Proper Monstera care is essential if you want a healthy, lush-looking plant free of pests, disease, or issues like leaf discoloration (leaves curling, turning yellow or black, drooping, having brown spots, tips, or edges, etc.).
We’ve insight on Monstera care needs like soil, light, humidity, watering, repotting, pruning, staking, and much more. Also, there is a section to guide common issues and problems your plant may have.
What you will learn applies to all Monstera species because they have similar care needs. So, it’s the same care to give your Monstera adansonii, Monstera deliciosa, siltepecana, obliqua, and all other species. We’ve got a special mention where necessary for variegated Monsteras like Albo variegata, aurea, or mint.
- Monstera care indoors
- 1. USDA hardiness zone
- 2. Temperature
- 3. Humidity
- 4. Monstera light needs
- 5. Best Monstera soil mix
- 6. Watering
- 7. Fertilizer
- 8. Pruning and grooming
- 9. Repotting Monstera
- 10. Staking and support
- Monstera care outdoors
- Which pot do I use?
- Common Monstera problems
- 1. Pests
- 2. Root rot and other diseases
- 3. Other problems
Monstera care indoors
1. USDA hardiness zone
Monstera USDA hardiness zone is 10b to 12. Freezing temperature and frost will damage or kill your plant (they are not frost-hardy). So, only people in these zones can grow their plants outdoor all year.
As tropical plants, Monstera prefers warm conditions with an optimum temperature of 65 to 85 degrees Fahrenheit (18-29°C). Lower temperature slows the growth, and by 50°F (10°C), they stop growing.
Avoid cold drafts, sudden temperature changes, and never place your plant near heat-emitting or air-conditioning vents.
Monstera indeed loves humidity, and they will appreciate average to above average relative humidity, i.e., 50% or more. Make it 60% or more for variegated plants as they seem more vulnerable, especially the non-green sectors.
These plants should grow well in average household humidity but appreciate some misting. Besides misting, you can also have a pebble tray, buy a humidifier, group your plants (creates a microclimate. Also, you can move them to more humid rooms like bathrooms or kitchens if they have enough light.
4. Monstera light needs
Monstera needs bright, indirect light for about 12 hours for optimal growth. But the non-variegated form can tolerate lower light.
For people with poorly lit rooms must understand Monstera light needs well. It is not just any bulb but must produce the right light intensity. Use artificial light with 10,000 to 20,000 lux (1,000 to 2,000 footcandles).
With an illuminance meter like Dr. meter LX1330B Digital Illuminance Light Meter, you should be able to tell if your light is enough or too little.
Too little light may make leaves yellow and plant leggy. A remedy will be buying grow lights. We love Relassy 15000Lux Sunlike Full Spectrum Grow Lamp. It lasts up to 50,000 hours and has a gooseneck stand you can clamp. Also, it is affordable and has protection from overcurrent, overvoltage or overheating. You are free to pick any other good brand.
Also, avoid direct sunlight as it will cause sunburn. You don't want those bleached or washed-out leaves with dry tips, margins and patches.
The window you have doesn’t matter much if the light is bright. Ensure direct sun doesn’t hit your plant, especially hot midday to afternoon sun. Play with placement distance from the window to ensure your plant doesn’t get direct sunlight.
5. Best Monstera soil mix
The best Monstera soil mix should be slightly acidic to neutral (pH 5.5-7), well-drained, airy, and have high organic matter.
These plants thrive on animal droppings and decaying plant matter in the wild. So, they are not fussy and won’t mind a soilless mix.
A perfect soil mix should have coco coir/peat moss and perlite/pumice. But you can add some compost/worm castings, bark chips, or charcoal. Please, avoid heavy or compacted mixes, dirt from your garden, or water-absorbing gel.
For instance, a mixture with 30% peat moss, 30% perlite, 20% bark chips, and % 20% compost will work. Or you can add 20% perlite and 20% peat moss to a good potting mix.
Your objective is to have chunky potting that drains, allows air circulation, and has humus. See more on best soil for Monstera.
Monstera is more sensitive to overwatering than underwatering. These plants don’t like soggy conditions, and it may cause root rot. Instead, allow the potting mix to dry in-between watering sessions.
Water your Monstera when the top 2-3 inches of the soil dry or up to the first knuckle of your finger. It may be once a week in the growing season and biweekly in the non-growing season.
The exact duration will depend on your conditions (temperature, humidity, or light), plant size, soil mix, pot type or size, etc. So, don’t follow any Monstera watering schedule you find online. Instead feel your soil or use a soil moisture meter. XLUX, Sonkir and Gouevn are perfect.
On watering your Monstera, you can use the top or bottom method. Ensure the soil is thoroughly saturated and some water comes from the drainage holes. Pour any that collects in cachepot or saucer.
Monsteras are medium feeders. So, they don’t need a lot of fertilizers, but it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t feed them at all.
We recommend feeding your Monstera once a month with an all-purpose, balanced, liquid houseplant fertilizer in spring and summer only at half recommended strength. Don’t feed in the non-growing season.
If you don’t prefer liquid fertilizer, you can go for slow-release formula. Start applying in early spring and follow instructions. Again, no feeding in fall or winter.
You are free to use organic or chemical fertilizer. Each has its pros and cons. On balanced, an NPK 10-10-10 or 20-20-20 is ok. A brand like Miracle-Gro Indoor Plant Food (Liquid) is good.
Don’t religiously stick to balanced brands only. Some are not but are still incredible. Remember, the higher the N (Nitrogen)-P (Phosphorus)-K (Potassium) numbers, the more concentrated it is.
See more on the great fertilizers for Monstera.
8. Pruning and grooming
To prune your Monstera, cut any dead, diseased, or damaged leaves with disinfected pruning scissors. If only edges or tips are brown, trim them off. Also, you can cut back your plant (no more than 25%) to help control growth, size, and shape.
Whenever the leaves become dusty, clean them. Dust will negatively affect plant growth, including food making (photosynthesis).
9. Repotting Monstera
When young and growing, Monstera needs repotting yearly or if rootbound. Once they have reached the size you need, repot every 2-3 years unless rootbound.
Use a pot 2-3 inches wider in diameter, and unless very necessary, repot your plant in spring. But early summer is ok. Your plant needs time to establish roots. See more on how to repot Monstera like a pro.
10. Staking and support
We highly recommend you stake your Monstera because these plants are climbers even in nature. Get a make or buy a moss pole or use a trellis, burlap-wrapped pole, etc. Then, train your plant on the stake. Your plant will grow those large leaves you want.
If you don’t like staking your plant, you can let it drape over to your cabinet or bookshelf. But it will have smaller leaves. Also, some species like Monstera deliciosa that sprawl may take over your room.
Monstera care outdoors
If you grow your Monstera outdoor, the care needs are much or less what we have given you. Here are additional tips.
- Ensure your plant gets dappled light (no direct sunlight). Grow it in a greenhouse, use a shade cloth, or under a tree.
- Adjust your watering. Outdoor plants tend to require more water than those indoors.
- To increase humidity, mulch your plants, have water-filled trays around your plant, or grow them together.
- For soils, you can use loamy soil. But ensure you add some gravel or perlite to make them drain well. Also, use compost to increase organic matter.
Which pot do I use?
There are many pots to choose from, terracotta, glazed ceramic, plastic, metal planters, concrete, fiberglass, etc. And you are free to use any pot for your Monstera.
Our general advice is to go for porous pots like terracotta or concrete if you tend to overwater your plants. Such allows some water to seep through the walls.
On the other hand, people who tend to underwater their plants should go for non-porous pots like plastic or glazed ceramic.
Last but not least, whichever you pick, ensure your pot has adequate drainage holes.
Common Monstera problems
As you care for your Monstera, it may have a few issues like pests, diseases, etc. You need to know possible causes to manage them.
Here are the common issues:
Pests are not so common. But your plant may have sap-sucking bugs like thrips, spider mites, scale insects, whiteflies, and mealybugs. They will appear as tiny dots or bumps with varied shapes and colors. Some move, others don’t.
Signs depend on which bug is present, and they include webbing, spot (white, yellow, brown, or black), honeydew, sooty mold, silvery stippling, etc. Heavy infestation may cause leaves to fall off, turn yellow, or mishappening.
Use neem oil like Bonide Ready to Use Neem Oil, horticultural oil spray, or insecticidal soaps. Also, hose your plant to dislodge minor infections, among other ways.
The other commonly ignored pest is fungus gnat if you are fond of overwatering your plants. The gnats are harmless, but their larvae feed on roots causing sudden wilting or drooping, yellow leaves, and stunted growth.
Pour a mixture of 4 parts of water into one part of hydrogen peroxide into the soil to kill it.
2. Root rot and other diseases
The most prevalent issue is root rot caused by majorly overwatering. But other things like contamination may be a cause. Signs include mushy stems, wilting, leaf discoloration, and mushy black or brown roots. We have something exclusive on Monstera root rot, including fix or treatment.
The other common issue is fungal and bacterial leaf spot disease. They will cause black or brown lesions on leaves, with the latter having water-soaked lesions.
Practice proper hygiene like sterilizing gardening tools and washing your hands before touching your plants. Also, isolate your plants and some causes, especially bacteria, to discard infected Monstera.
3. Other problems
Besides tissues and pests, other problems that your Monstera may have and most likely problems are:
- Monstera leaves turning yellow: The most common reason for yellow leaves (lower) is overwatering. Other causes are too little light, nutritional deficiency, underwatering, etc.
- Monstera leaves curling: To prevent moisture loss or protect against too much light, your Monstera will curl leaves. So, possible causes include underwatering, low humidity, too much light, or heat stress. But some curling after repotting is a sign of plant stress.
- Brown leaves, tips edges, or spots: Check if your humidity is ok or if your plant is thirsty. Also, ensure your plant isn’t near an open window, air conditioning, or heating vents. Cold drafts and heat stress can cause browning. If you see brown splotches, the cause may be overwatering.
- Black spots or leaves turning black: It may be fungal or bacterial leaf spot disease if you see black lesions. Some may have a yellow halo. Other causes of black blotches or leaves include cold draft or frost damage and overwatering.
- Leaves drooping: Drooping signifies that your plant cells don’t have enough water that helps them remain turgid. Common causes include underwatering, low humidity, and too much light or heat stress.
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