Are you thinking of moving your peperomia outside or growing them in your garden? Before you decide on that, you need to ask this question: Can peperomia grow and survive outside? Well, we are here to answer that for you.
Peperomia can grow outside year-round if you reside in USDA zones 10 through 12; otherwise, consider growing your peperomia indoors. If you desire to grow them outside, place the plant under some shade to avoid exposure to direct sunlight, cold drafts, and intense temperature fluctuations.
There are other factors that you must consider before you decide to grow your peperomia outside. Factors such as season, sunlight exposure, watering schedules, and placement can affect the growth of your peperomia when it is growing outside. Let’s understand these in a more detailed way.
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Does peperomia do well outside?
Peperomia can thrive outside as it does inside if it gets favorable living conditions. But how you care for your peperomia indoors will not work outside. You have to make some changes to the care routine.
Do not grow peperomia outside without analyzing the sunlight, temperature, wind, and humidity. If these don’t match the requirements of your peperomia, the plant will not thrive.
If you reside in the southern part of the United States (USDA zones 10 through 12), the peperomia will be able to adjust to all the required conditions. But, if you live in the other parts of the United States – Eastern, Northern, or Midwestern, the conditions might not favor the peperomia plant.
Now let’s check out the factors that can affect your peperomia when it is growing outside.
Factors that affect the growth of peperomia outside
It is crucial to consider the outside conditions before you decide to grow your peperomia outside.
If the conditions are not suitable for the growth of your peperomia plant, it is better to keep it indoors instead of growing it outside. Unfavorable conditions might severely damage the peperomia plant.
Some key factors that you must look at are:
- Watering routine
Let’s discuss the points mentioned above in detail.
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Light is crucial for all your plants as they cannot photosynthesize in the absence of sunlight. Without enough photosynthesis, the plant will not be able to sustain itself.
Peperomia requires medium to bright filtered light when it grows indoors. Its requirement won’t change even when it grows outside.
You can place your peperomia in a shady spot where it might get the soft direct sunlight of the morning and indirect light for the rest of the day.
A good shady place would be beside or under a big tree where it will stay protected from the direct harsh sunlight.
Can peperomia be in direct sunlight?
Similar to all other houseplants, peperomia will not do well if exposed to direct sunlight. Indirect or filtered light is ideal for your peperomia plant.
However, if you still want to expose your peperomia to some direct sunlight, keep these in mind:
- Peperomia can tolerate the soft morning sunlight, so exposing it to direct sunlight during the morning is preferable.
- 3-4 hours of direct morning sunlight will be enough for your peperomia, and it won’t require more direct sunlight than that.
- Do not expose the peperomia to direct sunlight during the afternoon.
- Find a shade where you can place your peperomia to ensure it is away from the direct sunlight.
Peperomia is a tropical plant, indicating that it will prefer temperatures on the higher side and not enjoy low temperatures.
Growing peperomia outside in USDA Zone 10 would be ideal as the temperatures will suit its needs.
Peperomia doesn’t react well to sudden temperature changes, so make sure that no sudden temperature shifts do not happen when you grow peperomia outside.
What temperature can a peperomia tolerate?
Peperomia prefers temperatures between 60 to 75°F during the day and not less than 55°F at night.
You must not expose your peperomia to low temperatures during the winter as that will damage these plants.
You might need to bring your peperomia inside if the conditions are too harsh for its tolerance during the winter season.
Peperomia prefers moderate to high humidity levels. Peperomia comes from tropical forests where they get humidity levels over 90%.
However, humidity levels of 40 to 50% would be ideal for your peperomia.
Peperomia doesn’t prefer dry air, so when you are growing it outside, you can group it with some other humidity-loving plants to increase the humidity.
You can even give it a good shower at times to increase the humidity. However, make sure that the plant has enough light and air to dry out, or else it can attract pests and fungi.
Can peperomia survive winter outside?
If the temperatures fall below 50°F, you might notice that your peperomia is starting to look unhealthy.
Being tropical plants, it becomes difficult for peperomia to tolerate low temperatures, so it would be best if you could bring your peperomia inside during winter if the temperature and humidity go below the plant’s tolerance.
Despite being a tropical plant, peperomia doesn’t require a lot of water. Depending on the external factors, peperomia requires water once every 1-10 days or one-two weeks when you grow it indoors.
But when the peperomia is growing outside, especially during the summer and spring seasons, it will get more light and heat, leading to more water absorption. So, you will need to change your watering schedule and make the watering more frequent.
You must not forget to check the soil before watering your peperomia. You can insert your finger inside the soil, and if it sticks to your finger, you must wait for few more days. If the soil feels dry, consider watering the peperomia.
How often should I water my peperomia outside?
It will depend on other factors, so we cannot give you a fixed watering routine. It is something that you need to come up with after observing your plant.
There is only one rule that works best for all plants that are growing both indoor and outdoor. Scratch the soil’s surface, and if it still feels moist, you must not water the plant.
Peperomia prefers the soil to remain slightly moist. So you must water when the top two inches of the soil feel dry.
When you are growing peperomia outside for the first time, observe the plant and feel the soil every other day to understand the plant’s water requirements. Once you understand the interval between watering and drying of the soil, you can come up with a schedule.
But never water without checking the soil as that can lead to overwatering.
Peperomia will not enjoy extreme windy conditions. Too much wind can damage the peperomia if it is growing outside.
You must find a spot that doesn’t get too much wind. Both hot and cold drafts can be harmful to your peperomia. Peperomia will also not enjoy the dry wind.
You can protect your peperomia on windy days by putting a plastic bag around the plant.
Where can I put my peperomia outside?
You can put your peperomia in a shady garden. When placing your peperomia outside, the first thing to keep in mind is light.
We suggest a shady spot where the peperomia will not be exposed to direct sunlight and will thrive in the indirect light it receives.
Direct sunlight can scorch the leaves of your peperomia plant and cause irreversible damage to it. On the other hand, low light will make the plant leggy as it will grow too long in search of light.
Therefore, a shaded area that gets indirect light would be ideal for peperomia.
How to move the indoor peperomia outside?
All this information must have helped you understand whether your area has suitable conditions for growing your peperomia outside.
Let’s look at how you can shift your peperomia from the comfort of your house to the outside.
You must move it gradually as you don’t want to shock the plant with the sudden change. So, we have mentioned the steps to make the shift gradual and comfortable for your peperomia.
- First, find a shady spot outside that is suitable for growing your peperomia. You can grow it under a big tree or on your patio.
- Next, put the peperomia outside on that spot for a few hours every day.
- Increase the duration slowly by only a few hours every day.
- Follow this for a week and then expose the peperomia to direct morning sunlight for an hour or two. Make sure that the plant remains in the shaded area for the rest of the day.
- Again follow this for a week, and then let your peperomia be outside for an entire day.
- After that, check the plant thoroughly to understand how it is reacting to the changes. If the plant looks good and doesn’t have any signs of damage, it is ready to remain outside.
- However, keep the peperomia away from direct sunlight as that will scorch the leaves and dehydrate the plant.
- Check the inside of the soil before watering. Put your finger and check the top two inches. If it feels dry, you can water your peperomia.
- Your peperomia will be more vulnerable to pest infestation when it is outside. So, keep checking the plant and spray neem soil solution once a month to prevent pest infestation.
- Fertilize the peperomia properly during the growing season so that it can grow well.
- Find a place for your peperomia where it will stay protected from the cold and hot drafts.
Peperomia can grow outside if you live in the USDA zones 10 through 12. You can grow the peperomia outside in the other zones also. Still, you will need to bring it inside whenever the conditions become unfavorable.
It is best to keep your peperomia indoors if you are not living in an area with suitable growing conditions for the pant.
- You must protect your peperomia from direct sunlight, cold drafts, and extreme windy areas.
- It would help if you considered making some changes in the care routine after moving the peperomia outside.
- Make the shifting of your indoor peperomia outside gradually so that the plant can adjust to the changes comfortably.
Ref: University of Florida, Sage Journal, University of Vermont, New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station
Rutgers, The University of Arkansas, Britannica, Wikipedia, Peperomia Diseases, NC State University.