Monstera plants have a unique look, due to the holes in their leaves, which gives this plant its affectionate nickname of the Swiss Cheese Plant. As the leaves grow, so do the holes, until they cause slits in the leaves that give it an even more distinctive appearance.
Despite their tropical look, the Monstera plants are quite easygoing. It doesn’t take a lot of effort for them to reach the climbing heights and trailing vines that this plant is known for. If one of these impressive plants is on your list to bring home, the following information can help you learn how to care for your Monstera plant to ensure it will thrive.
Monsteras don’t need any specialty soil, though they don’t like anything that maintains too much moisture. A potting mix that is well-draining is a good option to reduce soaking the roots. You can add some lava rocks or perlite as well to keep the soil aerated, though this isn’t necessary.
When you purchase a Monstera, it will likely be in a pot that is suitable for its size at the time, though this won’t work forever. As the plant grows, it will need more room, so a larger pot is a must. The one you choose should be a few inches wider and deeper than the previous pot to give the Monstera room to spread out a bit.
The best pots for this plant are made of clay or terracotta since they are well-draining, porous, and encourage airflow. Of course, you can pick any pot you like as long as it has drainage holes to release excess water.
These plants don’t need a ton of water, so you can get away with only watering them once every week or two during its growing season. When adding water, continue pouring it over the soil until it starts to leak out of the drainage holes. This is how you know the soil has the right moisture content. Then leave it alone and wait until the top half or three-quarters of the soil has dried out before adding more water.
Plants in brighter light will need more frequent watering than those in lower light. Monsteras also prefer filtered water, though you can use tap water as well if you leave it out overnight before using it on for your plant.
Direct light is far too intense for the Monstera plant and can cause burnt leaves, so it is best to stick with indirect light for this beauty. Of course, this mainly refers to the hot summer sunlight. In the cooler months, you can place it in a brighter area to encourage a lush plant with more leafy growth. You can even place this one outside a few times a year to give it the bright light it needs.
You don’t need any special conditions for the Monstera plant to thrive, though it does like its area to be a bit more humid if possible. This is easy to accomplish using a humidifier or a mister to raise the humidity levels of the Monstera’s area. This is especially true during the colder months when the air is drier. You can also mist the plant once a week using a spray bottle if you don’t want to alter the humidity level in the entire room.
Normal room temperatures of 60 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit are fine for the Monstera plant. They don’t like sudden changes in temperature, though, and can’t handle anything below 55 degrees. Be sure to keep it away from cold drafts, air conditioners, furnace vents, or heaters to keep this exotic beauty happy. It should also go without saying that exposing this plant to frost will quickly kill the plant.
Like most plants, the Monstera only needs fertilizer during its growing season. The best option is a balanced, liquid fertilizer. Add ½ teaspoon of fertilizer to a gallon of water and add it to the soil until the water flows through the drainage holes. Discard the leftover fertilizer and water mixture. The water used for this process can take the place of regular watering, so you don’t need to add any more moisture until the soil dries out again.
If your Monstera plant gets a bit too large for the area you have it in you can trim the stems and leaves as needed. These can be tossed away or used for propagation if you’d like a few more Monsteras or have friends and family who are interested in one for their home.
The aerial roots can also be trimmed if they get too long, though it is best to try to tuck them back into the pot if possible. The roots aren’t strong enough to damage any surfaces, so you won’t need to worry about them breaking your pot or anything around it.
Other Monstera Care Tips
When growing a Monstera in your home, there are a few other care areas to consider to ensure the plant and everything around it is happy. For instance, plants collect dust like everything else in your home, so wiping the leaves with a damp sponge or paper towel can help keep them clean. This also ensures that nothing is blocking the leaves from the light, so it will be much healthier as long as it is kept dust-free.
Even inside your home, your plant can attract pests that will need to be eliminated. For Monstera plants, common pests include aphids, mealybugs, spider mites, thrips, and scale insects. These pests can be dealt with by spraying the plant with water or you can wash the leaves with insecticidal soap for more thorough pest removal. You can use a natural pesticide, like neem oil. Spray it on the plant once each week to eliminate and prevent pest infestation.
The leaves of the Monstera plant are also mildly toxic, so it is best to keep them away from children and pets. Though ingesting the leaves isn’t fatal, it can cause mouth and stomach irritation, as well as vomiting, so placing it out of reach is best for your family’s health.
Why Aren’t My Leaves Splitting?
This is usually due to lack of sunlight. That big foliage requires lots of indirect light, and if your plant is not getting enough you won’t get those distinctive splits. Try increasing the amount of light your plant gets and see if that fixes the issue.
Why Are There Brown Spots on My Plant?
This is often caused by overwatering and root rot. Check out our guide to root rot to learn more about this issue and how to fix it.
How Do I Propagate Monstera Plants?
Monsteras are fairly easy to propagate; start by taking a decent sized cutting and placing it into a jar of water. You can use a root hormone mix to help speed up the process. Keep the plant in bright, in-direct sunlight and change the water every few days. Once you start to see roots, you can move the plant to a container and begin normal care.