Monstera delicious: a description of the plant, care and cultivation at home
Monstera (Monstera) - one of the most famous tropical houseplants. Especially often its openwork dark green leaves can be seen in large offices and the lobby of buildings, in winter gardens and shop windows. Despite the origin of his name from the word "monster", many are happy to decorate their home with this bright beauty.
Botanical Description and Features
Delicious Monstera (in Latin - Monstera deliciosa) - a representative of large lianas belonging to the aroid family. This herbaceous evergreen liana grows very quickly and in natural conditions can rise to a support over 9 m high. The spectacular appearance of the delicate monstera has caused its frequent cultivation as an ornamental plant.
The homeland of creepers is the moist tropical forests of Central and South America. Today it also grows in tropical thickets of southern Brazil, in Mexico, India, Australia and other places. There it reaches incredible sizes and wraps around the nearest strong and tall trees. In a large greenhouse, a monstera can extend up to 12 m, and in a house - up to 3 m.
|Root system||Strong, numerous long aerial roots, can live without communication with the earth|
|Stem||Long, cylindrical, strong (diameter - 6.25–7.5 cm) with pronounced leaf scars and aerial roots|
|Leaf shape||Large (length - up to 1 m, width - up to 0.5 m), leathery, oval-heart-shaped, with long straight petioles and curly cuts along the veins of the leaf (young leaves - whole, without cuts)|
|Leaf color||Dark green, variegated|
|Flower shape||Large (up to 30 cm high) resemble ears of corn, pericarp of a white or cream shade|
|Flower color||White or pale cream|
|Fetus||Berry (height - 20-30 cm, diameter - up to 8 cm), thick skin, juicy pulp with a pleasant aroma, the taste of banana and pineapple|
Did you know? “Leaky” leaves serve as a monstera in order to cover as much area as possible and increase the likelihood of sunlight on the sheet for further photosynthesis.
Conditions for growing indoors
In order to successfully grow a monstera, you should choose the right place for it, observe the temperature regime, take care of the level of humidity and lighting.
Choosing a place for a monstera, it should be noted that it occupies a vast space and does not like "moving". That is why it is worth immediately deciding on a spacious place where an overgrown plant does not block the passage or window opening.
It is better to put the pot with the young monster on a small table or cabinet at a distance of about 1.5 m from the window. Behind it on the wall should arrange additional lighting and turn it on as needed. Since the plant is lianiform, in nature it braids the nearest trees and rises along them, clinging to its aerial roots.
Important! A very young monstera can grow without support. But the deviation of its stem from the vertical is a signal that additional support is needed.
In the home, you should also provide such a support, otherwise the delicate monstera will bend under the weight of its leaves and may break. For support, you can use a stick sold in flower shops wrapped in coconut fiber. It is well suited for young plants, but for more mature it is better to use wall mounts - a wooden lattice or a dense twine.
Due to its origin, monstera is a thermophilic plant. In summer, she will be comfortable at a temperature of about + 22–25 ° C, in winter - + 16–17 ° C. Under such conditions, the liana grows and develops very well. If the temperature drops too low, for example, to +10 ° C, then the plant will not die, but will practically not develop. In addition, it is advisable to protect the monstera from drafts and hot air from heaters, as they can cause its illness and death.
Tropical origin affects the requirements for ambient humidity. Relative humidity should be above average and not lower than 60% at any time of the year. Hot and dry air leads to the fact that the leaves of the plant begin to actively evaporate moisture. That is why it is necessary to moisten the room additionally and spray the vine with settled water (especially in the summer). The liquid should be quite soft so that white stains do not form on the leaves. When spraying, the aerial roots of the plant should also be treated.
Important! To make the monstera shine with healthy beauty, you can use a special tool for polishing indoor plants from a flower shop, preferably in the form of an aerosol.
In winter, spraying can not be carried out, but only wipe the leaves from dust using a damp cloth or sponge. Such a procedure is also necessary because dust disrupts the process of photosynthesis, adsorbs harmful substances, and is a beneficial environment for the development of some pests.
Monstera delitsiosa unpretentious to light and grows well even in a shaded place. However, a complete lack of lighting will not work, in this case the plant will have a pale appearance, thinned roots and small leaves with almost no cuts.
The bright sun at hot noon also does not like the creeper, as it causes burns on its leaves. Ideal if it is on the east or west side in a well-lit place without direct sunlight.
If the plant is located on the south side, it is worth moving it from the window into the interior of the room and be sure to shade it at noon. The north window of the sun will not be enough, then you need to install a lamp for artificial lighting.
Home care and growing
The key to the healthy growth of the monstera is a suitable soil and a convenient pot for planting, regular watering, timely top dressing, as well as transplanting and pruning of the plant.
Soil and Choosing a Pot for Planting
Monstera is impressive in size, so you should choose a large pot for planting it. It should be quite wide so that aerial roots can be directed to the ground. For a young specimen, a medium-sized pot is approximately equal in height and width.
At the bottom of the pot, 2-3 cm of drainage material — expanded clay, gravel, perlite or polystyrene crumbs — are necessarily laid. Next, pour soil. The soil mixture for planting decorative and deciduous houseplants is suitable for creepers, which can be bought in specialized stores.
You can make suitable soil yourself by taking 3 parts of turf land and 1 part of peat, humus and sand. The soil should be loose, nutritious and well-retaining moisture.
Watering and fertilizer
This tropical beauty needs abundant watering with well-maintained, warm and soft water. In winter, watering should be more moderate. It is necessary to ensure that the top layer of the earth in the pot does not dry out. You should also avoid over-saturation of the soil with water, so as not to provoke rotting of the roots. An external sign of excess moisture is the appearance of droplets of water along the edges of the leaves and small brown spots. In addition to watering, one should not forget about regular spraying of leaves and cleaning them from dust with a soft cloth or sponge.
Did you know? Monstera can «work» great home weather forecaster.The fact is that about a day before the start of rain or thunderstorm, its leaves are abundantly irrigated with water droplets.
Transplant and pruning
Monstera grows rapidly, so every 1-2 years, when the old pot becomes small, the plant has to be replanted. This should be done carefully, remembering the fragility of aerial roots. First you need to choose a new wide and deep pot, preferably ceramic. Its width should be enough for the aerial roots to reach the ground.
For transplantation you need:
- Moisten the soil in a pot. With a knife or spatula, separate the soil from the walls and get the vine with a lump of earth, trying not to damage it.
- Remove bad roots. Place the plant in the center of the new pot, which should be 6-10 cm wider than the old.
- Install a support nearby. Cover the remaining space with fresh soil, tamping it a bit.
- Water and spray the plant. If necessary, add more soil and take it to a permanent place.
Did you know? Residents of Southeast Asia consider the monster a symbol of good luck and health. In Thailand, for example, they certainly try to put her at the bedside of a seriously ill person.
Monstera can multiply in different ways - cuttings, layering and seeds. Let's take a closer look at all of these methods.
Usually this method is used when there is a need to rejuvenate the plant and grow its new instances. For this, a shoot with aerial roots and at least one mature leaf is selected. Without cutting off the shoot, its aerial roots are placed in a container with water to form small full-fledged roots. After the appearance of the washcloth from the roots, the upper part of the stem below the roots is cut off from the maternal specimen and planted in a prepared pot. If you need to cover the "bald patches" on the old vine, such a process is planted in the main pot.There is another method of propagation by cuttings. To do this, the apical stem with several leaves and an eye-bud is cut from the mother plant and planted in a container with wet sand or a mixture of sand and peat under the film. After rooting, after about a month, the cuttings are transplanted into pots with soil. Do not germinate cuttings in water, as these roots will not be adapted to the soil and will begin to hurt at first.
Video: Rooting the cuttings of a monstera
Propagation by lateral shoots is the easiest and most reliable way. It can be used throughout the spring-summer period. To do this, the side shoots growing at the base of the stem are carefully separated with a sharp knife.After the resulting slices are dried, they are treated with crushed activated or charcoal.
A cropped shoot is planted in a pot with a layer of drainage and loose, nutritious soil. The pot is covered with polyethylene and placed in a warm and bright place. Periodically, the soil should be moistened and the greenhouse lightly ventilated. When new shoots appear on the shoots, the plant is considered to be successfully rooted.
This is the rarest way to reproduce the liana, because in artificial conditions it blooms very rarely and it is almost impossible to get seeds. But if somehow they were in your hands, then they need to be sown in a container with a mixture of sand and peat in a ratio of 1: 1, and germinated under a film in a warm and bright place at a temperature of + 20-25 ° C.Growing monstera from seeds Periodically, the greenhouse should be ventilated, and the soil moistened. Shoots should appear in 3-4 weeks. At first, the plant will release uncut leaves and only after 5–8 months will the full leaves form. After this, seedlings should be dived. Plants grown from seeds are planted in permanent pots after two years. By this time, they will have a developed root system and 3-5 juvenile leaves and 2-4 adult leaves.
Important! Keep in mind that monstera juice is toxic and causes dermatitis and irritation of the skin and mucous membranes in many people. To avoid this, all work on trimming and transplanting must be done with gloves.
The period of rest and flowering
Monstera is an evergreen without a pronounced period of rest. When daylight hours decrease and the surrounding temperature drops below +20 ° C, it slows down its growth. In addition, in the winter she does not need fertilizers, watering becomes more scarce. This period gives the liana a respite and the opportunity in the spring to begin to develop rapidly again.
In nature, the plant blooms large, up to 30 cm tall, white or light cream flowers resembling corn cobs. Unfortunately, this practically does not happen in the home. Only sometimes flowering and fruiting can be achieved in large greenhouses or conservatories.Approximately 8-10 months after flowering, the fruits of the monstera fully ripen. Its berries are edible, which is reflected in the name - a delicious or delicious monstera.
When growing a monster, you can encounter such problems:
- drying, yellowing and darkening leaves - excessively dry and hot air in the room;
- drilling and cracking leaves - too cold and humid room;
- small, pale and without slits leaves - lack of lighting;
- rotting of the stem - low temperature and excessive watering;
- dark dots on the inner surface of the leaves - defeat by a red spider mite;
- sluggish and "weeping" leaves - excess moisture in the soil and atmosphere;
- yellowing and small leaves, but without wilting - deficiency of nutrients in the soil;
- pale leaves with yellow spots - prolonged exposure to direct sunlight.