Can Indoor Plants Be Outside In the Shade? (Expert Advice)

Explore the versatility of indoor plants with our expert advice on whether they can be placed outside in the shade. In this post, we discuss which houseplants can thrive outdoors and how to safely transition them to an exterior environment.

If you’re wondering about the best potting mix for your indoor garden, our article on what soil is best to use for indoor plants offers helpful insights.

Indoor plants can be placed outside in the shade, but it’s important to research the specific needs of your plant.
Acclimate indoor plants gradually to outdoor conditions to avoid shock or damage.
The amount of light that indoor plants need when outside in the shade varies depending on the plant species.
Bringing indoor plants outside can provide them with natural light and fresh air, which can improve their growth and health.
If your indoor plant doesn’t adapt well to outdoor conditions, it’s best to bring it back inside and care for it in its original environment.

For those looking for houseplants that are safe for betta fish, don’t miss our post on what house plants are safe for betta fish. Dive in and learn how to expand your indoor garden’s horizons by bringing it outside.

Check The Temperature

The range of temperatures in which the plant can survive varies by species, but it generally ranges from 50 to 90 degrees Fahrenheit (10 to 32 C). In general, smaller plants will tolerate lower temperatures than larger ones because they have less surface area for heat to dissipate through. 

Young plants and seedlings tend to be more vulnerable than mature or older specimens. It’s also important to note that different parts of a plant will have different tolerances if you’re checking out your indoor succulents in wintertime, you’ll probably find that their stems and roots are more sensitive than their leaves!

Temperature affects plants’ ability to photosynthesize: when it gets too hot or cold for them, they stop making food via photosynthesis (the process where green plants use sunlight and carbon dioxide from the air) and start using stored energy instead. 

This can lead to stress symptoms like wilting or leaf dropage if things don’t return back within acceptable limits soon enough!

Is There Wind

If your plants are in the shade, and you’re worried about windy conditions, there is a way to determine whether or not it’s safe for them to be outside. 

By observing their size, shape and coloration (or lack thereof), it’s possible to tell if they’ve been affected by the elements.

First ask yourself what kind of plant you have: Are they tropical or do they originate from warmer climates? If so, they will probably be fine with some wind as long as it doesn’t blow directly on them. 

Plants like succulents or cacti are used to dry air and strong sunlight though—they can handle some wind! 

If your plant is a hardy indoor variety like philodendrons and spider plants, keep an eye out for signs of damage caused by too much exposure to breezes such as discoloration around leaves’ edges or leaf tips falling off; adjust planting locations accordingly.

“Fresh air is essential for healthy living, and having indoor plants can significantly improve the air quality in your home. Learn about 13 ways to make your indoor air feel fresher with our guide on how to improve indoor air quality.”

UV Rays

It’s not just the lack of light that makes plants feel sad. UV rays can also be damaging to plant leaves, causing them to burn and turn brown. 

If you’re used to keeping indoor plants inside, their exposure to UV rays may be harmful. 

Likewise, if you’ve been keeping outdoor plants outdoors all this time but want to move them indoors or bring in a new one because it’s winter and there’s no sunlight at all, they might not handle it well either!

Check For Pests

If you decide to bring your indoor plants outdoors, check for pests first. If any are present, treat them before moving the plant outside. If you don’t control the pests, they will move with the plant and reproduce in their new location.

If you find that pests have taken up residence in your indoor plant’s leaves or stems, take a look at our pest page for ways to get rid of them!

“The right soil can make all the difference in the health and growth of your indoor plants. Find out what soil is best to use for indoor plants with our expert advice in our guide on soil for indoor plants.”

Outdoor Trees

Trees are some of the most beautiful and majestic plants, but they can also be dangerous to indoor plants. If there is a tree in your yard, it might be best to keep all of your indoor plants on the other side of the wall that separates your home from your yard. 

Trees can drop leaves, fruits and nuts onto your roof and into any windowsills they reach. The weight of these falling objects could cause damage to both things inside the house as well as injuring people who are outside when they happen to fall.

Some trees have especially strong root systems that may go deep into the ground below them which makes it very difficult for you to dig up when removing it from its original location. 

This will become a problem if you’re trying to plant something else in place because all those roots would need removed first! 

In addition, some trees grow very tall (upwards toward space) which means they will shade out any sunlight reaching lower plants nearby–meaning no photosynthesis happening at all over there anymore so those leaves should look pretty dead after awhile too (unless someone comes along with their own sun umbrella).

Check For Shade Throughout The Day

The first thing you should check is how long your plants are in the shade throughout the day. If it’s just for part of the day, then yes, they can be outside. But if it’s all day, then no.

For example:

If you live in an area with a lot of shade and know that there is always some light available at certain times during the year (perhaps before sunrise or after sunset), then you can place your indoor plant in that spot once a year and bring it back inside when temperatures warm up.


Soil: When you’re growing plants indoors, the soil should be porous and well-drained. The soil should also be rich in nutrients.

If you’re going to use outside soil for your indoor plants, make sure it’s not compacted (which could cause drainage problems) and rich enough in nutrients that it doesn’t need additional fertilizers.

“Proper fertilization is crucial for the health and vitality of your indoor plants. Learn about how often you need to fertilize potted plants with our guide on fertilizing indoor plants and keep your plants thriving.”

Watering Needs

Watering needs will vary by plant. Some plants need to be watered regularly, and others can go longer between watering. 

Also, some plants need to be watered deeply and others only lightly (i.e., they don’t like it when their roots are sitting in water). 

So, how do you know how much water a certain plant needs? In general, the more sunlight your indoor greenery gets and the drier it is where it lives outside (shade), the less water it will require indoors.

Humidity And Dew

Dehydration is less of a problem for many plants than it used to be. The air is drier indoors, and we use electricity instead of coal or oil for heat in the winter. 

But there are still some succulents that need humidity, like Aloe Vera or Jasmine. 

If you want to plant these outside in the shade, there are a few things you should know about how dew affects them—and how to deal with it if necessary!

Dew forms when moisture condenses on microscopic particles in the air and then falls onto plants from above. It’s not uncommon for this phenomenon to occur at night during spring and autumn months when temperatures are cooler than normal for those seasons. 

This means dew will form more easily during early morning hours than later on in the day—so if you’re noticing heavy amounts of moisture on your plants after dark, try moving them closer toward a window where they’ll get direct sunlight throughout most daylight hours (but be careful not to expose them directly).

Fertilization Needs

You can fertilize your outdoor plants with a balanced fertilizer, such as 10-10-10. Ideally, you should use half strength and only do so in the spring and summer months. If you need to fertilize in fall or winter, then go for it—just be sure to dilute the fertilizer even less than before.

Spread a thin layer of compost over the soil and water it in well before applying any fertilizers or other nutrients to your planter boxes (this will help them break down more quickly).

If you have fresh manure available, sprinkle it around the base of your plant at least 6 inches away from its stem (or trunk) every few weeks while growing season continues—but don’t apply fresh manure too close to flowering time because it may cause damage if animals come along later on!

“Transplanting houseplants can be tricky, and timing is everything. Check out our pro tips in our guide on when to transplant houseplants and ensure a smooth transition for your indoor plants.”

Size Of Plants And Potting Containers

The size of your plant and pot will determine how large or small you can go with your container. If you have a smaller indoor plant, it won’t need as much space. 

However, if the plant is going to get bigger or taller then you will need to plan for that when choosing a pot. 

You don’t want to end up with a heavy container that will tip over in the wind and spill out all of your soil!

Soil shouldn’t fill up more than 1/3 of the container’s volume as this would create too much weight for your plant to handle during windy days outside. 

If possible, choose a light-weight material like clay or plastic so that air can circulate around both sides of each layer without being obstructed by extra material such as rocks or gravels (which tend to hold moisture longer).

In terms of drainage options, most pots nowadays come with holes at their base but if yours doesn’t then be sure there’s still some way for excess water not absorbed by its soil matrix – whether through evaporation through humidity levels which could cause root rot issues–to get out from underneath where roots aren’t touching directly into moist ground below where they may cause fungal infections on them instead!


Indoor plants are a great addition to any home and can be used as decoration or just for their pleasant aroma. 

As long as they are cared for properly, they will thrive in most environments. However, there are some conditions that may prevent them from growing outside in the shade.

 If you live in an area where the temperature is too hot or humid during the day but cool at night then consider putting your plant outside on a covered patio out of direct sunlight until sunset before bringing it back inside again at sunrise!

“Struggling to keep your indoor plants alive? Don’t give up just yet! With our expert tips in how to save your indoor plants, you can give your plants the care they need and see them thrive.”

Further Reading

Here are some additional resources to help you learn more about indoor plants and outdoor gardening:

Should Indoor Plants Go Outside? All of Your Questions Answered: This article from The Plant Runner blog answers common questions about bringing indoor plants outside and offers tips for making the transition.

Can All Houseplants Go Outside in Summer?: Fine Gardening offers expert advice on which houseplants can thrive outdoors in the summer months.

Inside Out: How to Bring Indoor Plants Outdoors: The Sill offers tips on how to successfully bring your indoor plants outdoors and care for them in an outdoor environment.


Can indoor plants survive outside in the shade?

Yes, some indoor plants can survive outside in the shade. However, it’s important to research the specific needs of your plant and make sure it’s suitable for outdoor conditions.

Should indoor plants be acclimated before bringing them outside?

Yes, indoor plants should be acclimated to outdoor conditions gradually to avoid shock or damage. Start by placing them outside for a few hours a day and gradually increase the time over the course of a few weeks.

How much light do indoor plants need when outside in the shade?

The amount of light that indoor plants need when outside in the shade varies depending on the plant species. Some plants may require more light than others, so it’s important to research the specific needs of your plant before bringing it outside.

What are some benefits of bringing indoor plants outside?

Bringing indoor plants outside can provide them with natural light and fresh air, which can improve their growth and health. It can also help to prevent pests and disease that may be more prevalent in indoor environments.

What should I do if my indoor plant doesn’t adapt well to outdoor conditions?

If your indoor plant doesn’t adapt well to outdoor conditions, it’s best to bring it back inside and care for it in its original environment. Not all indoor plants are suitable for outdoor conditions, and it’s important to research their specific needs before making the transition.