Although monsteras are commonly called Swiss cheese, they’re actually native to Central America, which is warm most of the year. That’s why they don’t react well to cold temperatures, and they may go dormant during the winter.
But what does that say about a monstera’s cold tolerance?
Read this article for everything you need to know about the topic, along with how to care for your monstera in the winter.
An Overview of the Monstera’s Cold Tolerance
Because of their warm native habitat, monsteras thrive at a temperature of 64–75 degrees F. They’re also not highly tolerant of extreme temperatures.
Whether it’s too hot or too cold around them, it’ll likely affect their growth.
Generally, most monstera varieties can only tolerate the cold down to 50 degrees F. Any colder than that, and they’ll go dormant or stop growing until you revive them and put them in a sunny place at a reasonable temperature.
It depends on your area and the surrounding weather. Monsteras aren’t naturally cold-tolerant, so you’ll have to be extra careful growing them in the winter.
That’s not to say you can’t keep them outside during the cold season. You can, but only if the temperature doesn’t go below 50 degrees F and if frost doesn’t form all winter.
In this case, it’d be better to grow it in a container, so you can move it inside whenever any of these two situations occur.
Monsteras also don’t respond well to cold drafts or strong winds. You’ll have to use discretion to decide whether to grow your monstera in winter outside because it hugely depends on your area.
Like most tropical plants, monsteras will stop growing in the winter, choosing to go dormant instead. That’s why you’ll need to adjust your watering and fertilizing schedule.
You’ll need to stop fertilizing or reduce the amount, and instead of doing it frequently, once a month will be enough to keep the plant alive without growing.
The plant will likely start going dormant in the autumn and stay in this phase until winter ends. It won’t start growing again unless it’s exposed to sunlight.
During the dormancy phase, you’ll need to maintain the plant’s required humidity level. Either by misting the plant or using a humidifier.
Growing your monstera inside is the best solution during the winter. That way, you’ll be able to control the temperature and humidity surrounding it. Plus, in case frost falls or the temperature drops suddenly, you won’t have to worry about taking your monstera inside.
However, there are some growth requirements that you’ll have to meet.
For example, you’ll need to ensure that the temperature doesn’t go lower than 68 F or higher than 86 F. The plant will thrive between 64 F and 75 F, but if that’s hard to fulfill indoors, it’ll handle slightly higher or lower temperatures.
Aside from the temperature, monsteras thrive in 50% humidity. It’s fine to keep it between 40% and 60%, but preferably not outside this margin. On top of that, a monstera will need 6–8 hours of sunlight daily, so make sure to place yours near a window.
You can even leave it in the light for longer than that because monsteras are tropical plants, so they don’t mind some heat.
Monsteras originally grow in Central America and Mexico, so they thrive in warm climates with high humidity. In their native habitat, the temperature usually doesn’t go below 64 F, and the highest it’ll reach is 80 F.
As for humidity, monsteras need at least 40% to grow comfortably. A percentage of more than 50% is ideal for their growth, but they can live in lower humidity if you live in a naturally dry place. As long as you use a humidifier, they’ll be good.
If you don’t know whether your monstera is handling the cold well, there are some signs to look out for. Although plants suffer silently, they show a few signs that are usually your cue to take your plant inside or keep it in a greenhouse.
In the case of monsteras, there are a few signs to look out for:
Any of these signs can signal that the temperature is too low for your plant, but they may also signal other problems. That’s why you should rule out the other reasons first.
For example, monsteras may develop brown leaves due to underwatering. So, you’ll have to double-check your watering schedule first and make sure the soil isn’t dry. If all is well, you may start considering that the cold temperature is the reason.
The plant can also develop droopy leaves when the soil is entirely dry, not necessarily because of the cold. Rule out watering issues first before blaming the low temperature, so you can find the right fix for your plant.
A monstera isn’t cold-tolerant, so any frost will probably cause some damage to the leaves. However, that doesn’t mean you should remove the leaves right away.
Instead, it’s better to wait until spring comes around to prune them. Contrary to common belief, these leaves will help protect the rest of the leaves from getting frosted. So, it’s better to keep them on the plant until the cold season ends.
Then, trim them all to give the plant a fresh start.
If you’re anxious about keeping your monstera plant safe in the winter, you may need some tips to guide you. Here are a few pointers to take care of to keep your plant healthy until spring.
The first step you should do in the winter is to move your plant to somewhere with enough sunlight. If you’re growing the plant indoors, put it next to the window that receives the most sunlight in your house.
The lack of enough light can cause stunted growth, so make sure the plant gets at least 6 hours of indirect sunlight daily.
Monsteras don’t need as much water in the winter as they need in the summer. You’ll have to adjust their watering schedule to only once every two or three weeks.
You can check the topsoil to know when it’s the right time to water your plant. If it’s dry, then it’s your cue to water it.
While humidity is easy to provide in the summer, we can’t say the same about the winter. It’s better to keep your monstera in a room with a humidifier during the winter because it needs at least 40% to survive.
If you don’t own a humidifier, you can opt to put the plant in the bathroom because it’s naturally more humid than the rest of the house.
While a lot of people have the urge to repot their plants during the winter because they’re dormant, that’s not recommended. Trying to repot the plant while it’s going into dormancy will cause it further stress.
The best time to repot a plant is right before spring or when it starts. The plant will be starting to grow back then, so it’d be a good time for a fresh start.
Now that you know everything you need to know about the monstera plant’s cold tolerance, you can keep your plant safe during the winter.
Low temperatures are fine as long as they don’t go below 50 F, and try to maintain a humidity level higher than 40%. On top of that, make sure to provide enough sunlight for the plant to carry out its basic functions.
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.