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Overwintering Monstera: 3 Simple Steps

My monstera always seems to struggle during winter. I don’t know how to handle it in the colder months.

Although my monstera is healthy and vibrant from spring to fall, it tends to weaken during the winter. I’m sure many of you can relate to this issue.

In this article, I’ll share tips on how to care for your monstera during the winter months and help it survive the season.

Even in cold winters, mastering these care tips will help you enjoy your monstera for a long time.

1- Keep Your Monstera on The Dry Side

The timing of watering is crucial for helping your monstera make it through the winter. Water your plant after “confirming that the soil is completely dry and waiting 2-3 days.”

During winter, monstera enters a dormant phase with slower growth. Its roots absorb water at a slower pace compared to the growing season (spring-summer).

Over-watering during winter can cause “root rot.” Keeping your monstera dry is key to helping it survive the winter. By managing it this way, the monstera can increase the concentration of its sap and improve its cold tolerance.

Make Winter Watering Easier With This Handy Tool!

Watering plants in the winter can be a bit of a challenge, and many gardeners find that using a moisture meter makes the process easier, reducing the risk of root rot. This handy gadget gives you a reading on a scale of 1 to 10; a lower number indicates dryness, while a higher number means a greater moisture content, when the meter is inserted into the soil.

However, I personally don’t rely on these devices, as they can often give inaccurate readings. Misinterpretations like these can lead to overwatering or underwatering your monstera plant. Instead, I prefer a hands-on approach.

I like to feel the surface of the potting mix, sometimes even inserting my finger up to the knuckle (the pinnacle), to gauge the moisture level. If I detect moisture, I wait for an extra day or two; if it feels dry, then it’s time to pick up my watering can and quench my plant’s thirst.

This method is arguably the easiest way to water your plants without risking overwatering, a common cause of various plant issues. Plus, it takes the pressure off adhering to a strict schedule or setting reminders. You simply have to touch the soil with your hand, assess the moisture level, and decide based on that whether or not to water.

Prevent Leaf Dryness With Leaf Misting

Despite your best efforts, your monstera may still dry out during winter. Dryness can damage the beautiful leaves and attract pests like spider mites.

Monstera plants prefer humidity, so I recommend “leaf misting.” Use a spray bottle to evenly mist water on the leaves and stem’s front and back. This is called leaf misting.

Using a humidifier as a dryness countermeasure is also a good idea. However, it’s best to use the humidifier to supplement leaf misting.

Misting your monstera’s leaves several times daily will provide moisture and remove accumulated dust from the leaf surfaces, making your plant happy.

2- Keep Temperatures Between 60-86°F

To be straightforward, Monstera plants struggle in the winter because they’re originally from tropical rainforests. If the temperature drops below 60°F, move your Monstera to a warmer spot.

During winter, indoor heating and air conditioning can cause the large leaves of your Monstera to dry out easily. Keep an eye on it and mist the leaves with water as needed.

While you’re at it, wipe off any dust that’s accumulated on the leaves. Even a little dust can be a significant obstacle for plants, blocking the sunlight they need to thrive.

In particular, Monstera plants have large leaves that can collect dust easily. Be cautious not to let warm air from your heating system blow directly on your Monstera, as it can damage the leaves.

3- Occasionally Let Your Monstera Sunbathe

Monsteras are shade-tolerant plants that can be enjoyed indoors. However, they’ll become weak and frail if they never receive sunlight.

Even during winter, allowing your Monstera to get some sunlight through a lace curtain can help maintain the color and gloss of its leaves.

Just be careful not to leave your Monstera by the window too long. The temperature fluctuations near windows during winter can be a concern for cold-sensitive Monsteras.

Moving your Monstera 3-6 feet away from the window at night can help protect it from the cold.

Monstera Growth Report: Helping It Survive the Winter and Thrive for Longer

I’ll document the growth of a Monstera plant that I bought from a home improvement store. I brought this Monstera home in the middle of December, and it was on sale for roughly $18.

Monstera Purchased in Winter (December 2022)

As I rode my bike home with it, the plant was suddenly exposed to the cold weather. I wondered why it was being sold at a discount. When I got home and checked the bottom of the pot, I found out why.

Monstera Root-Bound in Winter

This is what the bottom of the Monstera’s pot looked like right after I bought it. The thick roots of the Monstera were growing out of the pot, which seemed like it would weaken the plant. So, despite winter (December), I decided to repot the Monstera.

Monstera After Repotting

I repotted the root-bound Monstera into a slightly larger pot. However, it was winter, and repotting during this season can be risky due to the potential for cold damage.

I was quite worried, but I felt it was too risky to leave the plant root-bound, so I went ahead and repotted it carefully and quickly to avoid damaging the existing roots.

Monsteras thrive in well-draining soil and generally prefer more water than other plants. So, I used a mix of humus-rich soil, like commercial all-purpose potting soil or compost, peat moss or pine bark, and some perlite or vermiculite. After repotting, the Monstera was leaning a bit, so I placed a stand at the base of the plant to stabilize it.

I wonder if it will make it through this winter.

One Month After Repotting 

It has been a month since I repotted my Monstera plant. It’s managed to hold up somehow.

After repotting it, I didn’t water it for a month because the soil seemed damp. Finally, after about a month, the soil has started to dry out.

As expected, water absorption is relatively slow during winter.

To prevent root rot during the winter, it’s advisable to be conservative with watering. It’s still hard to see much growth during the winter, as expected.

Since water absorption was relatively slow, I occasionally used a gentle breeze from a fan to prevent root rot.

Additionally, I removed the saucer and placed the plant on a pot stand to improve ventilation. Otherwise, fungal infection can cause diseases to monstera. For now, our Monstera has managed to overcome the winter repotting challenge.

So, what does our Monstera plant, purchased during the winter, look like after about a year? [January 2023]

I purchased this Monstera plant at the end of 2021. The photo below shows its appearance after approximately one year.

The beautiful splits are quite attractive. From spring to autumn, it was practically always on the balcony.

Compared to its relative, the Monstera adansonii vine, I feel that Monstera is more resilient to cold temperatures. And actually, I have another pot as well.

Key Takeaways

In this article, I’ve shared three tips for overwintering Monstera plants. The minimum requirement for successfully overwintering Monstera, native to tropical regions, is to avoid exposure to cold temperatures. Avoiding excessive elongation due to insufficient sunlight may be challenging.

In the case of Monstera, excessive elongation tends to occur in the stem part called the petiole. Try to place it in a location with ample sunlight.

Please reconsider your winter management approach for Monstera based on the tips provided in this article.

Three Tips for Winter Care of Monstera:

  1. Manage with slightly dry soil.
  2. Maintain a suitable temperature range (15°C to 30°C / 59°F to 86°F) as much as possible.
  3. Occasionally, let it sunbathe.

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