Chinese evergreen is a beautiful and hardy plant often moved and placed outside the house. But can the Chinese evergreen live outside? You must find out the answer before moving the plant outside.
Generally, Chinese evergreen can be grown outside if you live in USDA zone 10-12. For any other region, you must consider growing them indoors. If you keep your Chinese evergreens outdoors, you must not expose them to direct sunlight, cold and dry air, and temperatures below 55°F.
However, that’s not all. You must consider a few factors before moving your Chinese evergreen outside. This article will discuss all the essential factors one needs to consider to let their Chinese evergreen live outside.
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Does Chinese evergreen do well outside?
The Chinese evergreen is classified under the houseplants based on its basic requirements. These plants can’t tolerate direct sunlight and prefer filtered light, making them ideal houseplants.
Chinese evergreen prefers high humidity, and you can control the humidity inside the house but not outside. The same goes for the temperatures.
Chinese evergreens need warm temperatures, and you can regulate the temperatures indoors and not outdoors.
These reasons make Chinese evergreen ideal for indoor growth, but that doesn’t mean you can’t grow it outside. If the outdoor conditions are suitable for the growth of Chinese evergreen, it can thrive outside.
You have to make a few changes while caring for your Chinese evergreen outside to help it sustain itself.
Don’t take the plant outside without checking the sunlight, temperature, humidity levels outside. If these don’t match the Chinese evergreen’s requirements, the plant can die.
Factors that affect the growth of Chinese evergreen outside
As I mentioned already, you need to analyze the outdoor conditions before moving your Chinese evergreen outside to ensure that the plant can survive and live outside.
If the conditions are unfavorable, it would be better to let your Chinese evergreen remain inside the house. You would not want to kill the plant by exposing it to harsh conditions.
Now let’s find out all the essential factors and discuss them in detail.
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Chinese evergreen plants come from the tropical rainforests of Asia, where they grow on the forest floor. These forests have big trees that don’t let sunlight hit the Chinese evergreens.
Therefore, the Chinese evergreen plants don’t get direct sunlight in their natural habitat. It prefers indirect light and doesn’t react well to direct sunlight, even as houseplants.
Chinese evergreens can tolerate diverse conditions, including low light. But you can’t cut out the light supply as, without enough light, the plant will not photosynthesize or grow.
When moving your Chinese evergreen outside, you first need to find a spot that will not receive direct sunlight. You can keep the plant under the shade of a big tree or any spot where it will receive indirect sunlight.
Can Chinese evergreen be in direct sunlight?
No, Chinese evergreen will not prefer direct sunlight at all. Exposure to direct sunlight will dehydrate it, cause sunburn and scorch the beautiful foliage.
The plant might be able to tolerate soft direct sunlight of the morning, but as the day progresses, the sun’s rays become more intense, which can be deadly for the Chinese evergreen.
You can keep the Chinese evergreen outside during winter and let it get some direct sunlight. Since the intensity of the sunlight remains low in winter, it doesn’t harm the plant.
If you want to expose your Chinese evergreen to the direct sun during any other season, you can expose it to the morning sun for a maximum of 2-3 hours.
When keeping the plant outside, protect it from the harsh sunlight of the afternoon by finding a shady spot.
Chinese evergreen enjoys high humidity. These plants are used to the high humidity levels in their native lands and prefer the same when you bring it home.
However, it might not be possible to provide such high humidity levels in the area you live in, but you must not let the humidity levels drop too low.
Although some people claim that Chinese evergreens can tolerate humidity levels as low as 30%, it can create different health issues in the plant.
Before moving your Chinese evergreen outside, you must ensure that the humidity levels are suitable for the plant. They will not survive if the air is dry.
Misting is an excellent way to provide humidity to your Chinese evergreen when it is placed outside.
Can Chinese evergreen survive winter outside?
Chinese evergreen is a tropical plant that requires warm conditions. The plant will develop health issues if you leave it outside with low temperatures and dry air.
The plant will start experiencing problems when the temperatures fall below 55°F, and the air gets dry during winters. In such adverse conditions, you must bring the plant back inside.
Chinese evergreens require high temperatures and can’t survive in low temperatures like all tropical plants.
Areas that have warm temperatures are ideal for growing Chinese evergreen outside.
However, areas with low temperatures or severe winters, or areas that experience a lot of temperature fluctuations, are unsuitable for these plants.
You must keep your Chinese evergreen inside if you live in such areas.
What temperature can a Chinese evergreen tolerate?
The ideal temperature for these plants remains between 68-77°F.
Temperatures below 55°F will not be suitable for your Chinese evergreen. Don’t expose your Chinese evergreen to such low temperatures.
Chinese evergreen prefers evenly moist soil at all times. It neither enjoys soggy nor dry soil.
The watering will differ when you keep your Chinese evergreen outside.
A plant placed outside will be exposed to more light and heat, which will dry out the soil faster. So, it will require more water than a plant growing indoors.
Therefore, you will need to give more water to a Chinese evergreen living outside. However, always remember to check the soil’s moisture to ensure that the plant requires water.
If you don’t check the soil, you might end up overwatering the plant.
How often should I water my Chinese evergreen outside?
I can’t tell you exactly how much water your Chinese evergreen will need. The watering will depend on many external factors such as the amount of light it receives, the temperatures and humidity levels that your Chinese evergreen is exposed to, etc.
However, with experience, you will learn to identify a thirsty plant, and you’ll understand how often your Chinese evergreen requires water.
If you have recently moved your Chinese evergreen outside, keep an eye on it every day. Check the soil’s moistness every day or every other day and water it whenever you find that the top layers have gone dry.
Don’t neglect the plant and let the soil become compact, as Chinese evergreen doesn’t prefer dry and compact soil.
Many areas experience winds throughout the year. The wind is not something that houseplants enjoy, and the same is with Chinese evergreen.
Keeping the Chinese evergreen indoors can protect it from winds and temperature fluctuations. So if your area receives wind, you must not think about moving the Chinese evergreen outside.
But in some areas, you might come across wind for only a few days. On these days, you can cover your Chinese evergreen plant with a plastic bag.
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Finding the right place for your Chinese evergreen is essential to protect it from unfavorable conditions. Keep these in mind before placing your Chinese evergreen outside.
- The Chinese evergreen should get enough indirect light and no direct sunlight.
- Maintain the humidity levels by misting the plant and ensuring that the humidity levels don’t drop too low.
- The temperatures should not go below 55°F.
- Protect the plant from hot and cold wind.
- Don’t expose your Chinese evergreen to temperature fluctuations.
- Keep a check on the soil’s moisture levels before watering.
How to move the indoor Chinese evergreen outside?
You must not make any abrupt changes to your Chinese evergreen and if you’re planning to move your Chinese evergreen outside from inside, do it gradually to avoid stressing the plant.
Moving the plant without letting it acclimate with the new outdoor environment will shock the Chinese evergreen and decline the plant’s health.
Here are some points to help you move your Chinese evergreen outside without causing any stress to the plant.
- Select a spot with all the favorable conditions for the Chinese evergreen.
- Move your Chinese evergreen to the new environment outside and leave it there for a few hours.
- Increase the duration gradually by 1-2 hours every other day.
- Continue this for a week.
- Now keep your Chinese evergreen under the morning direct sunlight for 1-2 hours.
- Shift the plant to a spot with indirect light for the remaining hours.
- Again continue this for a week.
- Now it is time for the Chinese evergreen to remain outside for the entire day.
- Check the plant for any signs of stress or damage. If the plant is doing well, you can leave it outside.
- Bring your Chinese evergreen inside during winter or if the outdoor conditions become unfavorable for the plant.
- Don’t expose the Chinese evergreen to direct sunlight even when you keep it outside.
- Always check the soil before watering your Chinese evergreen. Check the soil every other day initially to understand when the plant needs water.
- Fertilize the Chinese evergreen during the growing season like you would while growing it indoors.
- Protect the plant from wind by covering it with a plastic bag on windy days.
- Spray a neem oil solution on your Chinese evergreen to keep pests away from it.
Reference: Wikipedia, Nasa clean air study, Missouri Botanical Garden, The University of Kansas, NC State University.
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