Have you ever gotten cabin fever, where you simply must get out of the house and enjoy outdoor activities? Similar to people, houseplants can reap benefits of leaving the house and enjoying fresh air and sunshine. Relocating houseplants outside can strengthen the plant's structure and health. The unfiltered, nutritional sunlight is especially beneficial to plants requiring a season of bright sunlight or bulbs that store energy to bloom annually, such as Amaryllis.
An added benefit of moving houseplants out-of-doors is their ability to perform double-duty and decorate outdoor living spaces. Plants are an essential component to create an inviting and comfortable sanctuary on porches, patios, gazebos or seating/eating areas, which effectively draws social gatherings or downtime relaxation activities outside the home.
How to Care for your Houseplants Outdoors
When moving houseplants outdoors, keep in mind the watering and fertilizing schedule of the plants will differ from their indoor schedule. Potted plants tend to dry out faster outdoors than indoors, and should be watered when the top inch of soil is dry to the touch. Additionally, if the plants are in a saucer or dish, take care to empty it after heavy rain so the plant does not sit in water. Emptying the saucer of water will also eliminate a potential mosquito haven.
Take precautions to protect houseplants from strong, damaging winds by bringing them back indoors or near a protective wall during high winds. Each houseplant's container should be substantial enough to prevent the plant from tipping over and causing it injury.
The leaves of a houseplant become burnt if placed immediately into a sunnier location than they are accustomed. Consequently, introduce a houseplant gradually to the natural sunlight outdoors. Place all plants in a shaded location and move them into slightly longer periods of direct sun after 10 days, until the level of sun each specific houseplant requires is met.
Pro - Tips
- Some larger potted houseplants may be easier to transport with a dolly or on a cart with wheels. Large containers are easier to move outside before they are watered, which reduces their weight.
- In general, wait to move plants outside until temperatures are consistently over 50°F (10°C).
- If a plant does not thrive in a new outdoor location, then vary the location until the plant is growing successfully. Ultimately, a houseplant can be brought back indoors, if a suitable location is not available outside.