Give Your Indoor Plants A Break!
It is time to give your indoor plants a well-deserved summer vacation! Most houseplants will thrive outside – they love the fresh air and rain, plus they will make your patios, porches, and walkways pop with color.
As soon as the temperatures at night are higher than 50° F, and after the last frost date, it is safe to move your plants outdoors. The sudden change in environment should be taken into account; shelter from sun and wind is very important. Familiarize your plants gradually by allowing increasing amounts of sunshine to fall upon your plants over a couple of weeks. For more shade-loving types, keep them in a partially shaded area all season; under a shade tree, under an awning, or in the shelter of a north wall is a good location; a screened porch is an excellent spot. If the plant is a particularly thirsty variety, try installing a temporary drip irrigation system.
The worst thing to do is to take plants outdoors and forget about them – the environment may not be exactly to their liking. Keep an eye out for problems with your plants and move them around if necessary, even if it means moving them back inside. In the event of an extended heat wave or an uncommon cold snap, be prepared to provide some additional, temporary shelter in a garage or shed – you may have to move them back inside temporarily.
Your plant’s feeding and watering needs will change outdoors, and many plants develop new growth outdoors more rapidly than they do indoors. It is essential to increase the frequency of fertilizing and watering to account for this new vigor.
Another thing to look for is extra root growth. When indoor plants have been moved outdoors for the summer, roots may grow through the drainage hole in the bottom of the pot. If the pots are sitting directly on the ground, give them a twist occasionally to loosen roots that have attached to the ground.
Also, don’t forget your larger plants! Have someone help you move the ones you can’t pick up by yourself. A plant dolly makes moving them a lot simpler.
Allow your plants to thrive this spring and summer! They deserve and break and some fresh air as much as you do!