Halloween is so close; it’s scary””so now’s the perfect time to feature one of our favourite plants in our greenhouse that just so happens to have the spookiest name ever: the monstera! (Honourable mentions go out to the ghost plant, the vampire orchid, and the zombie palm). Monstera deliciosa, also known as Swiss cheese plant, earned its nickname for obvious reasons””its giant leaves are covered in holes.
If you haven’t encountered a monstera in person, you’ll probably still recognize it””this ultra-trendy plant has been taking over the graphic design and textile industry. Seriously, you can’t walk ten steps into a Bed Bath and Beyond without encountering a hundred couch cushions, shower curtains, and throw rugs decorated with the iconic monstera leaf motif. If you dig that trendy Swiss cheese leaf aesthetic as much as we do, why not take it a step further and take home an actual, real-life plant for your home? I mean, it would be kind of lame not to. That’s like wearing a Black Sabbath T-shirt without ever having listened to the Paranoid album. It’s easy to pick out the true fans from the posers!
Caring for a monstera house plant requires some regular maintenance””after all, its natural habitat is the rainforest. Since our Edmonton homes aren’t exactly comparable to the jungles of the Amazon, there are a few things you’ll have to do to keep your tropical tree happy and healthy. That being said, it’s not impossible to keep an indoor monstera plant alive and well. The minor maintenance and upkeep are well worth it to keep those gorgeous leaves looking glossy.
Monstera Indoor Plant Care
The easiest part of caring for a Swiss cheese plant is definitely the lighting. You might assume a tropical plant needs tons of sun, but the rainforest is actually pretty shaded from all the big trees, so some indirect sunlight from the window should be just enough to help it grow. Too much sunshine can cause the leaves to get scorched, so if you notice it’s starting to turn a bit brown, move it farther away from the window. If you keep your monstera outside in the summer, you might get to enjoy the sweet edible fruit that develops out of its flowers, but you should make sure it’s shaded under an awning or tree canopy.
The trickier part about monstera care is the humidity levels. Since the rainforest is warm and muggy, you’ll want to have some moisture in the air, which isn’t always easy during a dry Edmonton winter. To make conditions a bit more comfortable for your monstera, you can regularly mist the leaves lightly with some water. To make sure they don’t get funky or dirty, wipe them down every few weeks with a cloth dampened with room temperature water and a tiny bit of dish soap. If that doesn’t quite seem to cut it and your monstera is looking a bit droopy, you could plug in a humidifier, or bring your monstera into the bathroom with you when you shower and put a towel under the door so the room fills up with steam.
Water the soil deeply, but wait for the top third surface layer of the soil has dried out. As is the case for most indoor greenery, soil with good drainage is an absolute must to prevent waterlogging. Mixing up some potting soil with peat moss, and placing it in a container with drainage holes will help keep moisture conditions juuust right. Once in a while, you can even place your monstera directly in the shower and let some warm “rain” trickle down on it.
Bonus Tips for Monstera Care
Before you run out and grab a monstera plant for your home, here are a few extra tidbits of info you should keep in mind:
- A monstera can grow pretty big, so you’ll need to repot yours in a bigger container about every two years or so.
- Their leaves and stems are toxic to pets as well as humans, so if you’ve got cats, dogs, or busybody toddlers that like to chomp on anything within arms reach, you might want to reconsider purchasing a monstera and instead opt for a lifelike faux variety. Don’t worry; we won’t spill your secret.
- Aerial roots will protrude from the stem and cling to the nearest surface because monsteras like to climb up other trees in its natural habitat. Adding a stake or a trellis to the container will help to keep it growing up, but if you find the roots are getting a bit out of control, you can try tucking them back into the soil or nipping them off with sterilized garden shears.
Whether you’d like a giant monstera plant, a little baby monstera plant for your desk, or a colourful variegated monstera, we have plenty of monstera varieties at our greenhouse in Edmonton. If you want to make one appear in your living room, visit us at Salisbury. We’ll be happy to help you pick out the perfect specimen to brighten up your home!