With any new plant you bring home, there are usually two key factors that might take a while to dial in: One is water, the other is light. 

You love your new monstera plant and you want to keep it healthy, so how much light does a monstera plant actually need?

The good news about monstera is that it can survive in a variety of light conditions, but results may vary. Luckily, you can use this to your advantage to grow a smaller or larger plant, or to adapt to the light conditions of your home!

So how will your monstera react to different light conditions? Let’s talk about that. 

How Much Light Does a Monstera Need? How Monstera Reacts to Different Lighting

Bright, direct light: 

Monsteras are rainforest plants, which means they don’t always like direct sunlight. 

Monsteras typically grow below the rainforest canopy and use aerial roots to climb other trees toward the light. 

It’s even been theorized that the holes in monstera leaves might have evolved partially to allow more light to pass through to the lower leaves. (Read more about the history of monstera plants here!)

That being said, direct light isn’t the best for a monstera and is the one light condition you should try to avoid. Bright, direct sunlight (meaning the sun’s rays hit the leaves directly and the leaves actually cast a shadow) can burn the leaves, leaving ugly brown or tan spots that won’t recover.

 

How to Make an Easy DIY Moss Pole for Your Monstera - Monstera Resource Center

Bright, indirect light:

You hear this term a lot of reference to houseplants, and “bright, indirect light” means bright light from a nearby window, but the sun’s rays never actually hit the leaves. As a rule of thumb, make sure your plant doesn’t cast a shadow. 

Bright, indirect light is the monstera’s favorite and encourages it to grow, and grow quickly! 

If you want to grow a big, striking monstera to make a statement, put it in a bright room a few feet from a window, or right by a window that doesn’t get much direct sunlight (like a north or east-facing window). You’ll have a gorgeous, towering monstera in no time! 

How Much Light Does a Monstera Need? - Monstera Resource Center

Low light

Low light usually means the plant is deep in a room, farther from a window, or in a room with very few windows. This doesn’t mean a windowless room, because there aren’t many houseplants that can thrive with no natural light. 

Monsteras are pretty hardy and can survive just fine in low light. So if you live in a home without a lot of natural light, you can still enjoy a beautiful monstera! 

The only caveat here is that your monstera won’t grow as quickly or as much as it would with bright, indirect light. 

However, that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Monsteras (especially monstera deliciosa) can grow up to ten feet tall indoors and over three times that in the wild!

If you don’t want a massive houseplant taking over your living room, we totally get it. If you have limited space, you may want to keep your monstera deeper in the room to discourage growth and keep it to a manageable size. 

However, if you want a big plant and don’t have a lot of light, you might do better to start with a bigger monstera. 

Everyone Can Enjoy a Monstera!

At the end of the day, you shouldn’t despair if you want a monstera but your home doesn’t have “great lighting”. These plants are flexible with their light needs and can adapt to a variety of light conditions. All it takes is a little strategy.

If you don’t have a lot of light or space, monstera is a great choice! If you have a lot of light and space, monstera is also a great choice. They’re fairly easy to care for and they’re a stunning addition to any room!

Learn more about how to care for your monstera plant and which variety might be right for you.

Do you have a question about your monstera plant? Join our community on Facebook and chat with other plant owners.