Monstera Deliciosa Winter Care

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Monstera deliciosa over winter indoors quite well (even here in the UK) but there are a few things you need to know.

The rules of caring for Monstera deliciosa are the same in summer as in winter, BUT the consequences of getting them wrong are worse in winter.

So as long as you give it as much light as possible and only water when the soil is nearly dry, you should be good. However, there are a few tweaks I make to my routine to maximise light and reduce the impact of winter as much as I can.

The time I spend caring for my Monstera stays mainly the same, but instead of watering, fertilising and repotting, I concentrate on keeping the leaves clean and checking for pests.

Full Monstera care guide here.

Do Monstera go dormant over winter?

The natural habitat of Monstera deliciosa is the rainforests of Central America, where it rarely gets below 55˚F/12˚C. And by rarely, I mean basically never. Even at higher altitudes, it’s unusual for Mexico to experience sub-zero temperatures.

Monstera grow year-round, and don’t experience predictive dormancy.

That being said, Monstera deliciosa didn’t become an invasive species all over the world by being picky about temperature. They grow outside in some American states and whilst they’ll die off in cold weather, they can regrow again in spring if the ground doesn’t freeze.

Monstera kept as houseplants may not grow in winter, because they don’t have the energy, not because it’s natural for them. If you think of predictive dormancy as hibernating, Monstera are more in an induced coma. This is called consequential dormancy, as it’s a consequence of inclement weather.

Where to put Monstera deliciosa in winter

If you keep your Monstera in low light, you may want to consider putting it somewhere brighter in winter.

Monstera thrive in bright light, and though they’re unlikely to thrive in winter, increasing the light can help keep them ticking over, rather than deteriorating quickly.

There are other benefits to increasing the light to your Monstera over winter, for example, it can help the soil dry out faster. Soil stays wet for longer in winter anyway due to lower temperatures and shorter days, so giving your plant more light can help to reduce the chance of it getting root rot.

Can Monstera deliciosa survive winter outside?

There are instances of Monstera being revived from temperatures of -6˚C, but I wouldn’t recommend keeping Monstera outside in temperatures lower than 10˚C/50˚F unless you’re happy for it to drop all of its leaves and have to regrow them all in spring.

There is a lot of variation between different Monstera deliciosa specimens with regards to how they tolerate low temperatures. Keeping it above 10˚C/50˚F is unlikely to cause it permanent damage.

If you keep your Monstera deliciosa outside in summer and it encounters an unexpected cold snap, bring it in asap, but it’ll probably recover ok – they’re very adaptable.

Do Monstera deliciosa need grow lights in winter?

I keep my Monstera deliciosa by a big, south-facing window over winter because I don’t have a grow light set up that suits them. They probably get enough light to grow, but it’s a little cold for them. They don’t grow, but they also don’t go downhill, so that’s fine by me.

This article has loads of great recommendations for Monstera grow lights, suitable for all budgets.

However, if you want to keep your Monstera from going into consequential dormancy, you can provide it with grow lights (and possibly a heat mat) to keep it growing all year round.

Monstera deliciosa are big plants and it can be tricky to find them grow lights that provide enough light the keep them growing in winter.

You’ll need strong grow lights – those cheap Amazon ones are unlikely to have enough impact to encourage new growth, though they’re a great option if you just need a couple of hours of supplemental light to stop your Monstera from deteriorating over winter.

Ideally, you’ll need grow lights that hang from above, to mimic the sun. I have a few recommendations on my resources page – the Mars Hydro is a solid option, but you could also try adding a grow bulb to a lamp you already own.

How often do you need to water Monstera deliciosa in winter?

I water my Monstera the same way I would in summer – wait until the soil is nearly dry and then water.

However, I don’t water as thoroughly in winter. I don’t like to soak the rootball, because it cools the room down too much and creates too much humidity. Not only does it make it harder to heat, but it can encourage mould.

Instead, I water my Monstera with a pressure sprayer and just saturate the top of the soil. Over time, the water will trickle down to the roots.

Despite using a lot less water, I find that I only need to water my Monstera every few weeks, rather than every week or so, like I do in summer.

Another benefit to using the pressure sprayer is that I make sure I top it up when I finish watering. That way, the water is already at room temperature when I’m ready to use it.

If you prefer to use a watering can, then it’s advisable to let the water come up to room temperature before watering, but I tend to just add a bit of hot water in to make it tepid (don’t use warm water – it cools faster).

To be perfectly honest, a healthy Monstera is unlikely to go into shock if you water it with cold water straight from the tap. However, other plants are more sensitive, and if your Monstera is feeling a bit under the weather, it’s unnecessary stress.

Should I fertilise my Monstera deliciosa in winter?

The general rule for fertilsing houseplants is that you shouldn’t fertilise them if the plant isn’t actively growing.

I have to forget this rule for one of my Monstera, because it grows very slowly. I get one leaf per year, despite it getting awesome care and the Monstera right next to it growing like a weed. I think it’s just old and slow now. I still fertilise it in summer. I’ve tried not feeding it, feeding it a bit, and feeding it a lot and nothing makes a difference. I just fertilise it the same as my other Monstera.

My Monstera don’t put out any growth in winter, so I don’t fertilise them. If yours are growing, feed them as normal.

If your Monstera is in leca, then I would just add water to the reservoir, not nutrients, until it starts growing again.

Should I mist my Monstera in winter?

I don’t recommend misting houseplants, because it can cause more harm than good. However, Monstera are pretty tough plants and I think that misting can be beneficial to them, because it can deter pests and clean the leaves.

However, I don’t recommend misting Monstera in winter, for a few reasons:

  • It cools your Monstera down unnecessarily
  • It pauses photosynthesis, when your plant really needs energy
  • Wet leaves increase the risk of bacterial infections, especially in cold weather

Can you prune Monstera deliciosa in winter?

You can prune Monstera in winter but only prune damaged leaves.

If you want to prune a Monstera to shape it, do that in spring or summer. In winter it needs all the healthy leaves it has to maximise photosynthesis.

Controversially, I do recommend pruning any damaged leaves in winter – anything that less than 50% green can be removed.

Note: I don’t prune at all – even damaged leaves – in winter, but you can if you want. Damaged or yellowing leaves are more likely to harbour pests so it can be easier to get rid of them early.

I keep them on because it’s an easy way to find pests. Pests love damaged leaves and Monstera, so it’s their first port of call.

Keep Monstera deliciosa leaves clean in winter

I’m terrible at keeping Monstera leaves clean in summer. It’s just not a priority. However, in winter, it’s more important than keeping plants watered.

I clean with either neem oil or castile soap (or both) and warm water – a drop of oil/soap in 250ml of warm water is fine. Spray the plant down and then wipe it dry with a microfiber cloth.

Keeping the leaves clean:

  • Reduces the chance of getting pests
  • Increases the chance of you spotting pests before it’s a full-blown infestation
  • Maximises photosynthesis, by ensuring none of the stomata are blocked

Keep a close eye out for pests

Houseplant pests love stressed plants, and plants are more likely to be stressed in winter.

For a start, winter is stressful for tropical plants, because they were never meant to experience it. That in itself is enough to send out stress signals and attract pests. However, the reduced ability to photosynthesise, plus stress from being cold can compound the issue.

I don’t do anything special in winter to prevent pests, other than keep the leaves clean and care for my Monstera as well as I can. However, in autumn I make a particular effort to get rid of pests. I like to blast off any adults and larvae, and then use predatory mites to get rid of any stragglers.

yellow leaf from thrips damage
thrips damage on Monstera, if you’re interested

Can you repot Monstera in winter?

I don’t recommend repotting Monstera in winter, just because it’s unnecessary stress, but if you have to, it won’t be especially detrimental.

If you find that your potting mix is retaining to much water in winter than repotting it as soon as you notice can be less stressful to the plant than getting root rot.

One of my Monstera is quite desperate for a bigger pot but I’m going to wait until spring, for a few reasons:

  • The soil dries out quickly if your Monstera is rootbound
  • Being rootbound is less stressful than being repotted to a Monstera
  • It’s winter, so it’s unlikely to get more rootbound
  • When I finally do get around to repotting in spring, it should trigger a growth spurt.

If the idea of having a rootbound Monstera is too stressful for you, then go ahead and repot. If you make sure to only go up a pot size or two, and you don’t interfere with roots too much, it’ll likely recover quickly.

Ok, I think that’s everything I know about Monstera winter care. Try to increase light and temperature as much as you can (within reason, don’t boil your plant) and keep humidity down if it’s cold and dark, otherwise you risk mould and rot.

Before you go, you might like these articles:

Caroline Cocker

Caroline is the founder and writer (and plant keeper) of Planet Houseplant

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