Many customers have asked what, if anything, they should be doing for their houseplants now. Well like us, after the winter many houseplants will need a spring treat to get them back into full health!
As the days are getting longer, plants will start to actively grow again. So most of them will need more water than they needed in winter. Always make sure you use tepid water as cold water can be a shock to plants. As plants start to grow they’ll also need a good feeding with a fertiliser – one high in potash for flowering plants and one with a balanced mix of nutrients for foliage ones. You can either use a liquid fertiliser and feed every 10 to 14 days from spring to autumn or – if you tend to forget to feed regularly – use controlled-release fertiliser. These can last for anything up to six months and are a great way to simply feed and forget.
Sadly, pests will be on the increase now so check for these regularly – they tend to hide on the underside of leaves so deal with any you find. You can either spray them with an insecticide or, if you prefer, add an insecticide to the compost. There are also many organic alternatives for sale in our garden centres or some insects such as scale inset can be treated by washing the leaves with mild solution of soapy water.
Now some gardeners think that the best way of improving sickly plants is to repot them. Actually this can lead to even more problems, so ONLY repot if the plant is potbound, so check the rootball first before repotting. If the pot has holes at the bottom you can do this by holding the pot up and seeing if all you can see is roots, equally you can give your pot a little tap and gentle pull the plant out. If the roots are swirling around the edge in a tight ball then it’s time to repot. Many flowering houseplants will flower better if they are potbound, so be sure that repotting is essential before attempting it. When you do repot you should go up in pot sizes gradually.
Finally, clean the leaves to remove any build-up of dust or grime, although this shouldn’t be done for plants that have furry or hairy leaves. Cleaning is best done with a damp sponge. We stock all the products you need to have happy, healthy houseplants so come in for further advice and assistance.