We get it, you are kind of (unhealthily?) attached to your green amigos, who isn’t?! But it will soon be the season of bucket hats and iced lattes - and your green friends deserve getting some of that fresh, warm air too after being cooped up all winter. Before you take them outside, keep in mind that they also must be prepared to face the great outdoors!
House plants are used to being in the indoor environment, and placing them right outside right away could stress them out. Instead, they need to be gradually acclimated to the new environment. In this blog, we take you through how to adjust your green amigos to their new outdoor environment in a way that doesn’t send shock waves through their leaf veins.
When is the best time to move your plants outside?
Late Spring and summertime is the best time to move your green friends outside! Depending on where you live, you can start moving your plants outside as soon as May! You could also check what the temperature is like outside. Houseplants are typically tropical and prefer the range of 60-80 F. So if it’s still dipping below that where you live, it might be too chilly for your amigos.
What are the benefits of moving your plants outside?
Remember your daily socially distanced walks during lockdown? Certain houseplants also don’t like being cooped up indoors for months and months. Warmer temperatures can help speed up the growth of your green amigo - making them both healthier and happier! They can also benefit by being outside in the sunshine, light rainfall, and being around other green friends!
How to settle them into their new environment
There is an art to getting your plants used to being outside. Like we mentioned before, just picking them up from your living room and shoving them outdoors where they are not used to the environment could stress the green amigos out. The moving process should be gradual and gentle!
You can follow this two week plan - this means that the first couple of times you place your plant outside, aim for a shady spot where they are protected from the wind and other elements (perhaps your patio or under a tree) for only a few hours. From then on, add on a few hours everyday until the two week mark. From then, your green amigo can start being left outdoors throughout the night as well, adjusting them to cooler temperatures.
The sunlight is much more intense outside versus the safety of the indoors, especially during the summer months. This means you have to consider that the sun might stress out your plant. When you first place your plant outside, it is more ideal to do on the cloudy days without much direct sunlight. Leaving your green amigo in full sun could burn the leaves or even kill the plant. We all know how much it sucks to be sunburnt! After acclimating your plants to withstand more intensity, you could let them bask in the sun for a couple of hours. *Depending on the type of plant, direct sunlight could be harmful to the foliage, so make sure you know what your green amigo needs before placing in direct sunlight.
Caring for your *outdoor* plants
Once your amigos have been fully adjusted to their new outdoor environment, you may need to make small tweaks to their care routine. With the warmer months, houseplants will need to be water more frequently as well as bulk up on nutrients. You may find that your plants that are brought outside run through water and fertilizer more quickly than indoors - so you may need to increase your supply, just be careful to not overdo it!
Does your soil need a little extra boost? We’ve got something that will do the trick! Marphyl Organic Soil Enhancer is like superfood for your plants!
You also shouldn’t water your plants with an outdoor hose that has been sitting out in the sun as the water often gets heated - which could be harmful to your green amigo! Make sure to not blast the water aggressively and instead use a gentle watering can like you would indoors.
Your indoor plants may not be as bothered by pests as much as when they are outdoors. Aside from regularly checking for pests like aphids, snails, and caterpillars (and removing them if they appear), you shouldn’t be too worried about pests if you have healthy plants. Pests are usually attracted to the plants that are already struggling with issues such as not getting proper hydration or nutrition.
If you do encounter a pest issue, Plantsome now has an illness care index so that you can easily identify and tackle whatever pest is bugging your green amigo!
When to move them back in
Depending on where you live, once the temperature starts getting more chilly, your green amigos should be moved back indoors. Before this, make sure to check your plants for pests that may be hiding under pots or the underside of the leaves. You should also prune off any leaves that have been damaged outdoors.
Voilà! Enjoy your amigos’ summer vacation. They will surely thank you for it with healthy growths and beautiful blooms and a little taste of adventure!