Monstera deliciosa (Split leaf philodendron) / Monstera adansonii (Swiss Cheese Philodendron)
Native to rainforests of Mexico and Central America
Bright filtered. Tolerates low to medium; these conditions produce leggy growth. Avoid direct sun, except during winter.
18-30°C. Keep above 15°C. Above 21°C, humidity is essential.
Average to higher. For extra humidity: mist 1-2 times per week, place pot on moist pebbles in a tray, group with other plants, or, introduce a humidifier.
Every 1-2 weeks. Water sparingly and allow barely moist potting mix to dry within top 1/3. Always check moisture level before watering. Aerate mix to improve its condition.
Once a month (spring-fall). Use organic fertilizer, according to packaging instructions.
Every 1-2 weeks, rotate plant to ensure even growth. Every 1-2 months, dust leaves with a soft, damp cloth and inspect for pests when doing so. Clear fallen leaves from planter. Remove spent leaves. Prune annually (spring) with sterile shears. Guide/support the growth of this climbing plant with ties, stakes or trellises or moss sticks. Train aerial roots onto these supports, back into the soil or give them a trim.
Potting and Repotting
Soil-based potting mix. Fo small plants: every 1-2 years (spring) move plant into a planter 1-2” larger (diameter and depth); or, repot in the same planter, using new potting mix, after cleaning planter and partially trimming back roots and foliage. For large plants: every 2-3 years (spring) move plant into a planter 2-4” larger (diameter and depth); or, repot in the same planter, using new potting mix, after cleaning planter and partially trimming back roots and foliage. Top dress annually, once maximum convenient planter size reached.
Special Points/Common Problems:
- Under ideal conditions, juvenile plants take some time to develop their iconic splits, which mainly occur on mature leaves.
- A combination of yellow and brown leaves and/or black stems may suggest overwatering, while fully yellow leaves, along with brown crispy leaf edges or spots, may suggest underwatering.
- Curling green leaves on an otherwise healthy plant may suggest underwatering or that it is root-bound.
- In the wild, Monstera deliciosa produces flowers that bear edible fruit.