How to Care for Houseplants in Spring

Today we will discuss 5 tips for mastering houseplant care in Spring!

While it isn’t difficult, for the most part, to care for houseplants in Spring. There are a few changes that you should be aware of to ensure your plant remains happy and healthy. Let’s jump into it.

Table of Contents

#1 How frequently a plant needs to be watered changes as the amount of sunlight, humidity, and warmth changes

Spring typically means higher light levels for longer periods of time and warmer temperatures. The combination of more light and more heat creates opportunities for plants to begin to grow again (IF they stopped growing in Winter).

Water is used up more quickly by the plant as it begins to grow and possibly flower.

This often means that plants will be thirsty and ready for water a bit more quickly.

We should also observe the humidity levels during spring.

Higher humidity can help the plants to lose less water when they open their stomata (pores on the plant that absorbs carbon dioxide when open and lose a little water through that opening in the process.

Higher humidity can also allow a potting mix to retain moisture a bit longer as it slows down evaporation.

What does this mean for you as a plant parent? You will need to pay closer attention to your plants and use observational skills to determine when to water.

In essence, you are relearning how to care for your plant each time the seasons shift and also as the plant grows and changes over time.

For some people, this adjustment period will come relatively naturally as they are always checking their plants for signs of thirst before watering.

But, if you are a person who waters on a schedule without checking to see if the plant needs to be watered, this might be a more difficult adjustment because your previous schedule may no longer work and can now result in an overwatered or an underwatered plant.

Are you looking for how to know whether your plant is ready to be watered? Check out my post here that dives into exactly what you can do to confidently determine whether your plant is thirsty.

#2 It’s time to resume regular pest checks of our plants

Houseplant pests often start popping up as Spring begins. Why?

  • Pests can have dormant eggs on a plant or in a plant’s potting mix that has been waiting for the right conditions to hatch.
  • Repotting plants into a new potting mix can accidentally introduce pests as eggs can be hiding in the new bag of mix.
  • Some pests, especially spider mites, can come in through open windows and doors as we let in the fresh spring air
  • Pests can come in on cut flowers and fresh fruits and veggies (though this can happen all year long)
  • Pests can enter our homes on new plants as well

Checking plants closely while watering or doing weekly checks of your plants can help to keep a potential pest disaster at bay.

Preventatively treating your plants for pests can also be helpful, whether that is through some type of spray, systemic, or even beneficial insects. Beneficial insects are my personal favorite!

If you need help identifying a pest on your houseplant and treating it, check out this post.

If you would like to learn more about beneficial insects for houseplant pest control, click here.

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#3 Plants are ready for regular fertilizing

If you do not fertilize throughout the winter, then spring is the time to start again!

Many plants begin to wake up in spring and produce new growth as the light levels increase.

To produce the healthiest growth, plants need access to nutrients that they would get naturally in the wild as fallen debris and waste are decomposed. Indoors, however, we must manually provide those nutrients.

Much of the fertilizing advice is to only fertilize during active growth and/or during the growing season (typically March to October for me). However, I’ve noticed that many of my plants continue to grow in the winter and even the plants that aren’t growing in winter are not harmed by fertilizer. As such, I now fertilize year-round – albeit it at a very diluted strength.

Here’s a video from Gardening In Canada, a YouTube channel run by a soil scientist named Ashley. She goes through research that explores whether we should fertilize in winter. You may be surprised at what she concludes!

#4 It’s a great time to repot

If you have plants that are showing signs that they need to be repotted, Spring is the perfect time to do it!

Many houseplant lovers will tell you to purposefully put off repotting until Spring because plants are a little less resilient during winter when they are dormant and light levels are low.

I will tell you honestly that I do repot some plants in winter when they really need it and it’s never been a huge issue. I do try to leave repotting until Spring and Summer for the majority of my plants i\though.

Giving plants a fresh new potting mix and a larger planter (if needed) can be super beneficial in helping your plant to thrive in the growing season.

How do you know whether your plant needs to be repotted? Click here to read a post that goes through 10 signs your plant is showing you that it’s ready for a repot!

#5 Plants are ready for pruning and spring cleaning

Spring is a great time to give your plant a little spa day where you remove any dead leaves, shower off the plant to remove dust collected over winter, and prune or cut your plant back.

Certain plants will continue to grow during the winter but may produce weaker, less compact growth due to the lower light levels. These are often the plants that I trim back in Spring, as well as any others that are getting really big and I want to maintain them at a smaller size.

Pruning in Spring is generally a good idea because the plant has the extra energy from higher light levels to heal those wounds and put out new, healthy growth. It’s also the optimal time to take those cuttings and root them to create new plants if desired.

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