Can Monstera Thrive in Low Light? Garden Tips 2023

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can monstera thrive in low light

It goes by many names, including the Swiss cheese plant or a split-leaf philodendron. This tropical plant is most often grown inside, so you may be wondering what sort of light conditions it needs to thrive.

Can monstera thrive in low light: Monstera plants grow best in bright, indirect light. However, they can still grow in low light. The issue is that they won’t thrive in dim light. They will stay alive and grow slowly if you water them correctly and feed them nutrients but they won’t grow to an enormous size.

Things to consider when growing monstera in low light

Monstera, like all plants, requires the process of photosynthesis to grow. This is when plants take in light and transform it into energy.

Monstera can’t grow in the dark as then there would be no light for photosynthesis to work. However, it can grow in low light. This is when the plant is exposed to dim ambient light and not direct sunlight.

The major takeaway is that the growth and appearance of the monstera plant will be affected by low light. You can still have a perfectly healthy plant but you should expect some changes to occur.

How do you care for a Monstera in low light?

Water

When a monstera plant grows in a low-light environment, it won’t need as much water. It is very important to test the soil with your finger to see how dry it is below the surface.

You may need to test the soil a few times to get into a rhythm for watering. Furthermore, your watering schedule will probably be different than other plants in full light, so you might forget it.

Even though monstera grown in low light needs less water than other environments, it still needs water. Don’t let the soil dry out completely or else the plant might not survive.

Indirect light

If you can, place your monstera in indirect light. This will still give the ambiance the plant needs and it won’t grow as slowly if you place it somewhere that only gets a few hours of light each day.

In this respect, you can fill darker corners of a living room or a room that has smaller windows with a monstera plant and still have some greenery to brighten the décor.

Risks of growing monstera in low light

risk of growing monstera in low light

Slow growth

While your monstera plant will continue to grow in low light conditions, it will take a lot longer than in full light. This can either be a positive or a negative, depending on how you look at it.

If you don’t have a lot of space, a plant that grows slowly is beneficial as you won’t need to constantly repot it or move it around. On the other hand, you will need to be aware that it won’t fill up an empty spot.

Less Leaf splitting

Even though monstera plants naturally split their leaves along the side, hence the name, low light can prevent this from happening. The reason for this is that monstera plants split their leaves to allow light to penetrate below them.

If there is no light, there is no need to split. The plant will still look gorgeous but it won’t have that iconic split look to it.

Slow drying process

Light evaporates water in the soil, which helps to regulate moisture levels and leads to you needing water more frequently. If you are used to plants that are in full sun, you may be tempted to overwater your plant without realizing it needs longer to dry out between watering.

Just don’t let your monstera plant dry out for too long between watering. Monstera is used to tropical conditions so it prefers soil that is slightly damp and humid air conditions.

Discolored leaves

We’re used to seeing vibrant green leaves on a monstera plant. However, without enough exposure to light, these full-green leaves can become spotted and pale green in color.

To be honest, this discoloration can make a monstera plant look sickly. However, the plant can still be quite healthy, so you don’t have to panic; you do, however, need to adjust your expectations of its appearance.

What is the best light for growing monstera?

The partial sun is the best light for monstera plants. The plant doesn’t need full sun as it is used in tropical locations where a higher canopy obscures some of the sunlight.

While you can grow monstera in low light conditions and it will still survive, it won’t be as big or bold as you would like.

If you can, indirect light is also the best condition for monstera plants. A room with larger windows will let in a lot of light but instead of placing the plant right in front of the bright sunlight, place it off to the side. It will still grow quite well as there will be enough ambient light for it.

How tall will a monstera plant grow?

In just a few years, a monstera plant will grow to be 10 feet tall. This is quite large for an indoor plant and will require repotting to larger containers and feeding it plenty of nutrients.

A monstera plant that grows in low light will not become this large. It simply will not get enough light to produce enough energy to grow.

However, your monstera plant will grow a few inches per year in low light. If you start with a medium-sized plant, it will stay that size and grow a bit more each year.

For those that want to increase the size of their plant, simply move your monstera plant to a brighter area. The stalled growth won’t affect the overall health of the plant and once exposed to more sunlight, it will grow quite rapidly.

Conclusion

Even though monstera plants prefer partial sun or bright, indirect light, they will stay alive in low light. This does not include dark settings and you can expect changes such as a smaller growth cycle, leaves that don’t split, and some discoloration.

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