We often neglect the lighting conditions for our plants and tend to focus more on fertilization, watering, and pest infestation.
I did the same when I had little knowledge of taking care of the plants.
I was so close to losing my Monstera. Therefore, I visited a plant store for suggestions. It turned out all my plant needed was the right lighting conditions.
Generally, Monstera grows in a wide range of lighting conditions but thrives in bright indirect sunlight for at least 6-8 hours a day.
The sunlight is the source of energy for almost every being on earth.
“Plants need sunlight for the photosynthesis process. Light helps plants to grow and prepare food.” Remember? We used to read this in school.
Monstera, also known as the Swiss Cheese plant, has impressive healthy growth if you provide the necessary lighting conditions. For instance: Proper light duration, light intensity, and proper location.
Read on and know what exactly you need to do for your Monstera.
Table of Contents
Can Monstera Survive without Sunlight?
All house plants, including Monstera, can survive only for a short period without sun or any source of light.
If the plants are deprived of light for a long time, they will die. So, the short answer is NO; Monstera cannot survive without sunlight.
In fact, Sunlight is a vital requirement for all plants for growth and development.
Monstera doesn’t need direct sunlight and can do well in low light, but it thrives more in bright indirect sunlight.
Direct sunlight exposure causes burns and yellow leaves, whereas insufficient light causes leggy and slow growth without fenestrations.
If you use artificial light for your Monstera to grow, it is recommended to place the plant in bright indirect sunlight at least once a week to ensure the plant is happy.
Quick Tip: Keep the foliage of Monstera clean and dust-free to help it photosynthesize better.
Signs your Monstera Needs More or Less Light
In the absence of the right lighting conditions, your Monstera will suffer.
The plant will show signs of distress when it doesn’t receive enough sunlight or gets exposed to extreme sunlight. Although Monstera is a hardy plant, it may die if left for a long time under these conditions.
Plants can’t talk. However, they will tell us what they want. Pay proper attention!
|Light Deprived Monstera||Light Saturated Monstera
|Leggy and Stunted growth||Burnt leaves|
|Lack of fenestrations |
(only if your plant is 2-3 years old)
|Yellow leaves with brown tips
|Slow growth of the plant (except in winter)||Curled and droopy leaves|
|Poor development of aerial roots and weaker stems||Bleached leaves or loss in color|
|Small and Curled leaves||Wilted plant|
|Discoloration of leaves ||Yellowish-brown spot in leaves
|Wilted foliage||Crispy leaves|
|Wet or soggy soil ||Soil dries fast|
Do these signs exist in your Monstera? If yes, please don’t torment the plant anymore.
Do a favor to your leaf friend, fix the lighting conditions ASAP!
Furthermore, ensure the signs are due to the sunlight and not other reasons like watering, fertilization, pest infestation, etc.
Monstera Sunlight: How Much and How Often?
Normally, to ensure Monstera thrives in your home, it needs 6-8 hours of bright indirect light a day in summer.
Monstera and other indoor plants are dormant in winter; hence they can adjust themselves in low light.
Make sure to place the Monstera in a well-lited room to ensure healthy growth, or else use grow lights.
Deciding how much and how often, Monstera needs sunlight depends on location, seasons, light intensity, and light duration. So, the general rule of thumb is not good to apply in all situations.
What Type of Light does Monstera Need?
Some of you may wonder what direct, indirect, and bright indirect sunlight is.
Let me explain it to you! When the harsh beam of the sun hits your plant foliage and is unfiltered, it is direct sunlight.
In addition to this, you can also examine shadows to know what type of light your Monstera is getting.
If the plant shadow is clear, sharp, and distinct, your Monstera receives direct sunlight, which is extreme and unsuitable for the plant.
Light from windows, reflected light, and light through sheer curtains are sources of bright indirect light for your Monstera.
The filtered light doesn’t directly hit the plant; therefore, it is best for healthy growth.
If the plant’s shadow is faint, soft, and not precise, your Monstera is getting the bright indirect sunlight.
Just what it needs! It will prevent the plant from scorching direct sunlight.
How to Ensure Optimum Light for Monstera?
Monstera is a tropical plant that grows in the canopy of rainforest and receives indirect sunlight.
Plenty of bright indirect sunlight makes your Monstera happy.
To ensure the optimum light requirement for your Monstera, you must consider light intensity, light duration, location, and change in seasons.
1. Light Intensity
The terms bright direct light, indirect light, low light, medium light, and direct sunlight denote light intensity. Swiss Cheese plant prefers plenty of bright indirect sunlight.
The intensity of light ranging from 40o-100 footcandles ( 4000 lux-1000 lux) is best for the maintenance of Monstera.
However, it may vary as there are different varieties of Monstera.
In the case of grow lights, placing them near your Monstera will damage the foliage due to high intensity.
It would be best to keep grow lights 10-12 inches far from the plant. Provide the plant with a 10000-12500 Lux light intensity.
If you are not sure how to determine the right intensity of light in your home, get a light intensity meter to measure the intensity of light your Monstera is getting.
2. Light Duration
Light duration means the period your Monstera is exposed to sunlight or natural light.
Generally, it is best to keep your plant in bright indirect sunlight for at least 6-8 hours daily. However, it may vary depending on various factors.
If you live in a tropical region far from the equator, you need to place your plant in light for a longer time, otherwise placing your plant for a few hours in the bright indirect sunlight is enough.
Similarly, the direction of the window and seasons also determines the duration of light your Monstera needs.
Due to weaker lights in winter, your Monstera becomes inactive and slows down the growth rate. So, consider placing your Monstera in light for a longer time in winter than summer.
3. Proper Location
If you place your plants indoors, make sure the plant gets the needed amount of bright indirect light.
You can also use sheer curtains or place the plant in the corner where the bright indirect sunlight reaches.
It is best to place the plant to the south-facing window where your Monstera will receive plenty of sunlight. East and west-facing windows are also okay.
Remember to put the plant 2-3 feet away from the window so that your plant receives bright indirect light only.
If you intend to place your plant outdoors, put it in a shady spot. Make sure the harsh direct sunlight does not hit the plant.
4. Change in Seasons
I am sure you are aware that the duration and intensity of sunlight change with seasons.
In the summer season, the sun is intense and shines for a longer time. So, placing your Monstera for a few hours in the sun is sufficient.
Make sure not to place the plant too close to the window. Otherwise, the harsh sun scorches the beautiful foliage.
In addition, keep your plant for more hours in indirect sunlight during winter as the sun rays have low intensity and shine for a short time compared to summer.
How to Grow Monstera with Artificial Light?
Do you live in a place where the sun doesn’t shine much? Or, Want to keep Monstera in a room with no windows?
You will be able to grow Monstera just fine. Get grow lights and bring Monstera to your home!
The best would be to use 10000-12500 Lux intensity grow lights keeping Monstera 10-12 inches far from the source.
Grow lights work as a supplement to sunlight and create the proper condition for photosynthesis.
Artificial or Grow light can be found in different sizes and shapes and are pretty affordable. They are easy to set up.
It is better to use blue and red spectrum grow lights to help plants develop attractive leaves.
You can also use full-spectrum white grow lights, although they will not produce the same result as blue and red spectrum grow lights.
Swiss Cheese indoor plants require red and blue mixed-light for healthy growth. Artificial light comes with different features and standards. So Choose wisely!
I have an east-facing window.
During shorter days, my plant doesn’t receive enough light. So, I tried the grow light. Now, my Monstera is thriving, and fenestrations are just fine.
Provide 10-12 hours of grow light daily if your plant doesn’t receive any indirect light.
While you can turn on grow light for only 3-4 hours if your plant receives bright indirect for a short period.
I recommend you not to use grow lights 24*7. Allow your plant to be in the dark for 7-8 hours so it can go through a respiration process.
I hope you got insights to some extent about the light conditions needed for your Monstera. Try giving all the love and attention to your Monstera.
Provide your plant with perfect lighting and the combinations of sufficient air circulation, excellent drainage, fertilization, watering, pruning, humidity, and much more.
Trust me, witnessing the plants thriving in your home is soothing to the soul!
The care you are providing to your Monstera will be repaid in terms of 8 Incredible Monstera Plant Benefits You Didn’t Hear Of.