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Monstera deliciosa is a species of flowering plant native to tropical forests of southern Mexico, south to Panama. It is also known as the Swiss cheese plant and has large and glossy green leaves with ellipses, turgid stems, and thick aerial roots.
The monstera grows in areas with temperate or subtropical climates accompanied with high rainfall. There’s a certain level of humidity which is needed by the plant to grow.
The soil, sunlight and the amount of water given to the plant, all play a major part in keeping this beautiful evergreen climber alive. So, it becomes necessary to take care of these aspects when growing a monstera.
The monstera can be a very good houseplant as well. It can grow well indoors inside a pot if the optimum conditions are provided to it.
Whenever growing the monstera inside a pot, make sure to use a pot with plenty of drainage holes. If water gets trapped around the roots of the monstera, then there is fear of root rot.
Alongside using the correct type of pot, you should also make sure that the soil of your plant does not become dry and the position of your monstera is such that it receives filtered sunlight in an equal amount on all parts of the plant.
When it comes to caring for the monstera upon the change of seasons, there is special care that needs to be taken of your plant in the winter.
Monsteras are naturally tropical plants, so in the Winter they go into a period of dormancy in which their growth slows or even stops.
But that’s not all, the Swiss Cheese Plant does not survive freezing temperatures.
Let’s look at the ways that you can take care of your monstera in the winter season and make sure of its well being.
What Temperature is Too Cold for a Monstera?
Monstera leaves may also turn yellow. This could be due to one of three reasons. The plant has been overwatered, so check your soil to make sure it is not too wet!
The monstera may not be able to survive in temperatures below 50°F. This could shock and kill the plant.
The growth of the monstera slows down around 55°F. The monstera will display various signs indicative of its struggles on the arrival of the winter season.
You may see the leaves of your monstera start to droop. This means that your plant is thirsty, or it can be a symptom of shock. This can happen in a couple of cases.
Firstly, when you move your monstera indoors in the winter. If that is the case, then your leaves should be fine after a few days.
But if they are not back to normal after a few days, then you should check the soil of your plant. check the soil with your finger or a soil metre.
If the soil is dry, that means it just needs a good, deep watering. However, if the soil is still wet, there is a high chance that it suffers from root rot and needs repotting into fresh soil.
The leaves of your monstera may become dark and mushy. This happens when the leaves are exposed to freezing temperatures and may already be dead.
You should bring your plant to a warmer area, cut off the dead parts of the plant and check if the stem is fine or not. If the main stem is not mush, then you may see new leaves start to grow soon.
However, if you witness yellow leaves with brown tips could mean that your Monstera wants more humidity. This can happen in winter as humidity levels drop and the weather becomes rather dry for the monstera to survive.
Yellow spots on old and new leaves at the same time is a sign that you should look for pests. Unfortunately, Winter is an expected time for houseplant pests to become a nuisance.
When you can recognize that your monstera is struggling because of the winter, you can take the precautionary steps to prevent or reverse the damage.
The ideal temperatures for the monstera are between 68°F to 86°F. This is the temperature when your monstera will be able to grow and thrive on its own.
The humidity levels should be between 60%-80% and even if these levels fall to 40%-50%, the plant will still be able to do well. Lower levels than that may become a problem for the monstera.
How do you Take Care of a Monstera in the Winter?
Monstera deliciosa becomes dormant during the winter season. Some of the important aspects that you need to take care of during winter include the watering, fertilising, and amount of light of the monstera.
To care for your monstera in the winter make sure that your plant has proper drainage and try not to over water the plant.
Reduce the strength of the fertiliser being used and the frequency with which you fertilise your plant. Keep the humidity of the plant high.
To do this, you can either use a humidifier or keep a bowl of water close to the plant. To keep your monstera happy, make sure it gets as much light as it can without getting a sunburn.
Watering your Monstera in the Winter
When it comes to the watering of your plant during winter, there are certain steps that should be taken for good winter care of your monstera.
Monsteras don’t need as much water in the Winter as they are not actively growing. Schedule watering your plant once every two weeks.
It is also fine if you water it once every four weeks. Avoid overwatering, as it is very easy to overwater the monstera.
You can check on your monstera’s soil with your finger and only water it if its top 2 inches are dry. You should then soak the soil and allow it to drain.
There should be proper drainage for your monstera as it can become waterlogged which is fatal for the plant. This puts your plant at a risk for root rot which will require you to repot your plant and add fresh soil to it.
Overwatering the monstera in winter is more harmful than it is in any other season. So put in special efforts to avoid overwatering and providing good drainage to your plant.
Reduce the frequency with which you water your monstera. Once you have watered the plant, wait till the top one to two inches have dried up to water the monstera again. Do not water while the soil is still wet.
A monstera that is kept outdoors that gets regular winter rain may not need any extra water at all.
If the leaves look like they are drooping, check if the soil is drying up and give it deep water. This should get the leaves to stand back up within a day.
Fertilizing your Monstera over Winter
Plants only need fertiliser when they are actively growing. As mentioned, Monsteras will slow down their growth (or stop growing altogether) during the Winter.
However, if you have been fertilising your plant in the spring and summer season then it would be ideal to continue doing the same during the winter.
But do not use your fertiliser as it is in the winter. Decrease the strength of your fertiliser by diluting it and then use it in the winter.
You should also cut back on the frequency with which you would fertilise your monstera in the warmer seasons.
Avoid adding any fertiliser that is nitrogen based during winter. Instead, prepare your monstera in the fall for winter by adding some slow-release indoor plant fertiliser.
This will give your monstera some time to absorb the nutrients before it cools down in the winter.
Monstera that are placed outdoors in the winter can be fertilised in the same way as those that are indoors.
You can also fertilise your outdoor monstera with organic aged animal manure. This may have a smell which will hopefully disappear by itself within a day.
Amount of Light Provided to your Monstera during Winter
The amount of light given to your monstera plays a prominent role in the well being of your monstera during winter.
As the days become shorter and the sunlight becomes weaker, your Monstera’s growth will slow down during the colder months.
Try to keep a monstera 2-3ft away from a window. A north-facing window if you live south of the equator and a south-facing one if you live north of the equator.
Monstera needs filtered, bright sunlight and sunlight coming through windows is perfect for it.
Furthermore, if you do not have a suitable spot in your house for your monstera or have low-light conditions then getting a grow light would be a good idea. This will provide your monstera with the light it needs for winter care.
For outdoor monstera, you can place it at any spot which receives plenty of sunlight during the daytime. This will help to dry the soil out after watering and keep it warmer than a full shade position.
A lack of light is not an immediate concern, but over time it can stunt your Monstera’s growth and cause it to become etiolated or “leggy.”
Amount of Humidity Provided to your Monstera during Winter
Monstera needs high levels of humidity as it is a tropical plant. Whether your plant is outdoor or indoor, it will need special winter care when it comes to humidity.
The humidity levels are not an issue during the summer but to achieve the required levels during winter may be a little difficult.
The indoor humidity levels usually fall to about 20% of the normal levels due to the heaters running. So, in order to increase these levels up to 40% for your monstera you can try using one of the ways available.
You can use a humidifier, if you have one, and keep it close to your monstera. This will help increase the humidity levels around the plant.
If you do not have a humidifier, then it would keep a water bowl or tray of water close to the water. As the water evaporates from the bowl, it will add vapours to the air around the plant and keep your monstera in good condition.
You may also like: How to care for a monstera – A full beginners guide
Will Monstera Grow Back After Winter?
Monstera deliciosa will start to grow back again when the winter season ends, and the dormancy period of the plant ends with it.
In the summer season, as the humidity increases in the air, you will no longer need to make special arrangements to maintain the humidity levels around the plant.
Provide your monstera with sunlight for longer hours and you can even increase the frequency with which you water the plant. You can also increase the strength of the fertiliser and the number of times you fertilise your plant.
Monstera deliciosa is an evergreen climber which grows in temperate areas with high humidity and rainfall. For the monstera to do well, there are certain conditions which must be met.
There are changes that are needed to be made in the care of the monstera when the season changes to winter.
You should begin by watering your monstera less often to avoid any issues that come with over watering as it can result in root rot which can be fatal for your monstera.
The strength of the fertiliser you use should be decreased and so should the frequency with which you fertilise your plant. It should also be realised your monstera needs bright, filtered sunlight along with humid air to thrive in the winter season.
The monstera does grow once the winter is over. Its dormancy period ends with the winter season and soon you will see new leaves beginning to grow on your plant.
With just some special winter care of your monstera you will be able to protect it from the cold.