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What is a Monstera plant?
Monstera is a genus of tropical vines and shrubs that are native to Central America and the Caribbean. The most popular variety, Monstera deliciosa, is known for its green and white striped leaves that make it look like a giant banana leaf. It is also called Swiss cheese plant because of its large leaf holes.
Monstera deliciosa is a fast-growing tropical plant that is often used as an interior decoration. It is a vine plant that can grow up to 25 feet long in just one year, so you’ll need to be prepared to give it room to grow.
It originates from Central America and Mexico, where it grows naturally at high altitudes. The name “delicious” comes from its fruit, which looks like a pineapple with green leaves on top and spiky edges around the bottom. The fruit itself tastes like a banana with a hint of mint.
Because of its popularity and high demand, many different varieties are available today—some of which look more like traditional plants than others!
The monstera plant has been grown commercially in China, Malaysia, Thailand and many other countries for many years now, where it’s often used as an ornamental plant in homes or office buildings with large windows. Because of its demand and the overall craze around the Monstera plant, there are many new varieties available around the world—some that even we have never seen! There are also many different monsteras around in the market, but the care for them is generally the same.
As the monstera plants mature, they will have fenestration. What exactly is fenestration?
Monsteras are climbers; as they grow, they climb. And as they grow bigger, their newer leaves are seen with more levels of fenestration which refers to the holes in their leaves. This is a common characteristic among the majority of monstera plants as they allow for the sun to reach the lower leaves of the monstera.
Here are some of the Monstera plant species out there:
- Monstera Deliciosa – Widely known and owned as a houseplant. It is a hardy plant that does not require much maintenance!
- Monstera Deliciosa Thai Constellation – This species is the variegated version of the Monstera Deliciosa. Its variegation of cream yellow spreads throughout its leaves. The plant is native to Thailand, thus its name.
- Monstera Borsigiana Albo Variegata – A variegated Monstera of a different species! They are an absolute wonder of a monstera plant and are highly sought after for its one of a kind foliage.
- Monstera Obiqua Peru – This particular monstera plant takes fenestration to a whole new level. They are relatively rare to come by!
How do I care for my monstera plant?
Light: The Monstera plant grows well in bright, indirect light in an east, west, or north-facing window. We do not recommend placing them outdoors where they can receive full, direct sun throughout the day. The heat from the sun can scorch the foliage of your monstera, and your leaves will wilt. In nature, Monstera gets dappled sunlight through the rainforest canopy. They can take short periods of direct sunlight but ensure that it gets a maximum of 2-3 hours as anything more might burn the leaves.
Water: Water once a week and keep the soil slightly humid but never soggy. A good tip for watering is always to check your soil before watering. If the top inch of the soil is dry, water thoroughly and ensure that water flows through the drainage holes. Pour out any access water captured in the saucer.
Soil: Use a well-draining soil mix. Monstera Epipremnoides does not like to stay in soggy soil. This will lead to root rot very fast. A good aroid soil mix is best.
A proper soil mix for aroids usually consists of pine bark, perlite, coco coir, and charcoal.
Use twice the amount of pine bark versus the other soil mixture ingredients, as the chunky pine bark helps to aerate the soil.
Humidity Requirement: Keep the humidity of your monstera at 60-70% or more if possible. Mist your plants occasionally or place them near other plants to create a humid environment.
Additional Care: Trim out any dead, discoloured, damaged, or diseased leaves and stems as they occur. Use clean, sharp scissors to avoid tearing or bruising the stems. Snip stems just above a leaf node. Wash the leaves frequently to prevent dust from clogging their pores. If you wish to propagate, take stem tip cuttings and place the stem in water or moist soil, and they should root quite easily.
FAQs on Monstera plants:
1. What happens to a Monstera plant under low light conditions?
It ultimately depends on how little light it receives. For example, a Monstera plant will grow leggy and towards a light source if it is receiving too little light. A leggy monstera plant is not ideal as it will eventually require additional support for the plant to stand upright. If you can, always place your monstera in an area where it can receive bright, indirect sunlight. We would recommend placing it by a bright window.
2. Can I water my Monstera plant everyday?
We do not recommend watering everyday. Watering your monstera plant will depend on the environment, weather conditions and the soil mix that your plant is potted in. We will always recommend checking on your soil before watering. If the top inch of the soil feels dry to the touch, it is time to water. If the soil is still wet, check your soil again in the next day or two. We find that Monsteras usually require watering once every 4-7 days when placed indoors.