Facts vs Myths: Proper Care for Your Monstera

Facts vs Myths: Proper Care for Your Monstera

Apr 28, 2021

Monstera plants have swept the houseplant nation by storm with their large, deep-green foliage and show-stopping sizes. This plant truly has it all! Easy to care for, urban jungle vibe, and air purifying skills. Monstera means "strange" in Latin, and this plant sure is strange but in all the good ways. Also known as the Swiss Cheese Plant or Split Leaf Philodendron, Monstera, as it matures, creates holes or fenestrations in its foliage. This overtime makes the plant look like a delicious piece of swiss cheese if swiss cheese was green, that is.

All jokes aside, Monstera is a must-have plant to add to any houseplant collection. However, because this plant is extremely popular, there are plenty of improper care tips floating around the internet that we are here to debunk. Should you unfurl your plant's new growth? Can you cut fenestrations in your Monstera? What is the proper way to mist and water your plant? Here at Garden Goods Direct, we have the answers to all these questions and more!

monstera versus philodendron

Myth: Monstera's Common Name is Split Leaf Philodendron, Meaning it is a Philodendron, Right?

Monstera plants are also called Split Leaf Philodendron because of their mature foliage's fenestrations. However, Monstera plants are not Philodendron at all. The Philodendron is more similar to another popular houseplant, a Pothos.

Fact: Monstera Plants are Not Philodendron 

Characteristics of many Philodendron include trailing, vining plants that are a bit easier to grow and come in more variegated varieties. The word Philodendron translates to "love plant," based on the heart-shaped foliage most of this plant classification produces. Monstera plants, however, grow in an upright habit, have much larger leaves, and have no vining qualities. Monstera plants also require more light than Philodendron does. If a Monstera plant does not receive enough light, its leaves will not produce fenestrations, making the plant look more like a Philodendron.

 monstera leaf unfurling

Myth: It is Best to Unfurl New Leaves Yourself

New leaves on your Monstera plant will come in rolled up, and over time, they will unravel into brand new growth. It can be tricky to stay patient while waiting for new growth to unfurl because let's face it, you want to see your plant's new leaves! However, do your very best not to unravel the leaves manually. Doing so will cause severe damage to your plant. It will most likely make this particular leaf die.

Fact: Allow New Leaves to Unfurl on Their Own

Always have patience with your Monstera; it's good for the soul and your plant. New leaves mean your plant is happy and healthy. It may take some time, but it won't take forever, and before you know it, you will have a beautiful new leaf to admire every day. Remember to allow your plant to unfurl on its own this is a natural process that should be left alone.

monstera fenestrations on multiple leaves

Myth: You Can Cut Fenestrations in Your Monstera's Foliage

Hold up and put the scissors down! Monstera Deliciosa is known for large holes in its foliage. However, this is a natural process that occurs over time. Fenestrations develop as your plant matures, and that process should never be sped up from you cutting holes in the leaves on your own.

Fact: Fenestrations Occur Naturally and Should Never Be Manually Cut

The holes in Deliciosa's foliage are called Fenestrations. These fenestrations are theorized to serve a purpose for tropical Monstera plants. They help the plant survive heavy rainfall and high winds by allowing elements to pass through them instead of on top. The moral of the story is, do not cut holes in your beautiful and all-natural Monstera. Allow nature to take its course and watch your plant mature into a beautiful hole-covered, leafy plant.

a person misting a plant's foliage

Myth: You Can Mist your Monstera's Leaves Throughout the Day

It can be very easy to forget to water or mist your plants in the morning. So what's the harm of deciding to give them a good mist mid-day? Well, doing this on rare occasions won't hurt your plant. However, if you keep it up, you could damage your plant.

Fact: Only Mist Monstera Foliage in the Morning

It is crucial to mist your Monstera's foliage in the morning. Doing so will allow the water to dry when the mid-day sun arrives. If your plants are still wet with water droplets, the hot afternoon sun could be more attracted to the mist droplets and burn your plant's leaves. The mist droplets are so fine it is easy to not even think about this issue. However, the sun is more attracted to reflective surfaces, just like water droplets. The water droplets allow the sun to shine intensely on your beautiful Monstera and create burns on the leaves over some time.

wet monstera with water droplets

Myth: The Best Way to Water your Monstera is From Above

You see people watering their plants from above all the time, right? Well, we hate to break it to you, but this is incorrect. Watering your plants from above will oversaturate the foliage and undersaturated the soil. Of course, this is not the best way for your plant to thrive and live happily.

Fact: Water Your Monstera's Soil at the Base of the Plant

Water your Monstera, or any houseplant, at the base of your plant. Doing so will ensure your houseplant gets the most water intake directly in the soil. If you water your plant from above, you are over saturating the leaves of your Monstera that do not require the same amount of water as the soil would. Too much water on your plant's foliage will cause their leaves to droop or die off. It will also not allow your plant to soak up the correct amount of water it needs. This is why it is best to mist your plant's foliage and water your plant directly at the soil level.

monstera fruit on a platter on the table

Myth: Monstera Will Produce Fruit to Eat as a Houseplant

Monstera plants produce rich and tasty fruit that resembles a green shuck of corn. They are 100% edible and can be enjoyed year-round. However, the sad part is if you are growing a Monstera as a houseplant, you are never going to see this fruit production take place in your home.

Fact: Monstera Plants Only Produce Fruit in Their Natural Habitat 

Monstera plants produce a fruit that tastes like pineapple, mango, strawberries, and passion fruit. This fruit is a tropical explosion of flavor! This plant only produces fruit in its natural habitat in rainforests. Not to worry though, you can still find places to purchase Monstera fruit and enjoy their lovely flavors.

Monstera fruit takes ten months to ripen, do not eat the fruit until it is ripe. You will know it is ready to eat when the scale on the outside begins to come loose, and the inside turns yellow like a banana. If you eat the fruit before it is ripe, it could burn your throat. It can be tricky to get your hands on this tasty fruit, but if you do some online research, you should be able to find some that can be delivered to your home, depending on where you live.

Check out all our Monstera plant options at Garden Goods Direct.