‘Switch your routine’: How to look after houseplant as they ‘come back to life’ in spring

Houseplants: RHS advises on watering techniques

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Houseplants need less care during the winter months because they enter dormancy, meaning they naturally stop growing and conserve their energy, which they use when the conditions get better. With indoor plants starting to grow again, how can gardeners make their plants thrive this spring?

James Folger, Founder of The Stem, explained: “Hurrah, it’s spring. It is warmer, we’re out and about more and the days are starting to be longer.

“At this time of year, with the rising temperature, your indoor houseplants need a little extra TLC, though all manageable.

“With plants getting thirstier and warmer, it is time to switch your routine a little.

“You’ll find that succulents and cacti thrive in warmer climates, considering they are from hot places, yet some plants, even tropical ones, will need a bit more consideration.

“Overall, plants love spring, as do we. Everything has been a bit dormant over winter, and now your plants will start to come back to life.

“Doing everything right now for your plants will mean a healthy and happy rest of the year too. It is a great time to lay the right foundations in terms of care.”

Houseplants lie dormant during the winter months, which means owners can significantly reduce their watering schedule.

Some plants don’t need to be watered at all during the colder months of the year.

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However, spring is when houseplants need a more frequent watering schedule.

The expert explained: “We tend to hold back a bit in the winter with water and food as it is simply not needed.

“Although do be careful, check the moisture of the soil before watering and in spring, we recommend waiting until the top few inches of the soil are dry.”

When it comes to positioning houseplants, they may have been moved during winter to capture the gentler winter sun.

Some people may have even used an LED light to give their plants an extra boost.

James said: “They will need to capture a little more light now, so placing them next to a window again is a good house.

“Succulents and cacti will love intense direct sunlight but houseplants will not love direct so much.

“Spring is a great time to prune your plant, remove wilted and limp foliage, this will also help to keep your plant pest-free too.

“Those limp leaves sometimes attract flies too so a nice prune will help no end, plants will grow back looking healthier and lush.”

If a houseplant needs repotting, spring is the best time to do so.

According to the expert, they may need repotting every one to two years, when they grow out of their pots.

James added: “Repotting is essentially moving your plant into a larger container.

“Roots will now have more space to grow, and your plant will probably inch up a little taller.

“If you do want to keep your plant the same size, just change the soil.

“This will mean nutrients will still get to the plant and air will keep flowing through the soil.”

Houseplant owners who have had their plant for a year or two should start adding fertiliser to their plant.

According to the expert, “you’ll see your houseplant thrive”.

He added that spring is the best time of the year to start fertilising houseplants with an eco-friendly fertiliser.

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