Do you put them outside in the shade or leave them inside?
Generally, I leave my houseplants in the house year around.
When you put them outside, a variety of spiders, pill bugs and other critters move into the pots for the summer and set up housekeeping. Then when you bring the plants back inside in the fall, those creepy crawlers come along for the ride. Then once inside, they leave the pots to see if there is some place better to live, in your house.
But inspite of the potential for six-legged and eight-legged houseguests this fall, I decided to put some of the houseplants, especially the Clivia plants, outside this summer.
The Clivias still have a touch of mealybug and I decided that a summer outdoors would take care of that.
So now you are thinking, "Carol, you are just exchanging mealybugs for pillbugs, spiders, millipedes and who knows what else? Does that make sense?"
Well, it makes sense because before I bring the Clivia back inside, I plan to repot them in new pots, so the likelihood of hitchhikers will be minimized. Hopefully.
I also set out the amaryllis and poinsettias, and will make an attempt to get them all to rebloom for Christmas.
All the other houseplants will stay inside, including the African Violets.
Awhile back I proclaimed something about how African Violets are "your grandmother's houseplant" and you should have no more than one African Violet for every decade of your age.
Since then, I divided a couple of my African Violets, rooted another dozen from leaf cuttings, and went to an African Violet show and accidently bought some more African Violets.
So now I am 230 "African Violet years old".
I might need an intervention.
With all the time spent on the outdoor garden in the spring and summer, many people neglect their houseplants, at a time when they actually need more attention.
Here's some tips on caring for houseplants in the summer, based on my experience.
- Houseplants grow more in spring and summer, just like other plants, and so need more water and fertilizer now than they need in the fall and winter.
- Spring is an excellent time to repot houseplants, as they have the summertime, a time of growth, to recover. (But I'm still repotting the Clivias in the fall.)
- If you do repot any houseplants, make sure the containers have drainage holes. Without them you are likely to overwater the plants and kill them.
- Houseplants can be summered outside but keep them in the shade. They aren't used to that bright sunlight and can actually get burned by the sun.
- Be sure to 'de-louse' houseplants in the fall before bringing them back inside and put them back inside well before the first frost.
One final piece of advice...
When you repot your houseplants, many can be divided up to give you all kinds of new plants. If you find you have too many of any of your houseplants due to "overpropagation", freely give them to friends and family and maybe you'll be responsible for getting someone else interested in plants.
I need to find a few of my own family members and friends who would like an African Violet or two or three. I've got to bring my "African Violet age" back down to some reasonable number!