how to care for the monstera deliciosa - actual botanical

Monstera Deliciosa Care Guide

How to care for your Monstera deliciosa

The monstera deliciosa is found in central and south american rainforests, naturally climbing up the trunks of trees in search of brighter light. the leaves start out in juvenile form, and when mature, develop beautiful splits in the leaves, which help prevent damage in strong winds and rain. The holes and splits you see on your plant are a natural adaptation to allow heavy rains & winds to pass through the leaves so they won't be damaged. Cool right?! Although a very easy-going, low-maintenance indoor plant, they do have some preferences that allow them to thrive indoors. 

Light-

Bright, indirect light is best. They can tolerate lower light but you will notice stunted growth if it's not receiving enough light. 

Water-

First, make sure the pot you are using has a drainage hole in the bottom. This will help drain excess water and prevent root rot, or a buildup of salts in the soil.

Let the top 1-2" of soil dry out before watering. The monstera deliciosa likes to be evenly moist, so water thoroughly until water comes out of the bottom of the plant. After 10 minutes or so, drain the saucer.

You might find the best way to tell when the soil has dried to an inch or two is to simply stick your finger in the dirt and feel for moisture. After a while, it might be easier to pick up the pot and feel the weight of the pot. Alternatively, you can use a moisture meter, it's totally up to you!

Don't let the soil dry out too much. In this case, "too much" would be where the soil dries up and separates with the pot, or when the soil dries out so much that it is hard for it to soak up and retain water (you may notice it running straight through the pot, with the soil looking like a dry sponge).

Soil-

Our monstera deliciosas thrive in quick-draining soil high in organic matter that is slightly acidic. We use a mix of peat moss, coco coir, and perlite. Any commercial/store bought soils work just fine. You don't want your soil compacted, which happens overtime, through watering, and the breakdown of organic matter in the soil. You just don't want to suffocate the roots.  

Humidity-

Keep humidity levels high, or mist twice a day to prevent leaf tip browning (especially in dry climates). Using a humidifier can be just as effective.  

Temperature-

Temperature can play a key role in the overall health of your monster. They seem to thrive in room temperatures that range from 70 degrees (F) and up. They can tolerate 60 degrees but might be a little fussy. They do adapt fast to their environment. 

Common Health Issues-

A very hardy plant in general with little to no issues at all, there are some issues that are occasionally seen indoors listed below. 

Overwatering:

The most common thing people face with the monstera is that they get brown tips or yellowing of the leaves. This is most likely caused by overwatering.

Root Rot:

When the leaves start to droop and you notice a fowl sulfur smell coming form the soil, maybe even seeing fungus gnats flying around. This might be the issue. Choose a pot that has well draining hole(s) and maintain a constant watering schedule checking the soils moisture weekly. 

Pests:

Fungus gnats, spider mites, mealy bugs and thrips are probably the most common pest you will encounter. They tend to attack when the plant gets weak or overly stressed out. Common signs would be tiny holes, blotchy yellowing of the leaves, and/or fungus gnats flying around.

 

 

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