How to Prepare Outdoor Container Plants


Containers provide a great way to grow plants you may not have room for in your garden. Container plants can be kept indoors or outdoors. During the warm summer months, you will likely want to put your indoor container plants outside where they will get plenty of sun. It's important to know how to prepare your plants for this change to avoid harming them. Here's how to get your container plants ready to spend the summer outside.

Step 1

Place your container plants in the sunniest window a week prior to moving them outside. Give them twice as much water as usual.

Step 2

Set your plants outside in a shady location for 2 hours, then bring them inside again. This will help acclimate them to the outdoor environment. Water your container plants so that the soil is moist.

Step 3

The next day, set your containers outside in a shady spot for 4 hours and then bring them indoors again. Water your plants enough to moisten the soil. Repeat the next day, leaving the plants outside in the shade for 6 hours.

Step 4

On the fourth day, leave your container plants outside in a shady location. Give them twice as much water as they needed indoors. They should now be acclimated to the outdoors.

Step 5

The following day, move your container plants to a sunnier spot for 2 hours, then move them back into the shade. Repeat the next day, exposing your plants to sunlight for 4 hours. Gradually moving your container plants into the sun will help them become accustomed to direct sunlight without being damaged by it. After repeating this procedure for 2 or 3 more days, you'll be able to leave the plants in a sunny location throughout the summer.

Step 6

Fertilize your plants with a water soluble fertilizer every two weeks. Continue to give them almost twice as much water as they needed indoors.

Step 7

Start preparing your container plants to return indoors in the fall before nighttime temperatures drop below 50 F. Begin acclimating your plants by moving them to a shadier area of the yard and reducing the amount of water and fertilizer to indoor levels. After a week, move your container plants inside.

Things You'll Need

  • Container plants
  • Water-soluble fertilizer
  • Watering can


  • Tips on Moving Plants
Keywords: acclimating plants, container garden, potted plants

About this Author

Based in Ann Arbor, Mich., Robin Coe has reported on a variety of subjects for more than 15 years. Coe has worked on environmental health and safety issues in communities across Ohio and Michigan. Coe holds a Bachelor of Science in journalism with a double-major in international politics from Bowling Green State University. She has also received training and experience as a nurse aide.