Plant Care 101: Monstera Deliciosa

How to care for Monstera Deliciosa

Fully Fenestrated Monstera Deliciosa photo via Depositphotos

Plant Care 101: How to Grow and Care for Monstera Deliciosa

Monstera deliciosa is a flowering plant species from the Araceae family that originates from tropical forests of southern Mexico, south to Panama. Comes from the Latin term meaning “abnormal” because of its odd-looking, perforated leaves that are often punched through with holes. From Mother-in-Law’s Tongue to Spikenard to Monstera (aka “Swiss Cheese Plant”), it may not have the most appealing names but they are some of the most popular houseplants today.

Baby Monstera Deliciosa
Baby Monstera Deliciosa

In recent years, Instagram and Pinterest feed has posts about these plants. In fact, Mondays are flooded by hashtag #MonsteraMondays. It’s elegant, beautiful, and here are the reasons why we all love it:

Exotic Look

The exotic look of this plant makes it well known on some social media platforms. It has vibrant green leaves and glossy that is perforated with holes. The size and rare graphic pattern make it a statement plant that makes your home fascinating.

Fashionable Plant

The internet world falls in love with the exotic shape of its vivid green leaves. A picturesque Instagramable artistic photo that boom in the social media sites Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook, or even Reddit, you can find Monstera plants in the background of ads for popular brands.

Large size beautifies the interior decoration.

Millennials’ favorite style is monochromatic interiors; with clean lines and uncluttered spaces, the Swiss Cheese Plant is the ideal statement plant.

Its large, green, textured leaves, with their unique, clean pattern, make it the perfect burst of color and natural elements to minimalist spaces.

How much light does a Monster Deliciosa need?

The indirect sun is best for Monstera. Find a place where there is symmetry between sun and shade. If it’s left in the dark, new leaves grow towards the dark rather than the light.

Find a balance between sun and shade. If Monstera is given too much sun, the leaves will become yellow color. It is where new leaves grow towards the dark, rather than the light, called negative phototropism (It’s a trick: In the jungle, darkness signals the presence of a larger tree that Monstera can climb up to reach sunlight.) Since this isn’t possible in a living room, the indirect sun is best.

Monstera Deliciosa Leaves
Monstera Deliciosa Leaves

How often should you water a Monstera?

You can water your Monstera when you see signs like the soil is dry, looks droopy, or has curling leaves, has brown, crispy leaves, and the soil is pulling away from the edge of the pot. Dehydration won’t show on them until the plant is pretty dehydrated because Monstera Deliciosa has beautiful thick leaves.

When you see droopy leaves, don’t water them soon. You must always check the soil. It can be caused by overwatering than underwatering. Due to humidity issues (especially on new leaves) or sunburn can cause brown spots on it. In a tray of water, just soak your Monstera for a few hours, and it will allow the soil to start absorbing water again. The bigger and more impressive leaves will grow if you give them enough water, moisture, light, and humidity.

I forgot to water my Monstera, What should I do?

Monstera plants do have the characteristic of being drought tolerant, for that you don’t have to worry just in case you missed watering your MD!

Fully Fenestrated Monstera Deliciosa photo via Depositphotos
Fully Fenestrated Monstera Deliciosa photo via Depositphotos

Does Monstera like direct sunlight?

Giving more light is the best way to make your Monstera grow faster. They can tolerate low light but this popular houseplant will grow faster if you place it in a spot that has bright indirect light. However, always make sure to avoid direct sunlight.

Watering it properly, boosting the humidity around it, keeping it clean, and fertilizing can also make the plant grow taller.

When should I repot my Monstera deliciosa?

You can repot your monstera at any time of year using all-purpose potting soil. Since these plants prefer to be pot-bound. Repot only every two to three years.

Healthy Monstera Deliciosa Plant
Healthy Monstera Deliciosa Plant photo via Depositphotos

What is the Best Soil Mix for Monstera Deliciosa?

Monstera Deliciosa will grow in a lot of different soil types, but it is highly recommended that you use a combination of half well-draining potting mix and half orchid mix will work best. An orchid mix can include bark, perlite, pumice, charcoal, coco chips, coco peat, vermicast, activated charcoal. You may also include rice hull and carbonized rice hull into the mix.

Is Monstera plant poisonous?

Monstera is a genus that includes other types of Monsteras too. It is only toxic in excess, causing stinging around the mouth and stomach upset if consumed consistently.

How to propagate Monstera Deliciosa?

Propagate by cutting each node into individual segments on either side of the node/aerial root.

Monstera is more commonly propagated by stem cuttings. Swiss cheese plant cuttings are easy to root. You have the option of rooting it in water first or simply sticking them straight into the soil.

A stem and no nodes are not possible for propagation. A leaf stem itself is not sufficient. One node is necessary to propagate a Monstera plant. You can place a leaf with a petiole in a vase, and it will look good for months as your centerpiece decoration.

Can a Monstera Swiss Cheese Plant live/grow in water?

Yes, you can grow a Monstera Deliciosa plant in water provided that you replace the water at least every week. Since there are no enough nutrients in the water, you also need to fertilize it using a fertilizer that’s suitable for hydroponics.

How to grow Monstera Deliciosa from Stem Cuttings?

Monstera Deliciosa Propagation from Cuttings
Monstera Deliciosa Propagation from Cuttings
  • Choose a fast-draining medium for propagating your cuttings in soil. (We prefer a soilless mixture of coco cubes, vermicast, carbonized husk, orchid bark, and chemical-free wood shavings. You may also need to add pumice and or perlite.)
  • Put the cuttings on top of the soil horizontally, 80% of the cuttings should be covered by soil.
  • Water and make sure that soil is always moist and not soaking in water.
  • Keep the pot in a safe location with high humidity with bright indirect sunlight.
  • Observe and appreciate after 3 to 4 weeks for new Sprouts.

Where to Buy Monstera Deliciosa Cuttings?

You can visit your nearest garden center to check for available MD cuttings or you may check Facebook Marketplace for available Monstera cuttings.


Where can I buy Affordable Monstera Deliciosa Plant in Manila?

  • You can search for various available listings on FB Marketplace, however, we recommend that you visit an actual garden center to see if the plant is healthy.
  • You can visit the Bunch of Spikes shop inside Quezon City Circle Plant Center, contact 0918-3310158.

Common Problems

Monstera Deliciosa Common Problems
Monstera Deliciosa Common Problems

Rust Fungus.

One of the most common problems encountered by MD growers is Rust Fungus. If you notice yellow dots that turn brown later on, then your plant might be infected by rust fungus.

Monstera Deliciosa Rust Fungus
Monstera Deliciosa Rust Fungus

How do you treat rust fungus?

  • The first thing you should do is to cut the infected leaves and make sure to dispose it right away. Don’t include it on your compost.
  • Clean the plant by removing it first from the pot then soak the roots in water to remove all possibly infected potting mix.
  • Spray the plant using a fungicide. I particularly recommend dithane.
  • Repot it using a fresh aroid potting mix.

Apart from dithane, other growers are also recommending a weekly dusting of sulfur to treat and prevent rust fungus. Another organic alternative is by using Neem oil and baking soda.

Black Patches on the leaves. Too Cold. Move to a warmer area.

Lower Leaves turn yellow and then brown especially in winter. Overwatering. Allow the plant to dry out until recovered, then water less often. Monstera Deliciosa leaves can turn yellow if they are undernourished or overwatered. Desist from watering your plant until you feel its soil dry. Repot your monstera in fresh soil if the problem occurs. Dry air and low humidity can make brown leaf tips or edges. Make sure your plant is getting the right ratio of water and light.

Leaves pale and scorched with round holes among the scorch marks. Too much direct sun. Move to a semi-shaded area.

Leaves Pale. Lack of food. Feed weekly in the growing season.

Leaves Pale with webs underneath. Red spider mite. Spray with derris, malathion, or a systemic insecticide. Improve the humidity.

The plant is Dying. Pop them in the shower and wash them down with room temperature water; this will clean off the leaves and give the soil a good soaking and revive a dying Monstera.

If you don’t have a green thumb, it might be the plant for you. It’s an easy plant to care for; it likes stable indoor temperatures, indirect light, and a humid environment.

You just water it once a week, let the soil dry a bit between waterings, and your Monstera plant should live a long, happy, beautiful life. It also climbers, so adding a pole for it to climb will make it a happy camper.

To keep them looking fresh and vivid is to dust the leaves. It is happy campers and is likely to survive, even if you forget to water it. Sign that your monstera would be happier with more light if it has less hole.

One of the most effective for reducing air pollution is large-leafed philodendron plants. Don’t let small kids or pets eat the leaves because it is toxic. Monstera Deliciosa is an easy plant to grow that also cleans indoor air like aloe. It produces edible fruit taste like fruit salad.

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