The Case for Moving Indoor Plants Outside
You have neatly arranged planters in your house where they are protected from the elements. These plants get sufficient sunlight, have plenty of room to grow, and are positioned so that they receive just the right amount. Then why would they choose to live anywhere else?
While we understand your concern for giving your indoor plants outdoor therapy every now and then, there are actually benefits to doing so. In addition, they’re able to breathe in endless amounts of fresh air outside, something most people can’t do inside their home or apartment.
This method is also more convenient than using specialized bulbs, humidifiers, misting equipment, or dehumidifiers, because you can achieve the perfect temperature. Plants outside all day can absorb light easily because they’re exposed to it. You also don’t need to worry about dust or debris collecting on your plant’s leaves since the rain will take care of that for you.
The combination of all these factors will make for a houseplant that does well in outdoor conditions, sprouting up quickly.
When Should You Move Your Houseplants Outside?
Then you may wonder if transplanting your houseplants outside will cause them too much damage. Could they get too much light? Can your plant survive if the temperature drops too low overnight? Is it possible that either of these scenarios could kill your plant? Both of these issues certainly merit some concern.
In the middle of winter, no one wants you taking your houseplant and planting it in the ground. In most cases, indoor gardeners follow a specific period when moving their plants from an indoor environment to an outdoor environment.
Some factors can have an impact on that timeline, such as the length of the winter. After a long winter, exposed garden environments can take a while to thaw out. For those who have had particularly rough winters, if May isn’t warm enough for your plant to be moved outdoors, it might not be worth doing so. The day after the last frost, gardeners recommend holding off on their moves for at least two weeks. Some gardening experts even wait four weeks.
As we discussed in the first section, the weather in June to August should provide the perfect growing conditions. As early as September, if the weather becomes cold where you live, you could consider moving your houseplant back inside your home sooner than the above timeline suggests. For a plant, cold is defined as a temperature below 55 degrees Fahrenheit, by the way.
If you live somewhere with warm springs, you might be able to give your houseplant some outdoor growth time during those months. Temperatures that remain consistently warm in the South are suitable for this. As long as you’re in a warm part of the country where the winter only ends in March, you should bring your plant inside until spring.
How to Adjust Houseplants to Their New Environment
When we talked about houseplants in the introduction, we mentioned that they can be shocked when suddenly placed outdoors. Moving slowly and steadily is important to win this race. The stress from this move could cause the plants to die, so you need to go slowly and steadily.
Here’s what you need to do to prepare your houseplant.
Start with a Mix of Indoor and Outdoor Time
You should start preparing for your houseplant’s new home while staying inside your home or apartment. Keep it here at night. If you are going to move the plant outdoors in the morning, do it in the shade so it has time to adjust to the sun’s intensity and temperature.
You can try this for a week or two before you complete the move outdoors.
Keep Plants out of Direct Sun for a While
It is finally time to move your houseplant outdoors for the summer. Great! Now where do you put it? We highly advise you to place your plants where they won’t receive full sun at first, at least not for a long period of time.
Houseplants exposed to too much sunlight may put themselves in shock, and they may also burn their delicate leaves. In order to grow your plant successfully, you should first put it in a shady location where it gets some sun, but not direct sunlight. Leave the plant there for a few hours and then bring it indoors as needed.
With time, your plant will adjust to its environment, so you can increase its exposure to sunlight hour by hour. Eventually, your houseplant will adjust and be ready for more direct sunlight, but do not leave it scorching in the summer sun for too long.
Consider Watering and Fertilize More Often
Plants that are warm are thirsty. You may have to water them more now than when they were in your home. That’s perfectly normal. It is still possible for your houseplant to suffer from root rot and other overwatering problems, so make sure you don’t water it just to do it.
Your houseplant’s nutritional needs will also increase when you fertilize it, since nutrients are as essential to it as water.
Watch out for Insects
Houseplants can sometimes develop insects and pests when exposed to certain substances, such as banana peels. However, most plants have no such problems. You’ll need to be extra careful now that your houseplant is outside. Insects may flutter around. Some might even want to devour it.
If you are worried that you are going to lose your plants due to pest infestations, you should search for natural remedies that can help. Moving your plant may not be enough.
Check Your Plant Often (Especially in Bad Weather)
Before, even when rain or snow was forecast, you didn’t need to be worried about your houseplant, as it was safely set up inside. If you’ve just received a soaking rain or a day of strong winds, you’ll want to go outside and check your houseplant to see if it needs attention.
Prepare for Moving Your Plants Back Inside
In the blink of an eye, the summer comes to an end. It is time to bring your houseplants inside before the first frost. You must now reverse the process, increasing the plant’s tolerance to less sunlight and warmer temperatures.
Make sure your houseplant is suitable for indoor living before you move forward. Give it a soak in warm water if it appears dried out. Make sure you trim any damaged leaves or stems, as well as looking for bugs (some bugs hide in the pot!). Look around the pot and check for insects.
Which indoor plants should you never grow outside?
If your indoor plant is tropical, you shouldn’t normally take it outdoors. Tropical plants include:
- Peace lilies
- Radiator plants
- Chinese evergreens
- Indoor palm trees
- Weeping figs
- Viper’s bowstring hemp or the snake plant
- Rubber figs
- Dumb canes
Since these houseplants have very specific temperature needs, it is unlikely that the changing summer weather can provide the humidity required.
At what temperature is it safe to put houseplants outside?
We mentioned earlier how frost plays a big role in determining when you should move your house plants. There’s still frost on the ground in the mornings, so it’s not quite time yet. We have to wait for all the frost to melt and even then we must wait another two to four weeks.
A houseplant move should be done at the right time of year. We discussed the optimal temperature of 55 degrees earlier, and it will also depend on the outdoor temperature, especially at night. When nighttime outdoor temperatures are only about 50 degrees, it is still too cold. The nighttime temperature should be well above 55.
Is it good to put indoor plants out in the rain?
You probably remember that we said earlier in the article that the rain can wash the leaves of your houseplant so that you don’t have to. This is all well and good, but what about when it rains a lot? Can those wet days cause root rot on your plants?
It’s not necessarily so, but it’s possible. Rainwater does not have the same chemical composition as H2O from the tap. When rainwater soaks into the ground, it adds oxygen to the soil, allowing it to breath, which reduces the likelihood of roots rotting and other diseases.
If there is a good chance of rain in the coming days, your houseplant might need to be moved outside, so it doesn’t get soaked.