Leaving Potted Plants in the Rain [Can You Do It?]

Most of the time, it is fine and even desirable to leave potted plants out in the rain. Water is great for plant growth and rain certainly provides plenty of it. As long as your pots have proper drainage holes, most of the time leaving container plants in rain is no issue. However, sometimes rain comes with windy weather and extreme cold, which can damage your plant. Storms can also be a hazard by providing excessive rain to the point that your plant can drown. So, feel free to leave your plan out in mild to moderate rain but bring them indoors if wind and temperature become extreme.

Leaving potted plants in rain

Is Rainwater Good for Potted Plants?

Rainwater is excellent for potted plants. Rainfall is prized among gardeners for its purity especially in comparison to things like tap water. Tap water often contains various minerals and chemicals that are helpful for humans but may not be good for plants. One way to deal with this is to try to filter tap water before using it in your garden. Use this hose-attached water filter to remove as many of the chemicals in tap water as possible.

  • When possible, allow your container plants to receive rainfall.
  • Rain water is the purest water a plant can get without use of a water filter.
  • If you can’t rely on rain water though, use a water filter on your garden hose.

When you get the chance, it’s a great idea to leave your plants in the rain. The benefits of rainwater for producing healthy plants really are all about purity. You’re not going to get cleaner water for your plants without relying on expensive technology like reverse osmosis filters.

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What to Do with Potted Plants When it Rains

In general, it’s a good idea to leave plants in the rain whenever possible. This can change depending on factors like how severe the storm is or how cold the temperature will get. Below, we’ll cover the most common questions about container plants in the rain.

Should You Bring Outdoor Plants Inside When it Storms?

Bringing container plants in during storms is often a good idea. Delicate plants may be able to stand light breezes, but heavy winds and cold temperatures are plant killers. The damage to leaves during a storm can often be too severe for your plant to recover from. However, a cool summer storm may provide hot weather relief and much-needed moisture during a dry time. Use your best judgment in deciding whether a storm looks more likely to damage your plant or help it.

Should You Take an Indoor Plant Outside When it Rains?

Provided temperatures are favorable, your indoor plant will benefit from sitting out in the rain from time to time. Wet weather is favorable to indoor container plants, which often don’t get enough moisture. Just make sure that the weather is still favorable to your plant. Rain may be healthy, but cold temperatures are not.

  • It is beneficial for indoor plants to be taken out in the rain when possible.
  • Protect your indoor plant from cold temperatures that sometimes accompany rain.
  • If your plant has been watered recently, don’t risk overwatering by taking it out.

There’s no need to take your plant outside if it has been watered recently. Rain may be higher quality than tap water, but overwatering is still overwatering. Too much water—whether it comes from watering or rainfall—can cause root rot and kill your plant.

Will Rain Drown Potted Plants?

Believe it or not, plants can actually drown in the presence of too much water. This is basically the same thing as overwatering. Plants need air pockets to breathe through their respiratory pores. Too much water will flood those pockets. This usually isn’t an issue in most types of rain. However, excessive rain and storming weather can produce several more inches of water than your plant can handle. Some damaging storm effects can be prevented with adequate drainage.

  • Excess water can drown a plant.
  • Warning signs of excess water include water pooling on the soil surface.
  • An overwatered plant may begin to turn yellow and wilt.

The biggest warning sign of potential drowning is excess water. If your soil looks wet or water is pooling on the soil surface, your plant probably has more than enough water. Once you see this occurring, move your plants somewhere where they will be safe from more water.

How to Protect Potted Plants from Too Much Rain

The best defense against excessive rain is proper drainage. Make sure your potting soil is well-draining and only purchase containers with large drainage holes. If your container does not have enough drainage holes, you can use a power drill to create more. As long as the container can properly drain, excess water is unlikely to suffocate the plant’s root systems.

  • Plant pots in containers with several large drainage holes to prevent drowned plants.
  • Use a drill and drill bit to add more drainage holes to containers without adequate drainage.
  • Bring plants in from the rain when they’ve been fully watered.

Another tip is to include loose gravel or rocks at the bottom of a pot below the soil. This will provide even more drainage for your plant. That way, your plant gets the benefits of rainfall without the worry of drowning. Lastly, you can bring plants out of the rain or add a water-resistant cover to block rain once they’ve been thoroughly watered.

Is it Bad to Leave Potted Plants in the Rain?

Leaving potted plants out in light to moderate rain is highly desirable. It provides your plant with a clean, natural water source. In heavy rain and storming weather, this can change. Plants still need ideal temperatures and can’t withstand strong winds. These are the top tips to remember regarding potted plants and rain:

  • Rainwater is the best kind of water for plants.
  • It can be beneficial to take an indoor plant outside when it rains.
  • Watch out for high winds and cold temperatures during rain—bring potted plants indoors in these conditions.
  • Storms can be dangerous to plants and drown them.
  • Be sure all plant containers have sufficient drainage to prevent overwatering.

At the end of the day, it’s all about considering what your plant needs most. If your plant could use healthier water, then rain will almost always be good for it. If you already have healthy plants and the rain is cold, then why risk it? So, it’s often best to take your plants out into the rain in mild weather, but keep them indoors when the day is cold and stormy.

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