Monsteras are tropical plants grown for their stunning foliage, which features large holes. In fact, because of these unique leaves, they are often referred to as the Swiss Cheese Plant and are hugely popular houseplants, with their unique leaf design often featuring in home decor pieces.
But in light of how successful they are indoors, many gardeners also often wonder if they can put their Monstera outside.
Given that they hail from the tropical rainforests of southern Mexico where the weather is warmer and milder, some caution does need to be taken if you’re considering having your Monstera live outdoors, especially given their ability to handle cooler temperatures.
Can a Monstera live outside?
Monstera isn’t a cold-hardy plant, but it can be grown outdoors in areas with mild winters. In fact, you can grow the Monstera outside in USDA Plant Hardiness Zones 10 and 11. For other areas, you should move the plant outdoors only during the warm summer months.
If you live outside of USDA Plant Hardiness Zones 10 and 11, growing the Monstera in a container will give you the ability to easily move the plant as needed. This means you can bring the Monstera in when the weather is too cold, or move the plant outside during the warm summer months. You will also be able to relocate the plant to other areas of your property as needed.
Going outdoors when temperatures are warm with your Monstera has benefits for both you and the plant:
- Being outside lets the Monstera absorb more light since they are outside for the entire day.
- They can also take advantage of the rainfall for their watering and the wind to keep dust and debris off their leaves.
- For you, the gardener, you don’t have to worry about meeting their daily needs as much as you do when they are inside.
That doesn’t mean that you can place the Monstera plant outside and forget about it. Far from it. You will still need to monitor the plant to ensure it isn’t getting too much sun or not enough watering.
You may also need to water your Monstera every so often if you are experiencing periods of dry weather. And don’t forget about feeding, as the Monstera will still need fertilization on around a monthly basis during its active growing periods even if you set the container outside.
How to acclimate a Monstera to outside?
Avoid simply tossing the Monstera outside and instead take the necessary steps to acclimate the plant to its new surroundings. While this can be a little time consuming and can take several weeks, it helps to reduce the chance of shock that the plant may experience.
- On a warm, overcast day, take the Monstera outside for a few hours. You can also take the plant outside on a warm, sunny day. Just make sure that you set the Monstera in the shade.
- Repeat the process every day for a couple of weeks, letting the plant sit outside out of direct sunlight for a few hours each time.
- Move the plant outside as, by now, it should have acclimated to the outside world.
That is, once you have acclimated the plant to the great outdoors, you can move it to a location that receives some sun in the early morning hours. Just make sure that most of the sunlight it comes in contact with is filtered.
The plant can then be left outside throughout the day and even at night, as long as the temperature doesn’t start to drop below 50-degrees Fahrenheit or reach temps higher than 100-degrees.
Where should I put my Monstera outside?
Outdoor locations that are sheltered to protect the Monstera plant from frost are the best places for growing this tropical plant outside. The location needs access to indirect, bright light with well-draining soil. Keep in mind, however, that Monsteras cannot be grown outside in areas that are prone to freezing.
You should also have some type of sturdy support for the Monstera since the plant can easily grow a few feet every year (you can see how to stake a Monstera here). Keep in mind as well that you will still need to provide the plant with water and fertilizer even if you grow the Monstera outside.
Fertilze the Monstera monthly with a houseplant fertilizer that promotes deep root growth, and water if the soil around the plant is dry.
You should also consider keeping a frost-protecting blanket nearby in case there is a frost warning. These blankets will help protect the Monstera from frost damage in the event your area gets too cold too quickly. You can quickly grab the blanket and toss it over the plant before frost has a chance to severely damage or kill the Monstera.
Can Monstera be in full sun?
Monsteras grow best in areas with indirect, filtered light. Placing the plant in full sun isn’t a good idea since the excessive amount of light can result in scorched, yellow leaves and poor growth. Try instead to mimic the Monstera’s native growing conditions, which is the forest floor of rainforests where it is protected from the canopy of tropical trees.
Not all plants thrive in full sun, and the Monstera is one of them. Trying to grow this plant in full sunlight will result in an unhappy plant (and potentially even a sunburnt Monstera). If you don’t have an outdoor location with filtered, indirect sunlight, consider keeping the Monstera on your porch or moving the plant back inside.
If your plant does experience some scorched leaves, avoid removing them and simply let them be. These damaged leaves will help to protect the younger leaves. Wait until the summer has ended before removing the damaged leaves. Once removed, the Monstera plant will look as good as new.
Find out more: What Are Your Monstera’s Light Requirements?
When can I put my Monstera outside?
If you’re in zones 10 or 11, you can grow the Monstera outside throughout the year. In other plant hardiness zones, the Monstera won’t be able to survive the cold winter months and will need to be grown in a container. The plant can then be moved outside once the nighttime temperatures stay above 50-degrees Fahrenheit.
Monsteras cannot survive temperatures below 50-degrees, and even at the lowest surviving temps, the plant won’t thrive for very long. That is why it is important to wait until nighttime temperatures are consistently above 50-degrees.
Rule of thumb: If the daytime temperatures are above 60-degrees but the nighttime temps fall well below that, consider keeping the Monstera outdoors only during the day, and move it back in at night.
Moving the Monstera between the outside and inside won’t harm the plant as long as you follow the Monstera temperature guidelines discussed above. Just make sure you are also providing the plant with the proper care, no matter where you are growing it. This includes ensuring it has the right amount of light, humidity, watering, and feeding.
Can I put my Monstera outside in summer?
Monstera plants can be placed outside in the summer as long as the temperatures are warm and they are kept out of direct sunlight. When moving the Monstera outdoors, make sure to select a location that only receives filtered and indirect sunlight. Monstera will also grow in areas with full shade.
Letting your Monstera sit in direct sunlight will cause damage to its leaves. They will quickly become scorched, turning the Monstera’s leaves an unpleasant yellow color. If you continue to leave the plant in direct sun, it will stunt the plant’s growth and slowly kill the Monstera.
Remember: The Monstera is a tropical plant growing in the rainforests of Mexico where they are protected from the canopy of other plants. Try to mimic this type of environment when finding the perfect spot to place the Monstera. This is why you should find an area in your yard that is partially shaded, such as an area with an abundance of trees blocking the sun.
You can also place the Monstera on your porch out of direct sunlight if you don’t have another spot that is out of direct sun.
Aim to keep the Monstera outside until the temperatures start to cool. Monsteras cannot handle temperatures that are below 50-degrees. Even temperatures at 50-degrees or a little higher may hurt the plant when exposed to them for an extended period of time.
Can I put my Monstera in the rain?
Rainwater is a healthy choice for all houseplants, including Monstera. Moving the plant outside during rain can help mimic its native environment. This is especially true because the humidity levels often rise before, during, and after a rainfall, which Monstera prefers.
With that said, however, don’t be tempted to move the Monstera outside when the weather isn’t warm. As you can probably tell by now, the running theme about Monsteras and the outdoors all comes down to one important factor: temperature.
There is nothing wrong with placing the Monstera outside during the rain, or any other time for that matter, as long as the temperatures are warm. The best temperatures are above 60-degrees but below 90-degrees. You should avoid placing your Monstera outside in the rain if the temperature is below 50-degrees.
Another thing to consider before setting the Monstera plant in the rain is its growing medium. Rain can come down hard and fast. If the Monstera is growing in poorly drained soil, it could result in various problems, including rot and waterlogged roots.
To ensure this doesn’t happen, only grow the Monstera in well-drained soil that is light and airy, and not compact (you can see our tips for picking the best soil for Monstera here). Furthermore, the pot the plant is growing in should also have drainage holes on the bottom, not the sides, of the pot. This will allow the excessive water to pour out of the bottom of the pot.
Can Monsteras survive cold weather?
Monsteras can survive cold weather as low as 50-degrees Fahrenheit. However, just because the plant can survive at that temperature doesn’t mean it is good for the Monstera, as cold temperatures are not the ideal growing conditions for Monstera. In fact, they can cause stunted growth and make the Monstera more susceptible to pests and diseases.
If you want your Monstera to have the best growing conditions, keep it out of the cold and instead aim to give it a warm, humid environment to live in.
With that said, if the Monstera is subjected to temperatures of around 50-degrees for a few days, it probably won’t cause any long-term damage. Allowing the plant to continue to live in those cold climates, however, may not kill the plant, but it will leave you with a slow-growing Monstera that may not be strong enough to propagate.
What temperatures can Monstera tolerate?
Monsteras are tropical plants that thrive in temperatures between 68 and 86-degrees Fahrenheit. Temperatures above 100-Fahrenheit can damage the plant if they are not well watered and protected from the sun. You should also avoid exposing them to temperatures below 50-degrees Fahrenheit as this can kill the plant.
Feel free to move your Monstera outside whenever the weather is warm and in the 60-degree range. The plant will enjoy the natural benefits it can receive from being outdoors. However, make sure to monitor the outside temperature closely, especially if it is during a time when temps can quickly drop. At the first sign of falling temps, move the Monstera back indoors to protect it from damage.
In general, this is usually sometime from May through September. However, the exact time will depend entirely on the temperature. With Monsteras, or any other houseplant for that matter, the outside temperature will determine whether or not you can move the plant outside. That is why it is vital that you pay close attention to temps when wanting to move the plant outside.
Monsteras also need higher humidity levels since they are native to tropical rainforests. Aim for a 60-percent humidity level. While they can tolerate humidity as low as 40-percent, Monsteras grow best when you give them the higher 60-percent humidity.
Making sure you give your Monstera the best growing environment will help keep your plant healthy and happy for years to come.
Should I put my Monstera outside?
Placing your Monstera outside during the warm summer months can greatly benefit the plant once you have acclimated it to the outdoors. But you must ensure the plant is still receiving proper care even if it is moved outdoors, while also ensuring temperatures remain warm enough.
Monitor the soil, checking regularly for its moistness. It is not uncommon for the roots to start drying out if the plant doesn’t get the right amount of rain. If you have your Monstera growing outdoors and your area is experiencing a drought, you will need to provide the plant with supplemental waterings.
While moving the Monstera outside can be a good thing, you should keep in mind that whether or not to place the plant outdoors depends entirely on your climate. Monsteras should never be put outside if there is a chance that temperatures could drop below 50-degrees Fahrenheit. Furthermore, if the temperatures are constantly at 50-degrees or just above, you may still want to move the plant back inside. Monsteras cannot thrive and grow well in temperatures this low.
If you want your plant to have the happiest life possible with new Monstera leaves consistently appearing, you will need to keep it in an area with temperatures between 68 and 86 degrees Fahrenheit. If temperatures are 50-degrees or below, your plant could experience irreversible damage. The Monstera could even die if left in the cold temperatures for too long.
Always err on the side of caution when it comes to how cold is too cold for your Monstera, and simply keep the plant indoors until you are sure that the weather is warm and summer is in full swing.