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Monstera, native to Central America, are evergreen tropical vines and shrubs. They are known for their unique and naturally perforated leaves, which led to its moniker – the Swiss Cheese Plant. There is a high chance you have come across this plant on the internet as it has become one of the most sought-after plants due to its peculiar looks.
Besides its good looks, Monstera deliciosa is also hardy, easy to grow, and virtually thrives with little care; it also comes as no surprise that monstera plants favor a warm, humid environment, making them ideal for indoors.
Usually seen in wall art, home décor prints, Monstera has become a hit on Instagram and Pinterest. But to give your house a whole new vibe, you might want to grow an actual Monstera plant. So, how good of a house plant is it? Read on to get your answers.
Types of Monstera Plant
Before discussing what makes Monstera a good houseplant, let us know the types of species of the plant. There are two major species of Monstera cultivated as houseplants – Monstera deliciosa and Monstera adansonii. These are distinguished based on the looks and length of their leaves.
Monstera adansonii has longer, tapered leaves with completely enclosed leaf holes, while Monstera deliciosa have leaf holes that eventually grow towards the edge and open up as they mature.
However, there are as many as 48 different species of Monstera. Not all of them can be grown indoors, and some are extremely rare to find. The species mentioned above are great houseplants, and one can easily find them in their local nursery.
Basics of Growing Monstera
Once you have picked up a variety to grow, it is time to know what your plant requires to thrive. Here are a few things that you need to consider:
Sunlight and Humidity
Monstera likes bright to medium indirect light. So, you should avoid putting it in a spot that gets intense and direct sun as it can result in burnt or yellow leaves. It is better to pick a spot that offers dappled light.
However, it may get acclimated to such a growing setting and might withstand it over time. But do not let it sit in a spot that receives too little light as the plant may grow leggy.
Be sure that you can maintain its ideal temperature around 70°F along with a bit of humidity. But ensure that the temperature does not go below 60. For this, you can consider placing it near your bathroom or even kitchen, where the humidity level tends to be higher.
But if you choose another spot, you can continuously mist it to balance out the humidity level. Or you can consider investing in a fine-mist mister or humidifier that will help in increasing humidity levels indoors.
As mentioned earlier, Monstera thrives on neglect. Thus, you do not have to water this plant as often. Watering them every 1-2 weeks would be enough, allowing the soil to dry out. However, you might want to water your plant more often if the sun is brighter and the soil seems to dry up quicker.
To whether or not your plant needs a drink, you can poke a finger in the soil will help you know if it is dry. If the soil seems to be dry to a depth of around 2 inches, you should water your plant.
Other than this, Monstera is a plant that thrives in peaty and well-draining soil. Moreover, soil that remains soggy for a long time can result in root rot. So, be sure that you do not water the plant as often and let the excess water drain away before its next drink.
So, you can consider using a well-draining potting mix. And you can even mix in some ingredients that will help increase soil aeration. Usually, perlite or lava rocks are the best options.
Taking Care of Your Monstera Plant
While there are a bunch of prerequisites for growing a Monstera plant, you also need to take proper care of your plant as it starts to mature. Here are a few things to consider:
Growing a plant is one thing, but producing lush and verdant leaves is another. So, if you wish to see the green leafy growth of your Monstera plant, you need to feed it. Your plant is actively growing during the spring and summer seasons, so it is recommended that you keep the soil reasonably moist this time. Also, you can add a leaf plant liquid fertilizer once a month to accelerate its growth.
You can limit watering and avoid adding fertilizer when the temperature decreases. These simple steps will build a strong foundation for the plant, promote growth, and ensure better root health.
Monsteras, as their name suggests, can grow to become huge plants. So, they may require repotting every 2 to 4 years, which is vital to support their emerging root system. For repotting, you would want a planter a few inches larger in height and width to allow it more room to grow.
While picking a planter, having at least one drainage hole underneath is essential because Monstera prefers well-drained soil. To further improve the water flow, you can layer the bottom of the planter with some pebbles and gravel.
However, if you wish your plant to maintain its size, you can trim away the foliage as well as some roots. After this, you need to offer your plant some new soil, and you can plant it again in the same pot. But be sure that your planter is deep enough as Monsteras are natural climbers.
Pruning is one of the best ways to train your plant in the direction of growth. And since Monstera can have a running nature, pruning will ensure that it does not cover your house. You can also use ties and stakes to keep the plant look well-maintained and manicured. Also, you should consider cutting a few stems if you see no leaves on them.
Pests and Diseases
Monsteras are usually not affected by pests, and however, specific bugs under the leaves can bother the plant. To avoid this, all you need to do is wipe down the leaves with a damp cloth, remove any dust from the leaves, and improve the plant’s growth. And if you come across any pests, you can use a gentle insecticide or a kitchen detergent solution to wipe the leaves.
As mentioned earlier, Monstera is hardy, easy-to-maintain, and is usually pest-free. But there can be specific common issues that one can witness in their Monstera plants. Let us discuss:
- Leaves turning brown and crispy on the edges
Cause: Water-deprived plant or salt build-up
- Yellowing of leaves or black stems, overly-damp potting mix
Cause: Overwatered planter
- Wilting plant and dry potting mix
Cause: Underwatered or pot-bound plant
Bonus Tips to Incorporate Monstera as a Houseplant
By now, you would know that Monstera can grow into a huge plant, and it requires a lot of space. So, it will for a tremendous statement-making plant. Putting it in a central spot in your living room rather than just putting it on a tight corner or a window side will instantly enhance the overall look and appeal of your home.
Also, in rainforests, Monstera tends to climb up trees and other plants as natural climbers. So, it is better to offer some support to your plant indoors as well. You can consider adding a pole nearby the plant, or a small trellis will help the plant grow, but it will also offer a pleasant and unique look to the room.
If having a whole Monstera plant is something that you cannot handle, or if your plant is running rampant, you can consider taming it in a clear glass vase. This way, you will be able to appreciate its beauty while also ensuring that it does not cover up your entire living room.
Why Do Monstera Plants Have Holes?
Now that people are getting to know more about this unique plant, this is one of the most common questions that is being asked regarding Monstera. And while there are a bunch of theories, the holes in the leaves of Monstera remain a mystery.
It is believed that these holes allow the plant to withstand heavy rains as they are usually found in rainforests. The holes ensure that the leaves do not sustain significant damage due to heavy rains.
Also, the holes are believed to help them resist high winds from tropical storms. Maybe this is why Monstera is also known to be the hurricane plant. Another theory says that the holes in the leaves allow sunlight and water to reach the rest of the plant.
The most likely explanation is that holes in the leaves allow more of the rain forest’s limited sunlight and water to reach the rest of the plant since plants that grow below the thick canopy must develop adaptations to get more of both.
The perforated leaves are stunning, making Monstera a great indoor plant, no matter the reason.
If you are looking for more such beautiful houseplants, here is a video in which I take you around my grow room. You will find some great indoor plants in this video:
FAQ’s about Monstera Plants
If you love growing Monstera as I do, Then check out The Complete Monstera (Swiss Cheese Plant) Care Guide
One does not usually go wrong with the Monstera plant. And we are sure that this plant, with its deep green lush foliage, will help you enhance the overall look of your home in an effortless manner. So, are you ready to bring your new Monstera plant home?
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