Monstera Plant or Swiss Cheese Plant (Monstera deliciosa) is a beautiful houseplant known for its large green leaves with holes and slits (thus the name Swiss Cheese Plant). It gives off a tropical jungle vibe and is often seen in the backdrop of Instagram-worthy photos. Monstera plants are low maintenance houseplants that don’t require a lot of watering (water approximately once every 2 weeks and occasional misting). Just place your Monstera in a bright spot with indirect sunlight (no direct sun) and it will live happily.
Know that Monstera plants are big plants. They can grow large to around 6 to 8 feet tall. You will need to give it support when it grows large (use a trellis or solid stake). Be careful if you have small children and pets at home since Monstera Plants are toxic to humans and pets. Keep it away from children and pets. Here is a guide on how to take care of your Monstera Plant.
Monstera Plant Houseplant Infographic
9 Tips on How to Care For Your Monstera Houseplant
1. Your Monstera Plant is Happiest in Shaded Areas with Indirect Sunlight
Monstera Plants prefer shaded areas with indirect sunlight. In the wild, it thrives in shaded areas under tree canopies. However, don’t put it in a dark spot with little or no light. It needs a spot with filtered light.
The best spot for your Monstera Plant is in front of a north facing window. If you don’t have a north facing window, filter direct sunlight with sheer blinds or white curtains.
2. Moderate Water is Best for Monstera Plants
Monstera Plant will need to be watered every 2 weeks. It does not like overly wet soil and is prone to root rot. Monstera Plant will need to be watered when the soil feels dry. The best way to tell when it’s time to water your Monstera is by sticking a finger into the soil 1 inch deep. If the soil feels dry, then it’s time to water your Monstera.
3. Plant Your Monstera Plant in Well-Draining Potting Mix
Monstera Plant needs a well-draining, organic potting mix that is also good at retaining water. Organic soil mix containing perlite or orchid bark are good for Monstera plants. Only buy organic soil mix because the fertilizer is not as concentrated in organic soil. Non-organic soil should really only be used for outdoor plants.
4. Fertilize Your Monstera Plant
Monstera Plant should be fertilized once every two weeks when it is actively growing. When it’s dormant, during the winter, don’t fertilize.
5. Don’t forget to Repot Your Monstera Plant
Repot your Monstera Plant every 1-2 years. Buy a large, heavy pot, around 2 inches larger (diameter) than the current pot. If you have a big Monstera Plant plant, get a heavy pot so it doesn’t topple over. Make sure you buy a pot that has drainage holes at the bottom so water doesn’t accumulate and cause root rot.
Know that repotting your Monstera Plant will make it grow larger. When it reaches the size you want it to be, you should stop repotting your Monstera Plant. Wear gloves when you repot your Monstera Plant since it is toxic to humans.
6. Drainage is Essential for Your Monstera Plant
After watering your Monstera Plant Plant and you see water draining out of the pot’s drainage holes, make sure you empty out the accumulated water in the saucer. Don’t let your Monstera Plant’s pot sit in this puddle of water. It will cause root rot!
7. Get the Temperature Right for Your Monstera Plant
Your Monstera Plant is a tropical plant. It needs to have daytime temperatures of 70F to 80 Fahrenheit (21-26C). Nighttime temperature should be at 60-70 Fahrenheit (15-21 C).
8. Keep Your Monstera Plant Dust Free
Dust accumulates on your Monstera Plant leaves over time. The layer of dust decreases the plant’s ability to photosynthesize. Periodically wiping down the leaves of your Monstera Plant with a damp cloth will help keep your plant healthy. You can also use a duster or dry duster cloth to wipe off the layer of dust on leaves.
9. Humidity is Vital for Your Monstera Plant
Your Monstera Plant is a tropical plant that thrives in humid conditions. Indoor air can be drying. Make sure you do your best to increase indoor humidity. You can do this by spraying your Monstera Plant with water twice a week. Turn on the humidifier. Keep Monstera Plant in a saucer filled with water. But make sure the pot is elevated with pot feet or pebbles so your Monstera Plant is not sitting directly on the water.
3 Common Monstera Plant Problems
Monstera plants are generally not susceptible to diseases and are pretty resilient. However, the three problems that can affect Monstera Plants are root rot, mealybugs, and brown tips on leaves.
1. Fluffy White Growth In Between the Leaves and Stems of Your Monstera
Problem: There are fluffy white growths in between the leaves and stems of your Monstera.
Cause: Mealybugs are causing the fluffy white growth on your Monstera Plant. It is a common houseplant disease.
Solution: To get rid of mealybugs on Monstera plants, wash your plant with water (spray with garden hose). You can also use soapy water. Spraying rubbing alcohol on affected areas can also get rid of mealybugs. Horticultural oil and insecticidal soap are also effective in getting rid of mealybugs.
2. Your Monstera Looks Wilted (Soil is Wet)
Problem: Your Monstera Plant looks wilted even if the soil is wet. Check for root rot by pulling the plant out and examining the roots. If the roots of your Monstera Plant plant look mushy (healthy roots are firm) and the roots are gray to black in color, these are telltale signs of root rot.
Cause: Root rot is caused by fungus and is a serious problem for your Monstera Plant. Root rot is a result of wet soil due to overwatering or poor drainage.
Solution: When your Monstera Plant is afflicted with root rot the chance of survival is slim. Your best course of action is to throw your Monstera Plant out and start over with a new plant. This time don’t overwater your Monstera Plant and make sure there is good drainage in the pot.
3. Tip of Leaves of Your Monstera Plant are Turning Brown
Problem: The tips of leaves of your Monstera plant are turning brown.
Cause: When the tips of the leaves of Monstera plant are brown that is a result of not enough water or humidity. The tips of leaves are turning brown because they are dying.
Solution: Water your Monstera Plant and increase humidity. Below are 4 things you can do to prevent your Monstera plant leaves from turning brown.
1. Water Your Monstera Plant
Place your finger in the soil (1 inch deep) to check if it is dry. If the soil is dry, you should immediately water your Monstera plant. Give it enough water to the point that you see water trickling out of the drainage hole. Make sure you empty the saucer and don’t let your Monstera pot sit in a saucer filled with water. That will result in root rot.
2. It May Be Time to Repot Your Monstera
It’s also possible the pot is too small for your Monstera that is why it is not getting enough water. It may be time to repot your plant to a bigger pot.
3. Mist the Leaves of Your Monstera Plant
If low humidity is the problem, you can mist the Monstera plant leaves.
4. Turn on the Humidifier
The room may also be too dry for your Monstera plant, turn on a humidifier so the room is not overly dry.
Once your Monstera receives adequate humidity and water, the leaves will start to look healthy and green again. You do need to cut off the brown tips since they do not turn back to green.
Monstera Plant Houseplnat Facts
|Name||Monstera, Swiss Cheese Plant or Fruit Salad Plant|
|Scientific Name||Monstera deliciosa|
|Light||Bright Indirect Light (no direct sun)|
|Daytime Temperature||70 to 80 F (21-26C)|
|Night Time Temperature||60 to 70 F (15-21C)|
|Potting||Well-draining, organic, all-purpose potting soil|
|Fertilizer||Every 2 weeks when actively growing. Once a month in the Winter|
Monstera Plant: Frequently Asked Questions
What are Common Names of Monstera Plants?
Monstera Plants are also called Swiss Cheese Plant, Fruit Salad Plant, Split-leaf philodendron, Ceriman, Cheese Plant, Mexican breadfruit or Windowleaf.
What Fertilizer Should You Use on Your Monstera Plant?
Use organic fertilizers with a higher ratio of nitrogen content.
How Big Does Your Monstera Plant Get?
Monstera Plants are large plants that can grow to 6-8 feet tall. You will need a heavy pot for your Monstera so it doesn’t topple over. You will also need to provide supporting trellis or stake since it will attach itself as it climbs.
How Do You Propagate Monstera Plants?
Monstera Plants are easy to propagate. Below are steps on how to propagate Monstera Plants.
1. Take a Stem Cutting of the Monstera Plant (include a node)
Pick a stem with a node. Cut below the node.
2. Place the Monstera Stem Cutting in a Jar of Water
Place the Monstera stem into a jar of water and wait for it to grow roots. To help it focus its energy on growing roots, make sure your stem has a maximum of 2 leaves. Cut off extra leaves as needed.
Another way to stimulate root growth is to dip your stem cutting in root hormone and plant it in moist sand. I personally prefer the jar method so you can easily see the roots come out. Know that not all stem cuttings of Monstera will grow roots, so to be safe, cut a few stem cuttings so you will at least get one with roots.
3. Plant the Stem Cutting in a New Pot
Once the roots grow, plant these stem cuttings into a new pot. Water the new plant immediately after planting. Then water every 2-3 days until the roots are established.
4. Place the New Monstera Plant in a Spot with Bright Indirect Sun
Place your new Monstera plant in a spot with bright indirect sunlight. Don’t put it in direct sunlight. Use shade or curtains to filter the sunlight.
Are Monstera Plants Toxic to Pets?
Monstera Plants are toxic to humans and pets. Don’t let children or pets chew on the leaves of Monstera plant because it contains calcium oxalate crystals. The crystals can cause vomiting and difficulty breathing. It can also result in swelling of lips, tongue and mouth and excessive drooling. If you see any of these symptoms and suspect ingestion of Monstera plant, call poison control immediately! Also, call your doctor or vet once you start seeing adverse reaction in children and pets.
Can You Use Cold Water to Water Your Monstera Plant?
Monstera Plant doesn’t like to be watered with cold water. It is a tropical plant after all! Don’t get cold water straight from the tap. Make sure you mix a bit of hot water to take off the chill. You can also fill a bottle of water or pitcher with tap water, and leave it out overnight so it adjusts to room temperature.
You May Also Be Interested in These Large Houseplants:
About Suburbs 101
Suburbs 101 is an insider’s guide to suburban living. Get the inside scoop on what it’s really like to live in the suburbs through our interviews with local suburbanites and features on Food, Fashion, Home, Garden, Travel, Pets, Real Estate and Local Events. Be sure to Follow Us on Instagram, Like Us on Facebook, Subscribe to our YouTube Channel, and subscribe to our Monthly Newsletter.