Growing season is nearly here. While I am so excited for it, I know that some people are a little bit nervous. Think about it. The amount of people who have embraced plant life over the last year is staggering. And for some of those plants parents, this will be their first growing season.
And I hate to break it to you, it’s a lot of responsibility.
Growing season is my favorite time of year, but I am what you would call an experienced plant parent. I have over 70 plants and feel comfortable taking care of them in the growing season. I think it’s easier to take care of plants in the spring and summer because it’s easier to tell what your plants want. In the winter you can overwater a lot more or get stumped by plants looking a little bit sad (most of the time—most likely—the plants are just sleeping).
However, I can totally see why you may be dreading spring. Just preparing for the growing season is a lot of work alone. Here are the three main reasons you may be feeling a little anxious about growing season, plus tips on getting through the process:
1. Plants Need Constant Care
Caring for plants may take up a lot more of your time than it did in the wintertime. With growing season on the horizon you’ll have to start changing your habits. Your plants will want way more attention in the spring and summer. You’ll need to water more, repot plants that have outgrown their homes, and give them food.
Remember, plants' needs change throughout the year and so will your responsibilities and routine!
When it starts to warm up it’s time to start fertilizing your plants. Plants will need food after slumbering during the winter. It will help kickstart new growth and keep your plants happy.
The soil will also dry out quicker in growing season which means more watering without overwatering.
Should you water your plant?
To see if a plant needs watering, stick your finger in the soil to your first knuckle. If your finger is dry, water it. If you have soil on your finger, wait a day or two and check again.
You’ll also need to repot any plants that need it. Signs that they need it are if the plant itself looks like it's very crowded and if there are roots coming out of the drainage holes. Finding the right soil mixture for each type of plant; detangling and trimming bad roots; and buying new pots (increase pot size by an inch each time) all point to one thing: work. (We thought this IG Reel by @so_fresh_so_green captured our sentiment perfectly.)
It’s best to wait until spring to repot your plant because it will cause them less shock than if you do it in the winter when they’re not feeling their best.
2. Open Windows Can Bring Pests Inside
If live in a country where air conditioning isn’t as prevalent—or you just enjoy fresh air more—your windows will be open more frequently. That means that insects and bugs like fungus gnats can fly inside and make a home inside your plants' soil and on their leaves. So make sure to check leaves frequently. If you see anything moving on them, give them a good wipe down and then a nice spray in the shower. Move them away from any other plants to stop the spread of pests. You can also try spraying the soil with neem oil, which is a natural way of dealing with pests.
3. Plants Get Bigger and Bigger
I think a lot of new plant parents don't realize just how big plants can get in one season. I certainly had no idea that some of my small plants that I got early last year would be climbing my walls or taking over my kitchen.
If your plant is getting too big for your space, you can give it a haircut and propagate it (just make sure you have a node on the part of the plant you’re snipping so it can grow new roots). This is an excellent way to tame your indoor jungle and expand it without spending any money (propagated plants also make excellent presents).
You can also get creative with the way you use your plants in your decor. Think about hanging trailing plants from curtain rods, using command strips to help your plants climb, or moss poles that help manage the craziness of plants like monsteras.
At the end of the day, caring for your plants should be fun and not stressful. If you make a mistake it’s okay. If you overwatered your plant, let it dry out before watering it again. If your plant is looking a little sad, move it closer to a window. Being a good plant parent is all about trial and error and growing season is the perfect way to test your skills. And remember: a lot of plants can be salvaged by propagation if you think you’ve caused too much damage to the roots.
So, to all those new plants parents out there, take a deep breath, and get ready to spend all of your free time checking for new growth because there is nothing like watching your plants thrive.