Cactus and Succulents forum→Should I move my succulents outside?

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Frisco, TX (Zone 8a)
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BirchGardens
Jun 12, 2020 1:29 PM CST
I'm having a hard time deciding if I should move my succulents outside. I know they would like it and would get a lot more light, but I'm so so so concerned about getting pests while they're out there. Is it worth it? Have any of you had success/issues with moving them out in the summer time?
Name: aud/odd
Pennsylvania (Zone 6b)
Garden Ideas: Level 1
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Cinta
Jun 12, 2020 3:11 PM CST
My succulents would be unsuccessful if I did NOT put them outside every summer. Most I do not even bring them back in until my temps dip below 35.

As far as the pest problem, I know I am not the norm but....... my entire garden growing life I have taken all my houseplants outside in the summer and back in for winter and I have never,, never,j never had a pest problem. I have tried to figure out why but it just does not happen to my over 100+ pots of plants.
Frisco, TX (Zone 8a)
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BirchGardens
Jun 12, 2020 3:19 PM CST
Thanks for your response. That makes me feel better. Will definitely consider it now.
Name: Ross
Lancashire, England, UK
Cactus and Succulents Dragonflies
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RPK82
Jun 12, 2020 5:42 PM CST
I've had pest problems just by having my plants on the kitchen windowsill with the window open.
Name: Mike
Massachusetts (Zone 6a)
Region: Massachusetts
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munchies24
Jun 12, 2020 5:42 PM CST
The biggest issue I had when I moved mine outdoors was figuring out where to put my succulents that they got enough sunlight, but not so much that they burned. You'll need to slowly acclimate them or start them off in a lower light spot, and also get familiar with what your particular species of succulent can handle.

I had a couple of arrangements when I first started my collection that I kept indoors for the entirety of early Spring. When it got warmer, I put them outside so they could get more light. They HATED it! My aloes turned dark brown and shriveled for two weeks, and one of my echeveria got so toasted in the 6 hours it sat in direct sunlight that the main stem and leaves were pretty much destroyed from sunburn, so just be mindful of that.
[Last edited by munchies24 - Jun 12, 2020 5:43 PM (+)]
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Frisco, TX (Zone 8a)
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BirchGardens
Jun 12, 2020 6:37 PM CST
Thanks for the responses. And yes I've learned the hard way aloes and haworthias are very sensitive to sunlight. I've got a nice filtered area underneath my arbor outside that should be perfect for my succulents. I keep my propagation projects there and they seem to enjoy. I'll be moving them outside tomorrow, you guys have made me make up my mind!
Name: Eric
Wisconsin (Zone 4b)
Cactus and Succulents Plant and/or Seed Trader
Hallow
Jun 14, 2020 6:38 AM CST
BirchGardens said:I'm having a hard time deciding if I should move my succulents outside. I know they would like it and would get a lot more light, but I'm so so so concerned about getting pests while they're out there. Is it worth it? Have any of you had success/issues with moving them out in the summer time?
mine love it outside during the summer time. I have had insect pest problems indoors, after I put them outside the problems seem to magically clear up. Probably natural insect predators take care of it. The one thing you should be careful of is difference between indoor and outdoor sun. Even if a plant direct sunlight indoors you don't want to put that same plant in direct sunlight outdoors right away. You want to give the plant time to get used to outdoor light. Sounds silly but I ruined a lot of plants buy putting them in the direct to soon. Depending on what type of succulent you have, most will let you know when there ready for full sun. They will start turning color.


Thumb of 2020-06-14/Hallow/b09257

Here's a good example. This plant received full sun indoors. I when I put it outside with indirect light, within 2 weeks it looked like this.
Thumb of 2020-06-14/Hallow/022f0d

After it turned dark like this I put in a more sunny spot. At this point the skin is tougher and won't burn
Name: Paula Benyei
NYC suburbs (Zone 6b)
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Turbosaurus
Jun 21, 2020 11:40 AM CST
The arbor, or other type of slight overhang is a very good idea to manage moisture too. Too much rain can cause problems too, so having them under some type of shelter will help You manage when they get wet.

I also bring all of my plants outside every summer, and agree they would not survive if I didn't (and wouldn't bloom if they did). Only twice in 25+ years did I suffer a pest infestation, But I'm not sure if that was something they got outside in the yard, or if I was careless introducing new plants. For a while after those experiences I used a systemic pesticide before bringing them in. Now that I'm more informed (and less paranoid, lol) a reasonably close inspection In the fall with no untoward findings has made it unnecessary.

Plant choice also has a lot to do with it. Some plants are much more susceptible than others. Hibiscus for example are notorious for collecting mites IME, so it's been many years since I've tried to over winter one indoors. I have a couple this year. If I decide to bring them in, it will only be after a very careful inspection and they will get a dose of systemic pesticide and probably a good neem oil spay down no matter what, Just because they're hibiscus.
The plural of anecdote is not data.
Frisco, TX (Zone 8a)
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BirchGardens
Jun 21, 2020 10:26 PM CST
Thank you for your tips. I've been keeping them outside now and they are doing great and looking great! The only plants I take outside are Echeverias and grapto and pachyverias and such, so hopefully they won't attract pests like a hibiscus.

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