Monstera (lat.Monstera) is a long-liver from the aroid family, native to the tropical forests of South and Central America. In total, there are about 50 species of these evergreens in nature.
Liana can grow up to 40 meters in height, in room conditions its size is much more modest, about 5 meters. The large houseplant has thick, climbing stems and slit, glossy leaves that can grow up to 45 cm in diameter. In the lower part of the plant, aerial roots are located, they simultaneously serve as a support and provide additional nutrition.
With good care, the liana will delight you with snow-white flowers that are attached to a thick cylindrical ear.
Monstera at home reaches large sizes if you install a special support in time. Liana of unusual beauty is surprisingly not capricious and quickly adapts to the conditions created, therefore it is very popular among flower growers. In appearance, it resembles Philodendron.
Attention: Be careful - thin needle-like formations on the leaves of the vine contain poison that burns the mucous membrane.
Other names: "crybaby", Monstera.
Popular varieties: In home culture, two main varieties of monstera are most often found: gourmet and oblique.
Monstera gourmet (M. Deliciosa) - young leaves resemble a heart shape, with age they grow up to 1 meter. The color is dark green, glossy surface, sometimes light spots or stripes are visible. With excessive watering, the plant begins to "cry" - excess moisture is removed through special holes along the edge of the leaf.
Oblique monstera (M. Obliqua) - the main decoration of the flower - large leaves with characteristic cuts, giving it a decorative look. They are lanceolate, asymmetrical, oblong, and reach a length of 20 cm.
Useful properties of the plant. It ionizes, purifies the air in the room, which has a beneficial effect on the human body.
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A beautiful liana will become a worthy decoration for a spacious office, a hall, a large house with a high ceiling, a hotel foyer, a winter garden.
To give the flower a vertical shape so that the plant does not grow in breadth and does not take up much space, you can use special supports.
A tropical beauty loves bright diffused light, so she will feel most comfortable on the east or west side of the apartment. Try not to rearrange the plant unnecessarily.
Not a capricious monstera, the care of which does not cause difficulties, is great for novice florists, the main thing is to provide her with enough space.
Lighting. Do not expose the decorative vine in direct sunlight. Place the flowerpot in a well-lit place, but create partial shade using a thick curtain. Due to a lack of light, the plant can stop growing.
It is possible to assess whether your green pet receives the proper amount of light by the state of the foliage, if it becomes shallow, loses its color, this is a sure sign of a lack of lighting. With a lack of natural light, the air roots also change, they become thinner.
Temperature. The ideal temperature for the growth and successful development of monstera is 22-25 ° C. It can withstand small temperature fluctuations, but its growth will slow down significantly. It is advisable not to allow the air temperature to drop below 12 ° C, even in winter. Too low air temperature causes the plant to stop growing.
Keep the temperature around 22-25 ° C in summer, then the plant will feel good, which will affect its excellent appearance. To make the leaves of monstera delight with freshness and bright colors, keep it away from air conditioners, avoid hypothermia.
Air humidity. To prevent the leaves from drying out during the hot season, periodically spray the flower with clean, settled water at room temperature. Spraying can be carried out all year round, but if it is very cold in winter, then it is better to cancel water procedures. Also, do not neglect the rules that apply to all large-leaved ornamental plants, wipe dust on the leaves with a damp cloth. The leaves will shine better if you add a little milk to the water. You can increase the air humidity by placing a flower pot in a tray with wet expanded clay.
Watering. Decorative beauty prefers abundant watering. For a monstera flower, care includes maintaining a balance of humidity and temperature. In the cold season, watering should be reduced, but make sure that the soil in the flowerpot does not dry out. In the summer, when the air temperature is high and the vine is actively developing, watering becomes more frequent, just let the soil dry out between waterings. Use water that is soft, filtered or separated.
The leaves of the plant suffer from overflow, lose their beauty, begin to rot, and dark spots appear on them.
Top dressing. A tropical liana grows faster and develops actively if fed with complex fertilizers intended for indoor plants. The procedure is carried out twice a month, from mid-spring to late summer.
Do not overdo it with feeding if you do not want the flower to grow very quickly and take up most of the space in the room.
Transfer. A young plant needs a change of soil and pot every year, then one transplant is enough every three years. The soil mixture should consist of equal parts of peat, sand, humus and two parts of sod land. Even when a mature plant is not replanted, it still needs to renew the topsoil. If it is not possible to prepare the soil yourself, the soil for decorative deciduous plants is suitable.
Pick up a spacious pot with a diameter of at least 30 cm, the monstera does not like tightness, install drainage at the bottom. Provide support for your flower. Install a special pole wrapped in moss during planting next to the stem and tie it up in several places.
Trimming and shaping. Usually the flower does not need to be formed; aerial roots, which additionally supply the plant with moisture, do not need to be cut off. Only if the growth of the old plant has slowed down, you can slightly cut the top, this will lead to the appearance of new shoots.
Bloom. Unfortunately, flowering is rare in indoor culture. A year later, white flowers are replaced by purple fruits, the taste of which is similar to pineapple.
Reproduction. Propagated by monstera, like most aroids, stem and apical cuttings, leaves and roots.
Root the cuttings in water, sand or sphagnum. To create favorable conditions for development, cover the container with a glass jar. The temperature regime is close to 23-27 ° С. To transplant young plantings, after they get stronger, you need to in separate pots.
Most often, flower growers propagate liana stems. A cut stalk, which has at least two buds, is placed in a previously prepared container with light soil so that one bud touches the ground. Cover with a jar on top; to maintain humidity, it is periodically raised for airing. When the first leaf is spotted, the plant is ready to be transplanted into a separate pot.
Monstera can also be propagated by air layers of shoots. Do not rush to throw away even an accidentally broken leaf, put it in a container with water, and when roots appear, plant it in a special soil.
Diseases and pests. Most often, a decorative flower suffers from such pests: scale insects, aphids, spider mites. To protect the plant from parasites, keep the leaves clean and maintain the necessary air humidity.
If the leaves of the monstera darken, dry, fall off, perhaps the flower is standing next to the heating battery, move the pot to another place and increase watering. If over-watered, the leaves will wither and turn yellow, in this case, transplant the plant into another pot and adjust the watering.
Monstera in winter. With the onset of cold weather, watering decreases. The air temperature should be between 16-18 ° C. Protect from drafts. Spraying the plant is not worth it.
Interesting Facts. As a houseplant, monstera gained popularity in the late 18th century. The luxurious representative of the aroids not only serves as a beautiful interior decoration, she has the ability to predict the weather, if water droplets appear on her leaves, it means that it will soon start to rain.