Monstera deliciosa care is actually quite simple! Often sought after for their massive leaves, monstera deliciosa make easy houseplants.
This post contains affiliate links, which means I make a small commission at no extra cost to you. See my full disclosure here.
What is a Monstera deliciosa?
Monstera deliciosa are large houseplants that have gained quite a bit of popularity recently. Also known as “Swiss Cheese Plant” or “Mexican Breadfruit Plant”, Monstera deliciosa are certainly monsters.
Monstera deliciosa care is pretty simple. When these plants are provided with adequate conditions, they grow very large! In fact, a mature monstera deliciosa has leaves that are about 3 feet long.
The reason these plants are loved so much is due to their foliage. Monstera deliciosa leaves have a large number of little holes throughout the plant. These holes are called fenestrations. Juvenile leaves are solid, and the fenestrations become present as the plant matures. The larger and more mature the plant is, the bigger and more beautiful fenestrations it will have.
Age is not the only factor when it comes to having beautiful fenestrations, proper monstera deliciosa care plays an important role. If a monstera is not getting sufficient lighting, the leaves will have less fenestrations (or perhaps the plant will not produce leaves as often).
Not all Monsteras are the same
So “Monstera” is a genus that incorporates over 40 different plants. Some monstera species look similar, but the care can be quite different. For example, I allow my Monstera deliciosa to dry out a bit between waterings. If my Monstera adansonii were to dry out this much, it’s leaves start to yellow and fall off.
For the purpose of this post, we will be speaking about my personal advice with caring for Monstera deliciosa in the home. Each plant is different, and each home is different too. It’s important to use these tips as a guideline and adjust as needed depending on your environment, and plant.
General Monstera deliciosa care
Thinking about adding a monstera to your decor? Before adding a plant to your home, it’s always a good idea to do some research first. Knowing about how to properly care for a plant before you bring it home ensures success for you (the gardener) and for the plant.
Pots and Soil for Monstera Deliciosa
The two types of pots I use for all of my tropical plants are terra cotta or plastic. I do have one enamel coated terra cotta pot, and it’s not my favorite. Plastic nursery pots are simple, and typically have plenty of holes in the bottom which is why I love them. Terra cotta pots breathe a bit, promoting healthy root systems. The enamel coated terra cotta pot seems to rarely dry out, so watering needs to be done very carefully (which is why I don’t recommend them).
No matter what type of pot you end up choosing, just make sure it has sufficient drainage. Plants do not like wet feet, and monstera deliciosa is no exception.
When it comes to soil, monstera deliciosa likes a loose soil. I make a mixture of orchid bark and potting soil, and have had good luck with my monsteras and other ariods using this mix.
Now, once you get your new plant home don’t be too quick about repotting it. Most plants prefer to be a bit pot-bound. This is perhaps another reason why I love nursery pots so much. Plants that are pot-bound are very difficult to over water, it is when we repot the plants in pots that are too big that we run into trouble. Now the plant has a huge pot, filled with lots of extra dirt that retains water.
Leave your new monstera deliciosa in it’s nursery pot as long as possible. When it is time for an upgrade, only increase the pot size by 1-2″ in diameter. Oh, and be sure to the new pot you are using has plenty of drainage holes.
Proper Watering Techniques
Monstera deliciosa can tolerate drying out a bit in between waterings. Water when the top inch of soil dries out, and water thoroughly until water runs out of the bottom of the pot.
If your monstera has grown quite large, be sure to place a plastic dish under the pot to catch any water that has run out of the drainage holes.
Monstera deliciosa care: lighting
These monsters are pretty versatile when it comes to lighting, and can adapt to different lighting situations. Overall, bright indirect lighting is perfect. The biggest concern is burning the leaves in hot, direct sun. Our monsteras thrive by an east window (which gets morning sun), and by a northwest window which gets some afternoon rays just before the sun sets.
During the warmer months, my monsteras are kept in a screened porch room. This room is shielded from the hot afternoon sun, and gets bright indirect lighting for most of the day. As you can tell, monstera deliciosa can adapt to a variety of lighting situations as long as care is taken as not to burn the plant.
Your monstera deliciosa may not be getting enough light if it is not producing new growth, or if the new growth does not have fenestrations.
How long does a monstera deliciosa live?
A properly cared for monstera deliciosa plant can live many years. Because they grow so quickly, monstera deliciosa can become unruly!
These large plants are climbers, and can use their arial roots to attach to different surfaces. In a greenhouse once I saw a very large monstera growing up a brick wall!
It’s important to tie the plants up to a very strong support and prune occasionally to keep the plants from growing out of control in your home.
How to Propagate Monstera deliciosa
Propagation of monstera deliciosa is incredibly simple. The plant should be cut just below a node. Then the plant cutting can be stuck into water until roots develop. Rooting hormone can be used, although it is not necessary.
Once the cutting is ready to be potted, go ahead and plant it in an orchid bark/soil mixture and care for it as you would a regular monstera!
There are different monstera deliciosa variations available for purchase that are variegated. This means the leaves are not all solid green, but have different spots and markings of lighter greens and white throughout.
Variegated monsteras are rather expensive at the moment, and often clippings can be purchased online!