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Post new topic   Reply to topic    Irish Gardeners Forum Home -> House plants in Ireland, including cut flowers

Houseplants outdoors ..... A holiday for your houseplants.

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James Kilkelly
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 05, 2009 3:13 pm    Post subject: Houseplants outdoors ..... A holiday for your houseplants. Reply with quote

Houseplants outdoors ..... A holiday for your houseplants.
by GPI

Who doesn't love a summer holiday? They offer us the chance to catch a few extra rays of sunshine whilst blowing out the cobwebs with a refreshing change of surroundings. But did you know holidays are not just for humans.

Many of your indoor plants will also benefit from a holiday. When the weather is warm and nights are mild you can move a few houseplants out on to your garden for a while. This is their holiday on the "Costa del soil", as I joking refer to it. Razz

Why should you go to the trouble of moving your "indoor dwellers" outdoors for a few days? Well, great gains in plant health can be achieved as shown in the following points.

Getting your plants out of the house altogether allows you to give that conservatory, sunroom etc. a good going over with the vacuum cleaner. Be extremely thorough in your cleaning where the plants were, ensuring you remove all dropped leaves, flowers and compost.

Finish your cleaning by giving any hard surfaces beneath the plants a wipe with a soapy cloth. This clean up will prevent potential pest and disease problems.

A light summer rain shower washes all the dust off, photo / picture / image. [/size]

Fresh air and space.
Fresh outdoor air circulating around your plants calls a halt to the march of many fungal diseases. These diseases mostly thriving in stagnant humid conditions can appear as leaf spots or white mould.

A day or two in the airy outdoors will be a shock to any growing fungus. Light summer breezes also help by blowing dust and cobwebs off the leaves as well as shaking free those already browed and "ready-to-fall" leaves. You are better off without them anyway.

An outdoor vacation will also lessen some conservatory and greenhouse pest problems such as red spider mite. Many indoor pests will be active during these summer months, so now is the time to check for them.

With your plant outdoors, it makes it easier to walk all the way round it whilst inspecting for pests or diseases. This is especially true if the plant is tall, for example a large fig or umbrella plant. Check for signs of whitefly, red spider mite, mealy bugs, scale insects, moulds, mildews, and leaf spots.

Another injury to watch out for is sunburn. Just like us humans, plants can get a sunburned or scorched, especially when strong sunlight is magnified through your windows. Shocked

Sunburned leaves initially turn white, before browning, blackening then dropping. If you come across incidences of this, then consider regularly ventilating plant locations combined with pulling shades when strong sunlight is present. For many plants, moving them out of the conservatory altogether will be the only way to save them from baking under glass.

Summer rain.
While your plants are outdoors, here's hoping they get a splash of summer rain. This is excellent for brightening up a tired and grubby specimen. If your plants leaves are clogged with dust then their "breathing" ability is restricted, as is their opportunity to absorb moisture from the air.

A light summer rain shower works wonders on them by washing all that dust off. The plants will perk up almost instantly replete in their shiny clean leaves.
To prevent fungal growth just be sure to let the leaves dry before returning the plants to their original location inside the house. Please note that succulents, cacti, and hairy-leaved plants such as African Violets, do not react well to misting or rain, so they should be sheltered from this.

Outdoor locations for houseplants.
When placing the plants outdoors ensure that they are sheltered from harsh winds. You don't want to do more harm than good by allowing winds to break leaves, branches or pots.

A good tip is to dig out about two or three inches of garden soil, sink the houseplant pot into this hole, and then mound the soil slightly around the pot. Do this in a shady area and you will reduce the need for watering for a few days after their initial splash.

A few gardeners I know will follow this tip before they go on summer holiday themselves. Both gardener and plant then receive a welcome break from each other. They meet up again after their holidays, refreshed and ready to continue their growth together. Razz

Any queries or comments on Houseplants outdoors ..... A holiday for your houseplants, please post below.

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