• Annie Vautour

Plant Care 101: Everything You Need to Know About Monstera Deliciosa



Description


Monstera Deliciosa, also known as the Swiss Cheese Plant, is part of the Araceae (Arum) family. They are very popular houseplants largely due to their leaf fenestration. Leaf fenestration is when there are holes in the leaves, it is not exclusive to Monstera Deliciosa but they are one of the most recognized plants for this characteristic.


How it looks: They are famous for their split leaves. There are also different patterns of variegation within the species. The cultivar 'Variegata' is one to name. 'Variegata' is striking with its white and cream variegation. These cultivars can be very expensive but it is well worth the investment if you are an avid Aroid plant collector.

Care level: Relatively easy maintenance as this plant is durable. Occasional pruning and training may be necessary as these plants are climbers by nature. Depending on the shape you want you can train your Monstera to climb up a sturdy trellis or prune your plant to be full and bush-like.



Facts

Origin: Mexico and Central America
Common names: Swiss Cheese Plant, Split-Leaf Philodendron, Monstera, and more.
Max Growth (approx.): This plant can grow up to eight feet in your home, their leaves alone can span two feet wide. 
Poisonous to pets: Yes.




Monstera Care


Temperature: Prefers warmer temperatures ranging from 70 to 90 degrees Fahrenheit.

Light: Low to bright, indirect sunlight as direct, full sun may burn the leaves. Placing in bright, indirect light will encourage more vigorous growth.

Watering: Water once slightly dry, monsteras prefer consistent lightly moist soil. They are sensitive to overwatering as well.

Soil: A peaty, well-draining potting mix is best.

Re-Potting: When repotting, be sure to have your Monstera in a pot with drainage holes to avoid your Monstera sitting in too much water. Monsteras like to grow slightly pot bound but be sure to repot every 1-2 years depending on how fast your Monstera is growing. Repot in only a slightly larger pot, both in width and depth.

Fertilizer: In the growing season, feed about once a month with a basic, balanced liquid fertilizer.

Humidity: Prefers to grow in medium-high humidity.

Propagation: When taking your cutting, include at least one or two nodes, removing the stem and leaf attached to them, leaving a few healthy leaves for photosynthesis. Place in a jar with filtered, room temperature water and pot up your cutting in potting soil once there are a few inches of roots. Remember to replace the water every few days. This process can take a few weeks to a couple months.


Potential Problems


  • Mealybugs, Scale Insects, and Spider Mites: To get rid of mealbugs, you will want to want to soak a cotton ball in rubbing alcohol and make sure to make good contact with the bugs in order to kill them. For scale insects and spider mites, spray with insecticidal soap to get rid of them.

  • Lack of Split Leaves: To encourage splits in the leaves, you are just going to want to follow the proper care for this plant and splits will develop on new growth as the plant ages. Especially be sure to give your Monstera plant the appropriate light that it needs.

  • Root Rot: Avoid overwatering your Monstera as they are very sensitive to overwatering.



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