Most of our houseplants are likely accustomed to growing in the wild in warm, sunny climates, so it makes sense that they enjoy spending time outside in summer! However, it isn’t quite as simple as bringing them all out on the patio and forgetting them for three months. There are some essential things to do and things to avoid when bringing your houseplants outside.
Here Are Some Dos and Don’ts of Moving Plants from Indoors to Outdoors
If done properly, some fresh air and summer sun can work wonders for your plants’ growth and vibrancy. However, a few missteps could do more harm than good! Follow these tips for bringing houseplants outside successfully.
DO Check the Sun Tolerance of Your Houseplants
While some houseplants like Crotons, Echeveria, and Dracaena can handle direct sunlight, many other houseplants””particularly tropicals””don’t like intense, direct sunbeams hitting their leaves. Too much direct sun can give them sunburns, just like us! In the wild, they sit underneath leafy canopies in the rainforest. If your plant prefers bright, indirect light, your best option is to place it somewhere North or East-facing. This way, it will get a bit of soft morning sunshine but be shielded from the scorching afternoon sun.
DON’T Maintain the Same Watering Schedule as Before
The sun, heat, and wind outside dries the soil out faster than indoors. Depending on whether your houseplant is in direct sun, you may need to water it every 1″“2 days to keep it from dehydrating. Spreading some mulch across the soil surface will help prevent the moisture from evaporating so quickly.
DO Transition Your Houseplants Outside Gradually
A sudden move from the consistent temperatures and gentle light of the indoors to the shifting temperatures and bright light of the outdoors can really stress out a plant! Your best bet is to gradually transition your houseplant to the outdoors, bringing it out for just an hour or two at first. As the days pass, bring it outside for a little longer each day. After about two weeks, it should be safe to leave out all season.
DON’T Bring Houseplants Outside Until Temperatures Are Consistently Above 15 °C
Most houseplants are most comfortable between 15″“25 °C, and anything below that can do some severe damage, especially if it stays cool for a prolonged period. May is still a bit too early to bring houseplants outside in Edmonton, but usually, we’re in the clear by mid-June! If the forecast calls for extremely hot temperatures, move your plant to a shadier spot and water it generously early in the morning. It will still get some sun this way, and the cool water will help insulate its roots from the heat.
DO Apply Fertilizer to Help Fuel Their Growth Spurt
All that summer sun and fresh air will help your houseplants have an extra productive growth spurt, but they’ll need some extra fuel to keep them chugging along! Monthly applications of houseplant fertilizer from May until September will ensure your houseplants are sufficiently nourished. Look for a balanced formula with a 1″“1″“1 NPK ratio””this will provide a perfect amount of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium for your plants to perform all their basic functions.
DON’T Forget to Debug Before Transitioning Outdoor Plants Back Indoors
Bringing an outdoor plant indoors without debugging could hurt all your other houseplants! Garden pests are small and sneaky, and they often hide on the undersides of leaves or beneath the soil surface. Once they’re in your home, they can really wreak havoc in a short amount of time!
Use a generous coating of a natural insecticide or an insecticidal soap. Coat the tops and bottoms of the leaves, then quarantine the plants in a separate room away from your other indoor plants for 4″“5 days to prevent any stragglers from hopping over to your other plants. It doesn’t hurt to apply a follow-up insecticide application before moving the plant back in with the others.
If you don’t have many houseplants to bring outside for summer, but you’d like to spruce up your patio with a bit of tropical flair, visit Salisbury Greenhouse in Sherwood Park and St. Albert! From potted palms to Birds of Paradise and trendy Monsteras, we have so many exotic houseplants for sale in Edmonton to bring style and attitude to your outdoor scenery.