How To Harden Off Houseplants

Preparing Your House Plants for Outdoors

Indoor Plants-how-to-harden-off-houseplants
Indoor Plants

A challenge for many beginner gardeners is having the know-how of hardening off indoor plants for the great outdoors. Some because of a lack of knowledge in this area have paid the price dearly or should I say their plants paid the price which was so unfortunate. Indoor plants are grown in a controlled environment and because of this, their response is quite different when they are placed outdoors.

Plants that are acclimated or groomed for the indoors are grown as such to adapt to this kind of environment so taking them and placing them outdoors will be doing both you and them a great injustice. I have seen the results of indoor plants that were treated this way. From indoors directly outdoors and to be honest with you the end result was not pretty.

In this article, we will be looking at how to take a plant that has adjusted to the indoors and readjust them for the great outdoors so they can remain healthy and happy having their luster.

How to harden off houseplants?

Your indoor plant has outgrown that spot which was supposed to be its permeant home, you are hesitant and not sure what to do fearing the worst. This plant which was a gift to you, and you cherish it so much because of its sentimental value but now the day comes and you have finally decided to remove it outdoors the question still rolls around in your head will this plant survive?

The good news is this article was written just for you to take the fear out of the unknown where you can have confidence knowing that your plant will continue to flourish outdoors as it did indoors.

Ready, set, and here we go

Ready, set here we grow, have you ever spent time during the summer months in an air condition room, sure you have and then when the time came you moved to the outdoors with that intense summer heat, what was your response? all of a sudden your body begins to react in a different way you begin to sweat, get thirsty, exhausted, and feel very uncomfortable all you want to do is to get back into that air condition room with a glass of cold water.

Garden plants have a similar experience though they cannot talk as far as words are concerned they let us know how they are feeling by the signs which they show. Some of these signs may include their leaves beginning to drop and turn yellow, the plant starting to wilt and there is leaf loss also the leaves become scorched and burnt.

All this is happening because your plant is experiencing shock it’s stressed, water is being used up more rapidly and the scorching heat (outdoors ) vs indirect bright light, ( indoors or environmental change ) is affecting your plant in a negative way. When a plant is moved from indoors to the outside the adjustment process should be gradual.

1. Your plant should be placed in a partially shaded area.

2. Your plant may experience some yellowing and leaf drop not to be concerned though this is a part of the adjusting process.

3. Continue to monitor your plant’s moisture level and water as needed.

4. Ensure that your plant gets good air circulation.

5. A sign to know that your plant is adjusting is new leaves that begin to emerge.

6. When your plant begins to show signs of adjusting move to an area that gets brighter sunlight but still keeps it out of direct sunlight.

7. Continue to watch for progress and check for insects and treat them according to insect type to bring them under control.

8. After a month apply a diluted liquid feed fertilizer.

9. Once the plant has adjusted place it in the full sun base on whether this plant is a full sun-loving or partial shade plant.

Additional Information

The name of some indoor plants which can survive the outdoors

1. ZZ Plants.

2. Dracaena Frangrans.

3. Peace lilies.

4. Mother-in-law tongue.

5. Bamboo.

6. Spider Plant.

7. Areca Palm.

8. Weeping Fig.

9. Dracaena mass cane.

10. Rubber Plant.

11. Anthuriums.

12. Swiss-cheese plant.

The benefits of indoor plants

Now I am not saying this to discourage you from finding a place outdoors for your indoor plant if you must but indoor plants have their benefits.  A study was done some years ago and it was discovered that indoor plants are air purifiers. Indoor plants pull toxins out of the ear and filter them through their root system.

This method is a great and natural way to breathe clean air. If you are in the market for breathing natural air then I encourage you to give this a try and boost your health.

The final word

Put these steps in place and your plant will love you as it is transferred outdoors. No need to fear, that plant that has sentimental value will thrive keeping you happy and smiling so with that said let’s get started as we move our plant to its permanent location sounds great then ready get set, and let’s GROW.


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About the author

+ posts

Norman loves being in the garden, both at home and for his job....
he is 'Natures Little helper' being outdoors, growing his vegetables and flowers from an early age.
Now having spent over 22 years in the profession he want to give some of his knowledge to others...
his vast array of hints and tips you will find scattered over this site will help you no end growing plants in your garden.

6 thoughts on “How To Harden Off Houseplants”

  1. Hi there, this will be like, a guide to people that are loving their indoor plants and it’s already growing outdoor and they are already getting scared probably because it’s was gifted to them by their loved ones maybe on a special occasions, if they can truly follow all the step u listed here, am sure it will work out for them and they won’t have to take it outdoor. You have done a great work taking your time to write this article, hope to read some other time from you 

  2. This article just gave me a very detailed process on how to groom my houseplant. One of my major fears has been that they might just die off when I get an houseplant. I feel I might not be able to take good care of them to the stage where they can grow and survive on their own but all that fear is gone now has you have just giving me the tips I need to successfully take care of my house plants. Thanks

    • Hardening off house plants is pretty simple all it takes is some know-how and you will be on your way to success. So happy to help you.

  3. I appreciate this educative post. I have a small garden where I planted tomato last year. The nursery was done indoor using leather containers. Based on my experience, not all plants can survive the outdoor environment, especially from the nursery. Armed with this understanding, it is advisable to plant using indoor, then after some weeks depending on the plant, you can now transfer the plant outside. 

    I appreciate the information on the benefits of indoor plants and plants that can survive both indoor and outdoor environments. 

    • Having knowledge of plant life is so important because this will make the difference between whether our plants will live or die. So happy that I could help. All the best to you and have a good day.


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