The prospect of spring here in the UK is a beautiful anticipation. The doldrums of January are behind us and the despair of February is a recent memory. The beginning of March is the start of spring where daylight will increase by four to five minutes a day as we head towards the heady days of summer. I particularly enjoy the appearance of cherry blossoms along our urban streets, the tiny flowers and beautiful colours are another indication of finer times ahead.
With the longer days and gradual increase of ambient temperature, the changes will also be felt indoors. Our house plants have been sleeping, conserving energy and entering into dormancy. They preserve nutrients and prepare soft tissue for the time when the goldilocks zone returns. Being a budding plants man, I find this fascinating, remarkable even. Another example of personality our green friends possess.
In anticipation of this period and in order for them to flourish during spring and summer there are a number of practises we can adopt to help them on their way:
Time to Repot
Underneath the soil surface, roots are also growing searching for new pockets of nutrients similar to us rooting around the Haagen-Dazs for that elusive seam of caramel. So, while the roots are growing and where necessary, it’s a good idea to repot the plant by adding new soil. A rule of thumb is where roots are showing on the surface and the soil is tight, it’s time to repot. Ideally in a pot roughly a couple of inches bigger.
Dead Leaf and Rotate
No this is not a new dance craze but perhaps the plants might think it is. Plant pests are attracted to yellowing or dead leaves so ideally these should be removed. Remove these by hand from the base trying not to pull too hard or where they are stubborn use scissors or pruning shears. Again, where dormant stems are visible remove them with scissors. Where possible and when watering, rotate the plant pot a quarter turn each time. This will encourage growth both straight and true
Water More Frequently
I previously spoke regarding watering frequency and this still applies. However, you will notice the plant using more water as it reaches for the skies. So ideally only water when the soil is completely dry, drenching the plant in the sink and allowing it to drain thoroughly. So, the theory is not necessarily when but if.
During the growing period feeding plants the nutrients they desire will have excellent results encouraging a lush and healthy appearance. However, overfeeding can be detrimental and cause an early demise. It’s easily done with the intention of care proving precisely the opposite, which is why it is essential the instructions are followed to the letter. During this time, it is recommended to fertilize your house plants along with every second watering, again allowing the pot to completely drain and not letting the roots sit in standing water.
Simple tips to encourage complex life!
By Jules from Pretty Green Pots and Plants