When sunnier and warmer days approach, we all like to relax on the outdoor patio and enjoy the fresh air. The same goes for most indoor plants.
Some of the indoor plants that can enjoy outdoor space include cacti, succulents, ponytail palm, croton, Hoyas, amaryllis, ficus and miniature citrus trees, but that’s not a definite list. For that reason, I came up with this insightful guide on what indoor plants can go outside, so to know which of your green friends can be taken out.
Let’s take a closer look at the list of plants that can be taken outdoors! Find out more on how to transition them to a new environment smoothly and make your indoor house plants thrive outdoors!
- Top 11 Indoor Plants to Take Outdoors
- Cacti and Succulents
- Ponytail Palm (Beaucarnea recurvata)
- Croton (Codiaeum variegatum)
- Snake plant (Sansevieria)
- English Ivy
- Common Geranium (Pelargonium)
- Miniature Citrus Trees
- What to Take into Consideration When Moving Your Indoor Plants Outside
- Can all plants be placed outdoors?
- How to acclimate an indoor plant to the outdoor conditions smoothly?
- When is the ideal and safest time to bring plants outside?
- Is it necessary to water a plant when you keep it outside?
- Do I need to mist my plant when it is placed outdoors?
- Can plants get sunburn when kept outside?
- Can plants stay outside if it rains?
- Extra tips on What Indoor Plants Can Go Outside
- Closing Comments
Top 11 Indoor Plants to Take Outdoors
Cacti and Succulents
Having in mind the natural conditions they live in, it doesn’t come as a surprise that they are among the top choices when talking about plants that can be taken outside. Succulents cacti, they are desert plants, which means they thrive outdoors in bright light so feel free to move them to the garden or patio.
However, be careful with where you put them, to avoid having them sunburnt. The fact that they are desert plants doesn’t mean they like to be baked in the direct sunlight all day long. Put succulents and cacti in the shade until they get used to the outdoor environment, and then relocate them to a sunnier place.
Allows them to dry before waterings. Inspect the soil for humidity level by inserting your finger into it before you re-apply water.
Related: Amazing Blooming Succulent Flowers
Ponytail Palm (Beaucarnea recurvata)
Ponytail palms belong to plants that thrive outdoors. It is a low-maintenance plant which is why indoor gardeners often choose it. When taken outside, it can even produce flowers and reach an amazing height of up to 20 feet. Provided that the conditions are ideal, of course.
Ponytail palms prefer being exposed to full sun, but don’t mind lower light atmospheres either. When it comes to watering requirements, it acts like succulents. So, allow the soil to dry out before you reaply water.
Related: Types of Palm Trees to Grow Indoors
Croton (Codiaeum variegatum)
This breath-taking multi-colored shrub is also a plant that likes to be kept outdoors, but it is slightly demanding in terms of water requirements. If it lacks the precious liquid, or if it receives too much of it, the leaves will drop. The same will happen if the temperature is inadequate.
It belongs to plants that prefer high humidity and bright light. Croton loves moist soil, so be wise when choosing the potting medium for this flamboyant plant.
A popular choice for hanging baskets, Hoya plants will be thankful if you keep them outside. Their waxy leaves can retain humidity, which is what helps them tackle outdoor heat. Choose moist soil and position them so that they receive bright indirect sunlight.
This plant looks amazing on your windowsill, but it looks even greater when kept outdoors. Being relatively easy to maintain, these plants need a regular intake of water and bright, indirect light.
Related: Amaryllis Care Guide
Some ficus trees can be tricky to maintain. Take fiddle leaf fig as an example. Good thing is that they adore being kept outside. When it comes to moving it to outdoor spaces, it’s not mandatory to do it, if it’s already positioned well, meaning- receiving an adequate amount of bright light.
Plants are often stressed when moved from one place to another, so don’t be surprised if a couple of leaves drop a day or two after you relocated them. This often happens when you return your plant inside.
Snake plant (Sansevieria)
This plant is a true survivor. It can tolerate low light, but truth be told- is the happiest when you keep it in a brighter spot. Allow the soil to dry out before you re-water your Snake plants.
Related: 20+ Types of Snake Plants
Monstera plants aren’t complicated to maintain and they can be moved out, as long as not exposed to direct sunlight. Make sure the soil is a well-draining one. Don’t forget that Monsteras prefer high humidity, so water them regularly, but not excessively.
This is one more of those hardy plants which can be placed outdoors. What it needs are sufficient food and moderate lighting. Do not place them in direct sunlight, and avoid watering from the top.
Related: English Ivy Care Guide
Common Geranium (Pelargonium)
This plant needs six to eight hours of direct light to develop properly. Water them when the soil is dry. When kept outdoors, the watering frequency depends on the climate and current conditions. Fertilize Geraniums to keep them happy. Geraniums take one’s great away when placed in hanging containers or box planters.
Miniature Citrus Trees
Dwarf or miniature citrus trees are sun-loving plants so they like being kept outdoors. They require lots of water and at least six hours of direct sun. A slightly windy location is ideal for them.
Related: Best Soil for Citrus Trees in Pots
What to Take into Consideration When Moving Your Indoor Plants Outside
This process is much more than just transporting the pot from point A to point B. There are multiple factors to take into account if you want to minimize the stress your plant is exposed to.
Here are the most common doubts gardeners have when brainstorming whether to take their indoor plants outside.
Can all plants be placed outdoors?
The answer is positive, almost all of our indoor foliage plants can be safely relocated outside. They will undoubtedly enjoy the fresh outdoor air.
However, you do need to pay attention to the amount of sunlight each of the plants is exposed to. Don’t place them in the full sun, it would cause numerous problems. Try to find the spot which mimics the indoor lighting. Acclimatization is very important, so make sure it goes as smoothly as possible.
It’s not like your plant simply walks away to the perfect spot, you are the one in charge of finding it, so be wise.
How to acclimate an indoor plant to the outdoor conditions smoothly?
It is sort of a process that can take up to a month. That’s how your plant will be minimally stressed.
Start by placing your plant in a shade for a few hours each day. Of course, pick sunny days, not the rainy ones for the acclimatization process.
The next step would be to expose your plant to the morning sun for a couple of days– five is ideal. Do not ever place your indoor plant under the full sun, it will get burnt.
Even if we are talking about high light-loving plants such as Bird of Paradise, Sanseveria, Ponytail Palm, and Cacti, give them time to get used to the outdoor climate. Approximately 7-10 days of increased exposure is enough for them to slowly acclimate to the intensity of outdoor lighting.
When is the ideal and safest time to bring plants outside?
When the outdoor temperatures are consistently above 50 degrees, it is safe to move your plant to a wisely selected location outside. So, spring and summer are seasons when you should think about moving houseplants outside.
Follow the weather report closely, and pay special attention to nighttime temperatures. If they drop below 50, bring the plant inside, and return it when the temperature goes above the said limit. Never keep it outdoors during the winter season.
Is it necessary to water a plant when you keep it outside?
Many factors have an impact on that. Those are rainfall, wind, and humidity. If you want to eliminate the doubt, use the same principle as you do when you keep them indoors- insert your finger in the soil. If two to three inches below the surface is dry, it’s time to water.
During warmer days, your plant may have increased watering needs, but once again, it’s multiple factors that determine so. That’s why the simple test eliminates all the doubts.
Do I need to mist my plant when it is placed outdoors?
If you live in areas where the humidity is naturally high, then it is not necessary. However, if you live in areas where the air is dry, you’ll have to mist them from time to time. You can even put a pebble tray under the pot, to ensure some steady levels of humidity.
Can plants get sunburn when kept outside?
Of course they can! The fact that a plant is a sun-loving one doesn’t mean it enjoys being kept in overly strong sun for too long. If the leaves are bleached or have brown stripes on the foliage, it is one of the indicators that a plant is sunburnt.
While sunburn is not lethal for a plant, certainly isn’t beneficial over a long period. You can remove the affected leaves and wait for new ones to form. Find some shade for your plant, and allow it to recover. It should resume normal growth quickly.
To avoid sunburn when a plant is moved outdoors, adjust light conditions and be careful during warm temperatures.
Can plants stay outside if it rains?
Yes! Think of it as additional watering. Of course, by rain I mean steady and gentle rainfall, not storms or some chaotic weather. Perhaps you didn’t know but rain water has lots of benefits for indoor plants.
Mind the wind- you don’t want your plants tripped over. Secure and protect them so that they remain undamaged during shorter rainfalls. Once the rain stops, check the level of exposure to the sun.
Extra tips on What Indoor Plants Can Go Outside
- When you relocate your plants outdoors, check the foliage on a regular basis for any pests.
- Fertilize as usual, especially if there has been quite a bit of rain. When exposed to heavy rain, the soil becomes soaked and it leaches, taking away all the nutrients. Fertilizers should make up for this lack.
- When placing your potted plants outside, remove them from the saucer so the water can run freely from the bottom of the pot-this is especially important during any rain showers. You don’t want your plant to stand in still water for too long, do you?
Related: Plant Vacation Care Guide
After properly acclimating your indoor plants outdoors, follow a regular care routine. The only thing that makes difference compared to indoors is that you need to pay more attention to the drainage holes.
Aside from the listed ones, aglaonema plants, calatheas, dracaenas, ivy, most orchids, spider plants, philodendron,monstera, Schefflera, and spathiphyllum are other plants that may be located in a shady spot outside, but be careful not to expose them to full sun.
Hope this guide brought you some valuable insights on popular houseplants that can safely be kept outside!