Strange Wonderful Things

Rare and exotic plants & seeds

Turquoise Puya


Variegated Monstera

Variegated Monstera deliciosa var. Borsigiana

Caring for your plant


Pot size -- I recommend starting your plant in a 1 to 2 gallon pot (4-8 liters) for a few months before moving it to a larger container.  Use a pot with drainage holes.  A permanent home for a large, mature plant that is allowed to spread would be about 10 gallons (40 liters), but if pruned shorter it may be kept in a smaller pot.

Soil -- Monstera likes well-draining soil that's high in organic matter.  A typical mix is 3 parts potting soil to 2 part perlite, pumice or coarse horticultural sand.  An alternate mix is 2 parts of coco fiber or peat, 1 part small-grade orchid bark, and 2 parts perlite.  If you tend to overwater your plants, add extra perlite to your mix.

Transplanting -- The plant may be hard to slide out, since the roots are adhesive and can glue themselves to the pot.  First, water the soil and wait 30 minutes for it to soak in thoroughly.  If the roots stick to the pot, try squeezing the sides and bottom of the container while gently pulling on the stem.  If that doesn't work, you may need to cut the pot apart with scissors or a box cutter blade.  Wear leather gloves if you do this, and be careful!

 After repotting, don't pack the soil down - simply water it.

Watering -- Monstera likes soil that is evenly moist, but not constantly saturated.  Don't let the pot sit in a tray of water.  If you tend to overwater your plants, use a moisture meter

 Growing indoors -- Grow your plant indoors, unless it doesn't freeze in your area, in which case you can grow it outside.  It can handle a wide range of temperatures, but it's happiest between about 65-85 degrees F (18-29C).  If it seems to suffer from low humidity indoors, consider using an ultrasonic room humidifier, sold at home improvement store and some thrift shop.

Light -- It does best with bright light, but not much direct sun, unless it's weak sun.  The leaves might burn if exposed to too much sun, so its best to filter it through a curtain, shade cloth, etc.

 Changing the leaf coloration -- If the new growth becomes too "white" for your tastes, you may be able to encourage more green coloration in future leaves by reducing the light intensity (it may take 2 or 3 leaves for changes to appear).  Conversely, if the leaves become too green for you, increasing the light intensity may encourage more white in future leaves.  Note that greening of the leaves may also occur in cool conditions.  Be patient whenever trying to change the leaf coloration by changing light levels.

Supporting your plant -- It will eventually want something to climb on, like a trellis, wires, or a wall.  While the plant is young, you may tie it to a plant totem or a piece of wood.  As it grows, it holds on by using its long, dangling aerial roots, which adhere very strongly and may damage surfaces if removed.  Keep this in mind when choosing a permanent spot for it.  You may cut off the aerial roots if you wish. 

Pruning -- The plant can eventually grow 15+ feet vertically and horizontally if left unpruned, however you may cut it back to any size you wish.  It will form side shoots from below where you prune.

Fertilizing --  Monstera likes moderate amounts of fertilizer and does not need a lot of fertilizer to be happy.  Feed about every 3-4 months with a general-purpose fertilizer that contains micronutrients.  Follow the dosage on the package.

 If the older leaves turn yellow, it's often a sign that the soil has been too dry down in the root zone, which you can check with a moisture meter probe.  If you are certain the roots have been moist enough, the plant may need more fertilizer, particularly nitrogen.  Keep in mind that it's normal for the plant to shed an old leaf occasionally.

Pests to watch for -- Look for any bugs that might affect your other houseplants, such as Scale (little brown disks on the stem or leaves), aphids, spider mites (tiny "dots" under the leaves), mealybugs, and fungus gnats.  Try spraying with insecticidal soap first before using harsher chemicals.

If you have any questions, feel free to contact me. 

Enjoy your plant!

- Jeff

Strange Wonderful Things



Strange Wonderful Things

Rare and exotic plants

Turquoise Puya

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