Monstera Deliciosa Care

Placement

PRO TIP: Monsteras are climbing plants and love to ascend vertical surfaces. If you want to grow your Monstera tall instead of wide, use stakes or moss sticks to guide its growth upward.

Monstera deliciosa is also known as “swiss cheese plant” due the unique development of ridges and holes on its more mature leaves. It is a species of flowering plant native to southern Mexico and Panama. Monsteras appreciate a warm, humid environment; a good amount of water and gentle sunlight. Place your Monstera where it can receive medium to bright indirect light. This plant may survive in lower light (not no light) conditions, but it does best with bright indirect light.

If you are unsure of the lighting conditions in your home of office, we have a guide for how to measure light in your space.

Monstera Deliciosa Leaf
The “deliciosa” part of this plant’s name comes from the pineapple-like fruit it bears in its natural habitat.

Routine Maintenance

PRO TIP: Although typically slow growing, during the spring and summer months you can use an organic fertilizer on your monstera once a month to encourage new growth.

Always be sure to assess your plants watering needs upon receiving it.  Before giving your plant a drink, it is best to check the moisture level in the soil first. Monsteras prefer soil that is consistently, if slightly moist. As epiphytes with aerial roots, they are sensitive to overwatering, so you don’t want soggy soil.  Typically, you shouldn’t have to water your monstera more than once a week. If the top 2 inches of the soil are dry, your plant could use a drink. This plant is hardy and easy to care for! Consider aerating the soil of your plant before the initial watering. We compact the soil to avoid shifting during transit, so aerating can help the soil breath and allow for moisture to be released.

For regular upkeep, dust the leaves often so the plant can photosynthesize properly. When dusting, take the opportunity to inspect the underside of leaves and keep an eye out for pests. Using fertilizer spring through fall will enhance your plants foliage and promote new growth. Rotate your plant periodically to ensure even growth on all sides.

Remember each plant is a unique living thing and may have varying needs, especially in their individual locations. Pay attention to the condition of your Monstera and its watering needs and you will have a  long and happy relationship.

Standard Planter Instructions

There are two types of standard planters offered by Greenery NYC, those with drainage holes, and those without. Within those two categories are an array of sizes and styles to choose from. All these factors play a role in the quantity and frequency of water given to your plant.

Plants purchased in a pot without a drainage hole, have been set up with a built in drainage system. A layer of hydro stones (porous, absorbent material made of recycled glass) has been placed beneath the soil to act as a reservoir and retain any excess water that flows through the soil. You will need to be slightly more cautious not too pour too much water into these containers as there is no way for the water to escape. We suggest pouring small amounts of water in bit by bit, until you have reached the desired moisture level in the soil.

For plants with a drainage hole, water until it begins to come out the bottom of the pot and into the catch tray.

Always be sure to assess your plants watering needs upon receiving it. Refer to the routine maintenance section for moisture requirements. For the medium Monstera we suggest 4 - 6 standard measuring cups for the initial watering.  For the large Monstera we suggest 6 - 8 standard measuring cups.

Self Watering Container Instructions

The self-watering planters require a good, solid watering of the topsoil after they are first placed. This is important, because the roots of the plants need to grow into the reservoir in order to drink from it. Follow the standard planter instructions for the first four weeks until the reservoir is ready to be tested.

TEST: After four weeks, fill the reservoir until the red indicator reaches the MAX line. If the indicator goes down over the first few days, it means the plant is ready for reservoir servicing. If not, be sure to continue top watering for a few more weeks, until the plant starts drinking from the reservoir.

RESERVOIR SERVICING: Once the indicator goes down, do not refill the reservoir right away. Similar to how humans need a breath of air between gulps of water, almost all plants require a drying out period.  Monsteras need to dry out between waterings, so once the reservoir is empty wait a few days before you refill. Always allow for the reservoir to empty all the way, and after the drying out period, be sure to fill it until the indicator reaches the MAX line.

From here on out, you should NEVER topwater the plant. If you water from the top, it can drown the plant. In the Self Watering Container, the top layer of soil will eventually become extremely dry and hard, and may even pull away from the edges of the pot. This is not a cause for concern, but simply because the plant is drinking directly from its roots in the water reservoir.

Frequently Asked Questions

Help! My Monstera is turning yellow.

  • Most often yellowing occurs due to over or under watering. If you see a combination of yellow and brown on the same leaf, it is often due to overwatering. If fully yellow leaves, along with some brown crispy spots on additional leaves occur then it could be under watering. Check in with the soil to determine if it matches your diagnosis.

There are these weird, leafless brown growths coming off of my Monstera. Is that normal?

  • Yes! These are aerial roots and they are totally normal. In nature, this is what helps give support to the plant and allow it to climb and reach more light. The roots will not damage walls or surfaces, and you can always prune them if they get unruly.

My Monstera isn’t forming slits or holes on its leaves. What’s the deal?

  • This can be caused by many different factors, but generally means your plant doesn’t have ideal conditions. Check in with the amount of light and water it is receiving, and adjust as needed. You can also take your plants aerial roots and put them down into the soil so the plant can absorb more nutrients. Keep in mind, your plant will only develop holes on its more mature leaves, so sometimes you just have to exercise patience.

My Monstera has gotten way too big. What can I do?

  • Prune it back! These guys are very hearty and can handle a good trim. You can also train your Monstera to grow whichever way your heart desires by using stakes and ties.

How often should I fertilize my plant?

  • In general, house plants will thrive when they are fertilized spring through fall. Fertilize once a month with an organic houseplant fertilizer, following the package instructions for dilution and administration. Greenery NYC uses an organic potting mix with a slow release fertilizer in the soil so your plant will not need fertilizer within the first 6 months of receiving it.

How often does my plant need to be repotted?

  • For larger floor plants, we suggest repotting every 18-24 months. Typically you want to choose a potting vessel 2”- 4” larger in diameter to allow for growth. Don’t choose a pot much larger than the previous as this could drown the plants roots. If you prefer to maintain the current size of your plant, repot into the same vessel, providing new soil and trimming away some roots and foliage. Repotting in the spring or summer is ideal.

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