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Let me guess – you have just moved into the new home and wish to decorate your living space; you got promoted to a new, bright office, or you received a Monstera Adansonii plant as a gift from a friend? Whichever the reason might be, I hope you are ready to dive into the world of the professional plant growers and understand all of the important aspects of nurturing this beauty! Monstera Adansonii will bring lots of warmth and gorgeous décor to the space you wish to enrich and it won’t take much of your time and energy.
What is Monstera Adansonii?
Monstera Adansonii is a tropical plant and one of the 40 different species that belong to the Monstera genus.
The name itself sounds pretty scary and is actually derived from Latin word that means “monstrous”, but is used to describe a genus of plants that have a mesmerizing and quite unusual look.
Their leaves feature many of holes, sometimes, so big that they make up 90% of their surface.
These species vary in sizes, sizes of the leaf holes, leaf shapes and other features, some of which are almost impossible to be found, like true Monstera Obliqua, that is often confused with our Monstera Adansonii.
This plant is also called the “swiss cheese” plant, because of its holes and many people know it under that name.
It is believed that the reason why these holes exist is that it that way needs much less water to thrive and can also withstand winds that blow through the leaves, as well as because sunlight passes through them easily and shines on most of its surface.
Monstera Adansonii is a type of an evergreen vine and depending on the species can grow on trees following their surface up to the height of 15-20m (50-65ft)!
This is possible because it doesn’t only have roots in the ground, but also in the air, thanks to which it can attach and support itself on various materials.
Its leaves also vary in size, from 15cm (6”), which is common for petite species, such as the one we are talking about to 90cm (35”) in species growing in wilderness; and it is not that wide – from 15 to 75cm (6-30”).
This plant has flowers, but they are not a typical, bright-colored kind you might be imagining, but grow in a spike-like shape – called inflorescence, that is surrounded with special leaves called bracts.
The best way to describe them is a big and not so pretty kernels of corn.
This plant has become so popular recently, that there almost isn’t an indoor design magazine that doesn’t feature it in its ideas – and that is for a reason!
Its unusual leaves with a vine stem will bring a breath of fresh air into your space and will serve as an amazing decoration!
It will look even better if you let it grow by giving it a steak, that will serve as a support.
This way leaves will be bigger and lusher, so don’t be afraid of letting it climb.
Light and Temperature Requirements of Monstera Adansonii
Light is a very important factor in caring for this tropical beauty because of its nature.
It is native to tropical areas in South and Central Amerika, which means it is used to certain light conditions.
Since it grows from the ground up, attaching itself to trees, rocks, and other surfaces, it is exposed to indirect light most of the time.
The biggest portion of light is absorbed by the huge trees and just a small fraction is left to the plants thriving under them in a shade.
Knowing this, you need to make sure that your plant is not exposed to the strong direct light because its sensitive leaves will get burnt and damaged quite easily.
This is likely to happen if you are new to the world of botany, and don’t yet have the experience, thinking that direct light will help your plant with photosynthesis- but it is quite the opposite.
The best choice when it comes to the right spot is a bright shade in the room, or even place by the window, as long as the light is filtered, for example, thought curtains.
Another good tip is to offer your plant a pleasant morning light, that will let it carry out all the processes without any danger.
Let us remember once again that Monstera Adansonii is a tropical plant that loves warmth and humidity (we will get to this soon) and it thrives best in temperatures around 18-27°C (64-81°F) and it shouldn’t be exposed to any temperature below 18°C (64°F). If this happens for a longer period, its growth will come to a halt and it might even start dying out.
Watering Monstera Adansonii Plant
Knowing when and how much to water your plant, especially when it’s a tropical one that LOVES lots of moisture is true magic and there is a fine line between watering just enough and overwatering and killing it.
Many people set “watering schedules” for their plants and do it, for example, every Monday morning. But let me ask you – how to you even know your plant needs water every Monday? Well, you don’t, unless you physically touch the soil or even insert your finger(s) in it.
The point is that you need to keep the soil moist and you will know that the plant needs it if the surface is dry. Now, when I say dry – I don’t mean Sahara dry. If you insert your finger 1 inch deep and feel it is half-dry it is time for watering.
If you aren’t sure about this, the best way to do it is to get a small wooden stick (I hope you eat popsicles!) and insert it into the soil, letting it sit in it for 2 minutes. If you take it out and it is barely moist and discolored, then your plant needs to be watered!
If you still aren’t sure, make sure to lift your plant when you know its dry and then again right after watering, so you familiarize yourself with its weight. That pot weight can help you next time you are feel uncertain.
Also, make sure there are drainage holes on the pot – this is crucial, and why so? If you water too much and there are no holes on the bottom, you will create a tiny pond and the excess won’t have any exit, which will cause the roots to drown, get infected, and possibly die. Simple as that.
Thus, when you have purchased a pot with holes, water until the liquid starts exiting though them on the saucer under it. Afterwards, remove any unneeded water, so the plant doesn’t sit it.
A good sign that water is desperately needed is that your plant has become droopy. If it has enough light, good temperature, and humidity, but it still looks sad, then you most likely have a watering problem caused by the lack of it.
Bottom line – when the soil feels dry to touch water your plant very well – imagine how much water it would get with tropical rains?! Remove excess liquid and then be patient and wait until the next cycle.
If you travel often and can’t pay that much attention to your plants, but still wish to have them, then purchasing one or more self-watering globes will help you with this process. They are made of different materials and come in different sizes and colors, making them a wonderful decoration for your pot.
Another alternative is the watering spikes that can be of great help for proper plant care.
Did You Overwater it?
If you realized what you have done, don’t worry there is a cure for it! You will need to take the plant out of the pot and examine its roots. Hopefully, you won’t see any mushy and discolored parts – because this means they have been affected.
If you do, however, then go ahead and remove those affected parts and re-pot your plant into the new pot and soil. This way you will remove it from the worst possible condition.
Humidity is other crucial aspect of caring for this plant, as it is used to extreme humidity levels – so high that they can be reached in greenhouses only. We are talking about 90% humidity, which is abnormal for humans and which means that you won’t be able to provide it.
However, don’t worry, as this is alright, your Monstera Adansonii will thrive without that much humidity in the air, and that is even better. You might be wondering why?
Well, when exposed to perfect conditions – adequate temperature, humidity, and light this vine can grow quite aggressively, which is something you probably don’t wish to encourage in your home/office.
If you have trouble with dry air then several possible solutions give great results.
- Misting – Feel free to mist your plant daily to keep its leaves, aerial roots, and stem wet enough for it to grow properly. You can purchase any spray bottle and insert stale water – preferably rainwater, and if not, the regular tap water will work as well.
- Humidifiers – they do wonders for tropical plants that don’t grow in quite proper conditions. Thanks to a humidifier you can keep your plant in a dry space and not worry that your beauty will dry out and die.
- Terrariums – there are no words to describe how many gorgeous terrariums are sold out there! They are an amazing choice, however, using them can be a bit tricky for this plant that loves to climb, as might outgrow it. However, this isn’t that likely, since it is a small species that just needs a terrarium big enough.
Terrariums can bring so much beauty to your home that not a person who comes to visit will be able to refrain from asking about it!
- Lastly, if you wish to keep things simple and not buy any additional equipment there are two possible solutions – the best place for M. Adansonii in your home could be the bathroom, as it is probably the most humid space. It is even better if there is a window in it because then you hit a jackpot – both enough moisture and sunlight!
The second home remedy is to double pot the plant, filling the outer pot with pebbles only, which will serve to hold the excess water and offer humidity and moisture.
Fertilizing Monstera Adansonii
Fertilization is quite important if you are growing your Monstera Adansonii indoors because this plant grows very fast – much faster than it can produce enough chlorophyll.
As you might already know, chlorophyll is an extremely important molecule that gives plants green color and takes part in the process of photosynthesis, through which every plant creates its food.
Now, certain chemical elements are crucial components of every chlorophyll molecule, such as nitrogen, and by using fertilizers you will add them to the soil externally.
Many indoor plants do not have enough chemical elements and depend solely on the soil mix you pick and anything else you add to it, compared to the outdoor plants that get them through other plants’ and tiny animals’ decomposition.
Monstera Adansonii needs to be fertilized, or else, you will see its leaves turning yellow and becoming droopy (they aren’t droopy only because of the lack of water).
The best time to feed it is in spring and summer, while it is in its growing phase and refrain from it in autumn and winter, because the plant then enters the dormant phase and doesn’t need all those nutrients.
Also, it is very important to know that no fertilizer should be used if you have just re-potted your plant because it has undergone huge stress and needs time to adjust to the new soil. Its roots are then quite weak and applying fertilizer, even less than instructed, can damage them badly.
Repotting Monstera Adansonii
Most professional botanists advice that the best practice is to re-pot your tropical beauty every 2 years, because this is how long it takes for it to outgrow its current pot.
The next one you pick needs to be a size larger, so it offers more space for the existing and new roots.
Re-potting is quite an easy process and you shouldn’t be afraid of doing something wrong.
When you decide to go through this process, make sure to prepare the plant for it, because it presents quite a stress.
The good preparation means watering abundantly several days before this.
- Prepare a clean, disinfected knife and take the pot, because you will have to take root ball out of it. Now, if the root system is cramped in it, it is possibly stuck to the walls of the pot, which means you will have to insert the knife and work your way around it to detach them. Some root ends will be damaged, but this needs to be done.
- This is the perfect time to inspect the roots. Gently remove any excess dirt from the root end and try to take off as much of it. Since you plant will be potted into the new soil mix there is no need to mix too much of the old one with it. If there are any soggy ends, cut them off, as well as any with white sports, as this means they are infected.
- Prepare the second pot by filling it with a bit of soil mix and perlite, creating a hole for the root ball, and then insert it gently. Then take the rest of the soil and pour it around the plant, pressing gently on it. This will offer stability.
- Make sure to place the plant in the spot where it thrived previously, or if not, find the right one that offers enough light, a good temperature, and sufficient humidity.
- Caring for your plant after repotting is crucial because it will have undergone real stress, thus it needs to be watered a bit more than usual. Also, do not, I repeat, do not fertilize it for 2-3 months afterward at any cost!
Choosing the Pot
Choosing the right pot might seem like all fun and games, but picking the cutest and most colorful one is not the only thing you need to think about.
Yes, it’s great if the pot has a design that perfectly matches your living space, however, there are certain points you should pay attention to as well.
- Drainage Holes – I have already mentioned this once, and am using this opportunity to say it again – the right pot must have drainage holes though which excess water will exit easily.
- Clay pots – These pots can look amazing, however, the clay itself tends to absorb moisture, which can be bad for your plant and cause the soil to get dry much faster.
- Cachepots – They are so decorative and pretty, however, most don’t have drainage holes. The only way to avoid this setback is to put the plant along with its original plastic container inside the cachepot and made sure it doesn’t sit in excess water that will stay in the cachepot. The way to separate two pots is by adding pebbles on the bottom of the outer one.
- Self-watering pots – This will your best friend if you are among people who spend lots of time outside of their home/office or travel, so they can’t keep up with regular watering. These pots are designed to measure water levels and indicate whether there is an excess of deficit of it. You can poor water once a week for example and let the pot do the rest itself.
Pruning Monstera Adansonii
Pruning is a very easy and a must-do process that allows your plant to grow properly and faster.
By pruning you get rid of any dry leaves, or even stems that have gone dry for any reason.
This way you are reducing the “bad” surface that receives the nutrients that other, healthy parts need.
Pruning will thus, encourage your plant’s growth and will also improve its overall look, making it seem very fresh and healthy.
When it comes to pruning you can either prune aerial roots or its leaves. Aerial roots are not needed if they just grow in the air without attaching to any surface, as they don’t serve any purpose.
However, instead of removing them, you can try and insert them back into the pot, and this way they will play its role and improve the plant’s alimentation.
And, about leaves – if there are any dry ones, feel free to pick them with your fingers and detach from the plant.
Dry leaves are a normal thing because every plant experiences a foliage turnover, but again, this should be moderate.
If there are too many leaves getting dry, then you are facing a problem.
Pruning leaves can be done even if the leaves are healthy, but just too big, the choice is yours.
This will, however, encourage the plant to grow even richer and bigger.
How to Propagate Monstera Adansonii
Propagation is the process of reproducing your plant and this can be done in 3 ways, some of which are much faster than others.
Thus, in case you’ve kept a mother plant for a while and wish to have baby Monsteras, here are the steps for every method, so to learn how to propagate monstera properly.
Propagation from Cuttings
- Before you start the process make sure you have a sharp and disinfected knife or a pair of scissors.
- The next step is to pick the right cutting, as it needs to meet certain criteria. The leaf itself is not enough, and there needs to be a root nod (a tiny bump) on the stem, from which a baby root will evolve. This root nod can be an aerial one or the one from the soil. Besides this, make sure there are several leaves on the cutting as well.
- The next step is to cut that chosen piece and then decide whether you will propagate via soil or water.
Now that you have got yourself a proper cutting, it is time to go on with the process. You will need a small vase, jar, or any glass, and I suggest you pick a transparent one, so you can keep an eye on the cutting.
Pour some water in it and then place the cutting in the water and make sure it is exposed to bright (but not direct) light.
It usually takes up to two weeks for the baby roots to emerge, but don’t get scared if it takes longer than that.
There isn’t a definite period during which you must keep the cutting in the water, so whenever you see that enough roots have emerged and the cutting has started to grow, feel free to pot it.
Make sure to use high-quality potting mix and add some perlite (2:1 ratio), because perlite serves to hold moisture and nutrient more efficiently and is perfect for tropical plants that crave it constantly.
Also, your baby plant may react to being potted and dislike it, so don’t be alarmed if you see that it starts to droop. This period will pass and it will adjust to the soil.
This method skips the whole “water growth” part and means that you won’t be able to monitor your baby Monstera and make sure it is growing properly.
When you have taken the cutting, place it in a small, plastic, nursery pot with drainage holes, and offer much indirect light and warm ambient. This propagation takes longer than the water one and it might even be unsuccessful, which you will know if no leaves appear after several weeks.
With baby plants, roots need to grow first and then leaves, which even tend to be droopy, because tiny roots aren’t able to absorb enough nutrients for them to grow properly.
The point is – when you see a baby leaf you have propagated your plant successfully!
Propagation from Seeds
This type of propagation is the most complicated, the longest and the least efficient one. The problem is that most indoor Monsteras won’t grow flowers, which means you won’t be able to get your hand on any seeds.
However, you can always purchase them online from professional growers. If you decide to do this, be careful not to be deceived, as some sellers offer fake seeds!
Once you have bought the seed, you will need to put it in a pot with a high-quality potting mix and all the other conditions (light, temperature, humidity, and water). You should cover the pot with a transparent plastic film that will increase humidity and temperature thanks to the greenhouse effect it causes.
Seed propagation will take up to several months to show its results, thus I hope you are patient!
Monstera Variegata Pests, Problems and Solutions
When it comes to pests, there aren’t any that impose a serious threat to this plant, however, it can get infected with spider mites, scale insects or get fungal spots or root rot caused by bacteria. All of these can be treated easily, even with home remedies, so don’t be afraid if you encounter any.
- Spider mites – these boring little creatures feed on your plant and suck on its sap, literally sucking the life out of it. Luckily, they are noticed easily, because they create a dust-like film all over it. If your plant has too many spider mites, remove the infected leaves, and apply a homemade soap solution.
It is made by mixing 4lt of water (1 gallon) and 3-4 tablespoons of liquid soap. Pour this solution into a spray bottle and spray abundantly all over the plant, especially on the leaves’ undersides every 6 days.
- Scale insects – they can be quite hard to see because once they reach the adult stage they stop moving and burry themselves in various parts of a plant. They look like small bumps that can be seen mostly on stems and twigs. The best solution for this pest is a 100% pure cold-pressed neem seed oil. Please read the instruction carefully before applying it!
- Leaf spots – These are usually a sign of fungal infection and either brown or yellow thanks to the fungi colonies. A very good remedy for this issue is a copper-containing fungicidal spray that eliminates all kinds of leaf spots very efficiently.
Common problems and solutions
Besides pests, one of the most common problems not just for this, but for many other plants are yellow leaves. Many people see them and wonder what do they exactly mean. The issue is that they are a consequence of various problems – for example, your Monstera Adansonii is overwatered and is suffering from it.
Thus, if you see that there is too much moisture, or it is sitting in the still water, then you know what to do – we covered it at the beginning of this article.
Another potential problem is that it is exposed to too much direct light. In case leaves have turned completely yellow and are drying out, you should simply accept the fact that they should be pruned and removed. However, your plant is still alive and will grow other ones.
Another question is – when haveyou last re-potted your Monstera? If you’ve had it for a while and it has kept growing without you moving it to a bigger pot, it means it has outgrown it and the whole root system is too cramped in a small space.
Is Monstera Adansonii poisonous?
Yes, according to the ASPCA, it is poisonous for animals, thus if you keep cats and dogs, make sure it is out of their reach. Getting in touch with it can cause various irritations, such as mouth swelling, drooling, nausea, and swollen throat.
Will I ever get to see flowers?
The answer is – it depends. In the majority of cases, Monstera Adansonii plants don’t grow their inflorescence indoors, but it might happen. However, don’t expect regular-looking flowers, but more like kernels of corn that aren’t that pretty, unfortunately.
Why are its leaves’ edges turning brown?
This is another common issue that may be a sign of two possible conditions – the first one is that there is too much salt accumulation in the soil, or there isn’t enough sunlight.
The best way to get rid of the salt build-up is to flush the soil by letting a large amount of water pass through it fast and then let it dry slowly.
When it comes to insufficient light make sure to move to a brighter spot.