Many people have a misconception that house plants always need to be indoors. What we forget is that these are living beings that have evolved in the outside environment.
House plants also need sunshine, and you should put them out in spring, else they will die. You need to follow a process to put plants out in spring to cause minimal or no damage and injuries.
Many people fear that moving their house plants out will make them prone to pest attacks.
You can do the process to prevent and deal with pests when you bring the plants back inside. In this article, we will cover a lot of insights on the topic, so read till the end.
When to put plants outside in spring?
Put the plants outside in spring as soon as the minimum temperature reaches permanently. When the winter season is over, it is a safe time to decorate your balcony with the house plants for some time. If no more permanent frost is predicted in your area by the beginning of April, you can do the process for Mediterranean plants like olive, laurel, and oleander with sturdy leaves.
Roots of potted plants are damaged easily due to the frost, so check the temperature with a thermometer.
Covering plants with fleece or blankets will help protect the plants if the temperature falls only a few degrees below zero.
Never move the tropical plants out of quarters until temperatures are around 10 degrees Celsius.
Start the process of moving the plants out by cutting dead, diseased, and weak shoots. It is also the best time to bring plants in shape so that they sprout out again forcefully.
Look at the undersides of leaves to check the levels of Vermin. Either wash the affected areas with a soft soap or cut them off. To increase the vermin levels, always use chemical plant protection products.
This time of moving the plants out is also a good opportunity to re-pot them.
Take pots with a larger diameter than before so that roots get more space to grow. If the soil appears dull and moistureless, replace it with fresh soil with higher nutrient content.
To mention clearly, ensure that temperatures in the plant habitat and outdoors are almost similar while moving the plants out to protect them from a cold shock.
To get the plants used to the new lighting conditions, it is better to put them out on a cloudy day first.
This way, they will get enough time to adjust to the Sunlight. Span the flowers and leaves with a thin cloth to save them from sunburn and direct UV radiations. It will make the plants shine with more glory in the coming season.
At what temperature is it safe to put houseplants outside?
When the night-time temperature is consistently above 55 degrees Fahrenheit, place the indoor plants outside. The number 55 is the bare minimum temperature one must wait for. Many prefer the temperature to be constantly above 60, while some prefer to wait until the temperature hits 65 degrees Fahrenheit.
You must wait for at least one month after the last frost to even consider putting the plants out.
Keep a constant eye on the weather, particularly the night-time temperatures. Your green plants must never be out when nights are cooler than 45 degrees.
Subtropical plants like agave, heliconia, frangipani, and Brazilian Walking Iris severely get affected below 40 degrees and die if the weather dips below 32 degrees.
Tropical plants like dumb cane, cordyline, peace lilies, bromeliads, ficus, anthurium, and the bird of paradise will survive only when the temperature is above 50 degrees. They will die when nights are cooler than 40 degrees.
Things you need to take care of while putting the plants outside
Many things have to be taken care of while putting the plants outside. Since you are not buying plants freshly from a nursery, you should give more attention to the process of moving the plants out. Factors like wind, rain, and heat can affect your plant and die sooner than you can imagine. Let us discuss each aspect in detail.
Heat is exceptionally disastrous to plants and can burn flowers and leaves. Urban households are surrounded by concrete and asphalt that absorb radiations of the sun at a high rate.
This absorption will cause the air around to feel like 100, even when it is just 75 degrees. Being closer to the ground, plants catch the radiating heat quickly. When moving the plants out, never keep them directly under the sun.
They will not be able to withstand this high amount of energy when suddenly moved out from inside. Keep the pots closer to the walls in a shady region and expose them to the sunlight slowly.
Different plants have varied preferences like full sun, full shade, or a combination. Fulfill the lighting needs of the plants accordingly. If plants need half shade, put the pots at the side of your balcony and keep the pots on your porch, in case the plants need full sun all day long.
Plants need gentle winds, but a stronger breeze can topple your house plants. The potted plants do not have roots anchored in the ground, due to which they are at a higher risk of the ill effects of a storm. Dry winds can also drive away moisture from the roots.
Do pay attention to rainy days when your pots are out on the balcony. It will change the watering schedule of the plants. If your area receives frequent rains, do not water the plants until the soil in the pots is dry.
If the weather forecast claims extremely rainy and stormy days that can damage the plants, bring them in.
Sometimes pots are too many, and bringing them in rapidly is not an option. In such cases, at least give them a shelter that will offer some protection from drowning.
Deadheading refers to the process of pinching off dead blooms that hang off the stems.
The deadheads fall off on their own, and hence you do not have to do it necessarily. Doing it yourself, however, has a few advantages.
First, it gives an aesthetic look to plants, especially flowers. Indoor plants serve the most basic decoration purpose, so this is a good reason to remove deadheads. Second, this will promote new growth and make plants healthier.
Protection from pests
Although the indoor plants require sunshine and breeze, bringing them out also increases the risk of pest attacks. So, keeping your potted plants safe becomes significant.
A screened-in porch is a perfect place for outdoor planting.
Other options like fenced-in gardens and hanging baskets are the best way of maintenance and protection from rabbits and squirrels.
Choose correct pots
Choosing the correct pot is vital for the ideal growth of plants. Pots must have a hole at the bottom to drain out excess water from the soil. The absence of this hole will result in excessive water absorption by plants and lead to drowning.
The next thing to keep in mind is to select an appropriate-sized pot.
The roots of the plant must get enough space to grow. While moving out plants in spring, it is wise to change their pots.
Since the roots of plants have now grown much than before, buy pots that are 3 cm bigger in diameter.
It will ensure proper space for the growth of roots. Healthy roots will support the amount of foliage in the plants.
Houseplants enhance the decor of the house. But do not forget that your green friends also need outdoor exposure. One primary reason people fail to keep their potted plants alive is they forget to bring them out.
Even if they do, you have not followed proper measures. The task may seem hefty but is significant for the health of the plants.
Do not feel demotivated if your first set of potted plants died. This time, start with more knowledge. Note every single requirement of the plants you are buying from the nursery or do a Google search.