As the temperature starts warming up and we start spending more time outside we may want our houseplants to enjoy the fresh warm summer air, too! But, should you move your houseplants outside? Is it healthy for houseplants to be outside during the summer, or should you keep them inside?
This depends on a number of factors, including the type of plants and your plant hardiness zone. You can find the plant hardiness zone HERE.
Which Houseplants Can Go Outdoors?
Some plants will thrive outdoors and others will be a lot less happy. Plants that do well outdoors include cacti and succulents, ponytail palms, crotons, hoyas, amaryllis, ficus trees, snake plants, tropical ferns. You will want to your research your specific plant. And, don’t be afraid to ask your local gardening peers and nurseries who will likely have good information.
You’ll also want to take into account your climate zone. For example, if you live a long way north with relatively cool summers, your tropical plants might be best off staying inside or in a greenhouse.
Houseplants that will do well outside:
How to Move Plants Outside Safely for the Summer
Plants aren’t technically designed to move. The transition can lead to plant shock, where your plant ends up with withered leaves and can even die.
A major cause of this is the difference in light. The windows of your home block a lot of UV light, and your plant has adapted to not having much sunlight. Never move a plant from indoors to direct sunlight in one fell swoop.
It is extremely important to acclimate them as you transition them to the outdoors: a few weeks of shade in a covered area or under a tree before introducing it to a full-sun spot to avoid sunburn. Choose an interim location that is shaded, such as the shady side of your house or under a tree. Move plants outside for a few hours, gradually building up to them being outside 24 hours.
Monitor nighttime temperatures to ensure that the temperature won’t drop below what the plant can tolerate. If so, bring them in for the night. Also, houseplants generally do better in sheltered areas where they are not exposed to lots of wind or downpours.
Some plants will need extra food or water when moved outside, and make sure that you know what kind of pests they might attract.
Reasons Not To Move Your Houseplants Outside
There are two reasons not to move your plants. First of all, some extremely shade-tolerant plants may find that after a lot of time indoors they don’t handle being outside well.
The other reason is pests and bugs. It’s important to make sure that you don’t bring bugs back in with the plants.
Most houseplants, though, appreciate being moved outside for the summer. They are meant to be outside, after all, and as long as you do it right will thrive and reward you with pretty foliage and blooms.