Monstera karstenianum looks great decorating the shaded corners of houses all over the world. For a rare plant, it is surprisingly very easy to take care of too. Learn from our experts as they impart the most useful knowledge about taking proper care of this plant.
Continue reading for an in-depth and comprehensive guide on this beautiful species.
- What Is Monstera Karstenianum?
- Monstera Karstenianum Care
- How To Identify the Monstera Karstenianum Peru Plant
What Is Monstera Karstenianum?
Monstera karstenianum is a rare plant species from Peru that behaves like a succulent and is popular due to its textured green leaves that are patterned with dark-coloured veins. Taking care of this plant is a breeze as it has very minimal care requirements.
Monstera Karstenianum Care
Care for the Monstera karstenianum plant by keeping it under indirect light and giving it plenty of water at least twice a week. Want to find out more? Continue reading for a complete guide below!
– Water Requirements
This plant likes to receive ample water and have its soil stay moist for most of the time.
– When Should I Water Monstera Karstenianum?
It is time to water the plant when the top two inches of the soil become dry to the touch. In most cases, you will need to water your Monstera about twice a week . Continue reading to learn how to tell if the top two inches have become dry.
Stick your finger in the soil up to the knuckle, which is approximately two inches of length. If your finger comes out dry, then water the plant. If you find the soil moist, then wait and check again the next day. If you are someone who doesn’t like to get their hands dirty, you can also use a pencil or a thin stick instead of your finger.
A moisture meter is a fantastic gadget that we often employ to keep us accurately updated on the moisture levels of our soil. If you can spare some bucks, buy a moisture meter.
– What Is the Right Way To Water Karstenianum?
Using a moderate amount of water and directing it towards the soil is the right way to water this plant. There is no need to wash the entire plant every time you water. Pour slowly and allow the water to soak through the whole soil all the way through.
When the water starts to pour out of the drainage hole, you can stop watering. This means that the soil has been well-moistened.
– What Type of Water Should You Use?
Common tap water can be used for watering the Monstera karstenianum plant, unless your tap water contains unusually high levels of salts and minerals that are harmful for the plant.
Distilled water is the safest for plant use. We do understand, however, that not everyone can afford to give large amounts of distilled water to their plants every other day, so the most efficient way is to filter common tap water and use that instead.
– Light Requirements
The Monstera karstenianum plant can only tolerate indirect or partially filtered light at all times. It cannot tolerate direct light, whether it is natural or artificial, for more than one hour.
– Growing Them Indoors
You cannot grow Monstera karstenianum in a completely dark room or shaded area. It needs a brightly-lit room to carry out photosynthesis and produce food for itself.
Find out the best placement for this plant in the room according to the type of windows you have.
– North-Facing Window
A north-facing window lets in only the mildest indirect light for most of the day. You can place your karstenianum plant directly in or near this window safely without any worries.
– South-Facing Window
A south-facing window receives direct afternoon sunlight which is quite intense for most plants, let alone the light-sensitive karstenianum.
If this window is present in any room, keep the karstenianum plant as far away from it as possible. You can also hang curtains or blinds over the window during afternoon hours for extra protection.
– East-Facing Window
This window receives direct sunlight only for three to four hours in the early morning. Even though this light is of very mild intensity, it is still too much for this plant, and you should cover the window during the early morning hours. Only indirect light passes through this window for the rest of the day, which is safe for the plant.
– West-Facing Window
This window receives direct light only during the late afternoon hours. Cover with a curtain during that time or place the plant at a distance from the window.
– Growing Them Under Artificial Grow Lights
The Monstera karstenianum plant cannot even tolerate direct artificial grow lights. When growing this plant under lights, either use a shade or place the lights at a distance from the plant.
– Soil Requirements
Monstera karstenianum soil should be organic as well as well-draining for the plant to grow and thrive in. Organic soil provides the plant with an adequate amount of nutrients to grow without the need for fertilizers.
In order to increase the organic content of the soil, add some peat, sphagnum moss or compost to it.
In order to make the soil well-draining, add perlite and sand to it. Adding a layer of mulch over the surface of the soil will help retain moisture without contributing to waterlogging.
– How To Make Your Own Soil for Karstenianum?
Make the best soil possible soil for your Monstera plant by mixing one part peat moss, one part perlite, and four parts of bark pieces. You can also substitute peat moss with coco coir and it will work just as fine.
– What Soil pH Does the Karstenianum Need?
The pH of the soil should be neutral, and a range of around 5 to 6.5 is highly recommended. Your plant will grow exuberant in this pH.
– Temperature Requirements
The ideal temperature range for this plant is around 65 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit at all times. As warm-growing species, they will grow most exuberantly under warmer conditions. Temperatures below 50 degrees Fahrenheit will completely stop the growth of the whole plant.
– What To Do During Winter
If you live in a place where the winter months are cold, then here are some things you can do to protect your plant:
- During winter, you must take special care of this plant even when kept indoors.
- Make sure to keep it in an adequately warm room with temperatures above 65 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Don’t keep the plant near vents or open windows. Cold blasts of air, even for a short period of time, will stop its growth.
– Humidity Requirements
This plant needs more than 50 percent humidity at all times to grow healthily, and this is even more important during the dry and colder months of the year. You must have a hygrometer at home to constantly keep an eye on how much moisture there is in the air around this plant.
Learn how to maintain these high levels of humidity for the karstenianum plant here.
A humidifier is your best friend when it comes to indoor plants. It will automatically maintain the right levels of humidity around your plant at all times. The only downside to using a humidifier is the high cost of buying it and the mounting electricity bills that come with its constant use.
– Humidity Tray
A humidity tray is a fantastic and cost-effective alternative to using a humidifier. Take a shallow tray and fill it with large-sized pebbles. Place the pot of your plant over these pebbles such that it doesn’t touch the water itself. The evaporating water will increase the humidity around your plant.
– Regular Misting
Misting your plant every third day will also keep them moist enough so they won’t get dry. Make sure to only mist them lightly and not douse them in water. You can also wipe the leaves of the plant with a damp cloth to improve humidity.
– Move to the Bathroom
A bathroom is always the most humid room in the entire house.
You can move your plant to the bathroom if you are having trouble maintaining the required 50 percent humidity.
– Move Plants Close Together
Moving various different plants close together will also improve the overall humidity around them, but make sure that the air circulation around these plants is very good. Otherwise, you risk getting your plants infected with fungal diseases.
– Fertilizing Requirements
Fertilize this plant only during the warm summer months. We strongly suggest that you use a slow-release fertilizer that doesn’t cause chemical burns to your plant.
There is no need to fertilize during winters, and always water the plant thoroughly before fertilizing it.
Prune your Monstera karstenianum plant during the warm summer months to promote faster growth and a quicker recovery. Pruning makes the plant look neat and healthy.
Propagate Monstera karstenianum using healthy stem cuttings that are about 6 to 8 inches long in both water and soil. Learn about these methods by continuing reading below.
– Stem Cutting
Cut a portion of the stem that is at least 6 to 8 inches in length. It should have two to three leaf nodes in it as well as at least two leaves. The roots of the new plant will grow from these nodes.
Use sterilized gardening shears to get these stem cuttings. This will ensure that you don’t end up accidentally infecting your propagation.
Allow your cutting to dry in a warm room for at least 10 days. This will result in callus formation at the cut edges and improve the chances of successful propagation. You can also apply rooting hormone to the edges.
– Propagate Cutting in Soil
Get a pot or a hanging basket ready for potting the stem cutting in. Fill it with the right type of soil and place the cutting in the soil with the callused side inside about 3 inches deep.
Carefully pack the soil around the cutting so that it stays upright. Place the pot in a bright place under indirect light. Don’t allow the soil to become dry.
In about three weeks, new roots and shoots will emerge, indicating that your propagation has been successful.
– Propagate Cutting in Water
For propagating Monstera karstenianum stem cuttings in water, you will need a clear, transparent jar that is medium in size. Clean this jar thoroughly, as you don’t want dirt and other contaminants to ruin your propagation.
Now fill the jar with clean, filtered water. Don’t use common tap water because it has minerals and salts that can destroy your cutting. Place the stem cutting sitting upright against the side of the jar.
Change the water in the jar every two to three days. Again, use filtered water every time. Place the jar in a warm and bright location and watch it sprout new roots and shoots.
Once the new roots and shoots grow about two to three inches long, prepare a new pot with soil for transplanting this tiny new plant in. However, take note that it will take approximately two months before you can transfer the plant from the jar to the pot.
Some common problems this plant may face include pests, root rot, and growing leggy stems due to inadequate sun exposure.
Pests are the number one problem one might face with this plant. The three most common pests are spider mites, scale insects, and mealybugs. Find out how to identify and treat infestations caused by each of them below.
– Spider Mites
Spider mites are tiny insects that rank number one in the list of bugs that are common to the Monstera karstenianum plant. They feed on the nutrition-filled sap of your plant and kill it by weakening it.
The signs of a spider mite infestation are white, web-like substances that will appear on the underside of the leaves of your plant. The leaves will turn yellow and start drooping. Over time, severe leaf exfoliation might even begin.
Use a jet of water to physically remove these bugs from your plant, and apply neem oil on the affected leaves. Another great natural remedy against spider mites is vinegar. If the usual household vinegar doesn’t work then you can buy a higher concentration vinegar instead. Apply carefully so as not to damage your plant.
– Brown Scale Insects
The brown soft scales are the second most common bugs that will attack your Monstera plants. They are very tiny, flat and remain stationary all the time.
Like spider mites, they also feed on the sap of your plant.
– Signs of Brown Scale Infestation
The leaves of the affected plant will start turning yellow. They will also exhibit a sticky substance on their surface which is actually the digestive juice released by the scales. Over time, these leaves will become flimsy and will begin to droop. Some leaves will curl around the edges as well.
If left untreated for long, a brown scale attack will slow the growth of the plant. Sometimes, leaf drop starts at an alarming rate. Now that all these signs are present, look for the bugs themselves. They will look like brown spots stuck to the leaves and stems.
– How To Get Rid of Brown Scales
The most effective yet painstaking method to get rid of brown scales is to pick them off the plant one by one. You can use a cotton swab to do this.
Alternatively, you can also take a cotton roll and dip it in ethanol alcohol. Then rub this on the leaves and the colonies of brown scales. You can also use 70 percent isopropyl alcohol for this purpose.
Neem oil is an all-natural remedy that also kills scales. You will, however, need to apply it on the plant for several days for it to take full effect.
Mealybugs are small, cotton ball-like bugs that also produce a nasty infestation in your Monstera plants. They are easy to spot and slow-moving, so it’s easier to see them compared to other bugs.
Signs of Mealybug Infestation
These bugs will release a waxy, sticky substance called honeydew on your leaves that can be seen by the naked eye. Upon closer inspection, you will be able to see puncture marks left by mealybugs on the leaves.
If you look under the surface of the leaves, you will see a tightly woven, web-like structure. The honeydew secreted by these bugs attract fungus and mould, spelling further trouble for your plant.
– How To Get Rid of Mealybugs
You can treat mealybugs by washing the plant and using either natural or chemical insecticidal substances. Thoroughly wash the affected plant with a strong insecticidal soap and water. Scrub these insects off using a gentle toothbrush to get rid of a colony of mealybugs.
Alcohol is an effective insect killer as well. The higher the concentration of alcohol, the more potent it is, but using a very high concentration of alcohol might also damage your plant. Use a mild concentration of ethyl alcohol by dabbling it on a cotton ball and applying it to the plant. You can also use 70 percent isopropyl alcohol instead.
Neem oil is another natural DIY method of getting rid of mealybugs. Its viscosity means that when you apply neem oil to these bugs, they will die by themselves.
– Leggy Plants
Do you feel as if your Monstera plant has begun exhibiting long, spindly stems in one particular direction? This means that it is not getting enough sunlight and is trying to reach the light source.
Even though these plants are best grown in the shade, they still need bright, indirect light. Place them in a place that has bright light. Also, keep on rotating them so that all sides get an equal amount of light. This is especially important if you have placed this plant in a corner.
– Root Rot
This plant is prone to getting root rot when overwatered. Brownish-black rot spots will appear all over the leaves and stem of this plant when this occurs.
Root rot needs to be treated aggressively, so remove the plant from its soil and cut off all the necrotic parts. Repot it in fresh soil and spray with a fungicide for the next couple of weeks.
How To Identify the Monstera Karstenianum Peru Plant
Monstera karstenianum, also known as Monstera Peru, is a rare species that is grown mostly for its exotic-looking foliage. Monstera karstenianum leaves are green leathery leaves that are so textured it feels like braille when touched.
These leaves have veins of a deeper green forming a gorgeous pattern on them. The color of these veins grows deeper with time. Unlike most other Monstera plants, they don’t have perforations in them. The stems of karstenianum are slender, long and twisted, giving off a vine-like appearance.
A special variety of this plant called Monstera karstenianum variegated has tiny yellow and white spots on its leaves and is even rarer than other varieties.
What is the size of Monstera Karstenianum leaves?
Monstera Karstenianum leaves can grow up to 12 inches in length and 6 inches in width.
Is Monstera Karstenianum considered a slow grower?
Yes, Monstera Karstenianum is generally considered a slow grower compared to other Monstera species.
Does Monstera Karstenianum outgrow its pots?
Monstera Karstenianum can outgrow its pots if not repotted regularly, but it generally prefers to be slightly root-bound.
We have covered an exhaustive list of this plant’s various care requirements. Read below to learn a brief summary of the most important points.
- Monstera karstenianum is a rare plant species that is very popular as a houseplant due to its small size and exuberant foliage.
- It cannot tolerate direct light at all even if it is artificial light, so keep this plant in shaded condition indoors in a brightly lit room.
- This Monstera likes its soil to be kept moist most of the time, so water when the top two inches of soil become dry. You will need to water it twice a week in the summer. Using distilled or filtered water is a much safer option than using common tap water.
- Maintain 50 percent humidity at all times. The soil this plant prefers is neutral, rich in organic content, and well-draining.
- You can propagate Monstera karstenianum using healthy stem cuttings that are at least 6 to 8 inches long. Allow the cut ends of the cutting to callus and then put them in a suitable medium.
Monstera karstenianum will gift your house with the most vibrant foliage if you give it even a little bit of your precious time and attention, so go ahead and grab one when you get the chance!
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