If you are looking for a showy, tropical houseplant that makes a bold statement, look no further than the Monstera. It immediately adds a tropical look to your home. The Monstera is easily recognized by its large glossy, heart-shaped leaves that are marked by random holes and slits. Although a native plant of Mexico and Central America, the Monstera can be relatively easy to maintain in your home. Here are a few basic guidelines for Monstera Plant care
What is a Monstera?
The Monstera is a climbing, evergreen perennial that is known to reach a height of 50 feet or more in its natural habitat, with leaves that measure up to 2 feet long. Because of their height, it is encouraged to use a trellis or stakes to help support its growth. A large plant will need to be trained to grow upright.
There are different varieties with slight color variation and pattern in the leaves. All will have the slitted leaves and some will have random holes in the leaves where another common name is derived, the Swiss Cheese Plant. The colors can be variegated with yellow highlights and there is even a species with solid white to mottled white leaves.
When growing Monstera, keep in mind it can eventually take up a lot of space. Make sure your plant has room to grow as it purifies the air on your home!
If you want the huge leaves the Monstera is known for, you need to make sure to provide adequate sunlight. Placed in a bright room with indirect filtered light should do the trick. Avoid placing them in direct sunlight, as this can scorch the leaves leaving them damaged. Once the leaves are scorched they won’t turn green again and unless removed will be forever unsightly.
If you notice your Monstera’s leave aren’t splitting, move it into a more well lit area.
Like most plants, it will grow toward the light. If you notice this behavior, be prepared to turn your plant periodically so that the growth remains even.
Watering your Monstera
The Monstera prefers slightly moist potting soil. As a rule of thumb, You should water your plant when the top inch of soil is dry. Once a week is about right in most conditions. Overwatering is the main killer of many a houseplant. Make sure your pot is well-draining to prevent root rot.
Monstera leaves will turn yellow if overwatered or under nourished. If you can catch the symptom soon enough, just refrain from watering for a while until the potting soil gets dry.
On the other hand, the leaves will turn brown if under watered or in a low humidity environment.
Reduce your watering frequency in the winter time to prevent overwatering.
If it remains wilted even after adequate watering, it is probably root bound and could use a little room to grow or a bigger pot to retain more water. Monstera will do well if repotted every couple of years in the Spring. Once repotted, the plant will grow into its bigger pot but to keep excessive growth under control (why? I don’t know) you can pinch new growth off and refrain from repotting too often.
Temperature Range and Humidity
The Monstera plant does well in a normal temperature range of high 60’s to mid 80’s Fahrenheit. It also prefers humidity much likes it native rainforest. Misting your plant weekly can help keep the air moist if you live in an overly dry area. Extreme conditions may require a small pan of water left in the open near the base of the plant or even a humidifier.
Monstera are prone to common indoor plant pests such as spider mites, mealy bugs and aphids. Avoid these infestations by a weekly light dusting.
To remove these pests, your plant can be wiped down periodically with a mild soap solution. This will also help keep the leaves bright green and glossy and remove dust.