Friday, June 5, 2015
Growing Indoor Plants Outdoors...in Calgary?
As we get into June and the overnight temperatures warm up it's time to give your houseplants a little summer vacation. First, however, make sure the weather is warm enough, watch that long term forecast, sometimes June in our area is still not warm enough, ie: Highs in the 20's and lows near 10C. Most importantly one just doesn't take a nice houseplant and plunk it on a sunny patio! What would happen if we took someone from Canada in the middle of the Winter and put you on a Mexican beach with no sunscreen or even a hat? You would probably sunburn in about 10 minutes and not feel very good for a while. Thus it is with houseplants, they are not used to direct sun and the elements so they need to be hardened off, the same if you have grown some seedlings indoors for annual plantings, they need to be eased into this situation. Even if you have cactus, like the ones in the photo, they need to placed into shade with only a little direct sun at first. For plants other than cactus you should keep in shade, or dappled shade with no direct sun for a few weeks. If you have a good overhang or covered or sheltered patio that would be ideal, a roof of some sort will protect from falling temperatures, wind and heavy rain. Make sure your houseplants can also withstand our relatively non-tropical nights, some may be unsuitable such as orchids. I grow many houseplants outdoors in the summer like cactus and succulents, spider plants, amaryllis and even a lemon tree, they will love the increased sunlight, natural rainfall and cool nights, you will enjoy the extra room in your house for the summer and can finally clean that dusty corner before the summer visitors arrive!
Here's an Epiphyllum type cactus that loves hanging from my lilac tree in the summer. With regular fertilizing and normal rainfall it excells and rewards us with a show of giant flowers around August.
Just remember when the temperatures dip in September it's time for most of these guys to come back indoors for the winter!