In the summer we tend to think about gardening outdoors while the weather is inviting. But houseplants also need care in the summer. And some of them would love you to give them a summer vacation too.
House plants hang out in the low light and dry air in our homes for much of the year and delight in some time outdoors. Indoor plants, for the most part, are tropical in origin and like humidity and warm temperatures. Those that best adapt to indoor conditions usually come from shaded conditions in tropical rain forests. So if you can provide similar conditions outdoors on a patio, deck or in your garden, carting your houseplants outside is likely to make them very happy during the summer months. Houseplant care can mean a vacation for your potted growers.
Before you move your plants, make sure you set up the space where they will go. Move pots carefully into full shade and make sure you locate your houseplants where you will be able to check the soil regularly so they don’t accidentally dry out. Potted plants dry faster outdoors with evaporation caused by faster air circulation. And happy, growing plants drink more than slow-growers in the darker conditions of the house.
Avoid sunlight. It is hard to realize how dark our homes are. But if you try to take a photograph without a flash indoors – even in what looks like a brightly lit room – you will see how black the photo comes out. Outdoor shade may look dark to our human eyes, but for plants, a sojourn in outside shade is like bright sun compared to what they’ve been experiencing indoors. If you expose them to any direct sun, it is likely to burn them.
A summer holiday outside will encourage lots of healthy growth in your plants. Bring them back in the house when temperatures start to fall into the low sixties Fahrenheit at night. Once back inside cut back on watering so they don’t get too wet. Some houseplants might even be willing to flower indoors after enjoying a summer vacation in the fresh air.