Making the Most of Your Monstera Plant Care

Making the Most of Your Monstera Plant Care

How to care for your Monstera

Your Monstera plant will do best in a location with medium to bright indirect light. That means no direct sun rays, which can cause leaf burn. It is possible to slowly acclimate most Monstera sp. to full sun (especially deliciosa). If you do not have a suitable location with appropriate natural lighting, consider using a grow light to supplement your plant's light requirements.

Monstera love being watered regularly. Do not allow your Monstera's soil to fully dry. Water when 25-50% of the soil is dry (top 1-2" of soil in a 4" pot for example). Water your plant until water drains through the bottom drainage holes and allow the pot to sit until it stops dripping. If your soil is not absorbing water, bottom water your plant instead by sitting the pot in a container of 3-4" of water for 10 minutes. This can help rehydrate extremely dry soi.

Monstera are tropical plants that thrive in high humidity. They are typically found growing up trees with their aerial roots grown into the bark. The more moisture you provide your monstera, the more aerial root growth you will notice. Higher than ambient humidity can be achieved with a mister, humidifier, or a pebble tray to hold water.

Monstera prefer warmer temperatures in the 65-85 degree range. In cooler environments you may expect the plant to grow a little slower. This plant is likely to suffer cold damage at temperatures below 50 degrees.

Feeding your Monstera

Monstera, like all plants, require fertilizer to thrive. Look for a product with an N-P-K (nitrogen (N), phosphorous (P), potassium (K)) value of 10-10-10 or 6-12-6 and use it to feed your plant once a month from spring through summer. If your plant leaves begin to yellow near th edges with proper watering, there may be a buildup of salts in the soil, reduce fertilizing and flush your pot with water to help remove the salts. These plants do not require fertilizer during dormant winter months. When fertilizing your plant, ensure the soil is moist (not dry) to avoid burning the plant.

Common Monstera Issues

Leggy Petioles
If your plant is growing "lanky" or long petioles with larger spaces between leaves it is likely your plant is not getting sufficient sunlight or proper duration. The other possibility, if lighting needs are being met, is a need for more fertilizer or plant nutrients to provide the plant the building blocks it needs to grow large and vigorous. Dormancy
Your Monstera will experience a dormant period in the winter months when it may drop leaves and stop producing new foliage (as a result of the plant's internal timer detecting less sunlight). During dormancy, keep your Monstera in a warm spot with ample light. Reduce the frequency of watering but do not allow the potting mix to completely dry out.

Limp Leaves
Be sure that all your plants natural needs are being met. This is most likely a watering issue (frequency or amount). Yellow Leaves
If the edges of your leaves are turning yellow (from the outside inward) this is typically a clear sign of a watering issue or an accumulation of salt from fertilizers.

Common Pests of Monstera Plants
A weakened or stressed Monstera is more susceptible to pest infestations. Insects like spider mites can drain your plant of moisture with their sucking mouth parts, they pierce the leaf and leave tell-tale circular scars behind. This problem quickly manifests itself by yellowing leaflets and fronds. Scale, mealybugs, and spider mites occur frequently in indoor conditions. If not managed early on, pests may proliferate and move to other plants. The piercing mouths of the insects exhaust your plant and accelerate yellowing, especially if your Monstera is already unhealthy from poor lighting, a nutrient deficiency, or improper soil moisture.These wounds can also be an opening for opportunistic pathogens.

Regularly misting or wiping down your plants leaf surfaces will help not only the photosynthesis and overall health of your plant it will help reduce the likelihood that your plant becomes a target for pests.

Are Monstera Pet Friendly?

Monstera plants of any variety are NOT pet friendly and are considered toxic when ingested. Symptoms may include itching, salivating, vomiting, pawing at the mouth. Seek medical attention immediately (veterinarian or poison control hotline) if you believe your pet has ingested a toxic substance.