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Is it ok to bring my houseplants outside for the summer?

Monday, June 27th 2022, 3:30 pm - An expert weighs in.

Now that summer is here you may want to let your indoor plants bask in the fresh air.

But here’s the thing: Many houseplants aren’t from around here. So is it safe to bring your houseplants outside, or are they at risk of spreading into the wild and becoming an invasive plant species?

"A lot of our indoor plants don't grow well in our gardens," Derissa Vincentini, community science coordinator for the Invasive Species Centre, tells The Weather Network, meaning it's generally ok to let your potted plants sit on the porch for a few weeks.

"But that being said, do a quick little research, see if it has the potential to thrive in your environment."

Some popular house plants, like English Ivy, tend to do well in the wild.

"If you dispose of clippings even into your garden or compost, or if you plant it outside, it will spread into natural spaces. And that's where it gets a little bit concerning because it can grow and take over the forest floor. It can grow up trees, and it can choke out native saplings and seedlings."


Collect garden waste in black, construction-grade garbage bags, Vincentini says.

"Leave it on a hard surface, such as a driveway, a trailer bed, or a deck for about at least a week in the sunlight. That will help kill plant material before you dispose of it in the landfill. Many garden plants that are disposed into compost, can start re-growing, and then possibly spread into our natural ecosystem."

In short, you can reduce the risk of accidentally introducing an invasive species into your community by keeping indoor plants inside.

And you can help your local environment by filling your outdoor space with native plants.

Thumbnail image: Custom by Cheryl Santa Maria, made using graphical elements from Canva Pro.

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