Keep your plants looking happy and healthy this growing season with these expert spring care tips.
If you’ve spent the weekend enjoying the warmer temperatures and sunny weather, you’re not alone. After what felt like such a long winter, the arrival of some spring-like weather feels like a breath of fresh air.
However, as the seasons change and the dark cold days of winter disappear, your plants’ needs will be changing, too. Spring marks the start of growing season, and as the days grow longer, plants that went dormant throughout the winter period will reawaken. And although the growth rate will vary from plant to plant, you should start to see all of your plants produce more new growth in the build-up to summer, when their growth rate is usually fastest.
As a result of all this new activity, you’ll want to give your plants a little extra attention to keep them looking happy and healthy.
Alongside increasing how often you water your plants (the warmer temperatures and increased growing activity will cause their soil to dry out quicker than it did during autumn and winter), there are a number of extra things you can do to prep your plants for growing season and help them to thrive.
To find out more about what you can do to prepare your plants for the months ahead, we asked Richard Hull, Patch Plant’s plant doctor, for his top tips. Here’s what he had to say.
1. Start fertilising again
To set your plants up for a successful growing season, you’ll want to start adding fertiliser – or plant food – to your care routine, to ensure they have all the nutrients they need to thrive.
“New growth can be encouraged by adding a few drops of liquid fertiliser when watering your plants,” Hull says. “This only needs to be done once a month.”
2. Consider repotting your plants
If your plants are showing signs that they’ve outgrown their pots – such as roots coming out the bottom of the pot, drooping leaves that are still green or top-heavy growth – it could be time to find them a new home.
“By adding fresh compost, you will give your plants a boost of fresh nutrients, and by choosing a pot that is larger than the current one by a measure of around 2 inches in diameter, you will give the roots new soil to grow into,” Hull says.
If you use an old nursery pot for repotting your plant, make sure to clean it out first.
“Old nursery pots, especially ones that have previously been outside, may have harmful bacteria or pests hiding in them,” Hull says. “Wipe them down with a cloth and soapy water to ensure they don’t affect your plants’ health.”
3. Prune back dead growth
If your plant has any dead leaves or growth from the winter months, now’s the time to cut that back. If you want to do this properly you should use botanical shears or secateurs, but scissors should do the trick, too.
“By removing dead growth, you will allow light in and give space to new leaves that are trying to emerge,” Hull says.
4. Give your plants’ leaves a dust
If you haven’t given your plants’ leaves much attention since last year, chances are they’ve gathered quite a bit of household dust, which can limit their growth.
“Now is a good time to dust off leaves in preparation for the growth season,” Hull says.
“Any dust that gathered on the least surfaces of larger leaved plants could be blocking light and thus inhibiting photosynthesis. Dust them down gently with a damp cloth.”