Monstera deliciosa, called the Swiss cheese plant, is a species of flowering plant native to tropical forests of southern Mexico, south to Panama. It has been introduced to many tropical areas, and has become a mildly invasive species in Hawaii, Seychelles, Ascension Island and the Society Islands.
Monstera Deliciosa Plant Care
Monstera Deliciosa care overview
General Monstera Deliciosa Plant Care
Monstera Deliciosa will thrive in almost any environment, but if you want to give it a special treat, gently mist it once a week. It’s best to mist your Monstera in the morning so the water has plenty of time to evaporate before evening.
Your Monstera Deliciosa can grow just about anywhere in your home! It tolerates low light, but grows faster and becomes more dramatic in a bright spot. That said, avoid strong, direct sunlight because it may burn the leaves.
Monstera Deliciosa is a tropical jungle plant and as such requires rich, nutrient dense soil that holds moisture, yet doesn’t remain soggy. A standard good quality potting soil is fine, with the addition of some peat moss.
Monstera leaves are mildly toxic to pets and humans. Typically, ingestion will cause mouth and stomach irritation and possible vomiting.
The Monstera Deliciosa 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.
Water your Monstera when the top 50-75% of the soil is dry. Water until liquid flows through the drainage hole at the bottom of the pot and discard any water that has accumulated in the saucer.
For best results, feed your plant once a month throughout the spring and summer. A little bit of food will go a long way to encourage growth and root health. No fertilizer is necessary during the winter—it’s important to give your Monstera a chance to rest during the cooler time of year.
Monstera species are related to philodendrons, and, like them, they can climb on a support. The plants need good humidity for their aerial roots to cling to bark or a pole. It’s the same for philodendrons and pothos—as they climb, their leaves can grow quite large as they approach maturity and their reproductive (flowering) stage. But this is not commonly achieved in homes unless you have greenhouse conditions or a conservatory.
Young plants are bushy, and usually have large leaves with holes or splits along the margins. While they’re recommended as “low light plants”, I prefer not to put anything in low light unless it’s just temporary. The brighter the light, the shorter the leaf stems (petioles) will grow, helping to support them in a horizontal or upright position. But drooping leaves on a mature plant is not outside normal.
Look at the general health and appearance of the plant. Is the color good? Are there any insects or mites feeding on it that steal food from the plant? Is the light source below the plant, causing the leaves to droop? Are there many stems in the pot, with 1 or 2 of them dying off and wilting?
If the plant is about to resume growth (southern hemisphere), be careful not to give it too much direct sunlight. We in the northern hemisphere push our plants closer to the sun or brighter windows to help get them through the short days of winter. Plants in the Araceae family prefer it on the warm side, so keep it in the mid 60’s or 70’s F indoors, and up to 90 in outdoor summer shade. Hot sun will stress this plant, likely burning the foliage.
Although they don’t like drought (they will wilt), their roots can rot in constantly wet soil. Rotting roots can’t absorb water, so, again, the leaves will wilt. Bright light or some direct sun will dry the soil faster. But don’t place it in direct sun without first getting it used to brighter light. Otherwise, the sun can scorch previously shaded leaves. Remove any water in a saucer that isn’t absorbed within 15 minutes. Sitting in water for a long time decreases air circulation in the soil, and aroids need oxygen in the soil.
A big bushy Monstera can do very well in a 10″ pot for years. Overpotting can cause all sorts of problems, so try to keep it somewhat potbound. Roots grow strongly when the plants get good light. Very bright indirect light, morning sun, or filtered sun in summer will rev up their growth, so you’ll have to water and fertilize (with a high nitrogen product) more often. Spring to mid summer is a good time to repot into a 2″ wider pot, if necessary. Once it’s in a 10″ or 12″ pot, you probably won’t need anything larger. But do fertilize a few times during the growing season for optimum growth. Many plant owners skip the fertilizing part, but that can make a huge difference.
So, check the light level, soil moisture, pot size, temperature, and fertility. It’s always a combination of factors that define the environment for any plant. Good luck!
More light. In too low a light, the new growth will be weak and not split. Monsteras love very high light, and in Florida and SoCal, you’ll see some outdoors in nearly full sun and growing the best and strongest, thick short stems and huge leaves with dozens and dozens of splits and holes. They will even flower with a weird flower that gives rise to a tasty fruit, once it is ripe. Sort of between a pineapple and a banana in flavor.
Monsters plants are very easy to propate, cut a stem one or two inches below the node (point s from which another stem, leaf or an Arial root grows) and put it in water. It usually takes a week to grow roots after that you can put it in the soil and your new monstera plant is ready.