General distinctive features of monstera, recommendations for growing a plant, breeding steps, diseases and pests, facts to note, species. Monstera is a large plant that belongs to the Araceae family in taxonomy. Almost all varieties of this genus are common in the equatorial belt of America, growing in tropical rainforests. From the south, this area extends to all Brazilian lands, and from the north, it includes the Yucatan Peninsula and most of the regions of Mexico. In the 19th century, the monster was brought to the territory of Southeast Asia, where it successfully took root and began to reproduce. In the family of botanists, there are up to 50 varieties.
The plant got its name due to its rather decorative leaf plates and general appearance. When the Europeans first saw this representative of the flora in the conditions of natural growth, they were amazed at its external outlines. In tropical forests, the monstera reached enormous sizes, it was decorated with predatory-cut leaf plates, as well as elongated, terrible-looking multiple root processes from the stem, which, like the "legs" of an animal, grew into the soil and inspired people with genuine fear. Because of this, the plant is called "monster", "monster". But there are other translations of the Latin word monstrum, like "bizarre", "amazing" or "coquette."
Monstera is an evergreen liana or shrub with a height of about 8-10 meters, but when grown indoors, the parameters are more modest - 3-4 meters. But in any case, due to the fact that the stems are climbing, good support is required. In nature, if a plant loses support, then it perfectly exists as an epiphyte (it can be located on the branches and trunks of trees).
It differs in rather large leaf plates, which can grow up to 40-60 cm in diameter. The surface of the leaf is pinnately dissected and perforated. The cuts are often unevenly spaced, in some varieties they are concentrated at the base of the leaf, and there are those in which the perforation goes along the veins on the leaf. The color of the leaves is dark green, but there are variable forms, with creamy white marble stains on the surface. The petiole is elongated, at the base it is vaginal.
When flowering in natural conditions of growth, flowers appear, collected on the cob. Their outlines are cylindrical, thickened. The flowers located at the base of the ear are sterile, and above are bisexual. When fruiting, a berry ripens, which in some varieties can be used for food.
The plant is not particularly whimsical and is easy to grow indoors, but it almost never blooms. Mainly because of the size of the monster, it is customary to decorate large rooms. Also used for shading and trellises, as the vine has climbing shoots.
Monstera keeping rules, home care
- Lighting and location. The plant needs bright, but diffused light or partial shade, an east or west window will do.
- Content temperature in winter 16-18 degrees, in spring-summer - moderate 20-24 units.
- Watering from spring to late August - plentiful, but waterlogging is prohibited. With a decrease in heat, watering is also reduced. Warm and soft water is required.
- Air humidity. Perform regular spraying and wiping the foliage with a damp sponge. Especially such procedures are necessary in the heat. Warm and soft water is used to avoid whitish streaks.
- Fertilizers for monstera are introduced from March to early autumn. Complex preparations are used for indoor plants. The frequency of fertilization is once every 14 days. If the specimen is large, then once a summer in the upper layer of the substrate during transplantation, or if it is not carried out, humus is mixed with it. Or watering is carried out with mullein infusion, but you need to remember about the unpleasant smell of such fertilizer.
- Transfer. When the monstera is still young, the transplant is annual, but over time, these operations are performed less and less often: at the age of 4 years, the transplant is carried out every 2-3 years, and then, when the monstera is transplanted into the tub, then the upper the substrate layer in it. It is recommended to lay a layer of drainage material at the bottom of the new container, as well as install a support for the stem. The substrate is mixed from turf soil, peat, humus soil, river sand (in a ratio of 2-3: 1: 1: 1).
How to propagate a monster with your own hands?
It is possible to get a new plant with cut leaves by sowing seeds, cuttings and planting shoots or cuttings.
The stalk can be the top of the stem or the stem stalk, which has 2-3 leaf blades. The cut of such blanks (March-June time) should be carried out below the aerial root process, which will develop its own roots in the water. They are placed in water in which you can dissolve a little root stimulant. Alternatively, you can sprinkle the cut with crushed charcoal or activated carbon powder and dry it a little. Then plant the cuttings in the soil and wrap the top with plastic wrap. Such cuttings take root within 14 days. Then it is planted in a separate pot with a selected substrate.
If a decision is made to sow monstera seeds, then the container with the crops should be in a warm and well-lit place. The germination time of seeds is extended for 2–4 weeks. Seeds are sown in a moistened peat-sandy substrate. The pot is covered with glass or plastic wrap to create greenhouse conditions, but then you need to remember about daily ventilation and moisture, if necessary, of the soil. As soon as a pair of leaves develops, then a transplant (dive) will be required in separate pots with soil that suits the monstera. From the very beginning, the seedling produces leaves that do not have dissections (juvenile), when 5–8 months have passed from the growth of the seedling, real leaf plates will appear. When two years have passed from the moment of planting the seed, then such a monstera will have a well-branched root system, 3-5 juvenile leaves and 1-2 pairs of adults.
If reproduction proceeds with the help of lateral processes that appear in the lower part of the stems of this liana-like plant, then with the arrival of March-June, the operation of dividing the overgrown bush can be carried out. It is better to combine this reproduction with a transplant. Then the monster is removed from the pot, the processes are separated and planted in separate containers, at the bottom of which a drainage layer and selected soil are laid.
When propagating by shoots, the mother monstera is usually already "aged". Then her lower leaves fell off a long time ago, the stem was bare, but there is a large number of roots. Several aerial roots, which are at the very top, must be tightly wrapped with wet sphagnum moss, tied with a washcloth or strong rope (twine) and attached to the trunk. While in this moist state, aerial root processes will begin to form many roots. Then the top with a pair of leaves must be cut off and planted in a prepared pot with drainage and soil, but so that the roots are completely covered with the substrate. Before planting, the cut is sprinkled with crushed coal. Only then can a new young monster be obtained, while the stems of the old plant will begin to form lateral shoots. The rest of the monstera will soon become branched and rejuvenated.
Diseases and pests that arise when caring for a monster
Of the problems that arise when caring for a monster, there are:
- if there is a high temperature in the room and the air is too dry, then the leaves take on a brown tint and the ends dry out, becoming papery;
- with a lack of lighting, young leaf plates become small, the cuts disappear, and the color turns pale;
- if the humidity indicators are very high, then the monstera begins to "cry" and subsequently wither, the next stage is their decay - the interval between waterings should be increased;
- when the support is not strong enough, then the sheet plates do not appear for a long time;
- at a low level of illumination, the trunk of the plant is bare, and growth stops;
- if there is not enough food, then the color of the leaves will turn yellow;
- when the light level is very high, the leaves become pale and yellow spots cover them;
- with a lack of light, the shoots of the creeper begin to lengthen, and the stem to twist;
- the lower foliage of the monstera flies over time, but this is a natural process;
- in old specimens, many aerial roots are formed, which are not recommended to be removed, but sent to the potting soil, they will help the plants receive more nutrients.
Of the pests, a spider mite, aphid or a scabbard bother the monstera, while dark brownish or brown dots, bugs and a cobweb are formed on the back of the foliage. Insecticidal preparations are used to combat.
Facts to note about the monster
In connection with this plant, there are many superstitions and signs, so we will give some of them:
- because of the name that inspires some people fear, associated with "monster", the plant is preferred to be placed in non-residential premises (offices, halls and foyers);
- another belief says that all the surrounding negative of the monster absorbs, but in the case when everything in the house is good, then the opposite process takes place - the absorption of well-being and the release of negative.
However, all these signs and superstitions do not carry any confirmation. And if you do not pay attention to prejudices, then the following positive properties of the monstera can be distinguished:
- enrichment of indoor air with oxygen and aerons;
- ionization and humidification of air in the room;
- absorption of harmful impurities from the air;
- the spreading and large leaves of the plant collect multiple dust particles;
- there is a suppression of the development of various viruses, harmful fungi and microorganisms;
- according to the beliefs of scientists of the East, monstera helps to strengthen the nervous system, stimulates the development of intelligence, relieves headache symptoms, helps get rid of vibrations caused by disturbances and clearly formulate your thoughts;
- monstera "loves" to absorb electromagnetic wave vibrations, so it is recommended to install the plant next to a TV, refrigerator or microwave;
- in Asia, this representative of the flora is considered a talisman, brings longevity, and the plant is placed at the head of sick people, and this vine is planted near the front door so that it brings happiness to the inhabitants of the premises, protects them from diseases and brings prosperity to the house.
In everyday life, the plant is often called "crybaby", since in rainy weather the large cut leaves of the monstera are covered with large drops of liquid.
Types of monstera
- Monstera deliciosa, which is sometimes called the lovely Monster or Philodendron full of holes (Philodendron pertusum Kunth et Bouehe). This most popular variety is native to Central America, where it is found in tropical rainforests and mountain forests, where it can be found at an altitude of up to 1000 meters above sea level. It is a liana with climbing shoots, the stem is thickened. The leaf plates are large, reaching 60 cm in diameter. Their shape can be oval or pinnate, but when the leaf is young, with heart outlines, it is entire. On the entire surface of the leaf there are deep cuts of curved outlines, which are located along the veins. The leaf is leathery to the touch. During flowering, an ear is formed, which reaches a length of 25 cm, while its thickness varies within the range of 10–20 cm. It is surrounded by a white blanket. The fruit is a berry with a pineapple smell, the pulp can be eaten, but you can often feel an unpleasant burning sensation in the oral cavity due to the presence of calcium oxalate crystals in the pulp. The height of the plant when grown in greenhouse conditions can reach 10-12 meters, but in indoor conditions only 3 meters. If proper care is taken, then adult specimens form flowers annually, the berries ripen for 10-12 months. The Variegata form is known, characterized by a white-variegated foliage color, which resembles creamy white marble stains. Although its growth rate is low, the plant is less demanding to the conditions, but it will need a lot more light than the basic form.
- Oblique Monstera (Monstera obliqua) or Unequal Monstera, Monstera falcifolia, Monstera expilata. The plant is native to tropical Brazil (states of Parana and Amazon), as well as Guiana. It is a climbing liana, although its small size is graceful. The leaf plates have oblong, oblong-lanceolate or elliptical outlines, with a pointed tip at the top. Their length is 18–20 cm with a width of up to 5–6 cm. At the base there is an unevenness (asymmetry), which is why the varietal name went. The edge can be solid or there is a shallow cut. These slots are oblong in shape. The petiole reaches only 12-13 cm in length. During flowering, an inflorescence appears, crowning a short peduncle with a length of 7-8 cm. The ear itself can reach 4 cm in length. The number of flowers in it is small.
- Monstera adansonii also called Monstera perforated or Monstera pertusa (Monstera pertusa). The native habitat falls on lands stretching from Costa Rica to Brazil. Likes to "settle" in tropical rainforests. This liana-like plant reaches up to 8 m in height. The leaf plates are thin, have multiple small holes on the entire surface, but their number is large in the lower part of the leaf. The length of the leaf is 60–90 cm with a width of up to 20–25 cm. The shape of the leaf is ovoid or oblong-ovate, in the lower part they are wider, strongly dissected. There are both green and variegated forms (Yellow Splash), which have stripes of yellow color on the leaf surface. In the culture of flowering, it is practically impossible to wait, but if it nevertheless occurs, then an ear is formed, reaching a length of 8-13 cm with parameters in width of 1, 5-2 cm. The color is light yellow. The length of the bedspread is 20 cm, the color is white.
- Monstera thin (Monstera tenuis) a rather rare variety in indoor floriculture. Its dimensions are not large, the leaf plates have a strong dissection, it is cut so deeply that the leaf lobes give the impression of separate leaves. Moreover, these leaf lobes differ from each other, both in size and shape.
- Monstera Borziga (Monstera deliciosa borsigiana) a native of the territories of Mexico. The leaf blades are smaller than those of the Monstera deliciosa variety. Their parameters in diameter are close to 30 cm. The stems are also more refined in diameter. This subspecies was formed in the process of splitting during reproduction with the help of seeds and subsequent selection. Suitable for cultivation in premises and rooms.
For more information on growing monstera, see the video below: