Can You Grow Monstera Outside? (5 + Advantages & Disadvantages)
Monstera is considered to be an indoor plant. But you can grow them outdoors as well. Read on to learn more about growing monstera outside.
Monstera is one of the widely grown houseplants in the western world for its beautiful and lush foliage.
But, an overwhelming majority of monstera owners are growing them indoors.
That leads me to think, can you grow monstera outdoors? Or, in other words, can monstera live outdoors?
Upon researching, I found that monstera grows outdoors just like any other outdoor plant. But keep in mind, there’s a lot more to it than simply moving your plant outdoors.
And, I will be sharing everything you should know before moving your monstera outside.
- Can monstera live outdoors?
- Why do most people grow monstera indoors?
- Best conditions for growing monstera outdoors
- Advantages of growing monstera outdoors
- Disadvantages of growing monstera outdoors
- Lot’s more.
That’s a lot to cover.
So, without any more fluff, let’s get right in.
Can Monstera Live Outside?
Yes, monstera plants can thrive in your outdoor garden despite it being called an indoor houseplant. But, the climatic conditions of your outdoor garden must be in the range of what Monstera plants expect in their natural habitats.
Monstera plants prefer hot and humid conditions. It is because they come from the tropical forests of South American countries like Mexico and Panama, where the climate is hot and humid throughout the year.
And, I’ve personally seen a lot of South Asian gardeners growing their monsteras outdoors. It is because the conditions in South Asian countries like Singapore, India, Malaysia, etc are similar to what Monsteras get in their natural habitat.
Why Do Most People Grow Monstera Indoors?
Even though a lot of regions in the US and other countries have a similar hot and humid climate, generally people prefer growing monsteras indoors.
The main reason for this trait is the monstera’s physical appearance.
Monsteras are one among the group of plants that are called ornamental plants, commonly used as home decor in the rich and privileged homes of the past few centuries.
Monstera’s lush green foliage with split leaves make it an attractive piece of art that gets attention and compliments. When contemporary art based home decors are becoming very expensive and if a plant can make their indoors look beautiful, who would advise against it?
Apart from physical appearance, another reason why most people grow monsteras indoors is the fact that outdoor conditions are not predictable and controllable. You never know when the next storm is, and that makes indoors far more controllable even if something goes wrong.
Conditions Needed For Monstera To Thrive In Outdoors
If you want to grow a monstera plant, then you need to provide the perfect growing environment for your plant irrespective of where you want to grow. Be it outdoors or indoors, monstera’s requirements do not change.
As I already said, controlling the climatic conditions indoors is much easier than controlling the outdoors. But still, there are a couple of things you can do to make things work outdoors.
1. Monstera Outside Light Needs
Monstera plants thrive in medium to bright indirect light. And in nature, they live under a canopy of trees, so getting filtered light is not a big deal.
If indoors, you can easily adjust the intensity of light by moving your monstera away or towards the window, but that’s not the case outdoors.
To set up perfect lighting conditions for monstera outdoors, my best advice would be to take inspiration from its natural environment. Try to place your monstera near a big tree or other tall plants so that it gets filtered bright light.
It’s not a hundred per cent fault-proof method, but that’s the maximum you can do.
And, keep in mind, monsteras are very susceptible to sunburn. So finding a spot where it gets indirect medium intensity light is so crucial. If not, you will see a lot of issues in their leaves.
2. Monstera Outside Temperature Needs
Being a tropical plant, Monsteras thrive in the temperature range of 60 to 80 0F (16 to 27 0C), which lies exactly in the normal room temperature range of many countries.
And, that is one of the many reasons why monstera plants thrive indoors in most countries irrespective of their origin.
With that being said, monstera plants are hardy plants that can tolerate some degree of fluctuations in terms of temperatures that are a little below or above this particular range.
But based on a greenhouse study, temperatures below 55 0F (13 0C) can kill monstera plants. The same study also says sudden temperature drops will harm monstera’s health.
So, if you live in a region where the winter temperatures are very harsh or sudden dips can be expected, then it may not be a good idea to grow monstera outdoors.
If you still want to grow it outdoors, grow it in a pot so that you can take it indoors during the winter months.
3. Monstera Outside Soil Needs
When it comes to growing monstera outdoors, one of the most commonly asked questions is whether it will thrive in regular garden soil or not.
And, the answer is pretty simple. It depends!
Growing monstera outdoors in the ground is not a great choice if your garden soil is really hard and damp. On the other hand, if it is very light and has good aeration, then your monstera will like it.
In monstera’s natural habitat, they have grown over a dense layer of leaf mold. It is highly beneficial for the plant in many ways including aeration, water-holding capability and providing enough nutrients.
So, try to get some leaf mold or worm castings. Dig up a small pit on the ground, fill it with leaf mold, plant your monstera and add some soil and water to settle the plant in.
4. Monstera Outside Water Needs
Monsteras does not like to be dried out between watering. They love to be hydrated once or twice every week depending on their external climatic conditions.
When your monstera is indoors, the general advice is to water once a week after checking the soil. But, if it’s planted outdoors, there are a lot more factors that come into play before setting up a watering schedule.
The first thing you should consider is how much rain your locality gets. And a solid piece of advice is not to water your plants during the rainy season.
It also depends on whether your monstera is on the ground or inside a pot. If it’s in the ground, then your plant will survive a little bit of overwatering. On the other hand, if it’s in a pot overwatering will lead to root rot.
Also, when your monstera is outdoors, they are getting exposed to more heat than indoors. As a result, the soil will dry out quickly. So, the frequency of watering should be increased accordingly.
5. Monstera Outside Fertilizer Needs
Adding fertilizer for your monstera plant is the same irrespective of where you are growing it.
You only need to feed your monstera once every two months or so because they are not that kind of plant that loves too much fertilizer.
But remember, during the winter season it is not recommended to add fertilizers even if it’s grown outdoors or indoors.
Advantages Of Growing Monstera Outdoors
1. Mimics Natural Habitat
Even though an overwhelming majority of monstera owners grow them indoors, it doesn’t change the fact that these plants belong outdoors. For the record, not just monstera, every plant belongs to the outdoors.
And when you plant your monstera outdoors, you are providing an environment that’s closely related to their natural habitat which is a great thing for your monstera.
But if you want your monstera to take advantage of this, then it’s best to put it at a location that meets its requirements. If not, you’re unnecessarily putting your plant under stress just because you want it to grow outdoors.
2. Rain Water
Rainwater is the best water source for plants, hands down. And that’s exactly what it’s getting in their natural habitat.
Most of the cities provide tap water mixed with a lot of fluorides and chlorine for many reasons. But, these minerals do not get really along with plants.
When you plant your monstera outdoors it gets rainwater, which is far more healthy compared to tap water.
3. Chances Of Flowering
If you believe monstera plants are a kind of plant that does not bloom, then you are completely wrong.
But, it’s not your fault. Because monsteras are just like pothos plants when it comes to flowering. They won’t do it indoors.
In the case of monstera, the fruit that comes after flowering is edible which makes it more special. All these features that we are talking about are achieved only if the plant is grown outdoor with the perfect conditions similar to natural habitat.
And, in such conditions monstera plants can reach up to 20 m in height which is considered to be the ideal matured height for them to start blooming. And, if the conditions are met then it will take at least 3 years to reach that stage.
If you’ve never seen a monstera flower, have a look at the below image. It’s really beautiful.
It is very rare to see monsteras bloom out of their natural habitat, but many gardeners have achieved it by growing them outdoors. So, there is a possibility but very rare and hard.
4. No Barrier For Roots
One of the most common problems faced by a lot of houseplant owners is dealing with root-bound.
If you are not familiar with root bound, it is a state when the roots of your plants do not have enough space inside the pot to grow and breathe properly.
But when you grow your monstera outdoors on the ground, there is no barrier or restrictions for your monstera’s roots. It can go in any direction at any pace and there is space always.
5. Less Maintenance
If you have a lot of indoor plants, you already know how much work is to keep all the plants healthy.
But when you move some of them to outdoors you got a little fewer plants to work with indoors. Moving your monstera outdoors itself is a lot of work, but once it’s done you save a lot of time by not doing things like repotting.
Disadvantages of Growing Monstera Outdoors
We’ve seen a lot of advantages for growing monstera outdoors.
But that doesn’t mean everyone can grow. It sure has some challenges, and let’s have a look at all of them now.
1. Unexpected Weather Changes
The unexpected sudden weather changes like a sudden storm or a cold wave can adversely affect the health of your monstera. Sometimes these climatic conditions might even kill your plant.
So, if you live in a region where these unexpected climatic changes are frequent, then it may not be ideal for you to grow monstera outside even though the normal climatic conditions suit the plants.
2. Too much work
In the advantages section, I’ve said that growing monstera outside requires less maintenance. But, that doesn’t mean you just plant your monstera and forget.
If you want your plant to thrive, then you must give the perfect conditions. And, providing a perfect condition for your monstera outdoors is not easy.
For example, if your monstera is under a tree and in the beginning it will perfect bright shade lighting.
But when the tree grows more branches and leaves, the same amount of bright light will not pass through and your monstera gets very little light. Then you have to prune your trees and it’s a lot of work.
So, growing your monstera outside is less maintenance on one side, but sometimes it means a lot of work.
3. Pest Attack
When you grow monstera outdoors, pests are a big concern.
Pests are found in an indoor environment as well, but the real problem lies in controlling them. Pests are very easy to control in an indoor setting than outdoor.
4. Toxic To Animals
Monstera plants are considered to be mildly toxic for humans, but very toxic for animals including cats, dogs and other farm animals.
So, if your outdoor garden is visited by these animal friends frequently, then it may not be advisable to grow monstera outdoors. Even though it is not fatal, ingesting monstera leaves will cause vomiting, irritation, etc.
Monstera Outdoors – Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Let me answer some of the most commonly asked questions on the internet related to growing your monstera outdoors.
Should I put my monstera outside?
If you live in warmer countries, then it is perfectly alright for you to keep monstera outside. Monsteras come from the tropical forests of South America where the climate is hot and humid throughout the year.
When the outdoor temperature drops below 60 0F (15 0C), move your plant indoors. Once the cold wave is over, you can keep them outside again.
Can monstera take full sun outside?
No, monstera plants cannot take full sun the whole day. Even though it can tolerate a couple of hours of bright full sunlight every day, in the long run, full sun will burn monstera’s leaves.
Can you grow monstera outside in Australia?
If you live in the hot and warmer regions of Australia, you can grow monstera outside without any problem. But, during the winter season don’t forget to move your plant indoors.
The majority of houseplant owners grow their monsteras indoors. But that doesn’t mean you can’t grow them outside.
Monsteras can thrive in an outdoor environment if your locality has warm and humid climatic conditions similar to South American countries like Mexico and Panama.
Allow your monsteras to thrive outdoors if it matches with their natural habitat.
So, are you going to try growing them outdoors? Leave a comment below and get the conversation going.