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How Much Light a Monstera Deliciosa Needs

Monstera Deliciosa is a hardy plant that is 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, famous for its unique leaves that have ridges and holes on them once matured.

The Monstera Deliciosa is a climbing plant that enjoys ascending vertical surfaces. This plant needs some form of support in order to grow tall, which is why 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 are using 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 as well. This plant mostly grows under the rainforest canopy and uses its aerial roots to climb up trees towards the sunlight.

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


5 Signs That Show Your Monstera Deliciosa Needs More Light


1)    Small Leaves and Long Petioles

Leggy is the term used to describe a plant that is stretched out or etiolated. If your plant becomes leggy, then it will have long and weak petioles, which are 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 where it receives 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 is remaining saturated, then this is due to a lack of sunlight.

Sunlight is one of the three main ingredients required by plants to make food for themselves, and this food making process is known as photosynthesis. If your plant is not being 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, there are other factors that 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), then 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; a lack of it shows that 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, then 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, then you need to provide it with 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, then it is likely in its dormant season.

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

If your plant is not growing new leaves during the spring or fall season, then 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 elongation of the stems or because of 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 make sure that your plant does not stay in direct sunlight for more than 2 hours of morning sunlight.


Bright, Indirect Sunlight

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

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


Low light

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

Low light does not imply that the plant is kept in an area where there are no windows. Monstera Deliciosas are hardy plants, which means they can survive even under low light conditions.

If you reside in an area where not enough sunlight passes 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, then you can always keep it under low light conditions so that it does not grow too large.


Frequently Asked Questions about Light and Monstera Deliciosa


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 that 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, then it means you are providing it with direct sunlight, which is harmful to it. Always keep your plant under bright, indirect sunlight.


Does Monstera Deliciosa like grow lights?

Grow lights work well for a Monstera Deliciosa. Make sure they are not too close to your plant and ensure 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.

Author Bio

Daniel Iseli

Taking care of houseplants and gardening are my greatest passions. I am transforming my apartment into an urban jungle and am growing veggies in my indoor and outdoor garden year-round.

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Thursday 28th of January 2021

[…] The Monstera Deliciosa thrives in bright indirect sunlight. It means that the sunbeams should bounce off from another surface before they approach your Monstera Deliciosa. […]