Monstera Thai Constellation lighting: Light Requirements for growth

As one of the most well-known rare plants, the Thai Constellation Monstera has beautiful variegation patterns across the signature fenestrated leaves all Monsteras are known for. Lighting plays one of the biggest factors to grow large plants and encourage leaves to develop complex fenestration patterns. These plants can only reach their full potential with a full understanding of the Monstera Thai Constellation lighting needs.

What is a Monstera Thai Constellation?

Monstera Thai Constellation in pot
The variegated leaves mean the plant needs to work harder to convert light into energy.

The Thai Constellation Monstera is a somewhat rare houseplant that’s incredibly popular with serious plant collectors. Like the more common Monstera Deliciosa, the Thai Constellation is a gorgeous vining member of the Monstera family that features signature speckles and creamy variegation throughout its leaves and stems.

While genetically identical to the Monstera Deliciosa, the Thai Constellation needs to be propagated by tissue propagation to keep it’s beautiful variegation, making it more challenging to make readily available, and a major reason why it’s so hard to find today.

Do Thai Constellation Monsteras have special lighting needs?

Thai Constellation Monsteras need more lighting than their all-green Deliciosa cousins. While their cream-colored variegated leaves are beautiful, the complex white splotches lack chlorophyll which is needed to convert light rays into plant energy. The more variegated the leaves, the lower the surface area the plant has to photosynthesize, slowing overall growth.

More light for your Thai Constellation Monstera is needed to overcome this shortfall. While kept indoors, these plants will be able to take all of the bright indirect light you can provide to them. Additionally, artificial LED grow lights can help augment natural lighting to provide even more energy and growth potential for your Monsteras.

Does window placement matter for Monstera lighting?

Fenestrated Monstera leaf
Strong indoor lighting will encourage these fenestrated leaf patterns.

Different windows will expose your plants to varying levels of sunlight throughout the day. For the northern hemisphere, Monstera plants will do best with hours of stronger light provided by windows with southern or western exposures.

If you can only provide your plant with northern or eastern views, this isn’t a dealbreaker. Nearby lamps or dedicated grow lights can help give your plant hours of full-spectrum light to help your Thai Constellation Monstera thrive.

Monstera growth with bright indirect lighting

Thai Constellation plant getting watered
Lots of natural lighting will help your Monstera grow large.

As long as your Monstera is grown indoors, it can take as much sunlight as you can provide. With 6 to 12 hours of strong western or southern exposure, your plant has the potential to quickly grow into a large and beautiful plant.

With maximum light, your plant will develop large new leaves with fenestrations – the finger-like patterns seen in older leaves. With enough light, your plant will also create secondary fenestrations, which are the circular cutouts between the primary fenestrations. Primary and secondary fenestrations require more mature plants, and leaves about 9” – 12” inches to develop, typically around the 7th or 8th leaf for newer plants.

Even if you have a new plant, providing enough light from the start will make your plant grow as quickly as possible, and ensure you get beautiful leaves once your Thai Constellation Monstera reaches maturity.

Maximizing your Thai Constellation Monstera lighting becomes more important since any white patterns will not be able to convert light into energy. By making your sure your plant gets hours of optimal lighting, you’ll keep it producing enough energy to send out beautiful new leaves throughout the year.

Monstera growth with medium indirect lighting

Monstera Thai Constellation lighting by LED grow light
Grow lights like this LED ring light help add extra light in darker rooms.

Not everyone has access to perfect sun exposures that provide hours of strong solar energy. If your windows don’t provide great sunlight, or you are in an area with cold, gray winters, you should strongly consider grow lights to provide additional energy for your Thai Constellation Monstera.

Since these plants can’t photosynthesize as efficiently due to their variegation, they’re already at a disadvantage when it comes to converting light into energy. Inexpensive LED grow lights can be a great way to make up for this energy shortfall so your plant can stay healthy and grow.

Many of these lights are readily available, and come in a variety of formats, from simple LED rings, clamped tube lights, spotlights, or under-cabinet lighting. Look for lights that provide full-spectrum exposure and ideally have timer functionality so you can set them to automatically turn on each day.

While some may be tempted to keep their Thai Constellation Monstera in lower-lighting conditions, this may eventually lead to decline. And with the expensive investment these plants continue to be, a cheap grow light is a small investment to ensure the health of your Monstera.

Can Monsteras be grown in low light rooms?

If your room has low lighting conditions, it might be time to consider another plant instead of a Thai Constellation Monstera – or any Monstera variant. As plants like the Monstera Deliciosa may be marked to grow in all kinds of lighting conditions, the truth is that these plants will struggle to grow in low lighting.

Monstera Deliciosa plants may survive low-light conditions, but their stems may get “stringy” as the plant sends out shoots with under-developed leaves desperate to find light. Your plant will also have no chance of developing fenestrated leaves, and instead keep the small, underdeveloped heart-shaped foliage found in younger plants.

Thai Constellations will likely die in low-light conditions. Responsible sellers may ask about your home conditions before selling you a plant to make sure your Monstera is set up for success.

So, can Monsteras be grown in low light rooms? Only with the aid of a grow light that can be set on a 12 hour timer, and provides full spectrum exposure. Without the aid of a grow light, your Monstera will unfortunately die due to a lack of energy after a few weeks.

Signs that Monstera Thai Constellation lighting isn’t enough

It may take your plants a few weeks to tell you that its lighting conditions aren’t ideal. Look for prolonged periods of no growth on your plant.

Despite popular belief, all Monstera variants, including the Thai Constellation Monstera, can grow and produce new leaves during the winter months. If your plant has gone 1-2 months without producing a new leaf, it likely isn’t getting enough energy and is waiting for conditions to improve.

If your plant is producing new leaves, but they are smaller than previous leaves, or the leaves have fewer fenestrations, this is a sign that the plant is getting its basic needs met, but it’s barely enough to support your plant. A grow light would be a quick fix here.

Finally, if you see your plant produce new leaves that are far from your main stem, this is your plant desperately trying to crawl for sunlight. Help your plant immediately! Find a better, sunnier spot, or add in a grow light to nurse your plant back to health.

Healthy Monstera plants have chunky, compact stems with nodes and leaf shoots within 1” – 2” of each other. If your Monstera is starting to look more like a vine, it’s time to help your plant get the light it needs.

Signs that Monstera Thai Constellation is getting enough light

Small Thai Constellation plant
Note how the newer leaves of this young Monstera increase in size, showing it’s getting plenty of light.

Monsteras will make it clear when they are happy with their lighting. You can expect regular new leaves every 1 – 2 months that always a little larger than the leaf they are replacing. For Thai Constellation Monsteras, these leaves should be full of beautiful variegation patterns.

Your plant may also start to develop fenestrations if it’s at least a year old. If previous leaves are already fenestrated, new leaves should continue this pattern. Incredibly happy plants will also develop internal fenestrations, the beautiful oval cutouts on one or both sides of the leaf.

Finally, look at your Monstera Thai Constellation stem at the base of the plant. Are the nodes close together, or is it starting to get stringy? Happy plants will produce new nodes with petioles and leaves very close together. This is your Monstera’s way of telling you that it is getting plenty of light so it can grow with leaves very close together while still having plenty of energy to produce new leaves.

🌱Learn all about nodes, petioles, leaves and roots in our Monstera anatomy guide >

Monstera Thai Constellation lighting takeaways

Thai Constellation fenestrated leaf under grow lights
A combination of sun and grow lights will help your plant reach its full potential.

While there are a number of factors that go into plant care, perfecting your Monstera Thai Constellation lighting is one of the biggest factor impacting the development of your plant. With plenty of light energy, these plants will develop to their best potential and become large, beautiful plants. Beyond lighting, developing the right watering schedule to satisfy your plant’s needs is also important.

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