Give your houseplants some TLC

All of us are getting anxious to garden outdoors as soon as weather permits, but don’t forget that your houseplants have needs year-round. In fact, this is a good time to give them a little Tender Loving Care. These are the basics:

Re-pot if necessary

If a plant looks like it might be too big for its pot, pull it out enough to see the root-ball. If the roots are starting to wind around in a circle, it’s time to re-pot. Just follow the easy instructions in our repotting houseplants project.

Don’t recycle soil. Start over with a larger container filled with enriched fertilizer. If dry, heated air in the house during winter makes it seem like you’re constantly having to water your plants.

Eliminate insects

Look closely at each plant, including between and on the underside of the leaves. Spider mites in particular thrive in dry indoor conditions during winter months. They damage plants by sucking sap from the underside of leaves. This removes the green pigment and causing a yellowed, stippled appearance. If you find evidence of insects, spray infected plants with flower insect killer according to label instructions.

Provide food and water

Of course, you’ll want to continue to water your houseplants regularly and keep them well-nourished. It’s easy to do both at the same time by adding plant food to the water.