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Plants On Vacation

Many of us like to go somewhere else in the summer months. Spending time in different surroundings can refresh us and help us grow by giving us a needed break.

Likewise, our indoor plants can sometimes benefit from a vacation from their indoor home. Increased light and summer breezes usually result in more luxurious leaf growth and a renewed vigor for our green friends. However, throwing your plants outside willy nilly can have disastrous consequences. Here are some caveats to ensure your vacationing plants come back refreshed and not trashed.

Don't just put your plants anywhere on your porch or deck. Separate the sun lovers from the shade lovers and site accordingly. Your miniature palm that does so well several feet from an indoor window is going to suffer from burned fronds if you place it outdoors in direct sun. Give plants like that a protected or covered area. Also keep in mind that even shade outdoors is brighter than your indoor environment. Monitor your plants after placing them outside and bring them back in if they appear to be doing less than well.

Keep in mind that your plants will be subject to the elements outdoors. Plants lose moisture through their leaves and wind will dry them out faster than their indoor home. Keep an eye on the soil and water your outdoor plants more frequently.

Backyard critters with access to your outdoor spaces can harm your plants by chewing on leaves, scampering over them, or even pulling them out by the roots. Squirrels seem to be the worst offenders (ask me how I know). If your porch or deck is often visited by rambunctious wildlife, your plants may be better off spending the summer indoors.

Insects can make the leaves and soil of your plants home while they're outside. When you're ready to take your plants back in, give the leaves a good rinsing first. Otherwise, you may be bringing in buggy friends who may decide to stay in your house for the winter. While you're at it, you may want to give plants that enjoyed luxuriant growth while outside a good trim.

Houseplants can do well, and even thrive, in our outdoor spaces. All it takes is a little extra attention and some post-vacation work.