Showing love to forgotten house plants
It’s easy to forget about your houseplants as they go dormant over winter, but the arrival of spring signals the start of growing season. It’s around April when your forgotten houseplants start actively growing again, so they need plenty of attention to get them back to their best. They’re probably drooping, browning a bit and just looking slightly sad. The good news is that it doesn’t take much to be a good plant parent and get them back to being happy and healthy. Just make sure that your plant is actually alive by checking for any green parts or roots that show signs of life.
There are a few different signs that your plants need a bit of TLC. If you see yellow leaves, it’s most commonly a sign of overwatering. Check for leftover water in the pot or saucer underneath. They won’t turn green again, so trim any yellow leaves with secateurs or sharp scissors, wiping the blades with surgical spirit between snips. If they’re turning brown, you have the opposite issue - your plant is thirsty and too dry. Remove brown leaves and start spritzing with a plant mister every day. If the foliage looks a bit dull or the leaves look bleached, it can mean the plant is getting too much light. Try moving it into a spot with more shade.
When it comes to watering, you’re coming off the back of the winter months where houseplants don’t need as much. However they now need more in order for them to grow quickly and become strong and healthy. You can’t really create an exact schedule for watering your houseplant. Paying attention to the soil is the best way to know when it’s time to water. The plant will basically tell you, so all you have to do is listen and water to its needs. Check the top two inches of soil. If it feels dry, water the plant.
If you want to give them a little something extra to really set them up for a strong and successful growing season, add fertiliser or plant food to your plant care routine. Watering is really important, but fertiliser and food gives the additional boost of nutrients that they need to maximise growth during the early Spring months. It just needs to be a few drops of liquid fertiliser or plant food when you’re doing the watering, and it only needs to be done once a month. Give your plants a few weeks to recover and start thriving before you begin fertilising.
If your plants have spent a decent amount of time without attention, they’ve probably gathered a fair bit of dust. This can actually impact their growth by preventing photosynthesis from occurring, so some spring cleaning might be in order. Dust them down with a clean, damp cloth. Then consider giving them a new home. If the roots are starting to outgrow the pot, your plant is probably due an upgrade. Keep an eye out for roots coming out of the bottom of the pot, or drooping leaves that are still green. Repotting your plant to a bigger pot will give it much more room to grow - pick one that’s at least two inches bigger than the previous and use fresh soil and compost.