Caring for Your Houseplants
Spring is officially here and the days are feeling warmer and definitely longer. Even inside your home, your houseplants have noticed the increase in sunlight. They are ready to put out some new growth for the seasonÖ so letís show our indoor residents a little TLC. Start by picking off all the brown, yellow, or discolored leaves. Cut back or prune the plants as necessary; a long vine with only a few leaves can be cut way back without hurting the plant.
Many plants will appreciate re-potting into a larger pot. If you really like the pot or donít want the plant to get much bigger, you can prune the roots. To do a root-pruning, remove the plant from the pot. Gently tease/pull the root ball apart as much as you can. If the plant is particularly root-bound this can be very difficult. Shake out about half of the soil. With a sharp knife or scissors cut away about one third of the roots. Wash out the pot and replace with fresh soil. Be careful not to repot your plant to deeply. Prune the foliage at the same time to compensate for the lost roots. Alternately, you could divide the plant into two (or more) smaller plants.
A shortcut to repotting is to poke several holes in the soil with a popsicle stick or chopstick and then add a couple of trowels full of fresh compost as top-dressing. This shortcut can be sufficient for several years. Donít repot your spider plants (like the one pictured at left); they do best when theyíre root-bound.
If your schedule allows for nothing else, give your houseplants a dose of water-soluble fertilizer when you water. Miracle-Grow all-purpose 15-30-15 is great. I suggest mixing it full-strength for the next month; then use Ĺ strength for every other watering throughout the summer. Be careful not to over-water your houseplants Ė the leading cause of death for this group is drowning.
Wishing you and your plants all the best!
Take it Outside
Pruning trees and shrubs is also best done in the very early spring. The plant heals quicker since it hasnít spent itís energy on a branch you then cut off. Also, the possibility of infection is lower at this time of year since bacteria and fungi are dormant. However, you donít want to prune early spring blooming shrubsÖ you might be cutting off all your flowers!
If you start seeds inside, itís
time to start the tomatoes and peppers.
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Looking Forward to Summer
Are you thinking of adding to or changing around your container gardens this summer? Call now for an estimate: (970) 988-3808