Monstera Dissecta is a unique and beautiful plant that can bring a touch of the tropics to any home.
With its textured foliage and bright green leaves, this plant adds a vibrant twist to any room in your house.
It’s easy to care for, requiring minimal sunlight and water, making it perfect even for novice gardeners. Monstera Dissecta is sure to become an eye-catching feature in any space.
In this guide, we will explore the basics of Monstera Dissecta care, as well as things to avoid that may harm the plant.
|Scientific name||Monstera Dissecta|
|Other names||Monstera peruviana, Tornelia dissecta, or Monstera longipedunculata Matuda|
|Native||Central America and the West Indies|
|Growth zone||USDA 11b to 12|
|Growth size||4-6 feet tall|
|Growth rate||Moderate to fast|
|Flowering||During the growing season|
|Toxicity||Toxic to humans and pets|
|Common pests||Spider mites, Brown scales, Mealy bugs|
|Diseases||Southern blight, Bacterial leaf spot, Dasheen Mosaic Virus, Powdery mildew|
What is Monstera Dissecta
Monstera Dissecta are evergreen, fast-growing climbing tropical plants native to Central America and the West Indies.
It is a member of the Monstera family (Monsteraceae) and genus (Monstera). The plant grows up to 8 feet tall or more with its long, slender stems covered with large glossy leaves.
Its leaves are deeply dissected into irregular shaped lobes, giving it a unique and attractive look.
The plant also produces ornate white flowers in the summer, followed by edible fruits.
It is considered toxic to both humans and animals because it contains calcium oxalate crystals, which can cause a burning sensation in the mouth and throat.
How Do You Identify a Monstera Dissecta?
To properly take care of your Monstera Dissecta, the first step is to be able to distinguish it from other house plants. Here’s a guide on how you can accurately identify one.
How to Identify Young Monstera Dissecta
To identify a Monstera Dissecta, look out for any of the characteristics mentioned below.
- Leaf Shape: Young Monstera Dissecta leaves have jagged edges and deep lobes, giving them an almost paisley-like appearance.
- Color of Leaves: The leaves of a young Monstera Dissecta are typically bright green, with darker veins running through them.
- Size and Pattern of Veins: Veins on the underside of the leaf appear to be slightly raised, giving it a bumpy texture.
- Stem Structure: The stems of Monstera Dissecta are thin and covered in small hairs.
- Root System: The roots of the plant are thick and fleshy, growing outward from the stem.
- Fruits: Monstera Dissecta produces ornate white flowers that turn into edible fruits.
- Location and Environment: This indoors plants thrive in humid and tropical climates with plenty of space to climb.
How to Identify Mature Monstera Dissecta
Identifying a mature Monstera Dissecta is not too difficult if you know what to look for.
The leaf shape should be deeply dissected, with its typical Swiss-Cheese like pattern.
It should be an almost grey-green in color, and the veins should have a large diameter and bold pattern.
While the stem structure may vary depending on the circumstances, it will typically have a short internode gap with aerial rootlets — looks like antlers.
Additionally, it will have a thick network of roots that are very sensitive to the environment around them.
Lastly, it’s fruit will appear when the plant is planted in its natural tropical environment; though its fruit can also form under artificial conditions at home.
Monstera Dissecta Care Needs
Monstera are very easy to grow tropical plants that require minimal care. Here are some tips and tricks for taking care of your Monstera Dissecta.
The lighting needs of a Monstera Dissecta are important to understand when keeping one as a houseplant. Monstera Dissecta is a rainforest plant that needs the right amount of light to survive and thrive.
It hates direct sunlight, so it is important to understand their native habitats and provide bright to medium indirect light.
An ideal lighting environment for your Monstera Dissecta should be a warm spot exposed to indirect or slightly filtered light.
8-10 hours of optimal lighting daily is recommended; alternatively, you can use LED grow lights for 10-12 hours daily.
Also avoid direct sunlight since this can burn the leaves, causing unsightly spots that won’t recover.
Finally, it is not advisable to keep your Monstera Dissecta in full shade when first planting. With careful attention, your Monstera should have plenty of bright and healthy growth.
Signs Your Monstera Dissecta Needs More Light
- No fenestration on mature leaves – Fenestration is the characteristic holes and divots that older Monstera leaves develop. If you aren’t seeing this pattern in your mature leaves, it may be a sign that your Monstera is not getting enough light.
- Leaf discoloration – If your Monstera is not receiving enough light, the leaves may start to turn yellow or develop dark brown spots.
- Soil takes too long to dry – If your Monstera’s soil is taking too long to dry, it’s possible that it isn’t getting enough light.
- Slow growth rate – If your Monstera is not growing at a normal rate, it may be a sign that it isn’t receiving enough light.
- Leggy Monstera – If your Monstera’s stem is growing too long and thin, it may be a sign that it isn’t getting enough light.
How to Maximize Light Exposure?
- Rotate the pot every fortnight so that all sides of the plant get exposed to light and air.
- Keep Monstera Dissecta away from direct sunlight and cover the window with light fabric to filter sun rays.
- Find a well-lit spot like a patio, doorway, or window for your Monstera Dissecta.
- Place the pot 4-5 ft away from south-facing windows or east/westward-facing windows for morning and afternoon sun.
- Move your Monstera to a brighter location if you find that the leaves are discolored or not growing as fast as they should.
The Monstera Dissecta, an exotic and captivating houseplant, thrives when provided with the right balance of care, especially when it comes to watering.
Maintaining just the right amount of moisture in its soil is crucial for the health and vitality of this splendid plant.
Moderate watering, once every 1-2 weeks or so, should be sufficient to keep it thriving.
During its active growing seasons (summer and spring), it is best to water it once weekly to fuel its substantial growth, while in winter, when growth slows or becomes dormant, watering should be reduced to once every two weeks.
To ensure the optimal time to water your Monstera Dissecta, check the top 2 inches of soil for dryness using a finger test, the poke-a-stick method, or, preferably, a moisture meter.
A reading of 3 on the moisture meter indicates that it is time to water the plant.
- Water the Monstera Dissecta evenly and generously but avoid over-watering it.
- Allow the soil to dry between waterings and never let your Monstera’s roots sit in soggy soil for long periods of time.
- Use a container with drainage holes to allow excess water to drain away from the plant’s roots and help prevent root rot.
- Water with lukewarm water to avoid shocking the plant’s delicate roots and leaves.
- Finally, use a container that is slightly larger than the plant’s root ball to provide enough space for it to spread out its roots and grow bigger.
Signs of Underwatering
The signs of underwatering are pretty evident. If your Monstera Dissecta is not getting enough water, its leaves will start to yellow, become limp and droopy, and eventually fall off.
The soil may also appear to be dry and crumbly when you poke into it. If you notice any of these signs, it is time to water your Monstera.
Signs of Overwatering
On the other hand, overwatering your Monstera Dissecta can be just as damaging as underwatering.
If you notice that the leaves are wilting, turning yellow or brown, and the soil is soggy, it’s a sign that you are overwatering your Monstera.
You should also check the roots for any signs of root rot.
If you spot any of these signs, adjust your watering schedule and allow the plant to dry out between waterings.
The Monstera Dissecta are exquisite houseplant that thrives in tropical climates with moderate to high humidity levels and an ideal temperature range of 65-85°F (18-29°C).
These plants are relatively temperature-sensitive, and their growth slows significantly during frost and freezing temperatures.
Keep in mind that temperatures below 50°F (10°C) can shock and ultimately prove fatal for your beloved Monstera Dissecta.
Conversely, when exposed to extremely hot conditions above 90°F, the plant’s stem and leaves may dry out due to increased transpiration.
To maintain the perfect environment for your Monstera Dissecta, consider adjusting its care according to the seasonal temperature variations.
During wintertime, using grow lights can help provide adequate warmth and light for the plant, while in the warmer spring and summer months, your Monstera Dissecta can benefit from brief outdoor stays on days when temperatures remain above 60°F.
Signs of Unfavorable Temperatures
Here are the signs of unfavorable temperatures:
- Wilting or drooping leaves
- Brown, crinkly foliage
- Curling and yellowing leaves
- Slow growth or stunted growth
Humidity plays a significant role in the healthy growth and development of Monstera Dissecta plants.
While these tropical plants may thrive in regions with naturally warm and humid climates, maintaining an ideal humidity level of about 60%-80% is key for ensuring optimal growth in your home.
Having too little or too much humidity can cause damage to your Monstera Dissecta, which might be especially pertinent to consider during the winter months when heaters can dry out the air.
To accurately gauge the humidity levels in your house, consider investing in a hygrometer.
How to Ensure the Right Humidity Level?
Here are a few tips to ensure the right humidity level for Monstera Dissecta:
- Group plants together – placing your Monstera Dissecta with other tropical plants will help keep moisture in the air.
- Mist your plant – misting your Monstera Dissecta with lukewarm water once or twice a day can help increase the humidity around it.
- Use a humidifier – using a humidifier can help you keep the humidity levels in check, especially during the colder winter months.
- Place plants atop a pebble tray – put your Monstera Dissecta on a shallow tray filled with pebbles and then fill the tray with water to help increase the humidity around it. The water will naturally evaporate and increase the moisture in the air.
- Ensure proper ventilation – having a well-ventilated environment will help keep the air circulation optimal, reducing any fungal infections while keeping the temperature and humidity levels in check.
Low Humidity Signs
Some common signs of low humidity levels in Monstera Dissecta include wilting and curling leaves, yellowing foliage, brown leaf tips and edges, and dry soil.
All of these signs indicate that it is time to increase the humidity levels in your house.
High Humidity Signs
On the other hand, some common signs of high humidity levels in Monstera Dissecta include yellow-brown leaf spots and fungal infections like root rot and leaf blight.
These may be caused by waterlogging the soil or excessive misting of the foliage, so make sure to adjust the humidity levels accordingly.
The Monstera Dissecta, an exotic and beautiful plant, can make a stunning addition to any living space with its lush, expansive leaves.
When considering where to place your Monstera Dissecta, be sure to take into account the plant’s size and ensure the area has adequate space and the right conditions, as mature Monstera plants may grow to reach ceiling height or taller, with leaves measuring up to 3 feet.
Positioning the Monstera Dissecta near an east-facing window will provide the indirect light it prefers, enhancing its growth and overall health.
To further boost the atmosphere, consider applying Feng Shui principles, which can help to optimize energy flow in the room.
If your space has south or west-facing windows, shear curtains or fabric can be used to filter the light, ensuring a suitable environment for your Monstera Dissecta.
A north-facing window may not provide sufficient light, but could be worth trying if other options are limited.
Where Not to Place Monstera Dissecta in the Home
- Bedrooms as Feng Shui principles discourage this and other plants in bedrooms as they may interfere with sleep.
- Near radiators or air conditioning units, as the extreme temperatures produced by these appliances can damage your Monstera Dissecta.
- Too close to a window, as extreme temperatures can cause sunburn and leaf scorch.
- Avoid placing your Monstera Dissecta too close to other plants, as this could lead to competition for light and nutrients.
The Monstera Dissecta, a stunning tropical plant, thrives when provided with essential nutrients that support its lush growth and vibrant foliage.
While most potting soils come enriched with a mix of these nutrients, they typically get depleted within a span of 6 to 12 months. This is where the significance of fertilization comes into play.
By replenishing the depleted nutrients with a rich organic mix fertilizer, plant enthusiasts can ensure that their Monstera Dissecta remains healthy and lively.
Think of fertilizer as a vital supplement, similar to the vitamins we as humans consume for our overall well-being.
The nutrients that are essential for the optimal growth of Monstera Dissecta include nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, calcium, magnesium, sulfur, and trace elements such as iron, manganese, zinc, copper, boron, molybdenum and chlorine.
Frequency & Dosage
It is recommended to fertilize Monstera Dissecta once a month throughout the growing season, from spring until fall, using a diluted solution of any water-soluble fertilizer.
The recommended dosage for Monstera Dissecta is to dissolve one teaspoon of fertilizer in a gallon of water and use one-third of that solution to water the plant.
It is also essential to ensure that you do not over-fertilize as it can damage the roots and cause nutrient burn.
What Fertilizer is Best for Monstera Dissecta
Best choice – Balanced Liquid NPK fertilizer of 20:20:20 ratio or 10-10-10 ratio
Organic fertilizers like compost, mulch, fish emulsion are also great for Monstera Dissecta. However make sure that the organic fertilizer is well-balanced with major nutrients (NPK) and trace elements.
- All indoor and outdoor plants, tree, vegetables and surf
- It feeds both through the roots and the leaves. This formula of nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium provides fast green-up and rapid leaf expansion
- Indoors it is especially effective on foliage plants, keeping leaves green. A proven performer in the vegetable garden for generations
How to Apply Fertilizer
Here is a step-by-step guide to apply fertilizer to your Monstera Dissecta:
- Dissolve the required amount of fertilizer in a gallon of water
- Water the plant with one-third of that solution
- Monitor for signs of nutrient burn or over-fertilization
- Repeat the process once a month throughout the growing season (spring to fall)
Pruning your Monstera Dissecta is an essential practice to maintain the overall health of this vibrant houseplant while keeping it looking its best.
By trimming older foliage, you prevent potential infections like stem rot and manage the plant’s size to ensure its optimal growth.
The best time to prune Monstera Dissecta is during early spring when the plant is preparing for its high growth period, allowing for faster recovery of the trimmed areas.
In contrast, it’s best to avoid pruning during the period of dormancy, typically in winter, as limited sunlight hinders the plant’s ability to generate glucose needed for growth.
Before you get started with pruning your Monstera Dissecta, make sure to gather the right tools, such as protective gloves and pruning shears, so you can handle the task with ease and precision.
How to Prune Monstera Dissecta
- Before you start, make sure to gather all necessary tools and wear gloves to protect your skin from possible irritation caused by the monstera sap.
- To prevent introducing any bacteria to your plant, always remember to sterilize your cutting tools as well.
- As you evaluate your Monstera Dissecta, focus on cutting old or diseased leaves to maintain overall plant health, as this can be done at any time of the year.
- Controlling the size and shape of your plant is also essential, so determine which stems to prune accordingly.
- If your plant seems to be outgrowing its pot, consider trimming about ⅓ of the roots to maintain its size.
- Don’t forget to address unsightly aerial roots by trimming them for a more visually-appealing appearance.
- Lastly, if you’re interested in propagation, be sure to cut below a node to ensure successful growth of your new plant.
Common Mistakes to Avoid when Pruning Monstera Dissecta
- Not sterilizing tools before pruning, which can lead to introducing bacteria and potential infections.
- Pruning during the winter period when there is less light available for the plant’s glucose production process.
- Trimming too much of the root system, as this can stunt or slow down growth.
- Neglecting to prune old or damaged leaves, which can impact the overall health of your plant.
- Cutting above a node when propagating, as this can prevent successful reproduction.
Propagation is a great way to multiply your Monstera Dissecta and add vibrant greenery around your home.
To successfully propagate your plant, you can either separate the offshoots or divide the root system.
If dividing the root system, make sure to use a sharp and sterilized knife, as any bacteria can cause infections.
When it comes to the offshoots, cut below the node and dip in a rooting hormone to promote new growth.
Place the stem in moist soil and mist regularly until you see new leaves emerging from the stem.
You can also propagate Monstera Dissecta through air layering, which consists of creating a wound on the stem and covering it with moist sphagnum moss.
Once you see new leaves emerging, carefully cut the stem below the wound and plant in soil.
Potting & Re-potting
Repotting your Monstera Dissecta is a pivotal aspect of nurturing its growth and maintaining its health.
This eye-catching plant may thrive in its initial container, but as time progresses, it can outgrow its space and become constrained, which is where repotting comes into play.
By transferring your Monstera Dissecta to a larger pot, you allow its roots to expand and prevent the plant from becoming root-bound.
Additionally, repotting offers an opportunity to refresh the potting mix, which can replenish essential nutrients needed for optimal growth.
Timing is key when it comes to repotting your Monstera Dissecta. For young, rapidly growing plants, it is advisable to repot annually, whereas mature plants can be repotted every 2-3 years.
To determine if your plant requires repotting, look for signs such as diseased plants, which should be repotted immediately, and those whose roots are spreading through the drainage holes, indicating a need for more space.
How to Pot & Repot Monstera Dissecta Step by Step
Supplies & Equipment
- Pruners or scissors
- Potting mix
- Rooting hormone (optional)
- Pot for monstera
- Plastic liner (optional)
- Moss pole for monstera/ stake (optional)
- Gather the necessary supplies and equipment needed for repotting your Monstera Dissecta.
- Prune away any old or diseased leaves and stems to maintain the health of your plant.
- Trim the roots that are protruding out of the drainage holes, taking care not to cut away too much.
- Gently remove your Monstera Dissecta from its pot and inspect if it has a well established root systems to assess whether it needs repotting.
- Prepare the new pot by placing a plastic liner or moss pole inside for support, if needed.
- Fill the pot with a layer of fresh potting mix and place your Monstera Dissecta at the center.
- Backfill with potting mix around the root system and press firmly to ensure the plant is secure.
- Water thoroughly and mist the leaves to compensate for any moisture lost during the repotting process.
- Place your repotted Monstera Dissecta in a bright, indirect location and ensure that the potting mix is kept damp.
- In case of any root rot or pests, treat the plant with a suitable fungicide or insecticide and monitor its progress.
Soil Drainage and Aeration
Cultivating a thriving Monstera Dissecta plant requires a keen understanding of soil drainage and aeration, two crucial components that significantly impact the plant’s overall health.
To create the ideal soil mixture for your Monstera Dissecta, look for well-draining soil enriched with organic matter.
A light, non-densely packed soil allows optimal drainage, which is further facilitated by soil aeration, as it supplies the roots with much-needed oxygen.
Additionally, maintaining the correct soil pH, preferably between 5.5 and 7, will enhance nutrient uptake. You can raise the pH by adding lime, or lower it by adding sulfur if needed.
Ensuring the soil remains slightly damp is vital, and utilizing a Monstera specific soil will aid in retaining the correct amount of moisture.
Best Commercial Potting Mix for Monstera Dissecta
Here are some top recommendations
Premium Monstera Potting Soil
- PREVENTS BROWN SPOTS, ROOT ROT, AND DROPPING LEAVES Created to provide well-draining soil using organic aged bark, coco coir, and perlite to maintain an optimal balance of water and air for your monsteras.
- SUPPORTS INCREASED GROWTH AND STRONGER HOUSEPLANT HEALTH Specially formulated with nutrients including IBI-certified Biochar, which increases the retention of nitrogen, phosphorus, and other essential plant nutrients so your plant can grow bigger and stronger.
- PROTECTS AGAINST OVER AND UNDER WATERING Developed by The Houseplant Resource Center, our soil mix provides the perfect balance of water retention and drainage so that you can take the guesswork out of watering your monstera.
- CERTIFIED STERILE AND NON-TOXIC Each bag has been sterilized to protect your plant that can lurk in other soils. Enjoy a resealable bag for easy storage.
- PERFECT FOR ALL AROIDS Created for aroids including monstera, our soil mix is perfect for all aroids and monstera including Monstera Deliciosa, Monstera Albo Borsigniana, Monstera Variegata, Monstera Adansonii, Monstera Pinnatipartita, Monstera Dubia, Monstera Siltepecana, Monstera Obliqua.
Sun Gro Horticulture Black Gold 1310102 8-Quart All-Purpose Potting Mix
- A slow-release complete fertilizer is added to give plants a strong start
- Made with Canadian sphagnum peat moss with worm castings, forest humus, and pumice
- This product is made in United States
- Now with MultiCote controlled release fertilizer
- A multi purpose, nutrient rich mix that's ideal for all plants
Common Problems with Monstera Dissecta
Though Monstera Dissecta is a relatively hardy plant, it can be vulnerable to a variety of pests and diseases if not properly cared for. Some common issues include:
While this tropical plant remains somewhat safeguarded, it can occasionally fall prey to common pests such as spider mites, scale, thrips, and fungus gnats.
These pests share a common interest in Monstera Dissecta as phytophagous insects, which means that they feed on plant sap and tissue, ultimately causing damage.
Spider mites, for example, can cause discoloration and leaf damage, while scale insects can lead to a weakened plant structure, and thrips can carry viruses harmful to the plant.
Fungus gnats, on the other hand, pose a threat to the plant’s roots if left uncontrolled.
Diseases & Fungal Infections
Fungi and bacteria are also common culprits when it comes to Monstera Dissecta problems.
Common fungal infections include root and stem rot, leaf spots, and powdery mildew.
These issues can be caused by overwatering or humidity that is too high, resulting in a damp environment.
To prevent fungal diseases, make sure to monitor the soil moisture and apply fungicide if needed.
Additionally, clean up any fallen leaves or debris and prune away any dead or diseased leaves and stems to maintain the health of your plant.n
Suggested Uses for Monstera Dissecta
Monstera Dissecta is a good indoor plant option with many benefits.
- Monstera Dissecta can be used as a decorative houseplant in hanging baskets, or even as a trailing plant, to add texture and depth to your home.
- In addition, its air-purifying qualities make it a great choice for the bedroom or living room.
- It also does well in terrariums or even as an outdoor patio plant.
Where To Buy Monstera Dissecta
Consider purchasing your Monstera Dissecta from a reputable online plant store that offers local UPS ground shipping, they guarantee plants that are in good health and are well packaged.
However, note that shipping and handling fees may apply. When it comes to shipping plants, find a retailer that carefully packages plants so they arrive in good condition.
Remember that shipping plants enclosed in a box can take longer than other items due to the care needed to ensure successful delivery.
Some of the retailers that offer Monstera Dissecta include, Esty, Carousell.sg, Ebay and Amazon. Plants shipped from distant locations can take 10-14 days to arrive and require special care upon arrival.
These longer-shipping plants may be more expensive than those purchased locally, so consider purchasing from a local nursery or plant shop.
Therefore, it’s recommended that if you want to ship plants, you find a local retailer to help you receive the plant in a timely manner and at a cheaper cost. For example, florida usa shipping rate will be different than california usa shipping rate.
Once the plants arrive, inspect them for bugs or signs of disease and gently remove any damaged leaves.
What to Avoid When Growing Monstera Dissecta
When it comes to caring for Monstera Dissecta, there are a few things you should avoid:
- Overwatering: it’s essential to allow the soil to dry out between waterings. Too much moisture can lead to root and stem rot.
- Poor drainage: make sure your potting mix has good draining properties and provide adequate airflow to the roots.
- Excessive fertilizer: applying too much fertilizer or using a fertilizer with an incorrect ratio of nutrients can damage the plant’s root system, leading to stunted growth.
- Too much direct sunlight: Monstera Dissecta prefers indirect light and a medium amount of humidity. Too much direct sunlight can cause the leaves to yellow and drop.
- Low temperatures: this tropical plant is sensitive to cold temperatures, which can cause root rot or death of the entire plant.
With its unique foliage, Monstera Dissecta is an attractive houseplant that will bring life to any living space.
However, to ensure your plant lives a long and healthy life, it is important to understand the right soil conditions, water requirements and pest control methods needed for proper care.
By following these guidelines, you’ll be well on your way to a lush, thriving Monstera Dissecta indoors. Good luck.