Meet The Monstera
Don’t let their name fool you – these plants are not scary at all 😉 Below you’ll find all the plant care tips and tricks you need to know to help keep your Monstera deliciosa happy and healthy.
The Monstera, nicknamed the ‘swiss cheese plant’, is native to Central America. Monsteras are characterized by the natural holes in their broad, green leaves – and their irregular, bushy growth!
Monsteras belong to the Aroid family – and are one of the few Aroids that produce edible fruit, which both humans and animals can enjoy. They rarely flower outside of their native tropical habitat, but if placed outside if a semi-tropical climate, they will have a better chance to. The individual flowers are borne on a fleshy spike and are covered by a bract, known as the spathe.
Monsteras were formally introduced into the botanical world in the early 20th century; however, many of the indigenous peoples of Central America were already familiar with them! In 1949, Eizi Metuda, a Japanese-born botanist, was the first person to properly describe Monstera. Recently, Monsteras have become super popular in fashion and design – with clothing, home goods, and even tattoos featuring the swiss cheese-like leaf popping up everywhere.
Monsteras come in many shapes and variegations, which help the plant to blend in to its native surroundings. The two most popular species of Monstera are: Monstera deliciosa and Monstera obliqua. Both can be popular houseplants, and can be distinguished by the shape of both their leaves and their leaves’ holes.
Monstera Care 101
Bright to medium, indirect sunlight. Avoid bright, direct sunlight (which can burn your plant’s leaves) – filtered, ‘shady’ sunlight is preferable!
Monsteras can tolerate many different types of potting soil, but a well-drained loamy soil is best.
Water your Monstera weekly – and make sure that the soil has dried out completely in-between waterings. During the warmer months, you can water more frequently as it will dry out faster.
Generally, your plant will visibly droop when it needs more water. Try not to overwater your plant – or keep the soil wet for too long – because it will encourage root rot. In the winter, you can water less frequently, about once every 1-2 weeks should be sufficient.
Humidity and Temperature
Tropical natives – Monsteras prefer a more humid climate, but normal room humidity will do. Try to keep the room temperature between 65°F – 85°F if possible. (It is best not to let it get below 60°F!)
With the right conditions – the Monstera will ideally reach a height of around 3-5 feet tall, and can have a spread of even wider! Monsteras grow more horizontally, as opposed to vertically. “Wide and wild”, we like to say.
You can fertilize your Monstera during the spring and summer months (i.e. ‘the growing season’) once every 3-4 weeks. Just follow the directions on whatever fertilizer you choose. We do not recommend fertilizing during the winter.
If given the right conditions – Monsteras are super easy to take care of. They are generally a pest-free plant; however, if pests appear, treat them as soon as possible with weekly sprays of horticulture (Neem) oil and regular wipe-downs of the plant’s stems and leaves.
1) Symptom: Leaves turning brown and crispy at edges
Cause: Under-watered, high salts, or potassium deficiency. Give your plant a good soak!
2) Symptom: Wilting/drooping green leaves and stems
Cause: Under-watered, or too constrained by current pot. Give it a good soak, trim leaves, or re-pot if watering doesn’t fix the wilting.
3) Symptom: Yellowing, with bright yellow leaves. Can be drooping, too. (Usually the leaves at the base of the plant will yellow first.)
Cause: Over-watering, rot or root disease. Let your soil dry out completely.