Tips on getting them ready to wake up from their winter rest.
The days are definitely getting longer and in about a month, we will be close to 12 hours of daylight. There is no organism more in tune with this fact than plants, and since your houseplants are the ones that are living and breathing in your homes right now, be prepared to watch them awaken!
Even though you have been diligent, (but not too diligent) about keeping them watered over the dark winter days, there are some other easy things that you can do for your houseplants to prepare for their awakening and foster robust healthy growth.
- Ensure that your watering regimen reflects your indoor relative humidity. That means that if your air is dry, like most homes, water only when the actual pot is light and most likely dry to the bottom, which typically means every week to week and a half. The exception will be if you are lucky to be growing citrus this winter and you should not let those plants dry out, so watering needs to be consistently more often,
- Let the light in! Your houseplants will thank you for getting an early jump on spring cleaning- why not wash your windows inside and out the next sunny day - to maximize the light quality and quantity available in late winter for these plants to photosynthesize.
- While you are at it, gently wipe the leaves of your houseplants to remove that dust build up – especially if you heat with wood as we do. Those precious fiddle leaf figs, split leaf philodendrons, peace lilies and Chinese evergreens (Aglaonema) will look so much brighter and soak up those growing sun’s rays so much more efficiently. Tiny insects such as spider mites like to hide in those dust particles, so this task helps in reducing pest problems from building as well.
- Avoid drafts – Most if not all of your houseplants are tropicals, and nighttime temps can still drop to -15 to -20 degrees C, so please ensure that they are not right next to an unprotected window . Close the blinds or move them further away so that they do not get chilled by a draft or close proximity to a cold pane of glass.
- Is it time to fertilize? Not yet. Just straight water is best right now unless you have a bloom starting on a sansevieria or Aglaonema ( like me) and I will water just once a month with quarter strength of our regular plant food ( Natures Source 10-4-3) on that variety to feed this next stage of development.
- Up-pot priming – Decide which houseplants need up-potting. Start looking for pots about 2 inches larger in diameter for those plants that need a bit more space. If they are used, get them washed and keep handy so that you are ready when you have some fresh potting soil and warmer days to do the messy job in a temperate garage space.
Soon we will be turning our attention to our outdoor gardens, so it is good to know that you have the indoor plants looked after, well ahead of the rush that is SPRING!