Awakening to Spring, Part 1

Our recent crazy weather weekend was a true harbinger of  spring: March is roaring in like a lion. The spring equinox will occur in Detroit metro on March 20, 5:58 PM.  We’re a few weeks away and I’m already seeing signs of spring with plants in the store and at home. YAY!!! Read on to take advantage of some things to notice with your indoor plants.

New Growth

Since October of last year, most indoor plants, especially succulents, have been in a dormant phase. They received less and less light, needing less water resulting in slower growth. Fast forward to now: the days are noticeably longer even though temperatures have not yet moderated. That means indoor plants are getting more light and are beginning to come out of hibernation. I’ve noticed new leaves on my Hobbit jade, new shoots on a cactus, and new growth on many tropical plants in the store.

While indoor plants may be awakening to spring, the weather is still cold, furnaces are still on and indoor spaces are still very dry. To meet this challenge, it’s time to evaluate the overall dryness of your plants and adjust your watering routine as needed. Take notice of moisture levels and weigh the need to increase the frequency of watering just a bit as we move into spring. How can you tell if your indoor plants need water? The best way to determine whether they are dry or not is by touch. Go ahead and stick your finger in the plant and determine its dryness level. You can also lift the pot and see how light it is. If the plant is dry, the container will be  light.

Important tip: It’s better to give your plant a really good soak less frequently than a light soak more frequently. Remember over-watering is the most common way to kill a plant.

Stressed Succulents

I barely watered my succulents all winter following standard advice on their care. Recently I noticed that some of my succulents had limp and shriveled leaves. In particular, this happened to two jade plants. Several customers have complained about the same thing. This may be a symptom of underwatering. My solution was to literally take the stressed out jade out of their pots and water them until the hard, compact, dry soil broke up a little and absorbed some water. Then I put them back in their containers with new potting soil. Thankfully, they returned to their usual plump, green selves within two weeks. The moral of the story: It’s also time to start watering succulents again especially if you’ve lovingly neglected them all winter like I have.