Do Monsteras like humidity? Monstera plants are best known for their large, beautiful fenestrated leaves.
This makes them attention grabbers in your home or garden.
But before you can show off your gorgeous Monsteras to friends, family and visitors, you’ll need to learn how to properly care for this popular houseplant.
One common question that comes up is, “Does Monstera Like Humidity?”
Below, I’ll answer everything you need to know and discuss how you can improve indoor humidity in case you live somewhere with dry air.
Do monsteras like humidity? Monstera love humidity and prefer at least 40% to 60%. But they’ll be happier if you maintain 60% to 80% since that’s their sweet spot.
Unfortunately, depending on where you live, these levels may be hard to achieve. So, it is important to know what the humidity is in your home and adjust it if needed.
How Does Humidity Affect Monstera?
Monsteras come from tropical rainforests. This is their native habitat.
As such, they are used to the humid conditions. This is why they not only enjoy high humidity, but also thrive in it.
Thus, to allow your Monstera plant to grow at its best, it is essential to mimic or get as close as possible to the environment it is used to.
And humidity plays a big part in this.
In addition to being accustomed to humid conditions, the plant also benefits from humidity as it makes it easy for the Monstera to have enough moisture to support photosynthesis.
Photosynthesis is the process where plants get sunlight and use this along with the nutrients, water and carbon dioxide to create its own food (in the form of sugars).
The creation of these sugars is crucial to plant life, growth and development because it is what the plant will use to produce energy.
In turn, the energy allows the plant to push out new shoots and leaves while growing and maintaining the larger leaves that are already there.
This is why when you lack one of these factors (light, water, nutrients, humidity, CO2, and others), you end up with a smaller plant that grows slower as well.
The plant will also produce fewer leaves. And those leaves will be smaller than normal too.
Humidity allows the Monsteras to get enough moisture from the air. This allows it to function optimally and regulate transpiration.
On the other hand, if there isn’t enough moisture or water, the stomata in the Monstera’s leaves will close.
They do this to conserver whatever water they still have.
By closing the stomate, there is less transpiration. So, there’s less moisture lost to evaporation.
The problem is carbon dioxide will also be blocked. And this will affect photosynthesis.
The plant’s large leaves allow it to take in lots of moisture from the air because it likes and needs it. This is why high humidity is ideal.
By keeping moisture in the air high, you make it easy for your Monstera plants to maintain and regulate their water needs.
How Much Humidity Does Monstera Need?
Ideally, monstera like high humidity. It prefers humidity that is at least 60% and above. And it won’t have a problem if you keep it somewhere with humidity of 80% or 90%.
However, unless you have a greenhouse or keep the plant in a controlled room with humidifiers, it isn’t easy to maintain such high levels.
In fact, most homes will struggle to reach the ideal 60% and above humidity preference of Monsteras.
The good news is that the plant will survive as long as humidity stays at 40% or more.
This makes it easier to grow the plant indoors in your home.
However, it is important to monitor humidity to avoid letting it drop too far down. That’s because when the weather changes especially during hot, dry summers and cold winters, humidity tends to drop.
Similarly, avoid appliances like heaters, radiators and air conditioners since these tend to make the air in the room very dry even after you turn them off.
The big problem with humidity that’s too low is the lack of moisture.
And it will show in the plant’s leaves.
You’ll see its large, beautiful, lush green leaves start turning brown on the edges and tips. The leaves will also feel dry instead of smooth and soft.
After a while, the margins and tips of the leaves will become crispy. At times, they’ll be brittle and crumble upon touch.
This is very sad considering how beautiful the monstera leaves are.
And the longer they go with lack of moisture, the more brown their leaves will get.
The worst part is there is no recovery.
By that I mean that the browning in the leaves can never turn green again. So, you need to trim off the affected portions and reshape the leaves as best as you can.
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Monsteras in their Natural Habitat
The reason monsteras like high humidity is that they are native to tropical Central and South America. Due to the proximity of these regions to the equator, they experience warm to hot temperatures all year round.
More importantly, they also maintain high humidity.
To give you an idea, the lowest humidity in these regions is about 47% or so. This tends to happen during the driest part of the summer.
Because the tropics don’t have winters or even cold months for that matter, they’ll never need to deal with the dry air of that season.
Additionally, the tropics will have a rainy season.
This is when the hurricanes or typhoons come (depending on whether you’re in the Atlantic or Pacific).
On average days, humidity in these regions runs between 60% to 75% or so. But when the rains come, it can shoot up to the low 90s. Often, humidity hovers around 85% or so.
The other reason why monsteras like humidity is that they grow in rainforests.
These environments experience rains a few times a day. Thus, there’s a lot of moisture which results in high humidity.
As such, the result of all this is that Monsteras like humidity ideally between 60% and 80%. Additionally, they thrive when temperature stays between 65 to 90 degrees Fahrenheit.
For optimal growth, it also best to give it bright indirect light for at least 6 hours a day.
Again, that’s because there’s perpetual sunshine in the tropics even from November to March.
How to Measure Humidity in Your Home
Now that we know Monstera like humidity and that they like a lot of it, how do you know if your home’s humidity is sufficient to keep the plant healthy and happy.
Use a Hygrometer
For me, the best method is to use a hygrometer. This is an inexpensive device that tells you what the humidity is.
I prefer to use digital hygrometers because they are easy to read thanks to the numbers on the screen. And they give you the humidity level in real-time.
Also, digital hygrometers are portable.
This makes it easy to move it from one room to another.
In case you move your plants or want to test different rooms for their humidity levels, this makes things simple to do.
That said, there are many different kinds of hygrometer. Some are built-in while others can be mounted on walls.
As such, you need to decide what you want to use.
I like to put my hygrometer near my plants. I’ll also check different areas where I leave my other plants as well.
After a while, you have a basic idea of what the ranges are.
More importantly, it will let you know how low humidity will drop at different areas of your home during the hottest days of summer and during the winter.
That way you can move your plants to find the optimal location for them.
Or you can prepare to increase humidity if needed.
Use a Glass of Water with Ice Cubes
Signs Your Monstera Needs More Humidity
If you don’t use a hygrometer, the best way to know if your Monstera needs more humidity is to take note of any changes.
Often, the changes in the leaves are what you’ll notice first.
In this case, its large, lush leaves will feel more dry. They will also become brittle later on to the point where its foliage easily break.
Thus, crispy, dry, brittle leaves are major signs that the plant lacks humidity and water.
Another very obvious sign that your Monstera needs more humidity is leaf discoloration.
Here, its leaves will turn brown.
When underwatered, brown patches that get bigger occur. This will keep spreading until entire leaves turn brown.
However, when the plant lacks humidity, you’ll see the edges and the tips of the leaves turn brown.
This is where the browning will mostly develop.
Unfortunately, if the condition does not improve, the browning will spread inwards as well.
Finally, your Monster will also have wilting and drooping leaves due to insufficient humidity.
Since these symptoms are very similar to those of an underwatered Monstera plant, it is important to differentiate one from another.
That way, you don’t end up watering a Monstera that already gets enough water in the soil. This can be disastrous as it increases the risk of overwatering and possibly root rot.
How to Increase Humidity for Monstera Plants
For this final section, I’ll show you the most effective ways to increase humidity for Monstera plants.
Before I begin, it is important to understand a few things. These are:
- Outdoor humidity is almost always higher than your home’s humidity.
- Different rooms in your home have different humidity levels. The bathroom having the highest.
- You don’t need to increase humidity in your entire home to meet the Monstera’s needs.
- You also don’t need to increase humidity in an entire room to keep the Monstera happy.
- Only the air around or surrounding the plant’s humidity is important. If you can increase that, your Monstera will get what it needs.
By keeping these mental notes in your head, you’ll realize it does not need to be a chore to meet the Monstera’s high humidity needs.
Group Plants Together
This method is free and easy to do. But you need at least several plants for it to work. The bigger the plants the more effective.
Plants produce moisture in their leaves. This moisture evaporates in the air during transpiration.
So, when the water evaporates into the air, it increases humidity as it adds to the moisture in the air surrounding the plant.
By grouping many plants together, you can increase humidity since there is more moisture evaporative from their leaves collectively.
Similarly, larger plants will release more water as well.
Make a Pebble Tray
A pebble tray is a very popular humidity increase strategy used by gardeners. Again, it is free.
More importantly, you can easily create your own pebble tray.
But if you have a big Monstera or your Monstera will eventually get big, you need to make sure you get a big enough tray and solid enough pebbles or stones to stabilize the plant.
Here’s how to make a pebble tray.
- Get a big enough tray. It should fit the pot and be able to hold the weight of your Monstera.
- Fill the tray with pebbles. Go at least an inch high. But avoid going more than 3 or 4 inches for stability.
- Add water to the tray. But only fill the tray until half the height of the pebbles.
- Place your Monstera above the pebbles, stones or rocks. It should be balanced and not tip or fall over. The bottom of the pot should never get wet by the water as well.
To maintain this setup,
- Add water once it has depleted. Again, water should never reach the pot.
- You need to rinse the tray every now and then to prevent any mold, diseases or other pathogens from developing.
Pebble trays work since the water will evaporate.
When it does it increases the humidity around the plant by adding moisture to the air.
Create Your Own Humidity Tray
A humidity tray works the same way as a pebble tray. In fact, the concept is just the same in that you place the plant above a tray with water.
When the water evaporates, it increases the humidity around the plant.
But this time, instead of using pebbles, you set up a grate on top of the tray.
Then place your Monstera on the grate.
The key is to use a grate that can support the weight and size of the plant. Again, Monsteras can get big and heavy.
Also, it s important to use a great with big holes to let the evaporating water pass through easily.
So, something like a large BBQ grill grate will work well. But anything that has sufficient holes and can hold the plant’s size and weight will work.
Of course, if you don’t want to make your own DIY humidity tray, you can buy one.
Some manufacturers make humidity trays and sell them in gardening stores or even Amazon.
Get a Humidifier
The most straightforward solution to increase humidity for your Monstera is by getting a humidifier.
Note that you don’t need to get an expensive product.
However, it is important to understand that humidifiers have room capacities. So, the bigger the plant and the more plants you need to use the humidifier for, the higher the capacity you need to get.
But if you’re just increasing humidity for 3 or 4 plants, then there’s no need to spend for expensive humidifiers.
Move the Monstera to the Bathroom
This is by far the easiest way to increase humidity for your plants.
The downside to this is that the plant will be hidden from visitors and away from the living room or entryways of your home.
Thus, only people who go to the bathroom will appreciate its beauty.
The other thing you need to make sure is that there has to be sufficient light coming into the bathroom to keep the Monstera healthy.
Mist the Plant
While misting your plants, including Monsteras, is a very popular practice, I’m not a huge fan of it.
Yes, the method does work.
And many gardeners use it.
For me, I prefer using other methods.
That’s because has a few drawbacks.
One is that its effects are temporary. That means that you need to mist regularly.
As such, in the long term, it takes a lot of your time. And if you’re not at home or need to stay at work all day, this can become a problem.
The second is that it is not as effective as other methods.
A lot will depend on how much you mist. On some days you’re in a hurry, you’ll mist a little bit and run to your appointment.
On other days, you may end up misting a lot.
Finally, there’s the risk of fungal infections.
Misting means spraying water into the air around the plant. But sometimes, you end up spraying into the leaves.
If you leave the foliage wet or with water spots, the wetness increases the possibility of fungi development.
As such, misting can cause leaf spot infections and other foliage diseases.