Weather permitting we are hoping to open on March 22nd! Alec and I have been busy in our greenhouses planning, potting and caring for an exciting spring selection of new plants! The baby plants began arriving in early January and even though that can be one of the bleakest months of the winter season, it’s exciting to see all the tiny little seedlings and cuttings come in!
Stay tuned over the next few weeks for updates on the great new plants we’ve picked for 2021. What should you be doing while you patiently wait for this spring season to start -you knew a list of things to do was coming – it wouldn’t be a blog post from me if it didn’t include some gardening task for you! But brace yourselves, because I’m about to recommend a relaxing, rejuvenating spa experience! This week it’s all about a spa day for your plants!
How would you feel (and look!) if you hadn’t showered since October? My mother taught me to never underestimate the benefits of a good shower and grooming – for you, your pets and your plants! Even though your houseplants aren’t actively growing, the months of dry indoor air and dim light will take a toll. Whether they live indoors or outdoors, most plants take a break over the winter months, when colder weather and shorter days slow their growth. Don’t lose faith in your plants, a good makeover spa day will go a long way to an amazing spring revival!
The first step to a successful spa day is give your houseplants a shower. My grandmother provided her charges with a quick shower almost monthly from December to April, my victims of benign neglect are lucky they get one good rinse once a winter! You will be amazed at the transformative benefits one good shower will make – so imagine what one a month would do. I put a bit of screen over the drain to catch particles from washing down.
How to perform a good spring cleaning for your plants – your house is another blog that I am not qualified to write!
Wipe the dust and grime from leaves with a paper towel. Use a fresh paper towel on every plant that way you will avoid the possibility of spreading pests from one plant to another. Take time as you clean to check for the most common houseplant pests: spider mites, mealy bugs, and scale. Examine the top and bottom of the plants’ leaves for discoloration, webs, or any sort of sticky or dirt-like substance. These could be a sign of pests. If you suspect pests, use a handheld magnifying glass to look for eggs, cast-off skins, or the pests themselves. Also, some insects like scale secrete a shiny, sticky substance on the leaves. If you find evidence of any insects or disease, snap a picture and bring it in for us to help identify and find the best solution for control.
Plants with dead leaves or damaged stems should be cleaned up. Use sharp pruners, scissors or, for tender growth, you can pinch off the dead part with your fingers. Even if they look healthy, most houseplants benefit from a good spring pruning. If you aren’t familiar with your houseplant’s specific pruning requirements just ask us! Always remember to pinch back just above a leaf node to encourage better branching in your plant. Do not prune blooming houseplants until after they have completed flowering, otherwise you might clip off tiny flower buds that are just forming.
Hopefully you’ve followed my advice and laid off on fertilizer during the winter months. Now is the time to begin fertilizing again because for most plants you can see new growth starting. Your houseplants know spring is on the way because they notice and react to the longer daylight hours.
Spring is also a great time to repot houseplants. Soil left too long can develop an unhealthy buildup of salts and minerals, harbor diseases and pests, and become too compacted to drain well. Repotting is also a chance to pick out a new container – a simple, inexpensive way to spruce up your home décor with a new color or style!
New pots aren’t the only way to give your houseplants and your home a fresh look. Consider moving your houseplants to a different room. Don’t be afraid to replace an old tired plant with a new one; over time some plants just get scrawny, leggy and unattractive. Spring is a great time to try something new!
Spring means new life and that doesn’t have to be restricted to the garden. By revitalizing your houseplants after winter, you’ll be preparing them for a season of healthy growth and bringing the beauty of nature to your home décor.
We will be opening soon and can’t wait to see you all!
Michelle and Team Lakeview