Most species and varieties of Monstera or the Swiss cheese plant are relatively easy to care for. They grow in normal room temperatures and with lots of indirect sunlight.
You might be thinking, what about humidity? Do Monstera plants like humidity?
Well, yes, it does! Monsteras in the wild are usually found in rainforests, which means that they do love moisture and humid environments.
When growing a Monstera indoors, the best way to take care of it is to replicate its natural environment. Since tropical rainforests are often extremely warm and humid, you’d expect that we should have humidity around that level.
There are quite a lot of different sources that give out different ranges. Some say Monsteras like around 60% to 80% humidity, whereas others say most varieties can thrive at humidity levels of around 40% to 60% on average.
Regardless, the general idea is that Monsteras like high humidity.
Before you increase humidity levels in your house, however, you must keep in mind that there are other things to consider too.
While you want the most optimal growing conditions for your houseplants, you still want to keep humidity levels inside your home tolerable for humans! A bit over 40% is usually a good level for both your Monstera houseplants and the people in your home.
The saying “too much of anything is bad” applies to Monsteras and humidity. Exceeding the tolerable level can lead to several issues.
Humidity is essential to the process of transpiration for plants. However, too much of it can significantly decrease the rate of this process. Since air is more saturated when the humidity is high, it’s harder for water to evaporate.
In short, when there’s more moisture in the air, plant transpiration slows down. When this happens, water movement within your Monstera is slowed or, worse, stopped! Water can’t get to the leaves and this can eventually lead to wilting and death.
In addition, too much humidity can easily cause mold and bacterial growth. Root rot or crown rot can also happen. Both of these are conditions we usually see when overwatering plants.
There isn’t one specific tell-tale sign that you can rely on to indicate that your Monsteras need more humidity. However, there are a few symptoms that could manifest if they’re not given the right amount of moisture for optimal growth.
For one, the leaves will appear discolored. Often, there’s yellowing or browning, either on the entire leaf or on the edges.
In addition to discoloration, they also appear dry and brittle. In some cases, leaves even start to fall off. All of these are signs that your Monstera needs a bit more humidity.
This is also often an indication that your plants need more water in general, as underwatering shares the same symptoms as a lack of humidity.
There are a few ways you can go about raising the humidity in your home. Below are some of the most useful tips and tricks.
Misting your Monstera—and your houseplants, in general—is one of the simplest ways to increase humidity.
Most tropical houseplants will enjoy a good misting, especially if you live in a house or a general environment with dry air.
You might be thinking, how often should I mist my plants? A good rule of thumb is to mist when the soil starts to feel dry.
However, you can do this as frequently as once a week if you feel like the humidity in your home just isn’t enough for your plant. Note that misting only increases the humidity for a short time.
As soon as the water droplets evaporate, the moisture level goes back to what it was before misting.
Not also that too much misting can cause problems involving pests and fungal diseases.
Using a humidifier is a direct way to boost the humidity in your home. This could benefit you and your plant! Unlike misting, a humidifier provides constant humidity levels as long as it’s set up correctly.
Additionally, you can opt to buy smaller humidifiers perfect for individual rooms. This is a good option if you want to raise humidity levels for your plants only and not your entire house.
Avoid putting these humidifiers in the corners of the room or too close to your plants. Generally, placing them around 3-5 feet away is good enough.
This tip is slightly less effective than directly adding moisture into the air through misting or humidifiers, but compared to the other options, grouping your plants costs nothing! You won’t have to buy extra equipment with this step.
When you group your plants together, you rely on the extra humidity that comes from the transpiration of nearby plants.
This makes sense because Monsteras found in the wild tropical rainforests naturally grow under other plants to enjoy the humidity that gets trapped in the air between other foliage.
So, do Monsteras like humidity? The answer is a resounding yes! However, that doesn’t mean you should provide as much humidity as possible. There are, of course, tolerable limits.
Watch out for leaf discoloration or wilting. These are usually signs that your Monstera needs more humidity. You can solve that using a few different ways, including misting, adding humidifiers, and grouping your plants.
Growing up with a mom who filled her home (inside and out) with all sorts of plants, Lisa got her start in gardening at a young age. Living now on her own with a home and yard full of plants (including an indoor greenhouse), she shares all the gardening tips she’s gained over the years.