Peace lilies tend to be grown as houseplants. However, if you’re a keen gardener, you might be wondering whether you can grow them outside or if this is not possible?
Peace lilies will happily grow outside if you live in a warm enough area. Zones 10 to 12 should be warm enough, but do not plant them outside if you live somewhere colder than this. They may manage in the spring and summer, but they will probably die as soon as freezing temperatures hit.
What Do Peace Lilies Need?
Peace lilies are generally easy to grow, and they manage well even at low light levels. You can grow one in almost any part of your home, although you should be aware that if the light isn’t bright enough, they probably won’t develop their brilliant white flowers for you.
Apart from a reasonable amount of light, the thing that peace lilies need most is warmth. These beautiful plants hail from tropical countries, and they do not cope well with cold temperatures or icy breezes. Whether indoors or outdoors, you need to keep them reasonably warm.
Where Do Peace Lilies Come From?
Originally, these plants come from tropical rainforests. The fact that they grow in rainforests means that they are happy to tolerate low light (since rainforest floors tend to be shady), but they won’t cope with cold.
They are used to warmth and humidity, so unless you live somewhere that offers similar conditions to their native ones, you can’t grow them outdoors. In zones 10 to 12, temperatures should be warm enough for them to survive outside all year round, but they won’t manage in colder climates.
What’s The Coldest Temperature A Peace Lily Can Tolerate?
Peace lilies aren’t happy if temperatures go below 60 degrees F. They will survive this, especially if the temperature drop is gradual and short-lived. Still, it does not make them happy, and if the low temperature is maintained, their growth will massively slow down.
There is some variation among peace lilies about the very lowest temperatures they will tolerate, as different cultivars have different resistance levels to cold. However, in general, temperatures below 38 degrees F will lead to tissue damage and probably death within just a few days.
That makes peace lilies among the hardiest rainforest plants, but they are still not temperature resistant. So even if you are growing them indoors, you should be aware of this and ensure that you aren’t letting them get damaged by drafts from windows, doors, or AC units.
What Does Temperature Damage Result In?
You might be wondering how you know if your peace lily has been damaged by cold. Usually, you will see the older leaves dying back. A large dark margin will appear around the edges of the leaves, and there is no reversing this once it has occurred; that leaf will die and drop off.
Some of the younger leaves might survive a short blast of frost, but it isn’t very likely to survive if the plant loses most of its foliage. Likewise, if the roots get frozen, the plant is doomed, and there will not be any way to save it.
You should never let your peace lily get frozen, so if your area ever experiences frost or near-frost temperatures, you cannot grow a peace lily outdoors.
Where Should I Plant A Peace Lily Outside?
If you live somewhere warm enough to plant your peace lily out of the house, make sure you choose a shady spot. Remember, these plants grow on the rainforest floor, so they don’t like to be in a lot of direct sunlight.
This has the added benefit that shady spots are usually relatively sheltered, which may help protect your peace lily from temperature fluctuations.
What Should I Do If My Plant Suffered Frost Damage?
If your peace lily has suffered frost damage, the first thing to do is to bring it back into a warm environment to recover. Using sharp, sterile scissors, remove any damaged leaves so the plant doesn’t waste its energy trying to repair them.
With this done, all you can do is wait and see if it recovers. But, unfortunately, it will have impacted its growth, so you will have to be patient.
Peace lilies can be planted outside if you live in a warm environment. If your area is colder than zones 10 to 12, you should not grow a peace lily outdoors. Even if it doesn’t get frost damage, it will grow poorly and may never flower. It is better to grow them inside.