Indoor plants brighten your indoor space, boost your mood and reduce stress, which is probably why indoor plants are so popular. However, keeping them inside at all times isn’t always ideal. So how often are you supposed to put indoor plants outside?
You should put your indoor plants outside for a couple of months during summer. However, the outside temperature during summer will determine precisely when you should take your indoor plants outdoors. Additionally, indoor plants need to be introduced to the outdoor weather gradually.
The rest of this article will discuss why you should put your indoor plants outside, which plants thrive with a bit of outdoor time, and the best way to transition indoor plants to outdoor life. I’ll also review some common problems with moving indoor plants outdoors and tips on doing it correctly. So, read on!
How To Introduce Indoor Plants to Outdoor Weather
Moving your indoor plants outdoors too abruptly can shock the plants and cause them to die. Therefore, it’s better to introduce the plants gradually. But how do you do that?
Knowing when and how to take your indoor plants outdoors is essential to their care. In the following sections, I’ll review tips on transitioning your plants to outdoor weather.
Wait Until the Summer Months
The most crucial part of transitioning your indoor plants to the outdoors is waiting until the weather is right. If the weather is too cold, it can shock your plant and kill it.
It’s best to wait until outside weather reaches steady temperatures of 50°F (10°C) or higher.
Only Leave Your Plant Outside for an Hour a Day
The first day you take your plant outside, only leave it for an hour. You must leave the plant in a shady area or place that doesn’t receive direct sunlight. Putting your indoor plants in direct sunlight will shock the plant and possibly scorch its leaves.
Slowly increase the time you leave your plant outside for the next couple of weeks. It’s best to keep them in shady areas; however, leaving them in direct sunlight in the morning is okay, as the sun is less likely to damage the plant during this time.
If you would like a more in-depth guide about providing your indoor plants with adequate light, check out my other article: How To Give Indoor Plants Enough Light To Grow
Bring the Plants Indoors During Heavy Wind or Rainfall
Your indoor plants are likely not used to heavy rainfall. So when storms are in the forecast, it’s best to bring them indoors. This process is essential to protect your indoor plant from heavy winds and hard rain that could damage its stem or leaves, and it also protects against oversaturation in your plant’s pot.
Overwatering your plant can lead to root rot, which can cause irreparable damage to your plant. Therefore, it’s best to play it safe.
Fertilize Your Plant More Often
Fertilizing your plant is essential to its health, both indoors and outdoors. However, when you move your indoor plant outdoors, it’s a good idea to fertilize it a little more often.
Your indoor plants will thrive in their natural, outdoor environment. Therefore, feed it a little more often to encourage the plant’s growth and ensure it grows strong outdoors. However, be careful not to over-fertilize, as it can kill the plant.
Indoor Plants You Should Put Outside During Summer
Most indoor plants will thrive outside during the summer. Most common houseplants will benefit from outdoor time, and I’ll go over some of these plants in the following sections.
Philodendron is one of the most common indoor plants because it’s easy to maintain. Although this plant thrives indoors year-round, putting it in a shady area outdoors is very beneficial.
However, before moving this plant outdoors, you must ensure the temperature doesn’t drop below 55°F (13°C) at night. Philodendrons require warmer temperatures, so anything below this can shock the plant and cause it harm. Additionally, it would be best to leave the philodendron in a shady area. Otherwise, the sun will scorch its leaves.
Pothos, also known as Devil’s ivy, or Epipremnum aureum, is another common indoor plant because of its resiliency. Pothos is a tropical plant that can survive in warm, humid climates.
However, if you move this plant outdoors during summer, you must ensure the temperature doesn’t exceed 90°F (32°C). While this temperature for a short time won’t kill the plant, leaving it at this temperature for too long can cause it harm – possibly stunting its growth and scorching the leaves.
Peace Lily Plant
Peace lilies are widely known as a houseplant favorite. However, many people don’t realize the benefits of putting peace lilies outdoors during summer. Peace lilies will do best outdoors in shady areas where they’ll receive bright, indirect sunlight.
It’s essential to note that the area where you live, or the hardiness zone you live in, is crucial in how well your plant will fare outdoors. For peace lilies, the ideal hardiness zone is 10 to 12, so it’s best to know your hardiness zone before moving your peace lily outdoors.
Spider plants are excellent outdoor plants during the summer when kept out of direct sunlight. However, like most indoor plants, spider plants won’t do well in too cold temperatures. Therefore, if you put them outside during the summer, you must move them indoors before temperatures reach below 45°F (7.2°C).
While this temperature won’t kill the plant, it will damage it. And the same goes for temperatures that are too hot. Spider plants prefer temperatures between 60-75°F (15.5-23.8°C), but they can live through warmer temperatures.
Like peace lilies, jade plants are excellent indoor plants but can be grown outdoors in specific hardiness zones or during the summer. However, you must wait until the summer months to move this plant outdoors, as they’re more susceptible to damage from the cold.
If you live in a hardiness zone of 10 or warmer, your jade plant can be grown outdoors year-round, as the weather likely won’t get cold enough to harm the plant. However, it’s best to only take the plant outdoors in cooler hardiness zones during summer.
You must bring the jade plant indoors when temperatures begin to go below 50°F (10°C). Otherwise, you’ll shock the plant and possibly cause irreparable damage.
Monstera Deliciosa Plant
The Monstera deliciosa plant, nicknamed the swiss cheese plant, is a common houseplant for those who enjoy having large plants indoors. Monstera plants like bright, indirect sunlight, so moving them to a shady location outdoors is very beneficial to the plant.
A Monstera plant’s natural environment is a humid, tropical environment. They often grow along a forest floor and climb nearby trees. Therefore, growing them outside during the hot and humid summer will only mimic their natural growing environment. However, ensure it’s not in direct sunlight, as it will scorch and damage the leaves.
Additionally, when moving a Monstera deliciosa plant from indoors to outdoors, it’s essential to provide it with something to cling to or climb, whether that be a trellis or a pole.
Cacti love the sun. So, if you have an indoor cactus, moving it outdoors during the hot summer months will benefit it. However, before doing so, you must make sure the temperatures at night don’t drop below 65°F (18.3°C). Any temperature below this is too cold for cacti, possibly shocking the plant or causing it to die.
However, when it comes to cacti, it’s best to bring them in during heavy rain periods. Cacti don’t need as much water as other plants, so too much rainfall can result in overwatering the plant.
Why You Should Move Your Indoor Plants Outside
As much as you love to see your plants thrive indoors, putting them outside now and then can do wonders for their overall health. However, whether or not your plant appreciates outdoor time depends on several factors, including the type of plant and the general weather conditions.
Despite this, let’s look at some of the main beneficial reasons for putting your indoor plants outside.
Indoor Plants Will Thrive in the Natural Sunlight
Like you, your plant loves a little natural sunlight now and then—especially if your plants are usually under artificial lighting. During the summer, indoor plants will thrive in the natural lights outdoors.
However, depending on your plant’s lighting needs, you need to take special care of where you place it. For example, putting a plant that requires indirect sunlight in direct sunlight during summer will do nothing but scorch the leaves and dry it out.
Therefore, it’s best to put most indoor plants in a partially shaded outdoor area. Here are some examples:
- Place your plants on a covered porch. Setting your indoor plants on your covered front or back porch will offer the plants a slight shading while giving them access to natural sunlight and fresh air.
- Find a large tree to shade your plants. Like a covered porch, putting your plants under a tree will give them a bit of shade while still being outside. However, you’ll want to ensure that even under a tree, your plants aren’t in direct sunlight for too long every day.
- Move your plant throughout the day. If you have a specific place in mind that you want your plant to go to, but it’ll receive direct sunlight half the day, consider moving it around with the sun. It’s best to find a few places throughout your yard where you’d like to place the plant and move it around.
Indoor Plants Enjoy the Fresh Air
Although the air indoors is typically suitable for indoor plants, letting them outside in the summer to take in some fresh air is a great idea. The fresh air will offer your plants natural temperature and humidity levels that’ll allow your plants to thrive—as long as the temperatures during summer are warm enough.
Additionally, the natural air circulation will encourage your plant to grow strong!
You Can Get a Break From Plant Care
If you care for plants by providing extra care, such as specific lighting or humidity levels, moving your indoor plants outdoors during the summer can relieve you of most of these duties. However, this depends on your particular location and weather conditions.
Therefore, along with giving your indoor plants a nice change of scenery, your workload will lighten.
The outdoors will provide the proper temperature and humidity levels your plants need but can’t receive naturally indoors. Additionally, you might have to water the plant yourself less, depending on how much rain you get in your area.
The rain will also take care of any dust or debris build-up on your plant, so you won’t have to worry about cleaning it up of debris very often. It’s also an option to let nature take care of your plant—should the weather permit.
If you would like to explore you options when you are away from your indoor plants, check out my article: 8 Things to Do With Indoor Plants When on Vacation
Common Problems With Placing Indoor Plants Outdoors
Moving your indoor plants outdoors won’t always be problem-free. Unfortunately, many problems can occur when you leave your indoor plants outside. Luckily, there are some ways you can fix these problems (and possibly prevent them in the future).
Here are some common problems you may have when moving your indoor plants outside:
While you can still deal with pests on your plants indoors, moving them outdoors makes them more susceptible to pest problems, as pests have easier access to your beloved plant.
Unfortunately, several pests feed on houseplants, some that can cause significant damage and others just annoying. Luckily, there are ways to deter pests from your plants.
How To Fix
Applying a pesticide to protect your plant from harmful pests is best. However, ensure that you apply the right kind of pesticide. Otherwise, you can harm your plant. The treatment you’ll want to use on your plant will depend on the type of pests you encounter. Despite this, you’ll likely want to use the following substances on your plant:
- Insecticidal soap
- Neem oil extract
If you place your indoor plant outdoors in direct sunlight, you’ll most likely deal with sun damage to the leaves, especially if the plant prefers indirect sunlight or shade. There are many ways to prevent this (like placing the plant in a shady area). But if the damage has already happened, you can take some steps to fix the situation.
How To Fix
To fix sun damage on your plant, immediately move it back indoors or into the shade. If some leaves are damaged (such as wilted or discolored), it’s best to cut them off of the plant.
Additionally, giving a sun-damaged plant some extra water will help bring the plant back to life.
Waterlogged plants are the result of overwatering. When this happens, it’s common to see your plants begin to wilt and change color, similar to plants experiencing sun damage. Putting your indoor plants outdoors when there’s a lot of rainfall can cause them to become waterlogged, leaving your plant unhealthy.
How To Fix
The first thing you should do when you notice your plant is waterlogged is to stop watering it until the soil is dry. You may also need to repot the plant altogether, especially if the pot doesn’t have enough drainage.
Ensure the plant isn’t in bright sunlight; if it is, it’s best to move it to a shady area.
Tips on Bringing Indoor Plants From Outside to Inside
While moving your indoor plants outside during the summer is great, you’ll eventually need to bring them back indoors when the weather gets too cold. However, before doing this, there are some tips you should consider for the safety of your plant and other indoor plants you may have. These tips include:
- Check the plant for any signs of pests. If your plant has any pests or signs of pests, you don’t want to bring it in quite yet. It’s ideal for taking care of any pest problems while the plant is outdoors, as it will only cause more issues indoors.
- Isolate the plant. Even if you don’t see signs of pests, it’s best to isolate the plant from other indoor plants, just in case.
- Repot the plant. It’s best to repot the plant with new soil. Pests can hide in the earth and cause more problems for your plant, so repotting it will only ensure that you’re not bringing any pests into your home.
- Choose a location carefully. It’s best to research your particular plant’s needs and place it in a spot that fulfills its light requirements.
Putting your indoor plants outdoors is a savvy move— but take care to do it gradually during the warm summer months. However, this greatly depends on your area’s temperatures, as the temperature outdoors must be warm enough to sustain your plants.
Although there are many benefits to putting your indoor plants outdoors for a couple of months in the summertime, some risks include pests, sun damage, and overwatering. Therefore, if you plan to let your indoor plants enjoy the great outdoors, keep a close eye on them to ensure they stay healthy and happy.