Your plants enjoy the warm temperatures and sunny days of summer just as much as you do! The Grow-HowTM Team provides all the information you need in regards to bringing your indoor plants outside throughout the summer.
Can all plants go outside?
Yes, during the hot summer months, all of our interior foliage plants can be moved outside. After all, there is where plants originated! They will appreciate breathing in the crisp outdoor air. When putting your plants outside, one of the most important things to consider is the strength of the outdoor sunshine.
Many typical houseplants thrive in bright, indirect light that is filtered by the canopy of taller trees above as they do in their natural habitat along the forest floor. You should avoid placing your plant in regions that receive direct sunlight if the plant you have indoors prefers indirect light. Additionally, it’s crucial to get your plant used to being outdoors.
How do I acclimate a plant to the outdoors?
The process of progressively acclimating your plant to a new environment, such as a change in temperature or light intensity, is known as acclimation. In order to avoid undue stress that can hinder growth or harm the plant, proper acclimation enables your plant to gradually adapt to its new environment.
Start acclimating your plant by putting it in a shaded place outside for an hour or two on the first day, and then gradually increase the amount of time it spends outside over the following seven to ten days. Most plants can tolerate direct sunlight during the morning hours since it is significantly less intense. About five days after you begin the acclimatization process, if your plant will receive morning sun, start putting it in the sun for brief periods of time each morning. It is better if plants with a preference for indirect light are protected from the sun by around 10 a.m.
Even plants that can tolerate direct sunshine, like a Bird of Paradise, Sansevieria, Ponytail Palm, and most cacti, need to be introduced gradually over the course of at least 10 days. This will prevent them from experiencing burnt leaves while they adjust to the strength of the full outdoor sun.
When do I know it’s safe to bring my plant outside?
When the outside temperature remains consistently above 50F, you can bring your plants outside without risk. Pay close attention to the forecast. Bring your plants inside for the night if the temperature is forecast to drop below 50F. When it becomes warmer, put them back outside.
They’ll probably be fine if you forget and expose them to lower temperatures for a brief time. Their growth may be temporarily stunted by temperatures below 50F, and leaf damage may result from temps as low as 35F. Most indoor plants will lose all of their leaves in freezing conditions, but if the exposure was only brief, the roots will usually survive.
Do you think it’s too early to plant outside?
As many gardeners are aware, there is a general rule of thumb that suggests waiting until after Mother’s Day to begin planting flowers and veggies. Many people learned these admonitions from their parents and grandparents, who probably learned them from theirs. Although the recommendation is a crucial reminder that early spring isn’t the greatest time to start planting most items, should everyone abide by it? See if the Mother’s Day rule holds any water and learn how to determine the best time to plant:
Whether choosing when to grow flowers, vegetables, bushes, or anything else, the last date of frost in your area should be taken into consideration. That’s because gardening while temps still hit the 20s overnight could mean setting your garden up to fail depending on the hardiness of the plant. In light of that, how does the Mother’s Day rule fit in? Well, Mother’s Day generally denotes late spring, or the time when night and morning frosts are nearly (if not entirely) done for the year. The rule, however, does not account for hardier species or warmer climates, either of which may require different planting guidelines. The Mother’s Day rule has some merit, but it’s preferable to treat it as the general principle that it is.
How can you determine the precise time to begin planting flowers and vegetables? Finding the latest frost date for your region by conducting some online research is the key to completing this properly. It’s a fantastic place to start because the National Climatic Center website includes frost information for every state. Next, do some research on the specific plants you want to include in your garden. Based on the information you discovered about frost, decide when to plant each one.
Annuals, perennials, and bulbs all vary in how hardy they are in general. In other words, some plants thrive in chilly climates and other challenging growing environments, whilst others require just the perfect amount of warmth and sunlight. Even if it takes a few weeks before the last frost of the season, the hardiest flowers can be planted as soon as your garden’s soil can be worked. Plant sensitive flowers when there is no risk of frost for the remainder of the season, and wait to plant half-hardy flowers until a few weeks before the last frost.
Vegetables, like flowers, have varying degrees of hardiness and grow in various environments. While some crops, like beets, carrots, and potatoes, should be planted a little bit later, such as spinach and onions, should be grown in frigid early spring circumstances. Plant warm-weather vegetables like squash, tomatoes, eggplant, and basil after all danger of freezing has passed.
Quick tip: If you’re starting from seeds, you can find planting instructions on the seed packets for both flowers and vegetables that take into account the climate and frost dates in your region. Look them up online before starting with seedlings or transplanting plants.
There are steps you can do to protect your garden if you planted delicate or warm-weather crops a little too early or if you experience unexpected cold fronts that bring freezes. In order to insulate your garden with warmer air if you anticipate an overnight frost, cover it with a sheet or light blanket and then a layer of plastic. As soon as the temperatures return to normal, take off the blankets in the morning.
What time may I begin moving my indoor plants outside?
It doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s warm enough at night for most plants to survive—especially houseplants—just because your neighborhood nurseries are starting to sell summer annuals. To be safe, wait a month after the last frost to even consider putting houseplants outside.
Some advice claims that once the evening temperature is constantly above 55 degrees F, your plants will be fine. I advise waiting until the temperature is constantly over 60 degrees, and I personally wait to put my plants outside until the evening temperature reaches 65 at least once. Although I’m a little more of a protective plant parent, make sure the afternoon temperatures are at least 55 degrees to assure success.
Can indoor plants be placed outside?
Moving your indoor plants outside in the summer will enhance their health and attractiveness.
The majority of indoor plants survive in outdoor environments, however it’s preferable to keep delicate tropical plants indoors, including moth orchids and African violets. Rain will remove collected dust, and brighter light encourages healthy development.
Your plants will suffer if you take them outside all at once, even though they are already used to shade and warm weather, so acclimate them first.
What degree of cold is too much for houseplants?
Planting too early might result in a crisis if a cold snap is impending, whether it was because you were seduced by some striking hue at the garden center or simply wanted to start the gardening season early. It’s not difficult to help your seedlings survive the great frost, but it does take some planning.
When temperatures drop, you can usually rely on improvised protection for plants. The necessary tools must be prepared in advance to protect plants from frigid mornings for larger plantings, such as a food garden.
Knowing when prized vegetation starts to turn frost-burned brown will help you know what to do when freeze warnings are in effect. As a general rule, plants typically freeze when the temperature stays at 28°F for five hours.
There are, of course, exceptions to this rule. When temps drop to 32–33F, seedlings often die because of their delicate new leaves. There are many low-temperature thresholds for tropical plants. Some collapse at temperatures below 40°F, while others break down at 35°F. Other plants are naturally resistant and can endure temperatures as low as 18 to 20 degrees Fahrenheit. Do a search in gardening books and internet resources to discover the threshold for your plants.
Take it up
Moving plants away from potential danger is the simplest cold-protection strategy. Potted plants and seedlings in flats both benefit from this. Moving plants onto a porch with a roof, into a garage or shed, or under a deck frequently provides sufficient shelter.
Rely on Water
Just before sunset, water the soil to raise the temperature of the surrounding air overnight as the water evaporates. Water-filled buckets or gallon jugs should be left in the sun all day. Move them close to threatened plants at night. Air temperatures will be moderated by the water, and if it freezes, heat will be released. To boost midday heating, paint a few water-holding containers black for best results.
the air flowing
The biggest harm is done to plants by cold, motionless air. To prevent frost from accumulating on plants, you can use an electric fan all night to create a breeze. Never forget to keep electrical connections dry.
Plants Should Be CoveredPlants should be covered with sheets, towels, blankets, cardboard, or a tarp to protect them from everything but the harshest freezing (28F for five hours). Inverting baskets, coolers, or any other container with a firm bottom over plants is also an option. Before it gets dark, cover plants to keep warm air in. Coverings shouldn’t ideally contact the foliage. If windy conditions are anticipated, anchor cloth coverings.
When the temperature rises and the frost has melted in the morning, remove coverings. Under dense covers, heat from the sun can accumulate and cause plant death.
Blankets that collapse
Row covers, or gardening blankets, should always be accessible. These covers are created in various thicknesses from plastic or synthetic fibers. Lay row covers directly on the plants, or suspend them over a bed with pegs to form a tunnel.
An incandescent light bulb produces enough heat to raise the temperature of the air around it just enough to keep a plant from freezing. For this method to operate, bulbs must be close to plants (within a distance of 2-3 feet). (Fluorescent bulbs can’t produce enough heat to complete this task.)
Defend specific plants
Set up hot caps
At planting time, stiff plastic containers with venting holes are placed over the individual seedlings. Hot caps function similarly to cloches (small greenhouses), but the daily task of applying and removing the covering is eliminated by venting holes. Use plastic two-liter bottles or gallon jugs with the bottoms cut off and the lids removed to simulate a hot cap (but saved). In the evenings when the weather turns chilly, replace the lids.
A Wall O’Water tepee, which encircles individual plants with a sleeve of water-filled tubes, is a variation on the hot cap concept. During the day, the water absorbs the heat of the sun. The water gently freezes at night, releasing the sun’s stored radiant heat and preventing the air within the tepee from becoming frosty.
What kind of temperature can indoor plants withstand?
The easiest time of year to kill a houseplant is definitely during the winter. Houseplants are put to the test by harsh growing conditions like low light levels, dry air, shorter days, and frigid temperatures.
Making care routine adjustments to accommodate seasonal growing circumstances is the key to ensuring that plants survive the winter. Review the fundamentals to provide your indoor plants with the best care during winter.
Winter causes the sun to set later in the day, which results in a 50% reduction in light levels near windows. During the winter, indoor plants that thrive near a sunny eastern or northern window during the summer may require a southern or western exposure. Similarly, plants near windows in the west or south that require filtered light in the summer might be able to endure direct sunlight in the winter.
To aid plants in adjusting to shifting light conditions:
- If it’s possible, move plants nearer to the windows.
- Window cleaning will maximize light transmission.
- For the winter, move plants to new areas next to windows with more light.
- Cleanse plants to allow leaves to utilize the light that is available to the fullest.
- Add synthetic lighting. Fluorescent lights are sufficient. They generate less heat and are less expensive than conventional grow lights. For best results, place bulbs 4–12 inches away from plants.
Tropical plants, which make up the majority of indoor plants, like daytime temperatures of 65 to 75 F and nighttime temperatures of around 10 F lower. Low temperatures (below 50F) can be problematic for many plants.
In order to make the thermostats more comfortable for you, keep in mind that your plants also require some thought.
- Keep plants away from heat sources and cold gusts.
- Maintain a few inches of space between plants and external windows.
- Plants should be moved away from windows at nightfall in cold climates if windows freeze over at night. Additionally, you may tuck a thick shade or another insulating item between the plants and the glass.
In the cold, homes might only provide 5–10% relative humidity. Houseplants prefer 40–50%. Brown leaf tips and the appearance of pests like Spider Mites are indicators that plants are being stressed by low humidity. Learn how to increase the humidity around plants in simple methods.
Overwatering is the most frequent issue that indoor plants encounter throughout the winter. 95% of indoor plants require the soil to almost completely dry out before watering. How do you determine whether plants need water?
- Don’t only test a small area of the soil’s surface. When the root zone is dry, plants require moisture. Insert your finger up to two inches into the ground. Water the soil if it’s dry.
- Pick up the pot. When soil gets dry, it becomes lighter. Lift pots right away after watering to feel the texture of the moist soil.
- Plants won’t need water as frequently if winterized rooms are humidified. Dry air means watering.
- The only exceptions to this rule are citrus and ferns in pots, both of which require continually moist soil. If you are uncertain, always do your research.
Never let plants sit in water that gathers in the drainage saucer overnight when you water.
Fertilize plants all winter long in mild climates. Winter fertilization of indoor plants is not recommended in the coldest climates with little natural light. When springtime outside plants begin to grow, fertilizer can be resumed.
In the spring and summer, when most indoor plants are actively growing, is the ideal time to repot them. Potted woody plants that entirely hibernate in the winter are the exception. Transplant those in the early spring before the buds break.
- Numerous advantages of houseplants include bettering indoor air quality and lowering sickness rates.