Author Topic: Transitioning indoor trees outside  (Read 881 times)

Midwestfruitjungle

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Transitioning indoor trees outside
« on: April 19, 2023, 12:59:53 PM »
Hey everybody. I am looking to move my trees outdoors and get them acclimated to the outside, but I am unsure how cold many of them can handle. I read a lot of articles about how they can handle frosts, but I obviously don't want to stress them out. What is a minimum nighttime temperature for things like acerola, eugenias and plinia that will acclimate them without stressing them too much?

Our forecast calls for around 50 as a low at night and then 30 this weekend. 

SDPirate

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Re: Transitioning indoor trees outside
« Reply #1 on: April 19, 2023, 01:17:18 PM »
A lot of Eugenias and Plinia can handle down to 32 or lower, but since they are going outside for the first time, I would say 50 is a good low to start out with as long as there's no crazy winds.

Daintree

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Re: Transitioning indoor trees outside
« Reply #2 on: April 19, 2023, 01:20:56 PM »
Just my experience, in Idaho, and others may have different ideas.

Personally, I wouldn't put them out until the outside low equals about 10-15 degrees lower than your inside temps.

Then full shade for a while. Indoors, even with lights, the light level is way lower than outdoor shade. Only let them have early morning or late afternoon sun for at least a couple of weeks.  Trees respond to light changes much more slowly than veggies. Unless by "indoors" you mean a greenhouse, then you can subject them to more light faster.

I used to bring mine in and out of the greenhouse, but twice a year shock was just too hard on most things, other than figs, which are indestructible.

Good luck!
Carolyn

Midwestfruitjungle

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Re: Transitioning indoor trees outside
« Reply #3 on: April 19, 2023, 01:23:04 PM »
Just my experience, in Idaho, and others may have different ideas.

Personally, I wouldn't put them out until the outside low equals about 10-15 degrees lower than your inside temps.

Then full shade for a while. Indoors, even with lights, the light level is way lower than outdoor shade. Only let them have early morning or late afternoon sun for at least a couple of weeks.  Trees respond to light changes much more slowly than veggies. Unless by "indoors" you mean a greenhouse, then you can subject them to more light faster.

I used to bring mine in and out of the greenhouse, but twice a year shock was just too hard on most things, other than figs, which are indestructible.


Good luck!
Carolyn

Thanks. I think I will wait then till the temperatures are consistent and find a shady spot for them.

CeeJey

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Re: Transitioning indoor trees outside
« Reply #4 on: April 19, 2023, 01:50:04 PM »
Agreed with others that 50 as a low sounds good. I dropped a couple dozen months-old eugenia and plinia outside when it was in the 48 range at night this year and they all did fine except for a single cambuca that had to come back inside. All the jaboticaba were fine.

I'd wait on the acerola personally till it is a little higher even but that is just me, they tend to be really cold sensitive here and start defoliating at the drop of a hat. EDIT: I've actually lost a couple from shock where the plant doesn't defoliate until early in the spring and then can't take the sudden change to warm.

Then full shade for a while. Indoors, even with lights, the light level is way lower than outdoor shade. Only let them have early morning or late afternoon sun for at least a couple of weeks.  Trees respond to light changes much more slowly than veggies. Unless by "indoors" you mean a greenhouse, then you can subject them to more light faster.

As a single data point, my plants that were exposed to high-intensity grow lights for a couple of weeks (the strong full spectrum stuff) are acclimating to the sun MUCH faster than the stuff that wasn't. That sounds kind of "duh" but I'm not seeing a difference between "right under a relatively weak grow light" and "has been in partial shade", while the stuff that was getting blasted is doing MUCH better. I even have a couple of jaboticaba that are taking all-day phoenix sun under a 20% shade cloth without sunburn this spring which is... not my experience previously. They'll probably go back into the heavier shade though when we hit the 100s but we'll see.
« Last Edit: April 19, 2023, 01:52:23 PM by CeeJey »

tru

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Re: Transitioning indoor trees outside
« Reply #5 on: April 19, 2023, 02:28:55 PM »
Welp, my dumbass moved my whole collection outside around a week ago directly into partial/full sun (6 hours/day). Only had 3 casualties: a passiflora quadrangularis which I dont think is even dead, a poro poro passionfruit (that hurt a lot, I got others going but that hurt soooo much), and a peanut butter fruit.
Also have a baby pouteria that is looking r o u g h but I think its gonna pull through.

things that did terrible on the move: passionfruit, cacao, abiu, pretty much any pouteria except for chrysophyllum species, they all seem fine -- purple caimito looking the healthiest its ever been.

things that did amazing: starfruit, jambu, white sapote, atemoya, guavas, feijoas, baby and adult jabos, baby annonas, baby sapodilla, and various baby chrysophyllum species took it like a champ too.

We've had overcast for 4 out of the past 7 days which is probably why I didn't suffer more loss, after the sunburns started to show I instantly moved what I thought was needed to full shade and things have been pretty good since. 75F currently, got 3-4 days of rain on the radar. Grow room kept at a steady 87-90F, PPFD range from 1000 in center to 600 on the sides; figure that may play a part in not so many losses

Ofcourse its only been a week so perhaps the damage is done already to some plants that I can't see yet, will update if anything else decides to die on me
« Last Edit: April 19, 2023, 02:35:55 PM by tru »
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elouicious

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Re: Transitioning indoor trees outside
« Reply #6 on: April 19, 2023, 04:38:30 PM »
A project I started a while ago and have since abandoned that may be useful for minimum temps

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1wr8LzKUFTtbWGQ-pHZJqXR5qKN9Mc8ysHCrKJ8pfz8Y/edit#gid=0

In general, when temps are right, I wait for a cloudy couple of days and then move them outside

Also problems with sunburn are like cold- by the time you see the damage it is probably too far along to fix anything

CeeJey

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Re: Transitioning indoor trees outside
« Reply #7 on: April 19, 2023, 05:14:01 PM »
things that did terrible on the move: passionfruit, cacao, abiu, pretty much any pouteria except for chrysophyllum species, they all seem fine -- purple caimito looking the healthiest its ever been.

things that did amazing: starfruit, jambu, white sapote, atemoya, guavas, feijoas, baby and adult jabos, baby annonas, baby sapodilla, and various baby chrysophyllum species took it like a champ too.

My Chrysophyllum seem to burn very easily out here even with partial sun. I'm still figuring those out. Luckily they seem to bounce back from heinous treatment and bad sunburns. Otherwise about the same results.

Macadamia nut turned out to be pretty sun sensitive too, oddly.

drymifolia

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Re: Transitioning indoor trees outside
« Reply #8 on: April 19, 2023, 05:27:40 PM »
Unless by "indoors" you mean a greenhouse, then you can subject them to more light faster.

Honestly even then the light is pretty diffused in "full sun" in a greenhouse, and I've had bad sunburn on avocados moved from greenhouse to dappled shade on a sunny day. I mostly move them out when the forecast is cloudy for a few days, and even then there's always some degree of sunburn on any recently hardened leaves that formed in the greenhouse, but it never seems to set the trees back too much. I know avocados are extra sensitive in that regard, and weren't even included in the OP list, but figured I'd chime in anyhow.

brian

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Re: Transitioning indoor trees outside
« Reply #9 on: April 19, 2023, 06:54:01 PM »
I agree with Carolyn's approach.  Even "prefers full-sun" plants got burnt when I moved them from greenhouse to outside in spring.  I would be be careful with sun exposure and remember than outdoor temps might go lower than predicted, plus container plants get colder faster than in-ground

Plantinyum

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Re: Transitioning indoor trees outside
« Reply #10 on: April 20, 2023, 05:46:06 AM »
I also have a lot of tropicals that i will be taking out soon, i will probably wait till the begginning of may, we sometimes have frosts up till the middle of may, but usually once may rolls in were pretty safe. Will try to keep them inside till the nightime temps outside get to at least 8-10 C, plants are really wanting to go outside NOW!
I usually dont fuss much about having them in total shade and slowly hardening them to the sun, i just place them in their planned spots, sometimes i may see something suffering a bit from the sun, but generally at the time i take them out its usually overcast almost every day, alot of rain also, so they have a suitable weather at the time of moving .
The only thing i put in total shade from the start are any plants that are known shade lovers. 
« Last Edit: April 20, 2023, 05:49:03 AM by Plantinyum »

Daintree

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Re: Transitioning indoor trees outside
« Reply #11 on: April 20, 2023, 08:57:19 AM »
Yes, it's all about your location and weather. In Boise we are at about 2,800 feet, and since we are high desert, the sun can just beat down.

Good thing, Plantinyum, that you have lots of clouds and rain that time of year. Works like shade, for sure!

We are having clouds right now, but it just keeps snowing! Argh!


TropicalFruitSeeker

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Re: Transitioning indoor trees outside
« Reply #12 on: April 20, 2023, 11:09:44 AM »
I was the fool who put his plants outside at the first sunny day in April. I put them in light shade but then it dropped to 36 and started snowing, and now it hasn't stopped raining and its been super windy. 
Surinam Cherry - Burnt and dropped all leaves - brough them back into the greenhouse and they started flushing out again. I left 2 out as an experiment to see if they can handle it. They were all ~1yo
Chanar - Took several out and they all lost their leaves. I left them out to test if they are cold hardy. I actually left 2 out all winter and we got into the teens with multiple snow days. Hoping they survive. IF they do I'll put one in the ground to test further
Superior lemon drop - Put 2 out with the surinams, woke up with snow in their pots. They turned brown, put them back in the greenhouse and we'll see what happens.
Ziricote - Same story as above. Outside because I saw sun. All the leaves turned brown except the bottom 4 which are still greenish. Also got some snow in the pot. Hoping it bounces back as well.
Honestly pretty hopeful Chanar can stay out year round as they get older. I'm trying to find which are more cold hardy so I can take them out earlier since the greenhouse is always so packed. As others said, I need to be more careful with the sun exposure.

Midwestfruitjungle

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Re: Transitioning indoor trees outside
« Reply #13 on: May 03, 2023, 12:24:33 PM »
Its so frustrating living in a colder climate, moving all your trees out, and then a freak snow storm coming out of nowhere. It is probably best to wait till it is consistent and put them in full shade, slowly moving them to a sunnier spot. My peanutbutter fruit defoliated but has new growth, so I will be doing it right this time lol.

brian

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Re: Transitioning indoor trees outside
« Reply #14 on: May 03, 2023, 01:21:45 PM »
Gah, I just experienced something like this.  I brought a bunch of citrus and eugenias out of the greenhouse as low temps were in the 40s.  It was cloudy/rainy/windy/overcast the entire time.

A half dozen eugenias and a couple citrus with tender new growth took damage when it was about 48F the first night!  Eugenias that can take freezing temps sustained cold damage while, ex. lemons and limes that can't handle any frost did fine with their hardened leaves.  Some of the tender growth only wilted and then recovered once warm again, but a few took permanent damage and their new growth blacked and died.

So, not only is sun shock a risk but cold shock on tender new growth is a risk even for plants that can tolerate freezing
« Last Edit: May 03, 2023, 01:25:59 PM by brian »

SDPirate

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Re: Transitioning indoor trees outside
« Reply #15 on: May 03, 2023, 03:04:48 PM »
Yeah got to be careful when its below 50.  I absolutely dusted my blackberry jam fruits when I stupidly put them outside early morning when it was breezy and upper 40s.  Only one survived out of five or six of them and is finally making a comeback but lesson learned.

elouicious

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Re: Transitioning indoor trees outside
« Reply #16 on: May 03, 2023, 04:01:09 PM »
Gah, I just experienced something like this.  I brought a bunch of citrus and eugenias out of the greenhouse as low temps were in the 40s.  It was cloudy/rainy/windy/overcast the entire time.

A half dozen eugenias and a couple citrus with tender new growth took damage when it was about 48F the first night!  Eugenias that can take freezing temps sustained cold damage while, ex. lemons and limes that can't handle any frost did fine with their hardened leaves.  Some of the tender growth only wilted and then recovered once warm again, but a few took permanent damage and their new growth blacked and died.

So, not only is sun shock a risk but cold shock on tender new growth is a risk even for plants that can tolerate freezing

did you water before you moved them?

brian

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Re: Transitioning indoor trees outside
« Reply #17 on: May 03, 2023, 06:31:37 PM »
Yes I watered them

elouicious

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Re: Transitioning indoor trees outside
« Reply #18 on: May 04, 2023, 03:22:15 PM »
I would chalk that up to the new growth death-

Especially after these 2 storms in Texas- I think dry roots go a long way in helping with temp tolerance

brian

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Re: Transitioning indoor trees outside
« Reply #19 on: May 04, 2023, 03:33:19 PM »
I think dry roots go a long way in helping with temp tolerance

I thought it was the opposite?!   Maybe I remember wrong?

elouicious

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Re: Transitioning indoor trees outside
« Reply #20 on: May 04, 2023, 03:43:24 PM »
Unless you are talking about protecting blooms with something like overhead sprayers, I think dry roots are better for cold tolerance

Speaking anecdotally of course, but I dont think the logic of less water in the tree = higher sugar content of the phloem = less cold damage is too insane

brian

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Re: Transitioning indoor trees outside
« Reply #21 on: May 04, 2023, 03:46:15 PM »
Yeah I had never seen actual damage from cold-but-not-freezing before, your explanation might be right.  Many times before I have seen wilting of tender new growth during cold-but-not-freezing temps and they always recovered once the roots warmed back up, the explanation being that the roots essentially stop working below 55F or so and cannot uptake water to keep the new growth turgid, and that watering before cold just gives more thermal mass to hopefully keep a couple degrees warmer

 

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