Time to wake up those sleepy pants!
It's not just us that bloody love longer days and warmer temperatures, your houseplants!
As living, growing beings, plants of all kinds will have periods of growth and dormancy, and as you might expect, most will choose to do their resting in the cooler months when there's less light. This is particularly true of many of the houseplants we know and love, who hail from my tropical climes than old Blighty.
For some, dormancy just means slowing or stopping growing entirely, whilst others may completely drop all their leaves. Alocasias and oxalis are the usual culprits for this - it may not happen every year, but if it gets particularly chilly or they're in a darker spot of your house, you might find yourself left with what appears to be a pot of soil! If this is you, hopefully you didn't chuck it out, because those leaves will be right back soon!
Believe it or not, plants generally WANT to grow, so as soon as they get the signal that the sun is making longer appearances again, they will naturally start to do their own thing and wake up (think of the smell of some lovely breakfast lulling you out of bed on a Sunday) - but there are lots of things we can do to help them on their way (oh, is that fresh coffee you can smell brewing too?).
These are must do tips for getting your houseplants fighting fit for the growing season ahead:
1. Clean up their act!
Get the duster out and give those leaves a clean. This will help even more of that delicious sunlight reach them and get them doing their thing. We use Plantsmith Perfecting Houseplant Care Mist, which not only cleans but also aids growth, deters pests and helps boost plant health for improved growth and resilience, but a water mist will also work in a pinch!
2. Thirsty work
Your plants will have needed less water over winter and you (hopefully) responded accordingly! But now they're starting to get more active again, it's time to readjust your watering schedule again. We're not talking about drowning the poor things though - as always, take it easy and listen to what your soil and the rest of the plant is telling you. Our rule of thumb for most plants is to stick your finger in, and if the top 1cm of soil is dry, it could probably take a drink.
3. New digs
Time to refresh that soil! Now that Spring is here, you can start to think about repotting plants and giving them some fresh soil to top up their nutrients and give them some more growing space. We recommend doing this every year for younger plants, and every couple of years for more established ones. Not ready to repot? Just a top dressing of some fresh soil will help.
4. Feed me Seymour!
Another way to get a little extra juice in your soil is with plant feed. We steer away from this over winter, as when your plants aren't growing they can't do anything with it and it can cause nutrient burns (brown edges on your leaves? It could be this!) As plants start growing again, you can gradually reintroduce a bit of feed every few weeks. Fortunately, most plants aren't looking for your blood a-la-Little-Shop-of-Horrors, a nice nitrogen and phosphorous rich feed will do just fine. We like Botanopia's Complete Organic Plant Nutrient which does the job nicely!
5. Location, Location, Location
Feel like 2022 wasn't the year for your plant? Maybe it needs some new scenery. Try a different spot. Read our Right Plants for the Right Rooms guides for some inspiration!
6. Breathe new life
If your plant is really on its last legs (or if its totally flourishing and you want to make some) then Spring is the perfect time to propagate! There's some great tips in How Not To Kill Your Plants 👀