The MonsteraDeliciosa plant is native to the Central American rainforest from Southern Mexico to Panama.It is a tropical vine from the Araceae family, and its name Monstera is from Latin, meaning'abnormal' - because of the iconic odd-looking splits and holes on the leaves.These large iconic ribbon splits and holes also got it the name Swiss Cheese Plant.The most common theory on why the monster plant has holes is so it can withstand heavy rain and high winds in the tropical rainforest. Its structure also helps it take in more of the rainforest’s limited water and sunlight supply.
In its natural habitat, the swiss cheese plant produces flowers and edible fruits – that has a sweetcorn cone-like shape. The deliciosa part of its scientific name comes from the fruit being known as delicious tasting.In the wild, it can grow to be quite enormous; up to 60 feet and even higher. But don’t worry, they come in apartment-friendly sizes,so they can be grown small or bigto fit for either small apartments or large open-plan houses.It is an epiphyte-it grows by climbing trees. So when grown indoors, it would require support, which could be in the form of a moss stick or stable nearby structure like a sturdy floor lamp that you can tie it to.
It is hard to go wrong with the swiss cheese plant.It has deep green lush foliage that becomes large and exotic looking as it grows. Little wonder its prints are used as décor on every thing from wall art to pillows to clothing prints. If you want to create a big bold Caribbean feel in your home, then the monster plant is just what you need.A black ceramic pot can be used to lend an instant jungle-like vibe or you could try a white one to create a green and white contrast.
7 Monstera Deliciosa Care Tips
- Light and Placement
To mimic that tropical environment they are used to, place the monstera plant in filtered, indirect sunlight to aid its development. Avoid strong direct light as it can give the monstera scorched or yellow leaves. Don't forget they are used to the dappled light of the rainforest floor. Always keep in mind that the more direct light it receives, the more the plant's foliage suffers. The ideal temperature it requires is around 70°F. With a little humidity added to that, they get to feel right at home.
When you notice a side of the plant reaching for the sunlight, then you'd have to rotate it to ensure even growth on all sides. An ideal place to set your plant could be near your bathroom or kitchen window where they can get indirect light and humidity. Or if you'd rather place it somewhere else, you can just choose to mist it now and then. If your plant is getting too little light, you might notice a leggy growth it, so it's best you set it up a few feet away from an eastern, western or southern-facing window.
The monstera plant requires moderate levels of watering. Always assess your plants watering needs first before giving it a drink. You can do this by poking your finger in the soil to assess its dryness level. If the soil is dry to a depth of one to two inches, then go ahead and give it a drink. Monsteras prefer a soil that is peaty and well-draining since an over moistened one that stays soggy or overly wet can cause root rot. You can water weekly and ensure any excess water drains away.
While the monstera deliciosa don't like being overwatered, they love being humid. So they would require average to high humidity levels. If you live in a dry climate, give your plant a special treat by misting it in the morning to give the water enough time to evaporate before evening.
If you want your plants to produce new lush green growth throughout the spring and summer, you'd have to feed it. During summer and spring when your plant is actively growing, keep the soil moist and add a leaf plant liquid fertilizer once a month. In fall and winter, reduce the watering and stop adding the fertilizer. This will go a long way to promote growth and root health. However, if you notice that your plant is fast outgrowing its home, and turning into a monster, then reduce the frequency and amount of feed.
Since monsteras grow to be large plants, they require repotting every 2 to 4 years to support their growing root system. Typically for this, you'd want to choose a pot a few inches larger in width and height - say about 2 to 4 inches to give it more room to grow. If you'd rather maintain your plant's current size, then trim away some roots and foliage, provide new soil and re-pot in the same container. Ensure you get a good soil mix when repotting since it provides the only source for its nutrients.
Monsteras roots like to have a good drainage system, so double-check to confirm that the pot has a hole. You can also layer the bottom of the pot with clay pebbles or gravel to make the water flow more easily. Since the monsteras are natural climbers, ensure your pot also has enough depth.
The plant can GROW, so you'd most likely soon start seeing their running nature. You can rein in their lankiness by pruning to ensure it doesn't overtake your house. Pruning also provides a way to train the direction of growth of your plant using ties and stakes to whichever way your heart desires. You can also cut back stems that are producing few or no leaves.
- Pests and Diseases
While Monsteras are rarely bothered by pests, some could be prone to mealy bugs under their leaves. You can be on the safer side by routinely wiping down the leaves with a damp cloth to remove dust. If you do find pests, then wipe the leaf with gentle insecticide or a kitchen detergent solution.