Monstera pinnatipartita The Ultimate Care Guide

According to the journal entries of Christopher Columbus, upon his arrival at Long Island in the Bahamas in 1492, he was mesmerized by its unparalleled beauty and remarked, “I have never seen a more beautiful place… on the same tree, five or six different species grow.” Most likely, he was referring to the presence of epiphytes, and there’s a chance he could have been observing a M. pinnatipartita.

Monstera pinnatipartita:- Pinnatipartite, in botany, refers to leaves having lobes with fenestrations that extend more than halfway toward the midrib. Less deep fenestrations are called pinnatifid, while leaves with fenestrations to the midrib are pinnatisect.

Before we get to the caring part for this magnificent plant, let’s make some technical terms part of our vocabulary.

Introduction to Other Botanical Terms

As you study different plants (botany), you come across various terms that seem reserved for the informed. Let’s make the ones that relate to our Monstera pinnatipartita part of our botanist’s vocabulary.

Monstera pinnatipartita
Monstera pinnatipartita
TermMeaning
AroidPlants related to the Arum family (Araceae)
DistichousLeaves are arranged alternately in two vertical rows on opposite sides of an axis
EpiphyteA plant that grows on another plant without being parasitical
FenestrationThe openings that appear on a leaf as it matures generally reach the border of the leaf.
HemiepiphyteHaving pistillate and staminate flowers on the same plant – both male and female parts on one plant.
MonoeciousThe tropical New World biogeographic region extends south, east, and west from the central plateau of Mexico.
NeotropicalRefers to leaves having lobes with fenestrations that extend more than halfway toward the midrib. Less deep fenestrations are called pinnatifid, while leaves with fenestrations to the midrib are pinnatisect.
ObovoidEgg-shaped seed with a narrower end at the base
PinnatipartiteLeaves are arranged alternately in two vertical rows on opposite sides of an axis.
SpatheA boat-shaped bract around the spadix
SpadixA phallus-shaped part of the arum flower – surrounded by the spathe
Table On Botanical Terms

Monstera Pinnatipartita – An Introduction

The Monstera Pinnatipartita is a less common and well-known plant species in the Monstera genus. The humid lowland rainforests of Peru and Colombia are home to this species.

Though lesser, it is also found in Costa Rica and is most common in Ecuador.

Juvenile plants don’t look like what the mature ones will look like at all. As the M. pinnatipartita matures, three to nine asymmetrical fenestrations develop on both sides of the midrib that can almost reach the center. Adult leaves are dark green on their upper surface and medium green on the underside.

This article will explore similar plants and varieties and how to care for and propagate your Pinnatipartita. As usual, Simplified Gardening will simplify the process while keeping it interesting.

Caring for Monstera Pinnatipartita – An Overview

FactorRequirementComments
SoilWell-draining, aerobic, rich in organic matterRead on for the best mix
LightBright indirect sunlightFenestration is light-dependent
WaterKeep soil dampYou want to avoid root rot and drooping or yellowing leaves. I show you how.
Humidity60% or moreThey tolerate humidity well
Temperature65°F to 80°FThis is a neotropical plant that needs some heat to survive
Container3 gallons or larger with excellent drainageIncrementally increase pot size. I explain it in detail below.
FertilizerFertilize monthly with diluted liquid fertilizerI share what I use below.
RepottingRepot when roots emerge from drain holes – or earlier.A pot two inches bigger than the current pot
Hardiness zonesZone 10b to 12.Can grow outdoor in southern parts of Florida
LeavesAs leaves mature, they develop fenestrations and eventually become strongly pinnatifid, with deep incisions.Like most aroids, leaf shapes morph with age. Juvenile leaves are ovate and mature to become increasingly more deeply lobed
HeightClimbs 20 to 30 feet or moreDepends on support and pruning. Read on for the full scoop.
Table on how to care for Monstera pinnatipartita

M. Pinnatipartita Preferred Soil

Because they can tolerate almost anything, this popular indoor houseplant’s soil requirements are sometimes disregarded.

The truth is that shoot health reflects root health, and plant health is a soil health product.

M. pinnatipartita is like a well-drained, nutrient-rich potting mix with good moisture management potential.

Several warning signals will alert you to a problem with the plant when the soil conditions aren’t ideal. Knowing the natural habitat of a plant helps us replicate an appropriate environment for our plants – this is what our Monstera pinnatipartita needs for its roots:

  • Good drainage – Monsteras are used to organically rich soil that dries rapidly in the summer but remains moist. Reproduce this environment by creating soil rich in compost or leaf mold. Drainage (and aeration) can be further improved by adding some orchid bark and perlite.
  • Consistent moisture – Monstera plants prefer soil draining well but do not want the soil to dry completely. Healthy compost will help manage water, allowing drainage while retaining some for the plant. Leaf mold can hold 500 times its weight in water, and coconut coir does the same – it helps gardeners retain water without allowing wet feet.
  • Nutrient-rich conditions – In its natural habitat, the Monstera plant’s ground roots are in the soil’s top few inches, the most bioactive layer. The microorganisms in this soil improve its cation exchange capacity (CEC), the ability to hold water and nutrients. I cannot overemphasize the value of healthy compost and mulch, even indoors. The microorganisms also ensure that the soil pH is optimal for the plants, which in the case of the M. pinnatipartita, is slightly acidic, around 6.20.

Watching a monstera leaf unfurl is as spellbinding as watching a queen unfurl her fancy Victorian dress during a curtsy.

Khang Kijarro Nguyen

My Monstera Potting Mix Recipe

  • Mix regular potting soil, compost, and perlite in a 1:1 ratio – one measure of one for every measure of the other.
  • Add a couple of handfuls of orchid bark to improve aeration (and help avoid root rot).
  • Use two parts of the mix above with one part of coconut coir to improve the soil’s moisture-holding capacity.
  • Adding a little sand or some Leca pebbles in bigger pots might assist the soil drain a bit more. Like coconut coir, LECA (lightweight, expanded clay aggregate) will retain moisture without permitting standing water. In the long run, these solids will help prevent soil compaction.
  • Add a slow-release fertilizer to the soil mixture to maintain your plant’s health. If you use fertilizers monthly or every two months, you may mimic the nutrient-rich rainforest soils in which monstera plants flourish (more on fertilizing below).
Monstera pinnatipartita Potting Mix

M. Pinnatipartita Light Preference

To access higher portions of the canopy, climbers use the Monstera Pinnatipartita. In its native environment, it is protected by a canopy of trees and has access to long stretches of brilliant yet filtered light.

We must reproduce this environment to ensure the success of your plant. An ideal day has 6 to 8 hours of dappled light. You should consider placing your Monstera on East-facing windowsills. Make careful to imitate climbing a host tree by using a moss pole.

Any intense direct light can be filtered with a transparent curtain or shade cloth. Its leaves will be scorched and harmed by such intensity.

It can handle lower light levels like most Monsteras, but the growth will be lanky, and the leaves will seem duller. Its leaves may also remain immature, failing to fenestrate if light levels are too low.

How to Water Your M. Pinnatipartita

The soil must be damp but not wet to cultivate Monstera pinnatipartita properly. Watering is frequently advised when the soil is almost entirely dry.

However, in my experience, the quantity of water your plant requires varies depending on relative humidity levels, temperature, amount of light it receives, size, etcetera.

Although some gardeners advise adding water to your Monstera pinnatipartita when the soil is entirely dry, I believe a day before is preferable. Avoid letting it burn, but don’t add more water if it’s already moist.

Additionally, anytime you do, especially if you’re feeding the plant, water well until it drains. Make sure the plant isn’t standing in a tray of water.

The biggest cause of problems with Monstera is overwatering

Temperature

The plant likes warm temperatures but is partially resistant to cool temperatures (not cold). It can take a minimum of 50°F (10°C) for short periods. For your M. pinnatipartita to perform optimally, grow it at a moderate temperature between 65-80°F (18-27°C).

Humidity

According to the EPA, a home’s ideal relative humidity (RH) range is between 30% and 50%. Regrettably, that is too low for your M. pinnatipartite, which prefers a relative humidity upward of  60%.

To boost the room’s RH, consider investing in a humidifier. Alternatively, use LECA in a water tray – the evaporating water will up the RH.

Create a tropical forest effect by grouping all your aroids, including Aglaonemas, Philodendrons, and Pothos species.

Diversity is beautiful, and you can create a tropical feel by adding a variety of shapes, colors, and dimensions. They grouped plants further boost humidity levels as they transpire.

Fertilization

Fertilizer is not the beginning and end of plant nutrition – unless you’re growing hydroponics. Soil’s ability to retain nutrients at the plant roots depends on the soil’s cation exchange capacity (CEC).

Think of CEC as magnetizing your soil to attract and keep water and nutrients in it. Without CEC, the water and the nutrients merely wash through – like in hydroponics.

But what increases soil CEC? Sand has a low CEC, and clay has a high CEC. Soils containing organic matter can retain water and nutrients, making them available to plants over time.

So, first things first – ensure your soil has compost included to help it keep the food you feed your plant available for it to enjoy for a while – about a month. Slow-release Osmocote 14:14:14 can extend feeds to 2-month intervals.

If you use a liquid fertilizer, may I suggest halving the quantities and doubling the applications? That way, your nutrition remains more available to the plant without the risk of overfeeding.

Slow-release fertilizer in the soil encourages monstera plants to develop more quickly. Monsteras benefit from ordinary houseplant fertilizer (nitrogen, phosphate, and potassium), but don’t overdo it!

Feed from spring through fall, when your monstera is actively growing. Fertilizing will scorch fragile new growth on monstera leaves if the weather has recently been extremely cold or the roots have been injured by rot. Reduce feeding (and watering) rates for winter.

Fertilizing Indoor Monstera

Monstera Pinnatipartita Propagation

The most widely used propagation technique for M. pinnatipartita is the stem or tip cuttings that can take root in water or soil. I expand on how to propagate using different techniques below.

Propagating M. pinnatipartita from Tip Cuttings

  • Pick a stem tip from a mother plant that is mature and ideally has obvious aerial roots.
  • A sterile pair of sharp secateurs should be used to cut the stem tip along with at least two leaf nodes. To increase the amount of media exposure, cut at a 45-degree angle.
  • Pinch the lowest node’s leaves.
  • Maintain a container with a 50/50 mixture of perlite and sphagnum moss that is evenly and extremely moist but not dripping wet.
  • The cuttings usually root rather well, making the need for rooting hormones obsolete.
  • Push down the earth for support and bury the stem with at least one node far below the surface.
  • Keep the pot out of the direct sun but in a relatively bright area.
  • Maintain moisture in the soil until the cutting has taken root. It ought to take one to two weeks. After eight weeks, transfer it to ordinary potting soil.
Monstera pinnatipartita Cuttings

Propagating M. pinnatipartita in Water

  • Select a mature mother plant stem tip that ideally has visible aerial roots.
  • The stem tip and at least two leaf nodes should be cut using a clean pair of sharp secateurs. Make the incision at a 45-degree angle to reveal more of the material.
  • Pinch the leaves of the lowest node.
  • Choose a jar with an opening at least 3 inches wide, which is only deep enough to submerge the cutting’s nodes, but the terminal leaves are exposed to air.
  • Simplify Note: If the jar’s mouth is too small, the cutting’s roots will break when you remove it.
  • Place your cutting in the clean water-filled jar.
  • Do not disrupt the cutting; keep in an area with indirect sunshine.
  • After one to two weeks, the nodes submerged in water will begin to produce new roots.
  • Once the roots are an inch long, you can replant the cutting.

How to air-layer your Monstera pinnatipartita

Monstera pinnatipartita Air Layering
  • A six-inch clear plastic bag, twist ties, and sphagnum moss are required.
  • Choose a sturdy, leggy node with aerial roots. Right under that node, cut a shallow incision no deeper than 1/4th the thickness of the stem.
  • Make a few tiny holes in the bottom of the plastic bag, then stuff it with a fistful of uniformly moist sphagnum moss. Cut the plastic bag’s top end so that there are flaps to roll around the stem.
  • Let’s go on to the plant now. Hold the plastic bag of wet moss against the chosen aerial root node with one hand. Wrap the plastic flaps around the stem with your free hand. With the help of twisty ties, attach this bag of moist moss to the stem, creating a cozy cocoon for the node.
  • Watering through the plastic’s perforations, you can keep the moss damp.
  • After two weeks, you’ll see that the roots have gotten into the moss.
  • Cut the stem below the new roots to separate the cutting from the mother, then remove the moss without damaging your new roots.
  • Pot it and keep the soil moist until the new plant is well-established.

Simplify Note: Do this simultaneously for several nodes to increase your chances of success and ensure that at least one of them becomes the root node.

Potting your M. Pinnatipartita

  • Growing M. pinnatipartita as a climber instead of a trailing vine is recommended. It must be planted in a large (3-gallon) pot with a pole covered in moss, wood, or another type of trellis for their stems to climb.
  • The plant is supported by long, hanging aerial roots that the stems transmit down.
  • Keep the soil loose and the container large since the roots prefer airy. Don’t use too large a pot as this will cause compaction.
  • UNLIKE OTHER EPIPHYTES, the M. pinnatipartita does not necessarily need to be rootbound.
  • Monstera pinnatipartita care needs a solid base because of its top-heavy nature.
Potting Monstera pinnatipartita

Challenges Common To Growing Monstera Pinnatipartita

No Leaf Fenestration

It typically has to do with light. Its growth will be slowed if the weather is colder where you live because of weaker sunshine. If you relocate it to a location with sufficient lighting, the fenestrations should reappear once the new growing season begins. Another explanation is that there is nothing to climb on.

Brown Edges on Leaves

If the margins become brown and dry, your plant is dehydrated and overexposed to the sun. Excess nitrogen can also cause leaf-edge browning.

Leaves Yellowing

The most frequent cause of yellow leaves is overwatering. If your plant has yellow leaves, inspect the soil. Overwatering is probably the problem if the soil has constantly been wet, drains poorly, or if you have forgotten to empty the drip tray after watering.

Potential M. Pinnatipartita Pests and Infections

Since M. Pinnatipartita is a hardy tropical plant, pests and insects are typically not an issue. However, mealybugs and spider mites are the most prevalent pests.

The most effective preventative measure is a regular monthly application of insecticidal soap and neem oil, or as directed on the box.

When I water my Monstera pinnatipartita plant once a week for insect management, I spray the leaves with water and then wipe them dry.

In Closing

Bacterial and fungal infections can be prevented by maintaining a clean environment around the plant, removing dead leaves, and utilizing sterile organic feeds.

Ensure the plant is completely dry after sprinkling, sponging, or your choice of cleaning system.

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