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Light is agreeably the most vital part of plant life. All plants need light not just to survive but also to thrive. In their natural habitats, plants grow in areas that provide all the light they need. But when we bring them into our homes, questions arise on whether they are getting all the light they require.
Monstera plants can grow anywhere, thrive, and live in low light. But adequate exposure to sunlight will help your monstera plant’s rapid growth and fenestrations. Still, avoid intense, direct light because it may burn the leaves.
With this understanding of how essential light is for your Monstera, the next big question is just how much light the Monstera needs to thrive.
Or rather, let’s put it this way, can Monstera thrive in low-light conditions? A good thing with Monstera is that they are impressively hardy plants and, therefore, very easy to grow and maintain.
You would be happy to know that your Monstera won’t die on you because of a few unfavorable conditions.
For instance, your Monstera will still stay alive with some overwatering and won’t die just because you forgot to water it several times. And when it comes to light, your Monstera will stay alive even with low light conditions but will not grow if left in the dark. Notably, you will notice that your Monstera will grow slower in lowlight conditions.
Therefore, the answer to whether Monstera can thrive in low light conditions is, No. Yes, Monstera can survive in low light, but they will not thrive as they should.
What Happens When You Grow Monstera in Low Light Conditions?
When we talk of low light conditions, we refer to parts of your home that are not well lit can be a large room with few windows or an area in a room that is very far from the window. To clearly understand this, picture a room where you have to turn on the lights during the day to read a book! Lowlight spaces receive minimal natural light.
Placing your Monstera in a low-light room will stay alive and continue growing slowly.
The science behind this is that light is an indispensable factor in photosynthesis. With minimal light, the plant will have less energy, and the photosynthesis rate will be slow, which means that it will have less power for new growth and grow slower than it would with good lighting.
Another effect of low light on Monstera is the splitting of the leaves. Mature monstera plants often exhibit some form of splitting or fenestrations, and this spectacle is made possible by light.
Naturally, monstera plants grow upwards to reach as much light as possible and develop holes or splits that enable light to penetrate the leaves below. Minimal light will therefore have an impact on the leaf structure. But we love our Monsteras more with the iconic splits, don’t we?
Low light can also slow the drying process after watering your plants, and adequate light enables the plant to use water efficiently.
Your Monstera can stay wet longer in low light conditions, resulting in roots’ health issues. The leaves may also get discolored and have some brown or yellow patches.
You will agree that low light conditions are inappropriate for those who want a thriving Monstera. For example, with adequate light, a monstera deliciosa can grow up to 10 feet indoors after some time.
It will also produce new leaves, especially during spring and summer, adding to its beauty. In contrast, Rhaphidophora Tetrasperma will grow up to 15 feet providing ideal lighting conditions.
The slow growth due to minimal light is simultaneously good and bad. If you have minimal space in your home, you may prefer this to take up less space, meaning you will place it in a room with less light.
On the contrary, if you have adequate space and intend to encourage faster growth, place your Monstera in an area that receives bright indirect light.
By doing this, you will soon have a huge glorious Monstera! The beautiful fenestrated leaves always come as the plant responds to the presence of light.
How to Enable Thriving in Monstera in Low Light Conditions?
We have seen that low light conditions will not support Monstera’s growth to its full potential. However, the lowlight space may be your only spot for your Monstera.
In this case, you may need to develop ways to ensure your plant stays healthy and happy to thrive here. Worry less because we will share what you can do in this case.
Here are some techniques to help your Monstera thrive in low light:
- Use Mirrors: To help brighten a room, mirrors will be handy. They have a powerful reflecting capacity. You will need to hang them around the room with low light. Once you do this correctly, the mirrors bounce light around the room, remove the shade, and offer indirect sunlight for your Monstera. They will also make your space larger and more beautiful.
- Get LED to grow lights: We highly recommend that every houseplant lover own an LED light. These lights are quite helpful in the maintenance of plants that are in a lowlight area. They are advantageous because their energy efficiencies are good for the environment. Place your Monstera under this light and marvel at how helpful this will provide more light for higher thriving chances. You can have them on for about five hours every day.
- Provide more humidity: With low light, your Monstera has less energy to grow than it would in a brighter place. Allowing the humidity levels to drop will weaken your plant even more. You will do your Monstera a lot of good when you get the watering and humidity aspect right. You can monitor the humidity levels using a hygrometer and ensure it doesn’t go below 50%. A humidifier will also be highly beneficial in this case.
- Keep pests away: Pests are a huge hindrance to the thriving you desire for your Monstera. Low light makes your plant prone to pest attacks and diseases. Therefore a huge part of caring for Monstera in low light is keeping pests away. You can use neem oil once a month to achieve this. This oil will also positively impact how your Monstera absorbs light.
Ideal Light Conditions for Thriving Monstera
Are you convinced that low light isn’t the best condition if you pursue growing Monstera plants? Monstera prefers ideal lighting, watering frequency, temperature, and humidity like all other houseplants. Focusing on light, here is what you need to keep in mind:
- Avoid bright direct sunlight: Monstera plants are native to rainforest areas. This implies that they have little tolerance for direct sunlight. They naturally grow under the canopies. That’s why they have aerial roots that help them climb on trees to reach the light.
- The fenestrations ensure light can pass through and reach the lower leaves. When keeping Monstera at home, do not allow sunlight to hit the leaves directly, as this will cause irreversible ugly brown spots.
- The ideal light condition for Monstera is bright indirect light: It is best to give your plants the adequate light they need without the harmful sun rays getting to the plant. You will know your Monstera receives sufficient light if no shadow is behind it.
- A great location for your Monstera in your home will be near an east or north-facing window. Monstera adores bright indirect light and will reward you with flourishing growth in this case.
Another noteworthy aspect is that the monstera variety impacts the ideal light conditions.
For instance, you will notice that a Monstera Peru will thrive best in bright to medium indirect light, and it can tolerate short exposure to direct sunlight during morning hours but not afternoon sun.
Low light levels will result in slow growth, and you may need to work with grow lights in such instances.
The case is almost similar for a Monstera Adansonii. Give it bright indirect light and watch it pleasantly thrive. However, avoid bright direct light because this will burn your plant.
With Variegated Monstera, you will need to provide even more light, and this is because these plants are more delicate as compared to their counterparts.
Place your variegated Monstera on the brightest window in your home so it can benefit from the early morning and late afternoon sun.
Moreover, avoiding extended periods of exposure to direct afternoon sun would be best. This sun’s intensity will spoil your Monstera’s beauty by turning the leaves brown. A variegated monstera can still cope with low light but may not grow well if the conditions get too dark. If you lack adequate light in your space, you can supplement the little you have with grow lights.
Frequently Asked Questions
What should you not do with Monstera?
Never allow your plant to sit in water or soggy soil, as this can lead to root rot and the eventual death of your plant. Your Monstera Adansonii will do well in average household humidity but will benefit from a boost in humidity.
How long can you keep a Monstera in water?
A monstera can live in water indefinitely if you take good care of it. For the best results, we recommend taking a cutting, placing that cutting in water, and leaving it to grow. You must ensure it always has fresh water, so we suggest changing it every 3-5 days.
What conditions does a Monstera plant need?
Monsteras appreciate a warm, humid environment, good water, and gentle sunlight. Place your Monstera where it can receive a medium to bright indirect light.
Do Monsteras need support?
In the home, maturing plants will need the support of a moss-covered pole that they can climb. If treated well, Monstera can live for years and grow to over ten feet tall. Monstera deliciosa is sometimes incorrectly called a split-leaf philodendron or Philodendron pertusum.
How long do Monsteras live?
There is no specific lifespan and how old these plants can get. However, many reports from gardeners claim to have Monstera plants that are 40+ years old.
We strongly advise that you avoid keeping your monstera plants in low light, but you can still do so if the situation forces you to.
As much as your plants will not die due to the minimal light, they will not reach their best levels. Fortunately, with some strategy, you can still get the best from a Monstera placed in lowlight conditions.
Spruce up your space with some grow lights or mirrors and boost the chances of having adequate light for your Monstera.
Whether you have adequate light and space in your home, Monstera remains a fantastic addition to a home. Everyone can enjoy a Monstera!