Unleash the Magic: Growing a Vibrant Philodendron Outdoor

Imagine your garden adorned with vibrant, lush philodendron plants, their glossy leaves glistening in the sun, creating a captivating display of tropical beauty. Sounds dreamy, right? Well, the radiant world of philodendron outdoor awaits you! In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explore the essentials of growing these stunning plants outdoors, popular varieties, transitioning indoor philodendrons outside, troubleshooting common issues, and creative display ideas. Get ready to unleash the magic of growing a vibrant philodendron outdoor!

Key Takeaways

  • Grow vibrant outdoor philodendrons with the right climate, location, and care steps.

  • Protect against pests and sunburn while transitioning plants indoors or outdoors.

  • Enhance display options with creative climbing structures, hanging baskets and container gardens.

Philodendron Outdoor Essentials

Philodendron plants, predominantly native to Central and South America, are tropical plants that can make a captivating addition to any outdoor space. While many of these plants grace our homes as indoor plants, they can also thrive outdoors, creating a magnificent garden centerpiece or a lush green backdrop.

We’ll first address the climate requirements essential for growing philodendrons outdoors and how to successfully plant outdoors. When it comes to plants outdoors, it’s crucial to understand the specific needs of each species to ensure their healthy growth.

Climate Requirements

Outdoor philodendrons are tropical plants that thrive in warm and humid environments, with ideal temperatures ranging from 65° to 85° F during the day, and around 60° F at night. They can tolerate temperatures as low as 50° F, but prolonged exposure to cold weather could damage their leaves or even lead to the death of the plant. So, if you live in an area with cold winters, it’s best to grow your philodendron indoors and move them outside during the warmer months to enjoy increased sunlight and pristine rainwater.

Besides temperature, your outdoor philodendron’s health significantly depends on humidity. They prefer a humid environment, but can tolerate average home humidity levels. Keep in mind that if you’re not situated in the coastal or tropical south, you should be cautious of weather conditions when bringing your philodendron outside.

Location Selection

The growth health of your outdoor philodendron heavily relies on the selection of an ideal location. When selecting a spot, consider sunlight, wind, and soil conditions. Philodendrons prefer medium to bright natural or fluorescent light, but they can also tolerate low light. Avoid exposing your plants to direct sunlight. This can burn their foliage..

The ideal soil for outdoor philodendrons is:

  • highly organic

  • rich

  • loose

  • well-draining

This ensures optimal conditions for their growth. Some species, like the tree philodendron, can even grow on tree trunks in their native habitats, developing aerial roots to help them grow. When planting your philodendron outdoors, consider spring or summer months when the weather is warm and philodendron plants grow best.

Basic Care Steps

After settling on the perfect spot and planting your philodendron outdoors, adequate care becomes necessary for its thriving growth. Watering your outdoor philodendron regularly is crucial, but be mindful not to overwater. Allow the top layer of soil to dry out between watering cycles. This will help to prevent root rot..

Fertilizing your outdoor philodendron twice a year will ensure it gets the necessary nutrients for healthy growth. While it’s not necessary to prune your philodendron for its health, you may choose to do so to maintain the desired shape and size of the plant.

Popular Outdoor Philodendron Varieties

There are several hundred species of philodendron, but some varieties are particularly well-suited for outdoor cultivation. We’ll examine three popular outdoor philodendron varieties – the Xanadu, Heartleaf, and Brasil – and detail their unique characteristics that qualify them as perfect candidates for your garden.

Xanadu Philodendron

The Xanadu Philodendron is a large plant featuring glossy, dark green leaves that are deeply lobed and possess a leathery texture. This striking plant can make a statement in your outdoor space, adding a touch of tropical elegance.

The Xanadu thrives in bright, indirect light, slightly increased humidity, and well-draining soil. When planting a Xanadu Philodendron outdoors, use a well-draining soil mix like a combination of peat moss, vermiculite, and perlite. Water the plant when the top two inches of soil have dried to maintain the right moisture levels.

Heartleaf Philodendron

The Heartleaf Philodendron, also known as Philodendron hederaceum, is a versatile outdoor plant with small, bronzy green velvety heart shaped leaves that have reddish undersides. As the name suggests, the leaves of the heart leaf philodendron transform from a brown tint to a lush deep green as they mature.

This variety thrives in bright, indirect light and prefers temperatures above 50°F. A light, chunky potting mix of peat moss, perlite, and vermiculite is ideal for the Heartleaf Philodendron. Water the plant when the top half of the soil has dried out, ensuring the soil doesn’t become too wet.

Philodendron Brasil

The Philodendron Brasil is a climbing plant characterized by:

  • Heart-shaped, glossy leaves

  • White clustered flowers

  • Vibrant foliage with strokes of yellow and lime green against deep green leaves

  • Fast-growing nature, capable of reaching heights of over 10 feet

  • Thriving in a warm and humid environment

  • Preferring well-drained, airy soil

Keep an eye out for pests like aphids, mealybugs, scales, and spider mites, which are known to affect Philodendron Brasil.

Transitioning Indoor Philodendrons Outdoors

If you have indoor philodendrons, you might want to give them a taste of the great outdoors. Transitioning indoor philodendrons outdoors can be a rewarding endeavor, as they benefit from increased sunlight and pristine rainwater. However, it’s crucial to follow the right steps to ensure a smooth and successful transition.

This section covers the acclimation process, the optimal timing for the transition, and the steps for bringing your outdoor philodendron back inside when required.

Acclimation Process

For transitioning indoor philodendrons outdoors, the acclimation process becomes a crucial step. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Start by gradually introducing the plant to its new outdoor environment for a few hours per day.

  2. Place the plant in a shaded area outside for one or two hours on the first day.

  3. Slowly increase the time spent outside each day.

Be sure to monitor the temperature during the acclimation process, as nighttime temperatures below 50° F can be harmful to your philodendron. In the event of inclement weather or large variations in temperature, bring the philodendron back indoors to protect it.

The acclimation process should span a few days, allowing the tender plants to adjust to the outdoor environment and become more robust.

Ideal Timing

When transitioning your indoor philodendron outdoors, timing is a critical factor to consider. The optimal time to move your philodendron outside is during the spring or summer months when the weather is warm and humid. Ensure that nighttime temperatures are consistently above 50° F and that there is no risk of frost before making the transition.

Morning light is optimal for transitioning philodendrons outdoors, as it is less harsh than the afternoon sun. Gradually acclimate the plant to outdoor conditions over a period of 7-10 days, and slowly transition it to direct sunlight if it is used to being in indirect light indoors.

Bringing Them Back Inside

As much as your philodendron may enjoy its time outdoors, you’ll need to bring it back inside when nighttime temperatures start to approach 50° F. To transition your outdoor philodendron back inside, follow these steps:

  1. Monitor the temperature to ensure it’s suitable for indoor growth.

  2. Eliminate any pests that may have been attracted to the plant while it was outside.

  3. Allow the plant time to acclimate by gradually increasing the amount of time it spends indoors each day.

  4. Reduce watering and fertilizing to adjust to the lower light and temperature conditions indoors.

  5. Ensure adequate light for the philodendron by placing it near a window or utilizing artificial grow lights.

Troubleshooting Common Outdoor Philodendron Problems

Even with proper care, outdoor philodendrons can sometimes encounter problems. This section discusses common issues like pests, sunburn, and overwatering, along with their prevention and treatment methods.

Pests and Diseases

Various pests and diseases can affect outdoor philodendrons. Common pests include aphids, mealybugs, scales, spider mites, and fungus gnats. To treat pest infestations, apply a mixture of water and dish soap to the affected areas for aphids, and use insecticidal soaps or neem oil for heavier infestations. It’s essential to quarantine the infested plant from other houseplants and spray a diluted neem oil solution or insecticidal soap, following the instructions on the product labels and repeating the treatment if necessary.

In addition to pests, outdoor philodendrons may experience diseases such as bacterial leaf spot disease, bacterial blight, and fungal issues. To prevent and treat these diseases, maintain proper watering and fertilizing practices, ensure adequate airflow around the plant, and remove any affected leaves.

Sunburn and Yellowing Leaves

In outdoor philodendrons, overexposure to sunlight can cause the foliage to turn yellow, eventually leading to sunburn and scorched leaves. Signs of sunburn include:

  • Leaves turning yellow, brown, or black around the top of the plant

  • Leaves feeling dry, papery, or having a gummy and translucent appearance

  • Yellow or white leaves with brown or black edges

To treat sunburned philodendron leaves and prevent further damage, follow these steps:

  1. Relocate the plant to a shaded area, away from direct sunlight.

  2. Maintain a high level of humidity around the plant by misting it regularly or placing a tray of water nearby.

  3. Prune any damaged leaves to encourage new growth. While the burned leaves may not recover, the plant will generate new growth over time.

Overwatering and Root Rot

Excessive watering can cause the roots of outdoor philodendrons to decay, posing a significant risk. Root rot occurs when the soil is too wet, encouraging the growth of root fungi and preventing the roots from obtaining adequate oxygen.

To maintain proper moisture levels for your outdoor philodendron and prevent root rot, water the plant only once the top inch of soil has dried. Ensuring the soil is well-draining will also help prevent waterlogging and keep your philodendron healthy.

Creative Display Ideas for Outdoor Philodendrons

Outdoor philodendrons offer endless possibilities for creative displays in your garden. This section will delve into various display methods for your outdoor philodendrons, such as climbing structures, hanging baskets, and container gardens.

Climbing Structures

Climbing structures such as moss poles, bamboo poles, or trellises can add an interesting dimension to your outdoor philodendron display. By gently tying the philodendron to the support structure using soft ties or twine, the plant can climb and shape itself to the structure, growing taller and creating a visually captivating display.

These structures not only enhance the aesthetics of your garden but also provide the necessary support for your philodendron’s growth.

Hanging Baskets

Hanging baskets are a fantastic way to display trailing philodendron varieties outdoors, adding a touch of charm and elegance to your garden. The Philodendron Hanging Basket, Philodendron Green, and Philodendron ‘Brazil’ are some of the most suitable hanging basket designs for outdoor philodendrons.

Ensure that your hanging basket is the appropriate size for your philodendron plant, and fill it with a rich, loose, well-draining soil mix for optimal growth.

Container Gardens

Container gardens offer a versatile way to showcase your outdoor philodendrons. Mix different annuals, perennials, and grasses in the container with your philodendron to create stunning combinations. Containers can also be used for privacy screens by planting philodendrons along fences or walls.

Incorporate houseplants by bringing indoor philodendrons outside during warmer months and including them in the container garden. Remember to select containers that are suitable for the size of your philodendron and provide adequate drainage.


Growing a vibrant outdoor philodendron can be an immensely rewarding endeavor. By understanding the essentials of outdoor cultivation, exploring popular varieties, acclimating indoor philodendrons to the outdoors, troubleshooting common issues, and experimenting with creative display ideas, you can transform your garden into a tropical paradise. Embrace the magic of outdoor philodendrons and let your garden shine with lush, captivating foliage!

Frequently Asked Questions

Can Philodendron live outside?

Philodendrons can be grown outdoors in the Tropical South (USDA Zone 10-11) with partial or full shade, providing interesting leaf shapes and sizes. However, they are not recommended for other climates.

Can Philodendron take full sun?

Philodendrons should not be placed in full sun as this could burn their leaves, though they do grow faster in bright, indirect sunlight.

What is the most cold hardy philodendron?

The most cold hardy philodendron is Selloum, likely the coldest of its kind.

Can you plant a split leaf philodendron in the ground?

Split Leaf Philodendrons can be grown both indoors and outdoors in the right regions. To ensure a successful planting, it’s important to start with a healthy plant and make sure the temperature does not drop below 55 degrees Fahrenheit.

How often should I water my outdoor philodendron?

Water your outdoor philodendron when the top inch of soil has dried to prevent root rot and ensure well-draining soil.


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