Monstera deliciosa is a favored houseplant, also known as a split-leaf philodendron. Native to Central America, it’s popular for its large, glossy leaves with unique fenestrations. It is a climbing plant that can grow up to 20 feet tall in its natural habitat, but it will typically reach a more manageable size indoors, around 6-8 feet tall. Though it can quickly take over if given the right growing conditions.
Monstera deliciosa is a relatively easy-to-care-for plant making it a great choice for beginners, while unique enough for experienced plant enthusiasts. With our Monstera Deliciosa care guide we’ll share a few things you can do to keep it thriving.
About Monstera Deliciosa
Monstera deliciosa is native to the tropical rainforests of southern Mexico and Central America, ranging from southern Mexico to Panama. It has been introduced to many tropical areas around the world, and has become a popular houseplant in temperate zones.
In its native habitat, Monstera deliciosa is a climbing vine that can reach up to 70 feet tall. It uses its aerial roots to attach to trees and other supports. Young Monstera deliciosa leaves are heart-shaped. As the plant matures, the leaves of Monstera deliciosa become large and glossy, with distinctive fenestrations. The fenestrations are thought to help the plant to reduce the weight of its leaves and to capture more sunlight.
Monstera Deliciosa Care Guide
Monstera deliciosa is a relatively easy-care houseplant. It prefers bright, indirect light, moist but well-draining soil, and warm temperatures. Also, with such large leaves, proper cleaning is essential. With proper care, Monstera deliciosa can thrive for many years.
Monstera deliciosa prefers bright, indirect light. Avoid placing it in direct sunlight, as this can scorch its leaves. If your plant is not getting enough light, its leaves will become pale and leggy.
Monstera deliciosa likes to be kept moist, but not soggy. Allow the top inch of soil to dry out between waterings. Be careful not to overwater, as this can lead to root rot.
Monstera deliciosa prefers high humidity. You can increase the humidity around your plant by misting it regularly or placing it on a pebble tray filled with water.
Monstera deliciosa prefers warm temperatures between 65 and 85 degrees Fahrenheit. It can tolerate cooler temperatures, but it will go dormant if it gets too cold.
Fertilize your Monstera deliciosa every two weeks during the spring and summer with a balanced fertilizer diluted to half strength. Do not fertilize during the fall and winter.
Monstera deliciosa prefers well-draining soil. You can use a potting mix specifically for tropical plants or make your own by mixing equal parts potting mix, perlite, and orchid bark.
Monstera deliciosa is a fast grower, so you may need to repot it every year or two. Choose a pot that is one size larger than the current pot and has drainage holes.
Monstera deliciosa is easy to propagate from stem cuttings. You can propagate by either water or soil. A lot of people prefer water, because it can be easier and it’s just neat to watch the roots grow.
To propagate, cut a stem with at least one node from the plant. Then, either place in a clear glass of water or plant it in a pot with moist soil. For the soil method, you may want to dip the cut end in rooting hormone first. Place the pot in a warm, humid location and keep the soil moist. By either method, roots should form within a few weeks.
As your Monstera deliciosa plant grows, it will need a support. A moss pole is a type of support that can be used to help Monstera deliciosa plants grow upwards. It is a long, cylindrical pole that is covered in sphagnum moss. The aerial roots of the Monstera deliciosa plant will attach to the moss pole, providing the plant with support and a way to absorb moisture and nutrients.
Monstera deliciosa is a relatively pest-resistant plant, but it can sometimes be susceptible to mealybugs, scale, and spider mites. If you see any pests on your plant, isolate it from other plants and treat it with an insecticidal soap or neem oil.
Monstera Aerial Roots Care
Monstera deliciosa can grow long aerial roots. These are a natural part of the plant’s growth habit. They help the plant to anchor itself to trees and other supports in its native rainforest habitat. Aerial roots can also absorb nutrients and moisture from the air.
Options for Monstera Aerial Roots Care
If you have a Monstera deliciosa houseplant, you may be wondering what to do with its aerial roots. Here are a few options:
- Leave them alone. Monstera deliciosa aerial roots are natural and harmless. They help the plant to absorb moisture and nutrients from the air, and they can also provide support for the plant as it grows.
- Direct them back into the soil. If your monstera deliciosa is potted, you can direct its aerial roots back into the soil. This will give the plant more access to moisture and nutrients, and it can also help to make the plant more stable. To do this, simply tuck the aerial roots into the soil and water the plant thoroughly.
- Cut them off. If you don’t like the way your monstera deliciosa aerial roots look, you can cut them off. This won’t harm the plant, but it will remove a source of moisture and nutrients. To cut off aerial roots, use a sharp, clean knife or shears. Cut the roots close to the stem, but be careful not to damage the stem itself.
- Use them to propagate new plants. Monstera deliciosa aerial roots can be used to propagate new plants. To do this, cut off an aerial root with at least one node. Dip the cut end in rooting hormone and plant it in a pot with moist soil. Place the pot in a warm, humid location and keep the soil moist. Roots should form within a few weeks.
If you do choose to cut the aerial roots off, be sure to seal the cut ends with a fungicide to prevent infection.
More Tips on Caring for Aerial Roots
Here are some additional tips for caring for Monstera deliciosa aerial roots:
- If you are training the aerial roots into the soil, keep the soil moist but not soggy.
- If you are leaving the aerial roots exposed, mist them regularly to help them stay hydrated.
- Avoid fertilizing the aerial roots directly, as this can damage them.
- Inspect the aerial roots regularly for pests and diseases.
Which option you choose depends on your personal preference and the needs of your plant.
More Monstera Deliciosa Care Tips
- Dust the leaves regularly. This will help the plant to photosynthesize efficiently.
- Rotate your plant periodically. This will ensure even growth on all sides.
- Clean the leaves with a damp cloth. This will remove any dust or dirt that has accumulated.
- Inspect your plant regularly for pests and diseases.
With proper care, your Monstera deliciosa will thrive for many years to come.