Monstera, commonly known as the Swiss cheese plant or simply Monstera, is a popular and easy-to-grow tropical houseplant known for its distinctive large, perforated leaves. This guide will walk you through the care and cultivation of this fascinating plant.
Monstera plants are popular houseplants because they’re relatively easy to care for and they can tolerate a wide range of light levels, from low light to bright indirect light. They’re also very forgiving if you forget to water them occasionally! Two different species of Monstera are cultivated as houseplants – Monstera deliciosa and Monstera adansonii.
Read on to learn everything you need to know about caring for your own monstera plant.
Light & Temperature
Monsteras prefer bright, indirect light. Too much direct sunlight can scorch the leaves, while too little light can result in weak, leggy growth. Place your plant near a well-lit window, but away from direct sunlight.
As tropical plants, Monsteras thrive in humid environments. Keep the humidity level around 60% or higher by using a humidifier, misting the plant, or placing a tray of water near the plant. The ideal temperature range for Monsteras is 65-85°F (18-29°C). Keep the plant away from cold drafts, air conditioners, or heaters.
Watering & Soil
Water your Monstera when the top inch or two of soil feels dry to the touch. Overwatering can lead to root rot, while underwatering can cause the leaves to yellow and wilt. Reduce watering in the winter months when the plant’s growth slows down.
Monstera plants prefer well-draining soil. Use a high-quality potting mix with added perlite or orchid bark to improve drainage. Choose a pot with drainage holes to prevent root rot. As Monstera plants grow rapidly, repotting may be necessary every 1-2 years to accommodate the plant’s expanding root system.
Fertilizing Monstera Plants
Fertilize your Monstera with a balanced liquid houseplant fertilizer every 4-6 weeks during the growing season (spring and summer). Reduce the frequency to once every 8-12 weeks during the fall and winter months.
Cleaning Your Monstera Plant
As with any indoor plant, it’s important to clean your monstera regularly to remove any dust that has accumulated on its leaves. Use a soft cloth or sponge and wipe down each leaf, being careful not harm the delicate leaf tissue. You can also mist your monstera leaves with clean water on a regular basis to help keep them clean and free of dust.
Prune your Monstera to maintain its shape and size, as well as to promote bushier growth. Use clean, sharp scissors to remove any yellow or damaged leaves, as well as any aerial roots that are not attaching to a support.
As Monstera plants mature, their large leaves and climbing growth habit may require additional support. Use a moss pole, trellis, or other sturdy structure to provide your plant with the support it needs.
Monstera plants make beautiful, easy-to-care-for houseplants that can thrive in a wide range of homes and office environments. These tropical natives prefer warm temperatures and high humidity levels, so if you can provide those conditions for your plant it will reward you with large, striking leaves that add interest and visual appeal to any space.
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The Many Benefits of Monstera Plants
Many people are familiar with monstera plants, also known as Swiss cheese plants, due to their large leaves with distinctive holes. These tropical plants are native to Central and South America and thrive in warm, humid environments. While they’re often grown outdoors, monstera plants make excellent indoor houseplants as well. Here are just a few of the benefits of having a monstera plant in your home.
One of the most important benefits of monstera plants is their ability to purify the air. These plants are effective at removing harmful toxins such as formaldehyde and benzene from the air, which can be beneficial for both your physical and mental health. Not only will you be able to breathe easier, but you’ll also feel better mentally knowing that the air in your home is clean and healthy.
In addition to purifying the air, monstera plants can also improve your mood. Studies have shown that being around plants can boost your mood and reduce stress levels. If you’re looking for a way to feel calmer and happier, adding a monstera plant to your home is a great option.
When you feel stressed or anxious, it’s difficult to focus on tasks at hand. However, being aroundmonstera plants has been shown to increase productivity levels. If you find yourself struggling to concentrate, try adding a monstera plant to your workspace. You may be surprised at how much of a difference it makes.
Monstera plants offer a multitude of benefits that make them ideal houseplants. Not only do they purify the air and improve your mood, but they can also increase your productivity levels. So if you’re looking for a plant that does it all, look no further than the monstera plant.
How to Grow Monstera
Find a balance between sun and shade. If Monstera is given too much sun, the leaves will yellow. If it’s left in the dark, the plant will exhibit something called negative phototropism, where new leaves grow towards the dark, rather than the light. (It’s a pretty clever trick: In the jungle, darkness signals the presence of a larger tree that Monstera can climb up to reach sunlight.) Since this
Water Monstera moderately and evenly, about once a week. Wait until the soil is fairly dry before watering again. Keep in a fairly humid environment.
The Monstera will grow in most household temperatures, but a temperature between 65-85℉ is ideal. They can survive in temperatures as low as 50℉, but the cold temperature will stop growth.
Practical Steps To Buying Monstera Plants
Monstera plants are raised in greenhouses in which the air is warm and humid. When brought into the average home, they need to withstand more adverse conditions than the average outdoor plant. Challenging conditions such as minimum light, inadequate ventilation, warmer temperatures, drafts, and dry air contribute to stressful conditions for plants. Considering the following points will help in the selection of house plants that will complement your interior decor and live for many years to come.
1. Strong and vigorous. Give the plant a quick shake. A plant that’s unsteady in its pot may not be well-rooted. Shaking the plant also tells you whether the plant has whiteflies that will scattered in every direction if the plant is infested.
2. Evergreen – Since it will be seen everyday of the year, plants need to be evergreen. Be sure the leaves aren’t falling off.
3. Attractive – Some of the foliage plants will flower from time to time, but the primary reason for purchasing is the plant’s foliage and how the plants grow. The leaves may be selected for their color or form, or both and the growth habit should be attractive and require minimum maintenance.
4. Slow-growing – Select plants that are slow-growing without a lot of pruning or training. They will perform better over a longer period of time.
5. Crowded roots – Check the bottom of the plant for roots coming out of the drainage hole. Roots emerging from holes in the pot don’t necessarily mean that the plant is under-potted, but it’s frequently a first symptom. Root bound plants will require transplanting when you get the plant home.
6. Unhealthy roots – If you can, have the clerk take the plant out of the pot to check for crowded roots. Roots come in all shapes, sizes, and colors. They should always feel firm and not squishy. Squishy roots are a sign of root rot.
7. Stem or root rot – Sniff the potting mix. Signs of rot smell like the sickly sweet smell of a rotting potato. Don’t buy this plant, as it likely has a bad case of stem rot or root rot.
8. Leaf spots, yellowed leaves, or abundant leaf loss – Leaf spots can be a sign of disease or caused by the jostling of the plants in a garden center. A yellow leaf or two at the base of the plant is nothing to worry about. If you see many yellow or fallen leaves, however, the plant’s probably stressed and therefore not a good choice. Damaged leaves never recover. Ask yourself whether you are willing to wait for the plant to produce new leaves or would you rather purchase a healthier looking specimen.
9. Leggy plants or brown leaf tips – These conditions are signs of a plant that has not received adequate care over a period of time. Spindly plants indicate a lack of adequate light.
10. Signs of insects or disease – Look under the leaves and at the leaf axial (the place where the leaf attaches to the stem) where most often pests hang out. Do not purchase this plant, as not only will you have a problem with it, but you may also infest the other plants in your home.
Variegated Monstera Deliciosa Plant
The coveted variegated monstera is one of the hottest rare plants! The iconic split leaves of the Monstera deliciosa are unmistakable, except rather than green, this plant’s foliage is either partially or entirely hypnotic white. It’s a plant commonly referred to as the Variegated Monstera, and though pictures of it populate our Instagram feeds, getting your hands on one is no easy task.
Many plants with white variegation tend to be more delicate than their green counterparts, and the Variegated Monstera is no exception. Naturally, this can occur in all sorts of features, but when there’s a mutation in chlorophyll, the green pigmentation in plants, we call that chimera variegation, resulting in a mix of tissue with the chlorophyll and tissue without it, the latter resulting in shades of silver and pale yellow. Growing them is not only slow, but also requires a certain level of skill. Combine this with incredibly high demand, and you’ve got a rare plant that is going to be tough to find, and if you do find it, it will cost you!
How to Care for Variegated Monstera Plant
For the most part, variegated monstera aren’t too different from their fully green counterparts, which is great news! Monstera deliciosa are known for being tough plants that grow rapidly in good light and only need regular watering. The main difference is the white portion of the variegated Monstera leaves cannot absorb light, so the plant needs to work twice as hard to photosynthesize. Therefore, low light conditions are not ideal and you should keep your variegated Monstera in bright ambient light to make it happy.
Monsteras appreciate a warm, humid environment, a good amount of water and gentle sunlight. Place your Monstera away from vents and drafts where it would be subjected to dry air and in a spot where it can receive medium to bright indirect light.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: My Monstera is turning yellow?
A: Most often yellowing occurs due to over or underwatering. If you see a combination of yellow and brown on the same leaf, it is typically due to overwatering. If fully yellow leaves, along with some brown crispy spots on additional leaves occur then it could be underwatering.
Q: How often should I fertilize my plant?
A: In general, house plants will thrive when they are fertilized spring through fall. Fertilize once a month with an organic houseplant fertilizer, following the package instructions for dilution and administration.
Q: How often does my plant need to be re-potted?
A: For larger floor plants, we suggest re-potting every 18-24 months. Typically you want to choose a potting vessel 2”- 4” larger in diameter to allow for growth. Don’t choose a pot much larger than the previous as this could drown the plants roots. If you prefer to maintain the current size of your plant, re-pot into the same vessel, providing new soil and trimming away some roots and foliage. Spring or summer is the ideal time to re-pot as the plant is at its strongest.