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Following up this question, I have a rock filled border surrounding the outside of the screened-in porch. I'm planning to have container plants both inside the screened-in area, and outside on that border.

Periodically, I am planning to switch the outside plants for the inside plants and vice versa, to give the inside plants access to bees, direct sunlight and fresh air. My goal is to keep the plants (and the local bees) healthy.

After each switch, the formerly outdoor plants will live next to the pool, inside the screened in area; and the formerly indoor plants will stay outside until the next switch.

Assuming mostly flowering plants, how often should I perform this switch?

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I wouldn't recommend you do this switch at all, frankly. If you choose plants that like filtered sunlight, they're not going to respond well to suddenly being pushed into direct, strong sunlight - equally, the sun lovers will not appreciate being placed in a much shadier area. Choose sun lovers for sun and dappled shade lovers for the rest - as for bee activity, that only occurs on flowering plants, and if there's something in flower under the filtered area, they'll find it anyway.

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I move some plants outside in the spring and put them in shade for a few weeks so they won't burn. Then it's full sun for the rest of late spring and summer. I move them inside in early fall.

Most tropical plants grow quickly outside in full sun in the northern hemisphere as long as they have constant access to water. I have never found any bugs on the plants when I brought them back.

The only issue I have had with this practice is that the plants need to be re potted yearly.

I agree with the esteemed Bamboo that doing this for the bees doesn't make a lot of sense. Planting perennials in your garden will provide what they want.

  • You taking the mick?! 'Esteemed' indeed, makes me feel like some ancient relic;-) Although, thinking about it, I probably am borderline ancient relic... – Bamboo Mar 11 '16 at 17:46
  • @Bamboo All that rep says people do hold your posts as authoritative! – kevinsky Mar 11 '16 at 17:51
  • Aye, which I guess means I have to be careful what I say, but same's true of you though! – Bamboo Mar 11 '16 at 18:09
  • I'm in awe of both of you! I've been contributing on other SE forums for years and I didn't even know the vote counters went that high! – Henry Taylor Mar 11 '16 at 18:41
  • @HenryTaylor if Jon Skeet at Stack Overflow gardened he could make any plant grow by changing the physical constants of the universe – kevinsky Mar 11 '16 at 18:47

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