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In this post, we’ll learn all about Monstera deliciosa care and propagation. Monstera deliciosa is a vining plant known for its gigantic, fan-like leaves and leaf fenestrations (the splits and holes in its leaves).
Monstera deliciosa is native to parts of Southern Mexico and Central America, and can also be found in other tropical regions as an invasive species.
You might not realize that these are actually vining plants, but given enough space, they will use aerial roots to climb. This plant, in its mature stages, really needs a lot of space. Each fan-like leaf can grow to over two feet long with the entire plant growing to about 10 feet (indoors, that is. MUCH bigger outside!).
Where can I buy a Monstera deliciosa?
You can easily buy a Monstera deliciosa on Etsy! Check out this beautiful Monstera from one of my favorite Etsy shops.
Monstera deliciosa care
Despite their unique look and impressive size, Monstera deliciosa care is actually pretty easy.
How much light does a monstera need?
Monstera deliciosa prefers bright to medium indirect light. Too much direct sunlight and it could scorch the leaves.
This plant can grow in lower light but the vines will grow more leggy, meaning more stretched out with less leaves as the plant tries to reach more sunlight. Also, brighter light will cause more leaf fenestration, which is something that really attracts people to these plants!
If you’re struggling to figure out whether the type of light you have in your home will suit this plant, my easy guide to natural light breaks down light for indoor plants. I also wrote a post all about grow lights with grow light recommendations if your plants are struggling and need more light.
How often should you water a Monstera?
When it comes to Monstera deliciosa care, watering is relatively easy. You should water this plant when the soil is dry about an inch or two down.
How often you’ll actually be watering your Monstera deliciosa depends on your light levels (more light means you’ll have to water more often). On average, this will be about once a week but always check the soil moisture first.
For more helpful tips on watering your houseplants, check out this post.
Being native to tropical regions, Monstera deliciosa will thrive with extra humidity added to its environment, especially in the dry winter months or when the air conditioning is on in hot weather.
There are many easy ways to create humidity, including pebble trays, grouping plants together, and humidifiers. For a more in-depth guide on creating humidity for houseplants, see this post.
Monstera deliciosa likes a well-draining potting mix that holds some moisture. A mix of indoor plant potting mix, perlite, and peat will work well. However, just using a regular, well-draining indoor plant potting mix is fine, too.
You should prune your Monstera deliciosa to get rid of any dying leaves. You can also prune your plant to control its size.
To remove any dead or dying leaves, use a clean pair of scissors or plant shears to cut off the leaf close to the stem. Dead or dying leaves should be removed whenever necessary.
To control the shape of your plant and encourage new growth in certain spots, choose where you want to encourage new growth and make the cut in that spot. This type of voluntary pruning (not the necessary pruning of removing dead leaves) should be done during the growing season—the spring and summer.
Note: If your plant is especially large, you might want to wear gloves while pruning. Monstera deliciosa’s sap can cause skin irritation.
Young plants generally need to be repotted once a year, while large, mature plants only need to be repotted every few years. These plants don’t mind being somewhat rootbound, another factor making Monstera deliciosa care even easier as this plant gets larger.
Repot your plant in a pot that’s the next size up from its current pot and has drainage. It’s best to do your repotting in the spring.
Fertilizer will help Monstera deliciosa thrive to its full potential. To fertilize this plant, use a liquid indoor plant fertilizer with an NPK ratio of 20-20-20 (which stands for nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium). Fertilize twice a month during the growing season (spring and summer).
Not only is Monstera deliciosa care easy, so is Monstera deliciosa propagation! Monstera deliciosa can be propagated in water or directly into soil.
Note: Same as with pruning, if your plant is especially large, you might want to wear gloves while propagating because Monstera deliciosa’s sap can cause skin irritation.
To propagate Monstera deliciosa in water, locate an area on the stem that has a few leaves (try for two or three), a few nodes, and, if possible, an aerial root. Using clean scissors or plant shears, make the cut below one of those nodes.
Try to cut at a 45-degree angle to allow for more rooting surface area. Put the cuttings in a jar of tepid water, making sure at least one of the nodes is under the surface (the new roots are going to sprout from the node).
Place the jar somewhere that receives bright to medium indirect light. Replace the water once a week or so, when it looks like it’s getting grimy, and top it off when the water level gets lower. Monsteras can be top-heavy so you might have to use a taller jar or vase, or lean it against something to help it stay upright.
It will be a few weeks before your cutting is ready to transfer to its pot. It could even be a few months depending on the size of the cutting. I usually wait until the roots are about three to four inches long before potting up the cutting, depending on how large the cutting is. Having a cutting with an aerial root will help speed up the process.
Can Monstera deliciosa live in water?
You can keep your Monstera deliciosa cutting growing in water but it will not grow as fast or large as it would if planted in soil. The cutting in water will survive but not necessarily thrive to a full-blown plant.
To propagate Monstera deliciosa in soil, locate an area on the stem that has a few leaves (try for two or three), a few nodes, and, if possible, an aerial root. Using clean scissors or plant shears, make the cut below one of those nodes.
Try to cut at a 45-degree angle to allow for more rooting surface area. Plant the cuttings in a pot with potting mix and good drainage. You can even put it in the same pot as the mother plant. Make sure at least one of the nodes is underneath the soil (the new roots are going to sprout from the node).
Place the pot somewhere that receives bright to medium indirect light and water it thoroughly. Then, just water it when the soil is dry about an inch or two down, same as the mother plant.
Monsteras can be top-heavy so you might have to lean the plant against something to help it stay upright.
It will be at least a few weeks before you start to notice any new growth, maybe even a few months depending on the size of the cutting, so be patient! Having a cutting with an aerial root will help speed up the process.
Is Monstera deliciosa toxic to cats and dogs?
Yes, Monstera deliciosa is toxic to cats and dogs, so keep it out of your furry friends’ reach!
Do I need to support my Monstera?
Large Monstera deliciosa generally like to have support, otherwise, they’ll be weighed down by their own leaves. Also, many people shrug off aerial roots, but they do actually help the plant to absorb nutrients, and therefore, you should let your plant use them how it normally would! Allowing vining plants to climb and use their aerial roots can help grow an overall stronger plant.
Why does Monstera deliciosa have fenestration?
Monstera deliciosa’s famous splits and holes, known as fenestrations, will appear on mature plants, so don’t distress if yours doesn’t have them yet!
While there is currently not enough scientific evidence to point to an exact reason, researchers believe the fenestration of Monstera helps the plant spread its leaf surface area out further to catch flecks of sunlight that make it through to the forest understory. Some other possible theories are that it allows the plant to withstand strong winds and that it helps more water to come through to the plant’s roots.