I’m still a plant newbie (or a greenie, if I may) and so it was sort of important for me to get only plants that are easy to care for. My herbs were a bit of a challenge already, so I didn’t need a fussy large plant that would not only cost me money, but heartbreak as well. Of course, this plant would also need to be appealing to me and suitable for my home decor.
In my research, I found plenty of easy plants that were suitable for indoor placement, but less than half of those appealed to me. Fortunately, the trendy and beautiful monstera was one of the easier plants to grow. The only downside is that they are toxic to cats – but that’s a story for another post.
So what makes it the perfect beginner plant?
YOU DON’T NEED TO WATER IT OFTEN
There are 2 types of beginner plant owners – one who always forget to water their plant, and one who constantly overwaters their plant. Monsteras are great with occasional watering – this would depend on where you place it, and what your climate is like. I live in a tropical country and my monstera is placed indoors where we have the air-conditioning and humidifier on when we’re home and it gets bright, indirect light from my balcony door. This would mean that the soil would likely dry out in about a week’s time.
I experimented with weekly watering but my monstera began to transpire a lot – water droplets would appear on its leaves every morning. It’s not a big thing but to me, it seems like I was overwatering a little too much so I decided to water only every 10 days, with a bit of misting in between. This proved to be the perfect duration as it is thriving and producing new leaves.
THEY CAN BE LEFT ALONE IN ONE PLACE
As mentioned, my monstera is sitting next to my balcony door where indirect sun from morning to noon shines brightly on the walls. Direct sunlight is a no-no, so as long as an area is well-lit, you don’t need to move your plant around (except to maybe rotate it occasionally) and it will do just fine. Just remember to wipe the dust off its leaves once in a while, so it can photosynthesise.
ITS LEAVES CAN TRANSFORM (FENESTRATE)
Baby monstera leaves are like any other solid, heart-shaped, green leaf. However, as it gets to about 3 feet tall, a process called fenestration begins. Fenestration is the splitting of leaves which will first begin with small holes in the leaf that will eventually open itself up into a perfect split. However, as nature is weird, larger leaves will not fenestrate at all. This seems to be a constant complaint amongst monstera owners. I found a source which mentions that if you trim off the older, smaller leaves which are from the base, this will encourage the monstera to produce larger leaves, and facilitate fenestration. I’ve not tried it yet, but seems like an experiment I may try down the road.
EASY TO PROPAGATE
In other words, you can make more monsteras from one monstera plant. All you need is a pair of sharp scissors and cut the plant right below a node, place it in water and wait for the roots to grow a little before planting it back into soil. Very soon, you can have your own monstera-army. Detailed propagation instructions can be found at one of my favorite blogs here.
One more thing I have to add is that monsteras grow really quickly. In about a month of owning mine, he has given me 4 new leaves – 2 small, 1 medium and 1 large with fenestrations. They are very rewarding plants to grow, and it’s always exciting to see a new leaf roll poking out and then unrolling its pale green self open.
I hope you find this post hopefully and will join me in creating an army of monsteras – the world could use more monsters of this kind. 🙂