Do you love the beauty of pothos plants in your indoor garden but wish you could enjoy them outdoors too? You may have considered planting pothos vines in your outdoor garden. But can pothos live outside?
This is a common question among houseplant lovers who want to spruce up their yards or balconies.
In this blog post, we’ll cover everything you need to know about growing pothos outside. We’ll discuss all the optimal growth conditions they need. This guide will help you give your pothos the best living conditions if you decide to grow them outside.
Can Pothos Live Outside?
Yes. Pothos can adjust to the outside environment and thrive as it does indoors. While they are versatile plants, pothos needs special attention when grown outdoors. The growth conditions need to resemble those of its natural habitat for it to thrive. Pothos can generally tolerate moderate temperatures of 65°F – 85°F.
Prolonged exposure to extreme conditions like heavy rainstorms can damage and cause their leaves to wilt. If you live in an area that experiences prolonged winter and snowfall, it’s best to keep your pothos plant indoors.
What’s The Ideal Environment for Outdoor Pothos?
For your pothos plants to survive outside, you need t grow them under favorable environmental conditions. So, what are the optimal growth conditions for outdoor pothos?
1. The Location
One of the most important factors in creating the ideal environment for outdoor pothos is the location.
Outdoor pothos thrive best when grown in a partially-shaded area. They prefer indirect sunlight, as direct sun causes pothos sunburn, white spots and discolor the leaves.
Try to grow your pothos plant near a tree or porch where it can get some morning sun but not too much afternoon sun. The afternoon sun tends to be too hot for the plant. Also, avoid places with too much wind, which can cause the leaves to dry out.
Outdoor pothos plants thrive well under warm temperatures between 65°F and 85°F (18 °C – 27 °C). During colder months, they can tolerate temperatures as low as 40°F (4°C).
However, they may freeze if the temperature goes lower than that. When it gets too cold, outdoor pothos may need winter protection from frost or snow.
Be aware that extreme heat can also damage the leaves. Therefore, try to keep them away from heat sources like conditioning vents and radiators.
When grown outside, pothos needs enough water to survive the outdoor conditions. Since the plant soil is exposed to direct wind and sunshine, it dries out faster than indoors.
For the outdoor pothos plant to thrive, water it regularly throughout summer and spring. Before watering, dip your finger 2 inches into the soil to ensure it’s dry. However, Don’t let the soil dry out completely between waterings, as this may cause dehydration and leaf fall.
Also, avoid overwatering, which could lead to root rot and stem wilting. Overwatering may also cause the yellowing of leaves due to fungal diseases.
In winter months, reduce the watering frequency. Usually, once per month should suffice during these cooler months.
4. Soil for outdoor Pothos
Outdoor pothos grows in a loose soil mix with good drainage properties. For instance, they can thrive in a potting mix combined with compost bark mulch (2 parts soil/1 part compost).
You can also use a specialized succulent mix specially designed for houseplants. Both are excellent choices for growing houseplants indoors and outdoors.
The soil should also be slightly acidic (pH 6-7). Acidic soil supports healthy growth and keeps away pests and diseases.
Generally, outdoor pothos does best when grown under bright light conditions. However, too much direct sunlight can scorch their leaves and cause sunburns.
The best place to grow them is where they can receive some sunshine during the morning hours. During the day, when the sun gets hotter, they should be under shade. Too much direct sunlight can scorch their leaves and cause sunburns.
Like any house plant, pothos needs frequent fertilizing to grow and thrive. Fertilizer gives the plant a nutrition boost. This helps it to grow healthy and vibrant leaves.
The best times to fertilize outdoor pothos are during the growth seasons (spring through summer). In winter, when growth slows down, it’s advisable to cut back on fertilizer.
The best fertilizer is one with equal amounts of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium. Always remember to moderate the quantities. Too much fertilizer may burn the plant.
Can Pothos Live Outside In Winter?
Yes. Pothos can live outside during winter. Tropical plants like pothos can live in temperatures as low as 500 F. Though it’s hardy enough to withstand such low temperatures, outdoor pothos may not fare well if it gets frosty.
Frost or snow may make the plant suffer from shock and freeze. If the temperatures don’t rise again, the plant may eventually die.
To prevent cold shock, move your pothos plant indoors or to a warmer area during winter. You can also rescue the plant by covering its base with mulch during such cold seasons.
Can Pothos Live Outside In Summer?
Yes. Pothos can live outside in summer, but the temperatures shouldn’t go higher than 90°F.
Pothos is a tropical plant that naturally lives in warm and humid climates. However, if the outside temperatures go too high in summer, the plant may begin to dry out due to stress.
If planted in a pot, the safest option is to move your pothos indoors. Move it to a cooler room that receives indirect sunlight throughout the day.
If planted in the garden, ensure the plant is not exposed to direct sunlight, which may burn its leaves. Also, ensure the soil is consistently moist for the plant to survive the hot summer season.
Advantages of Growing Pothos Outdoors
There are several advantages you can enjoy when you grow pothos outside:
1. The rain will help with watering
One of the advantages of planting pothos outdoors is that you won’t have to water them as often.
When grown indoors, pothos needs watering every one to two weeks. However, when you grow pothos plant outdoors in moist soil, you can only rewater every three to four weeks. This is because rain will help to keep the soil moist.
2. The plant may flower
Another advantage of growing pothos plants outdoors is that they may flower. Pothos plants typically flower only in their natural habitat (i.e., in the wild).
However, they can also flower in environments that emulate their natural habitat. If your plant thrives well outside, it may start blooming small white flowers.
3. No need to trim the trails
Planting pothos outdoors will save you the hassle of trimming the trails. When you grow pothos indoors, they can become quite long and leggy.
However, when grown outdoors, they naturally receive more sunlight, which promotes growth. As a result, you won’t have to worry about trimming the trails as often (if at all).
4. No rootbound problems
Potted plants can become root bound if they remain in the same pot for too long. When this happens, it restricts the amount of water and nutrients the plant receives. This may deter growth and even lead to death in some cases.
When you grow pothos outdoors in the garden, you won’t need to worry about roootbound pothos. The soil has more room for the roots to spread out, allowing the plant to get all the water and nutrients it needs.
5. No need to repot
When you keep your pothos indoors, you need to repot them every few years to give them fresh soil and new nutrients.
Potted pothos also tends to outgrow their containers over time. Repoting can be time-consuming and require additional effort on your part.
However, when you grow pothos in an outdoor garden or yard, there’s no need to repot as often. This is because the soil is naturally replenished with fresh nutrients from rain and other sources. As mentioned, rootbound pothos is less likely to occur; hence, no need to repot the plant.
6. No frequent fertilizing
Fertilizing is an important part of keeping houseplants healthy. However, if you choose to grow your pothos outdoors in a garden, you won’t need to fertilize them often.
Natural agents like rain and decomposing matter often add essential nutrients to the soil. These enable outdoor plants to grow healthy.
How To Grow Pothos Outside
You can enjoy beautiful pothos plants in your outdoor garden with the right conditions and careful preparation. Here are the steps to follow if you want to grow pothos outside:
1. Choose a suitable location
When choosing an outdoor location, pick a spot in your garden where the plant will receive indirect sunlight.
Ensure the soil is well-drained and not prone to standing water, which may cause root rot. Consider mixing the soil with sand or other organic matter to improve drainage if necessary.
2. Prepare the plant for outdoors
Before planting your pothos outdoors, slowly acclimate them to the outside environment for 7-10 days.
Move the potted pothos into a shady area for several hours daily, gradually increasing the exposure until the plant can tolerate full sun without wilting. This process will help to protect the plant from experiencing transplant shock.
3. Plant your pothos outdoors
Once you’ve found a suitable location and acclimated your pothos, you can go ahead and plant it. Dig a hole slightly larger than the root ball of your pothos and fill it with soil. You can mix the soil with organic material like compost or peat moss to enrich it with nutrients.
Gently place your pothos in the hole and fill it with soil until covered completely. Water deeply at first, then provide regular moisture as needed. When there is no rain, watering once per week will be enough.
If possible, mulch around the base of the plant to help retain moisture in the soil and keep weeds away from its roots.
4. Keep an eye On It!
Now that your pothos is planted outdoors, you should always keep an eye on it. Regularly check for signs of wilting, yellowing leaves, pests, or diseases.
You may need to spray your plant regularly with a pesticide to keep pests away. Also, ensure the plant doesn’t get dehydrated, as its leaves may start turning yellow and wilting.
What Temperatures Can Pothos Tolerate?
Pothos are hardy plants that can tolerate a wide range of temperatures. When grown indoors, they can survive temperatures between 65°F-85°F
However, outdoor pothos are more resilient and can withstand temperatures between 45-900F. As long as there is enough moisture, they can survive. Some species can even survive temperatures as low as 40°F.
Generally, pothos plants prefer warm days and cooler nights. When it gets too cold during winter (i.e., below 40°F), your lovely plant may suffer from frost damage and die.
On the other hand, when it gets too hot, the plant’s leaves may start curling or wilting. Drastic temperature changes can also kill pothos plants due to shock.
What’s the Pothos Hardiness Zone?
The pothos houseplant has a very wide range of hardiness when it comes to climate. With one of the widest ranges, pothos plants can grow in almost all USDA Hardiness Zones from 10-12.
This means they can do very well in both tropical and sub-tropical environments. Most of the warmer states in America fall under zone 10-12.
Therefore, pothos thrives well in the southern and south coastal regions of America. Some of the major cities that fall in hardiness zone 10-12 include:
- Los Angeles, California
- San Jose, California
- Miami, Florida
- San Diego, California
- Honolulu, Hawaii
- Tampa, Florida
Will Pothos Recover After Freezing?
Whether your pothos recovers after freezing depends on the plant’s age and the extent of damage suffered.
A light frost may only cause mild freeze damage to the pothos plant. Though its leaves may wilt and fall off, it will soon grow new leaves when the weather gets warmer.
However, if the plant suffered severe damage, its leaves may appear wilted, brown, or crispy. A hard frost can completely freeze plant tissues and damage them beyond recovery.
Also, if your pothos plant is still young, it can grow new leaves and recover faster after freezing. On the other hand, older plants may take longer to recover or may not recover at all.
Do Golden Pothos Survive Better Indoors or Outdoors?
Like all pothos varieties, golden pothos can survive both indoors and outdoors. Their lush golden leaves will add more glamour to your indoor space when grown indoors. Just ensure the growth conditions are favorable and simulate its natural habitat.
Place the golden pothos where they can get enough indirect sunlight. The temperatures should range between 65-85°F. Also, be sure to give them enough moisture often.
Golden pothos can also beautify your outdoor garden or yard. Remember to plant them in a shady spot where they won’t get sunburnt. As long as the outdoor temperatures remain between 50-90°F and there’s high humidity, your golden pothos plant will grow perfectly.
How long do pothos plants live?
The lifespan of your pothos will depend on its environment and care. When grown indoors, they can last 5-10 years before they need replacing. However, when grown outside, their lifespan may be shorter, especially if grown in a pot. This is because outdoor conditions tend to be too harsh for pothos plants to live long.
Do pothos grow in the wild?
Yes! Pothos plants naturally grow in the wild. They are native to tropical climates in Asia, Africa, and the Pacific islands. In the wild, pothos vines grow on trees, rocks, or other structures that are exposed to light for long periods.
Can pothos grow in full sun?
No. Pothos plants don’t grow well in full sun. They prefer bright indirect sunlight rather than full sun exposure. Direct sunlight can scorch their leaves and cause sunburns. If you decide to grow your pothos outside, give them plenty of shade in the hotter hours of the day (11 am-3 pm).
Can pothos grow without soil?
Yes! Pothos can grow without soil if provided with a support structure and adequate water. You can plant them in a hydroponic system with nutrient-rich water. Some people even grow their pothos vines in pots filled with stones or gravel instead of soil. This makes them greater for hanging baskets where there may not be enough soil for root growth.
What’s the lowest temperature for pothos to survive?
The lowest temperature that pothos plants can survive is 40°F. If the temperatures drop below that, the plant may suffer from frost damage or die eventually. If you plan to have your plants outside during cold months, be sure to insulate them. This will protect them from cold drafts and freezing winds.
Final Thought: Pothos Live Outside
Pothos is a resilient house plant that can survive both indoors and outdoors. The outside environment offers the best opportunity for this vine to grow and spread its spectacular foliage.
If planted in the right spot and given proper care, outdoor pothos plants can thrive with little maintenance. Keep in mind that they need to grow where there is plenty of indirect sunlight. Planting pothos outside is a great way to add life and glamor to your garden without breaking the bank.
Craving some greenery in your backyard? Get inspiration from this post and start planting outdoor pothos today.