It's time to start gradually exposing plants you've kept indoors over winter to sunlight. Here are some tasks to begin.

Begin a fertilization program for container plants. Use a high nitrogen formula now to encourage growth. Once plants bulk up, switch to a high phosphorous formula to encourage flower production.

Pansies and other cool season flowers such as dianthus and wallflowers need to be deadheaded regularly. Remove the spent blooms to prevent the plants from diverting energy to seed production. 

Begin to take plants that you kept inside all winter outside. Expose them to the sun gradually. Succulents, in particular, are vulnerable to sunburn even if they've been in a sunny window. 

Unlike geraniums, for example, which can generate new leaves quickly, succulents grow slowly. Sunburned leaves won't recover and it may take years for them to recover. 

Cacti, which are succulents, can be terribly disfigured by sun. Use a shade cloth to expose them gradually to the sun or bring them outside under trees. 

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