Monstera belongs to the arum family which contains 48 species. This plant is common to tropical forests of both Americas. Its name means “abnormal” in Latin because of its bizarre leaves with natural holes.
It’s a herb or an evergreen vine which grows high (up to 20m) on the trees, climbing there with the help of roots suspended in the air. These roots can also grow into the soil. Monstera leaves are green and very large (till 1m30 long), often with holes in the blade. Monstera fruit is a group of white berries, edible in several species. The taste M. deliciosa fruits resembles banana and pineapple.
Adult Monstera leaves are dark-green, and the young are light-green. It has androgynous flowers at the top and sterile at the bottom.
Monsteras are common indoor plants because they are easy for care and handling. Moreover, they are perfect air ionizers.
The most common indoor species is M. deliciosa, also called Swiss cheese plant, splitleaf philodendron, windowleaf, etc.). It suits well any office environment and household. Other species grow mostly outdoors in wild tropical forests (like Adanson’s Monstera, M. Obliqua, perforated M.).
Monstera deliciosa borsigiana is very popular in Mexico. It’s a bit smaller than M. deliciosa, and is simple for indoor handling.
Here are several tips to keep your Monstera in a perfect health.
Monstera likes bright diffused light. It would prefer a western or eastern window, without direct sunrays. Large brilliant leaves with pronounced holes mean that your Monstera has enough light. On the contrary, weak and small leaves of pale green color with thin aerial roots show the lack of light.
Don’t forget that Monstera is a tropical plant. It means that the higher the temperature is, the better the plant feels. In winter it prefers to stay in cool temperature – 16-18°C, and in a warmer one for the rest of the year – 20-25°C. It can even tolerate a short temperature drop-down till 10°C. Monstera hate drafts during cold seasons.
Monstera likes to drink but hates overwatering which can cause rotten roots and spotted leaves. Water more your plant in spring and summer when it grows fast, and wait 2 days after the upper layer of soil to dry before water your Monstera in winter.
Monstera needs humid air and leaves, so spray it regularly with settled water of room temperature. You can also wipe its leaves with wet cloth for moistening and cleaning.
Fertilize your adult Monstera 2 times a month during intensive growth period (mid spring – and of summer). High or large plants may need support like a rope or a stick.
Cut the top of your Monstera if it grows slowly. Pruning stimulates the development of side branches.
Aerial roots are important for Monstera well-being, don’t cut them, they nourish the plant. Put these roots into the rich soil or in the bottle of water.
Monsteras rarely flower indoors. In perfect conditions it can bloom at the age of 3.
Young Monstera needs a larger pot every year. A 3-4 year-old plant can change a pot every 2 years, and every 3 years for a 5-6 year-old. It’s necessary to add new soil every year. Pot young species in neutral or slightly acid soil, and the adults in the neutral one.
You can propagate your Monstera by seed, by stem and by top cut.
Be careful in manipulating Monstera – the sap of its leaves can cause skin and mucous irritations.
Source — http://hi-spring.com/post.php?id=21