To many, the monstera deliciosa is the quintessential houseplant, with its big green leaves, its signature fenestrations, and its leathery texture that makes it feel extra tropical and luxurious. This tropical plant has been a staple in homes for decades, as mature versions get quite large and can add lots of flair to an empty room corner or patio. But don’t be fooled – although it looks like a high-maintenance plant, monstera deliciosa care is actually quite simple, making it a fantastic houseplant for beginners.
In A Nutshell: Monstera Deliciosa Care
Overall, monstera deliciosa is one of the most easygoing and beginner-friendly plants. Compared to other tropical houseplants, monstera deliciosa care is simple and straightforward. Most monsteras are versatile with their conditions, meaning that they’ll continue to grow even if they aren’t in the perfect spot.
Here’s the basic gist of monstera deliciosa care:
- Difficulty: Very easy
- Optimal Conditions: A super bright windowsill (we have ours in a south facing window), lots of water in aerated soil
- Growth Speed: Moderate to fast
The Details: Caring for a Monstera Deliciosa
Moderate to very bright sunlight
Most gardening sources say that the monstera deliciosa thrives in bright, indirect light, akin to its tropical heritage growing under tree canopies. While monsteras definitely prefer bright light, these plants can adjust to a pretty wide spectrum of light scenarios.
Many of the monsteras that we’ve had throughout the years have done best in the brightest spots in our house…including a few hours of direct light each day. If you have your monstera in bright sunlight, be sure to keep a close eye for sunburn. One of the best ways to care for your monstera deliciosa is to give it as much light as you can.
On the other side of the spectrum, many monsteras will tolerate low light conditions for periods of time (though they definitely won’t be healthy or grow quickly!). An alternative to placing your monstera deliciosa by a window is to place it under grow lights. We’ve found that monstera deliciosa does great with grow lights, as long as they’re on for at least 8 hours a day!
Water when soil is dry to very dry, or when leaves begin to droop
True to form, we’re sticking with our typical watering advice: water a monstera deliciosa when the soil is dry. Many plants will do okay with a little less water for a day or two, but most plants will experience root rot (and potentially die) if overwatered.
The frequency with which you should water your monstera depends on the humidity, the amount of light, the pot type and size, and the soil substrate you keep it in. In general, water less in lower light, higher humidity, and thicker, less aerated soil. Water more in high light, low humidity, or chunky soil.
When you water your monstera, drench the soil completely, allowing water to pass through the drainage hole. Once the soil is fully watered, place your plant back in its spot until the soil is completely dry again.
Temperature & Humidity Needs
Prefers warm temperatures and high humidity, but will settle for less
Monsteras are tropical plants, so they’ll appreciate as much heat and humidity as they can get. However, like most of the other monstera deliciosa care tips we’ve shared, these amazing plants can adapt to a wide range of conditions.
Monsteras don’t like the cold. They’ll get very fussy at temperatures below 55°F, and will straight up die if they’re exposed to freezing temperatures. Normal home temperatures are fine for the monstera deliciosa, and they’ll be fine anywhere between 60-80°F.
Most monsteras are absolutely fine in ambient home humidity (30-60%), but if you live in a dry place, you may want to consider supplementing with a humidifier.
Soil & Potting Needs
Chunky, heavily aerated soil mix or semi-hydroponics
Like most aroids, monstera deliciosa grows on trees in the wild, and they prefer a soil that mimics the chunky, ragged feel of mossy tree trunks. We’d recommend a chunky aroid soil mix containing moss, lava rocks, orchid bark, perlite, and more. We’d recommend this peat-free soil mix (or make your own!) for optimal monstera deliciosa care. Read why we’ve gone peat-free with our soil mix.
Always plant monsteras in pots with drainage holes to prevent root rot.
Because of their sturdy, thick roots, we’ve found that monsteras also do really, really well in semi-hydroponic setups (like LECA or pon). We are freakishly obsessed with “semi-hydro” setups because they require less day-to-day maintenance (you can read here why we’re in love with LECA). Perfect for lazy plant parents!
Regular/minimal fertilization required
Monsteras aren’t picky with their fertilizer. We use a mixture of worm castings (mixed into our soil mix) and General Hydroponics nutrients for our monsteras, fertilizing at 25% strength once per month.
Repot when roots peek out of the drainage hole
When kept in optimal conditions, Monsteras will grow quickly, so you may find that you have to repot them once a year or more. Generally, if you see monstera’s roots poking out of the drainage hole, it’s time to repot.
Wilting Leaves: This could mean a lot of different things. The most common reason is that your plant is overwatered or underwatered. You’ll need to check the roots in order to verify which one. To prevent this, only water your plant when the soil is dry.
If your plant is overwatered, remove all rotten roots and repot in chunkier soil mix. If your plant is underwatered, pot it back up and water it.
Sunburn: Sunburn on a plant looks like black or brown splotches on the tops of the leaves. If you see this, take your monstera out of direct sunlight and place in a part of your home that has bright, indirect light.
Overfertilizing: If you apply too much fertilizer, the leaves may become crispy or brown. Dilute your fertilizer to 25% of the suggested amount to prevent this from happening.
Pests: Luckily, monsters don’t particularly attract pests. If you see any pests on your monstera, spray it down with neem oil and wipe off any pests immediately. Isolate any plants with pests to prevent spreading!
Fungal Infection: Yellow patterns or splotches on the leaves could indicate a viral or fungal infection.
Accidental Ingestion: Monstera deliciosa is unsafe for pets (or humans) to consume. Keep your monstera out of reach of children, pets, and unassuming adults to ensure it doesn’t get ingested.
Propagating Monstera Deliciosa
If you’re looking for a plant you can share with friends, the monstera is a great option. This plant is easy to propagate and has a high success rate when done correctly.
Monsteras require a node to propagate, and one of the most common methods of monstera propagation is via stem and node cuttings. There are a couple of ways to propagate monstera deliciosa:
- Water propagation: Putting a stem/leaf cutting with an aerial root into water to propagate.
- Substrate propagation: Putting a stem/leaf cutting in a planting substrate, like moss or perlite, to root and propagate.
- Air layering: Making small cuts in the plant stem to trigger root growth.
- Division: Cutting and separating the plant near the base where roots are growing.