Homeland of this cute “monster” West Indies and South America. Monstera is a beautiful evergreen plant related to lianas. This is one of the most common indoor plants. Young leaves are whole, with age – perforated, and then completely cut. This article is about the features of growing monstera at home.
Botanical features of the plant
Monstera (Monstera) – large tropical plants, vines; genus of the Aroid family. The Monstera genus has about 50 plant species. Monsters are common in Central and South America. The gigantic size of the plant and its bizarre appearance served as the basis for the name of the entire genus (from monstrum – a monster, and, perhaps, “bizarre”).
Monsters are evergreens, vines, shrubs with climbing thick stems, often hanging aerial roots. The leaves are large, leathery. The petiole is long, vaginal at the base. The inflorescence is an ear, thick, cylindrical. Flowers at the base of the ear are sterile, above – bisexual.
In general, monsters are unpretentious, it is quite easy to grow them, and maybe that’s why these evergreen tropical vines with beautifully dissected dark green leathery leaves with cuts and holes of various shapes are among the most common indoor plants. You just need to take into account that even in indoor conditions, these plants stretch for several meters, so it is better to grow them in cool and spacious offices, foyers and halls. Can be used for shading (like climbing plants) and for trellises.
Monsters thrive in heated conservatories. The plant contributes to the ionization of the indoor air.
Features of growing monstera – briefly about the main thing
Temperature. Moderate, in winter the optimum temperature is 16-18 ° C, at higher temperatures, monstera grows rapidly.
Lighting. Does not tolerate direct sunlight. Many people believe that the monstera is shade-loving and put it in the darkest corner – this is not right. In fact, the monstera is shade-tolerant, and the best place for her is where there is bright, but diffused light or light partial shade.
Watering. Abundant – from spring to autumn, watered in winter so that the soil does not dry out, but is not waterlogged.
Fertilizer. From March to August, monstera are fed with complex fertilizer for indoor plants. Top dressing every two weeks. For large plants, humus can be added to the top layer of the earth once a summer, with or without transplantation. Instead, you can still water with mullein infusion, but at the same time, a smell may remain in the apartment.
Air humidity. Regular spraying. From time to time, monstera leaves are washed, wiped with a sponge and polished. When kept in winter near the heating system, leaf tips may dry out and stains may appear.
Breeding. Air layers and cuttings. The cut should have a leaf and an aerial root. When the monstera grows very large, the top with one or more aerial roots is cut off and planted as an independent plant, while the mother plant continues to grow further.
Transfer. A young monstera is transplanted annually. Monsters over 4 years old are transplanted after 2-3 years, but the top layer of the earth is changed annually. Soil: 2-3 parts of sod, 1 part of peat land, 1 part of humus, 1 part of sand.
Young plants can be grown in a bucket, but plants older than 2-3 years will need a larger container. It can be either special flower pots (there are some on sale – huge sizes) or wooden tubs. Failure to provide a large monster with a suitable container for planting is a common cause of problems associated with getting a beautiful and healthy plant.
Caring for a monster at home
Monsters settle in a lighted place, but in summer they need shading from direct sunlight. Many consider the monster to be a plant that easily tolerates shade, but in order to bring the conditions of keeping the monster in the room closer to what they have in their homeland, it is better to give them enough light, place them next to the windows (except for the southern ones, although near the windows facing north , she may not have enough light).
When keeping a monstera with a bright diffused light, the leaves of the plant enlarge, become more carved. If the plant’s new leaves become smaller and do not become carved, and the aerial roots become thin and weak, then this indicates a lack of illumination. Adult plants are sensitive to changes in light, so don’t change the usual place for the monstera for no particular reason.
Monsters are undemanding to heat (the higher the temperature in the room, the faster it grows). Active growth begins at 16 ° C, the optimum temperature is around 25 ° C. In winter, the plant can tolerate short-term cooling up to 10-12 ° C, but the optimal temperature in winter is 16-18 ° C. Monsters do not tolerate drafts well in the autumn-winter period.
In spring and summer, monstera are poured abundantly, with soft, settled water, as the upper layer of the substrate dries. Since autumn, watering is reduced, in winter it is watered moderately, two to three days after the top layer of the substrate has dried.
Excessive moisture should be avoided, otherwise the monstera leaves lose their decorative value (dark spots appear) and root decay often occurs. At all times, the earthen coma should not be allowed to dry out.
Plant leaves should be regularly sprayed with soft, settled water at room temperature and periodically wiped with a damp cloth, cleaning them from dust.
Top dressing is mandatory for adult plants (from April to August, once every 1 weeks with mineral and organic fertilizers), young plants can do without top dressing. Growth of adult plants without additional feeding slows down.
Monstera needs a support – a lattice, sticks stuck in a pot, a stretched cord, etc.
Trimming the tops of old plants stimulates the formation of lateral shoots.
The adventitious aerial roots that grow in the monster against each leaf cannot be cut off, they must be lowered into the ground of a pot or box, or, having collected in a bunch, planted in an additional pot with nutritious soil. These roots form many fibrous roots and greatly improve the root nutrition of the plant.
If the air is not humid enough for the monstera, and the temperature is high, the ends of the aerial roots that do not reach the ground in the tub are tied with wet moss or dipped in bottles of water. Over time, these roots will also be able to take part in the nutrition of the plant. Sometimes the aerial roots of the plant can stick to the wall.
Special plastic props wrapped in dry palm fiber are on sale. They can be filled with soil and small holes made for aerial roots. In humid air before the onset of cloudy or rainy weather, and in winter, before the thaw, large drops of water are collected at the ends of the leaves of the monstera, rolling down from the plant.
At home, monstera blooms annually, in room culture – relatively rarely. With good nutrition, after 2 years, the plant can give large inflorescences. The flowers are bisexual, collected on the cob with a cream cover. As the fruit ripens, the veil stiffens and falls off.
Monstera. Farmer Burea-Uinsurance.com eliffilyos
The purple corncob-like monstera fruit, formed by small juicy, pressed together fruits, are distinguished by a delicate sweet taste and aroma reminiscent of the mixed aroma of pineapple and strawberry. Fruit is up to 20 cm long.
Young plants need to be replanted annually, 3-4-year-olds – once every 2 years, over 5 years old – every 3-4 years, however, an annual top-up of the earth is required. The composition of the soil for young plants: turf – 1 hour, humus – 2 hours, peat – 1 hour, sand – 1 hour, substrate pH 5,5-6,0.
In the mixture for adult plants, you can take 3 parts of sod and 1 part of deciduous, peat, humus soil and sand (pH 6,5-7,0). Provide good drainage at the bottom of the pot. Plants thrive in large pots.
Propagated by monstera by shoots, cuttings, seeds (less often).
When seed propagation, monstera seeds are sown in a warm, bright room. Seeds sprout in 2-4 weeks. The seedling first has juvenile uncut leaves, and already at the fifth or eighth month – full-grown adult leaves. After two years, plants grown from seeds have a well-developed root system, 3-5 juvenile and 2-4 adult leaves. Seedling care is usual: picking, planting in pots, annual transplanting.
Lateral shoots appearing in the lower part of the stems, the monstera is propagated in March-June, at the same time – with apical or stem cuttings (a piece of stem with 1-2 leaves). Slices are sprinkled with crushed charcoal, allowed to dry. Planted in separate pots, covered with glass or glass jars. A layer of drainage from broken shards is placed on the bottom of the dishes, then a two-centimeter layer of peat or humus soil, and 2-3 cm of coarse sand is poured on top. Indoor temperature is desirable 20-25 ° C. Water in the morning and evening.
After rooting, young monstera plants are planted in an intermediate dish, and an overgrown specimen is transplanted into a tub or volumetric pot with a pallet after 3-4 years.
Monstera cuttings that have at least small aerial roots take root better.
Older plants usually lose lower leaves and become ugly. Therefore, we can recommend this method of reproduction: one or two of the uppermost aerial roots are tightly wrapped with wet moss, tied with a washcloth or twine and attached to the trunk. The aerial roots of monstera in wet moss form many roots, after which the top with one or two leaves is cut off and planted in a pot so that the roots and cut are covered with earth (the cut must be sprinkled with charcoal powder.) This is how beautiful young plants are obtained, and old stems soon form new lateral shoots. The old plant becomes branched and rejuvenated.
Monstera and other plants in the interior. Farmer Burea-Uinsurance.com Igor Josifovic
Precautionary measures. Monstera contains substances that are irritating to the skin and mucous membranes. Juice from unripe fruits can cause inflammation of the oral mucosa, stomach and intestinal bleeding.
Types of monstera
Monstera Adansona (Monstera adansonii Schott). Синоним: Dracontium holes, L., monsters lands (L) of Vriese, philodendron holes (L) L. XNUMX & Bouche.
Homeland – from Costa Rica to Brazil, found in tropical forests. Liana, reaching a height of 8 m. The leaves are thin, with numerous small holes throughout the blade, 22–55 cm long, 15–40 cm wide. The leaf blade is ovoid. In culture, it rarely blooms. Ear on short peduncle 8-13 cm long, 1,5-2 cm wide, light yellow.
Monster delicacies, or attractive (Мonstera deliciosa Dear.). Synonym: Philodendron pertusum Kunth et Bouehe. Grows in tropical rainforests, mountain forests, rising to an altitude of 1000 m above sea level in Central America. Climbing vine. The leaves are large, up to 60 cm in diameter, cordate, deeply dissected, pinnately lobed and in holes, leathery. Young leaves are cordate, whole-edged. The ear is 25 cm long and 10-20 cm thick. The bedspread is white. The fruit is a berry with a pineapple smell; the flesh of the fruit is edible (sometimes there is an unpleasant burning sensation in the mouth due to the presence of calcium oxalate crystals), it tastes like pineapple.
A well-known climbing houseplant; in greenhouses it reaches 10-12 m in height, in rooms – up to 3 m. With proper care, mature plants can bloom annually, fruits ripen within 10-12 months. There is a white and motley uniform (Variegated), which grows slower and more demanding on the conditions of detention.
Monstera Borziga (Monstera deliciosa borsigiana (C. Koch ex Engl.) Kngt. Et Krause). The homeland of the plant is Mexico. Leaves are smaller than those of M. deliciosa, up to 30 cm in diameter; the stems are thinner. The subspecies arose in culture as a result of splitting during seed reproduction and subsequent selection. Suitable for growing in rooms and other premises.
Monstera oblique (Monstera obliqua Miq.). Synonym: M. crescent (M. falcifolia Engl.), M. expilata (M. expilata Schott.) Grows in tropical rainforests of Brazil (states of Parana and Amazon) and Guiana. Climbing vine. Leaves are elliptical or oblong-lanceolate, 18-20 cm long and 5-6 cm wide, unequal at the base, whole. The petiole is short, 12-13 cm long. Inflorescence on a short, 7-8 cm long, peduncle. The ear is small, 4 cm long, with few flowers.
Monster pierced, or full of holes (Monstera pertusa (L.) de Vriese). Synonym: M. adansonii Schott, M. punched, variety jaeqminii (M. pertusa var.jaeqminii (Scholt) Engl.). Grows in tropical rainforests in tropical America. Climbing vine. Leaves are ovate or oblong-ovate, 60–90 cm long and 20–25 cm wide, unequal, more widened in the lower part, irregularly perforated. The bedspread is white, 20 cm long. The ear is up to 10 cm long.
Possible difficulties in growing monstera
- In the shade, the growth of the monstera stops, the trunk is exposed.
- Brown spots on the underside of a monstera leaf are caused by red spider mites.
- Due to lack of nutrition, monstera leaves turn yellow.
- Due to waterlogging, the soil may turn yellow and even rot the leaves.
- Due to too dry air or too tight a pot, the tops of the lobes and the edges of the leaves of the monstera become brown and papery.
- With an excess of sunlight, pale leaves with yellow spots are formed.
- With a lack of light, small and pale leaves grow, the shoots lengthen, the stem of the monstera begins to twist.
- If the soil is too wet, monstera leaves “cry” (drops of moisture appear on them) – let the soil dry out and increase the intervals between watering. The appearance of drops on the leaves can also occur before the rain.
- When plants are kept in a dark place and with a lack of nutrients, the emerging monstera leaves have a solid plate.
- With age, the lower leaves of the monstera always fall off. But if, before falling off, the leaves become dry and brown, then the reason for this is too high an air temperature.
- Older plants form many aerial roots. They should not be removed; it is advisable to direct them into the substrate, into a pot or tub. As noted, they contribute to better plant nutrition.
- Monstera can be damaged by aphids, spider mites, scale insects.
Looking forward to your advice on growing these beautiful plants!