To Every Plant, There is a Season

With apologies to Ecclesiastes (or, if you’re old enough,  the band, the Byrds), indoor house plants experience “seasons” just as outdoor plants do.

I talk about this regularly when I lecture. I talk about this with respect to bringing plants indoors in the fall, and more important,  I talk about it just about now.

What’s going on now that’s triggering a “seasonal” response in house plants?  Two things  actually.  First,  we have just had the vernal equinox–in other words, here in the northern hemisphere,  it’s spring (for anyone reading in the southern hemisphere,  take note of what I say about fall.)

With the return of spring, we also get the return of light.  Plants grow more quickly in response in to the extra light so you need to check them for increased watering needs.

You also need to check them for insects. All that lush new growth is more likely to attract anything that might have slumbered happily through the winter. Catching insects early gives you a chance to treat organically–or just ditch the plant–before it infests your collection.

Finally if you are in a warmer climate zone than mine and are thinking of transitioning your plants outside, please remember that just as you would never dream of going outside naked all day without sunscreen on the first glorious spring day, you can’t do that to your plants either.  You will burn their leaves. Transition them outside into shady places for at least a few days before you set them in sun.

Similarly when it comes time to bring them back inside,  don’t wait until frost is imminent.  My frost date is October 5. I usually bring my plants in around Labor Day (so about a month earlier). Why? Not because I love indoor watering.  But when those plants come in later, they drop a lot of leaves adjusting to the lower light levels . I don’t want to need a leaf blower in the house!

So with those “seasonal” tips in mind, go start searching for little critters, and enjoy growing!

4 thoughts on “To Every Plant, There is a Season

  1. jina kessler March 30, 2018 / 5:16 pm

    have a happy easter


    • gardendaze March 30, 2018 / 5:20 pm

      And to you as well–thank you!

  2. tonytomeo March 31, 2018 / 12:02 am

    I use that phrase too. It never seems to wear out.

  3. gardendaze March 31, 2018 / 1:21 pm

    Agreed. Some things are just classics.


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