Spring is in the air in Providence and we could not be more excited. As the days start to get longer and the sun is a little higher in the sky, now is the perfect time to get your hands a little dirty and optimize your houseplants. Below are some of our expert tips to enhance growth of plants already in your house and new additions that are easy to maintain. Let’s get growing!
Enhancing Growth of Indoor Plants You Already Have
If you already have houseplants breathing life and fresh air in your house, depending on how long you’ve had them, you may have noticed their growth has plateaued. There are a few factors that can lead to dormant indoor plants, but if you follow these simple steps, you’ll notice your plants starting to grow again!
• Add some topsoil!
The easiest thing you can do is top off the pot with some fresh soil and fertilizer. Looking at your well-established houseplants, do you notice any roots breaching the surface? If so, just add a little bit of fresh soil to the top layer and water. The new soil will add fresh nutrients to the root system and also provide more room for the top roots to spread. If your roots spread, your plant grows! If you haven’t added any fertilizer try adding a little bit. The added nutrients will provide the necessary catalyst to get those roots moving again!
• Repotting. When to repot and how to repot!
Is your houseplant really established? Meaning, have you had a healthy plant for over 1.5 years? Have you ever repotted it? If no, it may be time to bump it up a pot size! But before choosing the next pot, you’ll want to make sure your plant is ready to be repotted. Here’s what to look for:
Is there a rootball? Before watering your plant again, when the soil is relatively dry, feel free to lift the plant right out of its pot. We promise, it will be okay! Depending on the type of plant, all you have to do is grab it by the base and gently pull up as you push the pot down. You should be able to pull the whole plant right out, dirt, roots, and all! If you see a solid root-ball, it’s time for your plant to be repotted. Before we get into how you should repot, here’s why you should repot.
That rootball has no place left to expand! Plants grow within the dirt as much as they do above the dirt. Roots grow and expand within the dirt and the more they do, the more nutrients and water they can send to the plant. If you have a solid rootball, there is no more space for the roots to expand. That’s why your plant hasn’t been growing!
If you see a rootball and want to repot, here’s what to do: First, find a pot that is one size bigger than the current pot. So if you have a Peace Lilly in an 8-inch pot, you’ll want to repot it into a 10-inch pot. If the new pot is too big, the roots will have too much room to expand and you can end up with dreaded root rot – otherwise known as impending doom for your houseplant.
Once you’ve chosen the new pot for your houseplant, you’ll need some more potting soil. Once you’ve got everything together, you’re ready to make the move. The best time to do this is immediately before you would water the plant. Start by adding a nice base layer of soil to the new pot. Then, remove your plant from its current pot. You should notice that the rootball is well contained and there aren’t any roots sticking out. So you should gently massage the rootball and encourage the root-ends to stick outwards. This will enable them to expand once they’re introduced to some new soil. After giving a nice massage to the roots, place the plant on top of the base layer of soil from step 1. Then, fill in the extra space around the plant with the rest of your potting soil. Then, water thoroughly and wait! Your plant will start growing again very soon.
Adding Some New (and easy to care for!) Plants to Your Collection
Most folks know about the familiar indoor garden plants. There’s the Peace Lily, Mother-In-Law’s Tongue (aka Snake Plant), Pothos, & Ivy. Of course we’re usually stocked with those beautiful plants, but at Blooming Blossoms, we have a constantly revolving selection of other houseplants that are extremely easy to maintain.