Spring Plant Care
The vernal equinox just occurred, the sun is peeking out, and I’m finally not upset about losing an hour over Daylight Savings Time. Spring has sprung!
This is one of the most exciting parts of the year for me from a houseplant standpoint. The weather gets warmer and the days get longer, and your plants are starting to come out of their winter sleep. It’s time to grow, my green guys and gals!
With this new growth comes incorporating plant care duties we may have scaled back on during the winter. Here are some essential spring houseplant care tips to help you keep your plants healthy and happy.
One of the first things you might want to do in the spring is repot your houseplants. Over time, plants can outgrow their pots and the soil can become compacted, making it harder for roots to absorb water and nutrients. If you notice that your plant's roots are starting to circle around the bottom of the pot or water doesn’t seem to absorb into the root ball as well as it used to, it's time to repot.
When choosing a new pot, aim for one that's only slightly larger than the current pot, no bigger than two inches. I’m all for go big or go home, but when it comes to plants, you actually don't want to go too big too soon. This can lead to overwatering, root rot, fungus gnats, and other problems. Remember to loosen the root ball when repotting, especially if the roots are tightly bound together. Gently tease the roots apart with your fingers and remove any dead or damaged roots.
Line the bottom of the new pot with a proper potting mix for your plant, place the plant in the new pot, and fill in the extra space. Easy breezy.
Spring is a good time to start fertilizing your houseplants again after a winter break. When choosing a fertilizer, look for an equal ratio of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium (NPK). Nitrogen is important for leaf growth, phosphorus for root development and promotes blooms, and potassium for overall plant health. By using a balanced fertilizer, you're giving your plants everything they need to grow and thrive. Of course, if you’re well-versed in fertilizing and know your plant’s specific needs, keep on keeping on.
If you're looking for recommendations to get started, we love Good Dirt's Plant Foo! When applying any fertilizer, follow the instructions on the package. Pre-mixed liquid fertilizers are great, but a concentrate is a wonderful option as well. Aim for an organic fertilizer (sorry, no Miracle Gro).
You might have noticed the lighting changing in your space as we move into spring and summer. As the sun moves higher in the sky, the amount and intensity of light your houseplants receive may change.
If your plants are not getting enough light or are getting too much, you may need to move them. Some houseplants can be acclimated to the outdoors, but not all. It's important to acclimate your plants to their new conditions gradually. If going outside, start by moving them to a shadier spot for a few hours a day, gradually increasing the amount of light they receive over a period of weeks. Chat with a shopkeeper at Bark & Vine if you’re unsure whether your plant will be happy in an outdoor environment.
Recheck your watering habits in the spring! Along with lighting changes, you’ll probably have to make some changes to your watering as well.
With warmer temperatures and longer days, your plants may need more water than they did during the winter. Be mindful of your plants needs, look for cues of under-watering (wilting, yellowing, crisping) and over-watering (mushy stems, yellowing). Check the soil regularly - a hygrometer will be great here.
Pest Prevention and Treatment
Just like we become more active in the spring, so do pests. Prevention is always the best medicine, so if you don’t have a prevention treatment or regimen, now is a great time to start one. Horticultural oil will give your leaves great shine while also suffocating pests. Just spray the leaves and wipe down with a microfiber cloth! It’s a great option for plants that are especially prone to spider mites.
If you do notice pests on your plants, Captain Jack's Deadbug Brew is a great product for treating them. It contains spinosad, a natural compound that's effective against a wide range of pests, including thrips, and mites. Follow the instructions carefully, and be sure to treat your plants in a well-ventilated area. (Bonus: this product is safe for use around pets!)
Spring Plant Care at Bark & Vine
So there you have it, folks! Spring houseplant care doesn't have to be complicated. With these easy updates to your plant care routine, your plants can thrive this season. Remember to size up gradually when repotting, use a balanced organic fertilizer, acclimate your plants to new light conditions, and check your watering habits regularly. Pests? They better not even try us this year. But if they do make an appearance, you can always treat them.
To help you get started on your spring houseplant care journey, we're putting the entire store on sale through Sunday, March 26th. Use code SPRINGPLANT20 at checkout or shop in store for an automatic 20% off your next purchase! (Some exclusions apply; contact us for details.)
Get everything your plants need and treat yourself to a little something - candles, books, decor, pet supplies… We've got everything you need to help your plants (and you!) thrive this spring.