8 Smart Houseplant Tips for Spring, According to a Pro

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Horti 6 month plant bundle.

Courtesy of Horti/Illustration: The Spruce

There's no better season than spring to show your houseplants some love. After enduring the dry, lowly-lit conditions of winter, your houseplants are definitely ready to spring ahead—and we're here to help.

We went right to the source for spring houseplant care tips, also known as plant pro Puneet Sabharwal, the CEO and co-founder of plant subscription service, Horti. He is sharing his expertise on transitioning your houseplants outdoors, reviving them after a long winter, and giving them the proper indoor care for springtime.

Meet Our Expert

Puneet Sabharwal is the CEO and co-founder of plant subscription service, Horti, and the author of Happy Plant: A Beginner’s Guide to Cultivating Healthy Plant Care Habits, set to debut on April 19th.

Why Spring Is a Great Time to Give Houseplants Some Love

Though your indoor plants aren't necessarily braving the harsh winter weather directly, they do still adapt to the season indoors, according to Sabharwal.

"Your indoor plants are not immune to outdoor temperature changes," Sabharwal explains. "Every plant goes through some version of winter dormancy, and while you transition to warmer days, you need to help your plants transition, too."

This is why come spring, there are certain tasks you should be sure to complete to ensure your houseplants are going and growing strong.

Key Tips for Spring Houseplant Care

Sabharwal shares a few key tips to keep in mind when tending to your houseplants for the spring season.

Water Plants More

First up on the list is to begin upping the frequency of watering. In the wintertime, plants retain more water as they are exposed to less warmth and sun. This is why come spring, you can begin watering more as the soil dries out more often.

"Most plants communicate their dehydration by showing signs like wilting or curling, a.k.a sadness," Sabharwal says.

Reduce Direct Sunlight

"If your plants have been in direct sunlight this winter, think about pulling them away from direct light to reduce the chance of leaves yellowing or browning," Sabharwal suggests. With the change in temperature for spring and the increased amounts of daylight, you don't want to overdo it with vitamin D.

Keep Plants Warm

Though we may like to keep it cool indoors while the heat scorches outside, our plants have a bit of a different opinion. As you switch on the A/C for spring, be sure to move houseplants away from the direct cool air.

Quick Tip

Almost all plants like normal room temperatures between 65 to 75 degrees, so keep your plants away from the direct cool blast of your A/C unit, Sabharwal notes.

Prune Old Leaves

There's no better way to encourage new growth than to prune away old leaves. "Pruning out old leaves and stems to occasionally clipping away old roots while repotting can stimulate vigorous, healthy new growth," Sabharwal tells us.

Bedroom interior with biophilic elements including lots of houseplants

Cole Keister / Unsplash

Key Tips for Transporting Houseplants Outside for Spring

Another part of spring houseplant care is transporting houseplants back outside that moved indoors for the winter. Some houseplants thrive outdoors in the warmer weather, and Sabharwal has just the tips for knowing when it's time to move them and how to acclimate them to an outdoor lifestyle.

Monitor Outdoor Temperatures

The first step to bringing plants outdoors is to monitor the temperature daily, paying attention to not just the highs, but also the lows of the day, according to Sabharwal.

"It’s best to bring plants out when the nighttime low temperature is consistently about 55 degrees Fahrenheit," he says. "You don’t have to pay attention to the highs until summertime when it starts to get above 95 degrees Fahrenheit."

Acclimate Your Plants to Light

Sabharwal suggests acclimating your plants to outdoor light levels. Put them in full shade outdoors for 2 weeks, then slowly move them to brighter areas, depending on how much light they need. Cacti and succulents can go into full sun after 2 weeks in full shade, and another day or 2 in part-sun conditions.

Quick Tip

Most “low-light” or assorted tropical plants should stay in the shade or get 1-2 hours of direct sunlight for the whole season. The solar energy from the sun is so powerful that your plants may double or triple in size after only one season outside, says Sabharwal.

Be Aware of Wind

Indoor plants haven’t been hardened off to handle windy conditions, so be sure to place them where they will not be battered by the wind: nearby the house or close to some other wind-blocking obstacle.

Check for Pests

"Insects will always be a problem when you put your plants outdoors, so let go of the perfectionist mindset that the leaves will always stay flawless," Sabharwal says. However, the benefit of putting your plants outdoors far outweighs any detriment from pests. Some pests are expected, but an infestation is not ideal, so be sure to take precautions.

The Best Houseplants to Buy for Spring

If you're ready to get growing, Sabharwal recommended a few houseplants to pick up for spring.

Horti Peperomia Hope

"I love Peperomia Hope," Sabharwal says. "It's a great choice for warm environments and requires little care. 

Horti Hoya Australis

"Mature houseplants that bloom can be very gratifying to have around during this time," Sabharwal explains. "One of my favorite plants for this are varieties of Hoya like Carnosa or Australis."

Horti Peperomia Green

A sun-loving succulent-like plant, this peperomia is a perfect spring pick. It stores water like a pro, so it doesn't need frequent care—just a lot of sun, which is sure to stream in the spring.