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Caring for Houseplants - Houseplants - University of Illinois Extension

Caring for Houseplants

Vacation Care

Making sure your plants receive enough water during your absence is the challenge. Cover the plants using a clear plastic bag that is large enough to accommodate each of them. Then place the enclosed plant in a shallow pan with pebbles and some water. This set-up should be sufficient for 7-8 days. For an extended vacation, ask someone to check on them regularly.

Summer Care

Many people move their houseplants outdoors during the warm summer months. Often this helps reinvigorate them. Do not place them in direct sun. A north-side exposure or under a tree works well. It is best to introduce plants to a new location slowly. Begin this acclimatization by placing outdoors for just a few hours on the first day. Each day, increase the time. By the end of 1-2 weeks, these plants should be ready for their new spot.

In the fall, bring them back into the house before the temperature drops. Repeat the acclimatization steps. Inspect them for insects and disease. Often it is a good idea to re-pot them into fresh potting mix before returning them indoors. Be aware that plants may be infected with disease or insects when moved indoors. Quarantine them from other indoor plants for 2-3 weeks to minimize this risk.

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