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Proctor's Garden: Don't burn your houseplants

Many people think their houseplants need some sun, but the consequences could be bad.

DENVER — Here's one of the biggest mistakes people often make this time of year: they look around their homes and decide their houseplants need some sun. So they haul them out into the blazing sun and burn them to a crisp. 

Most houseplants are able to share our homes because they evolved beneath trees. So if you bring them out for a summer vacation, put them in shade. 

At the other end of the spectrum are sun-loving plants that manage to survive in sunny windows indoors but much prefer sun.

This includes cordylines, smooth yuccas, dwarf citrus trees, bananas and many kinds of succulents. These are indoor/outdoor plants that will thrive for decades if you treat them right. Other plants in this category include oleander, fig, New Zealand flax, hibiscus, agapanthus and other tropicals. 

Credit: thayra83 - stock.adobe.com
Hibiscus

Even though they love sun, they still need to be exposed to the sun gradually. Use a shade cloth or set them out beneath trees to start.

Plants you buy at a nursery are also subject to burning. Although a geranium can recover from a burn fairly quickly, succulents, in particular, can take years to recover if they get sun-scalded. Take special care not to burn them.

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