Monday, April 14, 2014

Moving Houseplants Outside for the Summer

One great side-benefit of the advent of warmer weather is the ability to recover some indoor space by moving houseplants outside. What a gift it is to be able to move about the house without having to dodge the spiky branches of a lime tree or the sharp-edged leaves of a mature Dracaena!

UGA Extension Agent Frank Watson points out, though, that indoor plants need time to adjust to the brighter light outdoors. In his GA FACES article "Use care when moving houseplants outside for the spring, summer," he writes, "Moving a houseplant from a relatively dark home into very bright sunshine will cause severe leaf burn."

His recommendation to avoid this outcome, from which plants can take months to recover, is to move indoor plants to a shaded location before shifting plants that thrive in high-light levels into the bright sunshine. Some plants should be kept in the shade throughout the summer.

In Watson's article, Bodie Pennisi, a researcher on UGA's Griffin campus, provides this caution: “Keep in mind, each time a plant is moved around, it will experience an acclimatization period, and such changes may become evident.”

The article contains the recommendation to wait until plants have had a chance to adjust to their new surroundings before beginning to give them fertilizer at the rate recommended on the package (this will vary according to the brand and type of fertilizer chosen).

For the complete article, click on the linked title in the text above.