Monstera Deliciosa Care Guide
Monstera Deliciosa Care Guide
The Monstera deliciosa aka “Swiss Cheese Plant” is a very popular houseplant. Native to the tropics, hailing from the rain forests of southern Mexico and Central America. It gets it’s popularity from it’s highly attractive and decorative foliage. As most of you may know, this vibrant green beauty has been trending on Instagram with #MonsteraMonday.
The Monstera deliciosa is a climbing, evergreen perennial that can reach up to eight feet in height in your home. Their leaves alone can measure up to 2 feet long. Due to the impressive height of the Monstera deliciosa, you’ll need to use a trellis or moss poll for support.
Download the Monstera quick guide pictured above
When it comes to light, their ideal placement should be in bright but indirect sunlight. The brighter the light the healthier your Monstera will be, it’ll grow much faster too. Direct sunlight, especially for many hours a day can lead to the leaves getting burnt. We don’t want this, burnt leaves will die. If your Monstera isn’t getting enough light, the growth will slow down or it may stop all together. You’ll also notice the leaves that do manage to grow will be very small and have little to no fenestrations. If your seeing very small leaves developing on a mature plant and your aerial roots are super skinny, that means you need more light.
For the holidays I had to move my Monstera from in front of my window to a darker corner, let me tell you, she was not happy. She was still growing, but much much slower. The stems would come up super long with tiny tiny leaves on them. I’ll insert pictures of my Monstera below.
When my Monstera is in front of my SE window (protected by a sheer curtain) I get leaves like this.
And this is what the leaves looked like after being in a not so bright corner for only 1 month. Yes, the leaves have fenestrations.. But as you can see, the leaves are much much smaller.
Monstera Deliciosa like it fairly moist, so it’s best not to let them dry out too much. They like to be watered when the top inch or two is dry. I test mine by sticking my finger down into the soil or using my moisture meter. They are somewhat drought tolerant, so they will forgive you if your watering schedule is not consistent. They definitely do not like sitting in water or being over watered. If they are being over watered, they will show signs like yellowing leaves. For the Monstera Deliciosa it’s probably better to under water than to over water. They also do best when planted in a pot that has drainage holes.
An airy, well-draining soil is essential for Monsteras, they do not like sitting in water. Try a soil that has 60% coco coir or peat moss, 20% perlite, pumice or coarse sand and 20% organic matter, like worm castings. Stay away from soils containing water retentive gels.
Generally you would want to re-pot your Monstera Deliciosa when the roots start coming out the top or bottom of its pot. It’s not necessary to have it done right away, the plant will be perfectly fine if you leave it like this for awhile. If you choose not to re-pot your Monstera Deliciosa you can stunt the growth of the plant and that could be a good thing if you have limited space. On the other hand if you want your plant to get bigger, you’re going to want to bump the pot size up by 1 or 2 inches every year when the plant is young to encourage growth and freshen the soil. Go up in pot size until you reach the largest pot you wish to use.
Thereafter, the plant will need a fresh top dressing of rich soil every year but will be happy and healthy for several years at a time even if it is root bound. The best time to re-pot is gonna be late winter or early spring, this gives your plant a chance to re establish its roots, have a whole growing season to grow new foliage and fill out the pot. Your Monstera Deliciosa will in turn be a happier and healthier plant. After re-potting it’s best to wait about 3-6 months before you start fertilizing if you used a soil that has fertilizer in it, we don’t want to over feed our plants.
The ideal temperature for your Monstera Deliciosa is pretty much your average home temps, so between 20-30 degree C. If temperatures dip below 18 degrees C their growth will slow down, so its pretty common during the winter months for them to noticeably slow down in growth. If the temps drop below 10 degrees C, their growth will completely stop.
When it comes to humidity, they do enjoy a little humidity. Not too much, and they definitely don’t need it consistently like some other plants do. Misting them every few days or a couple times a week is more then enough to keep this beauty happy. If they are not getting enough humidity you’ll notice that the tips of their leaves turn brown.
If your plant hasn’t been re-potted in the last 3-6 months or you make your own soil mixture then you’re good to start fertilizing. Feeding your Monstera Deliciosa is super simple. From experience they seem to do very well when fed every month or so during the spring and summer. There is no need to feed them at all in the fall and winter. Any basic house plant fertilizer at half strength works wonders.
Propagation is pretty simple, because it’s a vining plant they can be propagated by cutting the stem just below a node with an aerial root. You can then place the cutting in some moist soil or water. If you choose to propagate in soil, try keeping the soil moist. If you choose to propagate in water, make sure to change the water once a week. Then give your cuttings some time and just like that, you have another Monstera.
Monsteras are in fact toxic to pets and humans, if ingested it can cause irritation and vomiting. Be sure to keep this green beauty out of reach of kids and animals.
Monsteras can get really big, and it is a vine so they can spread out quite wide if they aren’t given something to climb on. Typical practice for bigger Monsteras is to give the plant a moss poll. The aerial roots like to have something they can grow into and wrap around, so a moss poll is definitely a favorite. It is also important to not let your Monsteras leaves collect too much dust, otherwise they’ll run into trouble photosynthesizing. Wiping the leaves down with a damp cloth every so often is great practice when growing these truly beautiful “monsters” 🙂
The Monstera Deliciosa has these crazy aerial roots that seem to come from almost everywhere at times, some people like them and others don’t. If you don’t like them, it’s perfectly fine to just cut them off, or tuck them back down into the soil. I personally don’t cut mine off, I use them to help train my Monstera to climb up its moss poll. When misting your Monstera Deliciosa be sure to mist its aerial roots too, they seem to really like that as their aerial roots can get dry.
The most common pests found on the Monstera Deliciosa are thrips, mealy bugs and spider mites. When cleaning the leaves on your Monstera make it a habit to check it over for any pests.
If you love Monsteras as much as I do, be sure to check out my post on growing these beautiful plants from seeds! 🙂 Click HERE to check it out.
And that’s it! I think I covered just about everything, feel free to leave any comments or questions down below in the comment section, I always love hearing from you. If you liked this care guide and want to see more, please subscribe! I hope to see you again soon. 🙂