When it comes to making a botanical statement about living life on your own terms, few plants offer as much drama and personality as Monstera deliciosa and its relatives.These exotic tropicals look demanding, but learning how to grow and care for monsteras is a simple, satisfying task.These beauties are native to the tropical rainforests of Central America,1 where they climb skyward from jungle floors to great heights.Very similar in appearance to Monstera adansonii, it has narrower, thinner leaves and a greater percentage of leaf holes.In their native tropical habitat, monsteras reach towering heights thanks to aerial roots.Given the right conditions and support, Monstera deliciosa are long-lived plants that can grow 10 to 15 feet tall indoors and stretch 8 feet wide, with leaves that measure 18 inches across or more.1 Variegated monstera grow much slower and rarely achieve that size indoors.Depending on the plant type and growing conditions, leaf perforations progress to dramatic split leaves.By providing your plant with these basics, you help ensure it stays in good health: Light – In the rainforest, towering trees protect monstera leaves from intense sun.From spring through fall — your monstera's active growth period — give it bright indirect or filtered light.In winter when sun is less intense, direct light encourages the best color and leaf development.– In the rainforest, towering trees protect monstera leaves from intense sun.From spring through fall — your monstera's active growth period — give it bright indirect or filtered light.In winter when sun is less intense, direct light encourages the best color and leaf development.Water – Monsteras are tropicals, but they prefer that soil dries out slightly during active growth.– Monsteras are tropicals, but they prefer that soil dries out slightly during active growth.Follow the label instructions for your plant's container size, and feed every 12 to 16 weeks.When roots emerge through drainage holes, shift your plant to a pot one size larger. .

Good to Know: How to Propagate a Monstera (and other care tips

Since my monstera is pretty mature and very healthy, I have several options when it comes to selecting cuttings to propagate. .

Truth about Monstera leaves and their holes

In nature, monstera can reach 30-40 meters in height, in indoor conditions, of course, the dimensions are more modest.According to biologist Christopher Muir of Indiana University in Bloomington, the holes in the leaves are due to the conditions in which the plant lives in its natural environment.Most of the time, it is hidden from sunlight by the dense crowns of trees - and photosynthesis has to be done thanks to the bright sun rays, which only occasionally fall on the leaves.These rays pass through the foliage of trees in gusts of wind, so that where they will fall is impossible to predict.With age, monsters rise higher along tree trunks, where the sun's rays penetrate more often.In the lower tiers, where young monsters live, random rays still barely reach, so the holes are practically useless here.Previously, scientists suggested that the holes in the leaves either help the monsters better tolerate heavy rains (letting wind and water pass), or in some way participate in thermoregulation.Christopher Moore claims that his hypothesis can be tested by placing the sensors in the shape of a solid and leaky leaf to determine which of them catches light more often.Monster will not give beautiful large leaves until its roots filled the entire planter.From experience I realized that almost all aroids do this - they do not grow large leaves, and do not bloom, while the roots in the pot feel spacious. .

How To Care for a Monstera Deliciosa

Monstera adansonii is distinguished from M. deliciosa by having longer, tapering leaves, as well as having completely enclosed leaf holes.Monstera deliciosa leaf holes eventually grow towards the edge and open up as they mature.Monsteras, like many aroids, were made known formally to the botanical world during the early 20th century, although they had been known for much longer by the indigenous peoples of Central America.Mix in ingredients such as perlite or lava rocks to increase soil aeration as need.Treat pests as soon as they appear with weekly sprays of a natural pesticide like neem oil and regular wipe-downs of the plant.SYMPTOM: Yellowing leaves or black stems, wet potting mix. .

Monstera Plant Care Guide

“What’s great about the monstera is how quickly it can transform a space, making it feel more alive and tropical,” says Carter, who recently collaborated with Target on a collection of faux and real plants, plus accessories.Because they’re native to tropical areas, Carter explains monsteras do best in bright, indirect sunlight, so place it in a room that gets plenty of natural light throughout the day, but not right in front of the window.Try not to let the temperature drop below 60°F, and if the room is particularly dry because you’re running the heat or AC, give your plant its own humidifier or mist it a few times a week.Finally, if you want your Swiss cheese baby to not just survive but thrive, you can give it something to climb on, whether it’s a stake, trellis, or moss pole.He also suggests keeping your Swiss cheese plant in a porous pot (like ones made from terra-cotta) to allow extra moisture to evaporate, avoiding root rot.This type of monstera is typically a smaller vining plant which can hang loose or be trained to climb along walls, bookshelves, or trellises.Carter explains that all you have to do is cut off a leaf and stem just after a node, then pop it a glass jar or propagation station with some lukewarm water. .

Propagating Monstera Deliciosa

Today, we’ll cover taking a cutting from your own parent plant, and how to get it started growing roots and new leaves.For advice about buying a cutting to propagate, look out for our variegated Monstera purchasing guide, coming soon.Check out our Monstera care product recommendations that you can purchase from Amazon.Understanding the parts of a Monstera Deliciosa plant will help you achieve success when propagating.Each petiole (the long green stalk that holds the leaf) grows out of a node.Right above each node is an axillary bud, the dormant shoot of a new stem, waiting to be awakened by a cut.Until it grows roots, the plant is missing a vital piece of the photosynthesis equation: water.Without an external source of water, your plant cannot feed itself for long, and will eventually turn yellow.In order for your Monstera Deliciosa to survive propagation, you need to focus on growing roots.Note that the transfer from propagating medium to soil can cause some roots to die!I have heard some people use a rule of thumb like, “expect 1/3 of the roots to die in transition.”.The exact number depends on how much you disturb the roots while planting, and how similar you keep the moisture level.This can happen before the cutting is established in it’s final medium if you keep it rooting for a long time.If your cutting starts to produce new growth, it is getting enough water to be a happy, thriving plant again!You can see this growth point as a pointy bump forming on the petiole of the newest leaf.You can see this growth point as a pointy bump forming on the petiole of the newest leaf.Propagating a Monstera Deliciosa without a leaf is possible, it just takes longer with no leaves to perform photosynthesis.A cutting with more leaves can produce more energy once it is rooted and regains access to water.This speeds up the process of growing the first new leaf, or activating the axillary bud, if applicable.For a top cutting, the newest node is typically immature and may not have an aerial root yet.In that case, the leaves will turn yellow and die off one by one until a balance is reached.They will make the unrooted phase much shorter, reducing risk to your plant.If the aerial root is a thin pale string with the outer casing falling off, it has rotted and should be cut off as well.Without a node and axillary bud, you can root a Monstera leaf but never produce a new plant.There are a ton of ways to successful propagate your Monstera Deliciosa into a new plant!When choosing a method of propagating your Monstera Deliciosa, consider the things your cutting needs to grow roots and avoid rot:.Until your cutting grows roots, you don’t need to add nutrients to the water you use to moisten your propagation medium, because it can’t absorb them.Air layering is the best method of propagating because it allows your cutting to grow roots while still attached to the parent plant.This removes the unrooted phase of propagation, giving your cutting the best possible chance to succeed.A fish tank air stone can be added to increase water oxygen levels.Pros: Can use a clear container to see roots form and check cutting for rot.We use this hanging propagation station to decorate our home and clear up counter space near our bright kitchen window.Moist moss holds a lot of water, which is great for maintaining humidity around roots while still allowing airflow.This method can yield great results, but is difficult to execute correctly.Perlite has very similar benefits to water, with the addition of greater airflow.Perlite is absorbent and porous, so it will wick moisture up to areas of the container that are not underwater.Keep the container filled with a small reservoir of water below the level of the stem, and cover the top to hold in humidify around the roots.You can use any chunky, inorganic material for this method, like pumice or LECA, if you don’t have perlite.Perlite is my preference because it is so lightweight; it is easy to pull out the cutting to check on it without disturbing it too much.Make sure you pick a course perlite (#3 or bigger to minimize dust) without fertilizer.In the future, we will be creating a detailed how-to guide for every single one of these methods, so stay tuned!Identify the location of the axillary bud, above the node, and make sure it is included in the cutting.Cut the stem cleanly, without causing any crushing damage, to keep the tissue healthy.Once you chop your cutting, you may notice the exposed tissue turning a reddish brown color within a few minutes.Don’t worry; this is just it reacting to air, the same way your blood turns red outside your body.Powder is best for dry mediums (like soil and not water) because it will wash off in a liquid.If there is any extra in the dipping container, I mix it into the water that I add to the propagating medium.As it is exposed to air, the end of the cutting will naturally callous, creating a barrier to protect the plant from rot and infection.If you ever cut your Monstera Deliciosa for propagation, have a broken stem, or just break off the new growth point on a developing leaf, don’t worry!Monsteras have a trait called apical dominance, which just means that one stem has one growth point active at a time.When the dominant growth point is broken or removed, the Monstera will naturally activate a dormant axillary bud.A new growth point will break through the side of the stem and eventually make a new leaf.If your Monstera parent plant or mid cutting has not started growing a new bud, you can try to help it along.Typically, you don’t need to go to the extra effort since Monstera are so easy to propagate via cuttings.The seeds of a variegated Monstera plant will produce green offspring unless one happens to spontaneously mutate, but the odds are almost zero.This is the main reason variegated Monstera are rare; they can only be produced by using a cutting of the parent plant.Check out our Monstera care product recommendations that you can purchase from Amazon. .

Large Monstera

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