Plants

Monstera

Plants of the genus Monstera are usually considered indoor, since unfortunately they are very cold; in fact, when the temperature drops below 10 degrees Celsius they start to have a hard time, unless they are protected.

There are about 60 species, and all of them are characterized by having very large leaves, more than those of the vast majority of plant beings. So how do you take care of them?

Origin and characteristics

It is a botanical genus composed of some 60 described species originating from Mexico and tropical America. They grow as climbers, entangling themselves between the trunk and branches of the trees, and helping themselves with their aerial roots, which serve as anchors (without actually parasitizing). Thanks to this, they can reach heights as impressive as 15 or 20 meters.

The leaves are alternate, leathery, and huge: 25 to 130cm long (as is the case with Monstera dubia, which is the largest species) and 15 to 80cm wide. It usually has the appearance of being leaky.

The flowers arise from an inflorescence called a spadix that is 5-45cm long. The fruit is a cluster of white berries, being edible in some Monstera.

Main species

  • Monstera deliciosa: it is the best known. Its common names are Adam’s rib or cerimán, and it is endemic from southern Mexico to northern Argentina. It reaches about 20 meters in height, with leaves that are 20 to 90cm long by 20 to 80cm wide. It produces fruits that during its first year are very toxic, but that can be eaten after the second year.
  • Monstera obliqua: it is native to Central America. Its size and characteristics are very similar to the previous one, only that it grows less (up to 10 meters) and has somewhat smaller leaves (20 to 60cm long by 20 to 60cm wide).

What is the care of the Monstera?

If you want to have a copy, we recommend you provide the following care:

Location

Image – Wikimedia/ Mokkie

  • Interior: it must be in a bright room, without drafts (neither cold nor hot). Being a rather large plant, the ideal is to place it for example in the living room or in another area where it can stand out well.
  • Exterior: place in semi-shade, since it burns in the sun.

Earth

  • Pot: it is advisable to use one that is fertile and that also facilitates the drainage of water, such as 70% mulch (get it here ) mixed with 30% perlite, arlite (like this one here ) or similar.
  • Garden: grows in soils rich in organic matter.

Irrigation

The Montera, being native to the tropical forests, are plants that love high humidity. But when they are grown outside of their places of origin, and especially when we have them in temperate climates, we must be very careful about irrigation because otherwise their roots would rot quickly.

With this in mind, the best thing you can do is check the humidity of the soil before proceeding to water it, at least for the first few times until you get the hang of it. To do this, you can insert a thin wooden stick; If when you extract it, it comes out with a lot of adhering soil, do not water.

Other options are to use a digital moisture meter or weigh the pot once it has been watered and again after a few days.

Use rainwater, or failing lime water.

Spray: yes or no? And because?

It is customary to spray the plants that are kept indoors, but I personally do not recommend it, except in spring-summer, and not even like that. The leaves cannot absorb water directly ; in fact, when it rains the pores (stomata) close.

The problem with having closed pores is that during that time all its functions slow down or stop, and one of them is breathing. To this we must add that fungi love precisely that: the high humidity and the weakness that the plant shows ; so it is not surprising that if it is sprayed constantly the leaves begin to show brown or black spots.

Anyway, what you do have to do is clean the dust from time to time, with a cloth and a little milk or distilled water.

Subscriber

Guano powder.

From the beginning of spring to the end of summer it is advisable to fertilize it with organic fertilizers, using liquids if it is grown in a pot.

Pruning

You just have to remove the leaves that are drying with scissors – you can use the kitchen ones yourself – previously disinfected with pharmacy alcohol or a few drops of dishwasher.

Planting or transplanting time

In spring. If it is potted, transplant to a larger one every 2 or 3 years.

Plagues and diseases

They can be affected by:

  • Mites: like the spider mite. They cause the appearance of very small discolored spots. They are fought with acaricides.
  • Mealybugs: they feed on the sap of the tender stems. They can be removed by hand (with a glove), or with an anti-mealybug.
  • Trips: they are like earwigs but in miniature version. They also feed on the sap of the leaves, leaving their droppings (black dots) and spots. They are fought with specific insecticides, or with diatomaceous earth which you can get here.
  • Fungi: like the phytophthora or the Cercospora. They produce brown or yellow spots. They are fought with fungicides.

Multiplication

Monstera multiply by seeds and cuttings. Let’s see how to proceed in each case:

Seeds

They must be sown as soon as they mature (8-10 months after pollination), since their fertile life is very short. Once you have them, follow this step by step:

  1. First, fill a pot of about 13cm with universal growing medium.
  2. Then, sow a maximum of 3 seeds on its surface, ensuring that they are a little separated from each other.
  3. Then cover them with a thin layer of substrate, and water.
  4. Lastly, place the pot in a warm place without direct sun.

In this way, they will germinate in about 3 weeks as long as the temperature is around 20-25ºC.

Cuttings

It is multiplied by cuttings in summer, following this step by step:

  1. First, you must cut an apical stem cutting with previously disinfected scissors.
  2. Then, impregnate your base with homemade rooters.
  3. Then plant it in a pot about 15-20cm in diameter.
  4. Finally, water it and place the pot in a bright area but without direct sun.

Spraying from time to time with distilled or rain water, and keeping the substrate moist (but not waterlogged), you will get it to root after 4-6 weeks.

Rusticity

It does not resist cold or frost.

What did you think of the Monstera? You have someone?

Related posts

Deja una respuesta

Tu dirección de correo electrónico no será publicada. Los campos obligatorios están marcados con *

Botón volver arriba