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The Plant Porn Edit: The Monstera Deliciosa

The Monstera Deliciosa is probably one of the most famous plants on the market. Monsteras have dominated the design industry - from notebooks to wallpaper, fabrics to earrings, the plant's iconic silhouette is featured everywhere. The Monstera was discovered in 1693 by Charles Plumier in the tropical forests of Central America, but the plant really became popular in the 1970s under the alias of the 'Swiss Cheese Plant' - a nickname coined due to its holey, heart-shaped leaves.



The plant's original name, Monstera, is quite a literal one: these guys are incredibly fast-growing, using their aerial roots to climb up trees in the wild tropics in order to reach the light at the top of the tropical canopy, these plants can grow up to 20 meters tall in the wild. It's even been suggested by botanists that the holes in the Monstera evolved to allow light to filter through to the lower leaves of the plant! Don't worry though, they won't take over your home - the Monstera will reach a maximum height of ten feet.




Looking after your Monstera

Monsteras are really hardy and one of the easiest plants to care for, as they are relatively drought tolerant and can cope in partial shade. If you're looking for your Monstera to thrive though, read on...


Light

Monsteras grow best in bright, indirect sunlight - direct sunlight runs the risk of scorching the leaves, leading to browning. Place the Monstera a meter or so away from a South, West or East-facing window.


Water

The Monstera only needs water when the top two inches of the soil have dried out, but if you're a forgetful plant parent, don't worry too much! The Monstera recovers quickly if you miss a watering every now and then.

The Monstera is a tropical plant, try and recreate that environment when you can for optimal growth - for example, placing a tray of pebbles underneath the plant with some water in it will allow humidity to rise to the leaves, which they love!


Did you know that the Monstera grows fruit and flowers? When it reaches three years old, the Monstera can start to produce a fruit commonly called the 'Fruit Salad Fruit', because it tastes just like a fruit salad! This will only occur if the Monstera is kept in a greenhouse though, as it needs a high temperature to cultivate fruit.

Cleaning

All plants photosynthesize through the chlorophyll (green pigment) in their leaves, which are activated by sunlight. One of the ways sunlight can be obstructed is with dust build-up on the leaves, which prevents sunlight from reaching the plant, which in turn means its growth may be stunted. Take a damp cloth every few days and wipe the top of the leaves to remove any dust and it'll be grand!


Stability

Monsteras are naturally a climbing plant and have evolved to attach themselves to nearby trees - but we don't have many of those indoors! As a Monstera matures and grows, it may start to droop without this support. Moss poles are great at providing stability to a growing Monstera, simply make a small hole in the soil for the moss pole and insert it, packing the soil around it tightly. The depth you should insert it into the soil depends on the size of the monstera, the root system, and the pot it's in. You'll want it to fit snugly and feel secure once it's packed in. Then, using some twine, you can attach the droopier stems to the pole. Then, you're done! Watch your monstera grow taller and taller with the help of the moss pole.


Pruning

As we've mentioned, the Monstera can GROW, big time. If you want to prevent your home from becoming a tropical jungle (which, to be fair, we wouldn't mind!) you'll need to prune the plant occasionally. Try and use pruning scissors, but if you don't have any a craft scalpel or really sharp knife will do the trick - this is important because we don't want to damage the plant by hacking at it multiple times.


Propagating

If you're pruning your monstera, you may as well make a few more for family and friends with the offcuts! This process is called propagation, where a cutting is taken from a

donor/mother plant, and repotted to make a whole new plant. If you want to know more about propagation, have a look at our previous blog here:

AND we've got the perfect kit to get your propagations off to a flying start!


Styling

Once you've decided on a Monstera, then it's time to work out where you're going to put it! Monsteras will work in any space that provides enough light, but here are some styling and layout ideas from Instagram:

Photo's By (from top left to bottom right): @my_green_mess, @waniliowyspokoj, @planterium.moscow, @indoorplant1990, @entereek666, @plantshopmty - give them a follow on Instagram!


Feng Shui

Feng Shui might be something you want to think about when considering where to place your plant. The ancient Chinese practice theorizes that the location of furniture and objects in the home creates certain energies and flow, which can positively or negatively affect your mental state.


Corners in the home are seen as 'void' spaces, with a lack of energy, so to maintain the flow of energy within the home Feng Shui practitioners recommend adding plants into these corner spaces. Monstera's suit corner spaces well, as they are tolerant of partial shade and they grow towards the light - over time, a Monstera's leaves will become mainly front-facing, which is ideal for corner spaces.


Feng Shui also suggests that Monsteras are lucky plant, particularly when it comes to money. Think of a Monstera purchase as an investment!


Monstera Art

Green up your walls with an awesome Monstera Deliciosa hand-painted print from Dollybird Art, Eimear Maguire a Belfast based artist established her own creative brand Dollybirds Art in 2013. Her paintings are a celebration of the diverse natural beauty found throughout Ireland and of her many experiences outdoors. We are thrilled to be stocking them in our store!
















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