All Aroids Climbing Humidity Monstera Monstera Care/Growing Moss Pole Propagation

MONSTERA: General Care

There are around 50 species of Monstera known so far. They are a flowering species of the Araceae family.

The word Monstera is latin for “Monstrous” due to its size and the fenestrations of older plants looking abnormal.

Some common Monstera varieties are;

Monstera Deliciosa:

The most well known variety. Also known as the Fruit Salad Plant, it is a staple of most collections. Known for its big leaves and fenestrations. Its easy to grow and looks great in the home and outdoors in the right climate.

Monstera Siltepecana

Monstera Dubia

A shingling variety

Monstera Karstenianum “Peru”

Monstera Standleyana

Monstera Adansonii

Monstera Oblique

Rare and highly sought after in the collecting world.

Monstera Borsigiana Albo Variegata

The ‘It’ plant of the past few years.

General Monstera Care/Info

Origin: Tropical America

Terrestrial or Epiphytic: Epiphytic, growing up into the rainforest canopy with the aid of aerial roots. These roots will hook into any crevice of its host and loop over branches to hold the plant up. Young plants can be terrestrial while looking for something to climb.

See how the plant shown above crawled along the ground until it found a tree to climb.

There are common singling varieties of Monstera, such as the M. Dubia and M. Tubercaluta. Yet, other varieties such as M. Stiltepecana can also shingle when trained to do so.

Size: Some Monstera can climb to heights of 20m (66ft) high into trees. Leaves can grow to 130cm (51″) long and 75cm (30″) wide. Grown indoors, they are unlikely to reach those sizes. However, you can expect a cultivar like M. Deliciosa to reach near 3m high, given the right conditions.

Light: Bright indirect light. Most will handle small amounts of direct sunlight if it has been conditioned to it. It will also grow in medium to lower light areas of the home. This is a plant that had adapted to growing on the rainforest floor and climbing towards the sun’s rays.

Water: Allow the soil to dry out in between watering. Then water thoroughly and allow excess water to drain away. Do not over water or allow water to sit at the bottom of the pot. Monstera is prone to root rot, even in Aroid specific or well draining soil. Yellowing of the leaves and brown edges are another result of over watering.

Temperature: Monstera like a climate that is between 28 to 34 deg Celcius. It can still grow quite happily at a tempreture as low as 18°c and will stop growing at below 10°c. At this level of cold and below, young plants will not survive due to frosts. Here in Adelaide, they are grown outside despite our cold winters. The majority are under the cover of trees or a veranda and do will despite our night temperature going below 0°c some nights.

Humidity: Monstera prefer a humid climate at above 70% humidity. They will do fine at as low as 40% humidity, but ate happier at a higher level. Monstera do not like dry heat and raising the humidity around the plant will keep it much happier and stop leaves burning. A humidifier may help raise humidity around your plant. There are other ways to do this that won’t cost as much. Grouping plants or putting small bowls of water below your plant.

Soil: An Aroid Mix is best. Heavier soils will hold water and make the plant prone to root rot. If you notice your plant is not growing after a few months of being repotted. You might want to consider root rot, I’ve found an easy way to tell. Gently, very gently, grab and pull up at the base of your plant. If it moves easily, it likely has no root system due to root rot. A strong and healthy root system will give resistance when you pull.

Fertiliser: Weakly, Weekly! Small amounts on a weekly basis during the growing season. I use a combo of slow release fertiliser and a plant food/seaweed liquid feed at quarter strength on a weekly basis.

Growing Habits: Monstera are vining plants. However some will also grow by shingling themselves to a tree or tree substitute. M. Dubai is currently the best known shingling Monstera, however others like M. Stiltepecana can also shingle when young.

A shingling Monstera Tubercalata

It’s important to train your plant from the beginning. It might be on a moss pole, on a tree if you live in the right climate or even as a trailing plant, sitting on a shelf. M. Adansonii is a plant that looks fantastic as a trailing plant. I also find that my smaller varieties like growing on a sphagnum moss pole, where their aerial roots can take hold of something, as it would in the wild. Mine seem to prefer this medium to others like Coconut Coir. So for them, I have made the transition to moss. They may need to be trained onto the pole to begin with, but once they take hold, new growth will grab on and it will mostly train itself. Otherwise aerial roots on larger varieties, can be directed down into the soil as they grow.

Flower: Monstera are a flowering group of plants. Just dont expect flowers too soon. It can take up to 8 years for one to flower, however, it’s not as likely that an indoor Monstera will flower. I was really excited to see some M. Deliciosa flowering and fruiting back in early spring. There are some big old vines in my neighbourhood, here in Adelaide.

Flower and fruit of Monstera Deliciosa

Monstera Deliciosa is some times grown for its fruit. Monstera Deliciosa, means Delicious Monster in Latin. Its fruit tastes like a cross between Bananna and Pineapple.

Propagation: Can be grown from seed if you are lucky enough to get some. Otherwise, Monstera is a plant that can be grown from a cutting and propagated in water, Sphagnum Moss or other suitable mediums. Air layering is another techniqe that can be used for propagating and would work well on varieties like M. Adansonii and M. Stiltepecana. A node must be present for any cutting to grow.

Learn how to cut your vine here;

HOW TO: Cut Aroids For Propagation

Pests: Monstera are not bothered by many pests. The main ones to watch for are Spider Mites and Mealy Mugs.

Thanks for reading and happy growing. Xx

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