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Monstera requires proper care and attention to thrive. If you just acquired your first monstera plant, caring for it might be challenging, and you might be divided on whether to place it indoors or outdoors. You need to understand the best growing conditions as you grow the plant, and Monstera does very well outdoors. However, you need to identify the perfect spot for the plant.
Monstera plants can live outdoors as long as the outside environment provides the perfect conditions in terms of light and humidity. If your plant is growing outdoors, you need to keep track of the seasons and adjust the conditions.
In freezing climates, the Monstera will have a hard time outdoors, and gardeners prefer to have it indoors. However, if you live in warm temperate and tropical climates, you can keep your Monstera outdoors in partial shade.
Are you wondering whether to keep your Monstera plants indoors or outdoors? I have been researching this, and in this post, I will inform you all you need to know about growing your Monstera plants outdoors. Keep reading to find out more.
Growing Conditions for Monstera Outdoors
Temperatures Monstera Require
Monstera grows best at tropical temperatures of 68 to 86 degrees Fahrenheit. The plant does very well outdoors in USDA zones 10-11, as they have the perfect temperature for its survival. The plant enjoys the climatic conditions in these regions, and when well cared for outdoors, it will grow to heights of 10ft, which would be impossible indoors.
If you live in other time zones, it is best to grow your plant indoors to regulate the environmental conditions is because the plant cannot tolerate temperatures below 50 degrees. Under these conditions, the plant stops growing because it is not carrying out its metabolism process essential for growth.
The recommended temperatures for Monstera provide the perfect internal and external environment for the plant to thrive. When exposed to prolonged periods of excessive heat or cold, the plant cannot process food, and it is also likely to deplete its food reservoirs and die.
When the temperatures are too high, water loss is also much higher through transpiration, and the roots might not take up water at the same rate. Consequently, the plant becomes dehydrated and dies, a process often referred to as desiccation.
Plant shoots and roots are more sensitive to these changes in temperature, and the shoots and root growth slows down because they are in more need of food supply than the rest of the plant when the extreme temperatures, the roots suffer damages and cannot take up nutrients and water from the soil.
If you are growing Monstera plants outdoors, you need to protect them from extreme temperatures by bringing them indoors. If your climatic zone does not offer such an environment, it is advisable to grow the plants indoors to control the conditions. Besides, Monstera is always an excellent addition to your indoor décor.
Monstera Lighting Requirements
Monstera is adapted to low light due to its natural habitat, and its leaves are also sensitive to direct sunlight and will get damaged if exposed. For this reason, most people prefer to have their monstera plants growing indoors where they don’t need to worry about such intense exposure to the sun. Under direct sunlight, you will notice your plant’s leaves developing burns or permanent yellow marks on the leaves from which it will never recover.
Monstera does best under a shade when grown outdoors, not receiving direct sunlight. The plant prefers this bright light to manufacture food like any other typical green plant means that you should never attempt to grow Monstera in dark places, as it will not thrive. Without sufficient exposure to light, the plant will also stop growing as it is not manufacturing food essential for cellular activities.
At times you will notice your plant growing towards shadows could mean that your plant is seeking support, and you need to provide it with a stake. If the plant stays in the dark too long, it develops negative phototropism whereby its leaves grow towards the dark instead of light.
To maintain a balance between the shade and light, you should turn your plant more often so that all leaves receive the same exposure to light.
How Much Humidity Do Monstera Need?
Monstera loves areas with relatively high humidity of 40%. Regions with hot and dry weather have lower humidity, and it is somewhat hard to raise humidity within the outdoors. When the humidity is too low, the plant will lose water through its leaves via transpiration.
This excessive loss of water could kill your plant even with sufficient watering. Remember that the variegated Monstera requires more humidity than the non-variegated plants.
You can purchase a hygrometer to keep track of the changes in humidity and monitor how your plants are responding to them.
Here are some ways you can raise humidity for your outdoor plants:
Crowding plants: One of the essential strategies behind raising humidity for outdoor plants is by providing these plants with the same environment as the plant would experience in the wild. When you grow plants closely together, the moisture levels in the atmosphere increase through transpiration. You need to make sure that your monstera plants are at the center of the group as you do so.
Increase humidity by using gravel and pebbles: get a larger tray, fill it with pebbles or gravel, and add water to a level just below them. Place the plants on the tray and set them in partial shade. The water creates a moist environment as it evaporates from the tray beneath, raising the humidity levels around your plants. Be careful to add water whenever the level goes down.
Place outdoor plants away from draught: which disperses the humidity around plants. You should also avoid keeping monstera plants around a fire, and other heat sources as these areas contain low humidity.
Younger plants need humidity more because they are more delicate than older ones. It is essential to keep in mind that maintaining these plants outdoors in low humidity can be challenging.
If you must grow them outdoors, you need to create a temporary greenhouse by covering the plant with a plastic bag or a milk jug. As you do so, be sure not to let the plant leaves touch the plant. Also, this environment increases the rate at which these plants grow to reach maturity.
Will Wind Damage Monstera Plants Kept Outside
The wind is likely to take away moisture from your plant leaves and the soil, and it can also lead to low humidity, which is not favorable for your plants. Therefore, it is essential to place your plants shielded from the wind. Wherever necessary, you can also create a shield for your plants.
Watering Monstera For Success
Water is essential for all plants. However, each plant has different water needs, and Monstera needs moderate watering. It cannot tolerate saturated soils, and prolonged dry conditions will dry out the plant. Consequently, you need to ensure the soil is just moist and not too wet.
It is best to water monstera plants when the soil is dry, and you can always poke it using your fingers to see if it requires watering. As you water the plant, you need to water evenly to ensure the soil is moist and pour out any excess water in the pot or container.
If you suspect your plant is not getting sufficient water, you can increase its ability to absorb moisture by burying its aerial roots in the soil wherever possible. Alternatively, you can cover some of the aerial roots in sphagnum moss and mist them.
If you use well-drained soil, you will experience a less difficult time with water retention. You also need to ensure that potted plants have proper drainage.
Overwatering Monstera plants will lead to root rot which is hard to revive and kill. Excess water in the soil prevents air circulation, and the plant’s roots are suffocated, and respiration processes are cut off. If your plant is overwatered, you will notice that its leaves will start turning yellow.
Acclimating Monstera Plants
You should always bring your Monstera plants indoors when the temperatures start falling at the sight of the first frost. However, you don’t need to do so if your plants are in a well-sheltered location. You can cover the plant with plastic sheeting or a frost blanket if it unexpectedly threatens frost. In most cases, gardeners grow their Monstera in containers as it makes it possible to bring the plants back inside in winter and back outdoors in summer.
When removing your Monstera from indoors to the outdoors, you need to acclimate it from the smooth transmission. Drastic changes in the environment can affect plants growth causing leaf burns since the two lights have different strength levels. An indication of leaf burns are leaves turning brown and crispy, and these leaves don’t recover.
For smooth transmission, you need to leave your plant; you need to bring the plant outdoors daily for a few hours in the beginning. To start with, get the plants outdoors on cloudy days and keep them under a shade. The plant’s time outdoors should gradually increase until the plant is fully adapted.
Also, the transmission process should be slow, taking two to three weeks. Remember to keep a keen eye on how the plant responds to this change, and if you notice any leaf burns, reduce the hours you expose the plant.
Outdoor Monstera Plants are more Susceptible to Disease and Pests
Outdoor plants are more susceptible to pests and diseases. You can prevent some of these problems by ensuring that your plant has adequate exposure to light. It would be best if you watched out for changes in the plant.
Monstera can be affected by both bacteria and fungus, and their treatment involves the use of fungicide or bactericide. One of the most common bacterial diseases among monstera plants is bacterial leaf spots, and the signs are a black spot with a yellow halo. You need to isolate plants and remove and discard the infected parts whenever plants are infected.
Fungus, on the other hand, might occur from overwatering. Root rot is quite common, and it occurs when the plant sits for too long in the water. It can also occur from bacteria attack on the roots, and the first sign will appear on the lower plant leaves, which develop dark brown spots.
Common bugs on monstera plants include mealybugs , thrips, scale, fungus gnats, and spider mites. Some of these bugs will destroy your plants by sucking off the plant sap until the plant drops. You might need to use pesticides to take care of these problems.
Spraying them with insecticidal soap will kill some of these pests and fungi. Some people will mix the insecticidal soap with baking soda.
The earlier you take action, the better chance you can prevent the spread of pests and diseases. Also, remember to keep infected plants isolated to spread disease and pests.
You can also spray the plants in a stream of water to wash off pests and dislodge insects. Other remedies include rubbing the plant with neem oil and alcohol.
Always keep in mind that all plants have their natural mechanism for controlling infestation by pests and disease. However, if your plants are unhealthy, they are more likely to suffer from these attacks.
Also, read this detailed post on ways Monstera can be propagated depending on the variety.
FAQ’s about Monstera plant
If you love growing Monstera as I do, Then check out The Complete Monstera (Swiss Cheese Plant) Care Guide
Monstera plants are straightforward to care for both indoors and outdoors. However, you need to know how to do it right. These plants can grow very tall when well cared for outdoors, gracing your landscape with their shiny evergreen beauty. The primary step in caring for your plants is mastering their growing conditions.
Even with proper conditions, your plants can get infected by diseases and pests, which you need to prevent and treat. Finally, keep in mind that you face less trouble controlling disease and pests if you give your plants the necessary care.
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