How to grow the Monstera deliciosa
The Monstera deliciosa (Monstera deliciosa Liebm., 1849) is a plant of the Araceae family with origins in the tropical forests of Guatemala and with an extensive spread in the area between Mexico and the Panama Canal.
It is a plant that, in the areas of origin, can grow up to 20 meters in height with very large leaves, 50 cm wide per meter. Due to the characteristic that its aerial roots grow at the nodes level, it can also be fixed to a support. It produces a fruit, more or less 25 cm long and 4 cm in diameter, with a very sweet flavor (similar to the pineapple), which we can compare, as a resemblance, to an ear of corn.
In this sheet we will see how to grow the Monstera deliciosa in domestic or outdoor environments considering that it is one of the most beautiful aesthetic plants of the apartment.
If grown in pots, very large containers should be chosen to allow the plant to develop more appropriately. Moreover, the plant can not stand direct sunlight, but must nevertheless be placed in an area with lots of light.
In Italy it can grow outdoors but only in coastal areas, especially in Sicily and in some areas of Calabria, exposed to the south if possible and sheltered from cold winds; for the rest it must be grown in the apartment and therefore with ideal temperatures of about 20 ° C. the plant can resist up to -5 ° C, but from -3 ° C we will begin to notice the necrosis on the leaves and the difficulties of vegetation. For its reproduction it can start from a cutting, preferably dipping the stem with a few leaves in a container full of water, to make the new roots emit. In the apartment it is very rare for Monstera deliciosa to be fruitful but not exceptional. Remember that the immature fruits and the leaves of this plant are poisonous, while the ripe fruit can be used white fillets, which have an aroma similar to tropical fruit salad.
As for the substratum, like other subtropical and tropical plants, it prefers loose soils that are very rich in organic matter. In the case of cultivation in pots, a substrate composed of sand (possibly siliceous) must therefore be prepared with the addition of organic soil for indoor plants in proportions of 50% each. On the bottom of the vase there is a layer of a few centimeters of coarse material (coarse gravel, perlite or crushed stone) to allow drainage of the water and avoid contact of the roots with percolation water. Repotting should be performed every two to three years by renewing the substrate and placing the plant in a larger container.
There are many varieties, among the most common are: Monstera deliciosa, the classic variety, with large leaves, long leaf petioles and rapid growth, Monstera deliciosa borsigiana, slow-growing dwarf variety characterized by shorter petioles, and Monstera deliciosa albo- variegated, with a bearing equal to the first one, but with the leaves characterized by white variegations that are well distinguishable on the leaves, the leaf petioles and the stem.
The plant of Monstera deliciosa may be subject to attacks by various insects such as: aphids, which can affect especially the young shoots in formation, the red spider and the cotonose cochineal.