Monstera is a large, fast-growing tropical plant. The leaves are dark green with a shine. The size of the leaves of a young plant is small, but upon reaching adulthood, the leaves of a monstera can reach up to 1 meter in diameter, and the leaves have symmetrical slits.
In its natural environment, the monstera is found in the tropical forests of America.
Monstera is distinguished not only by its decorative leaves, but also by another special feature – it is a kind of “hydrometeorological center” – on the eve of rain, the plant “weeps” (the leaves remove excess moisture through special tunnels located on the edges of the leaf, as if the plant is covered with dew).
On the trunk, the monstera forms aerial roots in order to obtain additional moisture, nutrition and support, because the monstera is a large creeper.
Monstera blooms, the flowers resemble spathiphyllum inflorescences (of course larger), but in room conditions it is very difficult, almost impossible, to get flowers from this plant. Monstera also have edible fruits that taste like bananas.
How to care for a Monstera
Monstera plant is capricious with proper care, it grows up to 5 meters in height, the leaves are shiny, this plant is able to decorate any interior.
The brightness of the light for the monstera
Monstera does not tolerate direct sunlight. You can put the monstera in a bright (scattered from the sun’s rays) place, and in partial shade, and even in the shade (it stops growing, the leaves become smaller, lose their color, they do not form the correct symmetrical slots, but they do not die). Therefore, for the normal growth and development of the monstera, bright diffused light or penumbra is needed.
Air temperature for monstera
For the normal development of the monstera, a fairly high air temperature is required in the summer – 20-23 ° C, the plant tolerates small changes well. In winter, the optimal temperature is 16 – 18 ° C. The higher the air temperature throughout the year, the faster the creeper will grow, the leaves will increase, and the openings will be more symmetrical and larger.
Watering and air humidity for monstera
Warm, settled water is used for watering and spraying. In the summer, monstera is watered abundantly, preventing stagnation of water in the tray. In winter, monstera is watered at least once a week.
When the air temperature is insufficient, it is watered so that the soil does not dry out. Air humidity is very important for monstera, it should be high. The plant should be frequently sprayed with water at room temperature, the leaves should be wiped with a damp cloth or sponge, and polished.
Support for the monstera
Do not forget about the aerial roots, which do not need to be cut. In order for the plant to receive more nutrients and moisture, the aerial roots are sent to the ground. A tube rolled up from a plastic mesh with sphagnum is used to support the vines, which is kept moist all the time. Such an artificial moist trunk will prevent the aerial root from drying out and will create the necessary humidity for the entire plant.
When to feed the monstera
From March to August, monstera is fed with a complex fertilizer for green indoor plants.
It should be fed every two weeks. If the air temperature drops to 18° C, there is no need to feed the plant. If you do not have a lot of space in the room, you can not feed the monstera, it will grow very slowly.
How to transplant a monstera
Young monstera should be transplanted annually, in the spring. 4-year-old monsteras are transplanted after 2-3 years, but the top layer of the earth is changed every year. The soil for transplanting consists of 2-3 parts of leafy soil, 1 part of peat land, 1 part of compost, and 1 part of sand. When transplanting a plant in the center of the pot, next to the stem, install and secure an artificial trunk 70-100 cm high
Cropping the monstera
When the old plant slows down in growth, the top can be cut, which stimulates the appearance of side shoots.
Reproduction of monstea
Monstera is propagated by shoots, cuttings, seeds, leaves and air propagation.
Monstera is propagated in March – June by lateral processes that may appear in the lower part of the stem, which are cut into upper or stem cuttings (a piece of stem with 1-2 leaves). The slices are sprinkled with charcoal and allowed to dry. Cuttings that have at least small aerial roots take root better.
Aerial reproduction by roots
To get beautiful young monstera plants from old plants, and to rejuvenate old plants, use the following propagation method: One or two aerial roots are tightly wrapped with wet sphagnum, tied with twine and attached to the trunk.
Over time, aerial roots in wet moss form many roots, and later a top with one or two leaves. When the new plants have grown a little (2-3 leaves), they are cut (near the base of the roots) and planted in a pot so that the roots and the cut are covered with earth (the cut must be sprinkled with charcoal powder.)
Pests and diseases
Diseases in monstera appear with improper care. Monstera and pests do not bypass it. Monitor the cleanliness of the leaves and air humidity. Warm, dry air likes the spider mite, and dirty, unwashed leaves attract the spider mite.