Have you hopped on the Monstera bandwagon that’s been sweeping through social media? While Monstera plants were a hit household item back in the ’70s, alongside lava lamps and bean bag chairs, they’re making a major comeback today. Thanks to their uniquely shaped leaves, ease of care (especially compared to fiddle leaf figs, which can be notoriously finicky), and their stunning presence as a statement plant, Monstera adds a vibrant pop of green to any room.

But with great greenery comes great responsibility, and understanding how much sunlight your Monstera needs is key to keeping it thriving. These plants are like Goldilocks—they don’t want too much sun, but they also don’t want too little. Finding that “just right” balance of light can make all the difference in the health and growth of your Monstera. So, How Much Light Does Your Monstera Need? Let’s find oput!

A large monstera leaf in the sunlight.

Monstera Light Requirements (the short answer)

Monstera plants typically thrive when exposed to 5 to 8 hours of bright indirect light per day. This ensures they receive an adequate amount of sunlight without being subjected to direct rays, which could potentially harm their leaves. Keep reading to learn more about what bright indirect light means.

Understanding Light Intensity and Duration

Light intensity refers to the brightness of the light reaching a plant, while light duration measures the amount of time a plant is exposed to light. Both factors play crucial roles in the growth and development of plants.

Light intensity affects photosynthesis1, the process by which plants convert light into energy. Higher light intensity generally results in faster growth and healthier plants. On the other hand, light duration determines the total amount of energy a plant receives over time, influencing its overall growth patterns and reproductive cycles.

Common terms used to describe light intensity include low light, medium light, bright indirect light, and direct sunlight. Each term indicates the level of brightness and exposure a plant receives, helping growers understand the optimal lighting conditions for their plants.

Light Intensity Levels

Are you unsure about the amount of light your Monstera plant needs to thrive? Understanding the different light levels and how they affect your plant’s growth can make a big difference. Let’s break it down into simple terms with a table outlining various light level descriptions.

Light LevelDescription
Low LightAreas far from windows or in rooms with north-facing windows.
Medium LightAreas with bright south-facing windows but away from the direct sunlight.
Bright Indirect LightAreas close to east, south, or west-facing windows but not directly in the path of sunlight.
Direct LightAreas where the sun shines directly on the plant throughout the day.
Filtered LightSunlight that passes through a sheer curtain or other filter, providing similar brightness as bright indirect light.
monstera leaf in a bottle of water.

Duration of Light

Light duration refers to the amount of time a plant is exposed to sunlight or artificial light sources each day. It plays a vital role in regulating plant growth and development.

Consistent light exposure is essential for maintaining healthy plant growth and ensuring proper photosynthesis. Plants rely on a consistent light-dark cycle to synchronize their biological processes, including nutrient absorption, flowering, and fruiting.2

Light exposure for plants can be measured in hours per day using specialized tools like light meters or by simply observing the duration of natural sunlight received by the plant throughout the day.

Several factors can affect light duration for plants, including seasonal changes in daylight hours, location of the plant within a room or greenhouse, presence of shading from nearby structures or vegetation, and artificial lighting schedules for indoor plants.

The sunlight shining through a large leaf monstera.

Understanding Monstera’s Natural Habitat

Taking a look at the native habitat of indoor plants like the Monstera can provide valuable insights into their care needs. In their native tropical rainforest environment, Monsteras thrive under the canopy where they receive filtered, indirect sunlight. This means they’re accustomed to bright, indirect light rather than direct sun exposure. By knowing this, we can replicate similar conditions indoors to ensure our Monstera plants thrive. Positioning them near windows where they can receive bright, indirect light for 5 to 8 hours a day mimics their natural habitat, promoting healthy growth and vibrant foliage. This understanding of their natural habitat guides us in providing the best care for our indoor tropical plants, creating an environment where they can flourish.

Swiss cheese plant in the sun.

Ideal Light Conditions for Monstera Plants

Understanding the optimal light requirements for Monstera growth is crucial for fostering healthy foliage and promoting vibrant growth. Now that we’ve broken down light intensity and duration, let’s examine the light requirements of our Monstera plants.

Monstera plants typically thrive when exposed to 5 to 8 hours of bright indirect light per day. This ensures they receive an adequate amount of sunlight without being subjected to direct rays that could potentially harm their leaves.

Variegated varieties of Monstera, such as the Thai Constellation Monstera deliciosa or Variegated Monstera deliciosa, often require slightly more light to maintain their striking coloration. It’s recommended to provide these varieties with ample bright indirect light to enhance and preserve their unique variegation.

Tip: If your variegated Monstera is appearing too green, try moving it to a location with more light to allow its unique variegated coloring to be more pronounced.

A beautiful variegated large monstera leaf.

Seasonal Considerations

As a Monstera enthusiast, I’ve observed firsthand how seasonal changes can impact the intensity of light available to my plants. During the brighter months of spring and summer, the sun sits higher in the sky, providing more intense light. However, as fall and winter roll around, the angle of the sun changes, leading to reduced light intensity.

To ensure my Monstera plants continue to receive the optimal amount of light, I adjust their positioning accordingly throughout the year. During the warmer months, I place them closer to south-facing windows to take advantage of the abundant sunlight. In contrast, during the colder seasons, I move them slightly away from the windows to protect them from any harsh direct rays.

Tip: I’ve found that rotating my Monstera plants regularly ensures all sides receive equal light exposure. Plus, I like to supplement natural light with grow lights, especially during the darker winter months, to maintain consistent light levels year-round. This proactive approach keeps my Monstera plants happy and thriving!

a monstera plant in a window.

Potential Risks of Too Much Light

Exposing Monstera plants to excessive sunlight can have detrimental effects on their overall health and vitality. The intense rays of the sun can lead to sunburn on the delicate leaves, causing them to develop unsightly brown spots or patches. Not pretty!

Common issues that arise from too much light exposure include leaf scorching, where the leaves become crispy and brittle due to excessive heat. Additionally, prolonged exposure to intense sunlight can result in dehydration and wilting of the foliage, impacting the plant’s ability to thrive.

To prevent sun damage and protect your Monstera plants, you may want to take proactive measures such as providing shade during the hottest parts of the day or moving them to a location with filtered sunlight. Additionally, using sheer curtains or blinds can help diffuse the intensity of direct sunlight, providing a more favorable environment for healthy growth.

Can Monstera Plants Grow in Low Light?

Monstera plants demonstrate a degree of adaptability to low light conditions, although they may not thrive as vigorously as they would in brighter environments. While they can tolerate lower light levels, their growth and development may be slower compared to those exposed to brighter light.

In low light environments, Monstera plants may exhibit signs of stunted growth, including leggy stems and smaller leaves. Additionally, the development of fenestrations3, the iconic splits and holes in the leaves, may be limited, resulting in a less visually striking appearance.

To provide adequate light in low light environments, consider placing Monstera plants near windows that receive indirect sunlight, such as north-facing windows or areas with filtered light. Supplemental lighting options, such as grow lights, can also be used to boost light levels and support healthier growth in areas with limited natural light. Additionally, rotating the plant periodically to ensure even light exposure can help encourage balanced growth.

A monstera plant in a window.

Risks of Too Little Light

Insufficient light exposure can have detrimental consequences for Monstera plants, impacting their overall health and vitality. Without an adequate amount of light, Monstera plants may struggle to photosynthesize effectively, leading to diminished growth and vigor.

Low light conditions can impede Monstera growth and development, resulting in leggy stems, small and pale or yellow leaves, and a lack of fenestrations or splits in the foliage. Additionally, prolonged exposure to low light levels may weaken the plant’s immune system, making it more susceptible to pests and diseases.

Signs of light deficiency in Monstera plants include leggy growth with elongated stems, small and pale leaves lacking vibrant green coloration, and a reduction in overall leaf size. Additionally, the absence of fenestrations or the presence of sparse foliage may indicate inadequate light exposure.

pale monstera leaves indicating more light is needed.

Optimizing Light Placement for Monstera Plants

When it comes to nurturing your Monstera plants, getting the light placement just right can make a world of difference. Here are some detailed tips on positioning your Monstera within a room to ensure it receives the optimal amount of bright indirect light:

1. Window Orientation: Consider the orientation of the windows in your room to determine the direction of sunlight throughout the day. If you’re anything like me, you probably find that your indoor plants vie for prime real estate in your home’s South-facing windows. It’s no wonder—South-facing windows typically receive the most sunlight, making them a coveted spot for plants. Luckily you can position your Monstera near an east, south, or west-facing window to ensure it receives ample bright indirect light without being exposed to direct sunlight, which can cause leaf damage.

2. Distance from Windows: Pay attention to the distance between your Monstera plant and the windows. While you want your plant to benefit from the natural light streaming in, you also want to avoid placing it too close to the window, where it may be subjected to drafts or temperature fluctuations. Aim to keep your Monstera a few feet away from the window to strike the perfect balance between light exposure and environmental stability.

Tip: Utilize reflective surfaces like mirrors strategically placed in your room to enhance the distribution of natural light. Mirrors can help bounce light around, reaching shaded areas and benefiting your Monstera plant. Additionally, opt for light-colored walls or furnishings to further brighten the room and promote healthy growth for your plant.

monstera in a white pot in the sun.

Frequently Asked Questions On Light Requirements for Monstera (Swiss Cheese Plant)

How much light does a Monstera adansonii need?

Monstera adansonii, also known as the Swiss cheese vine, thrives in bright, indirect light. Aim to place it near a bright window where it can receive filtered sunlight, such as an east-facing window.

Can I use a grow light for my Monstera plant?

Yes, you can supplement natural light with a grow light to ensure your Monstera plant receives adequate light, especially in low-light conditions or during the winter months when sunlight may be limited.

What should I do if my Monstera leaves are turning yellow due to insufficient light?

If your Monstera leaves are turning yellow, it may be a sign of insufficient light. Consider moving your plant to a brighter location with indirect sunlight or providing additional artificial light using a grow light.

How do I know if my Monstera plant is getting the right amount of light?

You can assess the light levels your Monstera plant is receiving by using a light meter. Aim for a reading between 1500 and 2500 foot-candles to ensure optimal growth and prevent issues such as yellowing leaves or slow growth.

For more Monstera and Plant care topics visit:

a monstera plant in a woven planter.

The Best Fertilizer for Monstera Deliciosa And Adansonii: Monstera plants, also known as Swiss cheese plants, are all the rage on social media, but they need more than just water and sunlight to thrive—they require proper fertilization too. In this guide, we’ll explore why fertilizing your Monstera is essential and provide tips for both DIY and commercial fertilizers to keep your plant healthy and vibrant. Whether you’re a seasoned plant parent or new to the game, join us as we unlock the secrets to fertilizing your Monstera for optimal growth and foliage.

a top view of a planter with multiple plants in it.

How to Revive Your Sad, Droopy Houseplants: Are your indoor plants looking sad and droopy? Learn why your houseplants might be wilting and how to revive them with this comprehensive guide. From underwatering to overwatering, improper light, transplant shock, and more, discover the common causes of drooping leaves and how to diagnose the issue. With practical solutions for each problem, you’ll soon have your leafy friends standing tall and healthy again, ready to thrive in your home.

Caring for a healthy Monstera plant can be rewarding with the right knowledge and attention to detail. By providing adequate light, proper watering, and a suitable environment reminiscent of its native tropical habitat, you can encourage healthy growth and vibrant foliage. Remember to watch out for common issues like root rot and pests such as spider mites, and address them promptly with proper care techniques. With patience and diligence, your Monstera can thrive, adding a touch of tropical beauty to your home while remaining a low-maintenance houseplant option.

Enjoy your Happy Thriving Plants!

My signature - a drawing of me holding a coffee cup that says Create with my glasses on.


  1. Photosynthesis. (n.d.). https://education.nationalgeographic.org/resource/photosynthesis/ ↩︎
  2. Lighting for indoor plants. (n.d.). University of Maryland Extension. https://extension.umd.edu/resource/lighting-indoor-plants/ ↩︎
  3. Lubenow, Cassie, “The adaptive function of leaf fenestrations in Monstera spp (Araceae) a look at water,
    wind, and herbivory” (2011). Tropical Ecology and Conservation [Monteverde Institute]. 79.
    https://digitalcommons.usf.edu/tropical_ecology/79 ↩︎

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