Among the most popular house plants, the peace lily is enjoying long-standing recognition and adoration, but is it just a house plant? What happens if you grow a peace lily in your backyard? Today, we are going to look at whether you can grow peace lilies outdoors and what you need in order to do this.
Peace lilies can be grown outdoors if you live in USDA zones 10 to 12. They are tropical plants that will not tolerate the cold well, so make sure that it does not get too chilly where you are. If you can’t grow your plant outside year round, take it out in the summer to soak up some rays, and then move it back inside for the winter.
Can I Plant A Peace Lily Outside?
If you live in a warm enough region, you can certainly plant a peace lily outside. To do this, you will need to check what is the lowest temperature in your area and then err on the side of caution. If temperatures ever get below freezing, you cannot grow a peace lily outside.
This tropical plant will not cope with low temperatures, or any temperatures below 60 degrees F. Cold air damages its foliage, kills its flowers, and freezes its roots – so if it’s not warm enough outside, don’t try and grow a peace lily in your backyard, or you will soon have a dead plant.
As long as the temperature is warm enough, you can certainly fill your backyard with these gorgeous plants, bringing pure white flowers and lots of tranquility to the outdoor space. However, you need to know a few other things before you move a peace lily outside, which is what we are going to cover next.
Where Should I Put A Peace Lily Outdoors?
Even if your area meets the minimum temperature requirements, you should not just plonk your peace lily out in the ground and leave it. You need to think carefully about positioning and meeting the peace lily’s needs.
Need One) Shade
Like many plants that naturally grow on the rainforest floors, peace lilies do not thrive when they are put in direct sunlight. Although they do like bright light and they will enjoy being outdoors, you have to look at where the sun falls in your yard, and plan accordingly.
Do not place a peace lily in the full sun, because its foliage will burn and it will become very sick. These plants prefer shady spots. You need to choose somewhere with taller plants, or with buildings or other structures to provide some shade.
Peace lilies won’t die the moment the sun hits them, but they do not enjoy being roasted by harsh rays, so think about this when you are planning where to put one. As long as you provide shelter from the brunt of the sun, it should cope.
Need Two) Room To Grow
It is also important to check what kind of peace lily you have because some of these plants can get very large. The varieties sold for indoor growing tend to only grow to around sixteen inches or so, but an outdoor variety can reach up to six feet tall.
Take the height into consideration when planning where your peace lily will get its shade from. If it outgrows the shade provider, it may struggle with the sunlight.
Need Three) Suitable Soil
You should also think about the kind of soil that the peace lily is going into. These plants like to be kept damp, but they also prefer well-draining soil and will not thrive if they are grown in clay or sand. You should make sure that your peace lily is planted in a spot with good drainage, and dig some compost into the hole.
Add fertilizer to the plant every few months to ensure it has enough food, and consider mulching it occasionally to improve moisture retention.
Need Four) Pest Control
It is a lot easier to control pests on a plant that is kept in the safety of your home. Fewer insects find their way into homes, and you are more likely to notice and deal with their presence quickly if they come in.
Outdoors, you will have to be vigilant and keep an eye out for pests, because peace lilies have many predators, and they will suffer if they are left with insect infestations for too long.
You are probably familiar with many of the pests that prey on peace lilies because these are common on plenty of house plants. Some examples include aphids, mealybugs, and scale insects.
You can get rid of many of the commonest insect pests with just soap and water. This kills the insects very effectively and washes them off the leaves.
Some, however, are more stubborn. For example, an infestation of scale insects will usually need to be treated by wiping the leaves down with vodka. This is one of the only ways to get rid of them.
You can use pesticides to keep your peace lily free from insects, but this is rarely necessary. Often, vigilance and soapy water will do the trick.
Need Five) Water
Remember, rainforests tend to be wet places, where water is in plentiful supply. You do not want your peace lily to dry out, because this will probably kill it very quickly. Peace lilies lose quite a lot of water through their leaves, especially if the surrounding air is dry.
The bigger the leaves, the more water the plant will lose, so take this into account when planning your watering schedule. You also need to think about the frequency of rain and how hot the weather is because this will affect evaporation rates.
You will probably soon get a feel for how often you have to water your peace lily at various times of the year, and this will depend very much on the local environment and the soil that you have the peace lily planted in.
You may find it needs water as often as every day or every two days, or as rarely as once a week. You will probably find that it needs water less frequently in the winter when there is likely to be more rain and less evaporation.
Before watering your plant, take a few moments to poke your finger into the soil near the plant’s base. If the soil feels very wet, skip watering – these plants may like to be damp, but permanent wetness leaves them vulnerable to root rot.
If the soil is dry, feel free to go ahead and water it.
What If Temperatures Drop Unexpectedly?
If your area is expecting a sudden cold spell and you have a peace lily planted outside, you might be wondering what to do. You may want to dig up your plant and bring it in, but obviously, this is a drastic step that most people will try to avoid if possible.
That means your best option is to try and protect the plant outdoors. To do this, you can try applying some deep mulch around the plant. This will help to prevent the roots from freezing. Go for several inches of mulch, keeping the temperature below the ground high.
Next, you need to think about how to protect the leaves. You may be able to wrap them in layers of wool or fleece, although you will need to be careful not to damage them.
Alternatively, get a cloche or even a cardboard box that will fit on top of the plant. These will help to add a layer of warmth around the leaves and should help to protect them from the cold. Remember to remove them when the danger has passed or during the day so that the plant can get enough light to photosynthesize.
You may not be able to save an outdoor peace lily from a sudden freeze but try these steps and hopefully, it will survive.
Can I Move An Indoor Peace Lily Outdoors?
Yes, you should be able to. You will need to harden the plant off and acclimatize it to both heat and cold before doing so.
To do this, take it outside on temperate, cloudy days and let it stay outside until dusk. Put it in a shady spot and then bring it in again later. Make sure you are around so that you can bring it indoors if the weather turns suddenly.
Give your plant a couple of weeks to acclimatize before you risk leaving it out overnight. It is best to do this when the weather is warm and will be for some time, so your plant can continue adjusting slowly.
Peace lilies certainly can thrive outdoors as long as you meet their needs. Like any plant, they require the right levels of light, nutrients, water, and humidity. They also need you to help them stay pest-free, or they might start to suffer. Keep an eye on your plant, and if you notice it is not happy, check all the sections above to see what might be wrong.