Monstera sp. Peru, also known as Monstera karstenianum, is a charming tropical climbing houseplant native to probably Peru, considering the name. However, most people label it as a plant from Venezuela. The reasons are unclear.
It belongs to the arum family Araceae, colloquially known as aroids. But as of now, it is not officially accepted as a species. Some people consider it to be a kind, variety, or cultivar of Monstera pinnatipartita. Others believe it the same as Philodendron opacum.
That said, one outstanding feature about Monstera Peru is the breathtaking, textured, bi-colored leaves. You will love the heavily puckered or bullate, deep green glossy leaves with medium to light green variegation. Also, it is low maintenance, air-purifying, and will give your home a tropical accent.
Another unique feature is that mature Monstera Peru has the same leaves as the juvenile form, i.e., they don’t get fenestrated or split. Did you know it is in the 2021 Trending Tropicals® Collection? Why not buy it? See what Etsy.com has for you.
Table of content
- What is more
- Monstera Peru quick overview
- Identification – appearance and description
- Where to grow Monstera Peru
- Monstera Peru care and growth requirement
- 1. USDA hardiness zone
- 2. Temperature
- 3. Monstera Peru humidity
- 4. Light
- 5. Monstera Peru soil
- 6. Monstera Peru watering
- 7. Fertilizer
- 8. Pruning and grooming
- 9. Potting and repotting
- i. What you need
- ii. How to propagate Monstera Peru
- iii. Propagation in water
- Toxic to pets and humans
- Diseases and conditions
- Monstera Peru vs. pinnatipartita
- Monstera Peru variegated
- Frequently Asked Questions
What is more
Since it is not an officially accepted species, it has several names. Common ones are Philodendron opacum or Epipremnum pinnatum Marble Planet.
Some vendors sell it as Epipremnum Marble Planet, Philodendron Karstenianum, Philodendron Monstera Peru, Green Galaxy Monstera (Costa Farms). But these names are not accurate. Until accepted as a species, we cannot say if it is a Philodendron or Epipremnum.
Last but not least, while not as popular as Monstera deliciosa, adansonii, or siltepecana. It is a must-have plant. There is even a Monstera Peru Variegated that is ultra-rare and super expensive.
Monstera Peru quick overview
|Scientific name||Monstera sp Peru or Monstera karstenianum|
|Family||Arum family, Araceae (aroids)|
|Common names||Philodendron Karstenianum, Epipremnum Marble Planet, Green Galaxy Monstera|
|Native habitat||Probably Peru and Venezuela|
|Type||Evergreen climbing hemiepiphytes|
|Size||20 feet (6m) in native habitat, 4 to 6 feet inside your home|
|Leaves||Thick, leathery, oval to elliptical, puckered or bullate, glossy leaves deep green and light green variegation.|
|Stems||Vine-like greenish stems|
|Light requirement||Medium to bright, indirect light|
|USDA hardiness zone||11b to 12|
|Temperature||65°F to 80°F (18 to 27 ºC), cannot withstand freezing temperatures and it is not frost-hardy|
|Humidity||50%+ or above average but can tolerate slightly lower to average relative humidity|
|Soil||Well-drained, slightly acidic to neutral, organic-rich soils or potting mix|
|Watering||Medium, letting a few top 2 to 3 inches dry before watering again|
|Toxicity||Toxic to humans and pets|
|Care level||Low or easy|
Identification – appearance and description
We guess you are curious, and you want to know how Monstera karstenianum plants look like, i.e., their leaves, stems, and growing habits.
1. Growing habits
Monstera Peru is a tropical, evergreen climbing hemiepiphyte. It grows both on hosts as an epiphyte and as a terrestrial plant on the ground.
In its natural jungle rainforest habitat, this flowering plant grows as an understory plant (horizontally) or climbing trees. It has long, vine-like stems that resemble those of pothos.
One thing that distinguishes it from other Monsteras is the lack of adult fenestrated leaves i.e., its leaves remain the same or slightly larger.
Finally, Monstera Peru has a medium growth rate. And this growth rate is greatly influenced by light, a place to climb, light, soil, and other growing conditions.
Monstera Peru can grow up to 20 feet (6m) long or more in its natural habit. Inside your house, expect this plant to grow up to 4 to 6 feet. However, if given a climbing place and ideal growing conditions, it may have vines longer than 6 feet.
Lastly, when compared to Monstera deliciosa, it is unlikely to take over your home as deliciosa does. Instead, it will resemble a smaller philodendron or pothos variety.
Monstera Peru has oval to slightly elongated leaves. These leaves are heavily textured (puckered or bullate), glossy and deep green with medium to light green variegations or markings. Usually, they are dark green near their veins and medium to light green flecks or highlights on the surface, especially in the puckered areas.
How do they feel? They are rigid (stiff), flat, thick with a leathery texture. The ripple and corrugated surface appearance somewhat look like some Peperomia caperata or emerald ripple peperomia. However, the colorations are different.
That is not all. The leaves are not heart-shaped with a silvery sheen like the Monstera siltepecana. But they more puckered than Monstera pinnatipartita and slightly shorter.
Unlike what you would expect of a Monstera, mature Monstera Peru leaves are not fenestrated (perforated) and they don't split, making this plant unique.
How big are the leaves? The Monstera karstenianum leaves are about 2 to 4 inches. But they may grow slightly larger if provided with a place to climb and ideal growing conditions.
Finally, the leaves have relatively shorter greenish grooved petioles.
Monstera karstenianum has vine-like green stems resembling some pothos or philodendrons. Also, they have aerial roots for anchoring to the host when climbing.
Usually, leaves are about 2 inches apart. But when not given a place to climb, leaves then to be further apart and fewer.
Where to grow Monstera Peru
Monstera karstenianum makes good pot or hanging basket houseplants. Outdoors, you can grow them as a ground cover or let them wrap around trees or climb walls, wood fences, and so on.
We recommend having a climbing trellis, burlap-wrapped pole, and a moss pole for optimum growth and more leaves. However, some people love letting them cascade downward or horizontally on a mantle, tabletop, shelf, or desk.
When not given a place to climb, expect them to be leggy, have fewer sparsed leaves. Additionally, improper care and growing conditions will cause the same issue.
Monstera Peru care and growth requirement
These plants are easy to care for or low maintenance garden and houseplants. Beginner collectors, people without pets or children, will find them a perfect pick.
They can tolerate slightly below average humidity, require medium watering and indirect light. The rest of the care needs and growing conditions are much or less like other Monsteras.
Let us look at the various Monstera Peru care guide and growth requirements:
1. USDA hardiness zone
Monstera Peru’s hardiness zone is 10b to 12. These aroids are not frost-hardy. Additionally, freezing temperatures will cause damage.
Therefore, if you are in these zones, you can grow these plants outdoor throughout the year. However, ensure you meet other growing requirements.
Finally, their patio zone is 4b-11. During warmer climates, you can have these Monsteras on your patio. However, when it gets colder, move them indoors.
The ideal Monstera Peru temperature range should be from 65 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit (18-27 ºC). Therefore, they will grow well in average household temperatures.
Nonetheless, these tropical plants love warmth. So, please don’t let temperatures fall below 65 ºF (18 ºC), as their growth will slow down. Additionally, should the temperatures reach 50ºF (10ºC), they will not grow.
Moreover, avoid areas with cold drafts or sudden spikes or drops in temperature as they will stress you Monstera karstenianum. Therefore, avoid placing them near cooling or heating system vents.
Lastly, if you live in places where winter temperatures fall below 50ºF, move your plants indoors.
3. Monstera Peru humidity
Monstera Peru appreciates average to high humidity, at least 50% and more. Luckily, these plants are so forgiving and can withstand lower humidity, including what most homes have.
Their thick, waxy, and leathery leaves allow them to tolerate lower humidity, and you don’t necessarily need to add more. Nevertheless, you can make them happier by misting them a few times a week if your house has low humidity.
That is not all. You group your monstera with other plants or use a pebble tray.
Lastly, since, low humidity will affect not only your plants (ause yellow, crispy, and dry leaves with brown edges) but also you. Why not invest in an affordable humidifier like AquaOasis™ Cool Mist Humidifier? It is quiet, runs for a day and has many features.
Monstera Peru plants grow best in medium to bright, indirect light. However, their dark green leaves tell you they can tolerate lower light.
Inadequate or too little light may retard growth, make them leggy, or have longer leafless vines, few, smaller or yellowish leaves. If your house is poorly lit, artificial grow lights.
As you may be knowing, these Monsteras grow as understory plants or beneath the dense canopy of tropical rainforest trees. Consequently, they primarily receive filtered sunlight. So, avoid exposing your Monstera karstenianum to direct light.
Direct sunlight will scorch and bleach leaves. But they can tolerate a few hours, up to 2 hours, of early or late afternoon sunlight that isn’t so hot.
Are you growing your Monstera Peru outdoors? Please give them a shade or filtered (70-85%) sunlight. A greenhouse or a 20-40% shade cloth will also work.
That is not all. When deciding where to place them, the north, east, or west-facing windows are best. For the east and west-facing windows, ensure they only receive very little early or late sunlight or non at all. Play with the distance you place them from the window.
Finally, if you have a south-facing window, keep them where they don’t receive direct sunlight or have blinds.
5. Monstera Peru soil
The best soil to grow Monstera Peru should be well-drained, aerated, slightly acidic to neutral (pH 5-7.5), and rich in organic matter. Any good peat-based, chunky, potting mix with added perlite, pumice or bark chips, etc., will work well.
Furthermore, you can buy an aroid mix (see Etsy.com for best aroid mixes), or you can prepare yours at home. Just ensure it is fertile and it retains moisture without being doesn’t get soggy or too wet. Peat moss or coco coir will help create a slightly acidic pH, retain moisture, and provide organic matter.
Finally, avoid compacted soils as they don’t drain well or allow aeration. Such will kill your plant.
6. Monstera Peru watering
Water Monstera Peru when the top 2 to 3 inches of the soil or potting mix is dry. You can use your finger if you don't want to test the soil using a soil moisture meter like XLUX (the best seller on amazon). Then water you plant when the potting mix feels dry up to the first knuckle.
Remembe, these plants have medium water needs and love moist soil. They don’t like to stand in wet, soggy potting mix for a long time, i.e., are sensitive to overwatering. It will cause root rot (wet feet). Also, don’t let the soil be so dry or crumbly.
The exact frequency of watering these aroids depends on humidity, temperature, light, plant size, soil, etc. Ordinarily, you need to water Monstera Peru once after between 5 days and a week during spring and summer. Reduce the watering to once every two weeks or when the soil is almost dry in fall and winter. However, don't fail to first test the soil.
When watering these plants, saturate the water until excess flows from drainage holes. If you have a saucer, throw away what collects on it.
Finally, compared to other Monsteras, Monstera karstenianum can tolerate slightly lower watering, thanks to the thick, somewhat waxy leaves that hold water for a longer time.
i. Overwatered Monstera Peru
When overwatered, Monstera karstenianum will start having yellow leaves. Similarly, the potting mix will be wet or soggy all the time. It is a more often noted problem.
Other signs are moldy soil, mushy stem base, wilting, leaves dropping, and so on. Most of these indicate root rot.
To avoid overwatering, have a schedule and check if the topsoil is dry before watering these plants. Furthermore, pick the correct potting mix (well-drained) and ensure your pot has drainage holes.
Forgetting to water your plant may make them thirsty. Signs of underwatered Monstera Peru include curly or limp leaves and dry soil. Other symptoms are wilting, stunted growth, brownish to yellowish leaves with dead or dry tips, etcetera.
Firstly, these are medium feeders. Therefore, fertilize your Monstera karstenianum once a month with a balanced, all-purpose, liquid indoor plant food during spring and summer only (growing season). Nonetheless, some people choose to feed biweekly or as instructed. It depends on the brand.
We use Bonide Liquid Plant Food 10-10-10. Mix ⅛ a teaspoon per quart of water and feed once a month. You will notice a difference.
Alternatively, you can use Jobe’s® Houseplant Food Spikes. This slow-release spikes will continually feed your plant for up to 8 weeks. If you are using any other brand, just follow instructions.
Lastly, since we use soil rich in organic matter, we don't fertilizer these aroids winter or fall as they are not actively growing. At this time, they cannot use fertilizers since they are not actively growing. You don’t want fertilizer salt build-up in your potting mix.
8. Pruning and grooming
Monstera karstenianum pruning involves the removal of dead, diseased, or damaged leaves. Also, when necessary, you need to cut some vines off to control growth and maintain their shape and encourage branches to make them fuller. Only cut less than 30% of unruly vines at any given time.
Damaged, diseased, or dead leaves still depend on the plant, and they don’t contribute. Moreover, they may attract or have pests. Therefore, removing them will promote healthier growth, give room for new growth and reduce bugs.
We recommend you prune your plant during growing months. Additionally, use sterilized sheers or pruning knives (stops disease spread).
Finally, besides pruning, frequently wipe your Monstera karstenianum leaves with a damp microfiber cloth. Being heavily puckered or textured, they tend to collect some dust which will make it look unsightly. Also, it may hamper photosynthesis and attract pests.
9. Potting and repotting
Repot Monstera Peru once after 2 to 3 years or if it becomes root-bound. These Monsteras don’t have a vast rooting system, and frequent repotting is unnecessary. They are hemiepiphytes, remember?
When repotting, go for a pot that is 2 to 3 inches wider in diameter. It should have drainage holes. Also, wait until spring, i.e., always repot your houseplants during the growing season (spring or summer). However, spring is the best time.
Monstera Peru Propagation
Monstera Peru propagation is by stem cutting using either a potting mix or water. Nonetheless, you can also propagate these aroids by layering or division. The division method is only is possible if it has a sucker.
Usually, it would help if you propagated these plants during early spring. Doing so will give them enough time to root before going into the dormancy or non-growing season.
We will look at Monstera karstenianum propagation in water and make a few remarks on water propagation. There isn’t much of a big difference.
i. What you need
- Sterilized pruning scissor or knife
- Potting mix – sphagnum moss and perlite will work
- Growing pot or container
- A Rooting hormone like Safe Brand should do the job. It has Indole-3-butyric acid that will stimulate faster root growth.
- Sealable transparent
ii. How to propagate Monstera Peru
- Add your potting mix to the growing container and saturate it with water until excess comes from drainage holes.
- Select a healthy, mature stem with at least two nodes and a few leaves and cut below the last node. Typically, you will have 4 to 8 inches long Monstera Peru stem cuttings.
- Cut off lower leaves, leaving only one or two on the cutting tip.
- Apply your rooting hormone. While this step is optional, it will promote faster rooting and increase success chances.
- Make a small hole in your potting mix and plant your cutting. Make sure you bury at least two nodes. Not all nodes grow roots, and some take very long.
- Lightly mist your plant, cover it with your plastic bag, leaving a small opening for air circulation. Plastic bags will help maintain high humidity, something that will promote rooting and growth of new foliage.
- Place your cutting it in an area with bright, indirect light. Root temperature is ok. Please don’t put it in direct sunlight. Place with optimum temperatures of 70 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit (21 to 24 °C will promote faster growth.
- Routinely remove the plastic bag from all your plant to breathe for a few hours. Also, check the soil to ensure it remains moist but not soggy.
Usually, these plants will start growing roots after about four weeks. By the time they are about two months, they will be large enough for transplanting.
However, look at the roots to see if they are ready, i.e., they should be at least two inches or longer.
iii. Propagation in water
If you want to watch your cutting root, Monstera karstenianum water propagation is the way to go. Once you have your cutting, dip it in a jar containing water. However, don’t immerse the leaves.
Be sure to change the water after 2 to 3 days. This method will equally yield success, but our experience is that it takes slightly longer. Also, your plant will have some shock when you transplant them to a potting mix.
Toxic to pets and humans
Like other Monsteras, Monstera Peru is toxic or poisonous to humans, dogs, cats, and other pets. All parts of the plant are harmful. Therefore, limit access, train your pets and kids not to touch or use other deterrents.
Why is Monstera karstenianum toxic? The answer is simple. It has sharp, needle-like insoluble calcium oxalates.
Should your pet or child chew this plant, the insoluble calcium will embed on their oral mucous membrane causing severe irritation and burning sensation. Also, the lips, tongue, or mouth will swell.
Other symptoms include
- Swallowing difficulties
- GI tract irritation and difficulties in breathing (rare)
- Pawing in pets
Also, when it comes to skin contact, sap from this plant may cause mild irritation or contact dermatitis.
Pests don’t present a serious problem to this plant, especially if you grow it inside your house. However, it is possible to end up with scale, thrip, aphids, mealybugs, and spider mites. Their ridged or puckered texture gives some of these bugs a place to hide.
Generalized signs of infestation include
- Yellow or brown speckles or spots on leaves
- Foliage distortion and misshapen
- Sooty mold
Use neem oil, insecticidal soaps, or horticultural oil sprays to control pests. Some, like mealybugs, require manual removal with rubbing alcohol, or you can spray them with dish soap.
Diseases and conditions
We haven’t had any cases of bacterial leaf spot, anthracnose, powdery mildew, mosaic virus, southern blights, among others in Monstera Peru. However, here are some of the diseases and conditions these plants often have:
1. Root rot
Overwatering is the most common cause of root rot in Monstera karstenianum. Besides overwatering, pots without drainage holes, poorly drained soils may be a cause.
Usually, allowing your plant to be in a wet environment will weaken the plant. This weakening makes the plant susceptible to various bacteria or fungi that cause the root rot.
Signs include yellow leaves, black splotches, stunted growth, and wilting. Also, your aroid’s leaves will start dropping, and the stem base will be mushy. If you slide the plant out, the roots will be black or brownish.
Finally, if caught early, it is possible to prevent your plant from dying. Just repot it, getting rid of the old soil, cutting brown or black leaves.
2. Monstera Peru yellow leaves
Monstera Peru yellowing leaves is a likely sign that it is overwatered. Check if the soil is soggy, molded, and other symptoms we covered.
If not overwatering, it could be the following reasons:
- Light issues – too little light may cause yellowing. Also, excessive does cause some bleaching or discoloration.
- Lack of nutrients, especially nitrogen, zinc, manganese
- Pets and diseases
- Cold drafts
- Aging (happens to lower leaves)
To deal with yellowing Monstera karstenianum leaves revolves around dealing with the possible causes.
3. Curling leaves
Underwatering is the most often the cause of curling leaves in Monstera Peru. However, it can be due to low humidity, root rot, pests, heat stress, or your potting mix dries too fast.
Diligently examine each of these causes to help unearth what makes the leaves of this beautiful houseplant curly.
4. Leaves drooping
The most likely cause of drooping leaves in Monstera karstenianum is underwatering. It is an essential indication that your plant is thirsty.
Besides water issues, hot or cold conditions, repotting stress and pests are the other common causes.
5. Leaves dropping
Monstera Peru leaves dropping or falling is a sign of poor growing conditions or improper care. Typical causes are overwatering, underwatering, very low humidity, and lack of some nutrients.
Also, root-bound plants may drop leaves, pests, diseases, or freezing conditions. However, some cases are natural, especially older leaves.
Monstera Peru vs. pinnatipartita
Monstera Peru and juvenile Monstera pinnatipartita are two Monsteras that closely resemble each other. Their leaves are bicolored, oval, or elongated and have puckered or bullate leaves. However, they do have some distinctions.
Monstera Peru has slightly more bullate or puckered, shorter deep green leaves with medium green variegation. On the other hand, Monstera karstenianum has elongated, less puckered, green leaves with pale green variegation.
Finally, Monstera pinnatipartita leaves get fenestrated or split at maturing. However, Monstera Peru doesn’t get fenestrated.
Monstera Peru variegated
Monstera Peru variegated or Monstera karstenianum variegated is one of the rarest and expensive variations, versions, or possibly cultivars of Monstera Peru. Also, it is known as Monstera karstenianum ‘Peru’ variegated.
It has similar leaves, i.e., oval, dark green, puckered leaves, and medium green hues. Additionally, the leaves have a golden or yellowish-green variegation or markings that make them look amazing.
This variegated Monstera Peru goes for about €99,90-€159,90 at Foliagedreams.com (cheapest), and they are out of stock. You will $388.00 at Peaceloveandhappiness.club, and Etsy.com prices range from $175 to $500.
Frequently Asked Questions
No. It is no longer a rare species or so hard to find. Initially, it was very scarce. However, of late, it is readily available in most specialty nurseries, some large horticultural growers like Costa Farms. Also, many people sell it online. Even the price has gone down, and it is not as rare as Monstera obliqua.
The average price of Monstera Peru is $20 to $50, with some vendors selling it slightly higher and others as little as $5. Costa Farms sells it for $50.00 under the label Monstera Green Galaxy and Steves Leaves for $49.99.
If interested in this charming tropical Monstera, start with your local nurseries. Secondly, go to Etsy.com, Costa Farms, or its outlets, including Home Depot, Rona (Canada), and Walmart. It is in the 2021 Trending Tropicals® Collection.
Other places to buy it include Steve’s Leaves, eBay, Planterina.com, Facebook plant groups in your area, and so on.
In the UK, besides the local nurseries, you will find it at Spiralis.co.uk (£12), Papayaplants.co.uk (£5.00), and root-houseplants.com (£15.00), among other places.
Besides Rona, in Canada, this Monstera is available at Shopbraeheid.com ($49.99) and sagegarden.ca ($39.99)
Australians, we must warn you that the Monstera karstenianum is expensive there. Try Plantifulaustralia.com.au (AUD194.95) and Plantdaddy.com.au (AUD300).
Finally, in Germany, the plant is at Plantcircle.co, and it goes for only €16