Outdoor living space is one of the hottest trends nowadays. It doesn’t really matter if you own a huge mansion or a small house; you can create a more relaxing area to escape to at the end of your day, probably get some fresh air, hang out with family and friends, and enjoy quality time.
Moreover, when the summer starts, you can make your outdoor space feel even more inviting and welcoming by moving your house plants outside. Yes, you can carve out an amazing tropical retreat or a family-friendly spot by moving indoor plants outside for the summer.
Well, it’s usually best to keep tender tropical plants such as moth orchids and African violets indoors, but if you want to improve the health and appearance of your houseplants, you’ll be wise to move them outside for the summer sunshine. That’s where the plants evolved after all.
The increased light intensity will promote healthy growth while the rain washes away accumulated dust. Perhaps this is one of the reasons why most indoor plants thrive pretty well in outdoor conditions.
However, since they are already adapted to shade and warm temperatures, your houseplants may suffer if taken outside all in one go. This brings about the need for acclimatizing. Be sure to think about the intensity of the outdoor sunshine when moving your house plant outdoors.
Can All Plants Go Outside?
As we’ve mentioned, most houseplants will thrive well outside. The plants will naturally adore the fresh outdoor air. However, houseplants growing in small pots are likely to dry out more quickly and they often involve more care than when indoors.
Note that in their native habitat, many common indoor plants grow along the forest ground, where light is bright, indirect, and filtered by the canopy of taller vegetation above. When they are mot well monitored, these plants will appear a bit more stressed outdoors.
Plants that prefer indirect sunlight while indoors will definitely require you to imitate the stated canopy coverage when placing them outside so they don’t suffer from direct sun.
Succulents that are mostly exposed to plenty of rain are likely to do pretty well indoors as well, but excessive water and humidity will be detrimental to their overall condition.
To prevent this, you can place some of your succulents under a patio umbrella. Preparing your plants for an outdoor environment is imperative.
Placing Your Indoor Plants Outside: Getting Started
Of course, the best approach on how to move the indoor plants outside will depend on where you live and what houseplants you have. For instance, if you reside near Toronto, it means you receive some extreme winter months.
Sooner, the snow will melt down, perhaps, and probably mint air will do up come spring. But until then, you can’t give a blind eye to the crazy blizzard out there.
Indoor plants that have remained inside all winter will obviously react to the new conditions. Leaves will perk up and you might realize some subtle changes in blooms, leaves, and so forth.
Below we’ve discussed some of the key things to consider before deciding to move your houseplants from their warm, cozy zone in the lounge to the garden in the summer.
Get Your Indoor Plants Ready for a New Summer Home
Acclimatization, in simple terms, is a process where plants become gradually accustomed to a new climate or conditions. So, start by moving the hardiest of your indoor plants out, and place them into a very comfortable, preferably shady location in your garden.
Leave the plants outside in the selected spot for a few hours and then take them back to their indoor location.
The key is to move the hardiest houseplants outside first. These include plants like the jade plant, the snake plant, and aloe vera. Such plants require little water and little light while outdoors or indoors, which means they will still do well.
Once you’re done with acclimatizing the hardy plants (taking them out and inside for about two weeks), you can place them outdoors for the rest of the summer and the beginning months of the fall. Remember to take them inside, though, before the frost and winter months.
Fragile houseplants such as hibiscus should be left inside until you’re satisfied and confident about the temperatures in your garden. The temperature needs to remain at a constant tropical level to accommodate such plants.
NB: Temperature is the most crucial factor that dictates when indoor plants can be moved outside. Houseplants can undergo leaf damage when temperatures fall below 50 degrees Fahrenheit.
You might therefore choose to acclimatize your house plants to the outside on days when the outdoor temperatures are relative to the temperature inside your house.
Some plants may survive temperatures as low as 55 degrees Fahrenheit, but waiting until it warms up a little can help prevent damage should the night temperatures drop drastically.
Keep Windy Days in Mind
Another major challenge that you should think through is the wind. Especially on balconies and rooftops, strong winds can knock plants over, dry them out or even chill them due to harsh nighttime temperatures.
Try to figure out how windy your outdoor space can get before moving any plant. If it’s rather windy, you might just want to take larger, mature plants outdoors and keep smaller tabletop plants inside. You don’t want your houseplant to blow over.
Harsh Outdoor Direct Sunlight is a Big No
Granted this is summer, the logical idea would be to opt for the sunniest spot and place your plants there. But that’s not wise. Actually, the opposite is.
The most suitable place to set your house plant is under the shade, preferably off the indirect light to ensure cooler temperatures. As earlier stated, it takes a while for the plants to become accustomed to the intense outdoor light levels.
Note that outdoor light is much stronger than indoor light. The sun and heat during those summer months can cause sunburn and scorching and you might be forced to water your house plants every single day and sometimes twice per day, especially amid summer.
Repot in a larger Container
Moving your plants outside may sound easy in theory (picking up the pots and throwing your plants there) but the process is a little more complicated than that. For best results, experts suggest repotting root-bound plants in a larger container when moving them outdoors.
Outdoor conditions can cause a growth spurt and larger pots will provide room for your plants to grow. You will also need to choose planters with drainage holes.
If the selected planter doesn’t have any physical drainage hole, avoid placing it outside unless it will be totally safe from the elements. This is because rain will quickly accumulate in the non-draining pot, leading to overwatering and eventually potentially root rot.
Inspect Weekly for Plant Pests
Just like outdoor plants, there are lots of pests and bugs that can affect your houseplants. Note that your indoor plants will become healthier and stronger to fend off pests and disease as a result of increased light levels; as such, pets become another crucial factor to take into account.
After moving your plants outdoors, you may realize some bites taken out of them, but that’s totally normal. However, what’s important is to make sure the insects that make a home out of your plants. This is a common problem faced by plant parents when growing plants indoors.
When the time comes to bring the plants back in, you want to make sure they are free from pets as well. So trim and check your plants closely throughout the summer and before taking them back inside. To be extra cautious, consider spraying them with soap regularly.
Expect to see some leaf loss after bringing your plants back indoors. Once inside, your plants will be receiving less light, and thus less food. So, unless the chosen spot will receive plenty of natural light, like near the window, your plants will easily shed off their leaves while indoors.
Even so, this shouldn’t keep you from moving them outdoors for the summer sun. After all, even plants placed inside can lose leaves when the light decreases.
House Plants Watering Requirements
Each plant has preferential environmental conditions, whether it lives outdoors or indoors. Different plants have different needs, so it would help to understand each plant in terms of how they eat i.e. whether they need a ton of light or do they need to be placed on a shady spot.
Put them in your yard and check whether they are fine by paying close attention to how they thrive while outside. In some cases, watering them too much might not be necessary because the rain will take care of that. Well, maybe once or twice a week during the hot and dry part of summer.
Taking indoor plants outside for the summer is a great way to rejuvenate the health and vigor of your houseplant. The warm air and higher light levels will provide the much-needed natural conditions for most indoor plants to thrive and flourish.
Remember to inspect your plants regularly for water requirements as light, warmth, and wind will increase their needs for moisture. Then count on your plants to liven your outdoor space.