After a long winter of bonding with your plant babies, perhaps it’s time to move your leafy family outdoors for the summer months. Especially if you already plan to move your gardening from indoors to your vegetable or perennial gardens, it might make more sense to split the gardening chores with Mother Nature by bringing your indoor plants outdoors to enjoy the summer. Plants are creatures of habit, however, and don’t take well to just being stuck outside come June. This is how to seamlessly transition your plant family from indoors to outdoors for the summer months.
Check the Weather
Almost all indoor foliage plants can spend the summer outdoors. They will love the fresh air! However, most indoor plants are tropical or subtropical and won’t be happy being put outside when the temperatures are not to their liking. Be sure to keep an eye on the weather and the nighttime temperatures before beginning to move your plants outside. Temperatures should stay consistently above 50 degrees so your plants stay happy. If temperatures dip below or strong winds and rain are predicted, it may be best to bring plants indoors until the weather goes back to optimal again.
While your plants are excited to get outside, bringing them outdoors too abruptly will sunburn them. Yes, even plants can get sunburnt. Even if your plants were growing in a sunny south-facing window, it’s still not the same strength of rays as the direct summer sunshine. The best way to bring plants outdoors is to slowly acclimate them.
Start by placing your plant in a shady area for a few hours a day, then slowly increase the outdoor time over 7-10 days. You can expose your plants to direct morning sunlight after 5 days. Even the most sun-loving plants need 10 days to acclimate to direct sunlight. While sunburn is rarely fatal, it can bleach the foliage and cause leaf damage. When it’s time to make the permanent move outdoors, be sure to bring your plants outside on a shady day. Your plants will appreciate not getting torched in their first days outdoors.
Check that Plants Aren’t Pot-Bound
Potted plants tend to dry out faster than ground soil. To avoid any problems with dried-out roots and thirsty plants, take the time to check that your plants aren’t pot-bound before bringing them outdoors. Pot-bound plants will dry out frequently if their container is filled with tightly bound roots. If your plants seem a little squeezed, repot plants before bringing them outdoors. Choose a pot that’s 2-3 inches larger and fill it with high-quality potting soil. Unlike in the winter months when plants don’t grow so much, be sure to give your house plants some fertilizer during the summer months.
Different plants have different preferences, and these should be taken into consideration when setting plants outside for the summer. The first factor to consider is light. If your plant thrives in direct sunlight then be sure to place them in a sunny spot outdoors where they can get ample sunlight throughout the day. If your plant is a shade lover, then choose a shady spot under a porch or against the north side of the house where they won’t get fried by the summer sunshine.
Also, when selecting your outdoor plant location, plants should be far enough away from the house that they don’t get hit by heavy waterfalls of water as they come off the house or gutters. This could potentially damage the foliage and also wash away a lot of the potting soil. While a summer with the perfect amount of rain will save you the trouble of watering your plants, sometimes during those dry spells it’s best to give your plants a good soaking. Position your plants near a garden hose or where they can easily be reached with a watering can.
Inspired to bring your indoor garden outdoors this summer? Stop by one of our retail locations where we have everything you need to keep your plants happy outdoors this summer!