How much light do monstera plants need

How much light do monstera plants need?

Monstera plants require five to eight hours of filtered or shaded sunlight daily. This is somewhat the same sun exposure they get in their native habitat, hidden under forest trees.

However, two varieties of Monstera deliciosa (the Variegatta and Thai Constellation) need to get more light each day to grow with lots of healthy green leaves.

Learn more about the light needs of breathtaking monsteras in this guide. We’ll be going over the signs they need more light, if they can develop under grow light, and more!

What is the significance of sunlight with plants?

What is the significance of sunlight with plants

Sunlight is among the basic needs of plants in order to survive and thrive. The others are air and water, which are taken by the plant through porous spaces in the soil.

Sunlight, water, and air allow plants to start the food-making process known as photosynthesis. This is the process by which they produce sugar in the form of glucose, which can be used as energy to carry out vital biochemical and growth processes.

In simpler terms, getting an ample amount of sunlight every day makes plants healthy. This enables them to grow fast and lush, develop strong roots and stems, and build cold resistance, among other benefits.

How long should I put monstera in the sun?

How long should I put monstera in the sun

As we said earlier, monsteras need five to eight hours of daily sun exposure.

Duration of sun exposure dictates the intensity of sunlight that your monstera is getting. Therefore, it’s of great importance to get this part right to ensure the monstera gets enough of it and won’t suffer from getting too much of it.

1) The hours of monstera’s sun exposure can be divided or consecutive

Both divided and consecutive sun exposure is fine for monstera. As long as it’s getting five to eight hours of filtered sunlight, you’re good.

Rather than leave the plant alone for hours on end, you can spread out the hours of sun exposure you give your monstera.

For instance, you can place it beside an east-facing window in the morning for three hours and transfer it to another window for another three hours later in the afternoon. That equates to a total of six hours.

2) Not all sunlight is the same

Another thing that many people aren’t aware of is not all sunlight exposure and intensity are the same.

To show you what we mean, here’s an example: indirect light coming from a north-facing window is less intense than one beaming from a southern or western window. 

So even if you leave them someplace for the same number of hours, the plants will get a different strength of light. So it’s essential that you take care of where you place monsteras.

Why should monsteras be put by a window facing a certain direction?

The reason why you should get the window positioning right is to give monsteras the right amount of light. 

You may have heard the famous saying “The sun rises in the east and sets in the west. So it follows from this that western-facing windows get more afternoon sun, whereas eastern-facing windows get more morning sun.

Also, remember that the sun mostly shines from a southern position in the Northern Hemisphere. This is the condition low-light plants like jade plants and snake plants prefer.

To sum up: Monstera plants need bright indirect light. So you can place them about five feet away from a south, west, or east-facing window depending on the time of day. The distance is important to keep their leaves from getting burned.

What are the signs telling me my monstera needs more light?

What are the signs telling me my monstera needs more light

Below are the telltale signs that your precious monstera needs more sun exposure:

1) Its leaves aren’t splitting

Monsteras are famed for their graceful pattern of split leaves akin to a skeleton torso or slices of Swiss cheese—the most common reason why people choose to have them.

So if your mature monstera (more than three years old) isn’t showing this, it may be that it’s not getting the amount of sunlight it so requires.

As soon as you notice this, try to relocate it to five feet away from an east or west-facing window to give it just enough sunlight.

2) It’s growing slower than expected

Another clear indicator that your monstera needs more sunshine is if it’s growing slower than expected.

These plants are vigorous growers, and they can grow massively up to 10 feet indoors. That’s why they’re called monsteras.

In winter, of course, it’s natural for these plants to grow slower until it comes to a temporary stop. But if you notice they’re not putting out new shoots during spring or summer, they’re likely not getting enough sun exposure.

3) The monstera soil stays moist

Even though your monstera soil is well-draining, it needs enough light for it to dry out completely. If you catch your soil staying damp for an extended period, lack of sunlight is another underlying cause.

When this happens, you need to switch the monstera plant to another spot at the house or outside if possible. As we’ve been saying, it needs bright indirect light to fully thrive.

4) The leaf is becoming discolored

A more serious problem of monsteras is discolored leaves. Often this is brought about by overwatering, insufficient sunlight, or both.

Both of them are interrelated in that overwatering becomes worse when there’s no sun to help dry out the pool of water in and above the soil. 

This then leads to a certain degree of root damage, which, in turn, causes wilting and discolored leaves.

To solve this problem, you can reduce your watering to avoid drowning the plant even more. If this fails, then move the plant nearer to the window with stronger partial light.

What are the signs telling me my monstera is getting too much sun?

What are the signs telling me my monstera is getting too much sun

In contrast, here are the telltale signs that your monstera is getting too much light:

1) The plant and its soil are dry

Monsteras are no different from other plants. They must have enough moisture in their soil, with great drainage to grow at their best.

A dry plant and soil are the result of incorrect sunlight, temperature, and moisture conditions in their environment.

2) The leaves have become dry and crispy

If the iconic monstera leaves have turned dry, brown, and crispy, the humidity level of the area may be to blame.

This is a sign that the plant is in dire need of water. And it has to be tended to immediately to reduce further damage.

Give the monstera a drink and spray its leaves until the top inches of the soil are moist. That said, you have to refrain from overwatering them.

3) The leaves suffer from severe burns

Even worse than being dry is having leaves that are badly scorched by the sun. This gives monstera leaves a white and pale appearance.

The very same thing happens if they’re exposed to bright full sunlight in rainforests. Remember, these plants are accustomed to living underneath the shade of most trees and shrubs.

As soon as you detect the first hint of scalding, transfer the pot or planter immediately to an area with mellower, shaded sun. Keep tabs on how much and how strong of the sun it’s getting every day and adjust accordingly to its sun needs.

Can monstera plants survive in low-light conditions?

Although the awe-inspiring monstera can tolerate low or medium-lit areas, they cannot fully thrive in these conditions.

By thriving, we mean growing oversized dark-green leaves, variegated spots or patterns, and beautiful splits or fenestrations. 

Putting them in low-light conditions for long periods is like depriving a human being of wholesome food like vegetables and fruit.

How do seasons affect sunlight intensity?

How do seasons affect sunlight intensity

The sun changes its position in the sky throughout the seasons. This will also affect the sunlight intensity that your monstera and other plants get.

In summer and spring, the sun is at the highest point in the sky, and so it shines very brightly. While in fall and winter, it’s positioned at a lower part of the sky, so the sun emits weaker light.

Our point can be further illustrated by people living in the northern part of North America. They naturally get less light in winter as opposed to those living in the south.

If you grow monstera in this part of North America, it will have to be relocated to a brighter spot in winter to avoid stunted growth, wilting leaves, or the like.

Can I use a grow light for monsteras?

Can I use a grow light for monsteras

If the sunlight in your apartment or house isn’t enough, you might want to use grow lights or bulbs to supplement your monstera’s growth.

Grow lights or bulbs can be conveniently bought from gardening stores, nurseries, or flower shops. You can order some that are suitable for your monstera variety over the web.

When using it, we suggest leaving it on for at least six hours a day for your patio, window, or indoor monsteras.

But if, for some reason, you cannot find any grow lights, you can look for full-spectrum light bulbs, which also provide artificial lighting to help the plant grow.

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