putting house plants outside for summer

parker806(zone 8 GA)May 5, 2008

i have a questions on the following houseplants: rubber tree, snake plant and ponytail palm. i have searched the web and one site says full sun and another says low light. i want to set them outside for the summer and need to know where to put them. thanks for the help

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tisha_(z7 OKC)

I'm no expert for sure. But I would keep all 3 of them out of 100% direct sun.

I have a veriegated "Rubber Tree" plant outside and keep it in an area that is covered for part of the day by an overhang on the roof of our grill area outside. Hmm...I just realized that won't make much sense if you don't know what I'm talking about. LOL

I've looked through my pictures and don't have one of it. I'll try to take one tonight. It was a rescue from Lowe's at the end of the season last year, so it's missing most of its lower leaves, but it survived in our sunroom (that has a total lack of sun! LOL) all winter and seems to be doing fairly well the past few weeks that it's been outdoors.

    Bookmark   May 5, 2008 at 4:37PM
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tisha_(z7 OKC)

I took a picture of it last night.

Remember, it was a rescue, so it's not big and beautiful. But it's doing ok. :-)

    Bookmark   May 6, 2008 at 9:34AM
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parker806(zone 8 GA)

tisha, i have never seen the varigated rubber tree before. looks healthy though. since you rescued it i am sure it do well for you. thanks for the pic and the help.

    Bookmark   May 6, 2008 at 9:59AM
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lucy(6)

The snake plant can take all the sun you can throw at it.

    Bookmark   May 6, 2008 at 9:22PM
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tapla (mid-MI z5b-6a)

Tisha - if you prune the growing tip and last leaf off of each stem, the plant will back-bud like crazy & start to fill out for you.

Al

    Bookmark   May 6, 2008 at 10:03PM
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tisha_(z7 OKC)

Thanks Al!!! Is this an OK time of year to do that?

    Bookmark   May 7, 2008 at 9:03AM
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tapla (mid-MI z5b-6a)

Mmhmm. You can tip prune any time with very little in the way of ill effects because you're removing such a small amount of photosynthesizing mass - as long as . I hope Parker is ok with our chat, since he has a Ficus e., too. When the new branches get 5 leaves on them, prune them back to 2 leaves & new branches will grow from the leaf axils (crotches) on the 2 remaining leaves. This is how you increase ramification (the number of branches) on your Ficus trees (and other woody houseplants that are apically dominant, like Ficus) & keep them nice & bushy. ;o)

Good luck, guys.

Al

    Bookmark   May 7, 2008 at 9:56AM
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tootswisc(z4/5Wi)

Hey tisha, I have a tricolor that is several years old. I was having to stake up the branches and eventually pruned the longest one back. The new leaves are very colorful-red is the 3rd color I guess. I want to cut the "new" longest truck but I can't get the longevity issue out of my mind. I keep wondering about old leaves. Should I let them age in place like I try to do with my residents at Kelly House. I know I am being silly but for now, I just can't make that next cut.

    Bookmark   May 7, 2008 at 10:22AM
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tisha_(z7 OKC)

Thanks everyone.

    Bookmark   May 7, 2008 at 11:17AM
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tootswisc(z4/5Wi)

Hi Parker. I can tell you about a ficus lyrata(?), fiddle leaf fig, that I put outside last summer. I had it in a protected area that got late morning sun. I kept it under a bush for about a week then let it enjoy the hot sun. It thrived and made me realize how a tropical plant can thrive in a Wisconsin summer.

But the weather can also cause havoc-a wind blew over my norfolk and caused branches on one side to break and some strange bug ate some jade leaves and a worm got into my boston fern and when I repotted it a few weeks ago I found most of it roots were eaten

    Bookmark   May 7, 2008 at 10:27PM
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kioni(3)

About the pruning thing, is it important to wait until the branch has produced the 5 leaves before pruning back to 2, or after the 2nd leaf has grown can the growing tip be pinched off? (I assume letting the plant grow the 5 leaves makes for a more robust branch before the pruning?)

Thanks everyone, kioni.

    Bookmark   May 9, 2008 at 12:40AM
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tapla (mid-MI z5b-6a)

I have found in Ficus in particular, and most woody material in general, than branches comprised of all dynamic mass (this is when the entire branch is composed of living tissues, and what will eventually become the woody portion of the branch is all vascular, conducting tissues) are much more susceptible to die-back after pruning than branches that are allowed to become at least semi-lignified (woody). Not all branches die back, and only tip pruning branches with lots of leaves usually presents no problems. I don't worry about it much because I am only pruning trees growing with good vitality, and they tolerate much much more of the indignities heaped on them, but in weakened trees it is of greater concern.

Older branches with well-established vascular connections to the main stem/branch are also quicker to push new growth from leaf axils, old leaf attachment sites, and from other adventitious buds after hard pruning.

Al

    Bookmark   May 9, 2008 at 7:22AM
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parker806(zone 8 GA)

did not ask how to prune them. i wanted to know how much sun to give them when i put them on front porch. thanks to tisha and lucy for all the help though. i put them on front porch with west exposure. thanks again

    Bookmark   May 9, 2008 at 11:08AM
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tapla (mid-MI z5b-6a)

how silly and presumptuous of me to take for granted you might like to learn a little about how to keep one of the plants you're growing tidy and attractive. i apologize for straying from your topic.

Al

    Bookmark   May 9, 2008 at 12:44PM
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tisha_(z7 OKC)

No need for you to apologize, Al. It was my fault that the topic strayed a bit. I'm sorry that Parker seemed to take offense to that.

    Bookmark   May 9, 2008 at 12:55PM
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parker806(zone 8 GA)

sorry if i offended anyone with my last post. i was trying to get some information on my plants and if i can put them in full sun as we are having 80 and 90 degree temps now in georgia and very dry here. i just felt that from all the posts, i only got help in this matter from a few people. just not the help i was looking for i guess. thanks and sorry again

    Bookmark   May 9, 2008 at 2:36PM
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tapla (mid-MI z5b-6a)

All three are plants that prefer high light levels and all will do well in full sun if acclimated to the higher light levels over a week or two so chlorophyll levels get a chance to build (chlorophyll protects against photo-oxidation - a fancy name for sunburn). The only exception I can think of is: you may wish to keep the F. elastica in dappled shade if it is variegated - if not, full sun is appropriate.

I'd like you to know that I usually try very hard to stay focused on the topic, and I was aware I was sort of straying, but I really did believe you'd find the info of some value. If you don't or can't appreciate the value now, it's likely you will at some point - that being when you have progressed to the point you need to decide how/where to make your first pruning cuts or let the plant bend you to its want to become gangly w/o intervention.

Wishing you the best,

Al

    Bookmark   May 9, 2008 at 6:40PM
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lucy(6)

Yup, it's not an isolated issue - everything depends on everything else, and needs to be taken into account.

    Bookmark   May 10, 2008 at 6:11AM
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