Summer days are warmer and longer, and when the sun beckons us outside to play, we listen. Believe it or not, you're not the only one longing to spend time in the sunshine. Your plants are hankering to catch some rays too. That's right, those sun-loving houseplants in the window and sizeable houseplants in the corner will thrive if you put them outside in the warmer months. We talked to the experts to find out everything you need to know about moving your houseplants outside in the summer.
Wait Until the Weather is Right
Justin Hancock of Costa Farms in Miami says it's important to pick the right time of year before you move your houseplants outside. If it's warm during the day, but cold at night, it's best to leave them inside until the nights grow warmer as well. "Because most houseplants come from tropical or subtropical areas, it's best to wait to take them out until night temperatures don't drop below 50°F or so," says Hancock. Once you move them outside, it's generally safe to keep them there until the nighttime temperatures fall below 50°F again.
Avoid Direct Sun
"There really isn't a houseplant that won't benefit from time outside, but don't place houseplants in direct sun outdoors," cautions Kara Ziegler of Pike Nurseries in Atlanta, Georgia. "Moving plants from moderate indoor light to intense outdoor sun will fry them. Place houseplants on a covered porch or patio where they will enjoy bright but indirect light."
Monitor Water Levels
Both Ziegler and Hancock say that houseplants placed outside may require a different watering schedule. Hancock points out that when your houseplant is outside, rain is a factor. "Depending on where you place your plants, exposure to summer rain can help make maintenance easier. If the plants get rainwater, they require less from you."
Ziegler adds that it's good to fertilize houseplants that you move outside as well. "The brighter light and warmer temperatures will trigger active growth, and the additional water and fertilizer will help them produce new leaves," she says. Your best bet is to check your houseplant's soil frequently to see how it is adapting to its new environment and make adjustments as necessary.
Repot in a Larger Container
According to Hancock, it can be beneficial to repot root-bound plants in a larger container after you bring them outdoors. "Outdoor conditions can trigger a growth spurt, and the larger pot will give them room to grow."