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How to care for your monstera, the most stunning houseplant of all

Tehrene Firman

Tehrene FirmanMay 7, 2020

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Photo: Stocksy/Lyuba Burakova

Of all the house plants, monstera deliciosa might just be the most stunning. A tropical plant native to Central America, the monstera species skyrocketed to popularity in recent years due in part to the fact that it’s actually quite easy to care for. Learning how to care for a monstera properly will ensure that it continues to unfurl its giant leaves for years to come.

How much light your monstera needs

No matter which type of light you have in your home, your monstera will probably do just fine. It can tolerate both low light and bright light environments. But if you really want your monstera to do well, finding somewhere in the middle of the two is key. Put your plant in a spot that gets bright, indirect sunlight, which enables optimal growing without being so sunny that it does your plant harm. When monsteras are in an area that’s too bright, there’s a chance you could burn the leaves. Not getting enough light, on the other hand, could stunt its growth.

How to water your monstera correctly

Monsteras are easy to water, and generally, doing so once a week will keep your plant happy. The key is making sure the soil is dry prior to watering. Before you water, stick your finger a couple inches into the soil. If it’s dry, you’re good to go. If not, wait it out. When you overwater the plant, its roots will be sitting in water—something that can cause the leaves to turn yellow, or worse, kill it due to root rot. Aside from regular watering, you can also mist your monstera in the morning a couple times a week, which ups the humidity (something tropical plants love!).

The right temperature for your monstera

Monsteras are tropical plants, so having the temperature in your home too low could do it harm. According to The Sill, the best temperature for a monstera is between 65°F and 85°F, and you should never allow the temperature to go below 60°F.

How to pot your monstera

In order to make sure your monstera stays healthy, you need to pot it correctly. According to Amanda Switzer, the plant expert behind Planterina, you’ll want to choose something with proper drainage holes. The easiest way to do that is to simply keep it in the plastic nursery pot you bought it in. “They have a lot of drainage holes, and the possibilities of them getting clogged are almost zero,” she said in a YouTube video. Simply put it in a decorative pot and you’re good to go.

If you do want to move it into another pot, she says you can either go with a teracotta or ceramic option. If you choose ceramic, she recommends making sure it has a decent-sized drainage hole and putting a little gravel at the bottom before potting it. “It elevates the roots from the potential of sitting in water in case the drainage hole gets backed up,” she says.

How to stake your monstera

As your monstera gets bigger, you might need to think about staking it. “They get really top heavy and start falling over,” says Switzer. She recommends using cedar poles, because the material won’t rot, or a very sturdy moss pole. Once the stake is in place, you can use plant ties to attach the monstera to it. In doing so, you’ll allow your plant to grow nice and full over the years.

Where to buy a monstera

Monsteras can be hard to find in person. Because of their popularity, spotting one at a greenhouse can feel like winning the lottery. If you don’t want to go on a treasure hunt, there are the best places you can buy the plant online.

1. The Sill, $56

how to care for monstera
Photo: The Sill

This plant might look small now, but it won’t take long for it to fill out. Plus, the price includes a handsome pot.

2. Lowe’s, $50

Photo: Lowe’s

Leave it to Lowe’s to have the biggest monstera plants for the best price. You can get this three-gallon pot and plant shipped straight to your home.

3. Bloomscape, $150

Photo: Bloomscape

This plant is pricey, but it’s a great size for your space. And think of all the mini monsteras you can propagate from it.

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