When the first warm days of spring arrive, many folks move their plants outside so they can benefit from the sunlight. The results are often very damaging. Direct outdoor sun can be over 100 times more intense than indoor sun and will quickly burn tender foliage that is adapted to much less intense indoor light. Even direct indoor sun is not nearly as intense as outdoor sun.
If you do move your plants outside, protect them from direct sun by keeping them in locations that are shaded throughout the day. And don’t forget the sun moves during the day.
In addition to the sun, there are other considerations to take into account. Temperature is the obvious concern. Although some houseplants can withstand temps in the 40 degrees F. range, they cannot adapt all at once. Other tender plants cannot tolerate temps below 60 degrees. To be on the safe side don’t leave your plants outside until temps are well above 50 degrees.
Wind can also do substantial damage to plants. The damage may be the shredding of tender leaves or simply knocking potted plants over. A sudden rainstorm can soak plants so be aware of that. Finally, animals and critters not found indoors may decide to feast on your houseplants.
Personally, I long ago stopped moving my plants on and out each year. It can be a lot of work and the hazards are real. Of course, there are many benefits for plants outside, but it is not a requirement. You may want to just keep your plants indoors all year round. That’s okay.
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