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How Much Light a Monstera Deliciosa Needs

How Much Light a Monstera Deliciosa Needs

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How much light a Monstera delicisoa needs is still debated. They grow in semi-shade to shade in nature but are best grown in bright indirect light at home. Monstera Deliciosa is a hardy plant known by several names, but the most common name used for this plant is “Swiss Cheese Plant.”

This species is a native of southern Mexico and Panama and is famous for its unique leaves that have ridges and holes once matured.

The Monstera Deliciosa is a climbing plant that enjoys ascending vertical surfaces. This plant needs some support to grow tall, so you have to bind it to a pole or any other support.

How Much Light Does a Monstera Deliciosa Need?

The Monstera Deliciosa is a rainforest plant that enjoys being under bright indirect sunlight. The optimal light for a Monstera is around 200-400 FC (foot-candles) or 2000-4300 lux. If you use grow lights, the emitted color should be as close to daylight as possible. Aim for 5500 degrees Kelvin. 

How much light for Monstera Deliciosa

Monstera deliciosa is an adaptive species and can survive well under lower light conditions. This plant mostly grows under the rainforest canopy and uses its aerial roots to climb up trees toward the sunlight.

Too much direct sunlight harms Monstera Deliciosa since it can burn the leaves and causes brown spots.

Monstera deliciosa Grow Light

Monstera delicious can be grown under a grow light. A grow light for a Monstera deliciosa should produce between 200-400 FC (foot-candles) or 2000-4300 lux.

I grow my Monsteras under a grow light all year round in addition to natural light. The reason is that grow lights provide constant lighting, and you can adjust exactly how much light your want to provide.

Grow lights are also a good choice to supplement additional light in winter when natural sunlight is less available.

Some grow lights have integrated dimmers. In addition, you can adjust the height of the grow light. The higher a grow light is above your Monstera deliciosa, the wider the light distribution will be. But the light will also get less intense if the distance to the plant canopy is increased.

A good choice for a Monstera grow light are lights from Mars Hydro. I use the Mars Hydro FC 3000 and the Mars Hydro TS 1000.

Is a Monstera a low-light plant?

A Monstera is not a low-light plant. These plants grow in low-light situations in tropical jungles. But the light outdoors is much stronger than indoors.

They can survive in low-light situations but will not thrive. The ideal light is bright filtered or indirect light.

5 Signs That Show Your Monstera Deliciosa Needs More Light

1. Small Leaves and Long Petioles

Leggy is the term used to describe a stretched or etiolated plant. If your plant becomes leggy, it will have long and weak petioles, the stalks that connect the leaf to the stem.

This elongation occurs because your plant is trying to reach out for a light source, and because of this elongation, your plant looks untidy and unkempt. To solve this issue, you have to provide your plant with some support with the help of a pole.

Once elongation occurs, you must prune the unhealthy leaves and move your plant to an area with enough sunlight.

2. The Soil Does Not Dry Out Between Watering.

If your Monstera Deliciosa is kept in the dark corner of your house, then you will notice that the soil never becomes dry. If you are not over-watering your plants, but the soil remains saturated, this is due to a lack of sunlight.

Sunlight is one of the three main ingredients plants require to make food for themselves, and this food-making process is known as photosynthesis. If your plant is not provided with enough sunlight, photosynthesis cannot occur, and the roots will not absorb the water from the soil.

If the soil remains moist for a long period of time, then it can be dangerous for Monstera Deliciosa since their roots rot easily. If you place your plant in a low-light area, then it is important to monitor how much water you provide it.

However, other factors can cause the soil to remain moist for a long period of time. If your plant is not provided with proper drainage holes in the pot, then the soil can become dense and overly wet.

3. Lack of fenestrations

If your Monstera Deliciosa lacks fenestrations (natural holes in leaves), it is a sign that your plant needs more sunlight. Your Monstera Deliciosa should always have fenestrated leaves if it is two to three years old; lacking it shows something is wrong with your plant.

However, young Monstera Deliciosa does not fenestrate no matter how much sunlight you provide it. If your plant is less than two years old and does not have fenestrated leaves, then there is no reason to panic.

4. No Growth or Slow Growth

Your Monstera Deliciosa will grow healthy and quickly, both indoors and outdoors, when it is provided with the ideal conditions.

If your Monstera Deliciosa is provided with everything it needs, it can reach a height of 8 feet (2.4m) indoors with large leaves that can be two feet wide. However, if there is no growth or your plant rarely grows new leaves, you need to provide more sunlight.

But it is important to remember that every plant has its own growing season, so if your plant has not grown new leaves for a few months, it is likely dormant.

The Monstera Deliciosa grows from spring to fall, but once it becomes cold, the plant will pause its growth to store nutrients and energy for the next growing season.

If your plant is not growing new leaves during spring or fall, it needs more bright indirect sunlight.

5)    Leaning or Falling to One Side

If your Monstera Deliciosa is having difficulties staying upright, even after you provide support poles, then you need to give it more bright indirect sunlight.

This leaning issue occurs due to the stems’ elongation or weak stems. Simply providing your plant with proper sunlight and water can help make a huge difference in its growth and health.

Monstera Deliciosa’s Reaction to Different Light Conditions

Bright Direct Sunlight

Monstera Deliciosa is a rainforest plant, which means they do not like too much direct sunlight. This plant grows under the shade of tall trees or other tall plants.

If a Monstera Deliciosa is grown next to another plant or support, it will then climb upwards with the help of its aerial roots to gain some sunlight. It is said that the Monstera Deliciosa has fenestrated leaves to allow sunlight to fall onto the lower leaves.

However, too much direct bright sunlight is deadly for Monstera Deliciosa as it can cause the leaves to burn.

A few hours of direct sunlight in the morning is fine, but ensure that your plant does not stay in direct sunlight for more than 2 hours.

Bright, Indirect Sunlight

Monstera Deliciosa thrives under bright, indirect sunlight. To provide your plant with these conditions, you must place it close to a window with plenty of sunlight.

To know if the light is perfect, ensure the plant does not cast a shadow when kept under the sunlight.

Low light

Low light implies that a plant is kept in an area where windows are present, but not enough sunlight comes through them, or the plant is kept away.

Low light does not imply that the plant is kept in an area without windows. Monstera Deliciosas are hardy plants, which means they can survive even under low light conditions.

If you reside in an area without enough sunlight passing through the windows, you can still grow a Monstera Deliciosa under these conditions. The only issue you will face is with the maximum growth of your plant.

Since your Monstera Deliciosa will not be provided with the optimum condition for its growth, it will reduce the size of the plant under low light. However, your Monstera Deliciosa can still grow up to 8 feet tall (2.4m) indoors. 

If you do not want your plant to take up too much space in your house, you can always keep it under low light conditions so it does not grow too large.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I grow my Monstera Deliciosa under a shade?

Keep your Monstera Deliciosa close to a window if it is grown indoors. You can also keep it under a shade if you are planting it outdoors, as this will ensure your plant is not receiving direct sunlight.

How do I know if my Monstera Deliciosa is getting too much sunlight?

If the leaves of your Monstera Deliciosa have brown spots on them, it means you are providing it with direct sunlight, which is harmful. Always keep your plant under bright, indirect sunlight.

Does Monstera Deliciosa like grow lights?

Grow lights work well for a Monstera Deliciosa. Ensure they are not too close to your plant and that your Monstera gets sufficient light from the grow light. The light is often measured in lumen, lux, PAR, or FC (foot candle). A good value to aim for is around 1000-2500 FC. The emitted color should be as close to daylight as possible. Aim for 5500 degrees Kelvin.


Monstera deliciosa needs:

  • Bright indirect light
  • 200-400 FC (foot-candles) or 2000-4300 lux
  • Avoid direct sunlight for more than 3-4 hours a day
  • Use a grow light for optimal lighting in winter