The big spring clean is not just for decluttering the dreaded ‘messy drawer’ and finally dusting that hard-to-reach corner. Spring cleaning is really important to rejuvenate your houseplants too! Help your plants to wake up from their winter dormancy and grow bigger, brighter, and healthier than ever with our four simple spring cleaning tips!
Start by giving your houseplants a quick spruce-up by pruning away any wilting, fading, or dead leaves and stems with clean shears. This redirects energy to the healthiest parts of the plant so it can produce plenty of vigorous new foliage.
Just like any other surface in your home, plants collect dust over time. As the dust builds up it can block vital sunlight, preventing your plants from photosynthesising effectively. This can weaken your plants and stunt their growth, so it’s really important to clean this dust away periodically, and when better than spring?
Give each leaf and stem a gentle wipe-over with a clean damp cloth (which has not been used for cleaning materials) to let the light back in. For larger plants, it is quicker and easier to give them a hose down in the shower. For velvety textured or fuzzy-foliaged plants which are prone to fungal problems, skip the water and use a clean paint brush.
Spring is the best time to repot your houseplants since it gives their roots plenty of time to settle in and spread out in their new home before the growing really gets going in the summer. But that does not mean that all your plants will need repotting every spring. Most houseplants only want repotting every two to three years, and they will usually let you know when it’s due. Look out for:
- Stunted or slow growth
- Wilting or drooping foliage
- Exposed roots above the soil or protruding through the drainage holes
If you dread repotting, you are not alone! It is fiddly, messy, and can stress our plants (and us) out. But it need not be a stressful ordeal. Follow our super simple guide to take the stress out of springtime repotting:
Lay some newspaper down to catch any soil and gently tap or squeeze the sides of your plant’s pot to loosen it up. Slowly tilt it upside down and guide the plant out, taking care to support the stem.
Once free, carefully tease out any tangled roots.
Fill the new pot one-third deep with fresh potting mix, place your plant on top, and gently pack soil around the roots to the top of the pot.
Tap the pot to get rid of any air pockets, but don’t press the soil down too firmly, the roots still need to breathe.
Finally, give your plant a generous drink to help it settle into its new home. Most composts have enough fertiliser to feed your plants for 4 to 6 weeks. Once this time is up continue feeding as normal until Autumn.
Top Tip: It is best to give your plants a good watering a few hours before you repot them to help prevent stress.
Over time, soil structure and nutrient content declines, so even plants that are not due for repotting this Spring can be given a boost with a quick soil refresh. Simply follow the repotting method without swapping out the pots to transform tired plants from drab to fab!