How to Put Houseplants Outside

Overview

Just because houseplants are, well, houseplants, doesn't mean they can't spend some time outdoors in the warmer months. According to University of Minnesota, houseplants actually benefit from time on your deck or patio. They experience wind, humidity and light conditions closer to their natural habitats and experience growth spurts as a side effect. Still, you can't just chuck your plants outside when it starts to get warm. You have to acclimate your houseplants to their temporary new homes or run the risk of shocking them into death or sickness.

Step 1

Resist the urge to put your plants outside too early. Check the local extended weather forecast and wait until the outdoor temperature will be consistently at or above the temperature in your home. Make sure there's no more threat of frost.

Step 2

Choose a location that gets light similar to the light in your home. Even plants in or near sunny windows may not be used to direct, hot sunlight. Locate a spot with diffused light, like a porch or covered patio.

Step 3

Put your plants outside in the morning, and bring them in at night for the first week. This helps the plants get used to their new surroundings and protects them in case temperatures unexpectedly drop.

Step 4

Pay more attention to your plant's care needs, not less. According to the University of Minnesota, increased wind and sun means more growth. More growth means your plants need more water and more fertilizer. Check the weather often to avoid watering if you plants will be rained on. Houseplants aren't used to excess water and can start to have problems if watered too much.

Step 5

Bring your plants indoors if you're going to have severe weather, like a hurricane, tornado, severe thunderstorm, windstorm or prolonged period of rain showers. Your houseplants are not likely strong enough or anchored well enough to their small pots to survive severe weather.

Step 6

Bring back indoors well before the first frost. Be prepared to trim your plants back. According to Penn State University, it's normal for plants to die back a little as they make the transition back into your home's humidity and light conditions.

References

  • University of Minnesota: Caring for Houseplants in Northern Climates
  • Penn State University Department of Horticulture: Can I Put My Houseplants Outside for the Summer?
Keywords: house plants, out door plants, indoor plants

About this Author

Lillian Downey has a diverse background, including studies in English, social work, women's studies, non-profit management, political science and nursing. She's worked as an intern sex-educator, clinic manager and mental health professional. She is currently studying to be a birth doula and childbirth educator. She served as editor-in-chief of "Nexus Journal of Literature and Art" and an assistant fiction editor at the "Antioch Review."