A true plant connoisseur will always count the Monkey Leaf plant as one of their prized plant possessions. This shrub, which has the botanical name Monstera Obliqua, is the brother of the renowned Swiss Cheese Plant.
When left outdoors, it can grow to heights of up to six metres when it has sufficient support, and its leaves will also spread over a wide distance. However, when grown inside as a houseplant, it thrives best when placed in humid surroundings, and can grow to a size of 30cm in perfect conditions.
This is a great plant for the home, especially if you wish to add interest and colour to a minimalist room in the household.
Shapes and hues
Traditionally, this plant boasts numerous holes, which sit at the tip of the leaf. They look a little like someone has cut into the leaf with a hole punch. This is one of the plant’s most distinctive features.
The Monstera clan is native to Central America, including Panama, and comes from the Araceae family. They come in the shape of liana vines, which are renowned for their ability to climb to huge heights. They do this by securing their aerial fleshy roots to rocks, tree trunks or soil on the forest floor. The plant is classified as an epiphyte as a result
Monkey Leaf plants love a humid environment and this is why it is highly recommended you mist the leaves on a frequent basis. Another way to heighten the humidity is by placing your Monkey Leaf plant next to other similar plants, as this increases the air’s humidity overall.
Your Monkey Leaf plant does not require any specific temperature needs, however, it will deteriorate if placed in temperatures below 10°C (50°F).
How to plant
Monkey Leaf plants, if ingested, are toxic to both animals and people. It is therefore extremely important to keep these shrubs out of the reach of pets and young children. Think about this before choosing a location.
To ensure your plant excels, feed it with a standard houseplant fertiliser (which can be sourced in your local garden centre or online) every month throughout the growing season. This means you’ll need to provide the plant with fertiliser from the start of spring, before continuing through the summer.
Propagating your Monkey Leaf plant is an easy feat and is a great way to grow your collection. Simply place a cutting from a leaf and stem in water. For best results, it is important to cut just below the stem’s node. Replace the water every few days and growth should occur over a period of several weeks.
Your Monkey Leaf plant prefers a weekly watering schedule and regular misting of the leaves to mimic the humidity of its natural habitat. For best results, ensure the soil is dry to the touch in between watering, particularly during the winter months when the temperatures drop. In this season, your plant will likely only require watering on a fortnightly basis.
One of the most common ailments that a Monkey Leaf plant is susceptible to is yellowing leaves. This tends to pinpoint that your shrub has been privy to too much light, has not received enough water or has been the victim of too much water.
Browning leaves on the other hand suggest your shrub has been subject to too little humidity or too little light. These plans can survive in low to moderate light conditions and you should note that bright, direct sunlight should be avoided as too much light will cause the leaves to burn.