Monstera plants are impressive tropical houseplants with beautiful leaves and distinctive fenestration. Monstera plants also have several uses and benefits and intriguing symbolism. In this article, we’ll learn about the native habitats of Monstera plants.
About Monstera Plants
The Monstera genus contains approximately 60 species of evergreen vines. The genus belongs to the arum family (Araceae). The Monstera genus is named for a Latin word meaning “monstrous”, possibly due to the large leaves.
Monstera plants have large green fenestrated leaves. Many Monstera species are hemiepiphytes that climb up host trees using aerial roots while also requiring soil. Monstera deliciosa is one of the most famous types of Monstera.
Monstera plants can grow up to 70 feet tall outdoors and can live for approximately 40 years.
Where Are Monstera Plants Native to?
Monstera plants are native to tropical habitats across Central and South America. Many species live in countries like Mexico, Belize, Bolivia, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Peru.
Monstera plants usually grow in humid, tropical areas such as rainforests and cloud forests. As hemiepiphytes, most Monsteras will climb up larger trees using aerial roots. Monstera plants also need soil for their non-aerial roots.
Thanks to their fenestrated leaves, Monstera are perfectly adapted to survive in the rainforest. The gaps in the leaves allow inclement conditions such as wind and heavy rain to pass through. This prevents the large leaves from taking the full brunt of the weather, stopping the plant from being blown down.
In their native habitats, Monstera plants grow on the forest floor or climb up other trees via their aerial roots. They receive dappled, indirect sunlight that is filtered by the rainforest canopy. Therefore, Monstera plants can tolerate various lighting conditions.
Many rainforest regions that contain Monstera plants have warm average temperatures between 70 and 85ºF (21 to 30ºC). Humidity is generally very high – between 75 and 90%.
How to Replicate Natural Conditions for Monstera Plants
Monstera plants need warm, humid conditions that replicate their natural habitat. Monstera plants also need approximately 5 to 6 hours of bright, indirect sunlight every day. That said, Monstera plants can tolerate medium or low light as well.
Monstera plants require indoor temperatures between 68 and 86ºF (20 to 30ºC). Most Monstera plants cannot survive if temperatures drop below 50ºF (10ºC), especially during the winter. Place your Monstera in the warmest room in your home.
These tropical houseplants also require humidity levels between 60 and 80%. That said, some species can tolerate lower humidity levels between 40 and 50%. Keep humidity levels high using humidifiers and pebble trays or by positioning your Monstera in a steamy bathroom.
Protect Monstera plants from cold or dry drafts that could lower the ambient temperature and humidity. Drafts can come from air vents, open windows, and radiators.
Monstera plants are native to tropical rainforest habitats across Central and South America. To replicate their natural habitats, Monstera plants need warm, humid temperatures and plenty of bright, indirect sunlight. Always protect Monstera plants from cold or dry drafts.
Andrew is the Editorial Director at Petal Republic. He holds a BSc degree in Plant Sciences and has trained professionally at leading floristry schools in London and Paris. In amongst overseeing a global editorial team, Andrew's a passionate content creator around all things flowers, floral design, gardening, and houseplants.