How to Grow and Care for Monstera Peru
Move over monstera deliciosa—the monstera Peru (Monstera karstenianum) is climbing in popularity among houseplant lovers thanks to its unique foliage and ease of care. Unlike other monstera varieties such as monstera dubia and monstera adansonii, the monstera Peru does not develop fenestrated leaves but instead, its thick leaves are characterized by a deep ridge-like texture (similar to some peperomias) and dark green color. This small monstera plant rarely grows taller than 6 to 8 feet indoors with leaves topping out at about 9 centimeters long.
Looking to add a monstera Peru to your houseplant collection? Its care differs from other monstera species, so make sure you know how to keep it happy.
Monstera Peru Care
While they can be difficult to acquire, monstera Peru are surprisingly low-maintenance plants that thrive in indoor environments. They require less light and water than other species in the monstera genus and are known for being slow-growing as well, meaning they aren’t likely to outgrow your space any time soon (we’re looking at you Monstera deliciosa).
As an epiphyte, the monstera Peru naturally has an upward, vining growth habit and does well when provided with a support to climb such as a moss pole or trellis.
That being said, you can also choose to grow your monstera Peru in a hanging basket or planter and allow its vining foliage to trail downwards. While monstera Peru flower when grown outdoors, it is extremely rare for them to flower indoors—so don’t panic if you don’t see any blooms on your plant, this is normal.
Surprisingly, the monstera Peru does not require very much light in order to thrive indoors. A north-facing window that receives several hours of bright, indirect light is perfect for these tropical understory plants. Avoid locations that receive direct sunlight as the thick leaves of the monstera Peru are easily susceptible to sunburn and scorching.
As an epiphyte, the monstera peru does best in rich, airy, well-draining soil. A mixture of one part coco coir, one part orchid bark, and one part perlite provides the perfect amount of drainage, moisture retention, and nutritional content for these monsteras.
The thick leaves of the monstera Peru make this monstera species more drought tolerant than many of its cousins, and it should be allowed to dry out completely between waterings. This monstera should not be allowed to sit in wet soil for an extended period of time as it is susceptible to root rot.
Temperature and Humidity
Monstera Peru is native to the tropical regions of Peru and requires warm, humid temperatures in order to survive. Ideally, keep temperatures between 60 to 85 degrees Fahrenheit (16 to 30 degrees Celsius) and choose a location that is naturally humid—such as the bathroom, kitchen, or laundry room. Alternatively, you can increase humidity around the plant by placing a pebble tray beneath the pot or putting a humidifier nearby.
Monstera Peru appreciates regular fertilization with a mild, balanced fertilizer throughout the spring and summer months. Apply the fertilizer once every 3 to 4 weeks during watering. Avoid fertilizing your monstera Peru during the winter when the plant goes into dormancy.
Propagating Monstera Peru
The monstera Peru can be easily propagated by stem cuttings. Propagating is a great way to start new plants, or to fill out existing plants by replanting the newly rooted cuttings back in the original pot. Follow these simple steps to propagate your monstera Peru.
- Identify the part of the stem where you will take the cutting. Each cutting should have 3 to 4 nodes along the stem for the best chance of success.
- Using a sharp pair of scissors or pruning shears, cut directly below a node.
- Remove the bottom 1-2 leaves from the stem cutting to expose the nodes along the stem, leaving 1-2 leaves on the top of the cutting.
- Fill a small glass or vase with water and place the cutting in the water, ensuring that the exposed nodes along the stem are submerged in water while the top leaves remain above the water.
- Place the cutting in a location that receives medium to bright indirect light, and change the water once a week to help prevent rotting.
After a few weeks you should begin to see small white roots growing from the nodes below the water. Once the roots reach at least an inch in length, you can transfer the cutting back to soil by planting the cutting in a pre-moistened, well-draining soil mixture.
Common Pests and Diseases
The monstera Peru is susceptible to a range of common houseplant pests, particularly fungus gnats, mealy bugs, scale, spider mites, and whiteflies. Regularly inspecting the plant for signs of pests is the best way to prevent an infestation. If you notice signs of pests on your monstera Peru, be sure to isolate it from your other houseplants and treat it with the appropriate insecticide until the infestation has subsided.