One plant in particular that is glad to see the arrival of Spring in my Monstera adansonii. Of course, I’m pretty sure all my houseplants are enjoying the beginnings of warmer temperatures but this plant really does not enjoy the cooler part of the year. I’ve had my adansonii for a few years now + I think I’ve really got to grips with how to keep it from getting yellow +/or crispy! Please know that it’s quite normal to take time to get to understand your plant’s needs + don’t stress if things don’t click into place right away. Furthermore, your plant will take some time to adjust to your specific environment so patience is key here.
I always feel that after a year of experiencing the seasonal shifts, temperature fluctuations + finding the right location for your plant, you can move into the second year of care with more confidence. Learn from your mistakes + as I said in the Getting your houseplants ready for Spring blogpost, note any observations of things that were beneficial/ problematic for specific plants in your collection. For example, two winters ago, I was overwatering my monstera adansonii just a little over winter + had positioned it somewhere slightly too bright. The changes I made during the colder months were subtle but they definitely helped.
When repotting this plant last Summer, I chose to add in a coir pole as a support for the foliage to grow up. As you can see, I haven’t secured the stems much yet, I wanted to let the plant get a little longer + settle into its new pot. I loosely positioned the stems around the pole + everything has been growing nicely – I like these coir poles because as you might notice from the photo below, multiple poles easily interlock so can be extended as your plant grows without the need to completely disturb the climbing stems.
For these plants to thrive, indirect light is best. If the light is too intense, the thin foliage has a tendency to go crispy in normal household humidity; the leaves are much more delicate than monstera deliciosa for example. After some experimenting, I found that the best positions were a few metres away from a south facing window, or around 2 metres away from a west facing window as you can see in the photo below:
A position that is too dark will mean that growth will generally slow, the stems can get leggy + the foliage will decrease in size.
These plants often suffer from being overwatered because they actually like to dry out between waterings! The frequency at which you water will of course be dependent on your household conditions, however if you find yourself struggling with keeping the monstera adansonii happy, it’s pretty likely to be a watering issue.
In terms of fertilising, I feed my plant around every 2-4 weeks during Spring + Summer with a balanced houseplant feed + it responds well. In terms of care, I’d probably liken this plant to my Tradescantia fluminensis tricolour – it has similar leaf thickness + also likes to dry out between waterings. Another common care element is humidity + leaf care…
Most adansonii grow well in a typical household environment, but if you are able to increase the humidity around this plant by placing it in a bathroom or using a humidifier you will see positive results – larger leaves + steady growth. I would love to have one of these in my bathroom I think – I might make a hanging plant from propagating cuttings (more on this later) that trails off my shower pole – I think it would look great! If you do choose to put yours in your bathroom just be aware to keep well away from radiators + open windows.
Keeping those unique leaves looking their best can be a bit of a challenge due to their paper-like nature. Since putting the stems around this coir pole, I made a conscious effort to shower the plant regularly which definitely helps to keep the foliage free from dust. This in turn helps prevent bugs from getting too comfortable on your plant so will help it to be strong + healthy.
I usually tailor-make my potting mix depending on what my particular plant needs… I don’t always have the exact things available so its often a case of making the best concoction from what I have. I don’t have much storage space for bags of compost etc (how I would love a garden shed!). I like to use a peat-free mix with added pumice (or perlite) and some orchid bark to create an airy + light, free-draining mix. Anything too dense is a no-no for this monstera.
If you have your monstera as a trailing houseplant, you will notice that after time, the top of the plant can start to look a little bare. To create a fuller look, take some cuttings from your longest stems + chop up to propagate them. You’ll want to cut either side of where the leaf joins the stem (in the same way that you would propagate a pothos plant) using a sterile blade. You might notice a little node there, or an aerial root starting to form – either place in water to root for a few weeks or plant directly into soil. If water propagating, wait until the roots have become a few centimetres long before potting on. It can take the plant a little time to adjust to the transition from water to potting mix, so pay extra attention at this point.
My next job with this plant is to check the roots to see how things are looking ‘under the surface’ then I will set about disentangling these stems. I need to add another coir pole into the existing one + curl the plant around it; I use soft ties or velcro grips to hold things lightly in place. These lovely leaves do appreciate having something to cling onto so I’m hoping for some nice growth this year!
Hope this post helped. Stay safe + stay home —