Which indoor and outdoor plants are best for summer?
Gardening is a great way to ease stress and anxiety, boost your mood, and calm your mind, all while bringing a dynamic new aesthetic to your space. Even if you’re not interested in maintaining a full outdoor or indoor gardening system, having a few indoor houseplants can improve your overall mental health and breathe new life into your home. If you’re looking for indoor plants, you can also grow them outdoors in the summer, but there are a few things to keep in mind.
Plants That Thrive Indoors and Outdoors in Summer
Plants need the right combination of sunlight, nutrients, water and other resources to grow healthy and lush. Some thrive indoors, but shrivel or die when placed in the summer heat. Others do better outdoors but often cannot get the right conditions to survive when brought indoors.
Fortunately, some living plants do well both indoors and outdoors, including:
- Delicious – gasteria, aloe vera, snake plants, ponytail palms, etc.
- spider plants
- Tropical plants — crotons, jasmine, tropical hibiscus, crown of thorns, asparagus ferns, etc.
- hoya plants
- Ferns and other foliage houseplants
- weeping fig or ficus
- Herbs – parsley, basil, rosemary, sage, etc.
- Some flowers — amaryllis, marigolds, geraniums, etc.
When to Bring Live Houseplants Outside for the Summer
The best time to take houseplants out depends on where you live and the climate. Although every plant is different, it’s generally a good idea to wait for the temperature to consistently reach 50 or 60 degrees. If the temperature drops below this range, which often happens at night, wait before transferring the plants.
In northern states, the best time to move plants outdoors is usually late June or early July. In the south, you may be able to get them out as early as April or May.
Consider growing conditions
It is important to acclimate them to the new environment before moving indoor plants outside. Even though most plants can grow outdoors without a problem, they can still run into problems when moved to a new environment, especially if the change is too sudden. Fortunately, most of these problems can be mitigated or avoided by monitoring your plants, their growing conditions, and the weather.
Major changes in the environment can stress your plants and send them into shock. This includes extreme temperature changes, nutritional or pH imbalance, changes in soil composition, or accidental damage to their roots. A shock could cause the plant’s leaves to fade or drop, weaken its base, or even cause the whole thing to die.
Plants can be scorched if exposed to too much direct sunlight, which often happens when moved from the house to the garden or patio. Common signs of sunburn include bleached foliage or brownish-yellow leaves. Sunburns are usually not fatal to plants, especially if you catch them early and move them to a more shady spot.
Large temperature changes
Low temperatures could damage the foliage of plants or even their root system. High temperatures could cause them to dry out and wilt. To avoid this, keep an eye on the outside temperature and bring the plants indoors before extreme highs or lows. You can also take them outside for a few hours at a time to get them used to the change in temperature.
Too much or too little humidity
Whether indoors or outdoors, your plants need water to thrive. Regions with higher humidity and rainfall generally require less watering, and vice versa. Try to be consistent with the amount of water you give your plants to ensure they grow well wherever they are.
Plants grown outdoors, whether in the garden or on the back porch, are susceptible to environmental damage. For example, if there are heavy rains or strong winds, they could tip the pots or even break the stems. When the weather turns bad, bring your plants indoors or under some sort of shelter.
To ensure your live houseplants thrive in the summer outdoor climate, here are some tips:
- Keep an eye out for pests, especially around the leaves. Some insects and vermin can cause real damage to plants when left unchecked.
- To integrate plant fertilizerespecially if it rains frequently. Many plants need more nutrients when placed outdoors, so use a fertilizer that contains nutrients to give them a boost.
- Mist your plants occasionally. If you live in a dry climate, like the Southwest, misting your plants can keep them from drying out or burning. This may not be necessary for more humid regions, such as in the Midwest or on either coast.
- Watch the ground. A soil test kit can effectively measure nutrients, pH, light, and moisture content to ensure optimal growing conditions.
- Use the USDA plant hardiness zone map. This is a great way to determine which plants are thriving in your area.
The Best Living Succulents
Costa Farms Mini Succulents
This colorful assortment of 25 miniature succulents can brighten up any space. They are hardy enough for most growing conditions, both indoors and outdoors, but they tend to thrive on windowsills and in direct sunlight. Each is approximately 2 inches tall and comes in different textures and shapes. Sold by Amazon and Home deposit
Shop Succulents Radiant Rosette Live Succulent Collection
If you’re looking for a wider variety of small succulents that grow well both indoors and outdoors, this 64-pack option is for you. They do best indoors, but also thrive in 6 or more hours of direct sunlight. Sold by Amazon and Home deposit
Succulent Cult Live Succulent 4 inch Othonna Capensis Ruby Necklace
With 10 larger succulent varieties available, including Othonna Capensis’ “Ruby Collar” and Donkey’s Tail, these 4-6 inch live houseplants make a great gift. Although they do best in indirect sunlight, they can grow and bloom from spring through fall indoors or outdoors. Sold by Amazon
Altman Plants 6-inch Portulacaria Afra Prostrata Hanging Basket
This hanging houseplant complements indoor and outdoor spaces well. It requires little maintenance, is dynamic and resistant to sunburn and shock. It also spreads well, making it a nice addition to the back porch or patio. Sold by Home deposit
Altman Plants 3.5-inch Cacti and Succulents Assortment
This assortment includes four live plants of different colors and textures. They are hardy and thrive in bright areas with plenty of indirect light and warmth. They are also easy to maintain as they require little water. Overall, it’s a great choice for the windowsill or flower beds. Sold by Home deposit
Best Living Ficus Houseplants
Brighter Blooms Benjamina Ficus Plant 3 Gallon
This lush ficus stands 2 to 3 feet tall and does well in both direct and indirect sunlight. It is resistant to plant pests and diseases and is hardy enough for indoor and outdoor growing conditions. It’s a great way to brighten up a room or add some greenery to the exterior of your home. Sold by Home deposit and Amazon
Pet Plants Fig Trees Live Plants
The vibrant evergreen ficus lyrata makes a great addition to the living room, dining room or kitchen, as well as any outdoor space. It is fully rooted in a 4 inch container. It thrives in temperatures of 65 to 75 degrees when placed in indirect sunlight. Sold by Amazon
Costa Farms Ficus Elastica Rubber Tree
Another fun addition to your home, porch, or patio, this lively plant has waxy dark green-purple leaves that are sure to grab attention. It grows up to around 48 inches tall and is quite hardy. Sold by Amazon
Best Live Fern Houseplants
Costa Farms Home Decor Premium Boston Fern Hanging Basket
This set of two live hanging ferns looks great in a bright room in the house or outdoors. They are leafy, stylish, versatile and low maintenance, making them perfect for busy households. Sold by Amazon
Hirt’s Gardens Lemon Button Fern
If you want a lively houseplant with a subtle citrus scent, this lemon fern is for you. It grows best in indirect sunlight or shady areas, but it can withstand higher temperatures well, especially when misted regularly. Sold by Amazon
JM Bamboo Fern Leaf Plumosus Asparagus Fern
Known for its soft-textured leaves and small white flowers that bloom from spring through fall, this lively houseplant grows well when placed indoors or outdoors. It adds a beautiful aesthetic to any space, from the kitchen to the patio. Sold by Amazon
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Angela Watson written for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their buying decisions, saving them time and money.
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