Monstera light requirements
Monstera is a tropical plant that thrives when given the proper care. It is also known as the Swiss Cheese plant because of the holes and ridges in its mature leaves. However, the leaves don’t develop these holes and ridges if they do not get the right amount of light. But how much light does Monstera need?
In this article, we will discuss Monstera light requirements and how too much or too little light impacts its growth.
How much light does Monstera need?
Monsteras grow in the tropical rainforests. Since they grow below the canopy of the forests, they don’t get direct sunlight. When we try to grow these plants at home, she should try to provide a similar environment to them.
Ideally, Monsteras should get 10 to 12 hours of light each day during the summer season. This period can be decreased to eight to 10 hours during winter.
The duration of sunlight that Monstera receives does not need to be consecutive. If your plant receives three or four hours of morning light and then gets low light for a few hours and later gets a few more hours of sunlight from another window, that’s fine.
The total hours of sunlight that your plant receives are more critical.
What light is the best for Monstera?
Monstera needs bright, indirect sunlight that mimics the light that it receives in its natural environment. They grow on the forest floors and climb up large trees and shrubs. They receive indirect light that has filtered through the forest canopy. Depending on the thickness of the canopy, they may receive bright, medium, or low light.
Now the next question on your mind may be – How do I know if the light in my room is suitable for Monstera? It is not easy to judge light intensity in an area by looking at it. These tips will help you choose the correct location for Monstera in your home –
1. Use a light meter
The human eye is not always the best judge for light intensity. You can use a light meter for this. Photographers usually use this device to check the intensity of light.
A reading of between 25 and 100 foot candles indicates low light conditions. The area has medium-light if the reading is between 100 and 500. A reading between 500 and 1000 foot candles indicates intense light.
Most Monstera varieties will grow well in an area with 100 to 500 foot candle reading.
2. Take the shadow test
Place a hand between the light source and about 12 inches from the plant. If the shadow formed is light and fuzzy, the light intensity is medium and ideal for your plant. If the shadow is dark with well-defined edges, the light is too bright for your plant. A faint shadow indicates low light, which is not suitable for Monstera.
3. Window positioning
The position of your window can also determine the intensity of the light that your plant will receive.
These windows do not provide direct sunlight. They are suitable for plants that require low light. If you rely on a northern window for your Monstera, place your plant close to the window.
East-facing windows get bright morning sun. The sun rays are gentle at this time and do not cause any damage to the plants. Your Monstera will thrive in the soft, direct morning sunlight and the lingering light during the rest of the day.
South-facing windows provide plenty of sun for most of the day. The rays near the windows can be too intense for your plant. So, place your Monstera a few feet away from the window or use sheer curtains to diffuse the light.
West-facing windows get intense afternoon sunlight, especially during the summers. Place your Monstera across the room and away from the window.
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Can Monstera grow in shade or low light?
Yes, Monsteras can grow in shade or low light. In fact, they prefer filtered shade to direct sun. Your plant will thrive if you grow it under a tree or the canopy of bougainvillea.
A Monstera that is grown in low light will grow slower. However, this may not be bad if you prefer a smaller plant. Monsteras can grow up to 10 feet indoors and three times this size if they are grown outdoors.
If you have limited indoor space and don’t want your Monstera to grow too big, you can grow it in low light.
What are the impacts of too little light?
While Monstera can grow in low light, it can harm your plant if the light is too low. Here are some signs that your Monstera needs more light.
1. Leggy plant
If your Monstera appears stretched out, it is not getting enough light. Plants become elongated when they are trying to reach for the light source. Leggy plants have long and weak stalks that connect the leaves to the stems.
2. Discolored leaves
Yellow or brown spots on Monstera leaves could indicate low light conditions. Since this is also a sign of overwatering, cut back on the watering frequency. If this doesn’t fix this issue, move your plant to a brighter spot.
3. No fenestrations
Lack of fenestrations (holes and ridges) in the leaves is another sign that your Monstera is not getting enough light.
4. Slow growth
Monstera plants can grow up to 10 feet indoors, and it doesn’t take them long to reach this height. If your plant growth is slow and hasn’t developed new leaves even during the spring and summer months, it is not getting sufficient light.
5. Leaning towards one side
Monstera plants cannot stay upright if they do not get enough sunlight. They start leaning towards one side.
6. Wet soil
Wet soil is also a sign that your plant is not getting enough sunlight. The plant cannot use water if it is not exposed to sunlight. If the soil remains wet even though you have not watered it for ten or more days, it is time to shift your Monstera to more light.
Do I need a grow light for Monstera?
If you want to grow Monstera in a room with low light or no windows, you will need a grow light. Glow lights are artificial lights that mimic the sun’s spectrum of light. In areas with no sunlight, a grow light can help the plant photosynthesize and grow.
Here are some questions to consider if you are thinking of buying a grow light for your Monstera –
1. Where are you placing your plant?
Grow lights are available in blue/red and full-spectrum white. The type of light you use will affect the ambiance of the room. If you place your Monstera in a space dedicated to plants, blue/red grow light is the best. They boost plant growth and promote darker and healthier leaf colors.
If you use the room for other activities, you will need a full-spectrum grow light.
2. How many Monsteras do you want to grow?
Several sizes of grow lights are available, ranging from a single bulb to meters long ones. The light you buy depends on the number of plants you want to grow under it.
3. How long do you plan to turn on the light?
If your room gets a few hours of sun, you need to switch on the light for four or five hours a day. If your plant is getting no sunlight, you will have to keep the light on for at least 10 hours a day. Incandescent grow light can overheat if kept on for long. So you can use LED lights if you plan to switch them on for long.
4. Are you away from your home throughout the day?
If your work keeps you away from home, investing in a grow light with a timer may be wise. This way, you will be able to schedule when your plant needs the light and when it doesn’t.
5. How much do you want to spend?
The price of grow lights can range from $10 to $500, depending on their features and size. It is best to start with a cheaper option.
This GE Grow LED bulb is an excellent option for beginners and is available for $9.88. If you plan to spend a bit more, this WTINTELL LED grow light with ten dimmable levels, and three timing modes is a good choice.
Is my Monstera getting too much light?
Now that we have established that Monstera needs 10 to 12 hours of bright indirect sunlight, you may be wondering if your plant is receiving too much light. Usually, your plant will indicate that it is not getting the correct light. Watch out for these signs in your Monstera –
- Discolored leaves
- Crisp leaves
- Leaves are curling
- Droopy leaves
- Dry and flaky soil
If you notice these signs on the Monstera leaves, the sun rays are hitting your plant directly. Direct sun can burn Monstera leaves and lead to dead tissue.
You should trim all damaged leaves as they cannot recover. Clipping them will also boost your plant’s growth, as it will focus on new growth.
Final thoughts on Monstera light requirements
Though Monstera is a hardy plant, you cannot just place it in a pretty spot and forget about it. You need to pay attention to Monstera light requirements when putting the plant in your home. .
Monsteras love bright direct sunlight, and they need 10 to 12 hours of daylight every day. So, if you want a lush Monstera plant, pay special attention to Monstera light requirements.
Do you have any more questions about your Monstera? Let me know in the comments below, and I will try to answer them in my next post.
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