Moving Houseplants Outdoors: Tips

April 30, 2010 at 12:00 PM Leave a comment houseplants love to go outdoors for a vacation in the summer. When the weather has settled down and the nights stay warm is the time to put the plants out. Look them over first to see if any need to be repotted in larger pots. Don’t plant them right into the soil — they might grow so big you will ruin them trying to pot them again in the fall, or if you succeed, the potted plant will be too large for its place in the house. Such things as calla lilies, caladiums and tuberous begonias that grow from a bulb or tuber may be taken from the pot and planted in the ground, for they can always be dug and stored in the fall.

If any need pruning to give them a better shape, do that too before putting the plants outside. Look them over for insects, and spray them if necessary. Lay the pots on sides and do a through job of spraying the underneath sides of the leaves.

Find each plant a good location that suits its needs. Those that stood away from the sun in the house should be put in shade outdoors — ferns, begonias, sansevierias, philodendrons, ivy, dieffenbachia, caladium, rubber plants, nephthytis, patience plant, peperomia, baby’s tears, spider plant, aspidistra, Christmas cactus and orchid cactus, hoya plant, hydrangea, bromeliads, kalanchoe. Those that enjoyed considerable sun indoors should have it outdoors too — the geraniums, coleus, shrimp plant, cacti and succulents, poinsettia, crown of thorns.

Remember that outdoor light is many times brighter than indoor light. It is well to protect houseplants from this sudden increase of light, especially those that are put in the sun. Cheesecloth draped over the plants for a few days will accomplish the purpose. Protect plants from wind by putting them in the lee of a building, hedge or wall, or staking them securely.

Most gardeners like to “plunge” their potted plants — that is, they sink them pot and all in soil up to the rim. This method keeps the roots cooler and moister than if pots stayed on top of the ground. To prevent roots from growing through the drain hole and penetrating the soil, put a drainage layer of 2 to 3 inches of gravel or cinders under each pot. Turn the pot in its hole every few weeks, as a further reminder to the roots to stay where they belong. Don’t bury the rim of pot below ground level or roots will go out over the top.

Water plants occasionally during dry spells, and keep a close watch for insect pests, just as you would if the plants were in the house.

Entry filed under: Green Information.

Ah, spring, when gardening. Barbara Brotman, Chicago Tribune How to Build a Pot Fountain. DIY

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