The peace lily is one of the most beautiful plants that is native to the tropical regions of southeastern Asia and the Americas. Known as the spath or the peace lily, the flowers are distinctive and unique and will look beautiful in any setting.
The peace lily is an evergreen plant that has variegated green leaves. Most people are under the impression that the peace lily only grows indoors, but that’s not true.
However, you should know that the peace lily grows well in a suitable outdoor location, but you do need to make sure that you provide a suitable climate for the plant. The peace lily thrives in a warmer climate, and they prefer a bit of shade.
The primary reason why so many people prefer growing the peace lilies indoors is because they are able to control the environment in a better way.
But, that won’t be possible when the plant is outdoors. The peace lily is a perennial plant and can grow up to a height of 6 feet.
It all depends on the kind of cultivar though; some are able to reach up to 16 inches tall only. The plant usually grows as a bushy clump that is capable of growing up to a foot.
Now, if you are going to plant the peace lily outdoors, you need to make sure that you understand its requirements. If these requirements are not met, the plant is going to die.
Let’s talk about the major requirements of the plant.
1 – Sun
The peace lily is not capable of tolerating full exposure to the sun. The plant does well in partial shade, and needs to be shielded from the direct sunlight.
Ideally, you should keep the plant in dappled shade, because it does really well in such situations. Remember, the peace lily is a tropical plant, so it is used to the canopy of the tropical rainforests.
Excessive exposure to the sunlight can cause the plant to burn out and it’s going to leave sunburns, which will eventually stunt the growth of the plant. In extreme situations, this can also destroy a young plant completely if you do not correct this situation.
The plant is capable of tolerating the morning sun for about an hour or so, but you need to understand that the plant must not be exposed to the afternoon sun. The afternoon sun is blazing hot and can cause extensive damage to your plant.
Sunburn is a very serious problem for the peace lily, especially when it’s placed outdoors.
The hot afternoon hours are simply intolerable for the plants. So, if your peace lily is going to be planted outdoors without any shade, it’s probably going to die, especially if your region receives a considerable amount of sunlight.
But, if your plant is not going to receive an adequate amount of shade, you might want to consider planting it indoors. It all depends on the exposure to the sun received by your garden and the position of the plant.
2 – Soil
The peace lily prefers a fertile, quickly draining soil. If the soil is not well-draining, it’s really going to cause problems for the plant.
One of the best things that you can do for the plant is to make sure that you add compost when you are planting the peace lily. It is imperative that the plant is fertilized from time to time.
You can add mulch around the peace lily to ensure that the plant is able to grow properly on its own. Overall, the peace lily is not a very demanding plant, and needs relatively little fertilization during the course of its life.
However, when the summer months approach, you should consider using a 10-10-10 formula to keep the plant in its prime condition.
3 – Watering Requirements
Because of their oversized leaves, the plant tends to lose a considerable amount of moisture over the passage of time. You need to make sure that the plant gets an adequate amount of water.
When grown outdoors, it is going to lose even more moisture over time, and you will have to make sure that you care for the plant properly.
Therefore, you need to establish a watering routine. While it’s a tropical plant and you won’t really have to worry about excessive watering, it always pays to check the soil first before adding more water.
Excessive moisture is going to cause root rot and will introduce a litany of fungal infections to the plant, so you have to make sure that you properly care for the plant.
During the winter months, you should water the plant a bit less because it is going to be able to conserve more water as the temperature drops. The best way to figure out when your plant is in need of water is to poke a finger in the soil and check it.
If the soil is dry, you can just add more water to the plant. If the soil feels moist to you, it’s recommended that you hold off on watering for a day or two and check back again.
Ideally, you will have to water the plant several times during the week in the summer months, and it’s generally a good way to maintain the health of the plant.
Also, you need to understand that the plant is quite sensitive to cold water and chlorinated water, so avoid using either of those.
Because it is a tropical plant, the frost is going to damage the plant in the winter months, so one of the best things that you can do during the winter months is to put a frost blanket on the plant.
4 – Pests and Diseases
Another thing that you will have to defend the plant from is pests and diseases. Because the peace lily will be placed outdoors, there is a pretty high risk that it will be exposed to pests and diseases, and if you are not careful, it won’t take long before the plant falls prey to common pests and insects such as mealybugs or scales.
Aphids can also cause damage to the plant if they are allowed to run unchecked.
You will have to make sure that you add a pesticide from time to time and closely observe the peace lily to identify signs of an infestation.
For instance, if it is a mealybug infestation, it’s going to spread really quickly; you will notice a white residue developing on the plants, which is indicative of a serious problem.
Thankfully, dealing with these pests isn’t a big problem; you will just have to apply the insecticide and spray it on the plant on a regular basis for a few weeks, and you’ll be good to go.
More importantly, you will have to prune the plants from time to time as well.
These are just a few important things that you should know about caring for the peace lilies.
While they can thrive outdoors, you will have to pay a great deal of attention to it. Instead, you can keep it indoors and care for it in a better way, making sure that the plant has everything it needs to grow.