After a long winter indoors in Milwaukee, we all yearn for a little fresh air and sunshine outside. Most plants benefit from some warm sun and soft rains, but there are a few things to keep in mind when moving your household plants outside this summer.

“Furry” plants should stay inside.  If the plant has leaves that are velvety in texture (such as an African violet) then they are better off indoors. Their delicate leaves can be damaged by moisture or hard rains, and it’s too much stress on them to be outside.

Make the move gradually. It can be a shock to your plant if it goes from a relatively stable environment to full sun. Instead, move it outside in a well-protected shaded area that will get limited or dappled sunlight so your plant can adjust slowly. If it threatens to get below 55 degrees, bring them in for the night as most house plants hail originally from tropical locations and cold temps will shock them and potentially kill them. Cactus and succulents are a bit more hearty and don’t mind full sun, but a gradual move is never a bad idea.

Wind+Rain. Wind can be very damaging to plants, especially tender houseplants that are used to living indoors. Strong winds can dry out soil, or snap leaves and stems. The same goes for heavy rain, as downpours can drown the plants roots and batter leaves. Never water outdoor houseplants with the strong, forceful cold water from your hose; instead use a watering can with temperate water and don’t forget to fertilize about every 3 weeks.

Pests and Pets. Keep an eye on pets who might dig or knock over plants, and pests that will attack the plant itself. It’s a good practice to check on houseplants that are kept outside daily to check to see if there is any wilting, brown spots,  or white powdery spots that indicated mildew. Make sure the soil is a rich brown in color and is kept moist.

Move them back gently.  Just as you acclimated them to the outdoors, acclimate them back to their inside positions reducing the sunlight they get outside a little every day.

Belle Fiori carries both green plants and indoor blooming plants and we are always happy to help you choose the right plant for your home.  Stop in and visit us 8-5:30 PM Monday through Thursday, Friday’s 8-6 and Saturdays 8-3 or call 414.272.2234.