Today, we’re going to chat about one of the most captivating houseplants you can grow – the Monstera obliqua (also known as the Peruvian form). With its mesmerizing, hole-y leaves and lush green shades, this houseplant is a serious conversation starter.
Now, this isn’t just any ol’ houseplant. It’s been turning heads in the plant world for the past five years because of its rare and unique appearance.
Trust us, once you’ve laid eyes on this plant, you’ll never forget it.
So, are you ready to learn the ins and outs of Monstera obliqua care?
Not only will we give you a friendly rundown of everything you need to know (from propagation to troubleshooting issues), we’ve got all the technical details covered too (like those cool fenestrations – aka holes in the leaves).
Monstera Obliqua Plant Care Guide
History, Habitat, and Characteristics
Have you ever stumbled upon a Monstera obliqua, a plant that looks like it’s been playfully nibbled on by the world’s tiniest plant-eater?
Hailing from the tropical rainforests of South America where you can find this green climbing plant making its way up small trees under the tropical canopy, Monstera obliqua has become an eye-catching superstar with its unique and delicate foliage fenestrations (a fancy term for those delightful holes in its leaves).
With varieties like the Monstera obliqua Peru, Monstera obliqua Bolivia, and Monstera obliqua Amazonas form, this plant sure knows how to keep things interesting. In fact, the very first specimen, called the holotype, was collected in Suriname!
(We’ll cover these varieties in the next section.)
Fun fact: Believe it or not, Monstera obliqua’s meteoric rise to stardom only happened in the last few years. Thanks to its eye-catching leaves and mesmerizing hole patterns, it’s become an Instagram-worthy sensation.
The most popular variety of Monstera obliqua is the Peru form. It’s the one you’ll see gracing the pages of plant magazines and popping up in friends’ living rooms.
Who wouldn’t want to show off those lush obliqua leaves and intricate holes?
Some popular varieties include Monstera obliqua Peru, Monstera obliqua Bolivia, and Monstera obliqua Amazonas form. While they all share the characteristic fenestrations (holes) in their leaves, the patterns and size of the holes may vary slightly between each variety.
Monstera obliqua Peru: The most popular variety, this plant boasts lush leaves with intricate hole patterns. The leaves tend to have a dark green color and may have silver or white striations.
Monstera obliqua Bolivia: Similar to the Peru variety, the leaves of this plant are also adorned with a delicate hole pattern. However, the holes are generally larger and more spaced out in the Bolivia variety, giving it a different, more open look.
Monstera obliqua Amazonas form: This variety presents thinner leaves with smaller, more uniform hole patterns compared to its counterparts. In some cases, the Amazonas form may have elongated, more slender leaves.
Think about this: where does Monstera obliqua naturally grow, and what kind of light does it enjoy there?
Hailing from the rainforests of Central and South America, Monstera obliqua thrives under the canopy of tall trees… which means it loves bright, indirect light. But how can you tell if you’re giving it too much or too little light?
Let’s take a closer look.
When the Light’s Too Low...
Teeny-tiny leaves: Are your monstera obliqua’s leaves staying small? That might be a sign that it’s not getting enough light. Giving your plant more light could lead to larger leaves and a happier plant.
Spindly stems: If your plant’s stems are long and weak, it might be because it’s reaching out for more light.
When the Light’s Too Bright…
Toasted leaves: Are some leaves looking burnt or scorched? That’s a sign that your monstera obliqua is getting too much direct sunlight.
Fading colors: If your plant’s once-vibrant green leaves now look bleached or washed out, it’s time to find a spot with gentler light.
- Place your Monstera obliqua near a north or east-facing window so it can bask in bright, indirect light all day long.
- To encourage even growth, rotate your plant every few weeks… it’ll appreciate the change of scenery!
- Keep your plant out of direct sunlight, as ithiscan cause burn damage and faded leaves.
This green climbing plant can really liven up your home, but it can be a bit fussy about watering.
When it’s time to water your Monstera obliqua plant, you’ll want to give it a good soak. Gently pour water onto the soil until it rises, then wait a moment for it to settle.
Make sure the water can drain out easily because nobody likes sitting in a puddle, and your Monstera obliqua is no exception.
But how do you know when your Monstera obliqua is thirsty?
Just stick your finger about an inch or two into the soil and see how it feels. If it’s almost – but not quite – dry, it’s time for a drink. It shouldn’t be too wet or too crumbly, just somewhere in between.
And when in doubt, it’s better to wait a little longer before you water.
With not enough water, you might notice the bottom leaves turning a bright yellow or curling up. In that case, it’s time to up your watering game and remove those sad, dying leaves (sorry, leaves).
Temperature and humidity
Taking care of your Monstera obliqua Peru means providing it with an environment that mimics its natural habitat, which is warm and humid.
Temperature plays a significant role in your Monstera obliqua’s overall health. This tropical houseplant, part of the Monstera genus, prefers temperatures between 65-80 degrees Fahrenheit.
Be mindful of any cold drafts, especially during the winter months, as these can harm your Monstera obliqua. If your Monstera is close to a window or door that is constantly opening and closing, you may want to consider moving it to a warmer spot.
Now, on to humidity. Monstera obliqua loves a humid environment, thriving in a humidity level of around 60%. This is on the higher end for typical houseplants, but proper humidity can make all the difference, especially if you notice your plant having some issues.
If your plant is getting too little humidity, you might notice the leaves becoming dry, crispy, and discolored. Brown and yellow spots on the leaves can also indicate low humidity. On the other hand, too much humidity can lead to yellowing leaves and an increased risk of pests or diseases.
Soil and planting
Monstera obliqua is a delicate plant that requires a well-draining soil mix to thrive. A fast-draining mix, such as a combination of peat moss, perlite, and potting soil, will provide the ideal environment for your Monstera obliqua plant.
Monstera obliqua will typically need repotting every two to three years, or when you notice roots starting to escape from the drainage holes. The best time to repot is during the growing season, the spring and summer.
When repotting, choose a new container only one or two inches larger than the current pot and make sure it has sufficient drainage holes.
Terracotta pots work well with Monstera obliqua, as they allow for water to wick out through the porous material. As this plant is sensitive to water, the more drainage we can give it, the better.
We’ve had a lot of luck growing Monstera obliqua with pretty consistent fertilizer use and saw a lot of healthy, fast growth. You do want to really be on the lookout for yellowing leaves, black or brown leaf edges, and stunted growth, as these can all be signs of going too fast, too quickly.
To resolve these issues, give your Monstera obliqua a thorough watering to flush out excess salts from the soil. Reduce your fertilizer usage to once a month and always dilute it to half-strength.
Remember that it’s better to under-fertilize than over-fertilize these plants.
Get ready to learn an awesome way to propagate your Monstera obliqua Peru using the wet stick propagation technique. It’s all about growing plants until they have runners, letting those runners grow as long as possible, and then chopping them up to create wet sticks.
If you’re not familiar with wet sticks, they’re basically just plant stems without leaves.
There is some debate about whether or not they should have nodes, and the difference between leafless cuttings and wet sticks.
Propagating your adult Monstera obliqua:
- First things first, give your Monstera obliqua some time to grow those beautiful long runners (you know, the vine-like stems full of potential new leaves). This can be a slow-growing plant, and the longer these runners get, the more wet sticks you can create, increasing your chances for a plant baby boom!
- Grab a clean, sterilized pair of gardening shears or scissors and start snipping those runners into sections. Make sure each section has at least one node (the tiny bump where the leaf meets the stem).
- Go ahead and remove any leaves from these stems. This will help our plant babies focus on growing roots and prevent any waterlogged leaves from spoiling the fun.
- Fill a small container with filtered or rain water and gently place your wet sticks inside, making sure the node is submerged. You can give each wet stick its own container or have a wet stick pool party in one container.
- Find a nice spot with bright, indirect light for your wet stick container(s). Change the water every 2-3 days to keep it fresh and prevent any bacteria from crashing the party.
- Keep an eye on your wet sticks, and in a few growing weeks, you’ll start to see roots growing from the nodes. Once those roots reach about 2 inches long, it’s time to transplant your Monstera obliqua cuttings to their forever homes!
- Grab a pot with well-draining soil and gently transplant your rooted cuttings. Give the soil a good soaking, and make sure to keep it consistently moist during the first few weeks to encourage more root growth.
You’ll really want to keep them in a humid environment. We suggest making a mini-terrarium for your stem cuttings. You can do this with a pebble tray and placing some Tupperware, a glass, or a clear plastic bag over the top of your cuttings.
Monstera obliqua may be the smallest Monstera species, but it does suffer from some large problems from time to time. Don’t worry – we’ll help you troubleshoot and provide some practical tips to get your plant back on track!
All right, so you’ve noticed some thin leaves on your Monstera obliqua turning brown, and you’re a bit concerned. We get it.
Initially, some browning on the lower leaves after pruning can be normal… the plant might just be taking up nutrients from those leaves before growing new leaves. But, if you’re seeing more widespread browning, we might have a problem.
Too much moisture can cause rot, leading to those browning leaves. To fix this, make sure the soil dries out a bit between waterings and check that your pot drains well. It might be a good idea to repot your Monstera obliqua in some fresh, well-draining soil to give your slow-growing plant a fresh start.
To tackle leaf loss, first, ensure your Monstera obliqua sits in a well-draining pot, basking in lovely indirect sunlight typical of conditions where Monstera originated. Keep an eye on your watering habits (too much of a good thing isn’t always good, remember?). Let the top couple of inches of soil get dry before giving your plant a drink.
Leaf loss is almost always an issue with over-watering — this plant is very water sensitive, like many plants in the genus Monstera.
Pests and diseases
Most of the problems we’ll cover are also common with other plants in the Monstera family. Don’t worry, though—we’re here to help!
We’ll get into the first signs of these problems, how to tackle them, and preventive measures to keep your plant buddy happy and healthy as it reaches maturity.
Some common uninvited guests include mealybugs, aphids, scale, and spider mites. These tiny critters can often slip under the radar until they’ve caused quite a bit of trouble.
To spot a pest problem, keep an eye out for little bugs crawling on your plant, or white cotton-ball lookalikes (mealybugs) tucked away in crevices or on the underside of leaves. Also, watch for teeny webs on your plant—a surefire sign of spider mites in action.
Now, to kick those pests to the curb, start by isolating your monstera plant (we don’t want a full-on invasion!). Next, grab a damp cloth and gently wipe off any visible bugs or cotton-like clusters.
If things have gotten really bad, you can whip up a mixture of dish soap and water or use neem oil (just follow the directions on the label, of course). To avoid a repeat performance, check your plant regularly for any signs of pests and keep it clean from dust and debris.
This sneaky problem happens when soil stays wet for too long, leading to a lack of oxygen reaching the plant’s roots. In turn, roots start rotting, and… well, that’s no good at all for your plant.
To identify root rot, look for yellowing leaves, wilting, and a foul smell coming from the soil. When you check the plant out a bit closer, you might see black, slimy, or mushy roots.
When it comes to fixing root rot, first things first — you’ll need to remove your Monstera obliqua from its pot and rinse off the soil to expose the roots. With sterilized scissors, snip off the affected roots and toss them away.
Next, repot your plant in fresh, well-draining soil (add some perlite or pumice for extra aeration). Oh, and make sure the pot has drainage holes.
And that’s a wrap for our Monstera obliqua care guide!
From its captivating appearance to its unique history, the Monstera obliqua is a true showstopper in the houseplant world. But remember, this beauty isn’t just for looks; with a bit of care and attention, your Monstera obliqua will be happy, healthy, and an absolute joy to grow.
Monstera obliqua care summary:
- Avoid leaf scorch by keeping this plant in plenty of indirect sunlight, near a north-facing window or a little bit away from any other.
- Use a well-draining soil mix and terracotta pots for optimal growth and aeration.
- Keep an eye out for common issues like pests and root rot, and take action to resolve problems swiftly.
- Try propagating your Monstera obliqua using the wet stick method to share the love and grow more of these amazing plants.
With this guide as your compass, we believe you’ll become a Monstera obliqua expert in no time! If you found this information helpful, don’t hesitate to share the article with your fellow plant enthusiasts. And if you have any questions or need some guidance, just reach out – we’re here to help.
Happy growing, and take care!
Is Monstera obliqua still rare?
Yes, Monstera obliqua is still considered a rare houseplant. Its rarity combined with its unique beauty has led collectors to pay top dollar for Monstera obliqua plants.
So, if you happen to have one in your collection, consider yourself quite fortunate!
How big do Monstera obliqua grow?
Monstera obliqua plants can grow up to several feet long in their natural habitat or when given the proper support and care at home. In terms of leaf size, the leaves of Monstera obliqua typically range from 3 to 5 inches long.
However, it’s not uncommon for these plants to have smaller or larger leaves, depending on their growing conditions. Providing your Monstera obliqua with enough bright, indirect light and a humid environment will encourage healthy growth and larger leaves.
What’s the difference between Monstera obliqua and Monstera adansonii?
Monstera obliqua and Monstera adansonii are often confused due to their similar appearance, but they are actually two distinct species of plants. The main difference between them is the size and shape of their leaves.
Monstera obliqua leaves are usually smaller and more delicate, with intricate fenestrations (holes) giving them a unique, lace-like appearance. On the other hand, Monstera adansonii leaves are larger and sturdier, with fewer and more evenly spaced fenestrations.
Where can you find Monstera obliqua to purchase?
Due to its rarity, finding a Monstera obliqua for purchase might require a bit of a treasure hunt. Start by checking with your local plant nurseries or specialty plant shops, as they may occasionally have these elusive plants in stock.
Online plant shops and marketplaces can also be a good place to search for Monstera obliqua, though always make sure the seller is reputable before making a purchase.
It’s likely you’ll have trouble finding it at local garden centers, but it’s always worth a look!
Can Monstera obliqua suffer from mosaic virus?
Yes, you’ll notice mottled, yellow, or green splotches on the leaves, giving them a mosaic-like appearance. The virus can really stunt the growth of your plant.
Mosaic virus is generally spread by insects like aphids, or through mechanical means such as contaminated gardening tools.