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Monstera Deliciosa Care: 5 Crucial Things You Need to Know

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Monstera deliciosa care is easier than you think! This post is the ultimate guide on growing Monstera deliciosa, and I will also show you some remarkable tips and tricks on repotting Monstera as well so that you can be the best plant parent that you can be!

monstera deliciosa care

This plant was once popular a few decades ago, and it is back with a vengeance! Monstera deliciosa is one of the trendiest houseplants that you can grow these days.

Not only are they a striking houseplant, but they are also very easy to grow and a fantastic beginner plant! Anyone can grow a Monstera!

My plant which was barely 1 1/2 feet tall when I purchased it, grew quite large after less than 3 years.

Keep reading to find out exactly how to care for Monstera deliciosa, and also learn about repotting Monstera.

I will also show you how to provide a very sturdy support so your Monstera can climb securely! Forget about the moss posts. I have a much easier and more effective solution.

About Monstera Deliciosa

There are so many common names for this plant: Swiss Cheese Plant, Mexican Breadfruit, and even Split Leaf Philodendron. Common names are enormously confusing and I always refer to this plant by its botanical name (genus + species), Monstera deliciosa.

You may be wondering about the botanical name Monstera deliciosa. The genus, Monstera, literally refers to the “monstrous” proportions that this plant takes on in the wild.

The species name, deliciosa, refers to its edible fruit that it commonly produces in the wild. Indoors, you may never see this, but know that it does produce an edible fruit!

These plants hail from tropical regions in the south of Mexico and also parts of Central America and are found growing at the base of trees. They will climb and attach to tree trunks via the aerial roots that they produce.

Monstera Deliciosa Care

1. LIGHT

As you can imagine by how this plant grows in the wild, as described above, it prefers filtered light, or bright indirect light. I grow mine in a large Eastern exposure window so it received plenty of light, including morning sun which is gentle on the plant.

It can tolerate much darker conditions, but your growth won’t be as spectacular. After all, plants need light to photosynthesize!

You’ll want to avoid too much direct sun however, especially the harsher afternoon sun.

If you live in areas that typically have a lot of strong sun, you’ll want to shield your Monstera deliciosa so that it doesn’t receive too much direct sun.

2. WATERING and FERTILIZING

Monstera deliciosa is pretty forgiving when it comes to watering. Just like most plants, I like to let the top part of the soil dry out before watering again.

Depending on the size of the pot, I’ll let the top inch or two completely dry out before I water again. Just use your finger to test the soil moisture.

Mine is growing in a 14 inch pot, so I’ll let the top 2 inches, roughly, dry out before I even think about watering.

Keep in mind that larger pots may take longer to dry out than much smaller pots, so don’t water by your calendar.

Use your finger as your guide! If your Monstera is in a smaller pot, let at least the top inch of the soil dry out before watering again.

Avoid extremes in watering. Never let this plant sit in water otherwise it can easily rot. On the other hand, try not and let the potting mix completely dry out if you can help it. Find a happy medium!

As far as fertilizing goes, I fertilize my Monstera deliciosa year round except for the winter months.

I sometimes rotate and change fertilizers, but I’m currently using Dyna-Gro Grow for most of my leafy houseplants and I don’t think I’ll ever switch again. This is an AMAZING fertilizer and I stock up on it from Amazon.

I like to fertilize dilutely with every watering. That way my plants receive constant nutrients, similar to how they would grow in nature, and I don’t have to remember the last time I applied fertilizer!

Want to buy your very own Monstera deliciosa plant? You can purchase one easily from Amazon! It is one of the most gratifying and rewarding houseplants in my collection!

3. LEAF PROGRESSION

One of the most rewarding parts of growing Monstera deliciosa is watching the plant evolve from its juvenile leaves, to the more mature adult leaves. Young plants have leaves that are completely solid and that have no slits or holes.

As Monstera deliciosa ages, the new leaves will have more and more fenestrations (holes) and slits among the leaves. Keep in mind that after a leaf develops, it will not change. As the plant matures, the newer leaves will slowly have more and more fenestrations.

Take a look at the following progression of leaves from my own plant:

4. Repotting

For some general repotting tips, and knowing when to repot your plant, check out my blog post on repotting.

This post contains many critical aspects of repotting, so be sure to read up after you’re done reading this Monstera post.

As I mentioned earlier, Monstera deliciosa is a climbing plant in nature, so you’ll want to add some support, and the perfect time to do this is when you repot your plant!

This way, you will minimize the damage to any roots. Although if you are careful, you can really add support at any time.

After you take your plant out of the pot, be sure to loosen up the root ball a bit. Only choose a pot that is 1 or 2 sizes bigger than the current pot. And always use a pot with drainage holes!

I used a wheelbarrow outdoors to blend my potting mix and loosen the root ball on my plant.

I like to cover the drainage hole with a broken pot shard (placed like an upside down U over the hole, which leaves space on the sides). Some people like to place a piece of old window screening over the hole.

When you repot, this is the perfect time to add a support so that your plant can start climbing! As the vines grow, you can loosely tie them to the posts.

Take a look at the bamboo tee-pee that I created below.

I simply purchased some bamboo stakes online from Amazon, and put three of them in the pot at the time of repotting. I like to have extras on hand because I also use them in my garden.

Then I simply took some garden twine and tied the top up. It is a very stable structure!

You can also add a moss post when you repot. I wrote a printable, detailed how-to blog post that shows how you can make your own moss post! It’s way better than anything you would buy pre-made and much better quality.

As far as potting media for Monstera deliciosa goes, I like to use a good potting mix, such as Miracle Gro Indoor Potting Mix but I also like to mix in some #3 size perlite. Use about 1 part of the perlite to 2 parts, or even 3 parts, of the potting soil.

This will give you a nice airy potting soil that this plant loves!

5. Propagating Monstera Deliciosa

Who wouldn’t want more of a good thing? If you want to propagate your Monstera deliciosa, it is very easy to do.

There are a couple of different ways that I will describe to propagate your Monstera deliciosa.

If you are impatient and don’t want to spend too much time, you can simply just cut a vine and place it in water. Not just any old vine though. You’ll want to choose a vine where you see an aerial root.

Then simply just cut below where the aerial root is, near where my finger is in the photo below.

Then simply place this cutting in water. The aerial root will quickly grow in water and it you’ll be able to pot it up in no time at all.

The other method that you can use to propagate your Monstera deliciosa is by air layering. You’ll want to air layer in the exact same spot that I described above (where my finger is in the photo).

The benefit of doing this is that your vine will be much less stressed (versus just cutting it completely off the plant).

You can check out my blog post on air layering houseplants where you can read exactly how to do it! You can do it exactly as described in that post.

Or, alternatively, as long as you choose a vine where you can wrap the sphagnum moss around an existing aerial root, you don’t even have to cut into the vine like I mention in the air layering post.

Simply proceed without cutting because the aerial root will start growing almost immediately.

Other than that one detail, you can follow all the rest of the instructions. Then once it is ready, you can simply cut the vine under where you air layered and pot up your new plant!

Be sure to get everything you need to help your Monstera deliciosa thrive. To summarize, these are the products I talked about in the blog post so you can grow your own gigantic Monstera deliciosa. (Pretty soon, mine will overtake the living room…)

Use 2 or 3 parts Miracle Gro Potting Mix to 1 part #3 perlite. This provides a beautifully airy potting mix that these plants just love.

Dyna-Gro Grow is just simply one of the best fertilizers around. Use it regularly on you Monstera deliciosa plant and ALL of your tropicals!

And don’t forget the bamboo stakes to make your tee-pee with. Monsteras need support as they grow.

Also, this is only ONE type of Monstera! There are many other Monstera species. I also grow Monstera adansonii and Monstera siltepecana and I’m in love with those too!

I hope you have enjoyed this post on how to care for your Monstera deliciosa.

If you have been struggling with growing this plant, check out my related post that will answer your burning questions: Monstera Problems: 11 Frustrating Problems and Solutions.

MONSTERA DELICIOSA TOXICITY

Monstera deliciosa is toxic to cats and dogs, according to the ASPCA, because it contains calcium oxalate.

If you have any questions, please let me know in the comments below and thanks for reading!

Please do me a favor and share this post to social media because it will help me spread the Ohio Tropics houseplant care tips to the masses! Also, check out my shop on Amazon for all your houseplant care needs:

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Aly Troca

Tuesday 19th of January 2021

Just grabbed a beautiful 10 inch Monstera Deliciosa @ my local Shoprite! Been looking for one every where but all so expensive so i figure worst case I lose $14.99 ... anyway the roots are already coming out the bottom and protruding thru the top .. wanted to see if you suggested reporting into 12 inch or 11? (I usually replant into a nursery pot and then stick into another pot- I find they have the best drainage) ..

Anywho - also wanted to know if you suggested I wait until spring or is this dire?

Lastly towards the bottom there are SO MANY small leaves without any “splits” or anything yet so I’m hoping they grow up and start to split.

Happy to send a pic if this helps!!!

I found this article so very helpful!!!!

Raffaele

Tuesday 19th of January 2021

You're very welcome Aly! From a 10 inch pot, you can safely go to a 12 inch pot, or even 14 at the very most. If the plant looks like it's ok, wait until spring. I do the same thing with many plants as far as keeping them in plastic and them inserting them into a cachepot. As far as the leaves with no splits, they will remain how they are. As the plant continues to put out new leaves, you will gradually see new leaves with more splits and holes (called fenestrations). I hope this clarifies everything! :-)

K

Monday 18th of January 2021

Thank you so much for this! Very helpful.

I got a monstera a few weeks ago and unfortunately it had a pot emergency and I had to repot it immediately into a 10 inch (?) plastic garbage can with some holes I poked in the bottom...It seems to be fine and suffering no trauma...when would be a good time to actually move it to a proper pot with some better soil and a support?

Raffaele

Monday 18th of January 2021

Glad you found it helpful! You can go ahead and do it now. They should be perking up soon with longer days, and you had an emergency so I see no harm in doing it now.

Carol Kumlin

Saturday 16th of January 2021

I have a monster growing outside. Through neglect, sun and under watering, what's left is a 2' horizontal stem, 6 " above ground with 8-10 aerial roots growing into the ground, and one magnificent large leaf at the end. Obviously "it lives." Can I make several plants by cutting at the aerial roots (if there are nodes)? If not, I will just transplant to a better area? Thank you for your comments.

Raffaele

Saturday 16th of January 2021

Hi Carol, does the whole plant only have one leaf? If you care for it properly at this point, it will continue to grow. If you are tired of looking at it and want to make more plants, you can try to harvest single nodes and place them onto moist sphagnum moss and see if they will grow new plants for you.

Marisa

Sunday 20th of September 2020

Hi Raffeale,

I have a mystery plant that looks an awful lot like the un-fenestrated leaves of the Monstera from this post. The plant has massive (5-7”) solid green leaves, aerial roots, a vining structure and leaf nodes like a pothos, but it could be some sort of Philodendron. I’ve had the plant in water for several years, so the growth is likely stunted and the spaces between leaves are very large. I put it into soil earlier this year and there is new leaf growth but not a drastic change in appearance. The plant is about 1’ away from a west window, with filtered light.

Is it possible for you to aid in the identification of the plant? I have photos that I could post, if needed.

Thank you!

Marisa

Milica

Tuesday 8th of September 2020

What does that mean if there are black parts near the section where a new leaf is about to grow. I don't know if it's a natural color for the plant or if it means something else.

Raffaele

Wednesday 9th of September 2020

Hi Milica! It definitely shouldn't be black. It's probably due to extremes in soil moisture, either too dry or too wet. Does this seem to be the case with your plant? I'd have to see a photo to better help, but I'm fairly confident.