Philodendrons are popular houseplants known for their captivating foliage and easy-care nature, with some varieties also thriving outdoors. Outdoor philodendrons range from vining types to those with large, self-supporting shrub-like forms. When provided with the proper care and conditions, these plants can add lush greenery and tropical vibes to any landscape.
There are numerous varieties of outdoor philodendron, each with unique features and care requirements. Some examples include the Xanadu, Heart Leaf Philodendron, and the Philodendron Brasil. These plants are especially suited to growing in warmer climates, such as USDA Zones 9-11, and can become stunning features in gardens and outdoor spaces.
To successfully grow and care for outdoor philodendrons, understanding their ideal growing conditions is key. Factors such as soil type, light exposure, and watering needs may vary between species, making it essential to become familiar with each plant’s specific requirements. In general, these attractive plants can bring a fresh and tropical atmosphere to any outdoor space when nurtured and placed in the right conditions.
Types of Outdoor Philodendron
There are multiple outdoor Philodendron types that come in an array of leaf sizes, shapes, and colors. They can be categorized into two main groups: Climbing Philodendron and Non-Climbing Philodendron. Each group offers its own unique characteristics and care requirements.
Climbing Philodendrons are characterized by their ability to quickly grow up a support, such as a totem, fence, or tree trunk. One stunning example of a climbing Philodendron is the Philodendron Bob Cee, originating from sub-tropical and tropical regions of South America. This variety has long, narrow serrated leaves that create an impressive display as they climb.
Another popular climbing variety is the [Philodendron ‘Imperial Green’] (https://smartgardenguide.com/philodendron-varieties/). This vibrant green plant has broad foliage, growing to impressive dimensions with close layering that forms a grand centerpiece. Unlike most Philodendron varieties, ‘Imperial Green’ prefers higher indirect light.
Tips for growing climbing Philodendrons:
- Provide a support for them to climb, such as a totem or trellis
- Ensure the soil remains moist, but avoid overwatering
- Place them in a location with indirect light to prevent leaf burn
Non-climbing Philodendrons, or aborescent Philodendrons, are relatively hardy and grow as large, shrub-sized plants with big leaves and sturdy, self-supporting trunks. They need more space than most houseplants but can be grown outdoors in USDA Zone 9-11, as noted by Southern Living.
The Tree Philodendron (Philodendron bipinnatifidum) is a notable non-climbing variety. It has broad leaves that can reach up to 15 feet tall and 10 feet in spread when grown outdoors. While they can survive as indoor plants, they will be smaller, typically reaching 6 feet tall and 8 feet in spread. To maintain optimal health, place them in partial shade to avoid direct full sun exposure.
Tips for growing non-climbing Philodendrons:
- Ensure the soil is well-draining and consistently moist
- Provide ample space for them to grow, especially if planted outdoors
- Keep them away from direct sun to prevent leaf scorching
Common Outdoor Philodendron Species
Philodendrons are a captivating genus of plants, featuring almost 500 species with a variety of growth habits. In this section, we’ll focus on three popular types of outdoor philodendron species that can bring lush tropical flair to your garden: Philodendron Selloum, Philodendron Xanadu, and Philodendron Brasil.
Philodendron Selloum, also known as the Lacy Tree Philodendron, is a self-heading variety that can grow into a short, broad plant. It is native to South America and thrives outdoors in USDA Zones 10-11. Requiring partial to full shade, this stunning species stands out for its large, deeply lobed leaves that radiate from a central point. Some key features of the Philodendron Selloum include:
- Large, shiny, dark green leaves
- Leaves can reach up to 3 feet in length
- Creates a tropical, lush appearance in the landscape
To care for a Philodendron Selloum, ensure it has well-drained soil, plenty of shade, and protection from cold temperatures or frost.
Another popular outdoor philodendron species to consider is the Philodendron Xanadu. This compact, self-heading variety is characterized by its broad, deeply divided, dark green leaves. Suitable for outdoor growing in USDA Zones 10-11, Philodendron Xanadu can thrive in both shaded and partially shaded areas. Some notable features of the Philodendron Xanadu are:
- Forms dense clumps with glossy leaves
- Moderate growth rate
- Can tolerate various soil types
To keep a Philodendron Xanadu happy, provide it with well-draining soil, regular watering, and protect it from frost or cold temperatures.
Lastly, the Philodendron Brasil is a striking vining philodendron cultivar that can be grown outdoors in tropical landscapes where it can climb fences, trees, or totems. This eye-catching variety showcases heart-shaped leaves with a mix of green and yellow tones. Ideal for outdoor growth in USDA Zones 10-11, Philodendron Brasil is adaptable to various levels of shade. Notable characteristics of the Philodendron Brasil include:
- Variegated, heart-shaped leaves
- Climbing growth habit
- Fast-growing and low-maintenance
When growing a Philodendron Brasil outdoors, ensure it has a support structure to climb, well-drained soil, and regular watering. Protect it from cold temperatures, and trim as needed to maintain the desired shape and size.
Ideal Outdoor Conditions
Philodendrons are tropical plants that thrive in warm climates with temperatures no lower than 55 degrees F (13°C) at night. However, they prefer a more ideal temperature of 65 degrees F (18°C). These plants cannot tolerate cold or freezing temperatures, so make sure to grow them in moderate sunlight to prevent leaf burn. If you live in a suitable climate, consider growing outdoor varieties like Xanadu, Heart Leaf Philodendron, or the Philodendron Brasil.
When growing philodendrons outdoors, pay attention to their soil requirements. They prefer:
- Well-draining soil
- A pH level between 6.0 and 6.8
- Rich, loamy texture
Adding organic matter and perlite to your soil can improve drainage and provide the necessary nutrients. Be cautious of heavy clay soils, as they can retain water and cause root rot in your philodendron plants.
Proper watering is crucial for the health and growth of your outdoor philodendrons. Here’s what you should keep in mind:
- Keep the soil consistently moist but not soggy
- Allow the top inch of soil to dry out between waterings
- Water more frequently during hot, dry spells
- Reduce watering during cooler months
Remember that overwatering can cause root rot, while underwatering can lead to leaf drop or slow growth. Monitor your plants regularly and adjust your watering schedule accordingly to maintain their vibrant, lush appearance.
Caring for Outdoor Philodendron
Caring for your outdoor philodendron plants involves following a few simple steps, such as providing the right fertilization, pruning as necessary, and implementing proper pest control measures.
Outdoor philodendron plants benefit from a light feeding every three to four months. Using a granular plant food is recommended to ensure its growth and overall health. Make sure not to over-fertilize, as too much fertilizer can harm the plant.
Regular pruning is essential for maintaining your outdoor philodendron’s appearance and promoting new growth. Remove any dead or discolored leaves and trim back excessively long vines. This will keep your plant looking vibrant and healthy. Pruning also helps prevent the plant from becoming too heavy, which could cause it to tip over or break.
Outdoor philodendrons can be susceptible to certain pests such as aphids, mealybugs, and spider mites. To manage these pests, you may need to:
- Inspect your plants regularly for signs of pests.
- Remove any infested leaves or branches.
- Wash the plant with water or use insecticidal soap to remove pests.
- Implement natural pest control solutions, such as introducing beneficial insects that prey on the pests.
Keep in mind that outdoor philodendrons are toxic to people and pets, causing severe inflammation of the mouth and throat if ingested. Always exercise caution when handling and caring for your outdoor philodendron plants.
Philodendrons are popular and easy to care for plants that can be propagated using several methods. In this section, we will discuss two common techniques: Cuttings and Divisions.
One of the most popular methods for propagating philodendrons is using stem cuttings. To begin, look for a healthy 4-6-inch stem section where you can take a cutting below the node. Trim off the bottom few leaves, leaving about three for photosynthesis. Now you have two options for the next step:
- Water propagation: Place the cutting in a clean jar of water, making sure to change the water every few days. After a few weeks, you should see roots starting to form. Once the roots reach a length of about 2 inches, you can plant the cutting in a pot with potting mix.
- Soil propagation: If you prefer to propagate directly in soil, dip the cut end of the stem into rooting hormone (optional), and plant it in a small pot filled with potting mix. Keep the soil consistently moist but not soggy, and within a few weeks, you should see new growth.
Dividing the plant is another possibility for propagating philodendrons, but it’s more commonly used for those with a clumping growth habit. To divide, follow these steps:
- Carefully remove the plant from its pot and gently shake off the excess soil.
- Identify the natural divisions or offshoots in the plant, and use your fingers or a sharp, clean knife to separate them from the main plant.
- Plant the new divisions in fresh potting mix. Be sure to use a pot with drainage holes and place it in a well-lit location.
- Water the divisions regularly to maintain an even level of moisture in the soil.
These methods are suitable for propagating a wide variety of outdoor philodendron types. With a little patience and the right conditions, you’ll have new plants thriving in no time.
One potential challenge when growing outdoor philodendrons is dealing with temperature fluctuations. These plants are native to tropical environments and prefer warmer, more consistent temperatures. It’s important to ensure that they are placed in an area with adequate warmth and shelter from cold drafts or sudden temperature drops. In colder climates, introducing a heating source or insulation, such as a greenhouse or plastic coverings, might be worth considering. Remember that some outdoor philodendron types like the Xanadu, Heart Leaf Philodendron, and Philodendron Brasil can tolerate temperature fluctuations better than others.
Although they thrive in bright, indirect sunlight, philodendrons can suffer from sunburn if they’re exposed to direct, intense sunlight. Sunburn may cause the leaves to turn yellow and can be detrimental to the plant’s overall health. To prevent this issue, it’s crucial to place your outdoor philodendron in a shaded location that receives indirect light, especially during midday hours when the sun is at its strongest. If your plant is experiencing sunburn, consider adjusting its location to reduce sun exposure or providing additional shade with the help of umbrellas, shade cloths, or other sunblock accessories.
By being mindful of temperature fluctuations and sunburn risks, you will be better equipped to maintain a healthy, thriving outdoor philodendron garden. Remember to choose the right philodendron types that suit your climate, and keep an eye on their growth to ensure a successful and enjoyable gardening experience.
Philodendrons are versatile plants known for their unique leaf shapes and ability to adapt to both indoor and outdoor settings. When selecting the ideal outdoor philodendron types, consider factors such as climate, preference, and the intended use of the plants.
For best results, grow philodendrons in warm weather climates where temperatures do not drop below 55°F (13°C) at night. Keep in mind that a nighttime temperature of 65°F (18°C) is more suitable for their growth.
A few popular outdoor philodendron types include:
- Climbing Philodendrons: Known for their ability to scale and beautify walls or fences with their large, striking leaves.
- Philodendron Xanadu: A large, attractive plant perfect for both home and office settings.
- Heart Leaf Philodendron: Boasts vibrant, heart-shaped leaves that make for an eye-catching addition to any garden or patio.
- Philodendron Brasil: Another visually pleasing variety with variegated leaves and an adaptable nature.
Remember to provide appropriate support or structure for climbing varieties, as this will ensure their proper growth and development.
In brief, selecting the right outdoor philodendron types can enhance any surrounding. These species offer rich variety and uniqueness, adding charm and vibrancy to gardens, homes, and offices. When cared for well, philodendrons will reward you with their beauty and elegance for years to come.
My name is Daniel Elrod, and I have been houseplant love ever since I was 17. I love how much joy they bring to any room in the home. I’ve always been amazed at how a few pots of flowing leaves can turn a drab and sterile office into an inviting place where people love to work at.