Monstera Peru is a tropical plant that’s relatively rare in the U.S. It’s often sold as Kerstenianum when you find it in nursery centers. Like many monstera plants, this variety does very well in warm, moderately humid environments out of direct sunlight. It makes an ideal plant for indoor ornamental gardening because it doesn’t require much care and grows well.
Growing beautiful Monstera Peru plants in your home will be easy once you read this guide that explains the care, soil water, and light conditions the plant needs to thrive.
What is Monstera Peru?
The Monstera Peru is a type of climbing or vining plant that typically takes advantage of nearby plants’ support. This is not an edible variety, so care should be taken when growing Monstera Peru to ensure children and pets do not eat the foliage. Despite its poisonous nature, Monstera Peru makes a great houseplant because of the vivid dark-and-light green mottling of the leaves that stay colorful all year.
How Big Does Does It Grow?
Most varieties of Monstera plants are relatively compact growing tropical plants. Your Monstera Peru plant will grow anywhere from just a few inches tall (without support). In some examples, it can grow to heights above 20 feet. Monstera Peru growth rate is relatively slow compared to many tropical plants.
Once your Monstera Peru plant is established, it’ll grow each year exponentially in search of objects to climb. You can restrict how tall the plant gets by clipping new growth and training the plant to grow on a pole.
Generally, houseplants will rarely exceed 36 inches tall. You can improve its growth rate by following the tips in this guide.
How to Care for Monstera Peru
You will learn how to plant, water, and care for Monstera Peru in this section. We will also show you the most successful ways to propagate your tropical Monstera Peru plants so you can grow more or share them with friends.
– Soil Conditions
Tropical plants tend to prefer acidic soils that are exceptionally well-draining, and Monstera Peru is no different. The best Monstera Peru soil is a mixed potting soil with perlite or another medium that improves drainage and a good amount of organic aged compost. The best way to know if your soil drains well enough is to place some in a small pot and add water. The water should drain from the pot almost as fast as you add more.
It’s essential to use soil to hold a decent amount of moisture without allowing pooling or puddling in the pot. Tropical plants like the Monstera Peru are highly susceptible to over- and under-watering conditions that cause the vast majority of these otherwise hardy plants’ problems. You can help create the ideal conditions for your Monstera Peru soil. Add peat moss or vermiculite into your potting soil to help retain moisture without waterlogging the roots.
A great way to start your Monstera Peru plants off right is to use a pre-mix soil with the proper nutrients and composition for growing tropical plants. You can usually find bags of pre-mix tropical plant-soil available in your local garden center.
– Providing a Climbing Support
Monstera Peru plants are somewhat unique because they grow shallow, wide roots to support the plant. However, typically rely on companion plants to help the fast-growing foliage.
When you grow Monstera Peru indoors, you will need to provide a plant structure to climb. This can be a simple pole set firmly in the soil or secured to the planter for stability. Lacking support, your Monstera Peru plant will likely break off and die.
– How Big of a Pot Do I Need?
Monstera Peru plants do best when the roots are pretty constrained and shouldn’t require transplanting more than every two to three years. When you select a new pot, don’t exceed two inches larger than the existing pot to prevent stressing the roots.
Small plants can start in a 6-inch pot, while a fully mature plant will require a pot about half as tall as the plant. These plants do not create deep roots, so too deep of a planter won’t benefit the plant.
– Light Requirements
One of the main reasons so many varieties of tropical plants are ideal for growing in your house is because the vast majority don’t require bright, direct sunlight.
Monstera Peru should never be grown in an area where it receives more than 30 minutes of direct, natural light per day. Instead, these plants prefer bright, indirect light, such as when they are grown near a window. Too much or too little light will cause a broad range of problems for your Monstera Peru plants and can cause them to die quite quickly.
You can grow Monstera Peru outside, but it’s best if you place your plants on a patio where they are not exposed to direct sun. It’s essential to make sure the plants are not grown in full-shade because they will not succeed. Finding the balance between too much and too little light can be challenging outside, which is why so many varieties like Monstera Peru are ideal for growing indoors.
– Water Requirements
Most people who struggle to grow healthy Monstera Peru plants run into trouble by watering Monstera Peru too much. While it may seem that a plant originating in tropical jungles would be happy in plenty of water, the Monstera Peru must have regular water with plenty of drainages and without letting the soil dry completely. These conditions are most easily met when the plant is grown in containers indoors.
The best way to test the soil for proper watering is to stick your finger about 1-inch down. The soil should be moist but not wet. If it is dry to the touch, it’s time to water the Monstera Peru plants. If the plant is sitting in moisture, you need to transplant it into a pot with better drainage. Some of the ways you can more accurately judge the soil’s moisture are by using a soil moisture tester or an automatic watering bulb.
– Humidity Requirements
In the wild, you’ll find Monstera Peru plants growing in lowland jungles where average humidity rarely drops below 50 percent. Most households in the U.S. have an average of 30-50 percent humidity, providing ideal conditions for growing Monstera Peru. You can test the humidity in your house using a hygrometer. It’s a good idea to regularly mist the leaves of your Monstera Peru plants to help provide ideal humidity.
A great way to ensure your plants receive excellent humidity is to prepare an evaporative tray. To make an evaporative tray, use small pebbles or orchid rocks to fill a shallow pan or dish. Add water to the tray until the pebbles are almost covered, but stop short of flooding them. Place your Monstera Peru plants in their pot on top of the evaporative tray, ensuring the pot’s bottom isn’t in the water.
– Temperature Requirements
Tropical plants are susceptible to cold temperatures but also don’t appreciate excessive heat. One of the reasons so many tropical plant species are popular indoors is because they prefer similar temperatures to your house. They will thrive in temperatures from 70 degrees to 85 degrees. Temperatures below 70 will inhibit growth and may cause health problems for the plant.
It’s a great idea to start your Monstera Peru plants with a proper soil mixture that is somewhat acidic and intended for growing tropical plants. If you mix organic compost into your soil, you won’t need to fertilize your plants for six months to one year, depending on the growth rate.
Your best bet for safely fertilizing tropical plants like the Monstera Peru is to use an organic liquid fertilizer or make a fertilizer tea. You should always avoid chemical fertilizers because Monstera Peru can be sensitive to the ingredients and quickly burn.
The best way to fertilize growing plants is to provide a dose of organic fertilizer in the spring and the summer. It isn’t typically necessary to fertilize during fall and winter when you grow Monstera Peru indoors. It’s better to under-fertilize these tropical plants to avoid killing them with too much fertilizer. Fertilizer the plant doesn’t use will increase the soil’s salinity, and in fall and winter could overload the plant.
How to Propagate Monstera Peru Plants
There are two easy ways to propagate Monstera Peru plants through cuttings. You can use the soil method or the water method.
1. Soil Cutting Method
First, you’ll need to select a healthy Monstera Peru plant with new growth longer than eight inches. Use a pair of sharp, sterile scissors or shears and cut at a 45-degree angle below the lowest nodes where leaves are growing. Carefully cut the bottom two or three inches of leaves from the stem and dip the stem in rooting hormone. You can use either a liquid or powder formula according to your preference.
Place the trimmed stem two to three inches deep in a tropical plant potting medium that is well-watered. The cutting will begin to grow roots in a few weeks. Keep the soil moist to help the plant absorb nutrients. Your cutting will be ready to transplant in about six weeks.
2. Water Cutting Method
The water method can be slightly more successful for the amateur gardener because it’s easy to tell when the cutting is rooting. To make a cutting, select a Monstera Peru plant with at least eight inches of new growth. Use a pair of sharp, sterile scissors and make a 45-degree angle cut below the lowest leaf node.
Trim off two or three inches of leaves from the stem close to the stalk. Immediately immerse the cutting in a glass of water. You can add rooting hormone to the glass. Place it in a well-lit, indirectly sunny place. Roots will begin forming in a week or two, and the cutting will be ready to transplant after about six weeks.
How to Transplant Monstera Peru Plants
Once your cuttings show signs of establishing roots – such as new growth or the visible presence of roots using the water method – it’s time to transplant them into pots for growing.
Monstera Peru plants have delicate root systems that don’t handle rough treatment. You’ll want to ensure you have a potting mix appropriate for tropical plants with excellent drainage before transplanting.
You can translate cuttings to six-inch pots once the roots are growing well. Make sure that your newly-planted Monstera Peru plants have bright, indirect lighting and keep the soil moist. Your Monstera Peru plants should start showing signs of new growth quickly.
Identifying and Correcting Monstera Peru Problems
We will let you know what some of the most common signs impact the health of growing Monstera Peru plants.
- Leaves falling off: When your Monstera Peru plant starts dropping leaves from the plant, it’s a sure sign that it isn’t getting enough sunlight. You’ll want to relocate the plant to a brighter location that isn’t in direct sun.
- Monstera Peru turning yellow: Montera plants, including the Peru variety, store water in their leaves. If your leaves are turning yellow and feel dry to the touch, it’s a sign there isn’t enough humidity, or the plant isn’t being watered often enough. Trim yellow leaves off the plant and begin misting the plant daily, and it should bounce back. Make sure to keep the soil moist but not wet.
- Brown tips of leaves: This is another sign of a lack of moisture. It’s usually explicitly related to a lack of humidity. Begin misting the plant daily, and the condition should improve. Brown leaf tips will not regrow so that you can trim those leaves off.
- Limp, yellow, or slimy stalks: The most common mistake many people make when growing tropical plants is overwatering or growing in poorly draining pots or soil. The primary condition that can happen is called root rot. It’s a viral or bacterial infection that occurs when plants sit in water and begin to decompose. The only way to spot root rot is to pull the plant. Mushy, slimy, and yellow roots are a sign of rot. If the infection hasn’t spread to the majority of the plant, you might be able to cut the rotten parts off and repot the plant in clean soil. Avoid planting any plant showing signs of root rot in planters growing other plants because root rot is easily transferred among a wide variety of plants.
Few pests will hassle your Monstera Peru plants, mainly when grown indoors. A few insects are common and are usually easy to eradicate at home using commonly available treatments.
The most common pests of Monstera Peru plants are mealybugs. These little critters live on the bottom of leaves and suck sap while excreting honeydew, a sweet, sticky substance that frequently results in mold growth. Mealybugs are small, fuzzy-looking bugs common in the U.S.
Many people may also experience problems with aphids and spider mites. Like mealybugs, these insects feed on the plant’s sap and can weaken or even kill untreated plants. Spider mites will leave webs in the nodes of leaves that look like little tufts of cotton. Aphids tend to cluster on growing plants and look like miniature flies.
The best way to treat your plants for mealybugs, aphids, and spider mites is to use a heavily-diluted spray of water and isopropyl alcohol. This will dry the bugs out, killing them along with larvae and eggs. You can also use organic insecticides, making sure to treat the bottom of the leaves in particular.
Tropical plants have precise requirements that you must follow to ensure healthy growth. This means that very few non-tropical plants make good companions. The best companion plants for Monstera Peru are other Monstera varieties, which you can grow together to help create a beautiful tropical garden. Look for types that have variegated leaves or bold colors to enhance the visual impact of the dark green foliage of the Monstera Peru.
Toxicity of Monstera Peru
Gardeners who have small children or pets that tend to chew on plants should avoid growing Monstera Peru. The plant is well-known for toxic effects and can cause foaming at the mouth, swelling of the throat or tongue, eye, nose, and throat irritation, and can cause respiratory problems in humans, cats, and dogs.
- Monstera Peru is a tropical or subtropical plant that originates from South America.
- Grow in slightly acidic, fast-draining Monstera Peru soil in bright, indirect light.
- The Monstera Peru plant prefers moderate humidity and temperatures and will suffer in dry and cold conditions.
- You can improve Monstera Peru’s growth rate by providing a pole or structure to climb so that it can reach light and air.
- You can propagate your Monstera Peru plants through water or soil cuttings, but seeds are difficult to find. They are not readily produced on growing plants in most conditions.
- The most common problems gardeners encounter when growing Monstera Peru relate to poor farming, including over- or under-watering Monstera Peru, too low of humidity, and too cold temperatures.
- Few pests are attracted to Monstera Peru plants and are quickly addressed with an organic insecticide.
- Avoid planting Monstera Peru with non-tropical plants due to the difference in care requirements.
- Like all Monstera varieties, Monstera Peru is toxic to humans and animals when eaten.
Suppose you are looking for an attractive, low-maintenance plant to grow in your home or apartment. In that case, Monstera Peru might be ideal. It grows fast in the typical in-home conditions most U.S. households provide and isn’t difficult to grow once it’s well-established.
The key to growing healthy Monstera Peru plants is to remember the ideal conditions to keep the plant comfortable. Keep it out of direct sunlight, don’t overwater, and make sure the plant has some support structure to grow against. Your Monstera Peru plants will be luscious and beautiful in no time at all.