Moving Plants Outside

It’s that time of year again! We are well into spring, day time temps are climbing and everything is growing again! If you are anything like me and your house is bursting with plants…. You may be wondering if and when you can move some of your indoor plants outside… The good news is that for most people we can move our tropical plants outdoors when the weather is right!

There are a few things you will need to do to make moving them out easier on the plants.

One of my Hoyas enjoying a touch of morning light!

First look up the needs of each plant you are moving outside. Pay close attention to the light requirements for each plant. Often times the recommended light lines up with outdoors more than indoors, but not always. Then be sure to look at the temperature range each plant does best at. If where you live gets way hot you may have to adjust how you take care of them. Some plants may get really stressed in high heat so you may have to drag them to deep shade or inside on super hot days. Another thing to be aware of is watering. You will be watering a lot more frequently when they are outside because the wind and heat will dry them out quickly. As well as your plants using up more water because they are in higher light.

You can move your indoor plants outside when the nighttime temps stay consistently at or above about 50°F. Some plants can tolerate a little colder. But for the most part they don’t want to go below 50°. If you are going to have a cold night, it’s a good idea to drag them inside to be safe.

My rubber tree just waiting to be moved outside!

When moving your plants outside be sure to acclimate them slowly. Keep in mind that our brightest windows indoors are about the same light level as shade outside. So start by first moving them to deep shade or a covered porch where they won’t have direct sun, yes even the full sun plants. Leave them in this light for a week or two. If the plants can handle more light, you can move them to where they get a little more. Then wait another week or so before making the next move. Repeat this process for each plant until you have them in their ideal placements. When the seasons start changing and it will soon be time to bring them in, reverse this process. This prevents leaf loss from a sudden decrease in light. It’s also a good idea to throw in a systemic and give them a good spraying off before bringing them inside.

Most of our indoor plants would be happiest in part shade, with morning sun being the best for the more tender ones. But there are many that would like to see full sun if possible. These would be your cacti and most succulents. Most trees, especially citrus, avocado, olive, and any other fruiting trees. It doesn’t hurt to experiment a bit with plant placement. If you find that they aren’t happy where you have them, you can move them into a little more or a little less light depending on the situation.

Finding the perfect place for your plants outside can be so much fun! I love arranging everything just so and creating a tropical oasis on my patio! So have fun with it and don’t be surprised if your plants grow like crazy!