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Monstera Deliciosa is a forgiving, easy-to-care-for houseplant that will tolerate various conditions.
They’re awesome for beginners because they’ll tolerate subpar care like real troopers but once you start getting to grips with their care, they really begin thriving.
They also look amazing. If it’s an indoor jungle you’re after, you need a Monstera Deliciosa.
The most important thing you need to know about Monstera Deliciosa care is to get the light right, and you’re halfway there. Awesome light will not persuade Monstera to grow massive fenestrated leaves, but it’ll also make them more resistant to pests, grow faster, and you’ll be less likely to overwater.
I have a general Monstera deliciosa article here, that covers things like where they come from and how toxic they are – this article is about care only.
By the way, I would recommend that you spend the $20 on a green Monstera and work out how to care for it before dropping upwards of $150 on a variegated one. I do have a variegated Monstera deliciosa care guide here.
This article only covers Monstera deliciosa care information. If you want information on pests or propagation, I have separate articles for those.
Monstera deliciosa light requirements
Getting the light right with Monstera deliciosa is about 75% of the battle.
My Monstera deliciosa large form, my baby Monstera and my Thai Constellation both sit directly in my south-facing living room window.
More light = better UNLESS you live somewhere that’s extremely hot and dry.
Do Monstera need direct sunlight?
Monstera deliciosa don’t need direct sunlight, especially if you live you live somewhere super hot. However, they do grow best in high levels of light.
I put my Monstera outside in summer because the light really helps the grow massive leaves with a lot of fenestrations. You need to acclimate them though, so gradually increase their light exposure, otherwise, you risk them getting sunburned.
If you can’t provide your Monstera with direct light, they can still thrive, so don’t worry too much. You may find that it grows slower, but trust me, a fast-growing Monstera isn’t always a good thing. They’re not called monstera for nothing.
Can Monstera live in low light?
I have whole article about keeping Monstera in low light.
Monstera have been selectively bred over the years to live in lower light that they would in the wild, so they technically can in lower light, but it’s not advisable to do so.
They might grow, but you’ll probably find that the growth remains small and juvenile, so no splits or holes in the leaves. The petioles (the bit that attaches the leaf to the stem) will stretch towards the sun so they’ll get long and spindly and the leaf on the end will weigh it down, leading to a general droopy look.
Monstera do tend to default to droopy, and low light is a common cause.
Can I use a grow light for my Monstera?
You absolutely can use a grow light on your Monstera, and they can be a great way to keep them perky in winter, but they can be a bit of a pain, logistically speaking. Monstera tend to be too big to put on a shelf and grow light shelves are the most efficient way of setting up your grow lights if you have a lot of plants.
If you just want something to top it up – so it’s in a generally bright spot but you’re worried about how much light it’s going to get in winter, then you could go for either a cheap Amazon gooseneck grow light or a grow bulb.
The Amazon lights aren’t the strongest, but they’ll be a great addition to natural light. Don’t expect miracles if it’s the only light source, but they can add a nice boost. I have some suggestions here.
The benefit of the gooseneck bulbs is that you can manipulate the bulbs so they cover as much of your Monstera as possible. Get them as close to your plant as you can. I run mine for a couple of hours in the morning and a couple of hours at night, and let the sun take care of the bit in the middle.
Grow bulbs are a great option because you can add them to a lamp you already have. Ideally, you’d want to use a tall lamp so the bulb shines down over the plant. Again, a couple of hours twice a day works well.
Another option is a professional grow light, like the Mars Hydro ts1000. These need to be suspended, so they’re not plug-and-play options BUT they’re super strong and can be used without any need for additional light. I run mine for 8 hours a day, though 16 is recommended (I don’t like using that much energy).
If you already have shelving with lights attached or even a grow cabinet, you could put your Monstera next to it and it’d probably get plenty of light – it really depends on the strength of your lights.
How can I tell if my Monstera is getting enough light?
It’s easy to tell if a Monstera isn’t getting enough light:
- New growth will be pale and droopy
- The soil will take weeks to dry out
- Your Monstera is more likely to be plagued by pests
- Growth is leggy, i.e. the gaps between the leaves are long
Theoretically, if your Monstera is getting enough light, you should be able to tell by how fast they grow, and how big and fenestrated the leaves are.
However, sometimes Monstera go on strike and simply refuse to grow for reasons best known to themselves – especially variegated ones.
They also tend to grow a lot faster when they’re smaller – especially when they’re in good light.
If your Monstera is a couple of feet away from a window, it’s likely getting enough light. I’ve grown them in north-facing windows before and they’ve thrived.
Don’t try to grow Monstera deliciosa in a room with no light at all, unless you’re prepared to run a fancy grow light for 16 hours a day. That being said, not a month goes by that I don’t see someone growing a massive Monstera in a windowless bathroom in a Facebook group.
I have an article dedicated to the light requirements for Monstera deliciosa.
Monstera deliciosa humidity requirements
Monstera deliciosa are extremely adaptable, especially when it comes to humidity requirements. If you’re new to houseplants, and you’re feeling a bit overwhelmed with it all, forget about humidity for now – we can come back to it when you’ve got lighting and watering sussed.
Do Monstera need high humidity?
No, Monstera deliciosa can grow perfectly well in humidity levels as low as 40%. Probably lower, but below 40% and you’re more likely to start encountering problems like leaves getting black marks, and damage when the leaf is unfurling.
I keep my Monstera deliciosa (all my houseplants actually) at ambient humidity, which in my house is around 65%. They do really well. They can tolerate SUPER high humidity – in the wild, it wouldn’t be unheard of for them to experience 100% humidity
It’s not necessary to provide 80% humidity for your Monstera deliciosa but high humidity can provide some benefits. It’ll probably grow faster, the leaves will unfurl faster, and if you have it climbing something, it’s aerial roots will be better able to attach to whatever it’s climbing.
Is too much humidity bad for Monstera?
When we’re caring for tropical plants, we need to keep light, humidity, and temperature balanced. If you have a lot of light and it’s nice and warm, high humidity won’t be a problem.
Monstera deliciosa do well in terrariums, unfortunately they outgrow them quickly.
However, if it’s really cold or really dark (or both) high humidity can cause fungal issues and damage to the leaves. High humidity when it’s cold and dark can also cause the soil to stay damp for too long, increasing the risk of root rot.
Do Monstera like to have their leaves misted?
Misting is a contentious issue in the houseplant community, but I’ll give you a balanced view:
Monstera do not care either way whether you mist the or not. Some plants HATE it (maidenhair ferns will tolerate it for a bit and then wham brown fronds), most plants don’t care either way.
The problem with misting is that people mist their plants to try to increase the humidity. Misting a plant is NOT the same as providing it with high humidity.
The reason anti-misters are so…anti-misting is that when you wet a Monstera’s leaves, you stop it from being able to photosynthesize, and plants need to photosynthesize to provide themselves with energy.
So you’re stopping your plant from photosynthesising…for nothing.
So I get why people are against misting Monstera. It’s largely pointless and inhibits growth.
Whilst Monstera don’t like getting wet (who does?) the fact remains that their natural environment is the rainforest. They’re used to getting wet. Misting a healthy Monstera every now and again won’t cause it any harm, and it can knock dust off.
If you want to mist, go ahead. If you don’t, don’t.
Do Monstera like being in the bathroom?
Monstera tolerate being in bathrooms better than a lot of other houseplants, but it’s rarely the ideal environment for them. If you live somewhere warm, and your bathroom has good light, then your Monstera will be happy there.
I keep one of my Monstera in the bathroom because it has a permanent case of thrips and it isn’t allowed with any of my other plants. It does ok in there (despite the thrips) but bathrooms tend to be quite cold, especially in winter (especially in the UK).
There are a few things to bear in mind when you’re putting Monstera in the bathroom:
The first is that bathrooms often have crappy light. Is it going to be bright enough for your Monstera to thrive?
The second thing to know is that the humidity in bathrooms isn’t usually that good. Sure, it can be whilst someone’s in the shower, but the rest of the time they’re usually not much more humid than the rest of the house.
The third thing to consider is temperature – bathrooms are often cold. If it’s just cold, then your Monstera will probably be ok, but if its cold AND dark, that’s not gonna work
Monstera deliciosa temperature requirements
Again, Monstera aren’t that fussy about temperatures. People have kept them outside in -2˚C weather and they’ve been ok.
What is Monstera deliciosa’s ideal temperature?
65˚F-85˚F or 18˚C-30˚C is the range, but ideally, they’d like a consistent 77˚F/25˚C
Most houseplants are tropical plants, and as such, are actually quite easy to cater for, temperature-wise. In very general terms, they like the same kinds of temperatures we do.
30˚C/85˚F is probably a bit too warm for Monstera, as it is for a lot of humans. And like humans, at those temperatures Monstera have to take steps to reduce loss of moisture, which is why they curl their leaves in warm weather.
In the wild Monstera wouldn’t really experience temperatures below 18˚C/65˚F but they can tolerate them.
Can Monstera deliciosa tolerate cold?
They can, surprisingly well. Monstera don’t tend to grow in winter, but provided you can keep them pest free and their roots healthy, their leaves don’t usually mind the cold weather.
In the article I linked above, the author states that he had a Monstera deliciosa outside in -2˚C and it was, get this, FINE. He also had one outside in -6˚C and that wasn’t fine but it did recover.
Monstera deliciosa are incredibly adaptable to different environments.
What happens if Monstera get too cold?
When Monstera get too cold the cells in their leaves burst and the leaves go black – it actually looks quite similar to sunburn. When a Monstera has root rot or a fungal infection, the black marks on the leaves usually have an orange rim, but that’s less likely to happen with cold damage.
The leaves won’t recover from cold damage, but the stem and roots will likely be fine – just keep an eye out for stem rot.
Do Monstera burn?
Monstera deliciosa do burn, which is why it’s crucial to acclimate them if you’re, for example, putting them outside.
It’s a LOT brighter outside than it is inside, so if I were to move my Monstera outside, I’d put it in deep shade – despite it living right in a south-facing window. It’d still be getting more light outside.
Leaves and stems burn – the leaves are usually toast (lol lol lol) but the stems often recover. Cut the leaves off at the end of the petiole, close to the stem.
Sunburned Monstera usually go black. If the leaves are brown and crispy, then it might have been that your Monstera got severely dehydrated, so make sure to soak the soil thoroughly.
Which gives us a nice segue into watering:
Monstera deliciosa watering requirements
Monstera deliciosa are very forgiving if you’re new to houseplant care.
I have an in-depth guide to watering Monstera deliciosa here.
Don’t wait for your Monstera to look thirsty.
If it looks thirsty, you’ve waited too long.
How often should you water a Monstera?
You need to water your Monstera deliciosa when the soil feels dry. I use a moisture metre, and water when it reads 2 or 3.
Common advice is to water when the top inch of soil is dry, but Monstera are big plants, and if the top inch is dry, the rest of the soil might be soaking wet.
If you don’t trust moisture meters (a lot of people don’t), then you can try sticking your finger in the soil, or using a chopstick.
How do I know if my Monstera needs watering?
The easiest way to know when your Monstera needs watering is to keep it in a plastic pot – when the pot is light, you’ll know that it’s time to water.
You can put that plastic pot in a pretty outer pot if you like, but putting it in a lightweight pot and seeing how heavy it is is the easiest way to tell when Monstera need watering.
The leaves won’t tell you that the plant is thirsty until it’s too late.
Leaves are incredibly difficult to read. They curl or droop when your Monstera is thirsty, but also when it’s too hot, too cold, and overwatered. Disregard them. If the soil is dry, it’s time to water.
Do Monstera deliciosa like lots of water?
They do. When you water your Monstera, water it thoroughly so that the top is wet and water is running through the drainage holes at the bottom of the pot.
However, whilst Monstera do like lots of water, they don’t like it too often. Wait until the soil is dry again before watering.
If you tend to overwater, amend your soil to make it retain less moisture.
What’s the best way to water Monstera?
Monstera don’t care how you water them, as long as they’re watered. You can bottom water them if that’s easiest, or you can pour water on top with a watering can.
There’s no right or wrong way, and the plant certainly doesn’t mind. There is no perfect way to way.
If you have a lot of plants, I highly recommend you try using a pump-action power sprayer. I am OBSESSED with mine. It’s so much more accurate so you don’t end up with water everywhere, you don’t waste any water, and you feel like a professional gardener. I love mine.
I do recommend you soak the soil thoroughly every so often with a watering can, but in hot weather when the top of the soil gets parched and hydrophobic, pressure sprayers are a life saver.
Can you water Monstera deliciosa with tap water?
I water all my houseplants, including my Monstera, with tap water. Whether you do depends on your water. My general rule of thumb is that if you’re happy to drink your tap water, then your Monstera will be too.
Other options are rainwater, aquarium water, filtered water, and distilled water.
If you use distilled water, make sure you use a hydroponic fertiliser that contains all the micronutrients your plant will need, as they get a lot of them through minerals in the water.
Monstera deliciosa fertilising requirements
Trying to figure out how often to fertilise Monstera deliciosa and what to fertilise them with was a nightmare when I was first starting out. Every article I read disagreed with the previous one. Are they heavy feeders? Light feeders? Can you use banana peels? What if I overfertilise?
In the end, I just ran my own experiments. I didn’t fertilise my Monstera deliciosa for a year. The following year, I fertilised every six weeks. Then I tried fertilising every time I watered.
And guess what I learned? It doesn’t really matter how often you fertilise Monstera deliciosa. Never is too little, and fertilising every time you water is unnecessary, but other than that, do what you like.
Like with watering, lack of or too much fertiliser is unlikely to show up as a physical sign on your plant’s leaves.
This isn’t the case with Monstera adansonii, which get mottled leaves if they’re underfed.
BTW: If your Monstera is unhealthy, don’t fertilise it. Work out what the issue is and then start feeding it.
How often should you fertilise Monstera deliciosa?
In the growing season, I fertilise my Monstera deliciosa every other time I water it.
This may seem excessive but I have my reasons:
- My plants have thrived on this routine, which is really the only evidence I need
- It’s an easy schedule to remember BUT
- If I’m feeling lazy or forget, it’s not that big a deal if a skip a feed, because it won’t be long until the next one
What’s the best fertiliser for Monstera deliciosa?
I use the General Hydroponics Flora series for all my houseplants, and they all seem to love it.
However, there isn’t really much research done into aroids – we don’t know what fertiliser NPK ratio they need. Research into plant feed is done on crops like tomatoes because it increases yield, but there isn’t much done into houseplants.
As such, a general houseplant feed will do just fine. You can try things like seaweed and fish emulsion if you like – I used to love seaweed fertiliser – but they do smell nasty and can be weaker than chemical fertilisers so you may need to apply them more often.
How to fertilise Monstera
I apply a liquid feed (5ml of each of the three bottles in the Flora Grow series) diluted in 5 litres of water) to all my houseplants every other time I water.
If you prefer, you can buy granules that you sprinkle on the soil, which usually last a few months. You can also use fertiliser spikes, but I’m not a massive fan.
Can you make homemade Monstera fertiliser?
You can but I don’t recommend it.
I sound about a hundred years old here, but I swear there’s a new viral DIY houseplant fertiliser gong viral on Tik Tok every week. Rice water, pasta water, burying banana peels…there’s loads.
I’m not saying they don’t work. They probably do work.
What they will do is attract every fungus gnat in a five-mile radius. No ta.
Repotting Monstera deliciosa
Repotting Monstera deliciosa is a generally straightforward process, and they tend to recover quite well. The only problem is that they get SO BIG and it can be quite the workout.
When should I repot Monstera?
Only repot Monstera when they need it – this article will help you determine if your Monstera is rootbound.
I check mine whenever there are roots coming out of the bottom – I pull it out of the pot and see if there looks to be more root than soil. Only then do I repot.
Monstera deliciosa are quite happy to be *a bit* rootbound
Other signs might be if the soil is drying out really quickly, or there’s not been any new growth and you can’t see any other issues.
What’s the best way to repot a Monstera?
- Make sure you have everything you need first, like the new pot and fresh soil.
- Put a layer of soil in the bottom of the pot and put the old pot in the new pot (bear with me, I know its weird).
- Make sure the layer of soil at the bottom is deep enough that the rims of both pots are the same height
- Fill in the gap between the pots with soil
- Remove the old pot, take the plant out, and put it in the hole you’ve left in the new pot
- Poke any errant aerial roots into the new soil
You don’t need to break up the roots, but you can if you want to.
What type of soil does Monstera need?
Your options are:
Aroid mix – equal parts coco coir, orchid bark, and perlite, with some worm castings and charcoal, I usually do ratios of 3:3:3:1:1
Amended storebought houseplant potting mix – buy any old houseplant soil and add perlite and/or bark. I usually do 2/3s potting mix and the rest orchid bark/perlite
Terrarium soil/LECA – this is what I use, purely because it’s what I have lying around, but it works really well
James Wong’s potting mix – I can’t believe that this is a real houseplant potting mix, but James Wong is a botanist, so I’m gonna trust him: equal parts top soil, compost, and LECA.
If you struggle with overwatering, go with something that’s heavy on the orchid bark and perlite. If you tend to underwater, you want something with more soil.
Monstera prefer soil with good drainage, and to be watered quite often, but that isn’t feasible for some people. They’re extremely adaptable and would prefer slightly denser soil than perhaps they’d choose, but to stay hydrated.
Monstera deliciosa winter care
Winter care varies from person to person, and plant to plant. My Monstera do NOTHING in winter, so I have to adapt their care. If you have grow lights and a warm house then you may find that you care for your plant in exactly the same way as you would in summer.
How often should I water my Monstera in winter?
You water your Monstera in winter just like you would in summer – i.e. when the soil is dry. This may take longer in winter, because it’s colder and the plant isn’t using as much water when it isn’t actively growing.
I don’t like to water my Monstera as deeply in winter as I would in summer, because not only does wet soil take much longer to dry out, but wet soil is also colder. Instead, I use my trusty pressure sprayer to dampen the soil rather than soaking it through.
Should I fertilise my Monstera in winter?
If it’s growing feed it, if it’s not don’t.
Plants don’t need fertiliser for maintenance – they only really need it for growth. They should be able to get the energy they require from sunlight. As long as your soil isn’t totally void of nutrients, it should be ok to not feed your Monstera over winter if it isn’t putting out any new growth.
For those growing Monstera in LECA, I would add nutrient water as normal, but use half the amount. I’m lazy, so I just top up nutrient water with plain water all winter and do a flush and fresh nutrient water in spring.
Should I mist my Monstera in winter?
I don’t advise leaving your Monstera with wet leaves in winter, because it’ll make it colder.
However, in winter it’s a good idea to be fastidious about cleaning, so spraying the leaves down might not be a bad idea – provided you wipe the moisture off.
How to clean Monstera deliciosa
It’s super important to keep your Monstera dust-free, though if you’ve been around this website before you’ll probably be well-aquainted with my dusty plants. I have house rabbits and dust is part of the package.
So whilst it’s definitely important, you’ll get no judgement from me if you neglect this task.
How often should I clean my Monstera?
It’s best practice to wipe down your Monstera’s leaves on a monthly basis. I’m actually better at cleaning my plants in winter – I literally haven’t held cloth to leaf since April (it’s currently October).
What I try to do is replace the time I would have spent watering and repotting and all that stuff – so like, an hour a week – with cleaning my plant’s leaves.
If your house is less dusty than mine, you could probably get away with dusting less.
I also prioritise plants when cleaning them – Monstera deliciosa and rubber plants are always top of the list because they attract a lot of dust.
Anything finicky like Hoya bella and Monstera adansonii just tends to get left. Oops.
What can I use to clean my Monstera?
I’m a massive fan of using those makeup-removing cloths – not the disposable wipes. They’re microfibre but quite fluffy and they work like a dream for getting rid of dust and bringing up a shine on the leaf.
My favourite thing about using them is that you can use them dry – lowering the barrier to entry to something is a great way to get me to do something.
However, spraying your plants down with diluted neem oil is a great way to reduce the risk of getting pests.
My opinion of leaf shine products is very similar to my opinion on misting – as long as you’re only using it on healthy plants, you’re probably fine. Leaf shine products do block the stomata and hinder photosynthesis to some degree, BUT if having incredibly shiny houseplants brings you pleasure, go for it.
Don’t use milk or mayo or anything on leaves – anything food-related will result in fungus gnats.
Can I shower my Monstera?
Monstera don’t particularly like being showered – as I explained before, getting wet stops them from photosynthesising.
It can be an easy way to clean the leaves and water then in one fell swoop though, so if you want to, go for it.
I personally don’t shower my Monstera, because I fear for my plumbing, and I don’t want soil going down the drain.
Monstera deliciosa are awesome plants. They’re great for beginners, but they can be a good challenge for the more seasoned plant person, because who doesn’t want to try to grow a leaf that’s nearly two metres long?