A summer outdoors

Horticulture Hints

Most houseplants enjoy spending a vacation out of doors during the summer. After being inside during the long winter, a bit of sunshine and fresh air can be beneficial. But getting your plants ready for their trip can be a bit tricky.

When moving plants outdoors, never transfer abruptly into the direct sunlight. Plants not used to being in the sun can sunburn. Acclimate indoor plants to the outside conditions by first placing them in a protected, shady spot for a few days. Move them gradually closer to the brighter sunlight. Place plants in the amount of sunlight right for their needs, some foliage plants prefer a shady spot, while other flowering plants do better in dappled sunlight. A bright location with some protection from direct sun is suitable for most houseplants.

Spending a summer outside on the patio is not for all plants. An exception would be African violets and similar plants with fuzzy leaves that can water spot.

Outside environmental conditions, such as drying winds and heat may result in plants needing to be watered more frequently. Most plants do like to drink often on their vacations in the sun, but succulents and cacti do not. Remember to give your plant pots a twist every week or two to keep plants standing straight up and growing evenly.

Did you know? To rescue a plant which has wilted due to dried out soil, submerge the pot in water above the rim. If the pot rises to float, you may need to hold it under the water to absorb moisture weight needed to stand upright. Let your plant soak for about 30 minutes, then remove and allow excess water to drain thoroughly. With some luck, this may do the trick to resuscitate your plant!

Horticulture Questions? Contact McCormick at yvonne@iastate.edu for information or advice.