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Taking Your Houseplants Outside For The Summer: A Quick Guide

Updated: Jun 29, 2020

Thinking about giving your plants some fresh air after they have been inside all winter?

Great idea! However, keep in mind that indoor plants will need to adapt to a completely different environment when moved outdoors, and this will take time and an extra dose of care. Here’s how to do it safely!

Taking Your Houseplants Outside For The Summer: A Quick Guide

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Do It Slow

If you move an indoor plant outdoors all at once, it can easily become stressed. Houseplants need to adjust to their new environment gradually, or they might shock to death.

Choose a shaded spot like a patio, and leave your plant there for a few hours each day. Then, slowly increase its time outdoors, until leaving it out all day. Usually, the plant will adapt to its new outdoor setting in a couple of weeks.

Pay Attention To Light

Outdoors light is far more intense than the one inside your home – here’s why sunlight is one of the biggest reasons for houseplants to suffer.

To make sure your green friends experience the least amount of stress, never place them in direct sunlight.

Keep It Cool, Healthy And Hydrated

In the summer, houseplants need more water and nutrients. This means you will have to increase their watering and feeding intervals, but be careful not to overdo it.

Because of the heat of warm summer days, your plant will dry out much faster than when indoors. If you live in a city, keep in mind that bricks and concrete radiate heat exceptionally well. Consider buying a moisture sensor and a thermometer to monitor humidity levels, and make sure the temperature around your plants doesn’t get too high.

Check your outdoor plants daily to see if they want water – some of your friends might need it every single day!

Keep An Eye On The Weather

Weather changes can have a devastating effect on houseplants moved outdoors.

First of all, indoor plants are not used to wind – if placed on a rooftop or a balcony, wind can knock them over, dry them out, and even chill them. Also, downpours can beat the leaves, throw the dirt out from the containers, and drown the roots.

To prevent any problems associated with wind and sudden summer storms, place your houseplants in a sheltered area, such as near a wall under a patio.

Remember that the majority of houseplants won’t survive anything below 55 °F (13 °C.), especially at night. Always bring your plants indoors whenever the temperature is dropping dramatically.

What To Do When Bringing Back Indoors

Then, of course, at the end of the summer, you will have to acclimate your plant back indoors.

Get ready to see your friend dropping some leaves when you bring it inside. This is an unavoidable step that every plant experiences when moved to a new environment.

Always watch for insects: trim and inspect the foliage and soil, and spray with an organic insecticidal before bringing indoors.

Also, prune off any scorched or damaged leaves, and any faded blooms.

Since your plant will start receiving less light, it will also need less water and less food.

If your plant feels dry, soak them in a basin of lukewarm water.

Extra Tips

  • Bring out your indoor plants outside only when night temperatures are consistently above 55 °F. If temperatures go below 55, bring them back inside.

  • When it rains, you can skip watering for that day.

  • If your plant is in a container without drainage holes, never put it outside – rain will accumulate at the bottom of the pot and drown the plant.

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