Moving Day |  Adapting Indoor Plants to Outdoors

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Moving Day
 Adapting Indoor Plants to Outdoors

As we get closer to the Spring Equinox you may be wondering if some of your indoor plants can venture outdoors. Just like us humans most plants love the springtime showers and sun. The majority of houseplants will benefit greatly from the outdoor air exposure and sunlight, but starting the process too soon or quickly will cause damage in the long run. In some cases, bringing your plant family out at the wrong time can expose them to shock and possibly kill them. 

Most plants love the outdoor springtime showers and sun as much as we do

Luckily the transition from indoors to outdoors is not a very difficult transition to make. The first thing to know is which plants can thrive outside. Not all indoor plants can handle outdoor exposure, especially not full sun exposure. Full sun exposure can lead to burnt leaves and stunted growth. Many tropical plants, for example, have evolved to grow in heavy shade conditions and others are extremely sensitive to changes in their environment.

Full sun exposure can be dangerous to newly migrated outdoor plants

The growing conditions for houseplants is a day-in/day-out process which means dealing with changes in their environment can be an adjustment. The best plants to move outdoors are plants that prefer to grow in full sun and can tolerate light frost. During the springtime, it is still possible to have very chilly nights, so it’s important that your houseplants can deal with these fluctuations. You also want to make sure that the plant is sturdy, with stems and branches that are unlikely to break from wind and rain. Basically, can your houseplant withstand the elements?

The best plants to move outdoors are the sturdy ones that love a lot of sun and can handle a little cold

The goal is to adapt your plants in steps. Make the transition too soon and chilly temperatures will stunt them, but wait too long and the sun may be too intense for their leaves. The precise time of year depends on your location. In general, it’s best to go by outdoor temperature . Wait until night time temperatures remain consistently above 55°F (13°C) for an easier transition.

Look to start migrating your plants outdoors when night time temperatures remain consistently above 55°F (13°C)

Transitioning Houseplants Outdoors

HousePlantSitter Tips for Transitioning Houseplants Outdoors

Limit Outdoor Exposure

Plants do best when exposed to the outdoors slowly. Start by bringing them outside for a few hours a day, and gradually expanding the time over two weeks until you eventually leave them outdoors overnight.

Begin with the Shade

Outdoor light is extreme, even for plants used to sunny windowsills. Ease the transition to natural light by protecting the plants from full sun. Placing your potted plants in a sunny spot in the morning and moving them into the shade by the afternoon over a few weeks can help them handle full sun exposure overtime. Leaving them under a big leafy tree will also offer the same results. 

Protect from the Wind

One of the fastest ways to damage indoor plants by exposing them to sudden gusts of wind. Houseplants that have never been exposed to the outdoors haven’t developed a natural resistance to withstand it and may experience snapped stems. It’s best to shield plants from strong winds for the first few weeks to give them time to harden.

Avoid Heavy Rain

Light rain is one of the best things for potted plants. While heavy rain can be the complete opposite. Rain that saturates plants can cause the soil to flood out and the roots to rot. Large drops of rain can damage fragile leaves and stems. Ensure pots have proper drainage before being placed outdoors, and move them to a protected area when there is heavy rainfall, at least for the first few weeks.

Watch out for Insects

Once your houseplants are outdoors they are exposed to all the elements. Check your potted plants regularly for aphids, beetles, and other signs of infestation that may get out of control. Many of these plant problems can be easily resolved with organic pesticide.

Need help transitioning your indoor plants outdoors?

Contact HousePlatSitter today and get an expert plant sitter to assist you