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How Much Light Do Monstera Plants Need? (+All Other Lighting Questions)

Light is a crucial factor that determines the growth and development of a plant, and it is no different for the monstera plant. Most house plant owners want to get their hands on a monstera because of their beautiful foliage.

But, will a monstera plant thrive in your home? Does your home meet the lighting need of a monstera plant? Let’s find out!

Monstera can grow in a wide range of lighting conditions; but, bright indirect light for at least 10-12 hours a day would be ideal. Direct sunlight must be avoided as it can burn the leaves. Whereas, if your monstera doesn’t get enough lighting, it will have weaker stems, and their leaves won’t split.

Most people would suggest that monstera can tolerate a wide range of lighting, and you can grow them both in bright and low lighting conditions.

However, there are tradeoffs to it. So, in this article, we shall discuss all about the lighting requirement of your monstera plant.

This will help you understand what you can expect from your monstera under different lighting conditions. So, let’s get started.



Importance of good lighting for monstera

Lighting is an essential aspect of the growth of the plant. Plants were supposed to be grown outside in the garden and forest.

However, just to bring life into space, we human beings decided to get them into a concrete jungle with limited resources to grow.

But that doesn’t change the nature of the plant. They still need light to produce their own food and grow.

We often misunderstand that the fertilizer we add to our plants (including monstera) is food for them. This is far from reality. We tend to forget what we have learned in schools. So, let’s repeat it!

Plants produce their own food by a process called photosynthesis. They use water and carbon dioxide to make sugar and oxygen. This sugar is utilized as a source of energy for the plant. That is the actual food for them.

All the added fertilizer just provide them with additional supplements that ensure healthy and bushy growth.

Thus, we need to remember that all plants need appropriate lighting conditions to thrive.

They will survive in low lighting conditions, but the growth would be leggy, slow, and the leaves would look different.

What kind of light does a monstera need?

Monstera plant comes from the tropical forests where they grew under the canopy of lush green trees.

They didn’t receive much direct sunlight there, and as a result, their leaves grew larger in size to absorb more light.

Thus, we can conclude that the monstera plant prefers indirect, bright sunlight for healthy growth.

The light we provide to our plant will determine the growth of your monstera.

Your monstera will have compact and healthy growth under bright lighting conditions, whereas if you move them to a low light spot, they will show stunted and leggy growth.

However, you need to make sure you keep the monstera away from direct sunlight.

Direct light can burn the leaves of your plant, which may look ugly and affect the growth as well. Thus, providing appropriate lighting conditions to your monstera is crucial.

Direct light vs. Indirect Light

If you are a beginner, you might have read terms like direct light and indirect light. But what do these terms mean? And what is the difference between them?

If your plant is receiving unfiltered direct sunlight on its foliage, then its called direct light.

Another way to determine is to look out for shadows. If your plant is a clear, distinct shadow, then it is placed in direct sunlight.

However, if your plant is placed at a spot where direct sunlight doesn’t reach it, then it is indirect light.

Light filtered through a sheer curtain, refected through walls and floors are all indirect light. There is no precise shadow formation in this case.



Does monstera plant need sunlight?

Monstera doesn’t need direct sunlight to grow. Direct sun, even for a short span, can burn the beautiful leaves of your monstera.

With that said, they do prefer bright, indirect light. Some people successfully keep them under low lighting conditions as well.

However, they do exceptionally well when kept at a bright spot.

Best spot for monstera

Lighting requirement

Monstera can be kept in the bedroom, dine-in area, as well as your living room. They don’t need direct sunlight. Thus any spot that receives natural light from windows would do well.

Try to place your monstera plant 3-5 feet away from the window. It would be an ideal space as it won’t receive direct harsh sunlight but will be bright enough for your monstera to grow.

They can tolerate early morning sun or late evening sun, so a spot beside an east or west-facing window shall be equally good. The placement of a plant will also depend upon where you live.

If you live in the northern hemisphere, then a spot near the south-facing window shall provide enough light to your monstera.

Whereas if you live in the southern hemisphere, the east or west-facing window shall do exceptionally well.

Avoid the afternoon sun as it will burn the tissue leaves, giving them yellowish-brown spots and leave spots in the foliage.

Also read: Where can I keep monstera at my home?

Monstera getting too much light

If low light is terrible for your plant, then so is an excessively bright light. Here are some signs that your monstera is getting too much light:

It would be best to move your plant further away from the light source or use a sheer curtain or some sort of other filters.

Some people think that they are watering less, and thus they increase the watering frequency.

There is no point in watering more frequently; you need to fix the light first. Watering more often will only do more harm.

It would be ideal to trim the yellow or brown leaves as they can’t recover back. By clipping, you will boost your monstera’s growth hormone, and the plant can focus more on new growth.

Monstera not getting enough light

Monstera can survive in low lighting conditions, but they will not proliferate. 

It can up to 10 feet in size if provided with the right care and environment. 

However, If your monstera is not getting enough light, they may suffer. Some of the signs of poor lighting are:

  • Leaves won’t split
  • Weaker foliage
  • Wet or soggy soil
  • Stunted growth
  • Leggy growth
  • Leaning towards the light source
  • Root rot

If your monstera doesn’t receive adequate lighting, they will store the energy for survival and growth towards the light source. As a result, your plant will become leggy and looks ugly.

Although you can quickly fix the issue as soon as you notice any of these signs, move your monstera to a bright spot where it can get bright, indirect sunlight.

Also read: Why is my monstera dying?

Do monsteras grow towards light?

Yes, the monstera plant grows towards the light. They are likely to grow aerial roots and push their growth towards the light source.

Under appropriate lighting conditions, you will notice compact and healthy growth.

What if there are no windows?

Growing a monstera plant under low lighting is a challenge in itself, and if you have no source of natural light in the room, then it takes the challenge to an extreme level.

Firstly, I would recommend moving the plant to another room where indirect bright light is accessible. But, this might not be possible for all of us. Then what can we do? 

The best bet would be to supplement the light with an indoor grow light. We can move the plant in a bright spot once a week or so and, on other days, provide a supplement using grow lights.

You may think that it sounds expensive and complicated. But trust me, it isn’t. 

There are many budget-friendly options available out there, but I personally love these amazing SANSI 15W LED Grow Light Bulb, which I got from amazon. 

These are standard E-26 base bulbs which can be fitted in any standard household lamp and holders. 

I didn’t think it was possible to grow plants without good natural lighting, but these bulbs changed my perspective.

Can monstera grow in shade?

Yes, monstera does exceptionally well under indirect bright lighting conditions.

A partial or full shade would be sufficient as long as they are receiving medium lighting conditions.

In fact, direct sunlight is something you must avoid as it can burn the beautiful foliage.

How many hours of light do monstera need?

Monstera prefers 10-12 hours of lighting every day. The more, the merrier it is for your monstera.

These plants are versatile and can adjust to lower hours of lighting during the winters.

However, this will lead to slower growth. During the peak winter, your plant will go dormant, and this is something you needn’t worry about.

As soon as the lighting conditions get right, your plant will start growing profoundly.

Final Thoughts

Monstera is a gorgeous plant. However, you can only boast of their beauty if you provide them with the right conditions to grow.

Lighting is one of the essential needs for any plant, including a monstera.

Extreme of both can be terrible for your monstera plant as too much light will lead to scorched leaves, and too little light will make them leggy and droopy.

Thus, providing the right balance of lighting is crucial for your monstera plant to thrive.

Also read: How Often Do You Water A Monstera?


Source: Plant Lighting Aspects for Plant Growth in Controlled EnvironmentsLighting Indoor HouseplantsEffects of growth under different light spectraInfluence of light intensity on growth

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