Monstera Karstenianum Care Guide

Monstera Karstenianum Care Guide

Botanically known as Monstera Karstenianum, the Monstera Peru is a beloved treasure among houseplant enthusiasts. Typically, it doesn’t grow very large. It has stunning foliage and leaves with a rubbery, almost leather-like feel.

Monstera Karstenianum Care Guide Overview

Characteristics

  • Scientific name and common names: Philodendron Karstenianum, Monstera Peru, Philodendron opacum, Monstera Karstenianum
  • Origin: Peru
  • Indoor or Outdoor plant: Indoor Plant
  • Height and Structure: It can grow up to twenty feet or six meters and stretch up to eight feet wide. Its leaves measure eighteen inches across, and in some cases, even more.
  • Temperature: Preferred temperature range is between 65F (18C) and 80F (27C
  • Flower Color: White

How to Plant the Monstera Karstenianum

Planting Time

Monstera Peru comes from a tropical climate. Therefore, it’s recommended to propagate this houseplant during the warmer months. Experts endorse doing this during the springtime, more so in March. You shouldn’t attempt to propagate it in the winter season.

Spacing

The Monstera Karstenianum is a slow and steady grower that does well in mild climates. It’s a plant that’s easy to care for and which requires filtered sunlight to grow. Its stiff, leather-like leaves are spaced around two inches apart.

You can give it a burlap pole to climb up or leave it to trail down. The plant requires adequate space to accommodate its rapid growth. With enough space, it can grow up to around twenty feet in height.

Light

Light plays an important part in the growth of this plant. Like most other tropical plants, the Monstera Karstenianum thrives in bright, indirect light. Keep in mind that in its natural habitat, the plant generally grows beneath a dense rainforest canopy.

The canopy filters the light before it gets to this plant. Placing it in a north-facing window will ensure that it has enough sunlight to grow without roasting its leaves. The plant can tolerate a few hours of direct sunlight each morning.

Allowing it to receive too much bright direct light will cause it to become damaged – additionally, the more sunlight it receives, the more water it will need to continue growing.

Soil

Monstera Peru grows in organic and well-draining soil. It thrives in moist, fertile soil, and you will need to make sure that the soil remains pretty loose. One of the challenges faced by people growing this plant is getting the soil too compacted.

Heavily compacted soil will cause the plant to get choked. Although it may take a while to die, the plant may fail to grow to its full potential. It also means that the leaves may not become bright green when the plant is fully grown as they are meant to.

Moisture retention problems are other issues you will want to avoid when growing this plant indoors. The perfect soil will hold a little bit of moisture and ensure that the plant remains topped up on water.

Take care not to pick soil that will hold moisture longer than is necessary. Such types of soil will cause waterlogging, which may cause root rot issues. Root rot problems typically cause a plant to die faster than any other known plant problem.

How to Grow the Monstera Karstenianum

Growth Habits

The Monstera Karstenianum has an interesting growth habit, as is the case with many other Monstera plant species. As it ages and its leaves mature, it will form an open space known as fenestration.

However, this doesn’t mean that there’s something wrong with your plant. The Monstera Peru does this as a way of conserving nutrients and energy as it continues to grow.

Staking

Monstera Peru is an easy-going and highly unique houseplant. Its dramatic leaves come decorated with dramatic hole formations. As a vining plant, it likes to climb along a trellis or stake or trail over a pot.

Watering

As mentioned earlier, this plant likes to grow in moist soil. Caring for it involves ensuring that the soil is never allowed to dry out. Soil that’s too dry will cause the plant to wither. Additionally, you should take care not to overwater the plant.
Exposing it to too much water will cause it to develop root rot problems. If you’re unsure of when to water it, you should stick a finger into the soil up to your knuckle. Water it if you notice that it’s dry up to that point.
Leave it alone if you notice that it’s still moist, and recheck it after a few days. Most people growing this plant tend to water it at least twice a week.

Fertilizing

The Monstera Karstenianum is a modest feeder. It would be best if you fertilized it once a month to keep it happy. You have an option to use slow-release fertilizer if you would prefer to disperse the dosage over a longer period.

Using slow-release fertilizer benefits the plant through consistent feeding instead of applying a larger dose dumped on the soil at a go. It ensures that the soil doesn’t become too concentrated.

Many growers prefer this particular method as less is more when it comes to fertilizers. That aside, you will notice that the plant will grow faster when placed in a well-lit area. Sufficient lighting provides ideal grounds for photosynthesis to occur.

Avoid fertilizing your plant during the winter season, as this will increase the risk of building up fertilizer salt in the soil. A buildup will burn its roots and cause the plant to die. Giving the plant a vertical structure or pole to climb will assist it to grow faster.

Humidity

Humidity is an essential factor especially considering that the Monstera Peru is a tropical plant. You can up the humidity around the plant using a humidifier. Another option would be to use the pebble tray technique.

The Monstera Peru grows well in temperatures of between 65F and 80F (18-27C). Don’t try to grow it in temperatures that are too low, as its growth may become stunted. Ensure the room remains warm enough during the cold season.

Mulching

Monstera Karstenianum grows fast and healthy in a bright place with indirect lighting. Spreading two to four inches of wood chip or shredded bark mulch on top of the soil will help in increasing moisture retention. It also reduces the number of times you need to water it.

Trimming and Pruning

Monstera Peru is generally a fast-growing and climbing plant. You can choose to place it in a hanging basket to allow its vines to drop and grow downwards. Because of this, it’s recommended that you prune it as often as possible.

Trimming and pruning the plant allows it to look neat and nice. It’s also an excellent way of keeping the plant healthy. The plant can grow up to twenty feet outdoors, especially when it’s not trimmed or pruned.

Regularly trim it back to assist in maintaining its size and shape. The best time to trim and prune this plant is during the summer or spring season when it’s growing. Don’t worry about hard pruning, as the plant can easily tolerate it.

Pot and Repotting

The Monstera Peru doesn’t require repotting, though you can choose to do it every two to three years. If possible, avoid repotting unless you think that it’s absolutely necessary to do it. Only repot after the plant has become too big for the current hanging basket or pot.

As is the case with other houseplants, go for a pot that’s slightly larger than the current pot when repotting. Avoid providing the roots with too much room as this may cause them to begin stressing out.

Propagation

While the Monstera Karstenianum is generally a simple plant to care for, the propagation process can be an entirely different thing altogether. Most newbies have a hard time propagating the plant during the first few attempts.

You need to apply a little bit of effort and focus and ensure that your time is impeccable. Consider the following factors to help you in propagating healthy and beautiful-looking Monstera Peru plants.

Propagating in Soil

If propagating in soil, the best time to do so will be during the spring season. One thing is for sure; you don’t want to propagate during the cold season. Begin your propagation by getting a quality stem cutting.

Ideally, the cutting should be between six and eight inches long. Make sure to cut it slightly above a leaf node and confirm that it has at least one or two leaves. Sterilize the pruning shears before cutting to guarantee the best possible results.

Once you have cut the stem, make sure to go through the whole curing process. Curing often takes about one week to complete successfully. Leave the stem cutting in a warm room having a temperature of around sixty-five degrees Fahrenheit.

As it continues to cure, use this time to get the hanging basket or pot ready. Fill it with high-quality potting soil carefully mixed with vermiculite and fertilizer to help kickstart the growth process.

Propagating in Water

Like many other houseplants, you can also propagate the Monstera Karstenianum in water instead of soil. For this, you will need the same type of cutting as the one described above.

Make sure the cutting comes from a healthy plant. Getting one from an unhealthy plant will ruin the entire process. Get a cutting that’s at least eight inches long. Place it in a clear mason jar and watch as the process unfolds.

Ideally, the jar should be filled with lukewarm water and filtered to remove any chlorine trace elements. The presence of chlorine in the water can quickly damage your houseplant.

Stick the cutting into the water and allow it to relax. It’s recommended that you change the water every two to three days.

Divide and Transplant

The Monstera Peru plant can grow very large and extend up to ten feet when grown indoors. As it grows, the plant will start to spread and put out many leaves and stems. If left alone, a single plant can quickly take over the area where it has been placed.

As such, you may want to separate it into one or several plants. Dividing the plant allows you to create more plants and is considered an inexpensive way of propagating the Monstera. Exercise caution when dividing the plant to avoid causing root trauma.

Pests and Diseases

Plant growers don’t like dealing with plant pests. But regardless of how hard you try, it’s simply not possible to avoid these annoying pests. Unlike most houseplants, the Monstera Peru doesn’t have many issues.
However, it’s still prone to the occasional plant pests. Common pests known to afflict it include:

Spider Mites

Spider mites are different from other common indoor plant pests. They are closely related to spiders and like to feed on the sap present in your plant. The sap contains nutrition and hydration for the plant.

Brown Scales

They are another common type of indoor pest known to affect this plant. Although they have a short lifespan, they tend to remain stationary for much of it. As is the case with spider mites, brown scales feed on the sap and can easily kill a plant.

Mealy Bugs

They are indoor plant pests that are most likely to affect your Monstera Peru plant. These pests have a waxy outer coating and are typically covered in a white cotton-like substance. They are mostly found beneath the leaves where they hide to suck the sap.
These three types of pests are the ones most likely to affect this houseplant. Fortunately, you can quickly eliminate small pest infestations using a cotton swab and 70% isopropyl alcohol. Consider using insecticidal soap when dealing with larger pest infestations.

Plant Species

As you probably already know, there exist other Monstera plant species aside from Monstera karstenianum. They include:

  • Monstera deliciosa: It’s very popular among indoor houseplant enthusiasts. It not only grows beautifully, but it also produces fruit, making it a tropical treat.
  • Monstera pinnatipartite:The plant is characterized by the growth of stiff and glossy leaves. Its glossy leaves help in bringing beauty to your house, something other plants are unable to do.
  • Monstera adansonii: It’s a type of Monstera plant which produces big holes in its leaves, helping to create an exciting design.
  • Monstera dubia: The small species plant has beautiful heart-shaped leaves, which only appear after the plant has attained maturity.
  • Monstera vasquezii: It’s also known as “Croat “and is characterized by the production of interesting flowers and asymmetrical leaves.

Companions

The Monstera group of plants is highly sensitive and requires proper care to grow to maturity. Luckily, you can pair Monstera Karstenianum with several other plants such as:

  • Pothos: They have thick, heart-shaped leaves with yellow splashes on them. They are ideal as you can place them inside the same pot as the Monstera Peru without causing them to experience stunted growth.
  • Philodendron: They are low-maintenance plants and share the same growth conditions as Monstera Peru. Philodendrons are an excellent option for people who would like to add some greenery to their homes.
  • Schefflera: It grows well indoors and requires the same conditions as Monstera plants. It’s a decent choice for anyone who would like to change the décor of their home. However, make sure not to place it in a dark corner as this will cause it to start drooping.

Toxicity

The Monstera Karstenianum plant is highly toxic to both humans and pets. You should take the pet to a vet immediately after ascertaining that it has eaten any part of this plant. Ingestion can cause inflammation of the tongue and throat.

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