It’s easy to think of houseplants as being relegated to the great indoors. After all, they’re called HOUSEplants. But they also grow beautifully outdoors, too. In fact, you’ll probably notice that if you take your plants out for the summer, they’ll reward you with a ton of lush, green, vibrant growth. If you’d like to try this with your favorite plants, use these tips.
Acclimate Them First
It can be a big shock going right from indoors to out (remember, most plants don’t move around much in nature!), so it’s helpful to acclimate your plants by letting them spend a couple of hours outside one day, then a couple of more hours the next. Doing that over the course of a week or so gives plants plenty of time to adjust.
Site Them Right
Most houseplants do best when sited in a spot with shade all day or just a bit of sun in the morning and shade during the midday and afternoon hours. Houseplants with large, thin leaves (such as bananas, dieffenbachias, and the like) can also suffer a bit if put in an exposed, windy location.
Note: If you take your plants directly from inside to out and they get some sun, the leaves may sunburn, developing pale, burnt-looking patches. Unlike with people, sunburn doesn’t heal on plants – so if this happens to your plants, you may want to remove those damaged leaves.
Wait for Warmth
Because houseplants hail from tropical regions, they don’t like chilly temperatures. So if you live in a climate with seasons, wait until temperatures no longer dip below 50F or so – even at night – before moving your plants outdoors.
Your houseplants will love getting watered by Mother Nature each time it rains – but if the plants start to dry out in between rains, you’ll need to water them just like you did indoors. You might find your houseplants like to drink a little more water outdoors than they did indoors because of warmer temperatures and brighter light.
By Pamela Crawford, author, Easy Patio Veggies & Herbs
Photographs by Pamela Crawford
Pamela has written a great article about mixing herbs in containers. Herbs are natural companions with different textures for interest. The herb mix of parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme offers lots of flavor from a small combination loaded with textural interest.
To learn more, click here .
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