A couple of 12 months in the past on a heat September day, I acquired a textual content from my pricey good friend, Emma (you’ll have heard of her?), asking if I used to be keen on taking over care and possession of certainly one of her a number of houseplants. An image of the biggest Monstera Deliciosa I’d ever seen accompanied the textual content that learn: “Would you will have any curiosity in taking this break up leaf? I’ve had her a few years however these days she’s been shedding leaves and I’m simply apprehensive my house isn’t working for her … She’s very massive, as you may see.” My reply was a really cool and picked up “sure,” however as I reread her textual content and gawked on the picture, I noticed that every one my plant desires had come true! Certain, I used to be the proprietor of a classy fiddle leaf. Certain, I owned a small-ish Monstera already. However this? This was a Monstera the scale of a TREE! I concurrently felt thrilled I received to be the fortunate one to rehab it, and very anxious I wouldn’t be capable to deliver it again to life. And thus began my journey of caring for the fantastic Monstera Deliciosa I now lovingly name Fran.
As quickly as I received Fran safely house (this was no small feat!), I knew I wanted to diagnose the issue Emma was experiencing so I might attempt to get her rising once more. She was very tall, however solely had 4 leaves on her, and nearly all of them have been wilted and curled. Emma advised me that she hadn’t been watering the plant a lot in the previous couple of months as a result of she was afraid she had beforehand overwatered it, and she or he was involved as effectively that she had positioned it in a spot with insufficient gentle. After taking in these details, checking Fran over, and doing a little bit of analysis, I shortly identified the issue as beneath watering. When a Monstera plant’s soil is dry to the contact (Fran’s was), and their leaves curl and switch brown and crispy on the ends, it means the plant hasn’t been getting sufficient water. In overwatering conditions, the leaves flip yellow with attainable blackish stems. Fran had no yellowing leaves, no blackish stems, however had very curled leaves and three of the 4 have been brown on the ends.
I realized loads since Fran got here to stay with me, and am comfortable to report she is prospering and has sprung a complete of seven new leaves in rather less than a 12 months! As a result of Monsteras are so common proper now (and they need to be—they’re beautiful!), it looks like my data is beneficial and needs to be handed on! Whether or not you’re the proprietor of a brand new Monstera Deliciosa, otherwise you’re a seasoned plant-mama (or papa!) simply seeking to achieve some data, the following tips might aid you keep your beautiful Monstera and probably clear up any issues you come throughout whereas caring for it.
Monsteras are literally fairly simple to maintain (sorry, Emma)! They reign from southern Mexico and Panama, and due to the holes they create as they mature, they’re sometimes called Philodendron Cut up Leaf or the Swiss Cheese Plant. I learn someplace that the holes are a byproduct of originating within the rainforest, the place vegetation above blocks daylight, so the holes are to permit daylight to get to the underside leaves in addition to the highest. I can’t keep in mind the place I learn that and haven’t discovered that info since, nevertheless it’s sort of good to consider the Monstera as a really fairly houseguest who is aware of methods to share.
My first tip on caring for your Monstera is common watering. Monsteras choose barely moist soil and usually prefer to dry out only a bit between waterings. They’re epiphytes with aerial roots (a plant that grows on one other plant in its pure habitat), so that they don’t tolerate soggy soil. For a rule of thumb, as soon as the highest 2 to 4 inches of the soil are dry, your Monstera might use some watering. Since Fran is in a big pot, I give her fairly a little bit of water as soon as every week within the rising season, which is spring by way of early fall, after which I taper off fairly a bit within the winter.
As most plant dad and mom know, it may be tough to diagnose an over-watering or under-watering state of affairs when the plant reveals indicators of stress, so watering on a schedule is my primary tip for all home plant care generally. A very long time in the past, I made a decision I might recurrently water all of my houseplants as soon as every week, selecting Saturday because the day I’d keep in mind to do it most persistently, and I’ve caught to that plan for a few years. I modify the quantity of water I give every plant primarily based on what the soil seems like once I test it, in addition to the kind of plant itself, figuring out some crops like extra water, some like much less. If the soil feels soggy in any respect, I skip watering that week. By planning to water each plant in the home weekly, I always remember about one, and have some devoted time every week to test them for indicators of stress or pests, mud them off, or prune them if wanted.
My second tip on Monstera care is fertilization. Fertilizers may be difficult, so as soon as I discovered one I might use on all of my home crops, I purchased an enormous bottle and that was that. The fertilizer I take advantage of is one which I add to my water, so I fertilize as soon as a month within the rising season at first of every month with Superthrive. It’s a bit dear, however in my expertise it has helped my crops keep wholesome and fed higher than every other fertilizer I’ve come throughout. I swear by it!
Third, Monsteras like shiny oblique gentle. They’ll modify to medium gentle, however would possibly get leggy in that surroundings. Earlier than Fran got here to stay with me, Emma had her in a spot that didn’t get a large amount of sunshine, so once I introduced her house I positioned her in a room that has massive west-facing home windows. The home windows are all the best way on the opposite facet of the room from the place Fran sits, however the room will get sufficient gentle within the afternoons and evenings that she appears to like it in that spot. (The truth is, all my crops love that room, regardless of the place they sit). She by no means will get direct beams of sunshine so her leaves don’t burn, which is necessary to contemplate when selecting a spot for a Monstera, and she or he will get to indicate off as the biggest in a room full of crops.
My subsequent tip on caring for a Monstera is staking! Within the wild, Monsteras climb up on different timber as they develop, and might develop as much as 66 ft tall! Inside they will solely get to about 9 ft tall, and can use a stake (ideally coated in moss however mine shouldn’t be) as their inside host. I realized the arduous manner that staking is a should for Monsteras by way of caring for one other smaller, however bushier one I’ve in a unique room. For a very long time it wasn’t staked, till at some point as I used to be dusting the leaves, I knocked the entire thing over onto the desk under the place it perched, and sadly, many stems tore off the principle plant. I used to be capable of propagate a few of these stems, thank goodness, however I realized my lesson. Stakes assist the plant develop upward and might actually assist maintain all these huge leaves balanced. Slightly facet word: I truly planted among the stems I propagated alongside Fran in her pot! I figured there was sufficient area and Fran might use a bit firm, and the addition made Fran’s backside half extra proportional together with her large prime half. She does have some new smaller leaves off a node on the backside of her trunk, however the remainder of the leaves are from a unique Monstera.
My final and closing tip is a bit odd and will come throughout as “woo-woo” to some, however I sort of imagine in going above and past so as to add a bit like to my crops, and Fran isn’t any exception. Not solely did I identify her and provides her the most effective seat in my home, however I positioned moss on the highest of her soil in addition to numerous rocks and seashells I’ve discovered on a few of my travels all through the years. Accumulating rocks and shells has all the time been a “factor” for me, however I discover inserting them on prime of my crops’ soil sends a bit further increase of affection to the plant, (or at the least it does in my head), and it makes the plant look even prettier and provides a particular contact!
That’s it for my tips on how I received Fran to go from Unhappy-but-Big-Monstera to Beautiful-OMG-knock-my-socks-off-Big-Monstera! I hope you discover one thing helpful in all that I’ve realized in caring for her! Be happy so as to add any ideas or tips you recognize of in caring for Monsteras within the feedback! -Michelle