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Monstera karstenianum might just be the right choice for you if you are looking for a simple-to-care yet authentic and rare plant. Also known as Monstera sp. Peru, this adorable climbing vine looks most presentable when kept in a hanging basket.
Monstera karstenianum care guide: Like any other Monsteras, this one is relatively easy to take care of. If you want to minimize the chances to mess up, make sure to water it regularly, and put it someplace where the light is indirect. Also, choose a well-draining soil and ensure enough humidity. You can propagate it using stem cuttings. Finally, pay close attention to common pests that invade indoor plants, particularly scale bugs, and mealybugs.
Have I caught your attention? If you want to learn more about Monstera Peru care, stay with me and find out:
- How does the plant look like?
- What type of soil is ideal for this plant?
- Does it need excessive light?
- How to water it properly?
- More about temperature and humidity
- Is it necessary to fertilize Monstera Karstenianum?
- How to propagate Monstera sp.Peru?
- Quick tips for potting
- Common problems and how to fix them
- Frequently asked questions
How Does the Plant Look Like?
This enchanting plant originates from Southern Mexico and Central America, and it has shiny dark foliage with notable texture. It feels like it’s popping off the leaves when you touch it. The feeling is similar to the one you have when you touch Braille dots.
What gives it a true charm is the long stems- this is a vining plant. And it’s a fast-growing one. For that reason, you’ll have to get a mossy or burlap pole to “tame” it… or support it, as you wish.
As you may assume, people tend to keep it as a hanging plant, in baskets.
Is Monstera karstenianum a huge plant?
Not at all. It reaches a little over a foot in height and between 2 to 4 inches in width. On the other hand, if you give the plant enough space, you might as well end up with quite a gigantic example- 20 feet (6 m) in height.
Here’s a brief preview of the most commonly kept Monsteras:
- Monstera Dubia
- Monstera Siltepecana
- Monstera Deliciosa
- Monstera Borsigiana
- Monstera Epipremnoides
- Monstera Pinnatipartita
- Monstera Adansonii
- Monstera Obliqua
- Monstera Acuminata
- Monstera Standleyana
- Monstera Thai Constellation
Are you ready to find out more about watering, soil and temperature requirements, propagation, and other relevant information? Keep on reading!
What Type of Soil Is Ideal for This Plant?
If you want to make it thrive, I suggest organic and well-draining soil. It is of vital importance to get your Monstera adequate soil, the one that won’t retain water. Of course, this works only when combined with the appropriate container-the one which has enough drainage holes.
If the water stays on the bottom of the pot for too long, the roots may start rotting, as they won’t get enough oxygen. That’s called wet feet, and the vast majority of plants don’t tolerate it. Eventually, you may end up with a dead Monstera. No one wants that, right?
Even though it is possible to save the plant even if its roots are slightly damaged, it’s better to avoid that at all before the entire plant is affected. So, choose the potting mix which is loose and allows the air to flow.
The simplest thing you can do is purchase it, but if you have enough time, you can DIY. Even if you already have some potting mix which is not a well-draining one, you can “hack” it a bit and optimize to fit your Monstera sp. Peru.
These are some of the magic ingredients of organic origin, which can help you do so: compost, sand, mulch, shredded bark, peat moss, perlite, and vermiculite.
In terms of pH, the soil should be neutral. This means the level should span from 5 to 7.5 pH.
Does it Need Excessive Light?
No, quite the opposite, it prefers indirect/ filtered/diffused, whatever you like it. Don’t expose it to either of the extremes, make sure the light is moderate.
When exposed to excessive sunlight, its foliage can easily get burnt. Your plant will be covered in scorch marks. It’s not just the beauty it loses, but health as well.
On the other hand, if you put it in an overly shady location, they won’t be able to go through the most important procedure- photosynthesis.
About half an hour of light per day is ideal for this Monstera, not longer than this. Locate it that way so that it gets enough sunlight in the morning. If you ask me, the north-oriented window is the best place for Monstera sp. Peru.
What about artificial lights? They can be if used as well, but you have to be careful. Never put them right underneath those, or the effect will be the same as the one caused by excessive natural light.
How to Water It Properly?
This plant prefers humid soil. Keep that in mind when making your watering schedule. Never allow the soil to dry out before you irrigate it again.
It’s the same as with light, none of the extremes is good. You have to be equally careful not to overwater it, but also do your best not to underwater it either.
The Golden Rule of Watering
No-one in the world can tell you the exact minute and second, you should water your plants, because that depends on many factors.
But there’s one simple and proven successful trick. Insert your finger in the soil, approximately two inches deep, and inspect the water.
If the soil still feels humid, then you don’t have to water immediately. If it’s dry, then water your Monstera. This is the simplest yet the safest way to check the condition of the soil and be sure whether it’s time to water the plant or not.
In terms of frequency, you should water it approximately two times a week. During hotter months it’s quite okay to do so every two days.
More about Temperature and Humidity
Like any other average house plant, this one prospers in temp between 65F and 80F (18-27C). It should not be exposed to extremely low temperatures. When kept in overly cold temperatures, those below 50F, its growth may halt completely. So, make sure the room is warm enough during the winter months.
Yet again, what goes hand in hand with heating is dry air. And that’s another thing you need to be careful with.
Being a tropical beauty, this plant loves humidity. That’s why you have to mist it regularly. You will be surprised how quickly it transforms into a more vivid-looking plant when those precious water droplets cover its foliage.
There are a couple of ways how to increase the moisture level in your home. One of them is a tray full of pebbles with water inside. You put that under the pot but be careful that the bottom of the container doesn’t touch the water. This evaporation will generate enough humidity so that your plant feels well.
Another way is to put more plants in the same room. They will work unitedly to produce humidity, which is good for them and you as well.
Finally, if the budget allows you, consider purchasing a humidifier. That’s always a smart option, and with so many different models, you won’t have trouble finding the one that fits your needs.
Is it Necessary to Fertilize Monstera karstenianum?
Yes, this is done approximately once a month. Of course, you have to pay attention to the plant’s development cycle as well. While feeding plays a significant role during the active season, it can be fully eliminated during the passive stage, that is, the winter months.
The safest option is a slow-release fertilizer with a generous amount of magnesium. That’s an important ingredient for Monstera’s proper development.
Of course, you can always purchase liquid food, but it is very important to follow the instructions. Pouring more fertilizer than the label says won’t make your plant grow faster. Quite the opposite, it will slow down the development, and cause plenty of issues.
Let’s say the less is more.
And yes, pay attention to salt build-ups. It would be wise to remove and clean those, as they may harm your Monstera. You can do so by thoroughly washing your plant and allowing the soil to dry completely.
How to Propagate Monstera sp. Peru?
The most frequently used method is through stem cuttings, which you can put either in soil or in water, as you wish.
Having in mind that this plant comes from tropical areas, the wisest would be to propagate it in spring. To be precise, in March. Never do so during winter, as that’s when your plant is resting, so it won’t be able to continue its development properly.
Propagation in soil
The first thing you need is a cutting, approximately 6 to 8 inches long. When you cut, do so above a leaf node. Make sure there are at least 2 leaves on it.
To cut the plant, you can use sterile pruning shears. My advice is to clean your tools before and after every use. That’s the best way to remove all the tiny particles which could harm your plant.
Now, the next thing to do after removing the stem is to allow the cutting to form a protective callus. That increases the chances for a plant to root properly. A plant needs around seven to ten days to form this protective shield, after which you can say it is ready for planting.
That gives you enough time to prepare the rest of the things. Find a well-draining potting mix and adequate container. It needs to be the one with a proper drainage system, meaning enough holes in the bottom.
When the cutting is ready and callus has formed, you can plant it. Insert it in the soil, let’s say about three inches deep. Surround the cutting with soil, so that it can stand upright.
If the item isn’t standing upright, you should support it. Straw is excellent for this purpose. Just stick it in the soil so that it is around 2 inches taller than the cutting, and tie the cutting to it.
When all this is done, within three weeks you can expect the cutting to start rooting. In the meantime, check the soil, water it regularly, and don’t put it in the direct sunlight. Do everything as you would with the mother plant.
Propagating stem cuttings in water
Like with the previous method, you need a cutting for this one as well. The procedure is the same.
Oh, what I must mention (but I’m sure you already know it), is that the mother plant needs to be healthy so that you can propagate it. If you take a cutting from a sick plant you will only get more sick plants, and no one needs that.
The only difference is the length of the cutting. If you decide to propagate the plant in water, a cutting should be about eight inches long.
Once you make a cutting, find an adequately deep and clean jar for it. Fill half of it with filtered lukewarm water. Never pour tap water directly, as the high level of chlorine in it can burn the cutting. It’s not good for mature plants either.
As for the actual size of the jar, make sure it is tall enough. The cutting should lean against it and stand in the upright position.
If you opt for this propagation method, don’t forget to change the water more frequently. Every 2 to 3 days on average.
Again, don’t use directly poured water. Your options are either distilled or rainwater (if it’s allowed to collect it). It is possible to use tap water, but you’d have to pour it in advance so that it can stay overnight.
Compared to propagation in soil, this method is more advantageous in one segment-you see what’s going on with the roots. Once they are established, the plant is ready for potting.
However, the roots develop a bit slower in water solely than when in soil. They need about a month or perhaps even two months to start growing.
When the roots have formed, gently plant the cutting in the container- a pot or a hanging basket, whatever you prefer.
Be extra careful with the roots, they are very fragile and can get damaged easily if you are too rough with them. Once you plant the cutting, the rest is already familiar. That’s all you need to know about how to propagate monstera.
Quick Tips for Potting
Knowing that this plant doesn’t grow rapidly, and is not a large one, you don’t have to transplant it every year. You can do so once every 2 or 3 years.
Unless it has overgrown its current container (a pot or a hanging basket), I suggest you avoid transplanting it. Don’t expose your plant to unnecessary shocks.
After all, if you place it in another, bigger container just because you “feel” it needs to be repotted, the roots will get some extra space. They don’t need that. It will slow down the progress of the upper part of the plant, above the soil surface.
When the plant outgrows the current home, get a container that is one size bigger than the one you have currently. The only thing that matters is that there are enough drainage holes.
Related: Cutest Planters For Indoor Garden
Common Problems and How to Fix Them?
No matter how careful you are with your plants, none of them is fully resistant to those nasty bugs and small pests. They attack all sorts of house plants, and Monstera karstenianum is not excepted from this.
But, like you already know, none of them are too complicated to deal with. The good thing is that this particular species is not prone to some unusual conditions, it’s more or less something that’s in common for all Monsteras.
Let’s see the list of enemies:
Such a small creature, but such a huge enemy of indoor plants. Perhaps you didn’t know, but they belong to arachnids, which means they are in the same family as spiders. Believe it or not, there are more than 1,200 species of this pest.
What this enemy does is eats sap from the plant, and destroys it slowly. The sap is of huge importance for plants, as that’s where the hydration and nutrition are carried through. It is responsible for the process of photosynthesis, and we all know how significant it is for plants.
To get rid of those, soak cotton balls in rubbing alcohol and wipe across the foliage of affected plants. You can also use need oil. But if the plant is infested too much, then insecticidal soap should help you eliminate them.
Soft-bodied brown scales
As the name itself says, they are brown, and they are so tiny that sometimes you can barely even spot them. They are located on the under part of the foliage and resemble some brown spots. They do the same as spider mites, devour sap.
The same cure works like with the previous enemy, but the only exception is that it can be a bit more persistent than them. Insecticidal soaps or horticultural oils can help you put the situation under control, but do note that you will have to repeat the procedure to be 100% sure treatments were effective.
Just like the scales, these are usually found underneath the foliage, and they also like to feed on the sap. They don’t suck it from the stem but the leaves.
How to know if they invaded your plant? They are white and cottony, that’s how you will recognize them.
But have no worries, they are also easy to struggle with. Just like with previous creatures, 70% isopropyl alcohol does the job. Of course, if the infestation is not too drastic. If it is, then your friend in need will be insecticidal soap.
Spiders and bugs aside, what else can make your Monstera sp. Peru unhappy? If you are not watering it adequately, or the light/ temperature/humidity conditions are not appropriate, your plant will react.
Its growth will slow down, and its leaves will change. Here are some of the most common situations.
Your plant is losing leaves
If this is the case, then it’s the signal that your plant is not getting enough bright light. This certainly doesn’t mean that you should expose it to too strong sunlight to “fix” things.
Just find the adequate location to keep it. As I mentioned, the best would be to place it that way so that it gets enough sunlight in the morning. That’s when the light is diffused, and won’t harm your dear Monstera.
Artificial lights can also help you create well-balanced lighting conditions for your plant. But never put your plant directly under them, as they will do the same thing as excessive sunlight- burn it.
Why are the leaves dry and yellow?
This is the sign that the environment is not humid enough. When the moisture level is too low, your plant will somehow scorch and lose its vividness.
As you have seen, there are many ways to ensure proper humidity- misting, pebble tray, humidifier, so whichever you opt for will be of help.
Furthermore, it can also indicate that your plant is not getting enough water. Rearrange your schedule and water it regularly. Check the soil before you do so.
What’s with the brown tips?
Brown tips are undoubtedly the best confirmation that the humidity level in the room is dramatically low. It’s overly dry, so you need to fix that ASAP.
Knowing that M. karstenianum is a tropical plant, you have to mimic its natural environment.
Frequently Asked Questions
Should I prune my Monstera Peru?
You can do so when you spot some dead foliage. There’s no specific time of the year when this should be done, any time you spot it, do it. Other than that, it’s not necessary.
What are the large yellow or white spots on my Monstera?
This means that you have a variegated plant. Although this one doesn’t belong to typically variegated species, still don’t be surprised to encounter one.
Is Monstera karstenianum toxic to people and pets?
Unfortunately, it is. If your four-legged friend (cat or dog) grabbed a bite of it, take it to the vet as soon as possible. Some of the most severe reactions include a swollen throat and tongue.
Also, if you have small kids, watch where you will place it. Although not as poisonous to humans as to animals, still it is not recommendable to eat its leaves or stems.
Is Monstera karstenianum fenestrated plant?
No, this one isn’t, but some other Monsteras are. This strange expression is a scientific term for those authentic holes which are Monstera’s trademark.
Is Monstera an air-purifying plant?
Yes, aside from making your home look better, it will make it healthier as well. It reduces air pollution significantly.