Caring for your plant
Pot size -- A permanent home for a full-sized plant would be about 10 gallons (40 liters), but smaller plants may be grown in smaller containers. I recommend growing your plant in a 2 to 5 gallon pot (8-20 liters) for at least a few months before moving it to a larger container. Use a pot with drainage holes at the bottom.
Soil -- Monstera likes well-draining soil that's high in organic matter. A typical mix is 2 parts potting soil to 1 part perlite, pumice or coarse horticultural sand. An alternate mix is equal parts of coir fiber and perlite, with some slow-release fertilizer mixed in. If you tend to over-water your plants, use more perlite/sand.
Transplanting -- The plant may be hard to slide out, since the roots are adhesive and tend to glue themselves to the inside of the pot. First, give the soil a thorough watering and wait 15 minutes for it to soak in well. This will help keep the soil ball from breaking apart. If the roots stick to the pot, try squeezing the sides and bottom of the container while gently pulling on the stem. If that doesn't work, you may need to cut the pot apart with a box-cutter or scissors. Be careful doing this, so you don't cut yourself or the plant!
After transplanting, don't pack the soil down - simply water it in. Give no liquid fertilizer the first week after transplanting.
Watering -- Monstera likes soil that is evenly moist, but not soggy. It may help to use a moisture meter probe, which you can buy for about $5 at garden and hardware stores. You stick the probe deep into the soil and read the dial. Don't keep the soil constantly wet. Don't let the pot sit in a tray of water.
If your tap water is very "hard", meaning high in minerals, you may want to use bottled water or rain water.
Growing indoors -- Grow your plant indoors, unless it doesn't freeze in your area, in which case you can grow it outside. The plant can handle a wide range of temperatures, but it's happiest between about 65-85 degrees F. (18-29°C). If the humidity drops below 40% indoors, consider using an ultrasonic room humidifier, which are sold at home improvement stores and thrift shops.
Training your plant -- Your plant will want something to climb on, like a wall/ceiling, a trellis, etc. The plant holds on by means of its long, dangling aerial roots, which adhere very strongly. It may be hard to pull the aerial roots away from its support, so keep this in mind when choosing a spot for it. I've pulled the paint off my walls trying to remove this plant! You may cut off the aerial roots if you wish, and tie the plant to its support. Your Monstera can grow 15+ feet vertically and horizontally if left unpruned, however you may cut it back to any size that you wish.
Light -- Monstera does best with bright light, but not much direct sun, unless it's early-morning or late-afternoon sun. The leaves may burn if exposed to too much sun, so its best to filter it through a curtain, shade cloth, etc. This plant does not need a lot of light to be happy.
Fertilizing -- Monstera likes moderate amounts of fertilizer. Feed about every 2-3 months with a slow-release (pelleted or organic) fertilizer.
If an older leaf turns yellow, it may be a sign that the soil is too dry down in the root zone. Or the plant may need more fertilizer, particularly nitrogen. Keep in mind that it's normal for the plant to shed an old leaf occasionally.
Pests to watch for -- Look for any bugs that can affect your other houseplants, such as Scale (little brown disks on the stem or leaves), aphids, spider mites (tiny "dots" under the leaves), mealybugs, and fungus gnats.
If you have any questions, feel free to email me.
Enjoy your plant!
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