There are 2 key parts to prepping you plants for spring: fertilization and acclimating plants to the outdoors.
- Start fertilizing houseplants about 8 weeks before the last expected spring frost. Here in Nashville, that’s mid-late April. The first few fertilizer applications should be made at half the recommended strength. Help acclimate your plant slowly to receive fertilizer again!
- Most houseplant fertilizers contain a mixture of both macro- and micronutrients.
- The three primary macronutrients, nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium, found in a container of fertilizer are listed as a ratio on the front of the bottle or bag. Called the N-P-K ratio, these numbers tell you the percentage of each of those nutrients inside the container.
- Some of our favorite fertilizers are Monty’s All Purpose and Good Dirt Plant Food, These products are great for most general houseplant applications and can easily be diluted in a watering can. Feeding your plants will help you replace the minerals and nutrients that are lacking in your potting soil.
- When you take a plant from its indoor environment and place it outside suddenly, the plant can easily become stressed as a result of shock. Do this gradually, and your plants will love you for it!
- You shouldn’t place any houseplant in direct sunlight outdoors. Instead, seek out a nicely shaded area, perhaps your patio or under a tree, and allow your plants to take in the fresh air for a few hours each day. Then gradually move them to an area allowing a little sunshine and slowly increase their time outdoors, even leaving them out all day. After a couple weeks, the houseplants should be well adapted to their outdoor setting to remain throughout summer.
- Outside temperatures can vary greatly from indoors as well, and since the majority of houseplants originate from tropical-like regions, they cannot tolerate cold temperatures or anything below 55 F.
- You may also be dealing with pests. Inside, houseplants are not typically bothered by insects or other pests so much as they are outdoors. Become familiar with some of the more common insects pests so you’ll be better prepared at fighting them off.
- Bi-weekly preventative Neem oil applications will help deter any pests from making your plants a home.