Going into and out of the growing season can be tricky to some indoor gardeners, especially those just starting out. For those entering the growing season, it is a time of excitement. It is the time when you will reap the most rewards for your labours and your plants will spring back into action after dormancy or a slowing down of their growth over the autumn and winter. Meanwhile, for those going into the colder months, care can be a little trickier, and plants are at their most vulnerable. In this post, I’ll be going through some care tips for going into and out of the growth season.
Entering the growth season
- As it starts to warm up, it’s a good idea to sow the first seeds of your summer blooming annuals like California poppies, sunflowers and zinnias. Lotuses can be started around mid spring in warmer areas
- Gradually increase fertiliser, and only water when the soil gets dry. This will tend to happen more often.
- Keep medium light and low light plants out of direct afternoon sun
- Plants that can withstand direct sunlight can be taken outside sometimes and put on a porch or somewhere else away from other plants where they are less likely to be infested by pests. This will help them grow faster. Note that some plants don’t like to be moved around, so keep them on the porch for a while or just keep them indoors to avoid moving them around repeatedly.
- Fertilising plants with a high nitrogen fertiliser in the growth period is great for most plants
Going into the cooler months
- Put plants that need a dormancy period away for the winter somewhere cool and dry
- Do not water your clivias too liberally in the autumn and winter: they need a period of drought to encourage flowering
- Fertilise phalaenopsis and cymbidium orchids with a high phosphorous fertiliser
- Take out your cyclamen so that it can bloom
- Do not fertilise at all unless a plant is growing quickly regardless of the cooler temperatures
- Adjust watering schedules to water only as needed, as plants will reduce their uptake of water during this time
- If leaves seem smaller, do not be alarmed. I myself have made the mistake of assuming I was not giving a plant enough water and fertiliser simply because the leaves were smaller and growth halted earlier than other plants. Likewise, do not be alarmed if growth halts altogether but the leaves of the plant seem healthy