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The Epipremnum aureum and Epipremnum pinnatum, also commonly called Pothos, is a popular houseplant that many people have in their houses. But sometimes people like to grow some houseplants outside and often the question will be asked: “Can A Pothos Live Outside?” The quick answer is yes, under certain circumstances Pothos plants can live outside. But there are some things that the area you are in needs to have and also some things you need to take into consideration before putting your Pothos plant outside.
Can A Pothos Plant Live Outside?
Yes, Pothos plants can live outside of your house. But for how long and where to put them will depend on where you live and the outdoor area that you have.
Temperature and Pothos Hardiness Zone
If you live in USDA zones 10 -12 then the temperatures should be good to let your Pothos live outside year-round. Other zones need to let Pothos live outside on a seasonal basis.
Temperatures should not drop below 50℉. If you are in an area where this will happen then you will need to adjust the seasons that you let your Pothos stay outdoors.
You will also need to consider watering needs. If you are in southern Florida then the humidity and rainfall will be good for this tropical plant. But if you live in Southern California the air is much drier and there is not as much rain, so you will have to water the plant often in this type of environment.
Another consideration is if you are allowed to grow a Pothos outside. At the time of writing this, the Golden Pothos is listed as a Category II invasive plant species in the State of Florida. This means that the plant is invasive but hasn’t altered anything ecologically yet. And as one Redditor has shown Pothos grow like crazy in Florida.
Light is another issue to take into consideration. Your plant should be in a shaded area if you are keeping it outdoors. Pothos are not a plant that likes direct sunlight.
Can Pothos Live Outside In the Summer?
Yes, in many areas the summer is the best season to let your Pothos live outdoors. Temperatures at night tend to stay above the 50℉ threshold and the humidity is higher, which Pothos plants like.
Once the season changes and the nights start getting colder you will want to consider bringing your Pothos back inside.
Can Pothos Live Outside In Winter?
This is going to depend on where you live. Temperatures need to stay above 50℉ in order for your Pothos to stay alive outside. So if you are in an area that the temperatures will go below that threshold (even at night) then you will not be able to let a Pothos live outside in the winter.
USDA zones 10 through 12 are usually safe for allowing a Pothos to stay outside in the wintertime.
Can A Pothos Live In Direct Sunlight?
No, Pothos cannot live in direct sunlight. In it’s natural environment they grow on the shaded ground and then climb up trees in tropical forests. Here Pothos are constantly shaded by the tall trees with occasional sunlight has the leaves of trees move, but never a long exposure to direct sun.
So if you decide to have a Pothos living outside you want to pick an area that will give the plant full shade. If there is no area where this is available then only the morning sun will be ok.
Always keep your Pothos out of the harsh afternoon sun if you want your Pothos to survive outside.
Putting A Pothos Outside
Potted or Not?
It is probably best to keep your Pothos potted when letting it live outside. These plants can grow fast when they live outdoors and in some areas like Florida they can be invasive if not controlled.
Allow it to Climb
It is also a great idea to let your Pothos outside to allow it to climb. This can result in the leaves getting bigger as it grows.
Moss poles are a popular choice for giving plants something to climb up. You can also use small trellises.
If your Pothos has always been indoors then you will probably want to do a gradual move to letting it live outdoors. Acclimation is something that any plant will need to go through when changing its environment, especially when it is from a controlled indoor environment to a natural outdoor environment.
Choosing mild overcast days to first start letting your Pothos stay outdoors is a great way to let it get used to being outside without having too drastic of temperature swings between the day and night. If this isn’t an option then you can let your Pothos sit for a few hours during the day in the spot you have chosen then take it back indoors to an area that is away from your other houseplants. Each day after this increase the duration that you let the plant be outside until you can let it stay all day and night.
Pests are another consideration when it comes to letting your Pothos be outside. Insects and bugs occur naturally outside and they are bound to end up on a plant that you put outdoors.
If you live in an area where you can only let your Pothos be outdoors seasonally and will need to bring it back inside then you might be facing a pest problem.
Once you bring the plant back indoors then the pests that might be on the plant will not have the normal natural predators that kept them in check while the plant was outside. After a few weeks or a month that will make the pest problem become out of control and it can potentially spread to other houseplants in your home.
If you bring your Pothos back indoors, use some Neem Oil or Insecticidal Soap to help get rid of anything on the plant. Also keep the plant in isolation, away from your other houseplants until at least a month after you bring it indoors. This way you can make sure nothing will spread to your other plants and the Pothos is healthy.
What Type of Pothos Can Live Outdoors?
Technically all varieties of Pothos plants can live outside. But some types will need more covering and shelter than others. For example, Golden Pothos is the hardiest when it comes to living outside of the house, but a N’Joy will need more protection from sunlight due to the large patches of white variegation on the leaves.
Individual Pothos Care Guides:
- Manjula Pothos Care Guide
- Neon Pothos Care Guide
- Marble Queen Pothos Care
- N’Joy Pothos Care Guide
- Cebu Blue Pothos Care
- Global Green Pothos Care
- Pothos Plant Care
- Pearls & Jade Pothos Care Guide
- Jade Pothos Care
- Baltic Blue Pothos Care Guide
- Golden Pothos Care
- USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map; USDA; https://planthardiness.ars.usda.gov/
- Epipremnum aureum; Missouri Botanical Garden; http://www.missouribotanicalgarden.org/PlantFinder/PlantFinderDetails.aspx?taxonid=276360
- Epipremnum pinnatum; FNAI.org; https://www.fnai.org/species-communities/invasives/invasive-species?ID=58
- Epipremnum pinnatum; USF.edu; https://florida.plantatlas.usf.edu/Plant.aspx?id=195
- Epipremnum aureum; University of Florida; https://assessment.ifas.ufl.edu/assessments/epipremnum-aureum/
- 2019 FLEPPC List of Invasive Plant Species; Florida Invasive Species Council; https://floridainvasivespecies.org/plantlist2019.cfm