Moving Houseplants Outside
Any time we move plants from an indoor location, whether a greenhouse or the windowsill, to an outdoor location, we need to take measures to avoid shocking the plants with the drastic change in climate. Conditions are much harsher outdoors than in, the wind is stronger, the sun is brighter, and temperatures fluctuate more widely. To ease the transition, start toughening plants up for the outdoor conditions over a period of one to two weeks. This process is called acclimation or hardening off. Slowly introduce houseplants to outdoor conditions during the day by placing them in a protected location, out of direct sunlight and wind. Leave plants outside for longer and longer periods each day, starting with just an hour or two and increasing the time until plants are adjusted to being outdoors the full day. As you do this, also move the plants to an area with increasing light intensity and less protection from wind. After about one to two weeks, you can leave plants out overnight. Be sure to keep watering the plants regularly. They will need more water outside as the wind and higher temperatures will cause the plants to use more water. Watch night time temperatures, as we can still receive freezing temperatures well into April.