Monstera (60 photos): types, features of care
For about a century and a half, a bizarre and extravagant monstera has not gone out of fashion with flower growers, but why? For many years, an unusual plant was considered a predator because of the dangerous appearance of its large and sprawling rugged leaves. European sailors, who first fell into the rainforests, considered them intimidating. But soon lovers of exotic beauty were found, and now the monstera adorns many apartments and houses. And we will tell you how to care for her!
Monstera is a unique tropical centenarian who has taken root in our apartments and houses for so long - as if he had always been here. An evergreen liana captures American wet forests and stretches for ten meters. Even in room conditions, some varieties easily grow to 3-5 meters.
Back in the 18th century terrible legends appeared about killer plants found by sailors and travelers. It was believed that after meeting with forest monsters, nothing will remain of a person or animal except a skeleton. And the roots and shoots hanging from the trees can sprout right through the body.
Later these myths were debunked by nerds when the monster was first brought to the UK. And in the mid-19th century, the Danes, Liebman, even published a whole collection devoted to South American vegetation. At first, the monster was mistakenly identified as the Philodendron, but was soon assigned to a separate category.
The unique feature of the monstera is that it easily continues to live even without contact with the soil. Such plants are called epiphytes and take root completely on other trees. Epiphytes do not belong to parasites, because they do not receive any nutrients from the “parent”, except for physical support.
Tropical monstera is a flowering plant, but it is difficult to achieve flowering even in greenhouses: in the apartment you are unlikely to succeed. Its large white flower resembles a sail, and eventually turns into the same large purple fruit. In some varieties of monstera, these fruits are even edible, in particular, in the delicious.
Types of Monstera
There are about 50 species of luxurious evergreen monstera in the world, but in our latitudes only a few of them are mainly grown. They are valued for their beauty, decorativeness, elegance, for their beneficial effect on indoor air.
The most popular home-made variety is also called the sickle-shaped or monster expilatus. In the middle latitudes, it came from the Brazilian and Guiana tropics, but is also found in other moist forests. Compared to large relatives, this vine is rather small: the leaves grow to 20 cm. But this compensates for the long peduncle with a large flowering cob up to 4 cm.
Monstera is delicious
The second common variety came to the European continent from the forests of Central America. In the natural environment, a giant liana can grow per kilometer, in greenhouses - up to 12 m in height, and in apartments - up to the ceiling. This is a rare variety whose flowering can be achieved at home, if the plant is properly maintained.
Young leaves of a delicious monstera first appear whole and heart-shaped, but over time their shape changes and dissections appear. The peel becomes tougher and coarser, against which graceful white flowering cobs stand out. There is a special variety of delicious monstera with whitish leaves, but it is more moody and demanding to care for.
This is a thinner and more delicate variety that feels great in apartments and offices. It is smaller and more elegant than the classic gourmet monstera, and leaf plates grow to 30 cm. In nature, the species is often found only in some regions: especially in Mexico.
Climbing liana with ovoid leaves made its way into houses and apartments directly from the American tropics. It reaches a meter in height, but at the same time remains unequal, with expanding leaves. The plates are covered with asymmetric and uneven holes, making the flower look especially unusual.
One of the most original varieties is notable for the structure of the leaves: they are not cut, but strewn with many holes over the entire surface of the plate. In the natural environment, it lives in Brazil and Costa Rica and reaches 8 meters in height, and large leaves reach 50-55 cm. During flowering, a yellow cob forms on a short peduncle, but this is almost impossible to achieve in an apartment.
Before you get a monster, keep in mind that even in an apartment, a tropical giant grows to an impressive size. So be sure to make sure that she allocates enough space in the room.
Like its tropical relatives, the monstera loves a warm climate and does not tolerate winter frosts. Make sure that the temperature in the room does not fall below 16 degrees, and in the summer it easily tolerates even 25.
Spreading and magnificent monstera, contrary to popular belief, does not require too much sun, and direct rays leave burns. She tolerates shaded areas well, which is why she has taken root in apartments. But keep in mind that if there are too many shadows, the leaves will grow paler, smaller and not with such deep cuts.
But the monstera needs as much water as possible, because soft and warm tropical showers will have to be replaced on their own. The flower needs abundant watering, but do not water the soil. It’s easy to notice from the monster that something is wrong: if there is too much moisture, she “cries”: the drops are collected simply on the leaves.
Do not forget about spraying, without which in the heat the leaves dry out and turn yellow. Wash the plates with warm water to remove dust and dirt from them, but use only soft water, otherwise there will be whitish spots. In winter, reduce the intensity and frequency of water procedures, but do not give up on them completely.
Fertilizers and fertilizing
Monstera is a powerful and strong plant with large leaves, therefore, for its appearance, top dressing during active growth is important: from mid-spring to the end of summer. You don’t have to reinvent the wheel: specialized mixes for decorative deciduous species are suitable. But in winter it is undesirable to fertilize a monster, otherwise it will begin to grow more actively, but the leaves will be sluggish and weak.
The tropical guest does not need regular pruning, but as a vine she needs support for growth. If you want to form a spreading and voluminous plant, cut the stem once or twice at the very beginning.
The peculiarity of the monstera is in a large number of long and strong air roots, with which it tries to fix on the base. Travelers used to take them for the tentacles of tropical monsters. But in reality they are very delicate and delicate, therefore they require careful handling.
As it grows, all subordinate roots are recommended to be rooted in a pot, otherwise the flower can grow even to the protrusions and roughnesses of the wall. And then remove it carefully, so as not to damage, it is almost impossible.
Planting and breeding monstera
Like other vines, it is easiest to propagate the monstera with cuttings: it quickly takes root in almost any environment. Cut off the top or use any stem stalk with several leaves. Just be sure to cut it below the air root: a complete root system will develop from it.
Monstera is growing rapidly, so periodically it needs to be transplanted: every 1-1.5 years. But keep in mind that with all its might, the flower is very fragile and delicate, so you need to handle it carefully. Large and sprawling 5-year-old monsters stop replanting so as not to damage: it is enough to update the top layer of soil.
Pests and diseases
Monstera is rarely sick and almost all problems are associated with improper care: abundance or lack of moisture. If the leaves grow small and without cuts, the flower does not have enough light, and if spots appear below, it indicates an overflow. A brown color indicates a lack of moisture or a tight pot, and a pale color and yellow spots indicate excessively intense lighting.
On the succulent leaves and stems of the monstera, scale insects, aphids and spider mites appear. But getting rid of them is quite simple: treat the plant with special insecticides.
Keep in mind that the juice of some varieties of monstera contains substances that are aggressive to humans. They can cause irritation of the skin and mucous membrane, so be sure to find out the features of your species and handle the flower carefully.
Monstera - photo
Monstera is certainly one of the brightest tropical plants that can easily be grown in an apartment. One flowerpot is enough to create a cool and cozy green corner. Make sure with your own eyes!