How to Harden Off Your Seedlings

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Overwintering plants and young seedlings need to acclimate to the outdoor elements before being planted in the garden.

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Acclimating Your Indoor Plants

Hardening off indoor plants is the transition period from a controlled environment to harsh outdoor elements.

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Reduce the Risk of Shock

This process allows plants to slowly acclimate to the temperature and light changes as well as helps to reduce the risk of transplant shock.


Begin the hardening-off process 7-10 days before transplanting seedlings or plants in the garden.

When to Start to Harden Off Your Plants

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Where to Start the Process

When the spring temperatures are above 45°F, set the seedlings in a sheltered and shady spot outdoors, protected from direct sunlight and wind for one hour on day one.”.

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Water Before Leaving Plants Outdoors

Make sure you’ve watered the plants thoroughly before bringing them outdoors

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After placing the plants in a protected spot for 1-2 hours on the first day, slowly increase the amount of time each day after.

Increase the Time Your Plants are Outdoors Each Day

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Harden Off Plants in Calm Weather

Strong winds and heavy rains can be damaging, so wait until the weather is calm and dry before starting the process.

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