Sometimes we all dream about an escape into a tropical paradise, far away from all the troubles and problems, where we could be one with ourselves, both body and mind.
Not all of us are wealthy enough to buy a one-way ticket and venture into the unknown, but you know what- that doesn’t prevent us from turning our homes into our very own corners of heaven.
And is there a better way to do so, than using nature’s most beautiful gifts- plants!
Allow me to introduce you to one of the best candidates for your green wonderland- Monstera epipremnoides.
What is Monstera Epipremnoides?
Endemic to Costa Rica, this fabulous looking flowering plant is a member of Araceae family and it’s perennial.
Just to remind you, plants from this family are monocotyledonous, and they are borne on a spadix, which is a type of inflorescence.
As far as the data show, there are currently 114 genera and approximately 3750 known species of this family, making it one of the most versatile in New World Tropics.
This one has thick, long, and sprawling stems, which are attached by the aerial roots. They aren’t aromatic.
You will often find people mixing it with other philodendrons because their foliage and color resemble a lot.
For example, if you compare it with M. Adansonii, you will spot the differences between the size, color, and perforation on the leaves.
On M. epipremnoides, foliage is larger, its color is lighter, and those gaps begin on the midrib, extending to the rims.
Some people call it Swiss Cheese Plant, but again, this nickname is commonly used for Monstera Adansonii.
Then, there’s Monstera Obliqua, and exotic looking plant with oval leaves and smaller holes, which don’t reach the edges.
This one is the rarest to find.
There are a lot of different types and these are some of the most popular Monstera plants.
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And what about those colorful ones?
Yes, those are variegated Monsteras, and they can make your home look like a tropical paradise if you know how to take good care of them.
M. epipremnoides has glossy and leathery leaves with oblong holes, some of which may extend to the margins of the leaves. Younger plants have leaves with no wholes, they are most often entire.
And speaking of the holes, you probably wonder if they have some specific role or they only make the plant look more decorative?
Having in mind that rainforests are their natural habitat, these holes help them endure the heavier rainfalls and winds.
Let’s say it’s a sort of protective shield for the plants.
And it’s interesting to mention that additional holes cannot be developed later in life, all these gaps come with the first foliage.
After a couple of years, it may seem like there are some extra gaps, but the truth is that as your plant gets older, stronger, and healthier, it produces leaves that have more holes than the ones back when it was younger.
Nature is wonderful, isn’t it?
As you can see, the list is endless- but what all of them have in common is a stunning look.
Now, let’s focus on the main star of our guide here- Monstera epipremnoides.
Adding more confusion to the whole story are some recent findings that actually claim that this sort is yet undescribed.
Though it’s often called and sold as M. epipremnoides, some believe that it’s probably a large-leaved type of M. Adansonii, so the new one is called Monstera Sp. “Esqueleto”.
To avoid further confusion, I shall refer to it as M. epipremnoides, until it’s officially confirmed.
Stay tuned to learn about its watering, light, temperature requirements, find out more about repotting and fertilizing, and many other useful tips.
Watering Monstera Epipremnoides
If you tend to forget things often, then I have great news for you, Monstera epipremnoides doesn’t need to be watered every day.
Jokes aside, but this is not one of those plants which need lots of water every day or several times a week- once is good.
Of course, check the soil before you water it.
If it is still wet, then wait for the next day, and check again. When watered more than it needs, its roots will begin to rot, and your plant will slowly die.
Checking the soil is quite simple, you just stick your finger inside and if around an inch below the soil is dry, then you can water it, if it’s not, don’t water it.
You pour until you see the water running through the holes. All excess liquid needs to run off, as this Monstera doesn’t like wet feet.
It’s very important not to use freshly poured tap water, as it contains fluoride which, in long terms, is toxic to the plant.
You can leave it overnight, and then water your plant the next day, but don’t do it immediately.
The best choice would be distilled water or rainwater if you can collect it.
If there’s one field where you can mess things up with your Monstera, then it’s watering, but if you follow these tips, both you and your plant will be happy.
Do they like humidity?
They thrive on it, so if you don’t want your plant to be sad, provide it enough humidity- all Monsteras like it.
Even if you live in the region where the climate is dryer, some simple life hacks can be of help.
For example, a pebble tray does the job perfectly and misting as well.
Plus, you can keep several plants in one room, and they will create some sort of microclimate and will generate humidity.
In case you still have the feeling that there’s not enough moisture, then humidifier will solve the problem.
What about Light Requirements?
This plant doesn’t like being overly exposed to direct sunlight. Its leaves will start losing the color and eventually they will get burnt if it receives more than 2 to 6 hours of direct light.
When in nature, this plant receives sunlight through the crowns of mature trees, which often results in variegation.
If you ask me, I’d say an east-facing window could be just the perfect place for your plant.
It will receive a couple of hours of direct sunlight in the morning, which is excellent because during that period the light is not too strong.
If you don’t have such a window, then some shades may help diffuse the light a bit, but then again, don’t make it too dark, it’s not good either.
What’s the ideal temperature for this type of Monstera?
Depending on your location, this plant can be placed outdoors as well, as long as it’s within this range- 55° to 80°F. Measured in Celsius, it around 13 to 27°C.
They are not overly sensitive like some other types of plants, so they can withstand mildly colder temperatures, but try to provide them the optimal range.
To make your plant thrive, it’s very important to locate it someplace where the temperature won’t fluctuate a lot.
If it goes up and down constantly, it will destroy your plant- even the sturdiest ones won’t be able to cope with it.
Keep in mind that your plant needs air, it needs to breathe, but it doesn’t need a draft, so make sure you accommodate it well.
So, it has to be an airy not drafty place, where the temperature is stable.
This is one of those plants which doesn’t tolerate soggy soil. If you leave it in such an environment, its roots will soon begin to rot, and that’s the scenario you want to avoid.
Therefore, you need a well-draining mix, so you can buy a mix for aroids- that’s another name for this family of plants.
This mix has a carefully chosen selection of ingredients that won’t retain water for too long but won’t dry out instantly as well. Those ingredients include a good quality potting mix, perlite, coco coir, and pine bark.
The most magical of all here is pine bark, as it enables airflow through the soil, minimizing the possibility for it to become soaked.
Plus, it’s an organic matter- is there a better treat for your plant!
Fertilizing Monstera Epipremnoides
This type of Monstera doesn’t require frequent fertilizing, but it does require a high-quality food.
Those cheaper products are often filled with heavy salts and they can damage the roots, which eventually results in a dead plant.
Feeding them three times a year is more than enough. You can skip fertilizing completely, and they will grow slower, but a tri-annual boost is just the right amount.
There are many different types of fertilizers, but I suggest a slow-release granular one so that the plant can receive the nutrients gradually.
Even if you spot those annoying salt build-ups, clean them and you can prevent further issues, but again- make sure you opt for a quality product.
If you select liquid fertilizer, pay attention to N-P-K, they should be balanced. Those letters indicate the amount of some crucial macro-nutrients- nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium.
Monstera epipremnoides likes magnesium (Mg), so pick one which comes with a good level of Mg as well.
Just follow the instructions for diluting, and don’t make “stronger” one just because you think your plant needs a heavy drink- no, it doesn’t.
Also, after you feed it, pour some water, to minimize the shock, and it will absorb the nutrients even better.
Monstera Epipremnoides Pruning
Pruning is an essential part of plant care, and you need to know when, why, and how it’s done so that your plant could develop properly.
Generally speaking, you prune a plant to remove the parts which are endangering its proper development, the ones that are dead or dying, in one word- anything that spoils the picture.
Sometimes you do so to establish control over its shape and size.
Now, if you had any doubts about why this one is called Monstera, a single glance at an unpruned plant will explain it to you.
If neglected, they do start looking a bit monstrous, and it’s not just a matter of physical appearance, but its health.
You need to help your plant get rid of dead or dying leaves, or in some situations, branches.
Having in mind that they can go as high as 10 feet when kept indoors and up to 30 feet outdoors, your main concern should be controlling its size.
The procedure itself is more than simple, what you need are some tools and time.
So, get some pruning shears or knife, but whichever you chose, make sure it’s sharp. If you use tools with blunt edges, you risk crushing or bruising your plant.
Don’t forget to clean and disinfect your tools before and after you use them. The bacterial or dirt residues can harm your plant.
Then, make a good pruning plan. It’s important to remove dead and disease leaves first, and you remove them at the base of the stem.
If there are some crunchy, burnt parts on the leaves, you can trim them and give your plant several days to recover.
In case you want to save some for propagation, then cut below the node.
Cut wisely to encourage the plant’s growth, and if possible, do so in the spring, during the active phase of development. This way the plant will recover faster, and continue to grow as before, or even faster.
Monstera Epipremnoides Repotting
Transplantation is usually done around every two to three years, depending on how fast your plant grows.
If you are doing so to refresh the soil a bit, you can use the old pot, but don’t forget to wash it. Even the tiniest particles can contain some bacteria, which could slow down your plant’s growth or damage it.
Also, you do so in the spring or summer, to follow its natural cycle of development.
One day before repotting you should water it, so to soften the soil, and have a more cooperative plant.
Fill approximately a third of the container with the soil and put the plant. Add the rest of the prepared soil and press it gently to make sure your plant stands firmly.
Then water it deeply and leave it be. It takes several days for it to get used to a new “apartment”.
Don’t fertilize it immediately, wait for at least ten to 15 days.
Selecting the perfect pot
It’s very important to find the right size container for your plant. It’s like when you are choosing shoes for yourself, neither small, not too large are suitable- it has to be just the right size to make you feel comfy.
If your plant has outgrown its current “residence”, you need to find a bigger one. It doesn’t have to be two or three sizes larger, the next one is more than enough.
That way you will promote the growth of the upper part of the plant, not the roots, and your plant will get used to a new home easier.
There are many discussions regarding the pot material. Some gardeners prefer plastic ones, as they are more durable, the others prefer porous ones like terracotta, as the soil dries out faster.
It’s an entirely personal choice, and everything is fine, as long as it fulfills the next criteria- drainage hole.
I’ve already mentioned that this plant doesn’t like to be soaked in water, so your pot needs to have multiple drainage holes so to avoid a soggy environment.
Monstera Epipremnoides Propagation
The most ideal time for propagation is spring because it’s the period when all plants grow actively. This way the mother plant will recover faster, and the same goes for cuttings.
When you propagate your plant, you need to cut the adult plant carefully to include a node.
Why is this so important?
Because that little nub will later become an aerial root, and it will help your plant establish firmly and continue to develop.
Also, it would be good to choose a stem with some leaves. I mean, it’s not impossible to establish a new plant from a stem which only has a node, but without leaves, but it may take a bit longer.
If you ask me, an ideal cutting should have one node (at least) along with 1 to 3 leaves.
Monstera epipremnoides Problems and Solutions
Even though plants cannot run, talk, or laugh, it doesn’t mean that they aren’t living beings with some specific emotions.
We can tell that our plant is happy if it has lush foliage, but as soon as we spot some yellowish or brownish parts or some unusual freckles, then we can assume it’s sad.
Lucky for you, there aren’t many dramatic situations involving this one, it’s more or less something that common sense would tell you to do.
Let’s see how to make your plant happier!
Leaves turning yellow and dry
This is the sign that your plant is getting too much direct sunlight- more than it needs. Move it to someplace where the light is more moderate.
In case the leaves are already dead or dying, you need to remove them, so to save your plant. Anyway, changing its location is crucial here.
Another reason could be excessive watering. They don’t like wet feet, don’t like being soaked, so rearrange your watering schedule.
Brown edges on the leaves
One of the signals is too much sunlight. These need to be trimmed so that your plant could develop properly.
The next reason could be dry air. Knowing that Monsteras like a humid environment, you need to make sure they have it. As I said, a humidifier can help a lot.
Then again, if your plant is not getting enough water, its leaves may turn brownish. Therefore, water wisely.
Roots are rotting
Again, a clear signal that you are watering your plant too much. If the roots are damaged too much, then try to find at least one healthy part to establish a new plant.
You can also try removing the rotten part and transplant it, perhaps you manage to save it. It’s worth trying.
Its growth stagnates
Ask yourself, how long has it been since you transplanted your Monstera? If it has been a while, then chances are its current pot is getting crowded.
The solution is quite simple, get a new container, and repot your plant, and after several days, you should notice significant changes. This especially goes if you transplant it during spring or summer.
Spider mites, leaf spots, and scale insects are some of the most common enemies. Some of them can be removed easily, by rubbing your plant with a mild water and soap solution, the others require some special liquids or pesticides.
In rare situations, there are some fungal problems, which can attack the roots. Those require fungicides but don’t worry, if you take good care of your plant, these happen rarely.
1. Does Monstera epipremnoides purify the air?
If we are to believe NASA, and there’s no reason we shouldn’t, this one is among top air-purifiers, so it will not only be an excellent decoration, it will remove various harmful particles from the air.
As the rule says, one plant with these properties is recommended for every 100 square meters.
2. Can I keep Monstera epipremnoides in my bedroom?
Absolutely yes. As long as all other requirements this plant has are met, you can keep one in your bedroom.
After all, when the air is purer, you will have much better sleep, right?
3. Is Monstera epipremnoides toxic to pets?
Unfortunately, the answer is positive- it is toxic to both dogs and cats.
As a matter of fact, the entire genus is labeled as toxic, so be careful where you place it.
4. Is Monstera epipremnoides poisonous to people?
The answer is the same here, it is mildly toxic to humans, so if you have little kids, make sure the plant is located out of their reach.
Some of the symptoms which could indicate poisoning include nausea, vomiting, difficulty swallowing, while pets could also drool excessively.
You know how they say-Rome wasn’t built in a day, and neither can a lush and enchanting home garden be.
It takes a little patience and a lot of care, and day by day, your tiny plantlets will turn into huge, healthy, and breath-taking plants, like the ones from marvellous tropical forests.
Where do you keep your Monstera epipremnoides?
Hit some comments below and share your thoughts with me!
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