Home Houseplants Should You Put Indoor Plants Outside In The Rain?

Should You Put Indoor Plants Outside In The Rain? – GIY Plants

Houseplant sitting in front of window while raining outside.

Have you ever wondered if your indoor plants crave the refreshing touch of rainwater? While we relish the scent and sound of summer rain, does it offer the same stimulating experience for our houseplants? Dive in as we unravel the pros and cons of giving your indoor greenery a taste of the outdoors during a downpour. Whether you are a newbie or a seasoned plant lover, this guide promises insights that might change your watering routine!

The Natural Appeal of Rainwater for Houseplants

Rain shower which is good for indoor plants.

Rainwater, with its pristine touch and natural composition, has long been a topic of interest for indoor gardeners. But what makes it so special for our houseplants, and how does it compare to the tap water we often use?

Benefits of Rainwater Over Tap Water for Indoor Plants

Rainwater is nature’s elixir. Unlike tap water, which often contains added chemicals and minerals, rainwater is naturally soft. It’s free from the salts, chlorine, and other additives commonly found in tap water, making it a pure source of hydration for plants. This natural water promotes better plant growth, ensuring that plants get the nutrients for photosynthesis without the hindrance of unwanted chemicals.

Furthermore, rainwater can be humid, especially in the spring and summer, providing a boost of moisture that many tropical plants love.

The Difference Between Rainwater and Tap Water in Terms of Nutrients and Chemicals

While tap water is a convenient source for watering indoor plants, it often comes with baggage. Hard water from our water pipes can contain high levels of calcium and magnesium, which, over time, can accumulate in the soil and potentially harm plant health.

On the other hand, rainwater is rich in nitrogen and oxygen, essential elements that support plant health and enhance their ability to take in nutrients.

Moreover, rainwater often lacks the chlorine in tap water, which can harm some sensitive plants. In essence, while tap water is treated to be safe for us, rainwater is naturally attuned to the needs of our plants, making it a preferable choice for many indoor gardeners.

Taking Indoor Plants Outside: The Pros and Cons

The allure of treating indoor plants to a natural rain shower is tempting for many gardeners. But like all things, there are benefits and potential pitfalls to consider when moving your green companions outdoors.

The Rejuvenating Effects of Putting Indoor Plants in the Rain

There’s something almost magical about rainwater. When indoor plants are placed outside in the rain, they’re exposed to a natural source of hydration rich in essential elements. The rain provides water and cleans the plant’s leaves, aiding in photosynthesis. This natural cleansing can lead to plants that look more vibrant and feel healthier.

Moreover, plants like tropical varieties often thrive in the increased humidity of light rain, making them grow quicker and greener. It’s akin to giving your house plants a spa day, rejuvenating them, and enhancing their overall health.

Potential Risks of Moving Houseplants Outdoors

While the benefits are enticing, there are risks to consider. One of the primary concerns is the potential for overwatering. Heavy rain can saturate the pot, and if there aren’t adequate drainage holes in the bottom, it can lead to root rot or other water-related issues.

Additionally, the great outdoors is home to a variety of pests. Moving houseplants outdoors, even briefly, exposes them to insects that might see your plants as a new home or food source. Once these pests hitch back inside, they can become a significant problem for indoor plants.

Lastly, strong winds or unexpected weather changes can damage your plant, especially delicate varieties. Thus, it’s crucial to keep plants in a sheltered spot outside and always check the weather forecast before making the move.

Steps to Safely Move Houseplants Outdoors

Indoor pothos plant siiting outside on wooden deck to get some rain water.

Taking your indoor plants outside for a refreshing rain shower can be beneficial, but it’s essential to do it right. Ensuring the safety and health of your plants requires preparation and knowledge.

Precautions to Take When Putting Your Indoor Plants Outside in the Rain

Before you move your houseplants outdoors, consider the following steps to ensure their safety:

  1. Check the Weather Forecast: Ensure that the forecast predicts light rain, not heavy downpours or strong winds that could damage your plant’s leaves or cause waterlogging.
  2. Choose the Right Spot: Find a sheltered location that protects plants from direct sun and strong winds but allows them to enjoy the rain. Avoid places where water might pool.
  3. Inspect for Pests: Before bringing them back inside, thoroughly check your plants for any pests that might have interested your plant outdoors.
  4. Monitor Duration: Leave your plants out for a short time. While they might enjoy the rain, extended exposure can be harmful, especially during colder temperatures.
  5. Ensure Proper Drainage: Ensure your pots have holes in the bottom to prevent standing water, which can lead to root rot.

How to Collect Rainwater for Indoor Plants Without Moving Them Outdoors

If you’re hesitant about taking your plants outside but still want them to benefit from rainwater, here’s how you can collect it:

  1. Use a Clean Bucket or Container: Place a bucket or large container outside to collect rainwater. Ensure it’s clean to avoid any contaminants.
  2. Cover the Container with a Mesh: This prevents debris and insects from entering the collected water.
  3. Store Collected Rainwater: Once you’ve collected enough rainwater in a bucket or container, you can store it in jugs or bottles for future use. Remember, rainwater is naturally soft and free from the salts and chemicals found in tap water, making it ideal for indoor plants.
  4. Watering Your Plants: Use the collected rainwater to water your plants as usual. They’ll love the garden-fresh hydration and the beneficial nutrients it provides.


Taking your plants outside during a rain shower offers a refreshing change, but it’s a dance of balance. While many plants inherently like rain and thrive with their natural hydration and nutrients, transitioning from houseplant outside to indoors can be delicate. The outdoors presents a burst of natural elements, but the controlled environment indoors is what many plants are accustomed to. Whether you let your plants out in the rain or harvest rainwater, it’s about understanding and catering to their unique needs, ensuring they flourish in any setting.

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