The Monstera Split Leaf, also known as the Monstera deliciosa, is an enormous evergreen perennial floor plant with one of the most popular foliage in the world of art and design. It is not uncommon to find pictures of the monstera framed on walls, engraved on glass doors, or even painted on pillows and bedcovers. Also known as the split-leaf philodendron, Swiss cheese plant, and Mexican breadfruit, it is native to Central American rainforests. The plant hails from the arum family like the ZZ plant and peace lilies. Lovers of the plant like it for its broad green leaves that can measure two feet in size. They also cite excellent air-purifying capabilities as one of the fundamental reasons to keep the Monstera deliciosa.
The Monstera split leaf is native to rainforests where they grow in frequent-rain environments. Homegrown plants should be watered at least once a week. However, growers should be keen not to overwater the plant. Too much water triggers root rot. The plant should be watered when the first couple of inches of soil are dry. The best method of checking dryness is poking a finger in the soil. Aerial roots should also be watered accordingly. Under watered plants are characterized by withering leaves.
Light and temperature
The right amount of sunlight is an essential requirement for the development of Monstera deliciosa leaves. Put your plant at a place where it can receive plenty of unfiltered, indirect light. Yellow or scorched leaves is an indication of too much direct sunlight. Whereas, leaves failing to split and developing yellow spots is a manifestation of inadequate light. The Monstera deliciosa is a tropical plant; hence it thrives in average room temperatures of between 68-86°F. Scholarly articles suggest the plant should be kept in humidity levels of above 70 percent. Dwellers of dry places must strategize on how to keep the air around plants moist. Misting is one of the popular approaches to raising the humidity.
Soil and fertilizer
The Monstera split-leaf prefers well-drained soil. Overly moist soil encourages root rot. Experts suggest that growing the plant in a chunky, half well-drained typical potting mix and half orchid mix eliminates the risk of the plant remaining soaked in water after waterings. It provides the necessary conditions for the soil staying damp but never soggy.
Provide a tree bark or strong moss-covered support for aerial roots to attach. During summer and spring, fertilize the plant with general-purpose water-soluble fertilizer like 20-20-20 applied at the rate of one teaspoon per gallon for outdoor plants and half teaspoon per two quarts of water for indoor plants.
Cleaning and pruning
Monstera leaves are kept clean by washing with a damp cloth dipped in water. Other means of washing, like dusting and taking them out during rain are also applicable. Pruning helps to keep the plant to size. The process involves removing the ends of stems or branches using pruning equipment. Pruning can be done anytime; however, if the cuttings are meant for propagation, it is advisable to do it during the summer.
Monstera is propagated mainly through air layering. The process involves locating a leaf with a small aerial root below it, cutting a one-third of stem diameter notch below the root, wrapping the notch, roots, and node with a layer of damp floral or sphagnum moss, wrapping the moss in plastic, then waiting for the roots to develop before cutting the stem and planting it.
Monsteras are large plants with vigorous rooting systems that require repotting after every few years. The repotting process entails choosing a larger pot, covering the drainage holes with a porous material, and adding a layer of soil in the new container. Before removing the plant from its original pot, water it thoroughly. Uproot the plant, prune the roots and entangle them, then transfer it to the new pot. Immediately after planting, water it thoroughly and allow it to drain.
The Monstera Split Leaf is an easy to care for plant that demands warm and wet environments. The plant is toxic; thus, it should be kept away from children and pets. It is prone to mealybugs, scales, aphids, and spider mites. It is recommended to clean the leaves at least once in a week to keep pests at bay and maintain the shininess. It is also advisable for the growers to adhere to the environmental conditions mentioned above.