Is it safe to put my houseplants outside?

Is it safe to put my houseplants outside?
Plants and cold weather. (Source: Jill Gilardi/WBRC)

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - Some of you might have already put out your houseplants that you had inside all winter, while some of you haven’t yet, like me.

I did some research and found out that houseplants need to be taken indoors before overnight temperatures dip below 45 degrees. Most tropical plants suffer harm from temperatures below 40 degrees. Well, we have temperatures forecast to dip into the 40s again on Thursday and lower 40s on Friday. I wouldn’t be shocked if we see a few upper 30s on Friday morning.

Plants and cold weather.
Plants and cold weather. (Source: Jill Gilardi/WBRC)

If you put your houseplants outside, you might want to bring them in, or be like me and wait until May to consider putting them outside. Some are easy to carry, but I have some big potted plants that are heavy and I only want to have to put them outside once until the late fall.

Most potted or hanging plants, like petunias, are fine as long temperatures don’t dip below 39 degrees, and especially if the temperature doesn’t dip to the freezing mark. I certainly don’t see freezing temperatures in the next two weeks, but areas north of I-20 could see some upper 30s by Friday morning. Most hardy annuals will be fine, so I would be more concerned if you put tropical plants outside. Peace lilies, for example, cannot withstand cold drafts or temperatures below 45 degrees.

I would also hold off planting tomato or pepper plants because they are not fond of temperatures below 55 degrees, or 50 degrees in some cases.

The average low is 52 degrees, but we will be trending below normal at times over the next couple of weeks, so I would hold off planting certain vegetables, seeds, and putting out sensitive houseplants until May. I did put out my Boston Ferns, seeing they can tolerate an occasional blast of cold air between 40 and 50 degrees.

If you have questions about plants that you have and what temperature is too cold for them, you can just google it.

Happy gardening!

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