The Monster plant (Monstera) is a member of the Aroideae family. There are about 50 species in this family. In nature, they can be found in Central and South America.
Peculiarities of Monster
The name of the genus Monster comes from the word "monstrum", which translates as "monster", this is due to the large size of the plant and its frightening appearance. Representatives of this genus are evergreen lianas and shrubs.
Their thick shoots are climbing, often present aerial roots. The dark green, long-petioled, large leaf plates are leathery to the touch, adorned with slits and holes of various shapes and sizes. The inflorescence is a thick, cylindrical cob, with sterile flowers at its base and the sexes at the top.
Monster is among the most popular plants cultivated at home. It has been scientifically proven that the room monster is capable of ionizing the indoor air, which is a big plus when growing such a flower.
Brief description of growing
- Flowering. Monster is grown as an ornamental and deciduous plant. When grown at home, it blooms very rarely.
- Brightness. Needs plenty of bright but diffused light.
- Temperature regime. In spring and fall, 20 to 25 degrees, in winter 16 to 18 degrees. Make sure the room temperature is not below 10 degrees.
- Watering. During the growing season, water as soon as the top layer of potting soil dries out.
As fall progresses, watering is gradually reduced, and in winter the soil mixture is moistened only after it has dried to 1/4 of its depth.
- Air Humidity. It should be elevated. On hot days, moisten the shrub with a sprayer daily, but it is better to wipe the leaf plates with a moistened sponge instead.
While the plant is young, it does not need to be fertilized. Mature plants, on the other hand, should be fed regularly from the second half of spring until the last few weeks of summer. Organic and mineral fertilizers are used alternately.
- Support. It must be anchored in the container at the time of planting or transplanting the flower.
- Dormant period. Not pronounced.
- Repotting. Up to three years old the plant is replanted every year, from three to five years old it is replanted once, and from five years old it is replanted in a new pot once every 4-5 years. However, the top layer of soil mixture in the container should be replaced with fresh one every year.
- Potting soil. Young shrubs are grown in a substrate consisting of sod and humus as well as peat and sand (1:2:1:1). For adult plants a soil mixture consisting of deciduous, humus, sod and peat soil, and sand (1:1:3:1:1) is suitable.
- Raising. By cuttings, apex and seed.
- Pests. Scabies, aphids and spider mites.
- Diseases. All of the problems that can occur when growing Monster are due to improper care.
The sap of the plant contains poison.
Monster. Care of the plant | Advice from a 7Flowers biologist
Monster care at home
Monster needs plenty of bright light, but it must be sure to be diffused. Therefore, it is recommended to grow it on a western or eastern window sill. If the flower is on the south window, it will need shading from the sun, and on the north - it will not be enough light.
If you provide the plant with a sufficient amount of diffused light, its foliage will be large and with spectacular holes or slits. If there is little light, the new leaf plates will grow small and the aerial roots will be thin and weak. It is recommended to move the flower to a new place only as a last resort.
Grown in room conditions, the flower, does not need any specific air temperature. One peculiarity has been noticed: the warmer the room, the more vigorous the growth of the bush.
From spring to fall, the optimal air temperature for Monster is 20 to 25 degrees. During the winter, it is recommended to place the bush in a cooler place (16 to 18 degrees), but make sure the room is not colder than 10 degrees. The greatest danger to it is drafts in the fall and winter period.
Spring and summer watering should be abundant, it is done as soon as the top layer of substrate dries out. Soft, well-drained water is used for this purpose.
With the onset of autumn watering is gradually reduced, and in winter it is carried out only after 2 days from the drying out of the top layer of soil mixture. Remember that the plant reacts equally negatively to both over-drying the ground ball and stagnant water in the substrate. With regular overwatering, rot may appear on the roots and spots on the leaves.
Monster responds positively to systematic moistening from a sprayer, therefore, it is recommended to perform it without fail. Tetted water at room temperature is used for this purpose.
The foliage should be dusted off systematically with a moistened soft cloth.
As long as the bush is young, it may not be fertilized. To ensure that the growth of an adult flower is not slowed down, fertilize once every 15 days from the second half of the spring period to the end of the summer, using alternating organic and mineral fertilizers.
If growing at home, support the bush with a trellis or stick, or pull the foliage up with a rope. After the growth of an old Monster slows down, it is recommended to cut off the top to stimulate the growth of lateral shoots.
Air Roots grow from each leaf plate and must never be cut or cut off. It is advisable to put these roots in the same container as the flower itself or in an additional pot of fertile earth. This improves the nutrition of the entire flower. If these roots grow very slowly and do not reach the surface of the substrate in the pot, then it is recommended that they be tied with moistened sphagnum or immersed in a bottle filled with water. If desired, you can buy a plastic tube, which should be wrapped with dry palm fiber, several holes are made in it, and a nutrient substrate is poured inside.
The air roots of the flower should be directed into these holes. Droplets may form on the tops of the leaf plates on a cloudy day before it rains or in winter before it thaws.
Growing in natural conditions Monster is characterized by annual flowering. If the bush is grown at home, however, it will bloom very rarely. If it receives a sufficient amount of nutrients regularly, after a couple of years it will be able to produce a large inflorescence with monster flowers, which are arranged in a cream-coloured sheath on the cob.
When the fruit is mature, the sheath turns woody and falls off. The purple inflorescence is about 20 centimeters long and looks similar to a corncob. They form small, juicy fruits that are pressed together. They are very sweet and have an aroma that is both pineapple and strawberry-like.
For the first two years the young plant is transplanted every year, from 3 to 4 years once every 2 years.
When the bush is 5 years old, it is subjected to this procedure once every 3 to 4 years. However, the top layer of substrate in the pot should be replaced every year with a fresh one. For transplanting or planting young plants use a neutral or weakly acidic soil mixture (pH 5.5-6.0), which should consist of peat, turf and humus soil, and sand (1:1:2:1).
An adult bush should grow in a soil mixture with a pH of 6.5-7.0, which consists of peat, humus, sod and leaf soil, and sand (1:1:3:1:1). The pot should be taken large, with a good drainage layer made at the bottom.
Monster Variegata (Alba) seedling, transplanting and care at home.
The sap of such plant contains substances that cause mucous membrane inflammation and skin irritation. The juice of fruit that is not fully ripe can cause bleeding in the stomach and intestines as well as inflammation of the mucous membranes of the mouth.
Growing from seed
Sow monster seeds in a warm and well-lit place. The first seedlings should show within 30 days. The first leaf plates are juvenile, with no slits on them.
The first adult foliage forms at 5-8 months. After 2 years, the bush will have no more than four adult leaf plates and up to 5 juvenile ones. The seedlings are first pricked by planting them in individual pots, and then they are transplanted every year.
Cropping is done throughout the spring to early summer. Monster can be propagated by stem or apical cuttings, and also by lateral sprouts.
A cuttings is a section of the stem with 1-2 leaf plates. The cutting places are treated with charcoal powder. For rooting, the cuttings are planted in a separate pot, and from above it is covered with glass. At the bottom it is necessary to make a drainage layer of pieces of bricks, and then fill it with a two-inch layer of peat or humus soil, and then pour 20-30 mm of sand. Watering is carried out regularly in the morning and evening hours, and the air temperature should be 20-25 degrees.
After the cuttings grow roots, it is planted in an intermediate pot. After 3 or 4 years of overgrown bush transplanted into a tub or a larger pot. For the cuttings to take root more quickly, choose one that has airy roots.
Monster. Rooting monster cuttings.
Elder shrubs lose their decorativeness because their lower leaf plates fall off. For this reason, you can wrap the top 2 aerial roots with moistened moss or twine and fix them to the trunk of the flower. After the roots have grown roots, cut off a part of the trunk with 1-2 leaf plates and treat the cut with charcoal powder. Plant the cuttings in a pot and cover the roots and the cut area with substrate. The old shrub should also produce side shoots and become more vigorous.
If the Monster is not cared for properly or not given the proper growing conditions, it can develop problems.
- Leaves will drop off. If the light is too poor, the plant will begin to drop its leaves and its growth will stop.
- Stains on the leaves. Brown spots on the underside of the leaves can occur if spider mites are infested.
- Yellowing of the leaves. The foliage turns yellow if the Monster feels a lack of nutrients. The leaves can also turn yellow and rot due to regular stagnation of liquid in the substrate.
- Leaves turn brown. Leaf laminae turn brown and paper-like if the humidity level is too low or if the flower is very cramped in the pot.
- The colouring of the young leaf laminae is pale. If the light is too intense, the leaves will appear faded and yellow spots can form on the surface of the leaves.
- The bush will stretch out. If the monster lacks light, then its shoots become elongated, the stem curls up, and the new leaf plates grow faded and small.
- Leaves are solid.
Slits may not be present on the young leaf plates because the flower is experiencing a lack of light or nutrients.
- The foliage withers and flies off. If the foliage turns brown and withers before dropping, it means that the room is very hot. The foliage also falls off as it ages, but in this case it does not turn brown.
Aphids, scales, and spider mites most often settle on the monster.
Monster species with photos and names
Monster adansonii (Monstera adansonii)
This species is found in nature throughout the tropical belt from Costa Rica to Brazil. This liana can reach a height of about 8 meters. The slender ovate leaflets are 20-40 centimeters wide and 25-55 centimeters long. The entire surface of the plate has many holes.
When grown at home, flowering of this species is extremely rare. During flowering, a short peduncle appears on which a yellowish cob is formed; it is 8-12 centimeters long and 1.5-2 centimeters wide.
Monster Borsigiana (Monstera deliciosa borsigiana)
In natural conditions, the species is often found in Mexico. Its stems are thinner than those of Monster deliciosa, and the leaf plates are smaller (up to 0.
3 m across). The species grows well both in the home and elsewhere.
Monster deliciosa (Monstera deliciosa)
Generated this climbing liana from the humid and mountainous forests of the tropics of Central America. It can grow up to 1 kilometer above sea level. The young leaf laminae are heart-shaped and have a solid edge.
As they grow, the foliage increases in size (up to 0.6 m across), becomes leathery to the touch, strongly dissected and perforated. The cob, covered with a white sheath, is about 25 centimeters long and up to 20 centimeters wide. The flesh of the emerging fruit can be eaten, it has a pineapple flavor and aroma. The height of such a plant in a greenhouse can reach 12 meters, and at home - about 3 meters.
If the adult flower is properly cared for, it will produce flowers every year. There is a variegata variety: the foliage is mottled white and the plant itself is slower growing and more demanding in care.
Monster obliqua (Monstera obliqua)
Leither Monstera expilata (Monstera expilata) or Monstera falcifolia. This climbing liana is native to the tropics of Brazil and Guiana, and is found in humid forests. Whole elliptic or lanceolate leaf plates at the base irregularly oblique, their width about 6 centimeters and length up to 20 centimeters.
The petiole is no more than 13 centimeters long. During flowering, an eight-centimeter flower stalk grows on which a small-flowered cob about 40 mm long is formed.
Monstera pertusa (Monstera pertusa)
In nature, this climbing liana is found in the humid rainforests of America. The foliage is ovate in shape and resembles an elongated egg; it is about 0.9 m long and up to 0.
25 m wide. The leaf blade has irregularly shaped openings, and is unequal-sided (it extends more toward the lower part of the leaf). The cob is 10 cm long and covered by a white sheath, reaching 20 cm in length.
Monster - My favorite. Home care