Monstera Deliciosa Care and Repotting: The Ultimate Guide

Monstera deliciosa, also known as Swiss Cheese Plant or Split Leaf Philodendron, has made a comeback as one of the trendiest houseplants in recent years.

Not only is it a striking addition to any indoor space, but it is also incredibly easy to care for, making it the perfect plant for beginners.

In this guide, we will explore everything you need to know about Monstera deliciosa care, including tips and tricks for repotting the plant to ensure it thrives in its new home.

Monstera Deliciosa Care and Repotting
Images / Leonie Vuilleumier

About Monstera Deliciosa

Native to tropical regions in Mexico and Central America, Monstera deliciosa is a climbing plant that can attach itself to tree trunks using aerial roots.

Its botanical name, Monstera, refers to the “monstrous” proportions the plant can take on in the wild, while the species name, deliciosa, alludes to its edible fruit, which is commonly produced in its natural habitat.

Light Requirements for Monstera Deliciosa

Monstera deliciosa thrives in filtered or bright indirect light. While it can tolerate lower light conditions, providing it with ample light will result in more impressive growth.

Avoid exposing the plant to direct sunlight, especially during the harsh afternoon hours. If you live in an area with strong sun, consider shielding your Monstera deliciosa to prevent it from receiving too much direct sunlight.

Watering, Fertilizing, and Humidity for Monstera Deliciosa

When it comes to watering Monstera deliciosa, it is important to let the top part of the soil dry out before watering again. This plant is forgiving and can tolerate slight drying out between waterings.

Use your finger to test the soil moisture, and water when the top inch or two has dried out. Avoid overwatering, as it can lead to root rot. Discard any excess water that accumulates in the plant saucer to prevent waterlogging.

Fertilizing Monstera deliciosa is essential for optimal growth. During the active growing season, which excludes winter months, use a balanced fertilizer like Dyna-Gro Grow.

Dilute the fertilizer and apply it with every watering to provide your plant with a constant supply of nutrients. This mimics the natural conditions in which the plant would grow. Remember to adjust the fertilizer dosage according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

While Monstera deliciosa appreciates higher humidity levels, it can tolerate normal room humidity. There is no need to invest in a humidifier for this plant.

Proper watering practices are more important than maintaining a humid environment. Wait until the top inch of soil has dried out before watering smaller pots, and allow the top 1-2 inches to dry out for larger pots.

Leaf Progression of Monstera Deliciosa

One of the most fascinating aspects of growing Monstera deliciosa is observing the leaf progression. Young plants start with solid leaves without any fenestrations (holes) or slits.

As the plant matures, new leaves develop more fenestrations, giving them the iconic Swiss cheese appearance. It may take several years for very young Monstera plants to exhibit fenestrations.

Each leaf remains the same once it opens up and will not change further.

Repotting Monstera Deliciosa

Repotting is an essential part of caring for Monstera deliciosa, and it is best done in early spring when the plant is starting to grow. However, you can repot at any time of the year if your plant has favorable growing conditions.

When repotting, choose a pot that is only one or two sizes larger than the current one to avoid overwhelming the plant with too much space. Always use a pot with drainage holes to prevent waterlogging.

To ensure minimal damage to the roots, add support for your Monstera deliciosa during the repotting process. This will help the plant climb and grow securely. Loosen up the root ball after removing the plant from its current pot.

Place a broken pot shard or a piece of old window screening over the drainage hole to prevent soil from escaping. You can also add a moss pole or moss stick for the plant to climb.

Creating a sturdy support system for your Monstera deliciosa is crucial. One effective method is using bamboo stakes to create a tee-pee structure.

Place three bamboo stakes in the pot during repotting and tie the top of the stakes together with garden twine. This provides a stable structure for the plant to climb as it grows.

Alternatively, you can create a moss pole by following a detailed guide on making your own moss post.

When repotting Monstera deliciosa, it is recommended to use a well-draining potting mix. A combination of Miracle Gro Indoor Potting Mix and #3 perlite is an excellent choice.

Mix one part perlite with two or three parts potting soil to create an airy and nutritious medium that promotes proper drainage. Another option is using an organic potting mix like ‘House’ Houseplant Mix, which already contains perlite and provides excellent results.

Propagating Monstera Deliciosa

If you want to expand your Monstera deliciosa collection or share the plant with others, propagating is a simple and rewarding process. There are two primary methods for propagating Monstera deliciosa: water propagation and air layering.

To propagate in water, select a vine with an aerial root and cut below the root. Place the cutting in water, and the aerial root will quickly grow, allowing you to pot it up.

Air layering, on the other hand, involves wrapping sphagnum moss around an aerial root and allowing it to grow. Once the root has developed, cut the vine below the air layer and pot it up as a new plant.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why are the leaves on my Monstera turning yellow?

Yellow leaves on Monstera deliciosa can be caused by various factors, including insufficient light, excessive light, prolonged soil dryness, overwatering, cold temperatures, and more.

To determine the cause of yellowing leaves, consider the specific conditions your plant is experiencing. For a detailed explanation and troubleshooting guide, refer to the article on Monstera Yellow Leaves: Top 7 Causes.

Do Monstera plants like humidity?

While Monstera deliciosa appreciates higher humidity levels, it can adapt well to average indoor humidity. As long as you maintain proper watering practices and avoid allowing the soil to become too dry, the plant will thrive without additional humidity control measures.

Should you use a moisture meter for your plant?

It is not recommended to rely solely on moisture meters for determining when to water your Monstera deliciosa. Many inexpensive moisture meters provide inaccurate readings, leading to overwatering or underwatering.

Instead, use your finger to assess soil moisture. Wait until the top 1-2 inches of soil have dried out before watering again.

Can Monstera recover from spider mites?

Yes, Monstera deliciosa can recover from spider mite infestations. Early detection is crucial for effective control. If you notice fine webbing or a speckled appearance on the leaves, it may indicate a spider mite problem.

Start by removing the mites by spraying the plant with water or wiping the foliage with a damp cloth. Regularly treat the plant with insecticidal soap or horticultural oil to prevent further infestations.

Do Monstera plants need drainage holes?

Yes, it is essential to provide Monstera deliciosa with pots that have drainage holes. Without proper drainage, excess water can accumulate at the bottom of the pot, causing root rot.

Additionally, fertilizer salts can build up in the soil if there is no way for the excess water to escape.

Is Monstera deliciosa toxic to animals?

Yes, Monstera deliciosa is toxic to cats and dogs. The plant contains calcium oxalate, which can cause discomfort and irritation if ingested by pets. Keep the plant out of reach of animals to prevent any potential harm.

Does Monstera deliciosa produce fruit?

Yes, Monstera deliciosa can produce edible fruit. However, indoors, it is unlikely for the plant to bear fruit. If you are interested in learning more about eating Monstera deliciosa fruit, refer to the article on Monstera Deliciosa Fruit for detailed information.

By following the guidelines and tips provided in this ultimate guide, you can ensure the proper care and repotting of your Monstera deliciosa. If you have any further questions or need additional guidance, please feel free to leave a comment below. Happy gardening!

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