While indoor plants improve your house’s ambiance, they grow better in the outdoors where there’s more fresh air and sunlight. I encourage you to move them outside gradually. Doing so randomly or too fast makes it harder for them to adjust, which increases the likelihood of dying.
Why You Should Move Your Indoor Plants Outside
The outdoors provides your plants with the exact temperature they need. You don’t need humidifiers, specialized bulbs, and other artificial light and heat sources. The rain also naturally cleans them, so you don’t have to keep clearing dust or debris from the leaves.
You might be concerned about your plants getting too much light outside, or being exposed to low temperatures at night. That’s why they need a transition period to give them time to adapt to the new conditions. Most professional gardeners recommend doing so between March and October during summertime.
Tips for Helping Your Plants Adapt to The Outdoors
Follow these tips to avoid the adverse effects associated with the sudden movement of plants outside:
1. Alternate Between the Indoors and Outdoors
Start by taking the plants outside in the morning, then taking them back indoors at night. They get to gradually adapt to the changing environment during the day, while also enjoying the convenience of the indoors. If you maintain this schedule for up to two weeks, they should have adapted to a full outdoor experience.
2. Avoid Direct Sunlight in The Initial Weeks
While transitioning to the outdoors, ensure your plants don’t come under direct sunlight. Place them in the shade when you take them outside during the daytime. Other than burning their leaves, the sun can cause shock and wilt.
I want gardeners to gradually increase the hours their plants are under shade. It might take several weeks before they adapt to direct sunlight. Even then, be keen not to leave them in the scorching summer heat for long periods.
3. Give The Plants Closer Attention in The Outdoors
Now that your plants are taking in more sunlight, they’ll need more water than they used to receive indoors. However, be careful not to overwater them because it might cause problems such as root rot. Pay extra attention during heavy rains and inclement weather to make sure they don’t soak too much.
Apart from root rot, signs of overwatering include yellow or brown leaves, stunted growth, molding, and edema. Other than water, they also need more fertilizer to satisfy higher demand for nutrients.
4. Look Out for Pests
Your plants might finally get used to the outdoors, but they’ll still be susceptible to bugs. During summer, more specialists receives a lot of inquiries regarding this problem. Insect activity increases during the season for various reasons.
Common pests include aphids, leaf-eating slugs, caterpillars, and worms. You might have to implement some natural remedies to prevent damage to your plants. They include placing banana peels around the stems, white vinegar to control ants, and essential oils to repel dust mites.
Cloves are useful for controlling ladybugs while onions and basil ward off spiders and flies respectively. Contact your trusted gardening supplier for more comprehensive solutions.
5. Prepare to Move Them Back Indoors
When summer ends, the accompanying cold seasons will harm your plants. If you’re planning on taking them back indoors, you should do it gradually just like you did when you first took them outdoors.
Since they’re now used to more sunlight and higher temperatures an abrupt move indoors isn’t advisable. If they look dry, feed the plants more water. Inspect the leaves and stems for any signs of damage, then trim the affected parts.
Make sure to inspect for insects as well, including inside and below the pot. If you find any, get rid of them using environmentally friendly remedies. Ensure the transition back indoors is complete before the initial frost.
If you follow these tips, your plants’ transition to the outdoors will be smooth. With careful observation, they’ll also be healthier due to exposure to fresh air, sunlight, and other natural conditions. As you gain experience, you’ll be able to handle a more diverse collection of plants.