Ask a Question forum: When to take houseplants outside

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Name: Alex Junge
MN st paul, (Zone 4a)
Plantsmylove
Apr 10, 2016 10:36 AM CST
I live in MN zone 4 twin cities metro area I was wondering when is it safe to take plants outside

I have an amorphallus konjac

A jabuticaba plant

A drancena marignara and a few other tropicals I want to summer outside in full to part sun
Name: Tara
NE, Florida (Zone 9a)
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terrafirma
Apr 10, 2016 10:41 AM CST
I'm no where near your zone 4, but a good rule of thumb, I would think, is well after your last frost date, and when you're consistently experiencing low temps above, I'd say 50F.
Name: Ken Ramsey
Starkville, MS (Zone 8a)
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drdawg
Apr 10, 2016 10:57 AM CST
I agree with Tara. When moving tropical plants outside, the vast majority of them do best when lows are at or above 55F. Many, but not all, can handle temperatures even down into the upper 30's as long as those low temperatures are pretty brief.
drdawg (Ken Ramsey) - Tropical Plants & More
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Name: Alyssa Blue
Ohio (Zone 5b)
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AlyssaBlue
Apr 10, 2016 12:14 PM CST
No earlier than Memorial Day weekend. I used to live there! Resist the temptation to do it earlier even if the weather seems nice. The operative word being "seems". Thumbs up
Name: Ken Ramsey
Starkville, MS (Zone 8a)
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drdawg
Apr 10, 2016 1:16 PM CST
Nothing like listening to those with experience, Alex. I would pay attention to what Alyssa tells you. Thumbs up
drdawg (Ken Ramsey) - Tropical Plants & More
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If God wanted me to touch my toes, he would have put them on my knees.
Name: Alex Junge
MN st paul, (Zone 4a)
Plantsmylove
Apr 10, 2016 1:25 PM CST
Okay I will
Name: Alyssa Blue
Ohio (Zone 5b)
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AlyssaBlue
Apr 10, 2016 5:07 PM CST
Oh! Alex- just remembered. There is a very cool greenhouse I used to go to, called Bachmans. They also do floral delivery. The one I went to was in New Brighton about 25 years ago (ouch), but I think since then they've moved to a bunch of locations, and have workshops, etc. Just thought I'd mention it, because it was always fun walking through there- the plants were very nice. Go Vikings!
Name: Tiffany
Opp, AL (Zone 8b)
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purpleinopp
Apr 15, 2016 7:06 AM CST
When you take plants outside after being inside all winter, they will need to be gradually adjusted to full sun. I don't know that your warm season is long enough to do that for some plants. I'd be hesitant about putting D. marginata in that much sun even that far north. I don't do that here in AL, and never did in OH either.

Tropical trees can definitely handle full sun, once acclimated to it gradually if one's season is long enough, but most other tropical plants are from the jungle floor, where they would never get any direct sun. At much higher latitudes like where you are, the rays can be weak enough that some of them appreciate it, but please be careful about letting plants get sunburned. It happens to a lot of mine each spring even though I think I'm putting them in shady enough spots at first. Some of them can take so long to recover their appearance that it's really worth avoiding. Even though my plants are only inside for 3-4 months for winter, that's long enough to eliminate any acclimation they might have had to significant direct sun when they were outside the previous year.

Not familiar with the first 2 mentioned to have any specific feedback.
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Name: Alex Junge
MN st paul, (Zone 4a)
Plantsmylove
Apr 15, 2016 8:26 PM CST
OKay i brought the voodoo lily outside at 3 pm but back indoors before dark but i havnt tried the joboticia plant outdoors i will rememer to only take them out when temps crawl above 70. it hit 78 today for a high.
Name: Gene Staver
Portage WI 53901 (Zone 5a)
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gasrocks
Apr 16, 2016 12:54 AM CST
I have just shy of 2000 house plants that get a summer vacation outdoors. None of them will get much direct sun. Not even the cactus. When to move them out? It would be better to wait than to do it too early. Been there, done that. If you did guess wrong and a sudden cold spell is expected you could move them back inside or cover them with something. Gene
Name: Will Creed
NYC
Professional interior landscaper
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WillC
Apr 16, 2016 7:18 AM CST
Semi-tropical plants used as house plants can often handle temps into the low '40's in the fall as temps drops gradually. Those same plants that have been kept warm all winter indoors, struggle when exposed to suddenly much colder temperatures when moved outdoors in spring. Just as plants must be acclimated gradually to changes in light, they must also be acclimated to temperature changes.

Personally, I prefer to keep my houseplants indoors year round. Moving plants in and out each year causes a certain amount of stress twice every year. In addition, there is the problem of importing pests indoors in the fall. In nature, plants put down roots and stay in the same place throughout their lives - something to consider.
Will Creed
Horticultural Help, NYC
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Name: Brenden Reinhart
Flushing Michigan (Zone 6b)
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bhart90
Apr 16, 2016 7:45 AM CST
I TOTALLY didn't read anyone's response, so forgive me if a some one said this already. I grow venus fly traps, and they ONLY originate from a 100 mile radius in North or South Carolina, don't remember which one... anyways, a trick other growers taught me, look up the CURRENT weather conditions in which the plant originated from, and use that as a reference point. Helped me a lottttt
Brenden

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