Summering Houseplants: They Get Cabin Fever Too!

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Go ahead and give your houseplants a summer vacation! Houseplants can benefit from being moved outdoors during warmer months. Instead of simply moving them as they are, add a few annuals and make pretty porch planters to decorate with. Summering houseplants will love the fresh air and summer breezes and?if you add in a few annuals?you?ll love the look. Porch Planters Combining Indoor Plants in Arrangements for the Summer

What is commonly referred to as ?houseplants? are tropical plants from warmer climates that would not survive in colder winters. This includes plants such as palms, philodendrons, ferns, ficus, hoya and monstera. They are easy to find at garden centers and often listed as ?tropicals.? These plants are well-suited to the constant temperature and lower light levels of indoors, but did you know they get great benefits from spending the summer outdoors?

Summering Houseplants: They Get Cabin Fever Too!

This summer, my porch is going to be graced with lush tropical planters created by combining my houseplants with flowering annuals and perennials to add texture and contrast.

Porch Planters: Houseplants and Annuals

Summering houseplants outside takes time and patience. Do it successfully with these tips:

  • Houseplants must gradually acclimate to their new environment so that the move outdoors doesn?t shock their systems. Move them outside to a shady spot on a nice warm day for a few hours. Each day, leave houseplants outside for longer periods.
  • Bring them inside each night. Houseplants that need a lot of light can be slowly introduced to more shade sails nets_2465 sun.
  • Depending on spring temperatures, this process of moving houseplants inside and outside could take a few weeks. Once the nighttime temperatures stay above 55 degrees Fahrenheit, the plants can remain outside.
  • Be prepared to water your houseplants more often when they are outside. If you combine different plants in a container, be sure all the plants have compatible watering and light requirements.

Houseplant Arrangements for Summer

One way to go is by combining different houseplants into one large outdoor planter. This indirect light grouping is planted with Sansevieria, Aglaonema, Muehlenbeckia ?Wire Vine?, fern ?East Indian Holly? and Philodendron ?Brazil?. Lots of leaf color!

Move Houseplants Outdoors to Create Stunning Porch Planters


For medium light, this tall planter contains a mature dracaena, spider plant, and succulent plants that can handle medium light. For some additional color, pansies are added. When the pansies fizzle out, other flowering annuals will take their place.

Dracaena, Spider Plant, Succulents, and Pansies


Ferns work well for a mostly shady location. This seashell container has been planted with ferns that have different colors and textures for an interesting combination.

Houseplants Outdoors: Ferns



This simple grapevine wreath is planted with Hoya carnosa. As the plant grows, the trailing stems can be pinned to the wreath. Hoya likes indirect light when outside. If you don?t know how to add plants to a grapevine wreath,

Houseplant Wreath for Outdoors


About the Author

Marie Meiklejohn is the owner of , a seasonal greenhouse located in Pennsylvania. She grows unusual annuals for butterfly and cut flower gardens, is crazy about growing succulents and specializes in designing custom seasonal containers for her customers. Workshops are held in the greenhouse throughout the year. Marie has studied horticulture at Temple University, Delaware Valley University, and Longwood Gardens. She has received a Certificate of Merit in Ornamental Horticulture from Longwood Gardens and a Certificate in Horticultural Therapy from Delaware Valley University.

See all of Marie?s posts .

Summering houseplants with flowering annuals

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People have been creating intricately painted beehives for hundreds of years. It is a practical and fun way to make hives into a form of garden art, as well as a great way to get children involved and teach them about

Beekeeper and bee-centric jewelry artist Anna Gieselman created this hive to celebrate the flower?bee connection.

Kim Lehman is the author of the fabulous book  and she is here today to give us the skinny on painting beehives. Kim?s book contains everything you need to know about beekeeping, with projects suitable for all ages.

How to Paint Beehives

By Kim Lehman

Beehives are a blank canvas just waiting for inspiration to strike. Pick up a paintbrush and jazz up your apiary with one-of-a-kind creations.


This hive, painted by Marjorie Molnar, is inspired by Bauernmalerei, a decorative painting style often referred to as Bavarian folk art.

Bee Buzz
Beekeepers in Slovenia have a long history of beautifully painted beehives going back over 250 years. Beehive painting originated both as d?cor and with the belief that brightly-colored hives would make it easier for bees to know where to go.

Fun for Kids

To do this project with kids, instead of exterior paint use nontoxic markers, tempera paint, chalk, crayons, or even mud for finger painting. Cover with a clear water-based sealer or repaint when weathered.


Start by brainstorming design concepts for your hive. Here are some things to consider:

  • Will your hive have a theme?
  • What images or subjects would you like to work with?
  • Do you want to make a statement or express a thought or an opinion?
  • Would you like realistic artwork or an abstract design?
  • Do you prefer to paint random and spontaneous shapes, colors, and patterns?
  • Will it be a group or family project, with each person designing and painting one panel of the hive?

painted apiary Planning

  • Be bold, big, and colorful with your design. Details are difficult to see from a distance.
  • Sketch many different designs for the art hive on paper. Do not spend time on details. Pick out your favorites to further develop.
  • Choose the colors you will need. Black is great for outlines. Primaries (red, blue, and yellow) make it possible to mix your own colors.

How to Paint Gorgeous Bee Hives


  • Pencil
  • Paper
  • in a variety of sizes
  • (optional)

Make it!

  • Completely cover the hive with a base layer of exterior latex paint.
  • Lightly sketch the design on the hive using a pencil. Do not worry about putting the lines on perfectly. Sketch your design
  • Draw with your full arm, not just with your fingers.
  • If you are painting the outlines in black, do that first. Allow the paint to dry. Go back and fill in with color. Acrylic paints dry a little slower and contain more pigment for better coverage. Exterior latex is much cheaper.
  • Paint away! If using acrylics, apply a protective polyurethane coat to the finished painting. Paint a beehive


Take it Further

finished painted beehive

  • Make a collage by gluing photos and pictures onto the hive. Cover with a protective polyurethane finish.
  • Promote artistic expression and honeybee awareness at a public event. Supply permanent markers for people to decorate a hive or write a message of gratitude to the bees or a beekeeping advocate.
  • Have a ?Wild and Wonderful Beehive Tour? by displaying hives painted by local artists in public places, such as the library, city hall, grocery store, farmers? market, or other local businesses. Auction off the hives or cast monetary votes as a fundraiser.

Reprinted with permission from Beekeeeper?s Lab: 52 Family-Friendly Activities and Experiments Exploring the Life of the Hive by Kim Lehman ? 2017. Published by Quarry Books. Photography ? Anna Gieselman.

About the Author

 Kim Lehman, author of Beekeper's Lab

Kim Lehman has been sharing the many benefits of honeybees, nature?s tiny treasures, for over twenty-five years. Known as a dynamic educator, musician, and author, Kim has presented hundreds of programs at schools, libraries, museums, and nature centers. As part of her column for kids in , Kim began the Bee Buddies Club which now has members in every state. She founded the and directed this educational service about honey bees for the public in 17 states. Check out her book .

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