Light Requirements for a Monstera Plant

Last Updated on November 18, 2022 by Stephanie

Monstera Deliciciosa, also known by its name, The Swiss cheese plant is among my favorites houseplants since it is able to grow in light conditions.

If youve ever thought of adding an exotic touch to your office or home This is the plant for you.

Monstera plants thrive in bright conditions But what amount of light do they require?

The majority of Monstera species that are deliciosa require 8-10 hours of bright, but filtering or indirect light each day. Limit exposure to direct sunlight to a maximum of 1-2 hours per day. excessive sunlight can cause the leaves to burn and become pale. The dramatic decrease in variation indicates the absence of sunlight.

What Is The Best Light For Monstera?

From Panama from Central America to Mexico, Monstera is able to thrive in a variety of lighting conditions due to its specially-designed photoperiodicity.

Therefore as a result, the Monstera can thrive in any setting, be it as dark as an office corner and as bright as your deck.

However, the ideal lighting for Monstera is indirect but bright. The growth of your plant will be affected in indoor lighting with low light however, it can endure.

However the leaves will be smaller and the plants growth is generally slow.

Even more dangerously, you could risk losing the beautiful perforations on the leaves of your Monstera that youve come to love and admiration.

The Swiss cheese plant wont flower or produce fruit in low light conditions.

Its just as bad in the reverse. Direct sunlight can scorch the leaves, leading the leaves to grow massive brown patches.

Variegated Monstera leaves that are scorched by the sun fade in color and become to white or bleached.

The bottom line is that if you wish for your Monstera to thrive and produce massive, dazzling leaves, ensure it gets lots of bright, indirect sunlight.

It is best to place it near the east side of a window. It is also possible to leave it out for a short time in the springtime, especially in the early part of the year.

How Many Hours of Sunlight Do You Need for Monstera?

A monstera plant can expand to two feet in width inside. They require significant amount of sunlight as well as other resources to sustain the growth.

Over 8 hours of indirect, bright sunshine is perfect to your Monstera.

It can, however, be able to withstand shade or direct sunlight for between three and six hours each day.

The amount of sunlight your Monstera requires is dependent on the specific cultivar or variety you have.

The quality of the light source is another aspect that affects the number.

In the summer heat, one hour of indirect sunlight can have a greater impact than 2 hours in direct sun during the winter.

In the afternoon the hour of sunshine coming from a west or south-facing window is more powerful than the time of light coming from an east or north-facing window.

Variegated monstera species like Albo Variegata or Thai Constellation Monstera Deliciosa, have less the green colorants (chlorophyll) in variegations as opposed to non-variegated varieties.

But chlorophyll is needed for conversion of sunlight to energy usable.

In the same way the variegated cultivars depend in large part on green portions of the leaves to fill in the gaps.

They also require longer hours of sunshine than their counterparts with no variations do.

If they dont receive enough sunlight, theyll lose their variation to accommodate more chlorophyll and increase photosynthesis.

If you own a Monstera Deliciosa variegated, you should ensure it gets at minimum 10-hours of sun every day.

How Much Direct Sunlight Can A Monstera Have?

A monstera plant may receive up to two minutes of sunlight direct. In the outside, however it thrives in a shaded area that receives 3 to 6 hours of direct sun every day.

The cause of leaf scorch is exposure in direct sun.

The leaves can be burned if your Monstera exposes it to scorching midday sun. The leaves first become brown, crisp and dry at the edges and tips.

There will be a lot of dry and brown leaves with blotches. The leaves that have been sun-scalded may become pale or white due to long exposure to sun.

The ability of their cells to produce photosynthetic energy is eventually diminished and result in a slowing of growth.

Does Variegated Monstera Need More Light?

As mentioned previously the plants with variegated colors require more sunlight to compensate for their low amounts of chlorophyll.

They usually require between 10 and 12 hours of sunshine per day, which is about 2 to 4 hours more than normal monstera varieties.

If you do not provide your Variegated Monstera sufficient amount of light it will react by eliminating the variegation favour of the green foliage.

The Monsteras cream or yellow variegation will be eliminated to better utilize the sunlight for photosynthesis.

In addition, the lack of light could cause the growth of leggy plants and yellowing of leaves and a more modest growth of leaves that are younger.

Additionally the foliage will also be free of the distinct holes and perforations that make monsteras look exotic.

Can Monstera Tolerate the Morning Sun?

The blazing rays of the afternoon sun are not as than in morning.

In the majority of cases the plants of monstera have become better at coping with a broad variety in lighting.

The suns rays wont hurt your Monstera so long you limit the amount of time it is outside to just a couple of minutes at a duration of.

The plant is able to take intense sunlight during the morning so provided its shaded until noon. It is also helpful when the weather is pleasant like in the autumn or early spring.

How Do I Know If My Monstera Is Getting Enough Light?

Your Monstera will immediately determine if its getting enough sunlight. The leaves and stems, roots, and the entire plant can exhibit a variety of signs if it is not receiving enough or too much sunlight.

Signs of Not Getting Enough Light

If your Monstera receives more light, it will get more quickly and become better. In contrast, poor lighting can be an ideal recipe for issues like:

[1] Small Foliage

Monstera is a heart-shaped plant with leaves. Deep green, often perforated or split.

If you dont have enough light the plants leaves will be tiny and will grow slowly. Your Monstera remains undeveloped for months under dim light, and produces little or none leaves.

[2] Stunted Growth or No New Growth

Your Monstera will go into the survival mode when there is low light. It will cease producing leaves when light conditions get worse.

Instead of expanding it preserves the existing parts. It usually grows between about 1-2 feet each year. If the lighting is not ideal it wont show any increase.

[3] Lack of Perforations on Leaves

I believe that monstera plants holes and splits add the beauty of their plants. However, on the contrary, they appear ugly and unappealing with no perforations.

Unfortunately your most prized Monstera will be harmed due to the lack of lighting. This climbing lizards Swiss open spaces for cheese will vanish.

The plant seals and splits to increase the amount of chlorophyll. This increases and capture of light.

Only mature leaves are perforated. Lack of light can slow the maturation process and causes delays in the fenestrations.

[4] Loss of Variegation

I am a sucker for variegated monstera species. I have some of the more well-known varieties, including:

  • Monstera deliciosa Albo Borsigiana This stunning beauty astonishes me at home with its pure white splotchy, blocky and white.
  • Monstera delicousa Thai Constellation - Nothing is more beautiful than the galaxy-esque splotchy designs that are typical of Thai constellations. My constellation glows with a variety of hues of yellow light and white.
  • Mint Monstera - I own two in these precious gems that have white-green variations.
  • Monstera Deliciciosa Marmorata - Its called Aurea or Marmorata This variegated version is the most beautiful one to date. The yellow splotchy patterns go perfectly with the decor of my house.

Variegated beauties wont produce variations in the absence of light. Instead, theyll have almost all-green leaves, which will increase photosynthesis even in less than ideal conditions.

The leaves will appear healthy and vibrant by themselves. However, after a while theyll turn more dark and vibrant.

Monstera leaves attempt to boost chlorophyll production in order to get the most light available.

[5Aerial Roots poorly developed

Aerial roots grow out of the stems at nodes on the Monsteras branch, just as with other rainforest-growing evergreens.

They are made to take in water and other nutrients from moist air.

The aerial roots can be utilized as a method of support as well as climbing in the natural environment they live in.

They help the plants grip on moss-covered surfaces. Insufficient light can cause roots to weaken and prevents your plant from growing.

[6] Leggy or Sparse Growth

In the absence of light, your Monstera to become sluggish. It is not a coincidence that the stems will lengthen in order to allow for more light.

Therefore, the Monsteras interodes are likely to be longer which results in a slack and droopy appearance.

Signs and Dangers of Getting Too Much Sunlight

Monsteras are a species that thrive in light filtered in the lower regions of their native rainforests. Thus, prolonged exposure to sunlight can cause a tan that is unsightly.

Additionally the scorch of leaves can occur on leaves that are exposed. Be aware of the following warning signs and risks of exposure to too much sunlight:

  • Browning of leaves - The more sunlight exposure dried out the soil more quickly and also burned the leaves. The leaves become completely brown or develop massive brown spots and sunburns.
  • The crisping of the leaves - The scorched surfaces of leaves will be dry and crisp
  • Leaf scorch - The delicate leaf of a monstera is designed to absorb bright, filtered sunlight. The leaves can become scorched. The leaves appear to be white, or pale, and lose their ability to photosynthesis.
  • Curling, shriveling, or wrinkles - The loss of water from the leaves can cause them to curl and shrivel up. new leaves to not open.
  • Bleached foliage - Leaves of monstera plant that receives too much sun will appear to be whitewashed. They appear like light green, grayish, light, or whitish. The leaves that are closest to the window or light source could change color as chlorophyll is degraded.
  • Drooping and wilting - You can expect your plant to die because it loses more water by evaporation caused by excessive heat generated by the sun. The loss of turgor pressure is the next step, leading to drooping.
  • Growth slows or is stopped - Chlorophyll degradation as well as other effects from mild damage can naturally slow the growth of the Monstera.

Can Monstera Grow in Shade?

Absolutely. Monstera can thrive in shade or in low-light conditions. This doesnt mean that the plant will flourish in direct sunlight.

Like all tropicals, your Monstera needs plenty of sunlight to create stunning variegated foliage as well as create Fenestrations.

However, the majority of Monstera Deliciciosa plants thrive in shade, with 3 to 6 hours of direct sunlight.

So, you are able to move your monstera plant pots outside in spring, however, you must provide shade if the sun gets too bright prior to noon.

For indoor plants, place them in a east or west-facing window that is well lit. Always filter or direct sunlight!

Where Should I Place My Monstera Plant Indoors?

Monstera likes direct, bright or filtered sunlight. A east or west-facing window is the best choice.

Place the Monstera in the center of the room or away from the window will not allow the best growth.

A window facing north doesnt allow enough light to allow plants to flourish.

South-facing windows allow in too much sunlight. Instead, you should use curtains that are sheer to block out the sunlight.

Monstera plants are extremely adaptable. Although the right lighting conditions can aid your plants growth however, it is also able to tolerate the less than ideal lighting conditions.

In a way, excessive light could aid your Monstera initially, as the additional light energy can aid in its blooming more frequently.

But direct sunlight can eventually damage the plant. The distance your plant is from the window will affect the lighting conditions of your plant.

For instance, a windowsill facing south gets 10 times the light of two or three feet away.

Just placing your Monstera close to a window could be enough to alter its lighting conditions.

It is important to remember that you may put the Monstera directly in the sun throughout the winter months.

How to Measure the Light Conditions of Your Monstera

There are a variety of methods to determine the amount of luminosity your Monstera is receiving.

The first step is to check the lighting on a sunny day to determine if the Monstera can be found in the correct location.

Here are some tested and tried-and-tested methods to measure the size of a light source:

(1) Hand Shadow Test

It is the easiest way to determine the length and the intensity of hand shadow that is cast by light that falls on your plant.

  • Start by placing your hands approximately 12 inches above the area on your Monstera.
  • Try casting an shadow over the foliage of your plant.
  • In the ideal situation, a dark well-defined shadow will form around the leaf of your Monstera. This means it is shining in that specific location.
  • Low light conditions can cause an uneven shadow that is faint that isnt ideal to your Monstera. Move the Monstera close to your window, until the shadow that is cast over leaf surfaces is well visible.

(2) Using Lux Meter

A quality Lux meter is an excellent investment for every gardener.

It is possible to find the most ideal locations to shoot with the camera that measures lighting conditions and gives precise readings.

A quality lux meter shouldnt be costly (Check the most recent prices at Amazon right here). It measures the amount of light that hits an object and is given in terms of lumens/square meter (equal to 1 lux)

Ideally, plants of the monstera should be receiving between 10,700 and 27,000 lux (1,000 to 2500 FC) for between 8 and 10 hours each day to ensure optimal growth

Are Artificial Grow Lights Good for Monstera?

Grow lights made of artificial can perform an excellent job with monsteras. LEDs are the best choice, but dont place the lights too near to your Monstera.

The ideal amount is between 10,700 and 27,000 light (1,000 to 2,500 FC) of artificial lighting for 8-10 hours each day.



Went from an inexperienced gardener to a half-decent one over 10+ years. I cover anything from general indoor plant guides and lawn care, to succulents and flowers. Super happy to share my tips and tricks with you :)