Variegated Monstera Care

Placement

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.

A species of flowering plant native to southern Mexico and Panama, Monstera deliciosa is a hardy and easy to care for plant known by many names, but most commonly the “Swiss cheese plant” due the unique development of ridges and holes on its more mature leaves. The “deliciosa” part of the plant’s name comes from the pineapple-like fruit it bears in its natural habitat!

The Variegated Monstera requires similar care to that of the solid green Monstera deliciosa. The main difference is the white portion of the variegated Monstera leaves cannot absorb light, so the plant needs to work twice as hard to photosynthesize. Therefore, low light conditions are not ideal and you should keep your variegated Monstera in bright ambient light to to make it happy.

Monsteras appreciates a warm, humid environment, a good amount of water and gentle sunlight. Place your Monstera away from vents and drafts where it would be subjected to dry air and in a spot where it can receive medium to 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.

Varigated Monstera Leaf

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.

Routine Maintenance

PRO TIP: If the tips of your Monstera get brown, you don’t need to cut the whole leaf off. Instead, trim off the brown material following the organic shape of the leaf.

Always be sure to assess your plant’s watering needs upon receiving it. Before giving your plant a drink, it is best to check the moisture level in the soil first to ensure it isn’t moist right beneath the surface. Also, 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 breathe and allow moisture to be released.

Monsteras prefer soil that is consistently lightly moist. As epiphytes with aerial roots, they are sensitive to overwatering, so they don’t want to sit in soggy soil. If the top 2 inches of the soil are dry, your plant could use a drink.

Rotate your plant periodically to ensure even growth on all sides and dust the leaves often so the plant can photosynthesize efficiently. When dusting the leaves, also take the opportunity to inspect the undersides and keep an eye out for pests.

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 Variegated 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. The presence of drainage holes and size of the vessel 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 for any excess water that flows through the soil. You will need to be slightly more cautious not to pour too much water into these containers as there is no way for the excess 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 potted with drainage, water until it begins to come out the bottom of the pot and into the catch tray.

Always be sure to assess your plant's watering needs upon receiving it. Refer to the routine maintenance section for your plant’s specific moisture requirements. 

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 first in order to drink from it. Follow the standard planter instructions for the first four weeks. Then the reservoir is ready to be tested.

TEST: After four weeks, fill the water 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 regular reservoir servicing. If not, be sure to continue top watering for a few more weeks, until the red indicator goes down, meaning the plant has started 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. Always allow for the reservoir to empty all the way, and after a drying out period of a few days, be sure to refill 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! The edges of my Variegated Monstera are turning brown.

  • This could either be a result of too little light or salt build up in the water. Because the white portion of this plant's leaves contain no chlorophyll, they cannot aid in photosynthesis. Therefore the Variegated Monstera requires a higher light location than a unvariegated Monstera. In addition, this variety is sensitive to salt buildup, so it’s best to let your tap water sit out uncovered for 24 hours before you water the plant. Many of the minerals and chemicals will evaporate and stop brown tips from occurring.

Help! My monstera is turning yellow!

  • If your leaves are turning yellow, there are many things that could be causing it. First, try to ensure that your Monstera is receiving the proper water and light. Yellowing can often be the first sign of overwatering. If you eliminate these as possibilities, then there is a chance that your Monstera might be rootbound and needs to be potted in a larger vessel. You can tell if it is rootbound once the non-aerial roots become exposed above the topsoil and seem to be swirling around the pot, searching for a new home. Most Monsteras need to be repotted up a size roughly every 2 years.

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, these are 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.

How fast will my plant grow?

  • The growth of your plant depends on its access to light and water. In ideal conditions, with bright indirect light and consistent moisture, Monsteras can grow 1-2 feet per year. Keep in mind that the Monstera's natural growth pattern is to spread wide rather than reach tall. Try staking your plant to encourage vertical growth.

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

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

Can I put my Monstera next to the AC / heater?

  • Variegated Monsteras are tropical plants that appreciate a humid environment. If conditions are too dry they will drop their leaves. While Monsteras will thrive in an air conditioned apartment, always avoid putting them in the direct line of fire for either AC or heating units. If their leaves are wagging from the air, it’s best to find another spot.

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. Spring or summer is the ideal time to repot as the plant is at its strongest.

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