It’s easy to forget that despite being called “houseplants,” these are living organisms that evolved outdoors. The plants are not meant to be indoors, so this post focuses on how to care for plants outdoors during the spring.
When to Put Plants Outside in Spring
The concept of hardening plants off is very important, otherwise you may quickly damage your plants. Learn how to do it the right way by continuing reading!
I will teach you how to harden off your plants and when to plant them outside in the spring.
It doesn’t matter whether you are moving house plants or seedlings you grew in your indoor garden, the process is the same.
The funny thing about it is that I have been asked this question many times before. It’s amazing to think that the concept of the “indoors” wasn’t even a thing until very recently on our planet! The short answer is YES, they can go outside!
Despite the fact that some people are afraid of insects and rodents, I firmly believe that their benefits outweigh the risks. It is possible to protect your plants from pests and start harvesting them again as soon as you bring them inside.
This being said, I’d wither up if I weren’t surrounded by houseplants, but we ought to remember that nature is a better caretaker than we can ever be.
When houseplants are grown indoors, the best way to ensure success is to imagine the plant in its natural state.
If you have houseplants as your house decor, the absolute best thing you can do is to take them outdoors for the summer.
Why Your Houseplant Will Thrive Outside
You can grow house plants in the outdoors for several reasons:
In almost all cases, rainwater is better than tap water because some plants can be sensitive to the additives in tap water.
As well, rainwater tends to do wonders for plants because it contains nitrogen in the form that they can use. Consequently, plants would respond enthusiastically to rainwater.
In addition, rain will also wash away the dust that gets accumulated indoors, like when you give yourself a facial by washing the dirt off your face.
But it’s not just for the looks. If leaves are clean, they will be more efficient at photosynthesizing.
Your tropical plants will thrive with humidity and air flow outside. The air circulation and wind will make the plants stronger and more sturdier.
Investing in forced air heating systems could ruin our houseplants, because the stale, bone dry air could destroy both leaves and roots of plants.
It is important to be very careful when it comes to acclimating your plants to the outdoors despite the fact that the brighter light can greatly benefit their growth. I will show you how to do that so keep reading.
It is often the case that plants that are struggling indoors will flourish when moved outdoors.
Hardening Off Plants
However, it’s not as simple as just moving your houseplants outside. Not exactly, but almost. Here are a few things you will want to bear in mind when you move your houseplants outside:
Plants from tropical regions generally don’t do well in cold weather. Some plants, however, appear to be tolerant. Wait until the nighttime temperature consistently falls above 50F (10C).
Do not place your plants in the sun too early when they are relocated outdoors. Even if they are plants that need direct sunlight, the intensity of sunlight outside can be much greater.
Added hardening off will be necessary before your plant can be placed in full sun if your particular plant is accustomed to full sun.
In order to harden your plant off, you should leave your plant in COMPLETE shade for a few days before moving it and increasing light levels gradually as needed. If you don’t do this, your plant will burn its leaves.
You should protect your houseplants from the wind by placing them in a protected area outdoors. I’ve had many plants blown over the years and had the pots broken or the plants themselves damaged.
Houseplant Care Outdoors
Outside, you will need to water your plant much more often, as temperatures will raise and air circulation will make the soil dry out much faster.
It is important to feed your plants in the summer, when they will grow rapidly.
The idea of repotting your plant may appeal to you when you move it outside. It’s so much easier to repot it outside.
Keep in mind that the soil replenishes itself with organic matter regularly in nature, so give your plants extra attention and repot them regularly, or at least topdress with fresh soil.
During the summer, I move as many houseplants as possible outdoors. Of course, I’ll leave a few inside so that the house doesn’t look barren. Your plants will thank you and appreciate it after spending the summer outdoors!
You have to keep in mind not only daytime temperatures, but also nighttime temperatures when deciding when to move your plants outdoors. Tropical plants thrive outdoors, and will not like temperatures below 50 degrees.
Plants that Can be Moved Outside
Cacti and Succulents
The fact that succulents and cacti are desert plants shouldn’t distract you from their performance when they’re outdoors. They need bright light and require minimum watering and should not be moved into the brightest part of the yard one day and assumed they will survive.
Ponytail Palm (Beaucarnea recurvata)
Pets and their parents love a ponytail palm, and it is also famed for being low maintenance and enjoying being indoors. However, when grown outdoors, it might give off flower stalks and grow up to 20 feet high (although most halt out around 3 feet). Ponytail palms demand full sun, but can grow in low light environments, too. Ponytail palms need much less water than succulents, so they let their roots dry out in between waterings.
Croton (Codiaeum variegatum)
It prefers a moist not soggy, not dry soil, and prefers bright light and humidity, but is particularly finicky about its water intake. Croton leaves will drop if they are receiving too much or too little water or when the temperature drops too low.
Plants like Hoya that grow in large containers are also able to thrive on the other side of the window. They prefer bright, indirect light and moist, but not wet soil. Their waxy leaves can hold a lot of moisture, making them good candidates for outdoor heat.
Although some ficus trees are known for being picky, these trees actually can thrive outdoors. However, don’t move your ficus just because you can if you find it’s living its best life in a bright, open corner of your home. When moving your indoor plants, especially in the fall, a few leaves normally fall when they are moved back outside.
Snake plant (Sansevieria)
The snake plant can be found anywhere, and in the outdoors as well. Snake plants can tolerate low light, but they will also thrive in a variety of light conditions. Their preferred watering interval is a few days.
The plants below should be grown in shady levels outside if they are in proper soil conditions. Then again, if they are happy and active inside, it is probably best NOT to move them.