong, direct, hot sunlight, and will prefer to be in an indirect brightly lit position. Move your plants around to make sure they're out of any damaging sunlight, and keep an eye out for any leaf burning that may occur. Brown spots and tips can indicate too much sun is hitting your plant, and is a good sign that you may need to move it to a more sheltered position.
Most importantly, make sure your plants are in positions that you can see and enjoy them in each day! Happy Spring everyone!