Picture of a girl looking behind a large leaf.

Monstera Deliciosa Plant Care

Monstera Deliciosa… what a lovely plant to care for!

Let’s start by the name itself. This tropical plant can grow to be quite a monster (hence the ‘Monstera’) and in its natural environment, it has edible fruits (which are apparently ‘Delicious’)!

If you have ever seen or tried said fruits, it would be great to know your feedback in the comments below… because we haven’t so far and can’t help our curiosity!!

This is a great houseplant for any plant parent as it is quite hardy and can tolerate a wide range of conditions (make sure you have space though!).

 

Plant ID:

Monstera Deliciosa (a.k.a. Cheese Plant, Swiss Cheese Plant, Split Leaf Philodendron, Fruit Salad Plant).

My collection:

At the moment I only have one Monstera Deliciosa (I wouldn’t have space for a lot more).

Other Monstera plants that I own are the Monstera Adansonii (a.k.a. Monstera Monkey Mask), the Monstera Minima, and the Monstera Peru.

Very popular since last year or so, are the variegated varieties (Monstera Albo and Monstera Thai Constellation).

And if I could get my hands even in a tiny little cutting, I definitely would… They are beautiful!

But still quite expensive. And no, I haven’t reached the level of spending that much money on any one plant quite yet.

 

Monstera Deliciosa mature leaf close-up
by pexels.com

 

Plant origin:

Tropical forests of southern Mexico and Panama.

Difficulty Level:

Moderate.

Growth:

This plant can grow to be massive and besides its huge leaves and spread out shape, it will eventually have lots of aerial roots as well, spreading through your home. Cool right?

If it is too much though, or it just doesn’t please you, simply cut it back as this plant is very hardy and won’t be easily harmed.

Before reaching maturity, you will find that the leaves of your Monstera Deliciosa may have little (if any) holes or fenestrations on them. As the plant matures, you will start to get super interesting design leaves that can easily make quite a statement in any space.

I would also invite you to notice the change in color on the leaves of your Split Leaf. The new leaves as they unfurl will be of a much brighter green and will slowly become of a darker color.

Light:

Being an under-story plant in its natural habitat, it prefers medium to bright indirect light and temperatures of 20–30 °C (68–86 °F).

It can tolerate lower light conditions, but that will slow down its growth and probably the new leaves will grow smaller and won’t have as good fenestrations.

It wouldn’t be a great idea to place it in strong direct light such as the window sill of a south window.

Water:

Although my usual advice for most houseplants is to let the soil dry out completely between watering, for the Monstera Deliciosa I wouldn’t wait that long, but rather water it when 3/4 of the soil is dry.

Also, remember that this plant will appreciate a nice bath every now and then…

Let it feel like it’s in the tropical forest again by simply placing it under your shower. This is a 3 in 1 care routine which will help raise the humidity levels, water thoroughly and clean its leaves.

Yes, it’s important for the leaves to remain clean! Of course this applies for all plants in your home, but having such large leaves, the Monstera will accumulate large amounts of dust and, when dirty, it will be harder for the plant to photosynthesize.

 

Very large Monstera plant indoors, mixed with other plants
by unsplash.com

 

Humidity:

Although this is not mandatory for this plant to be healthy and looking good indoors, the Monstera is native from humid tropical forests and will love the extra humidity.

If your environment is generally dry and you do not have a humidifier, mist it every once in a while and take the opportunity to clean the leaves as you go.

Fertilizing:

Do it every couple of weeks during the growing season. This is a fast grower and will appreciate it’s extra nutrients regularly.

Soil and Pot:

Although this is an easy-going plant, since it will grow quite fast, you will need to repot it about every couple of years.

Not only to provide it with fresh soil (and new nutrients!) but also because by then it will probably have already outgrown its pot and will need more space to grow.

You will want to select a pot that is a little bigger than the existing one.

I find that both plastic and terracotta work well. With terracotta, you’ll need to water your plant a lot more often, of course, but you’ll also be less likely to overwatering.

You definitely want it to have good drainage holes as well as a soil mix that will let it breathe and drain well but also that can partly retain the soil moist without keeping it wet.

Propagation:

Propagating Monstera can be done in both soil or water.

Make sure you get your cuttings from below a node (that’s the swollen section of the stem) and if it has an aerial root coming out, even better!

If you go for water, find a suitable vase or container that you will partially fill with water. Place your cutting into the water covering the node area and wait patiently. Make sure you change the water of your container at least about once a week.

If you go for soil, the cutting process would be the same and you’d also cover your node with soil. Do keep it moist for about a month or so and then go back to your regular schedule.

Pet safe:

No!

(Although one of my cats, as a baby, decided to eat an entire leaf off of mine and I didn’t notice any problems then.)


Here’s a list of some of our favorite gadgets, products, and books that all houseplant parents should know about! Also, visit the Etsy store for some more inspiration…

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