monstera obliqua

How to Grow and Care for Monstera Obliqua

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One of the easiest plants to grow indoors is Monstera obliqua, a cultivar of the Swiss cheese plant. This hardy house plant can tolerate a wide range of conditions and adds an interesting accent to any room.

With a little bit of care, your Monstera will thrive and grow beautifully! Read on for tips on how to grow and care for your Monstera obliqua.

Plant Facts

Scientific nameMonstera obliqua
Common namesSwiss cheese plant
FamilyAraceae
Plant TypeHouseplant
Height and Width4 feet tall (indoors), 6-10 feet tall (outside) 
OriginCentral and South America
Flower colorsN/A
Foliage colorDark green
Sun ExposureIndirect sunlight
Soil Type & pHWell-drained soil (such as peat or pumice)
Special featuresExtremely rare, prefers humid conditions

How to Grow Monstera Obliqua

Native to the rainforests of Central and South America, the Monstera obliqua is a tropical plant that is known for its large, deeply-lobed leaves. 

If you’re looking to add a bit of tropical flair to your home, then this is the plant for you! Here’s everything you need to know about how to grow Monstera obliqua.

Monstera obliqua does best in bright, indirect light. If you can’t provide this, then it’s best to grow it under fluorescent lights. It prefers high humidity, so mist it regularly or set it on a pebble tray. Water when the top inch of soil feels dry to the touch. Allow the soil to dry out somewhat between watering. Fertilize monthly with a balanced fertilizer during the growing season.

Here are more tips on how to grow it!

Propagation

One of the easiest ways to propagate a M. obliqua is by stem cuttings. Using a sharp knife or pair of scissors, take a 6-8 inch cutting from a healthy stem and remove the bottom leaves. 

Dip the cut end of the stem in rooting hormone and then plant it in a well-draining potting mix. Water the soil gently and place the pot in a warm, humid location. Keep the soil moist but not soggy, and in 4-6 weeks you should see new growth.

Once your M. obliqua has rooted and begun to produce new leaves, you can transplant it into a larger pot. Be sure to choose a pot that is only slightly larger than the current one, as Monstera plants prefer to be slightly rootbound. Water regularly and fertilize monthly during the growing season. With proper care, your M. obliqua will thrive for many years to come.

Soil

M. obliqua prefers a humid climate and rich, well-drained soil. The ideal soil for the plant should be loose and sandy, with a high organic content. Perlite is a good option, as is coco coir. 

Good drainage is essential, as the plant does not tolerate standing water.  It is important to water this green climbing plant regularly, as it will quickly lose its leaves if the soil becomes too dry. 

Pruning

M. obliqua is a fast-growing vine that can quickly become unmanageable if left unpruned. However, regular pruning is essential to maintain the plant’s health and encourage new growth. 

The best time to prune M. obliqua is in the spring, before new growth begins. First, cut back any dead or dying leaves. Next, trim any long or leggy vines, cutting them back to a length of about 12 inches. 

Finally, remove any diseased or damaged leaves. By keeping your runner plant well-pruned, you will encourage healthy growth and prevent potential problems down the road.

Repotting and Transplanting

M. obliquas are generally easy to care for and make excellent houseplants. However, they can become pot-bound quickly, so it is important to report them every one to two years. 

When repotting, choose a pot that is only one size larger than the current pot. These plants prefer well-drained, moist soil, so be sure to use a potting mix that contains peat moss or coir. 

Transplanting can be done at any time of year, but it is best to do it in the spring or summer when the plant is actively growing. 

How to Care for Monstera Obliqua 

The M. obliqua is a fast-growing plant and can quickly become overgrown if not properly cared for. When caring for this plant, it is important to give it plenty of space to grow. 

It should be planted in a well-draining potting mix and kept in an area with bright, indirect light.  

Here are some more tips for caring for this plant. 

Water

The plant grows best in humid environments and does not tolerate drought well. When watering M. obliqua, it is important to use lukewarm water and to water the plant at the base of the leaves, not from above. 

The roots of the plant should be kept moist, but not wet. Overwatering can cause the leaves to turn yellow and drop off. 

Sunlight

M. obliqua thrives in warm, humid environments and prefers bright, indirect light. Direct sunlight can scorch the leaves, so it is important to find a spot that receives bright light without being in direct sun. 

If you are having trouble finding the right spot in your home, you can try placing the plant near an east- or west-facing window.

When choosing the right location for this plant, remember that it is also important to provide support for the vines as they grow. You can do this by staking the plant or by attaching it to a trellis or other support. 

Temperature and Humidity

The ideal temperature for monstera obliqua is between 65 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit. The plant prefers high humidity levels and should be misted regularly to maintain a moist environment. 

Maintaining the proper temperature and humidity levels for your indoor plants can seem like a daunting task, but it doesn’t have to be. By taking a few simple steps, you can create an ideal environment for your plants to thrive.

Monitor the conditions regularly. This can be done with a simple thermometer and hygrometer. 

These devices will allow you to keep track of the temperature and humidity levels in your home so that you can make adjustments as needed. By monitoring the conditions and making changes as necessary, you can ensure that your rare plants always have the ideal environment for growth.

Make sure to provide a container with adequate drainage holes. Plants that are waterlogged are more susceptible to fungal diseases and pests. Second, try to maintain a consistent temperature. A sudden drop in temperature can shock plants and cause them to go into dormancy. 

Third, increase the humidity by misting the leaves or setting the pots on a tray of pebbles filled with water. You can also just use a humidifier to provide the necessary moisture to this delicate plant. Some people even grow it in the bathroom!

Monstera obliqua is a relatively easy plant to care for and makes an excellent addition to any indoor jungle.

Fertilizer

Fertilizing your M. obliqua  with the necessary nutrients is important to maintain its health and vigor. The best time to fertilize is during the growing season of this slow grower, which runs from spring to fall. 

During this time, you should fertilize your plant every two weeks with a balanced fertilizer that contains nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium. Be sure to follow the manufacturer’s directions on how much fertilizer to use, as too much can damage the roots and leaves of your plant.

In addition, it’s a good idea to flush the soil around your Monstera obliqua with water every six months to remove any build-up of fertilizer salts. By following these simple tips, you can keep your M. obliqua healthy and looking its best.

Pest and diseases

Monstera obliqua is a hardy plant that can tolerate a wide range of environmental conditions. However, it is susceptible to several common pests and diseases. These include aphids, mealybugs, whiteflies, spider mites, thrips, scale insects, leaf spot diseases, root rot, and stem rot. 

To help prevent these problems, it is important to choose a healthy plant from a reputable source. In addition, proper care (including proper watering and lighting) is essential. If you do notice any problems with your plant, isolate it from other plants and contact a professional for assistance.

Aphids & Mealybugs

Aphids and mealybugs are two of the most common pests that attack houseplants. Both pests are small, soft-bodied insects that feed by sucking plant juices. Aphids are usually green or black, while mealybugs are white or gray. 

While they may seem harmless, these pests can cause serious damage to your plants. Aphids and mealybugs can both spread diseases, and their feeding can damage plant leaves and stems. 

Whiteflies

Whiteflies are small winged insects that commonly infest houseplants. They are attracted to the leaves of plants, where they feed on the sap. This feeding can damage the plant and cause the leaves to turn yellow or white. Whiteflies can also spread diseases from plant to plant. 

In order to control whiteflies, it is important to inspect your plants regularly and remove any insects that you find. You can also treat your plants with an insecticide.

Spider Mites & Thrips

Spider mites and thrips are common pests that can infest houseplants. These tiny creatures feed on plant sap, causing leaves to yellow and wilt. In severe cases, they can even kill a plant. 

Both spider mites and thrips are difficult to control once they get established, so it’s important to take preventive measures to keep them from getting a foothold in the first place. The best way to do this is to inspect new plants before bringing them into the home and quarantine any that show signs of infestation. 

Once a plant is infested, it can be difficult to get rid of the pests. Often, the best course of action is to dispose of the plant and start over with a new one.

Scale Insects

Scale insects are very small pests that often go unnoticed until they have caused damage to a plant. They feed by sucking sap from the leaves, stems, and roots of plants, which can weaken the plant and make it more susceptible to disease. Scale insects can also produce a sticky sap called honeydew, which can attract other pests and cause mold to grow on the plant. 

There are several ways to control scale insects, including mechanical control, cultural control, and chemical control. Mechanical control involves removing the insects by hand or with a brush. 

Cultural control involves changing the growing conditions to make the plant less attractive to scale insects. Chemical control involves using insecticides, even organic options like neem oil, to kill the insects. 

Leaf Spot Diseases

Leaf spot diseases are common problems that can affect a wide variety of houseplants. These diseases are caused by fungi or bacteria that infect the leaves, resulting in small spots that may eventually spread to cover the entire leaf. Leaf spot diseases can also cause the leaves to yellow or drop off prematurely. 

While there is no guaranteed way to prevent these diseases, there are some steps that can be taken to reduce the risk. These include watering early in the day, avoiding overhead watering, and removing any affected leaves as soon as possible.

Root Rot & Stem Rot

Root and stem rot are two of the most common problems that can afflict houseplants. Both diseases are caused by fungi that attack plant tissues, causing them to break down. Symptoms of root rot include yellowing leaves, wilting, and stunted growth. 

Stem rot typically manifests as brown or black lesions on the stem, which can eventually cause the stem to collapse. If left untreated, both diseases can quickly kill a plant. 

The best way to prevent root and stem rot is to provide good drainage for your plants and water them only when the soil is dry.

If your plant is already infected, you may be able to save it by trimming away the affected tissues and improving its drainage. However, it is important to act quickly, as these diseases can spread rapidly.

Common Varieties and Cultivars

The genus Monstera includes a number of flowering plants that are native to tropical regions of the Americas. Within this genus, there is a great deal of variation in both appearance and habit. Of course, the most popular is M. obliqua. Other popular types of Monstera include:

  • Monstera adansonii
  • Monstera deliciosa

These plants are similar to others in the Araceae family in terms of their natural habitat (Central and South America, including Peru, Bolivia, Costa Rica, etc) as well as their ideal growing conditions indoors. 

There are a number of different cultivars of Monstera obliqua, which vary in leaf shape and size. 

Some of the most popular cultivars include ‘Variegata’ and ‘Albo-variegata’, which have variegated leaves with streaks or spots of white. 

Whatever the cultivar, Monstera obliqua is an easy-to-care-for plant that makes a striking addition to any home or garden.

Conclusion

If you’re looking for a beautiful and low-maintenance plant to add to your home, M. obliqua is a great option. With just a little bit of care, this plant can grow big and lush in no time. 

Ready to start shopping for your new plant? You can buy plants at many nurseries along with collector sites and specialty websites like eBay, Etsy, and more. 

Follow these simple tips to get started growing your own Monstera obliqua today!

*image by soniabonetruiz/depositphotos

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