Philodendrons are beautiful tropical foliage plants known for indoor environments. What if you’re out of space and want to move the plant outside; will it survive? Are outdoor conditions like sun, air, and moisture conducive for your philodendrons?
Philodendrons can grow outside if you live in USDA zones 9-11, which have the right conditions for the survival of these plants. These zones have optimal temperatures ranging from 50 to 80°F (10 to 27°C), suitable for philodendrons.
In this article, I’ll discuss factors to consider before growing philodendrons outside. Furthermore, I will cover some of the places you can grow your philodendrons outside. Keep reading to learn how to keep your philodendrons safe.
Philodendrons can grow outside in the USDA zone 9-11. According to the Agricultural Research Service, some of these zones are Florida, Texas, California, and Louisiana. You’ll need to grow your philodendrons indoors if you’re outside these zones.
Philodendrons originated from American tropical forests. These plants received warm and humid conditions that sustained their survival in these forests.
The main reason philodendrons can’t grow outside in all areas is their selectivity in terms of optimal growing conditions. These plants need proper lighting, temperature, and humidity to grow outside.
It’s not easy to control temperature, humidity, and sunlight outside. Therefore, the best way to grow philodendrons outdoors is when you’re in a region that supports their growing conditions.
If you live outside zones 9-11, for instance, in zones 8 and 9, you can take your philodendron outside in mid-summer and early fall. This time of year is when the temperature and humidity are ideal for your plant’s growth.
However, you’ll need to be careful about pacing your philodendron outside these regions. These plants can’t tolerate extreme cold or heat. If the temperature drops below 50°F (10°C) or rises above 80°F (27°C), your plant will suffer damages like sunburns.
If you live outside zones 8 to 11, you should never take your philodendrons outside. These other zones may experience extreme temperatures, which stresses the plant.
Environmental conditions are crucial factors to consider before moving your philodendron outside. These plants perform well in warm and humid environments like the American tropical forests.
It would be best if you considered the following factors when contemplating moving your philodendron outside:
Philodendrons cannot take full sun like other plants. The full sun exposes these plants to scorching temperatures that can damage their leaves. If you want your philodendrons to grow outside, you should find a spot with partial sun or filtered sunlight.
Your philodendron will do well in partial shade or filtered sunlight. These conditions give the plant enough light for growth without exposing it to too much heat.
It’s worth noting that although philodendrons don’t need full sun, they must get access to light. According to the University of Minnesota, plants need light for photosynthesis to make their food for growth. Philodendrons are not different from other plants.
A key consideration is to ensure the plant has access to light but not direct full sunlight.
Temperature influences germination, transpiration, photosynthesis, and flowering in plants. However, philodendrons are tropical plants that can only survive in warm temperatures.
The ideal temperature range for philodendrons is 50 to 80°F (10 to 27°C). These plants cannot tolerate extreme cold or heat.
If the temperature drops below 50°F (10°C), the plant risks suffering from frost damage. On the other hand, if the temperature rises above 80°F (27°C), your plant will experience sunburn.
It’s, therefore, essential to monitor the temperature when moving your philodendron outside. You should only take the plant out when you’re confident the temperature won’t drop or rise to extreme levels.
You shouldn’t, however, be worried about minor temperature fluctuations.
As tropical plants, philodendrons thrive in a humid environment. However, indoor water requirements for these plants are different from outdoor ones. Therefore, the way you water them indoors will not remain the same.
Philodendrons growing outside are affected by temperature, which determines their humidity needs. When the temperature is high, these plants require more water to prevent wilting.
Thus, you should check the moisture in the soil before watering your philodendron.
A rule of thumb is to water your philodendrons when the soil’s top two inches (2.5 cm) feel dry.
It’s worth noting that philodendrons don’t like soggy conditions and will start to experience leaf drops if they’re overwatered.
If need be, it’s best to water your plant early in the day so the leaves will have time to dry before nightfall.
Good drainage is essential for any plant, and philodendrons are no different. If the soil doesn’t drain well, the roots will start to rot due to water logging, eventually killing the plant.
When moving your philodendron outside, ensure that you plant it in a pot with drainage holes. These holes will allow excess water to drain and prevent the roots from rotting.
It’s also essential to choose the right potting mix for your plant. A good potting mix should be well-aerated and drain well. It should also be able to hold moisture without becoming soggy.
While philodendrons need wind to grow, they can’t tolerate exposure to strong winds. These plants are not resistant to wind damage and can suffer from leaf scorching.
You should, therefore, find a spot sheltered from strong winds for your plant to avoid this problem. Alternatively, you can put the pot in a larger planter to provide extra stability.
Philodendrons are susceptible to pests and diseases, primarily when grown outside. These problems include:
- Fungal infections
- Root rot
Regularly inspecting your plant will help you catch any problems early on and take corrective action.
The following are some ways to get rid of pets if you do find them on your plant:
- Using insecticides: Insecticides are excellent in removing pests such as caterpillars, aphids, and mealybugs.
- Fungicide: You can treat fungal diseases like Fusarium and Rhizoctonia rots with a fungicide.
- Removing affected leaves: If the plant has a fungal disease, you may need to remove affected leaves. This pruning will help prevent the problem from spreading.
- Neem soil solution: Spraying this solution on your philodendrons is an excellent way to do away with aphids and caterpillars.
An easy way to kill your philodendrons is to grow them in the wrong place. When choosing a spot for your plant, make sure to consider the following:
- Sunlight: Philodendrons need bright, indirect sunlight to grow. They can tolerate some direct sun, but too much will scorch their leaves.
- Shade: These plants also need some shade, especially during the hottest part of the day.
- Soil: The soil should be well-aerated, drain well, and hold moisture without becoming soggy.
Based on the above factors, the following are some outdoor places you can grow your philodendrons:
- Under trees: The shade from trees will protect your plant from the scorching sun.
- On a porch: A porch is a great place to grow philodendrons because it provides light and shade.
- In a garden bed: If you have well-aerated, loamy soil, you can grow your plant in a garden bed.
- In a pot: You can also grow philodendrons in pots, as long as they have drainage holes.
- On the patio: You can rest assured that your philodendron on the patio will receive sufficient light and humidity for survival.
As discussed, philodendrons are delicate plants, and you must move them carefully. The following is a step-by-step guide on how you can do this:
- Choose a spot: Look for an area sheltered from strong winds and has good drainage.
- Check the temperature: Make sure the temperature is right for your plant before taking it outside.
- Practice acclimation: Acclimatize your plant to the outdoors by gradually exposing it to more sunlight and wind each day. After the third day of acclimation, you can move the plant outside for a whole day. However, remember to inspect it regularly to see whether it has any signs like wilting or drooping.
- Move the plant outside permanently: Move the plant to the outside spot if it seems fine after all the inspections.
There are two basic types of philodendrons:
- Trailing philodendrons: These plants have long, slender stems and can grow up to 20 feet (6m) in length. The most common trailing philodendrons are the heartleaf (Philodendron scandens) and the Philodendron cordatum.
- Tree-like philodendrons: These plants have a woody stem and can grow up to 8 feet (2.4m) tall. The most common tree-like philodendrons are the lacy tree philodendron (Philodendron bipinnatifidum) and the selloum philodendron (Philodendron selloum).
Although all philodendrons can grow outside if the conditions are optimal, the following are some of the best outdoor philodendron species:
The Burle Marx is a small type of philodendron with heart-shaped leaves. Its ability to adapt quickly makes it one of the best outdoor philodendrons. It survives well in the outdoor environment after a few days of acclimation.
The Philodendron scandens is a trailing philodendron with densely-packed stems. Its extensive heart-shaped leaves make it an excellent outdoor plant, especially in hanging baskets. It can grow between 4 and 5 feet (1.2m-1.5m).
This plant is also known as the blushing philodendron. It has heart-shaped leaves that are red on the underside and green on top. Color variations on its leaves make it visually appealing for the outdoors. It can reach up to 20 feet (6m).
This trailing philodendron is similar to the scandens in appearance and size. It is an excellent plant for hanging baskets because of its long, slender stems. The plant also boasts heart-shaped leaves with a beautiful green color.
Burgundy philodendron (spade leaf) is a trailing plant with arrow-shaped or spade-like leaves. Its burgundy color makes it an excellent choice for the outdoors. The burgundy has broad leaves that can grow up to 2 feet (24 inches).
Frequently Asked Questions
Are Philodendrons Indoor or Outdoor Plants?
Philodendrons are indoor plants that thrive well under warm and humid conditions. You must provide optimal conditions for these plants to survive outdoors. For instance, you should not expose the plant to full sun.
What Temperature Can Philodendron Tolerate?
Philodendrons can tolerate temperatures ranging from 50 to 80°F (10 to 27°C). These plants can’t survive in extreme temperatures because they are adapted to warm and humid conditions.
Philodendrons are popular indoor plants that can grow outdoors under optimal conditions. They are easy to take care of and have a wide range of leaf shapes, colors, and sizes.
If you want to add some philodendrons to your outdoor space, ensure that you choose the suitable species for your area and provide the necessary care. It’s easy to grow your philodendrons outside if you live in USDA zones 9-11.
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Hi! I’m Sophia, and I love plants – especially an expert in growing house plants. I stay in Chicago, United States of America, and through my blog and social media platforms, provide tips and tricks on how to grow healthy, vibrant plants indoors. Check out more here.