How to Grow and Care For Monstera Peru

The unique, exotic Monstera Peru (known as Monstera karstenianum) is going to be one of your new favorite houseplants. Its dark, thick leaves are unlike other monsteras. Its dark green foliage will stand out because it is unlike other plants. Part of the aroids family, this low-maintenance tropical plant has smaller variegated leaves, unlike the big fenestrated leaves of the Monstera Deliciosa that we all know and love.

Monstera Peru leaves

Image Source: Dade Plant Co

Quick Monstera Peru Care Guide

Botanical Name

Monstera karstenianum

Common Name

Monstera Peru

Family

Araceae

Difficulty

Beginner

Plant Type

Perennial, vine

Growth Rate

Slow to moderate

Sun Exposure

Bright Indirect Light

Water

Low - 1x a week to bi-weekly

Soil Type

Well-draining, houseplant soil mix

Propagate

Stem Cuttings, Leaf Cuttings, Seed

Bloom Time

Summer

Great For These Spaces

Hanging Baskets, Trellises, Offices, Shelves, Windowsill

Window Location (ideal)

North or East Facing Windows

USDA Hardiness Zone

10, 11, 12

Companion Plants

Pothos, Philodendron, Schefflera

Toxicity

Non-toxic to dogs and cats

Pests

Aphids, Fungus Gnats, Mealybugs, Scale, Spider Mites, Thrips

Diseases

Root rot, Yellow leaves, Brown leaves, Leaf drooping, Leaf curling, Leaf dropping

The unique, exotic Monstera Peru (known as Monstera Karstenianum) is going to be one of your new favorite houseplants. Its dark, thick leaves are unlike other monsteras.  Its dark green foliage will stand out because it is unlike other plants. Part of the aroids family, this low-maintenance tropical plant has smaller variegated leaves, unlike the big fenestrated leaves of the Monstera Deliciosa that we all know and love. You can bring this baby home and watch it grow. This plant is a fast grower in the right conditions and only needs indirect light—it can grow almost anywhere in your home! You can use a moss pole to help it climb as it would in the rainforest, or you can plant it in a hanging pot and the vines will trail downwards. Monstera Peru will be a perfect addition to your tropical plants' collection.

What is a Monstera Peru?

The Monstera Peru is native to the tropical regions of Peru and is also known as Monstera Karstenianum. It’s a tropical vining plant. Because monsteras are tropical plants, they like lots of water and prefer indirect light. There are a couple of well-known monstera plants, including Monstera Deliciosa and Monstera Adansonii. The Monstera Peru has leathery leaves about 2 to 5 inches long and dark green leaves. Outdoors, the plant can grow up to 20 feet long. As an indoor plant, the Monstera Peru will be smaller but can grow several feet.

Types of Monsteras

  • Monstera Deliciosa: Unlike the Monstera Peru, Monstera Deliciosa has very large fenestrated leaves and the vining plant fenestrations are the holes in the leaves. Monstera Deliciosas can grow very large in the right conditions, ideally, bright indirect sunlight (indoors) or part shade (outdoors) but only grows to 3 ft tall. They need a moss pole for support.
  • Monstera Adansonii: Also known as the “Swiss cheese” plant, Adanson's Monstera, or five holes plant. It will climb on a moss pole or let the vines hang. It has smaller, narrower leaves, and shorter petioles, and its leaf perforations remain closed.
  • Monstera Siltepecana: Also known as the Silver Monstera. Looks similar to Monstera Peru but has silver colored leaves with dark green veins. It can form fenestrations from its mature form.

How to Grow Monstera Peru

Your Monstera Peru will be a great houseplant and a wonderful companion. All you need is north or east-facing window.  You can use hanging baskets and let the vines trail downwards or you can use a moss pole or totem to train the vines to grow up. This climber could even use a trellis. Be sure to use soil with good drainage and a pot with proper drainage holes. These tropical plants like humidity and consistently wet soil.

Growing Monstera Peru Indoors

Monstera Peru is a perfect indoor plant. With a few hours of bright, indirect sunlight it will grow fast in a north or east-facing window. Under lower light conditions, it will grow slower. You can plant in hanging baskets, use a totem, climber, or trellis so it can ascend towards the ceiling. This plant is adaptable and will fit your needs. 

Growing Monstera Peru Outdoors

If you live in USDA zones 9b to 11, you can keep the tropical plant outdoors all year round. The ideal climate is USDA hardiness zones 10-12. The growing season for the monstera Peru is spring and summer. Be sure to water the plant so its leaves don’t drop. Place your plant in indirect light because the leaves will burn in more than 30 minutes of direct light. These plants are very sensitive to the cold.  They don’t do well below 65 degrees Fahrenheit so be sure to bring your plant inside when the temperature falls.

How to Care For Monstera Peru

The Monstera Peru plant is a vining/climbing plant that will grow into a magnificent specimen with some basic plant care.  The plant ideally requires humidity levels of at least 50% and a room temperature between 65 and 80 degrees fahrenheit. You can use a moss poll or totem to give the vines the support they need to grow upwards. Place your new monstera Peru where it can get a few hours of bright indirect light. Be sure to keep the soil consistently moist by watering when the top inch of soil is dry. This is tricky because most plants die from overwatering. Water consistently during the growing season to avoid underwatering but cut back on watering in the winter months. Every two years, you should be repotting the monstera Peru in a bigger pot and with a soil mixture that allows for proper draining.

Water

The monstera Peru likes consistently moist soil. But be careful to avoid overwatering. Root rot will kill your plant. Be sure your pot has proper drainage holes and water weekly, or bi-weekly when the top inch of soil is dry. How quickly the soil dries out will depend on the amount of sun the plant is getting and the humidity in your area. Underwatering is also detrimental to the monstera Peru. Some signs of underwatering include when its leaves droop or the soil is totally dry.

Sunlight

As a tropical plant, the monstera Peru only needs a few hours of bright light conditions each day. Indirect light is optimal due to its tropical origins on the rainforest floor where direct sun is rare. This plant can tolerate lower light but will grow slower. If placing in an area with direct sunlight, take care that the plants don’t burn.

Temperature

Monstera Peru requires warm, humid temperatures in order to survive—remeber it’s a tropical plant from the rainforest region of the Americas! The ideal temperature for these tropical beauties is between 65-81 degrees fahrenheit. Recommended locations to place your plant include the bathroom, kitchen, laundry room, and any place that gets warm and has some humidity.

Humidity

As a tropical plant, the monstera Peru will do fine in average room humidity levels with its ideal at least 50% humidity but it can handle even more—it loves humidity! You can use a humidifier or keep your plant in the bathroom where the humidity levels are higher.  Or, you can choose naturally-humid locations in your home such as the bathroom, kitchen, or laundry room. 

Soil

When potting your monstera Peru, be sure to use a well-draining soil. A soil mixture of one-part orchid bark, one-part coco coir, and one-part perlite mix will give the perfect drainage. You can also use a pebble tray under your plant to ensure drainage.

Fertilizer

 Monstera Peru plants only need fertilizing in the summer months. Use a mild, balanced NPK fertilizer that has a good level of magnesium every 3 to 4 weeks during its growing season. Fertilizers that contain some nitrogen can also be good for leaf growth, such as a liquid fertilizer with a 5-2-3 NPK ratio. Remember to dilute the fertilizer so it won’t burn the roots. You can also use a slow release granular fertilizer too.

Cutting and Pruning

Let's talk about how to prune your Monstera Peru. When cutting and pruning your monstera Peru, you should use sharp shears under the node to propagate. But only trim during its growing season. If your plant’s vines have grown too long for your space, it is great to prune and propagate so it will fit into its home better. Monstera Peru can be a fast grower. When the vines are too long, this is a good time to propagate. Prune your plant by cutting below the node. Be sure to prune any dead or yellow leaves off the plant to ensure the plant isn’t wasting resources.

How to Propagate Monstera Peru

Propagation is an easy way to make new plants. With just a few simple steps you can have multiple plants or thicken up your plant.

Propagate From Stem Cuttings or Leaf Cuttings

Monstera Peru is most easily propagated from stem cuttings. If you want a budget-friendly way to expand your plant collection, propagating is a great way to start new plants! Follow these simple tips to propagate your Monstera Peru.
Step 1: Identify the stem where you'll obtain your cutting. You will want each cutting to have 3-4 leaves (or nodes) along the stem to increase the chances of success.
Step 2: Use sterilized gardening scissors or shears to cut below a node.
Step 3: If there are leaves close to where you pruned, you will want to remove one or two of them. Make sure to leave at least one leaf that's part of the stem cutting.
Step 4: You can now propagate this stem cutting via water, LECA, or potting soil. Let's talk through each one
By Medium
  • Take peat moss and mix it with perlite. You can also use general houseplant soil mix.
  • Place your new stem cutting into your mixture.
  • Water after you top off your propagation container with your medium and keep moist.
By LECA
  • Wet your LECA and fill your container with wet Leca
  • Put the cutting gently in the LECA
  • Fill your container with water
  • Monitor, refill water, and rinse LECA as necessary
By Water
  • You can dip your stem cutting into rooting hormone.
  • Fill up a small container with distilled or clean water. Do not use tap water.
  • Place your cutting into water and make sure the leaves remain above the water
  • Place the cutting and container in a location that receives bright diffused light.

Propagate By Layering

Propagation by layering can sometimes happen naturally. You might see little nodes start growing from the vines. If you put those nodes in soil, the plant will grow roots from those nodes.
This method is great for filling out your plant and making it look thicker. You can take a section of vine and place it in the pot where the soil is exposed. Use a u-shaped pin (or a slightly opened bobby pin) to stake the vine in place. The vines will take root and your plant will become thicker with time.
If you see a node growing on the vine, you can take some potting soil and some cling wrap and make a little soil nest. This will help the node root before you cut it and transplant it to its new home.  

How to Repot Monstera Peru

When repotting, choose a pot that is only an inch to an inch and a half bigger than your current pot. Repotting in a pot that is too big can cause root rot and waterlogged soil. It is better to repot during spring or summer and once every two years, even for slow growers.
  • Step 1: Choose the right pot. Make sure the new pot has adequate drainage holes. Be sure your new pot is big enough, but not too big.
  • Step 2: Remove the plant from its current pot. Hold it gently by the stems near the dirt. Tap the bottom of the container to loosen the soil. Gently loosen the roots.
  • Step 3: Add new potting soil to the new pot. Add just enough new well-draining soil to the bottom of the pot to ensure the new plant will sit high enough.
  • Step 4: Add your plant. Fill the rest of the pot with soil that contains perlite, pumice, orchid bark, or other gritty substances to help drain excess water.
  • Step 5: Water and Bask in Your Accomplishment!

Common Monstera Peru Pests and Diseases

To keep your monstera Peru happy and healthy, be sure to pay attention to the signs of an unhappy plant. Pests show up in different ways: spider mites that cause yellow or brown spots on the leaves or webs on the leaves; scale are small brown lumps on the stems; mealy bugs that are white, fluffy spots; and fungus gnats that are small gnats that fly around in your room.  A natural way to keep pest infestation away is Neem oil. Monitor light conditions because too much sun can burn the leaves and too little light makes them droop. Underwatering can wilt or curl leaves. Overwatering will turn leaves yellow.

Yellowing Leaves or Leaf Drop

This may be a sign of overwatering. Be sure the soil is draining well and only water when the top inch of soil is dry. Yellow leaves might also mean the plant isn’t getting enough sun. Be sure there are at least two hours of bright indirect sun. Be sure to trim the yellowing leaves as part of its treatment as well as any old-looking leaves to encourage new growth.

Thinning leaves

This may be a sign that your plant needs more light. Remember low light doesn’t mean any light.

Root Rot

Root rot can happen when the soil is waterlogged. Be sure there are proper drainage holes and well-draining soil. You will have to cut away the black mushy roots away and replant it. Hopefully, that will save the plant. For more details on the treatment of root rot, read our in-depth root rot guide here.

Pests

Common pests that can infect the monstera Peru include:
  • Spider mites
  • Mealybugs 
  • Aphids
  • Fungus gnats
  • Scale 
If you can spot a pest, you can manually remove them. Then, you can use an insecticide until the pests are gone and symptoms subsided. If your plant is suffering fun a fungus infection, trim away infected leaves and replant in fresh soil.

5 Care Tips For Monstera Peru

Here are five care tips that will help you with plant care for your monstera Peru.
  1. Find the perfect spot! Monstera Peru needs a few hours of bright, indirect light. Too much direct light will burn the leaves.
  2. Get a watering routine. Depending on your climate, humidity, and amount of sun the soil will dry out slower or faster. Once you know how quickly the soil dries, water weekly or bi-weekly to keep the soil consistently moist.
  3. Get a moss pole, trellis, or hanging pot. This vining plant loves to climb, so give it something to climb its little heart out.
  4.  Make sure to have the right soil. A well-draining potting soil is key to plant health and longevity. Don’t let your monstera Peru get waterlogged. Good plant care goes a long way.
  5. Prune and propagate! When this fast grower outgrows the moss pole or the hanging pot, prune below the node and propagate for more plant friends.
Where to buy Monstera Peru?
The rare monstera plants, such as the Monstera Adansonii and the Monstera Peru, will be sure to stand out among your other plants with their unique dark green leathery leaves and totem shape. It will be sure to wow friends and family. With the right potting soil and light conditions, watch your monstera Peru thrive and become your new favorite, low-maintenance houseplant. Not sure where to buy a monstera Peru plant? Check out Neverland for all your plant needs.
Visit our Neverland blog today for more tips and useful resources. Plants bring a lot of joy, so we strive to help you have the best plants growing experience possible!

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