Also known as the Swiss Cheese Plant, Mexican Breadfruit, and Split Leaf Philodendron, Monstera Deliciosa is one of the world’s most recognizable houseplants. They are very well known for their role played in interior design. The physical plant itself and pictures of it are trendy on pillows and wall hangings.
Can Monstera Live Outside?
Even though they are popular interior ornaments, Monstera plants naturally live outside. Monsteras grow natively in Central American rainforests. This is why they naturally need temperature ranging between 68 and 86 degrees F, so they can only grow outside if you live in a hot region.
Factors Affecting Monstera’s Life Outside
Although there are not many issues with growing Monstera plants outside, there are a few things to keep in mind. If you can overcome all these reasons, your Monstera Deliciosa can live outside without qualms.
Monstera plants are incredibly durable plants. It is hard to kill or damage them in normal circumstances. However, excess watering is the biggest enemy of the plant species. If you live somewhere where it rains a lot, putting a Monstera outside is a bad idea. This is especially true if you plan to put it outside without a shed to prevent rain from getting into it.
Monsteras typically originate from the Central American rainforests from Mexico to Panama. They are used to growing outside, and honestly, they would thrive outside. However, they are not resistant to cold temperatures.
If you live at a place where the outside temperature can fall below 60 degress F, you shouldn’t put the plant outside. The ideal temperature range for a Monstera is between 68 and 86 degrees F. Anything below or over that is sure to damage the plant.
As explained earlier, Monsteras are rainforest plants. They are used to not getting too much sunlight and brightness. Their leaves are not designed to resist scorching direct sunlight. Monsteras live better outside, but they need to be put under shade. This is important to make sure that the leaves do not burn under the sun. Variegated variety of Monstera is most likely to burn.
Monsteras are very prone to getting thrips. They catch these small pests very quickly. Putting Monsteras outside increases their risk of catching thrips. This also puts the other nearby plants in danger.
If you plan to grow a Monstera outside, you should be able to take proper care of it. You must groom them regularly to avoid them from getting thrips. You must also not put them near other plants. This will save your garden from catching a severe pest infestation. Neem oil (Amazon link) should have be on-hand.
They are precious
Monsteras are relatively common and can be found in any plant-loving household. They are generally not as precious. However, variants of Monsteras such as the Mexican Breadfruit and the Thai Constellation are rare. If you own Monstera ornamental or precious variants, being paranoid about it getting stolen is not unreasonable. These plants are expensive, beautiful, and exotic.
Should I Grow Monstera Plants Outside?
If you follow all of the above factors, and your residence is suitable to grow Monsteras outside, you should do it. This is because Monsteras are better grown outside. They are a wild species, and they know how to survive in harsh weather conditions without issues.
If you live in colder zones, you will have to acclimate the plant first and not leave it outside in the winter. However, if you live in warmer areas such as zones 10 or 11, your Monstera will thrive outside.
That being said, an important thing to know about Monsteras is that they are a highly invasive plant species. They can creep over walls and other plants easily and can grow to become massive in size. Monstera plants grow at a monstrous rate when they get ideal conditions outside.
Keeping a Monstera under house arrest is not the wisest option if you can help it. This is because it loves the warmth, light, and humidity that it can get outside. If you want to have massive Monstera leaves, putting the plant outside will help you achieve them.
Being worried about thrips is something that cannot be negated. However, plants do have a natural process of protecting themselves from pests. Monsteras secrete a hormone that attracts good bugs that eat those thrips away.
You must remember to water the plant almost every day if you do put it outside. This is because less watering might burn your plant under the sun. Crispy edges and slow unfurling are two examples of drying Monstera plants.
Acclimatizing a Monstera to Live Outside
Not only can Monsteras live outside, but they thrive outside. But they might need acclimatization. This is especially so for ornamental variants that are more prone to getting damaged.
You have to put your Monstera outside in the summer but should not want it to sustain damage due to sudden weather changes. Below is the procedure for acclimatizing it.
- Take the plant outside for a few hours on a cloudy day.
- Put it under shade to not expose it to sunlight right after it has been living inside.
- Bring it back by the evening when it starts to get colder.
- Repeat the process for a few days.
- Put the plant outside on a sunny day. You must still keep it under shade.
- Repeat putting it under the sun for a few weeks.
- If your garden is north or east facing, you do not have to worry about anything. [However, if your garden faces south or west, you’ll have to monitor the Monstera for signs of wilting and burning].
- Leave the plant outside for the rest of the summer and let it fend for itself. This way, the Monstera will not have to face any climate shock. It will slowly learn how to live outside on sunny days and manage mild temperature variations.
What is the Ideal Place and Time to Put a Monstera Outside?
The right time and place to put a Monstera outside are mostly dependent on where you live. If you live somewhere where cloudy weather is not uncommon, you can put your Monstera outside more often. However, if you live in a snowy weather condition, you cannot put the Monstera outside at all.
The ideal temperature needed by a Monstera is about 65 degrees F. If the place you live in has a constant temperature of a similar level, you can put the Monstera outside anytime. However, if you live in zone 8 or 9 regions, you should wait until April to get ideal Monstera weather conditions.
You should bring the Monstera back inside in the winter. However, if you live in a tropical region where the temperature and humidity do not vary much, you can leave the plant to grow outside.
Monsteras are great plants if you like huge leafy plants growing outside in the sun. However, there are a lot of factors that you have to keep in mind before putting them outside. Monsteras do not require too much care; they do not even demand strict weather conditions. This makes them the perfect houseplants to grow either inside or outside. They multiply outside, and this is why you must take the time and understanding to grow them outdoors.