Pothos is one of the most popular houseplants. Because of its beauty and its low maintenance requirements. But, can pothos live outside? in this article, we gonna answer this question and dive into where and how to grow pothos outdoors.
But to feed your curiosity we will put it as simple as this: can pothos live outside? Pothos can live outside in a place that gets bright but indirect sunlight and has a temperature degree above 50 F.
My golden rule to succeed as a gardener is to understand each plant’s background. So when you understand the environment that pothos originated from you will know its needs. Then try to mimic its native environment in your place.
Pothos is native to tropical forests. It lives as a vine in the forest canopy layer, in the shade of the tall trees. In the forest, pothos leaves can reach 3 feet in size. And the vine can reach 30 feet in length.
This is where pothos reaches its full potential. The climate in tropical forests is humid. Pothos as houseplants will not develop giant leaves nor will have flowers.
But if you grow them outside, their odds to reach their potential are higher. Especially if the climate is humid. Below we gonna discuss how you can grow your pothos outdoors.
How to grow pothos outside
The right outdoor place and temperature for pothos
Most houseplants are native to tropical forests. They appreciate bright indirect sunlight, and humidity.
Planting your pothos in tree shade and allowing them to climb the tree trunk is perfect if you live in a place where its temperature will not be less than 50 F in winter. Below that, your pothos may die.
Pothos thrive best when it lives in an environment that has a temperature degree between 60 to 85 F.
Another great setup for outdoor pothos that I use is using hanaging baskets under sun cover, see the below picture.
But, What if you live in a place where the temperature in winter goes below 50 F?
You still can grow your pothos outdoors in this case. But you need to bring it indoors in winter. Therefore it is better to plant pothos in pots if you live in such places.
Pothos will love the outdoor environment in summer as long as you positioned it in a shaded spot ( gets bright but indirect sunlight).
Soil for outdoor pothos
Pothos is not demanding when it came to the soil. If you want to plant it in a pot. Regular potting mix that retains enough moisture, but drains well will work fine.
If you found the right place in your garden that is shaded, and temperature will not fall to degrees that pothos cant tolerate. You can plant it in the ground in the same soil that accommodates your other ground plants.
fertilization for outdoor pothos
Pothos is not a heavy feeder. Giving your outdoor pothos food once a month in spring and summer will make it thrive.
Use general balanced fertilizer. And only use half of the fertilizer manufacturer’s recommended dose. Stop fertilization in winter. Because in winter pothos goes dormant, you don’t want to stress your plant.
Watering for outdoor pothos
Generally speaking, outdoor pothos will need more watering than indoor ones. There is no specific watering schedule. But the rule of thumb is to water your outdoor pothos when the two inches of its topsoil is dry.
Your plant will appreciate occasional leaves misting. Because it appreciates humidity. since it is native to tropical forests.
Moving pothos indoors in winter
Before moving your pothos indoors in winter, make sure it is free of pests. Isolate your photos for a while from your other houseplants, before puting it near your other housplants.
Growing pothos ouside as an anuual plant
Pothos is a perennial plant that can live for many years. But If you live in a zone where temperatures fall below 50F in winter and don’t want to move it inside during that season. You can grow it as an annual plant. You enjoy its foliage during summer and it will die when winter comes. This approach is not ideal because you need to start over each year.
Do pothos grow better inside or outside?
As long as pothos is located oudoors in a location that is shaded againest direct sunlight and has a tempreture above 50 F will grow better compared with indoor pothos. Becuse oudoors it gets perfect pH level from rainwater, has bigger room for growth, more organic nutrints in the soil, and brighter light.
Can pothos take full sun outside
Pothos will not tolerate direct sunlight. Direct sunlight will burn its leaves.
Pothos are invasive in some areas
If pothos found the right conditions outdoors can really go wild and compete with other plants aggressively. So some states categorize pothos as invasive species that shouldn’t be planted outside in the ground. You need to check whether your local authorities categorized pothos as an invasive plant or not.
Pothos can be placed outside as long as they are in shaded but bright places. They do not tolerate temperatures degrees below 50 F.
Therefore if you live in a place where the temperature gets below 50 F in winter, it is better to plant it in a pot. To move it indoors in winter.
Although planting pothos outside on the ground will give them better chances to reach their full potential. And develop giant leaves and may even flower. Before planting pothos in the ground make sure your local authorities are not listing pothos as an invasive species.
The best place to plant it is near a big tree trunk to be shaded from direct sunlight. And also to use the tree trunk as a supporter. For more detailed information and a holistic perspective on caring for potted plants and mastering Container Gardening, Get my book Container Gardening: A Step-by-Step Practical Guide.