No matter how much careful attention you pay to your houseplants, after a long, dry winter there’s a good chance they might be looking a little sad. So spend a sunny afternoon getting your hands dirty and giving your plants a little extra TLC. It will feel good (the way that spring cleaning does!) and your plants will love you for it!

1. Inspect

It’s easy to get into a habit of watering the plants on autopilot — take a moment to really see where your plants are at. Remove any dead leaves that may have accumulated in the soil and snip off any out-of-place stems. Remember, you can replant these cuttings! Another thing you might find on closer inspection is insects. Yuck. You’ll need to address the right bug with the right treatment, such as an insecticidal soap.  If you can’t identify the insect, bring in a sample in a sealed bag and our experts will set you up with the right treatment.

2. Shower time

When we spring clean the house, we dust the shelves and wash the floors, but what about the plants? Plants collect dust too — and you’ll find that some plants will develop a little bit of a grime over time. While it might be easy to simply ignore, even this thin layer can prevent plants from photosynthesizing. An easy way to clean your plants is with a spring shower! Literally bring your plant into the shower and give it a good wash down.  If this method doesn’t suit you, at a minimum, wipe the leaves of your plants with a damp cloth, and a little neem oil or leaf shine. Cacti, succulents and other plants with fuzzy leaves will require a finer touch and just a gentle wipe with a dry cloth.

3. Repot

Has your houseplant outgrown the pot that it’s in? If you can see roots popping above the soil line or through drainage holes, then the plant has become root-bound and it’s time to repot into a larger size container.  For this you’ll need new soil and a new pot! Our favorite soil, Pamper Your Plants, contains earthworm castings and is rich in nutrients to encourage new root growth. When choosing a new pot, keep in mind that the larger the container that your plant is in, the larger it will grow. And because we love getting our hands in the dirt, we’ll happily do the repotting for you – for free – when you buy a new pot here!

4. Fertilize

From April to October is the time to start fertilizing houseplants as the amount of light hours increases and they kick into their active growth season. Plants like a solid routine, so try to stick to a bi-weekly feeding regimen.  Flowering plants require fertilizers with a higher middle number (such as 15-30-15) while foliage plants require equal numbers (20-20-20).  All houseplants require fertilizer, as they will deplete the limited nutrients available in the the soil in its pot. Try our favorite Jobe’s Organic Fertilizer Spikes!

5. Fresh air

As the temperature climbs, we naturally want to spend more time outdoors. Well, so do our houseplants! If you’ve got the space, bring them outside and transform your outdoor space into a tropical paradise.  Just remember to ‘harden’ them off for a few weeks, bringing them indoors for the cool nights and outside for the warm days, until they build up an immunity to temperature fluctuations.

Words by Sarah Carson @the.botanical

Image by Cadence Hayes @thewhiitehouse