During the summer, you can improve the health and appearance of your houseplants by moving them outside.
Most indoor plants thrive in outdoor conditions, although it’s best to keep tender tropical plants, such as moth orchids and African violets, indoors. Rain will wash away accumulated dust, while increased light intensity promotes healthy growth.
But although they’re already accustomed to shade and warm temperatures, your plants will suffer if moved outside all in one go, so acclimatise them first.
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Follow our tips to moving your houseplants outdoors in summer.
Put them outside
Carrying a tray of houseplants outdoors
Most houseplants be put outside between May and September. Timings do vary around the country and from year to year, so to be safe, wait until about 2-4 weeks since the last frost. If your garden is exposed, then you may also choose to wait a little later.
A row of small cacti in clay pots, indoors on a table
Accustom your plants to the cooler temperatures and increased light intensity outside gradually before you move them out for the summer. Put the plants in a shady spot outside during the day and bring them back inside at night for one or two weeks first.
Where to put them
The base of an orchid plant with its green roots showing through the transparent plastic pot
Houseplants are at risk of scorching when outside, so gradually increase the light they receive. Orchids, bromeliads, Christmas cactus and air plants can be hung from the branches of a tree, for shade and protection from pests.
Watering a houseplant with a small indoor watering can
Houseplants will require regular watering as they dry out quickly when they’re outside, so check the compost regularly. Also, look out for pests such as aphids, slugs, snails and caterpillars. It’s also worth feeding regularly with a houseplant fertiliser when watering.
A mixed houseplant display of african violets, ficus and an orchid
Move your houseplants back to the house before the first frosts. Check them for pests first, including slugs hiding under the pot. Prune off any scorched or damaged leaves, plus any spent blooms. If your plants are dry, soak them in a basin of tepid water.