If you decide to give your plants a vacation outside for the Spring & Summer, follow these three simple steps for success.
1. Not too cold!
Tropical plants like to be warm. You can safely keep your plants outside when nighttime temperatures are above at least 10-12 degrees. In Vancouver, this is usually from early May to late September.
2. Acclimatize to more sunlight. 😎
Your plants are used to being in the relatively dim indoors. Gradually introduce them to the outdoors by placing them in a shaded spot for a week or two before allowing them to be more exposed to brighter sunlight.
North-facing (no direct sun exposure) and East-facing patios (less intense morning sun) should be safe for most houseplants. West and South facing patios get much more intense afternoon sun, so it's best to keep your plants in a shaded area.
3. Adjust your watering.
More sun exposure means your plants will drink water faster. Check the soil moisture more often than you usually would to make sure they're not drying out prematurely. Water your plants thoroughly and allow excess water to drain - no saucer needed on the patio!
Foolproof patio plants.
The best (indoor) plants for the patio in the summer are desert plants. They can tolerate harsh summer sun and cool nights with no trouble and there's less risk that they'll dry out - they're used to going weeks and months without water in their native habitat.