From rare Monstera species such as Monstera Obliqua Peru to the more popular variegated Monstera, this well loved house plant has been a favorite for many years. With proper care young specimens (sometimes mistakenly sold as Philodendron pertusum) soon develop large adult leaves which are perforated and deeply cut. Sturdy support is essential, as stems can reach a height of 20 ft or more. Read on for advice about how to care for your Monstera plant and the different types of Monstera.
Monstera is an evergreen tropical plant, in the family of arum family (Araceae). Monstera produces small leaves and spindly leaf stalks when there is not enough light, so brightness is essential. The Monstera stops growing altogether in deep shade.
Monstera leaves are shaped like a heart; they are quite large and beautiful, with a rich green color. Around the perimeter of the leaves are arranged symmetrical cuts. The leaves are smooth and shiny. The leaf length can be up to one meter.
Monstera plant prefers a shady, draught-free position, with good natural light. Feed liquid organic fertilizer once every two weeks during summer. Give it a good watering, but allow the pot to dry out a little between waterings. Less water is required in winter. The plant will benefit from having the leaves sponged frequently using clean water with a few drops of milk added.
The Monsteras are easy to grow and have no special requirements. However, the white lily-like flowers and edible fruits are only likely to appear on conservatory or greenhouse plants.
If your aim is to grow a tall Monstera plant with giant leaves you must care for the aerial roots – push them into the compost or use a moss stick.
Monstera deliciosa is the most common species grown as a house plant. With proper care, giant leaves will be produced. The form Monstera variegata has white and cream lines or patches on the leaves – more colorful but not necessarily more attractive. Where space is limited grow the compact variety M. borsigiana or M. mini. See more about the different Monstera varieties below.
Seed Propagation: Monstera propagation from seeds takes patience. Begin by collecting fresh seeds from a ripe Monstera fruit, then plant them in a well-draining potting mix. Keep the soil consistently moist and maintain a warm and humid environment. Germination can be slow and may take weeks or even months. As seedlings grow, provide them with adequate light and gradually acclimate them to a more stable environment.
Cuttings Propagation: One of the most popular methods, cuttings propagation, involves selecting a healthy stem with at least one node and one or two leaves. It’s usually best to do this from spring to early summer. Snip the cutting just below a node and allow it to air dry briefly to prevent rot. Sprinkle the place where the stalk was cut with charcoal. Plant the stalk in a pot preferably in a mini greenhouse with indirect light. Ensure it is watered 2 times a day. The plant should be transplanted into another pot when the roots appear.
Top Propagation (Air Layering): Top propagation, also known as air layering, is a more advanced method that produces a mature plant quickly. Choose a section of stem and make a small incision just below a node. Pack the incision with moist sphagnum moss and wrap it in plastic or a plastic bag to create a humid environment. Roots will grow within the moss, and once they are robust, cut the rooted section below the moss and pot it as a new plant.
Monster problems can occur with the wrong care or watering. Here are some common problems:
If the leaves are dry and fall off it is too hot. You need to move the Monstera deliciosa away from direct heat or sunlight and spray it often with water.
If the stalks are rotting in the winter then the soil is likely to be waterlogged.
If the Monstera leaves become yellow, dry, and brown spots appear on the surface, then there is not enough moisture.
Leaves are small and faded means there is not enough light.
If the Monstera deliciosa quickly loses its leaves, there is a lack of nutrients.
Here are 10 beautiful Monstera species that you might like to consider adding to your indoor plant collection.
The Iconic Split-Leaf Philodendron Monstera Deliciosa, also known as the iconic split-leaf philodendron, has become a symbol of botanical beauty. Its large, fenestrated leaves create a dramatic and tropical ambiance, making it an instantly recognizable and iconic addition to any indoor jungle.
The Swiss Cheese Plant Monstera Adansonii, often referred to as the Swiss Cheese Plant, boasts distinctive hole-filled leaves that add a touch of whimsy to any plant collection. Whether in its regular form or the indo variegata variety, this Monstera is a true standout.
The Silver Monstera Monstera Siltepecana features uniquely silver-toned leaves that develop striking fenestrations as they mature. The silver accents make it a stunning and captivating choice for plant enthusiasts.
The Long-Lobed Monstera Monstera Lechleriana stands out with its elongated and deeply lobed leaves, creating a visually striking effect that captures attention and admiration.
Monstera Thai Constellation
The Stunning Variegated Monstera Monstera Thai Constellation, a highly sought-after variegated variety, showcases beautiful white or yellow marbling on its leaves. Its striking variegation pattern makes it a top choice among collectors.
Monstera Obliqua Peru
The Rare, Delicate Monstera Monstera Obliqua Peru is a rare species with thin, delicate leaves adorned with intricate fenestrations. Its rarity and delicate beauty make it a prized possession for collectors.
Monstera Standleyana Variegata
The Variegated Cobra Plant Monstera Standleyana Variegata, also known as the Cobra Plant, features long, slender leaves that resemble a snake, adding an intriguing and unique element to your plant collection.
Monstera Sp. Peru
The Mysterious, Textured Monstera Monstera Karstenianum and Monstera Karstenianum Variegata, collectively known as Monstera Sp. Peru, showcase dark green, textured leaves that bring a sense of mystery and exotic allure.
Monstera Sp. Burle Marx Flame
The Unusual Monstera Monstera Dilacerata, or Monstera Sp. Burle Marx Flame, boasts elongated, wavy-edged leaves that create an unusual and captivating appearance, making it a true standout among Monstera varieties.
With an array of stunning Monstera species available, indoor plant enthusiasts have an incredible wealth of options to infuse their indoor spaces with a touch of tropical splendor. From the iconic Monstera Deliciosa to the elusive Monstera Obliqua Peru, each unique variety offers distinctive shapes, sizes, and features that are sure to captivate the hearts of indoor plant lovers everywhere.
Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in January 2019 and has been completely updated.