If you have a Monstera plant or you are thinking about getting one, you might be wondering whether Monstera plants can live and thrive when they are grown outdoors. This does depend on where you are in the world, so make sure you check local conditions before making any decisions.
You can grow a Monstera plant outside if you live in the USDA zones 10 to 12. Temperatures should not drop below 50 degrees F unless you are able to bring the Monstera plant back indoors for the cold weather. Do not leave your Monstera out when the weather is cold, because it is a tropical plant and will very quickly die.
What Do I Need To Consider Before Putting A Monstera Outside?
The first thing you need to do is assess whether the climate is suitable for your plant. Monstera plants need plenty of warmth, and should not be kept outside in areas where the temperature drops below 50 degrees F.
If you are in a part of the world where temperatures are usually higher than this, but occasionally drop to lower than 50 degrees F, you could keep a Monstera outdoors for the summer months, as long as it is in a container.
When the weather then starts to cool down, the plant should be brought back inside so that it does not get chilled. Do not leave a Monstera out if there is any risk of the temperatures dropping, because even a large plant can be quickly killed off by cold weather. These plants have very little resistance to the cold.
Even a porch or conservatory may not be warm enough to keep this plant happy, so do check temperature averages and don’t put your Monstera out unless you are sure it is warm enough.
If you want to grow a Monstera plant in the ground, you will need to live in a warm enough zone, with temperatures that are consistently above 50 degrees F.
Do Monsteras Thrive More Outside?
Often, Monstera plants do grow more quickly and happily when they are outside. This is because they get more sunlight and a more even distribution of it than if they are grown indoors, and that helps them to grow tall and straight.
Monstera plants do not like a lot of very bright sun, but they do enjoy light, so provided they have some shade outside, they will be very happy to grow out of the house.
The outdoor space is often more humid, too. The inside of a home tends to be very dry, and as a tropical plant, Monsteras enjoy humidity. Even if you mist your indoor Monstera regularly, it will benefit from being outside.
If you are just moving your Monstera out for some days, it is best to pick cloudy days. Monsteras that are grown inside most of the time will probably be even more susceptible to being burnt by the sun than those that grow outside because they won’t have had time to acclimatize.
Where Should I Put My Monstera Outside?
So, what’s the best spot for a Monstera if you are going to move it or plant it outside?
We have already mentioned that it should be shady, so make sure that your Monstera is surrounded by taller plants, or has some shade from a nearby building.
If you are planting the Monstera, remember that it will get very tall and will likely outstrip nearby plants after a few years – but it will still need shade, so plan for the future and think about how to protect your Monstera for years.
Many reach over eight feet tall and will need either trees or buildings if they are to have adequate shade to stay healthy.
Should I Bring My Monstera Inside For The Winter?
This depends on your climate, but in most parts of the world, it will be necessary to bring your Monstera inside for the winter.
Because of this, you should grow your Monstera in a large container unless you live in USDA zones 10-12. This will allow you to bring it into the house when the weather gets cold.
What Do I Need To Do If I Put My Monstera Outside?
There are a few things that you need to do consistently if you have a Monstera outside the home. The first is that you must water it very regularly because Monsteras do not like to get dried out. Some varieties may cope better with the dry climate, but unless you live in a rainforest, most will struggle to deal with lack of rain.
You should check whether your Monstera needs watering every day. Make sure you don’t get water on the leaves if it is in the full sun, as this could increase their risk of burning. Don’t over-water your Monstera, but make sure it has plenty to drink.
The other thing that you need to do is regularly check your plant for pests. Monstera plants are extremely vulnerable to some common insects, such as thrips, and these are far more likely to find and start attacking your plant if it is outdoors.
Thrips are small, winged bugs that look rather like grains of rice, although they are very tiny. There are around 6000 kinds. They will make holes in the plant’s tissue and then lay their eggs. The nymphs will hatch after a few days, and then start eating the sap of the plant.
This will quickly make the Monstera sick, because it needs its sap to transport moisture and nutrients around the leaves.
Other pests can attack the leaves too, and an outdoor Monstera is far more vulnerable to being attacked by pests. If you are going to grow your Monstera outside, you need to be hyper-vigilant and keep an eye on it so that you know it is not getting infested.
Make it a regular habit to check on the leaves of your plant and inspect them for insects whenever your Monstera is outdoors. You may see other pests than thrips, and part of keeping your Monstera thriving outdoors is pest control.
If you do see pests, you can usually remove them with soapy water. Some pests may require more specific treatments, such as scale insects, which can be got rid of by wiping the leaves with vodka.
What Should I Do Before Putting A Monstera Outside?
You can’t move an indoor Monstera outdoors without any preparation period. Even if you live in a warm environment, you may need to spend some time hardening your Monstera off before you move it outside permanently. This is the case whether or not you intend to plant it or keep it in its container.
Acclimatize your plant to the outside world gently. Take it out in temperate, reasonably cloudy weather, and bring it in if the temperature drops or the sun gets very bright.
You should do this consistently on every cloudy but warm day. If there are no clouds but you have a shady spot you can stand the plant in, this will also work.
Do this for a couple of weeks, making sure that you bring the Monstera in again any time that the weather starts to turn cool. Do not leave your plant standing in the sunlight if the clouds clear; no Monstera will tolerate sudden, bright sun for long.
Variegated Monstera plants need even more careful treatment because their leaves are extremely prone to sunburning.
You may also want to be cautious about putting them outside if your yard is overlooked or insecure, because Monstera plants – especially the variegated ones – can be very expensive, and might attract thieves.
Do I Have To Put My Monstera Outside?
That might sound like a lot of work and risk for only a bit of benefit. If you don’t want to be hauling your Monstera around all the time – and these plants do get big – you may be wondering whether or not you have to take a Monstera outside for it to grow.
The answer is that no, you don’t. Although Monstera plants will benefit from being given a boost of sunlight and some fresh outdoor air, this is not necessary for your plant. If you don’t have suitable conditions for taking a Monstera outside, you’re worried about theft, or you’re just too busy for this sort of thing, your plant should be fine growing indoors.
Just make sure that you provide as much light as you can so that it grows well inside. As long as all of its needs are met, it will be perfectly fine, so relax and enjoy your plant!
Monstera plants certainly can live and thrive outdoors. Like all plants, they need to be given the correct conditions in order to grow well, but as long as they do not get scorched in the sun, dried out, or too cold, they will enjoy being outside – either temporarily or permanently.