How to care for a monstera deliciosa

Who hasn’t seen this beauty? It’s all over paintings, pillows even t-shirts.

But what is this mysterious beauty? Monstera native to Central America are of the evergreen tropical species of vines and shrubs. These large plants are also part of the Araceae family of “air plants”. Since when in wild they typically grow on top of other tree trunks or plants.

Since most Monstera Deliciosa are now indoor plants they aren’t able to produce the beautiful edible fruit or flower that they can produce if grown outdoors.

Famous for their holes these large plants are usually called the “Swiss-Cheese Plant” They’re two main species of Monstera – Monstera Deliciosa and Monstera Adansonii .

Monstera Deliciosa

The M. Adansonii is distinguished from M. Deliciosa by having longer, tapering leaves, as well as having completely enclosed leaf holes. 

M. Deliciosa leaf holes eventually grow towards the edge and open up as they mature.

General Care

Sunlight

Thrives in bright to medium indirect light. Not suited for intense, direct sun but can be acclimated to withstand it – especially if grown outdoors

Water

Water every 1-2 weeks, allowing soil to dry out between waterings. Increase frequency with increased light.

Humidity

Normal room humidity will do, but prefers humid conditions if possible. Mist with water for added humidity

Temperature

65°F-85°F (18°C-30°C). It’s best not to let it go below 60°F (15°C). Remember it’s a tropical plant!

Common Problems

It is an easy-going plant and is generally pest-free. Treat pests as soon as they appear with weekly sprays of horticultural (neem) oil and regular wipe-downs of the plant.

Monstera Deliciosa

SYMPTOM: Leaves turning brown and crispy at leaf edges

CAUSE: Under Watered or high salt build up (Try using boiled tap water if you don’t have access to filtered water, to remove minerals)

SYMPTOM: Wilting while potting mix is dry

CAUSE: Under watered OR pot-bound. Trim leaves or re-pot if watering doesn’t fix the wilting.

SYMPTOM: Yellowing, with bright yellow leaves and/or black stems while potting mix is wet.

CAUSE: Overwatered

SYMPTOM: Leaves curling, but still green

CAUSE: Rootbound, underwatered. Overwatered if accompanied by yellow leaves. Possible cold shock.

Precautions

Irritating to cats, dogs, and humans only if foliage consumed.  The fruit is edible to humans. The best practice is always to keep houseplants out of reach of small children and pets.

Posted by

Melissa Philippe, or Mel, is the founder and creator of Da Modern Mama. An organisation built around the advocacy and support for POC maternal health. After being an English educator for 8+ years, Mel decided to devote her time to being a speaker and advocate for women of colour. With degrees in English, Writing and literature while being a doula and certified Montessori educator and an Adult and Child Psychologist focused on development and neuroscience. It's allowed her to learn from both sides of the fence and use the same practices in our family. Melissa is also a multi-award-winning author, writer, educator, parent coach, and keynote speaker. - Melissa Philippe (Laura Valentine)

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