How I’m Preparing For Growing Season

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2023 is gonna be a big year for my plants. Last summer we moved to a house with much better light than before, so I have visions of creating a jungle in both my bedroom and loving room.

So far, it’s going great. We have a TONNE of new growth, and I’ve kicked most of the thrips to the cub. I might get some predatory mites to see off the final ones.

I also plan on watering with nutrient water every time I water, just to see what happens. A bit weaker than a normal solution, but I’m hoping that it helps my plants out, and gets me more into the habit of feeding my plants.

So what does getting ready for the growing season entail??

Repotting whoever requires repotting

I have a few plants that are desperate for repotting, namely my Ficus – both elastica and tineke. They’re in these crap self-watering pots and the roots are starting to creep over the top of the plant. Oops. Still, they’re growing well, so I don’t thing they’re that bothered.

The problem is, they’re currently in 22cm pots, and we’re really getting to the point where all indoor pots are gonna cost a FORTUNE. So I may have to get some outdoor pots and deal with the slightly ugly look. Some plain white ones should look ok though. I’d go with terracotta, but that basically means resigning myself to watering multiple time a week, and…I cannot be arsed, I’m afraid.

Buying new soil

I’m really loving ABG mix at the moment. It’s technically a terrarium mix, but my plants LOVE it (my boyfriend buys it for the terrarium and I nick it) and it really suits my watering style. It’s decently chunky but also retains water well. I love it, and it’s nice to be able to buy a good quality house plant mix.

It does cost a bit more than regular house plant soil BUT I’m planning on cutting it with leca to keep costs down.

Buying new pots

I’m going to town tomorrow to have a look. I’m gonna hit the charity shops (you never know), Yorkshire Trading (I assume this is Yorkshire only, but correct me if I’m wrong), which is a hardware store that sells a bit of everything. Also, B&M because the plant clearance rack can be a great source of cheap pots.

Taking propagations

It’s a good idea to start propagating now so you can get your plants rooted and into soil in good enough time to get some decent growth on them. I’m hoping to get a couple of rounds of propagations in this year.

I like to do them in batches because doing a load, potting them up, having a few weeks off and repeating means I’m less likely to forget about them.

Snipping off dead leaves

This is a tedious task that takes an hour TOPS but I always forget to do. I like to set aside one day a year (two, if I’m feeling fancy) to really clean up all my plants. I dust in between, but it’s nice to know that at one point of the year, they’re ALL clean.

Moving plants around the house

A lot of the rooms of my house are too cold in winter for plants, so they’re all crammed into my bedroom and living room. I now have the fun job of spreading them around the house. I have a really bright (but north-facing) foyer that has a lot of surfaces to fill with plants (the previous owner loved kitchen base units, so we have them in the foyer and the bathroom) and a whole kitchen window sill.

I’m buzzing. I’ll buy a tonne of new plants, and then have nowhere to put them in winter. Never mind, that’s a problem for future Caroline.

Final thoughts

You don’t have to do anything to get plants ready for spring. I don’t usually – it’s just because I want to have a good year in terms of growth that I’m taking the time to do this.

That being said, if you want to move plants into leca, now is a great time to do it, because they can get all their roots sorted before summer, and then have a decent season of growth.

If you have any tasks you like to do for your house plants this time of year let me know!

Caroline Cocker

Caroline is the founder and writer (and plant keeper) of Planet Houseplant

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