Posted By: Michelle Kuehler /
For most of us in the United States, this winter has been uncharacteristically warm, but the weather should really be warming up soon as spring and summer temperatures arrive. What do you do with the houseplants that have kept you company all winter long and how do you take care of them so that they will last through next winter? Try perking them up by bringing them outdoors for some warm summer weather.
Benefits of Brining Houseplants Outdoors
Many houseplants are affected by pests and disease during the winter due to a lack of harsh weather and air flow inside your home, but the outdoors are full of beneficial insects that would love to take care of them for you by having them for dinner and varied air movement that helps to limit pest and disease issues. The climate outdoors also lends varied light, higher humidity and pure rain water, which can help strengthen your houseplants, especially those derived from tropical climates. Some plants also need a variance of temperatures in order to bloom, which is naturally brought on outdoors.
Start by increasing water for cacti and succulents that were kept dry over their winter dormancy period. Also, clean off glossy leaves with water to facilitate the photosynthesis process. Give plants with foliage or blooms plenty of fertilizer when the sun starts to show a bit more, to sustain healthy new growth. Try Grow Big 521, an organic fish emulsion fertilizer that your plants will love and is safe for the home. Many gardeners like to move their houseplants outdoors during the summer for some extra sunshine, rain and fresh air, but April weather can be unpredictable. If the weather is fairly constant, you may want to place them in a shady area for a few hours each day, bringing them in before cooler nights, to get them acclimated to the outdoors.
As the weather warms up, increase the time your houseplants spend outdoors over a week or two, until they become fully acclimated to their surroundings. After all danger of frost has passed, place them in a lightly shaded area protected by wind and harsh rain. Make sure to give them plenty of water as they will dry out quicker outdoors and to check for pests often. Give them a healthy dose of fertilizer as needed and continue to keep their leaves clean. Summer is also a good time to propagate trimmings of rapidly growing houseplants for new growth for your indoor winter garden and to replant root-bound houseplants.
Late Summer and Fall Care
As summer starts to wind down, repeat the acclimation process by bringing your plants indoors for a few hours, increasing their time indoors over one to two weeks. Check for pests and disease before bringing them inside. You may want to change out their potting soil and quarantine them from your other indoor plants for a few weeks as well to insure the safety of your indoor garden. Following these guidelines will help you to have a healthy garden all year long.