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Monstera Borsigiana. And what a monster of confusion did I have when I got my first one!
A confusion worthy of the name, let me tell you that!
The confusion is not about the care but about the name.
Why I will explain later.
But nevertheless, this exotic plant is a wonderful and magnificent plant to have in your home.
It will give it a truly outstanding look and a touch of mystery.
What is Monstera Borsigiana
”What’s in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet.”
This Shakespeare quote only seems as if it has nothing to do with Monstera Borsigiana since it is not a rose and it does not have any flowers that would smell, but it does.
And a lot. (It actually does produce a flower and a fruit which is a delicacy where they come from, yet is not why we grow it, it is the leaves we are interested in).
The thing is, truth be told, that after years of caring for this plant and many (many) nurseries and flower shops visited I still can’t be a hundred percent sure if my confusion was settled.
Namely, Monstera Borsigiana is either the same thing as Monstera Deliciosa i.e. the names are synonyms, or Borsigiana is a variegated type of M. Deilciosa, which would mean that the true name should be Monstera Deliciosa var. Borsigiana.
Both nomenclatures have facts going for them, and they are all trustworthy, so I am still not sure which one is right.
There is one theory I am more inclined to believe and that is that Borsigiana is a cultivar of Deliciosa, although Borsigiana itself can have variegated types called Monstera Borsigiana Albo (white variegations) and Monstera Borsigiana Aurea(yellow variegations).
Why do I believe so?
It is because M. Borsigiana grows as a vine right away while M.Deliciosa develops vines only if it is quite old.
Also, M. Deliciosa has stem ruffles right where the leaf and the stem connect while M. Borsigiana does not (this characteristic is visible when the plant has aged, so you might have to wait up to even a couple of years to know this).
The next thing is- M. Borsigiana leaves can be half the size of M. Deliciosa leaves (1m), although the size of the leaves depends on the growing conditions as well as the type.
In any case, whether you belong to the team “they are the same plant” or the team “they are not the same plant” caring for it and loving it will be the same.
And the choice between them will depend on how much space you have for the plant.
Watering Monstera Borsigiana
The water requirements of Monstera Borsigiana are not at all complicated.
The rule of thumb is pretty straight and narrow.
You should water it approximately once a week, but pay attention to the temperature so if the weather where you live is very hot, you might want to water more often than once a week.
The best thing you can do to make sure you are not keeping your plant too dry or overwatering it is to check the soil conditions.
When you think it is a good time to water, put your finger in the soil.
If only the top layer is dry, postpone watering for a few more days.
When the soil is dry in the depth of about two inches you can water again. If it is hot where you are, check more often then once a week, especially if you are a first-timer in caring for a Monstera, just to get the idea of how often you need to water your plant based on the conditions.
As for the amount of water Monstera, including Borsigiana, does not like it when there is too much water, so keep the soil moist but not soaking.
Monstera Borsigiana has aerial roots so there is no need to overwater it. The pant does not like it.
AS for the time of watering, opt for morning rather than the afternoon.
Light and Temperature Requirements of Monstera Borsigiana
When it comes to the light requirements, again, Monstera Borsigiana is not the one to cause you headaches.
It adapts very well to any lighting with the exception of high exposure to the direct sunlight.
Direct sunlight can cause burns on the leaves.
If you must place your plant near a window or on the direct sunlight, choose a light source that is eastward-oriented. The morning sun is not as strong so the plant can withstand it.
As for the other lightning choices, Monstera Borsigiana grows well in the shade as well as artificial light.
The problem you can encounter with that is that the plant will not grow as fast or as big as it would in the optimal conditions.
There is a possibility that it would not develop the distinctive gaps and holes in the leaves due to the lack of sunlight.
So what are the optimal light requirements? Bright but indirect sunlight.
This is where your Monstera Borsigiana will be happiest.
This is even more important for the variegated versions since the white and yellow blotches lack chlorophyll and the plant will need to work overtime to survive in shadier environments.
As for the temperature, Monstera Borisgiana thrives in moderate environments which means from 15-27 ºC (65-80 ºF).
If the temperature drops below 10 ºC (60 ºF) the plant will stop growing and eventually die.
Since Monstera plants are house plants your best option is to pick a place in your home that will have a relatively steady temperature range during the year.
This will let the plant get accustomed to the temperature and it will not have to accommodate every time you move it.
Another thing to pay attention to would be the presence of airconditioners ventilations that cause dry air. Keep the plants away from them and spray them daily if you can’t have the plant in another room.
Monstera plants like a humid environment, so even without the AC to bother you, you can spray them every few days.
This, and keeping the leaves clean and dust-free (spraying helps) seem more important for the variegated version than the green Borsigiana variety.
Soil Requirements of Monstera Borsigiana
When it comes to the soil requirements it is important to know that a Monstera Borsigiana prefers alkaline to acidic soil (the majority of houseplants prefer acidic).
Alkaline soil has a pH level ranging from 7-14.
The perfect soil for a Monstera Borsigiana to thrive in is also rich in nutrients and well-draining.
The best soil type is a 3-part potting soil to 2 part perlite mixed with pumice or coarse horticultural sand.
If your mix contains more perlite than this, you can water a bit more than prescribed.
Monstera Borsigiana Fertilizing
Fertilizing any houseplant is an important part of plant care since the soil, however perfectly chosen, gets dried out of nutrients relatively quickly.
So, what is the best fertilizer for Monstera Borsigiana, and what is the best time to fertilize?
First, make sure you have chosen the right fertilizer. For Monstera, the best option is an organic, liquid, houseplant fertilizer rich with nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, and magnesium.
Follow the prescripted dosage or even dilute it further since excess fertilizer can harm the plant.
As for the time and frequency, fertilize your Monstera Borsigiana once a month (or every two weeks with a more diluted fertilizer) from April to September.
Autumn and winter are not the seasons to fertilize in since the plant is resting, while during the Spring and Summer months the plant is growing and flowering which requires more nutrients.
If you notice that the plant is going yellow or burning even if the light conditions are perfect, lay low on the fertilizer since it can kill the plant.
Watch your Monstera closely to see what works best for it.
Monstera Borsigiana Pruning
Pruning your Monstera Borsigiana is important for its health and appearance.
The reasons for pruning can be simply aesthetic- if you want to encourage or limit the growth, shape your plat to your will, or simply remove yellow or wilted leaves.
The other reason is propagating, but more on that in a jiffy.
And finally, the health reasons if your plant came down with a bacterial infection, you need to cut the infected leaves or stems to prevent the infection to spread any further.
Pruning is very easy to do if you have sharp and sterile knives or shears.
Avoid plucking since that can cause the plant to bruise. Using dirty tools is a bacteria infection risk.
Also, use gloves to avoid skin irritation.
You can cut your plant anywhere you want- at the top if you want it taller, or any other way where you want it to grow further.
Cut lower if you are managing the plant’s size and do not want to let it become bigger.
If you want to propagate cut the plant under the node.
Monstera Borsigiana Propagation
There are quite a few ways of Monstera Borsigiana propagating and I will go through each of them so you can pick one that suits you the most.
1. Air layering
This is maybe the most popular, although possibly the slowest and most complicated method of Monstera Borsigiana propagating.
The idea behind this is that you form new roots right on the mother plant who will provide nutrition all the way.
To do this use a sharp, clean knife and cut into the stem under the node of the leaf which already has an aerial root
Then use sphagnum moss and wrap it around the root, incision, and node. Cover it with plastics and secure it in a way that it is tight but yet loose enough so you can spray it with water and check for the new roots.
To this every two-three days and after about 6 weeks you will have new roots, and your plant will be ready for transplant.
Cut the stem from the node and put it in a new pot.
2. Propagation from cuttings
For this method to be successful, you will need to cut the stem right below a node.
Remove any lower leaves and leave two or three younger ones on your cutting.
Borsigiana cuttings root easily so you can place them directly in the soil, or you can choose to place them in a glass container filled with filtered water or tapped water that rested for a night (for the chlorine to evaporate).
After three to six weeks you will see new roots forming and this is when you can transplant the new plant in soil.
In the meantime, rinse the roots and change the water every few days and keep on the warm and sunny place.
During this process, you will have a cool decoration in your home.
3. Propagation by separation
Using this method you will not make Borsigiana “babies” like in the previous examples, you will just get two or more plants who are the same age as the one you have.
How do you this?
You will need to water the plant and carefully remove it from its pot.
Then, take sharp, clean shears and cut the roots creating two or more plants. Make sure you do not cut the stems.
Place the ‘new’ plants in their new pots of an appropriate size, water, and watch them grow.
This method is great if your mother plant has become way to big for the room you are keeping it in.
Monstera Borsigiana Repotting
As with any houseplant, Monstera Borsigiana also requires repotting from time to time.
To avoid the plant getting stressed out due to constant moving, repot once every two years. If the pot choice is adequate, it should be more than enough.
Pick a pot that is about an inch or two wider than the pot the plant is currently in. This will allow the roots to grow and the plant to develop.
To properly repot your favorite monster, water the plant about a half an hour before you begin removing it from its container.
The roots tend to grow fast and they can cling to the pot so the water will soften the soil and simplify the extraction.
They can also protrude from the potholes, in which case you should not try to remove the pot forcefully, but rather carefully cut the protruding roots and remove the pot.
Examine the roots for root rot, and once you have made sure that all the roots are healthy place in a new pot.
Do not press the soil in, but rather water it and let it sit by itself.
If he plant gets a bit droopy after repotting, give it a few days to bounce back and get accustomed to its new environment.
Note: Since Monstera Borsigiana is a vining variety, you can place a ladder or trellis in the pot so the plant can use it to climb onto.
Monstera Borsigiana Problems and Solutions
We all like our beloved monster plants happy and healthy, however, sometimes they do not look their best.
If you follow this guide you should not have the majority of the problems with Monstera Borsigiana.
Now, if you are new to parenting this wonderful monster, there are a few things you can encounter.
I will share with you the cause and the solution so that your Monstera Borsigiana can be happy and healthy again.
1. Yellow leaves
If your plant is yellowing or wilting it can mean that it is either placed in way too much sunlight or that it is overwatered or that it needs more nutrients i.e. fertilizer. The easiest way to fix this is by checking the light and the soil. If both optimal light requirements and watering requirements are met, it is the fertilizer you should go to for help.
Also, if you notice yellow marks, they are the signal that your plant is too exposed to the light source. This can even kill the plant if you don’t do something about it as soon as you notice it. When you do, all you have to do is to reduce the exposure of the plant and leave it in a dark place to rest and consume energy. After this, it will be healthy again.
2. Brown tips or edges, brown spots
If your Monstera Borsigiana has brown tips or edges it possibly means that there is not enough humidity so you can either wipe the leaves with a damp cloth every day or use a spray bottle to keep the plant in optimal humidity levels.
Brown spots can be caused by exposure to direct sunlight which means that the spots are actually sunburns, or that the plant is infested with bacteria.
In case of bacterial infection use the appropriate bactericide as soon as you notice the brown spots and if you are sure that too much sunlight is not the cause.
Related: Best Plant Humidifiers and a Buying Guide.
3. Leaves without slits and/or holes
The Monstera plants, Borsigiana included, have those slits or holes that distinguish them from other plants.
When there are no slits and holes two reasons are possible: the plant is too young so you only need to wait for it to develop and care for it properly or there is a lack of either light or nutrients.
To get our plant to develop the signature look, check the appropriate section of this Monstera Borsigiana guide.
Indoor M. Borsigiana can be infected by mites and scales.
This disease can be cured by cleaning the leaves with an appropriate soap or oil you can find in your flower shop.
The good news is, you can prevent the pests from infesting your plant by regularly spraying your plant with water.
If you are keeping your plant in the garden or on the balcony, grasshoppers can decide to munch on the leaves.
In this case, place the plant indoors and remove the damaged leaves.
5. Root rot
Different fungus and excess watering can cause root rot.
To avoid this, avoid overwatering the plant and use prescribed fungicides after the infection has occurred.
Also, remove infected roots, and make sure to check them when repotting.
What’s the difference between Monstera Deliciosa and Monstera Borsigiana?
Perhaps you didn’t know, but Borsigiana is a sub-specie of Deliciosa. So, the only real difference between these two is the fact that Borsigiana develops much faster, and its size is smaller.
Does Monstera Borsigiana purify air?
Monstera plants are well-known for their air-purifying properties. They reduce air pollution and make your home a healthier place to live in.
Can Monsteras grow in water?
The truth is that Monsteras can survive in water, but it’s not the recommended environment for them. Even though they may adapt, they are not aquatic plants so they won’t grow as big as they could if kept in soil.
Is Monstera Borsigiana toxic to pets and people?
Yes, Monstera Borsigiana and Monsteras, in general, are classified as moderately toxic to both people, and pets (cats and dogs). Some of the irritation symptoms include vomiting, too much drooling, mouth swelling, and similar.