Variegated Monstera Care
Monstera Grow Tips:
Monstera can be rooted in either sphagnum, water or directly in potting mix.
Light: Indirect Bright Light. No Direct Sun, which can burn the plant.
Humidity/Misting: (At least 85% or more) This is the most important part to rooting monstera cuttings. Lightly mist cutting once a day. If the humidity around the plant gets too low for too long, the cutting will begin to shrivel and dampen off.
For Water rooting: Simply place the cutting in filtered water and place in a location with bright indirect light. Ideally keep the cutting upright and about half of the stem submerged. Regularly change the water. Roots will develop over the next few weeks. Do not add fertilizer to water when rooting. Transfer to potting mix when roots are developed.
Potting Mix Rooting: We typically plant cuttings directly into potting mix as the roots can develop throughout the soil and this gives the roots some aeration that water does not provide. Use a 6”-8” pot (preferably 6” — larger pots will dry more slowly). Plant the cutting with the bottom stem down into the soil up to where the leaf stem meets the “main stem” so that the top stem is out of the mix. If your cutting has an aerial root, it helps to have it planted into the mix. Water thoroughly after planting. Then water whenever the top of the soil begins to dry so that the cutting has consistently lightly damp soil while its rooting. Monstera is not picky about potting soil and will thrive in just about any peat or coir based potting mix found in your local garden center. Perlite may be added at 20-35% for better drainage if not already in the mix. The cuttings root easily on their own so rooting hormone powder is not necessary and may burn the end of the stem if too much is used.
MONSTERA “NODE” GROW TIPS
After receiving Node: Remove excess sphagnum from the top portion of the container. Keep enough sphagnum in the container so that half of the node is still covered. If desired, the top portion of the sphagnum can be saved for later use or replacing the bottom portion should it be needed.
Light, Humidity/Misting, Watering: Follow all of the “Basic” tips from above. Keep Sphagnum damp throughout rooting.
“Mini Greenhouse”: You can use the provided plastic container the node shipped in, as a little greenhouse to keep the humidity up for the node. This will help the node spike a new mainstem quicker. If you are going to seal the top on, it is recommended to poke/drill 5-10 holes into the top to allow for some air exchange. Every few days, its best to pour out any excess water and re-water the sphagnum with fresh water. Over the next few weeks, you’ll notice a new main stem emerge from the node. Once it is emerged 2” or more or the node has formed roots, the node is ready to be transplanted into potting mix or water to continue rooting.
Long Term Care Once Rooted:
Light: Indirect Bright Light for faster growth, but can tolerate and grow in Lower Light but growth speed slows.
Humidity: Ideally 60%-80% . But normal household humidity over 40% is enough to keep the plant happy.
Temperature: 65°F-85°F . Monsteras can handle temperatures of 50°F-65° but lower temperatures can stop/slow growth.
Water: Water thoroughly when the top of the soil feels dry. Then wait until the top of soil feels dry and repeat. Variegated monstera prefer lightly damp soil and as long as you don’t water already soggy wet soil, there is little chance of overwatering. Use a pot that has bottom holes to allow excess water to drain. Misting new unfurling leaves at once a day helps leaves unfurl without damage especially at humidities below 60%.
Repotting: Monsteras well-rooted can be incrementally up-potted (4” into 6”, 6” into 8”-12”, 8”-12” into 14”-16”, etc.). Guiding long aerial roots into soil can help provide the plant support. The monstera is not picky about potting mix and any draining indoor plant potting mix can be used. Choose a peat, coco coir or combo based mix that includes 20%-35% perlite, bark or other drainage/aeration material. Cactus or Orchid mixes are not advised since they dry out too quickly and variegation is prone to browning under drought conditions. Good professional potting mixes include: ProMix HP or MP, Berger BM6
Fertilizer: Every 2 weeks with All Purpose Fertilizer. We use Optimara Plant Food NPK 20-5-10 (can be found on Optiflora.com) for all our variegated monstera plants. Mix at the rate recommended on package. Increase fertilization if leaves yellow or if browning occurs on edges of leaves.
Browning Variegation/Leaves Causes: 1.) Water: Soil staying soggy wet for over a week?- Likely overwatering. Staying dry/drought for several days?- Likely underwatering. 2.) Light: Too much direct sunlight burning leaves. Too little light causing plant to struggle to grow. 3.) Nutrients: Plant not receiving a “complete” plant food/fertilizer?- Nutrient deficiency (overall health/variegation is supported by both “macro nutrients” (Nitrogen (N), Phosphorus (P), Potassium (K) and micro nutrients (Boron (B), Zinc (Zn), Manganese (Mn), Iron (Fe), Copper (Cu), Molybdenum (Mo), Chlorine (Cl)). The variegated monstera needs all these in order to stay healthy. Browning can also occur if a plant is getting more than the recommended rate or frequency of nutrients. 4.) Humidity: Low humidity below 40% can cause leaf browning especially in new unfurling leaves. Can be prevented with light daily mistings or a humidifier.