By: Ma. Alexandra Miguela A. Reloj
This houseplant has been all the rage for the past few years. The Monstera Deliciosa has captured the hearts of many that the indoor plant community has started using the hashtag #MonsteraMondays on all social media.
With its vibrant color, glossy leaves, and low maintenance, who wouldn’t fall in love with this beauty? They can grow in enormous proportions and makes for a wonderful statement piece in the office or your home. It makes for a great welcoming plant to your living room.
Now, before we take a nosedive to the Monstera Madness, there are a couple of important things that you need to know before you decide to purchase the majestic Monstera Deliciosa.
This enormous beauty is a native in Southern Mexico and takes refuge in tropical rainforests. They are usually found growing at the base of trees. They are vining plants that climb up and would attach themselves to tree trunks.
This plant has gained its botanical name from these factors: “Monstera” refers to “monstrous” growth it takes in the wild. “Deliciosa” refers to the edible fruit that it produces in its natural habitat.
Position and Lighting
The Monstera Deliciosa loves bright light but never put this plant in direct sunlight. If you do, it will cause their leaves to yellow and burn.
This plant is not too picky when it comes to lighting as it can tolerate darker conditions. However, if you would lo optimize its growth, it is best to give it as much indirect light as possible. Place your Monstera in a bright room with plenty of shade from the sun.
If you notice your Monstera’s leaves turning yellow or curling over the edges, you can take it is as a sign to relocate the plant to a different area of your home.
Watering and Fertilizer
This plant loves water and it can be forgiving, however, it’s important to note that the number one causes of premature plant deaths are due to root rot. It is advisable to water your Monsteras at least once or twice a week, depending on the dryness of the soil.
For best practice, before you begin watering your plant, use your finger to check if 1-2 inches of the soil is dry, if not, check-in again after a couple of days before watering your plants again. You can even purchase a moisture probe to check the moisture of your soil.
You may want to fertilize your Monstera at least once a month. You can use a water-soluble fertilizer and incorporate it into your watering.
Repotting and Growth
When re-potting your Monstera, it’s important to choose the perfect soil mixture to help them grow strong and healthy. You can go for 50% to 75% of regular soil mixture along with 25% to 50% of Peat moss.
You may want to re-pot your Monstera once a year if you would like to let it grow, even less if you would like to keep them in a smaller size. The bigger size your pot is, the bigger this beautiful plant will become. If you're looking for planter recommendations, you can try our simple cylinder floor planter with saucer. (see actual photo above)
One way to promote your Monstera’s growth is by adding a moss pole to your pot. As stated earlier, this is a vining plant and it loves to crawl on trees.
If you would like to keep your Monstera at a specific size, you may want to trim their leaves. Otherwise, it can cause some serious overgrowth. When you cut it, make a notch just above the aerial root node and then remove the stem. Continue this until the plant is back to your preferred shape and size.
What gives this house plant an edge above the rest is the satisfaction you get watching the plant evolve from its young, juvenile leaves to mature, adult leaves. As this elegant house plant ages, holes, known as fenestrations, and slits will start appearing among the leaves.
They tend to put out new leaves monthly. It is important to note, however, that if the new leaves do not form any kind of fenestration after the plant has already matured, there can be underlying issues at play. This may mean that your plant is lacking in light, water or nutrients so be sure to check that your Monstera is getting the attention it needs.
To add, you must wipe out dust and dirt from your Monstera’s leaves. This is important as the dust can keep the plant from photosynthesizing the way It’s supposed to. Be sure to wipe it off periodically with a damp soft cloth and wipe gently.
Toxicity to Pets
If you’re a pet owner and would like to get a Monstera, be sure to keep it away from their reach. It is safe to the touch however, if your pet is the type to take curious bites of anything it finds they may get in danger of getting sick.
All parts of the plant are toxic except for its fruits and the severity of the poison is mild. It will not kill your pets, however it can cause some digestive issues, irritation to the mouth, lips, and throat as well as excessive drooling.
In conclusion, getting your first Monstera may feel a bit intimidating when you consider all of the factors written on this list but the pay off is worth it. It is worth noting, however, that this giant beauty is a forgiving one. It’s one of the houseplants that are considered low maintenance and is said to be a great starter plant.
As long as you follow through with their basic needs, your Monstera will flourish in no time. All it takes is a little bit of work and a heartful of love. Now that you’re all informed and up to date, go forth and partake in the beautiful world of Monsteras and buy a one or two!
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