Monstera Subpinnata Care Infographic

The Monstera subpinnata plant is a lovely variety of the Monstera plant with dainty finger-like foliage. Being part of the Monstera family, this subpinnata possesses the lush tropical beauty its many relatives have.

Today, we will discover all that we can about the Monstera subpinnata plant and learn how to easily grow it for ourselves. Keep on reading to discover more.

What Is Monstera Subpinnata?

The Monstera Subpinnata plant can have slender leafy tendrils that sometimes grow to gigantic sizes when planted in local habitats or given similar conditions. In cultivation, the Monstera subpinnata plant is a wonderful house plant that imparts a rich exotic ambiance to any room.

Monstera Subpinnata Care

– Water Requirements

Watering the Monstera subpinnata plant can seem challenging but it is actually very simple. As a tropical hemiepiphyte plant, it does not require excessive or abundant watering. Ideally, you should only water the plant when the topmost inch of the potting medium feels dry to the touch.

Prior to watering, you should ensure that the potting medium is not compact. This is because the root system of the Monstera subpinnata plant is prone to root rot, which is caused by constant exposure to wet soil. By allowing the root system to breathe, you lessen the chances of root rot from constantly wet soil.

Overwatering is often a major concern for many Monstera subpinnata plants as evidenced by yellowing leaves. Underwatering the plant can also cause brown dry leaves.

If you are still unsure about how often you should water the plant, it is possible for you to use commercial moisture meters.

As a general rule, you should water your Monstera subpinnata plant more frequently if you live in warm regions, and only water when the topmost soil is dry. Allow excess water to drain and do not encourage water to pool around the base of your container. Reduce your watering during the colder days of the year as the soil may take longer to dry.

– Light Requirements

A group of Monstera DeliciousThe Monstera subpinnata prefers to be in bright indirect light. Similar to the light the plant receives in the tropical rainforest canopy, the levels of bright sun exposure should be quite high but not direct.

Direct sun exposure can cause leaf burns on the Monstera subpinnata plant which could eventually cause it to perish.

The most ideal locations and directions for growing the plant are east- and south-facing places. The gentle morning sun in the east will not burn the leaves while the bright indirect light of the south is ideal for longer light exposure.

If your Monstera subpinnata plant is located in an area that has direct sun exposure, you can relocate it somewhere else. If grown indoors, you can place a curtain to shield your plant from any harsh direct sun exposure.

However, if your plant has less exposure to bright light, you can also use grow lights to increase the level of brightness. Commercial grow lights provide supplementary brightness to many indoor plants and yours could be one of them.

One way to identify if your Monstera subpinnata plant does not have the requisite light levels is when the growth is leggy. This means that the plant has fewer leaves and longer stems or branches. Usually, this is an indication that the plant is trying to look for higher and better sources of light.

– Temperature Requirements

The Monstera subpinnata plant thrives in warm regions, so placing your plant in warm growing conditions is the most optimal method of ensuring its development. Ideal plant temperatures of 65 to 80 F provide the best range for the Monstera subpinnata plant for increased growth since lower temperatures can slow down its development.

When temperatures drop below 60 F, there is a huge risk that your Monstera subpinnata plant could wilt and perish. If you live in regions where colder seasons exist, you should immediately bring your plant indoors and overwinter it. The more consistent the temperature is, the happier your Monster subpinnata plant will be.

Additionally, the Monstera subpinnata is a warm-loving plant, any drop in the temperature can cause it to save its energy from growing.

– Soil Requirements

The ideal Monstera subpinnata soil is quick-draining yet provides enough substance to retain moisture. As a hemiepiphyte plant, the potting soil should reflect the growing habit of this particular Monstera. Aroid soil mixes are the perfect potting medium for the Monstera subpinnata.

The aerial roots of the Monstera subpinnata plant are vulnerable to root rot caused by overly wet soils. Semi-permeable soil mixtures should be used to prevent soggy soil. Some gardeners amend aroid soil or gardening soil mixed with perlite, vermiculite, bark chips, peat moss, coco coir, and coconut husks.

– Humidity Requirements

High humidity is a prerequisite for many Monstera varieties including Monstera subpinnata. Generally, humidity levels of 70 to 90 percent are the most ideal since the levels mimic the natural humidity of the local habitat of the plant.

If you are unable to provide the high levels of humidity as preferred by the Monstera subpinnata plant, you may do one or more by placing your plant in greenhouses or terrariums and misting your Monstera subpinnata as often as you can. Following the latter, you should place a shallow tray with gravel under the plant container and fill the shallow tray with water. 

Ensure that the water does not touch the soil or the roots of the plant. As the water evaporates from the tray, humidity in the air is increased. Finally, you can even buy commercial humidifiers to increase your indoor air moisture levels.

– Fertilizer Requirements

The slow growth rate of the Monstera subpinnata plant may surprise some novice gardeners. By giving the plant a monthly organic fertilizer, you can help it grow healthier and bigger. Slow-release fertilizers can work extremely well.

If you are planning to use fertilizers, organic ones are the most ideal. Follow the product directions and apply accordingly. Always remember that fertilizers are best applied when used as directed, or in more diluted solutions to prevent leaf or root burns.

During the colder months of the year, refrain from applying fertilizers to your Monstera subpinnata, it is important to only apply fertilizers during warmer seasons.

– Pruning

It is ideal for you to prune the leaves that have been infected by pests, or damaged, in addition to the old leaves that are yellowish or even turned brown in color. By pruning, the leaves of the plant will grow in more available space.

 

Propagation

The Monstera subpinnata plant can be easily propagated through a very simple method. As it is very difficult for them to flower and seed indoors, the fastest way to propagate the plant is through stem cuttings.

Cutting the stem off about four to five inches below a leaf is perfect. Keep at least two or three leaves at the top of the cutting and remove all remaining leaves. Dip your stem cuttings into a rooting hormone, which can be in liquid or powder form. Rooting hormones contain all the essential nutrients to encourage root growth of any stem cuttings.

Place your stem cuttings in a pot or a container filled with your Monstera subpinnata soil mix. Water your soil enough to keep it damp. Ensure your container has good drainage.

Cover the stem cuttings and the container with a clear plastic bag while ensuring that the plastic covers do not touch any part of the stem cuttings. Prop the plastic cover with sticks if necessary.

Place the covered stem cuttings and container in bright indirect lighting similar to your mother plant. Water the soil only when it is dry to the touch. In four to eight weeks, you should be able to see new growth from the stem cuttings. You can then repot each cutting into individual containers.

Problems

– Leaf Spots

Soft brown leaf spots are normally caused by fungal infections. Remove these immediately and refrain from misting the areas near the spots. Allow the plant more airflow to reduce the risk of fungal spores infecting other parts of the plant.

– Root Rot

Wilted, twisted yellow leaves are signs of possible root rot, aside from overly wet soils. Root rot causes the roots to go black and soft and could even easily separate from the top part of the plant when touched.

If you experience root rot, replant the healthy parts of your plant in the ideal soil mixture. Water the soil mixture only when the topmost inch of the medium is dry.

– Pest Infestations

Pests such as spider mites, mealybugs, scale, thrips, and whiteflies can be common for Monstera subpinnata especially when they are already experiencing plant stress from root rot.

You can use insecticidal soaps or neem oil solutions to keep these pests at bay.

Frequently Asked Questions

– Where Did the Name Monstera Subpinnata Come From?

The name Monstera is thought to have been derived from the Latin word “Monstrum”, which means “monster”. The term was thought to have referred to the gigantically large leaves, although this is not certain.

The first Monstera plant was described in 1763, more than 250 years ago. French botanist Michel Adanson was the one who named the plant, and from whom the Monstera adansonii takes after. After this discovery and description, Monstera varieties have slowly become more popular as the years pass.

The epithet “Subpinnata” is taken from the English word subpinnata, which means imperfectly or somewhat pinnate. Pinnate refers to having leaves or leaflets arranged on both sides of the stem, usually in pairs that are opposite to each other.

– How Large Can the Monstera Subpinnata Grow?

The Monstera subpinnata is a vining evergreen plant that can grow to over 30 feet in height in the wild. Using its many aerial roots as climbing hooks over branches and trunks, the Monster subpinnata plant can be a majestic sight to behold in its native habitats.

The vining growth habit of the plant usually grows no larger than six feet indoors when it has a support structure to grow on. Without support structures, the plant can grow horizontally and quickly take over the space.

These aerial roots can also grow into the earth to help support the Monster subpinnata plant. The dual nature of the roots to grow into the soil and over trees, hence it is considered a hemiepiphyte plant.

A hemiepiphyte is a plant that lives a part of its life cycle as an air plant or an epiphyte. Many hemiepiphyte plants produce seeds that germinate in the canopy of trees and live initially as epiphytic plants. These plants then send roots downward which eventually make contact with the soil and take root to grow in the ground.

– What Is the Growth Rate of The Monstera Subpinnata Plant?

As a general rule, the Monstera subpinnata growth rate can slow down when it becomes rootbound in its container. By repotting the plant in a larger container, you encourage it to grow bigger.

The Monstera subpinnata plant is often grown as a houseplant, which can either be indoors or outdoors. The growth rate can differ significantly when you consider the growing conditions such as light, temperature, and growing medium.

– What Do the Leaves of the Monstera Subpinnata Look Like?

The Monstera subpinnata leaves are alternate with a leathery texture. The large, dark green leaves can range anywhere from 10 to 15 inches long and seven to 11 inches wide.

The leaves of the Monstera subpinnata plant are quite different from many popular Monstera plants. While more famous Monstera plants have fenestrated leaves, the Monstera subpinnata plant has alternating leaflets that are not symmetrically arranged on both sides of the stem.

The sectioned frondy leaves provide a lush tropical atmosphere to any space it is grown. The divisions on the leaf show up when the plants mature and they have enough light exposure.

The leaves of the Monstera subpinnata plant have narrow green stems that can grow up to an inch in diameter. These stems usually become thinner as the plant grows and climbs.

– What Do the Roots of the Monstera Subpinnata Look Like?

The Monstera subpinnata roots start out as fine tendrils in the many potting media. These roots eventually form a thicker, noodle-like root system that curls around the container holding the potting medium.

Because the Monstera subpinnata plant is also hemiepiphyte, aerial roots can grow from the woodier parts of the plant above the soil. These aerial roots can wrap around the host plant or the support structure to stabilize the plant as it climbs. These aerial roots also slowly grow downwards and if they touch the ground, can become rooted into the soil.

The roots of the Monstera subpinnata plant are sensitive to constant exposure to wet soil or potting medium. The root system of the plant prefers to be in a damp or moist environment since too much moisture can cause root rot.

As a general rule, always make sure that the root system of the plant has adequate airflow to eliminate constant exposure to wetness.

– How Can I Repot Monstera Subpinnata?

The process of repotting a Monstera subpinnata plant can be quite easy. Since the growth rate is pretty much average, gardeners can gauge when the plant is ready for repotting activities. Repotting needs to be done when roots end up growing out of the drainage holes or out of the container.

Simply repot the Monstera subpinnata plant in a larger container to encourage the plant to grow bigger and faster.

– Does the Monstera Subpinnata Produce Flowers, Fruits, and Seeds?

The Monster subpinnata produces small pale yellow flowers on a spadix surrounded by a creamy pink spathe. The spadix has a peduncle or a terete stalk. After the opening of the flower, the spadix bears clustered berry-like Monstera subpinnata seeds.

The seeds start off as green and eventually turn yellow and then orange once they mature. These seeds are toxic and can be poisonous.

It is unusual to find a cultivated plant that flowers or produces seeds. The chances of the plant producing flowers and seeding are higher when grown outdoors.

– What Is the Habitat of the Monstera Subpinnata?

The Monstera subpinnata plant calls the humid forests jungles of Bolivia, Ecuador, and Peru home. The rich tropical environment of these regions provides the perfect light, humidity, and other growth conditions that enable the plant to clamber up rocks and trees.

While the Monstera subpinnata plant thrives in tropical and subtropical environments, it can also be grown outside of these places as long as the conditions are similar. In the United States, the plant can be easily grown in USDA zones 10b to 12 when grown outdoors.

As potted plants, the Monstera subpinnata can be grown in USDA zones 4a to 11. You can allow these plants to enjoy the warmer seasons outdoors, and simply bring them inside once the temperatures turn colder.

Conclusion

The Monstera subpinnata is a wonderful addition to many tropical gardens, whether indoor or outdoor. The ease of growing them can be an attractive factor for many gardeners. Let’s go over what we’ve learned so far about caring for the remarkable plant.

  • The Monstera subpinnata is a hemiepiphyte plant that first lives as an air plant and can send its roots downwards and grow into the soil.
  • Warm temperatures, high levels of bright indirect light, and humidity are important factors in providing ideal conditions for growing this plant.
  • Water the plant only when the topmost soil is dry, and refrain from giving the plant its usual monthly fertilizer during the winter season of the year.
  • The ideal soil for the Monstera subpinnata should be quick-draining but able to hold enough moisture. Pests and problems that affect the Monstera subpinnata plant can be easily resolved by more airflow and through the use of insecticidal or neem oil solutions.
  • The plant can be easily propagated through stem cuttings.

Easy to grow, easy to maintain, and beautiful to the eyes, the Monstera subpinnata plant rarely disappoints growers. Now that you have the essential information to grow this incredibly charming plant, we can’t wait to see what you can do!

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