Monstera deliciosa originates from the tropical forests of Central America and southern Mexico, where natural humidity levels are significantly higher than inside most of our homes. It stands to reason, then, that Monsteras growing indoors might require humidity levels to be artificially increased to keep them looking their best.
Do Monstera deliciosas like humidity and misting? Yes! Though Monsteras are not too demanding about their conditions, they prefer medium- to high-humidity. If you have noticed crispy leaves or live in a dry climate, it is a good idea to increase humidity around your Monstera deliciosa by using a humidifier or a pebble tray.
In most cases, added humidity is nice to have but not necessary for growing a healthy Monstera deliciosa. However, if you want to provide the optimal conditions to grow a really gorgeous Monstera, creating a humid environment for your plant will certainly be on the list.
Monsteras in the Wild
Since Monsteras originate from the tropics of Central America, their natural habitat is one of high humidity, warm temperatures, and bright, dappled sunlight. Given these conditions, Monstera deliciosa can get huge, sometimes climbing up to 60 feet tall on the side of a tree.
The best environment for Monstera deliciosa includes temperatures between 65° and 90° F, humidity levels of 60%-80%, and at least six hours of bright, indirect light per day. All their needs are met in their native habitat, so to keep this plant happy in your home, try to reproduce those conditions as much as possible.
Ideal Indoor Conditions for Monstera Deliciosa
To replicate the ideal conditions for Monstera deliciosa in climates that are not warm and tropical, the next best choice would be to grow it in a greenhouse or conservatory where you can capture as much humidity and sunlight as possible.
Of course, we don’t all have access to a heated greenhouse, and for many of us, we prefer to grow houseplants right in our most-used living spaces instead of relegating them to a separate room or building. Luckily, you can grow Monstera deliciosa in normal household conditions.
How do you know if your Monstera is suffering from low humidity? You might see dry, brown leaf edges, especially at the pointed tip of the leaf. You might also find that your soil dries out very quickly between waterings. If you have other plants that are more sensitive to humidity levels than a Monstera deliciosa, you are likely to see symptoms in those plants before your Monstera shows any issues.
It’s important to provide Monstera deliciosa with plenty of light (but not direct sun), so next to a bright window is the best location for this plant in most homes. It usually does fine with average temperatures and humidity levels.
Determining the Humidity Levels in Your Home
You may have noticed that the air in your home gets drier in the winter and more humid in summer, but do you really know what your indoor humidity levels are? On the low end, winter humidity levels can be below 30% in some homes (although yours is probably higher than that if you have a lot of plants). The best way to get a full picture of humidity in various parts of your home is to invest in a hygrometer.
Hygrometers are devices that measure humidity. You can find one at your local garden center or purchase one online. Although you can go for a high-end version if you like, they usually don’t cost much for a basic digital model that shows temperature and humidity levels.
Remember that the humidity reading for one room, or even one area of a room, could be drastically different from another. Bathrooms and basements tend to be the most humid rooms in a home but also usually have the fewest windows, so they are often not the best locations to grow plants.
Quick Ways To Add Humidity to An Area Of Your Home
Increasing humidity in your home not only helps your plants but also benefits the humans who live there. Dry air can lead to chapped skin and lips and static electricity buildup in your clothes and hair.
First off, you’ve probably heard that grouping your plants together increased the humidity in the area. This is a good option but is not as effective as adding more moisture into the air around your plants.
You can also provide a pebble tray under or near your humidity-loving plants. Simply take a bowl or tray full of pebbles and add water to just under the top layer of pebbles. You can then place your plants on top of the pebbles, and they will benefit from the increased humidity as the water evaporates.
Pebble trays are great since they are simple and can make use of items you probably already have around the house, but the humidity increase is limited to the area right around the tray. It’s also possible to develop mold in the standing water if it doesn’t evaporate quickly enough.
Some other options for increasing humidity in your home overall are to leave the bathroom door open while you shower (and don’t use the bathroom fan) or boil a pot of water on your range. These are simple options that cost very little money, but their effectiveness is limited. For long-lasting, controlled humidity increases, a humidifier will be your best option.
Adding Humidifiers for Increased Humidity
As with so many things, technology has provided a solution for low indoor humidity. You can purchase a humidifier to suit a whole range of needs, depending on your room size, budget, desired humidity level, and features.
Humidifiers come in warm mist and cool mist types. As you can probably imagine, the difference in these is the temperature of the mist they put out and the mechanism by which the mist is created. While both of these work well and have their pros and cons, I prefer a warm mist humidifier for my plants since it more closely replicates the type of humidity they would encounter in the wild.
One caution about using humidifiers in your home is that (as much as your tropical plants would love it), a moisture level of more than 50% can cause damage to your home. Mold can develop, and wood elements can begin to warp in an overly moist environment, so be sure to keep an eye out for such things when running a humidifier regularly.
If you want to see which humidifiers I use and get more information on these helpful machines, read this article: The Best Humidifiers for Houseplants.
To Mist or Not To Mist
Many people recommend misting for increasing humidity around Monstera deliciosa, but is this actually an effective method? I’m convinced that misting is mainly beneficial for the plant owners, not the plant itself because it makes us feel like we are doing something positive for our plants.
Using my hygrometer to measure humidity in my home, I found that the effect of misting on the ambient humidity was very short-lived. Within 10 minutes after some heavy-handed misting, the humidity was back to its original levels. Since the mist evaporates quickly, a person would need to keep misting the plants multiple times per day to make any real impact. As much as I love my plants, I don’t want to tend to them this often.
I also find that misting leaves water spots behind on my plants, and it’s especially noticeable on a plant with large, shiny leaves like a Monstera deliciosa. Not only that but if water ends up sitting on the plant because it doesn’t evaporate quickly enough, it can cause mold or fungi to develop.
Monstera deliciosa deserves its reputation as a low-maintenance houseplant, and that includes its tolerance for the lower humidity levels we usually have in our homes. But, if you want to try to meet your Monstera’s requirements beyond the basics, increasing humidity should be on your list.
By providing higher humidity, you can avoid any dry crunchy leaf tips that result from dry conditions. With the help of your humidifier, your Monstera deliciosa can grow to its full, gorgeous potential!