It's time to take a look at your houseplants

Spring is a good time not only to get your yard into shape, but to care for your houseplants as well.

When was the last time you repotted your houseplants? Just the other day I noticed my aloe plant looked sickly. The poor thing was pretty root bound.

After putting it in a new pot with some fresh soil it was alive again.

Houseplants usually get cared for the least. There are so many plants available. Finding the right one is the hardest part. Like outdoor gardening, indoor gardening has different microclimates to work with as well.

Do some research on what you want before you buy. Like their outdoor cousins, they too can get attacked by bugs and get hit with different diseases.

If you get a gift of a nice plant keep the tag or look it up and read up on their needs. If you don’t have a houseplant, you should get some. Plants give off oxygen and what a great way to get some, at the same time having a nice beautiful plant.

I like to repot to a size up and with fresh organic potting mix. I wouldn’t use outdoor compost. They make special mixes for different plants, like African violet mix for African violets and Cacti mix for cactus.

There is a general mix for all others. And when you get done repotting water. Be careful watering the foliage of some plants like African Violets.

It would be a good idea to fertilize your houseplants with a good organic houseplant food. Read the label.  I like to use a diluted dose.

Did you start some seeds indoors? Did the little ones come up?  It is about that time to acclimate them to the outdoors.

To do this put them outside in the morning in a protected area. Bring it in at night. Do that for a about a week or so. Then it should be safe to leave them outdoors.

To be safe on some plants have a floating row cover handy. Just in case a frost is in the forecast.

In my next column I will go over pruning. Stay tuned.

Happy Gardening,Gardener Joe

Reader Question:

Q. Do you have to have a license to apply chemicals organically?

A. Yes, State law requires anyone who applies chemicals to another person’s yard to carry a state pesticide license. It is the law and if you get caught without it can carry a fine up to $7,500.00 dollars.

For all people working out there please get licensed. For consumers please check to see anyone you hire not only has a pesticide license but also is a licensed contractor. Go to the Washington Department of Labor and Industries to see if the person is registered with the state and is licensed, bonded, insured.

You can contact Gardener Joe at



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