Outdoor Pothos Care – Can You Grow Pothos Outside

Outdoor Pothos Plants
(Image credit: rockyoubaby)

Pothos is an extremely forgiving houseplant often found growing and thriving under the fluorescent lights of office buildings. What about growing pothos outdoors? Can you grow pothos in the garden? In fact, yes, an outdoor pothos plant is a possibility. Keep reading to learn about growing pothos outside and outdoor pothos care. 

Can you Grow Pothos in the Garden? 

Pothos (Epipremnum aureum) is an understory vine native to the Solomon Islands. In this tropical environment, pothos can reach 40 feet (12 m.) in length. Its genus name is derived from the Greek ‘epi’ which means upon and ‘premon’ or ‘trunk’ referring to its habit of clambering up tree trunks.

It's logical to assume that you can grow pothos in the garden, which is correct provided you live in USDA zones 10 through 12. Otherwise, an outdoor pothos plant can be container grown and taken out for the warmer months and then grown as a houseplant as temps cool. 

How to Grow Pothos Outside

If you work in or have been in a commercial office building, it is likely you have seen pothos winding around walls, file cabinets, and the like. Pothos, also referred to as Devil’s Ivy, is extremely tolerant of fluorescent lighting making them ideal for these situations. 

Since pothos is native to a tropical region as an understory plant, it needs warm temperatures and a shade to mostly shaded location such as an area with minimal dappled morning light. Outdoor pothos plants prefer temperatures of 70 to 90 degrees F. (21-32 C.) with high humidity. 

Pothos is extremely adaptable to all soil types.

Outdoor Pothos Care

Pothos in the garden can be allowed to climb up trees and trellises or just meander along the garden floor. Its size can be left unchecked or delayed with pruning

Pothos soil should be allowed to dry between watering, do not allow the plant to stand in water. Allow only the top 2 inches (5 cm.) of soil to dry before watering again. Overwatering is the one area in which pothos are picky. If you see yellowing of leaves the plant is being overwatered. If you see wilting or brown foliage, water more often. 

Both indoor and outdoor pothos plants are easy to care for with few disease or pest issues. That said, pothos plants may be susceptible to mealybugs or scale but a cotton ball dipped in alcohol or a treatment of horticultural spray should eradicate the pest in no time. 

A healthy pothos growing in the garden adds a tropical feel to the landscape plus an outdoor pothos may have another benefit lacking by those grown indoors; some plants may flower and produce berries, a rarity amongst pothos houseplants.

Amy Grant

Amy Grant has been gardening for 30 years and writing for 15. A professional chef and caterer, Amy's area of expertise is culinary gardening.