The Monstera Deliciosa (aka swiss cheese plant) is a very attractive plant that grows in the tropics. These plants are simple and easy to care for if you know how to do so properly.
With the right humidity levels, attention given to proper watering, enough sunlight, and fertilizing, the Monstera Deliciosa plant can grow to be extremely large. You’ll find all this and more in this Monstera Deliciosa care guide.
If you’re not sure where to start with caring for your monstera plants then there is a great rule of thumb that says, “the better you take care of them, the more they’ll give back.”
These plants look great in your home and add a jungle-like feel to any room. If you’re a new plant parent looking to get a monstera deliciosa, you’re in luck. Just follow these simple steps on how to care for a monstera and you’ll be well on your way.
Popular Types of Monstera Plants
The monstera deliciosa is just one of the 45 species of monstera plants. This plant is named the deliciosa because of the edible (and delicious) Mexican breadfruit that grows on it in the wild.
There are many different types of monstera plants, but some of the most commonly used as houseplants – besides the deliciosa – include:
- Monstera Adansonii
- Monstera Dubia
- Monstera Obliqua
- Monstera Pinnatipartita
- Monstera Siltepecana
Many of these monstera plants also come in variegated variations, which is when the leaves have irregular patches and streaks of another color, usually white.
These are rare and unique, making them harder to find and often in-demand.
Monstera Deliciosa Care Tips
Monstera deliciosa plants are easy to care for and look stunning in any home. Their big, split leaves and bright green foliage add a bit of happiness to bathrooms, bedrooms, and living rooms.
Here’s how to take care of your monstera and ensure it lives with you for many years.
How Often to Water Monstera Deliciosas
Monsteras need a moderate and even watering schedule for most of the year. They should be watered well as soon as you feel the topsoil becoming dry.
This will likely result in a weekly watering schedule, but it’s always best to check the soil a few days before your watering day, to make sure it hasn’t dried out. And check the soil before you water it to be sure that it is not still wet.
How do I Know if My Monstera Needs Water?
Your monstera plant will give you a few signs if it’s slowly drying out and needs replenishment.
The first and most obvious sign will be that the soil will feel dry. You can stick your finger about 2 inches into the soil and you’ll be able to tell if the plant needs water.
Another way to tell is to pick up your pot – if it feels very light, the plant probably needs water. If your monstera leaves are starting to lean away from the rest of the plant, curl, or turn any color but green, these may indicate dryness. You might also see the leaves drooping from thirst.
But remember, you should always check the soil. If all else fails, a moisture meter will help you judge when your next watering day should be.
Dry vs. Overwatered Monstera Deliciosa
Keeping your plant well watered is important because if it isn’t, it won’t be able to grow to its full potential – and it’s going to start looking quite unhealthy.
However, overwatering can lead to far worse complications. Root rot is often caused by the roots being kept in constant moisture, and this can kill the plant if not addressed soon enough.
So, it’s best to wait a day or two if you’re unsure whether your monstera should be watered or not.
Monstera Light Requirements
Monsteras should ideally get bright indirect light. If you place them near any window that does not face north, they’ll be their happiest.
Although if the only spot you have in the house has less light, these plants should be able to tolerate low-light conditions.
For the best growth in monstera deliciosas, 10 – 12 hours of indirect sunlight is ideal. But if you’re unable to give the plant sunlight, you can always get an artificial light to place near your plant.
Signs Your Monstera Deliciosa Needs More Light
If you notice that your plant is growing slower than usual, or you’re not getting any of those gorgeous split leaves, your plant may be crying out for more light.
You might also see that the soil is not drying out, or that the leaves are changing color – often a light yellow.
Monstera Temperature Requirements
Ideal temperatures for your monstera range from 65-75 degrees Fahrenheit in the daytime and 55-65 degrees at night.
They are able to tolerate colder temperatures as well, but anything below 50 degrees Fahrenheit will cause your plant distress.
If your home is on a different temperature schedule, you can move your plant around so that they don’t get too cold or hot. It will take some time for them to adjust but this can be done gradually without harming the plant.
How to Care for Monstera Deliciosa In Winter?
In winter, your monstera will require less water and more light. The leaves will be smaller in size so you can reduce the fertilizer used on your plant to half the amount – every four weeks, depending on how quickly it’s growing.
When to Prune Your Monstera Deliciosa
You’ll notice your monstera growing mostly in spring and summer, so these are the ideal times to look out for pruning opportunities.
The best time, though, is in the spring. This will ensure your plant has plenty of recovery time before the colder months arrive.
Delicious Monster Repotting
Delicious monster plants can grow to incredible sizes. So, when your plant starts looking too big for its pot, it’s time to repot it.
Ideally, the plant should be repotted once every two years, and this is best done in the spring. Take care not to use a pot that is too small for your monstera, as this will restrict its growth and make it look unnatural.
You’ll want to find a pot that is the same size or slightly larger than the pot it is currently in.
Selecting the same size pot will ensure that your plant does not grow too large for its spot in your home.
If you’re looking to get rid of some of your plant’s older leaves, now may be a good time to do that too. Just make sure not to trim any new growth off.
Monstera Deliciosa Propagation
Monsteras are relatively easy to propagate, which is great news for anyone looking to multiply their indoor jungle.
You’ll need a cutting of the main plant, but it must have a node, otherwise, you won’t find any new roots growing from the cutting.
Once you have a good-sized cutting with a node, you can put it into water or sphagnum moss.
After around two months, you’ll have nice, strong roots and can plant your cutting in soil and watch it grow into a stunning plant.
Bonus Monstera Plant Care Tips
Besides the basics, there are a few more monstera care tips you can use to ensure your plant thrives in your home.
Feed it Fertilizer
Monsteras are heavy feeders and will need a top-quality fertilizer with nitrogen if you want it to grow quickly. Remember that too much or not enough of this important nutrient can cause the leaves on your plant to yellow.
You should give your monstera fertilizer every two weeks and water it with a diluted fertilizer solution.
In winter, the plant won’t need as much fertilizer, but the frequency of watering’s should stay about the same.
You can also add the occasional handful of a slow-release fertilizer to your potting soil so that it’s easier for nutrients to be absorbed by roots and leaves.
But make sure you don’t overfeed because this will cause an excess amount of moisture around the plant’s base.
Dust the Leaves
It’s inevitable that a plant’s leaves will eventually gather dust. It’s important to wipe the plant’s leaves often, to help the plant soak in as much sunlight as it can.
Doing this will help the photosynthesis process and your plant will thank you for it.
All you need is a damp cloth to wipe the large foliage, there is no need for any other products to be used.
Keep Humidity High
Delicious monsters are tropical plants, so they need high levels of humidity in their growing space. These plants need a minimum average humidity of 40-50% to be happy, but higher is better in this case.
This is why monstera plants do best in a bathroom or another humid room. If your home is not that humid, getting a humidifier to put near your plant is an easy solution.
Plant it in Quality Soil
Monsteras need soil that holds moisture but also drains well. The best soil for your monstera deliciosa is a mixture of peat moss and earthy coco fiber.
Soil should never be waterlogged, but it also needs to have enough drainage holes around the bottom of the pot.
This will ensure that excess water can escape from the pot without allowing any part of the plant’s roots to sit in water.
How to Care for Monstera: Pests and Other Problems
As with any houseplants, your monstera may show signs of pests or diseases at some point.
These are usually easy to fix, but it’s important to know how to identify when there is a problem, what it might be, and how to help your plant.
Monstera Deliciosa Root Rot
Root rot is a serious threat to the health of your plant. Roots will rot after they’ve been sitting in water for too long, or when the soil has become saturated with moisture.
It is important to remember that over-watering is just as damaging as underwatering; both are easy ways to kill this plant.
If your monstera has root rot, you will notice that the outer edges of its leaves will turn brown and start to curl inwards.
To confirm this, you’ll need to check the roots – if they are black or brown and softer than the rest, then the roots are decaying.
Insect Invasions on Your Monstera
The most common bugs that are attracted to monstera plants are aphids, spider mites, and mealybugs.
Spider mites are the most harmful to your plant as they suck out all of the sap from their leaves, leaving them dry and eventually killing the plant.
Check your plant regularly, to make sure no insects have made a home in the stems or on the leaves.
One way to get rid of these pests, if you do find any, is by using insecticidal soaps or neem oil on a regular basis.
Monstera Deliciosa Dropping Leaves
If you notice leaves dropping off your delicious monster, it could be a sign of over-watering or a lack of nutrients.
Check the soil to make sure it’s getting time to dry out in between watering, and perhaps add some slow-releasing fertilizer to the plant.
If leaves start dropping off without any apparent cause, this could also indicate insufficient light levels in your home.
If you’re unable to find a suitable place for your plant, consider getting a grow light to help.
Monstera Leaves Turning Yellow or Brown Spots
Yellow leaves on a monstera indicate over-watering and are also a symptom of root rot. Make sure your plant is only watered when the top inch or two of soil goes dry, and that it has well-draining soil to avoid excess moisture around its roots.
Brown spots on monsteras leaves are also typically caused by overwatering. This is called spot leaf disease and it’s not uncommon for it to happen.
If you’re sure that you have not overwatered the plant, it may be that the plant needs more water. Or it could indicate low humidity, insufficient light, or pests and insects invading the plant.
Monstera Deliciosa Best Products
Even the most beginner plant parent wants to know that they are giving their plants the best chance of survival.
So we’ve compiled a list of the best products you can buy for your monstera deliciosa.
Best Fertilizer for Monstera Deliciosa
Giving your indoor monstera fertilizer will ensure that the plant gets all the nutrients it needs to stay healthy and look great.
There are many different fertilizers that you can use for your monstera, but some of the best ones include:
- Houseplant Resource Center Monstera Plant Food
- All-purpose Liquid House Plant Fertilizer
- Miracle-Gro Liquid Indoor Plant Food
- Instant Plant Food by Instant Biologics
Best Pots and Baskets for Monstera Deliciosa
The great thing about choosing a pot for your monstera deliciosa plant is that you can select pots and containers that go with your home decor, as long as you select the right size.
You can select from decorative ceramic pots, woven baskets, and even pots on stands.
Just be sure that your plant has enough space to grow and that the pot has good drainage to avoid the roots from becoming waterlogged. A few great beginner pot options are:
- Elly Décor Planter with Drainage Hole Saucer
- Ceramic Flower Planter
- Santino Self-Watering Planter
- POTEY Woven Cotton Rope Plant Basket
- Or even this Ceramic Planter Pot with Drainage Hole & Perfectly Fitting Saucer with a Mkono Plant Stand
Best Light for Monstera Deliciosa
If you find that your monstera is not getting enough natural light, a grow light is often the best solution.
There are many to choose from, depending on the space you have and how many plants you need to put under it. Here are some of the best:
- HOOMEDA Tri Head Grow Lights for Indoor Plants
- Grow Light with Stand
- GE BR30 LED Grow Lights for Indoor Plants
Best Soil for Monstera Deliciosa
To have a healthy monstera that will grow to its full potential, you need to make sure it’s planted in good potting soil.
This should be soil that drains well and is able to feed your plant’s roots with the nutrients it needs.
Some great soil options include:
- House Plant and Tropical Plant Potting Soil
- Wonder Soil Premium Organic Potting Soil
- Air Cleaning Indoor Plant Soil Mixture
Best Potting Mix for Monstera Deliciosa
Potting mix does not include any soil, but it does include important nutrients for your plants. Here are some great potting mix choices:
- Premium Monstera Potting Soil
- Miracle-Gro Indoor Potting Mix
- Burpee Premium Organic Potting Mix
- Espoma AP8 8-Quart Organic Potting Mix
Monstera Deliciosa Frequently Asked Questions
Monsteras are popular plants, but you may still have a few more queries before you feel comfortable becoming a plant parent to this stunning green specimen.
Here are a few of the most commonly asked questions and their answers.
Is the Monstera Deliciosa a Suitable Houseplant for Beginners?
Monsteras are hardy and relatively low-maintenance plants. This makes them great for beginner plant parents.
If you’re looking for a plant that looks gorgeous and won’t easily die on you, this is it.
Are Monstera Deliciosa Plants Poisonous?
Like many plants, monsters contain calcium oxalates, which means they can cause an allergic reaction if you eat them. Although the reaction is not likely to be fatal, it can cause discomfort in animals and humans.
Is the Monstera Deliciosa Safe for Cats?
Cats who eat monstera leaves may experience some stomach upset, but it is not considered to be life-threatening or poisonous. However, once a monstera plant matures, it starts to grow fruit.
The fruit of this plant is a little bit toxic, but not enough so that you need to worry about your cat eating one and dying or being seriously injured.
The seeds may be a different story; if they eat the soft, pliant seeds of a ripe monstera fruit, they may end up vomiting or with diarrhea.
It’s best to keep monstera plants high up and away from curious kittens. But the plants are not deadly, and you don’t have to choose between your cat and your monstera.
Read more on monsteras and cats compatibility here.
Do Monstera Plants Like to Be Misted?
Monsteras will appreciate a good misting around once a week, especially if your home does not have very high humidity levels.
Be sure to mist your plants in the morning, though, so that the water droplets can evaporate before nighttime comes.
Does the Monstera Deliciosa Purify Air in Your Home?
Yes, the monster can help improve air quality in a room, as most houseplants do. The more sun or watering the plant gets, the more oxygen it produces for you to breathe easier.
Does your Monstera Deliciosa Need Sunlight?
Monstera plants do best in a bright window that faces south or west. The more sunlight the plant gets, the better it will grow and produce fruit for you to enjoy (only once it is ripe – although fruit on an indoor monstera is not promised).
Just be sure not to leave it in direct sunlight for too long as this could burn the leaves.
Is monstera deliciosa a philodendron?
You may ask is monstera deliciosa a philodendron? the answer is no, monstera deliciosa is not a philodendron even thou both plants are apart of the Araceae family.
The fact that the monstera bears fruit, while the philo is more like a vine plant is the main difference between the two plants.
Why are Monsteras so Expensive?
The cost of houseplants depends on many factors. These include the size, age, and maturity of the plant as well as how common they are. The rarer a plant is, the more you’re going to pay for it.
Likewise, if you buy a baby monstera and grow it into maturity yourself, it will be cheaper than if you’re looking for a large, beautiful plant with many split leaves.
How to Take Care of Monsteras: A Recap
People love bringing monsteras plants into their homes because of the bright green leaves and tropical feel.
The great thing about these plants is that they won’t die easily on you, and they’re quite forgiving while you learn the ins and outs of owning them.
Given a humid, slightly bright spot with adequate watering and monthly feeds, your monstera will grow happily, and you’ll find yourself cooing over each new split leaf that it gives you.
You can also decide how big you want your plant to get, based on the space you have. These plants can become literal ‘monsters’ if planted with enough space to grow.
Whether you’re a beginner or already have a plant collection, I’d suggest adding a monstera to your home.