Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Spring Cleaning Time for Houseplants

This is a great time to reinvigorate your indoor plants. Dust and grime may have accumulated on their leaves. Some could use a good pruning, others may have outgrown their pots. After being cooped up all winter, there’s nothing like spending some time in the warm summer air. It’s great for you and your plants.
Some things you'll need: pruning scissors, potting soil, a soft sponge or cloth rag, some new pots, fertilizer, insect spray, leaf shine. Select a shady spot and give your plants a good bath. Use a spray bottle or watering can (the hose water may be to cold). Gently wipe each leaf clean with your sponge or rag. This is a good time to check your plant's health. You're looking for signs of insect damage or disease. If you find problems, using a triple action product that treats for insects, mites and fungus, will help resolve many issues. Remove any leaves that are stunted or have lost their color. Take time to check the plants roots by sliding the plant out of its pot. Are the roots white or are they black and kind of smelly. Does the soil feel light and fluffy or dense. Are the roots pushed up tightly against the pot.
You may encounter any or all of these conditions.

  If you decide your plant needs repotting, go to the next largest size. Make sure the pot drains. No matter how careful you are, water will build up in containers that don't drain. This is disastrous for your plant! Use a good potting soil. You want the plant to fit in the new container at the same level it was in the old pot, so add soil accordingly. Next, feed your plant with a well-balanced fertilizer (such as 20-20-20). Plants are in a growth mode right now, so feeding them every 7 to 10 days will ensure they have the nutrients they need for the summer months ahead.  Using a leaf shine will restore luster and help prevent dust and grime from settling.  Your plants will benefit from these activities and respond with renewed growth and flowering. 


1 comment:

  1. Very informational post! I wonder if it would be acceptable (for some plants) to use a spray bottle to mist dusty leaves? I have a jade plant, and while the leaves aren't flimsy, I just don't feel comfortable wiping them off with a sponge (especially some of the newer leaves).