The Monstera acuminata s a hemiepiphytic plant that is often found in only in the largest trees in the forest. As such, it is a vigorous climber that will get quite big in size.
It also features beautiful dark green colored leaves that have fenestrations which makes it another sought after monstera houseplant.
Its price can vary from $20 all the way to $150 so you do want to canvas and compared prices before purchasing the plant.
Because of this look, it is often confused with the more popular Monstera adansonii. However, the two are different plants with some similarities.
What’s the Difference Between Monstera Adansonii and Monstera Acuminata?
The two have very similar shaped leaves featuring fenestrations. But when you look at them close up, you’ll see the two plants very different.
Here, you want to focus on the leaves.
- Color – the leaves of the Monstera acuminata are noticeably darker in color and so is the mid vein compared to the more standard green color of the Monstera adansonii.
- Size – the Monstera acuminata has smaller leaves ranging rom 4-10 inches long and 4-5 inches wide. On the other hand, the Adansonii’s foliage can get to 14 inches in length making it more striking.
- Shape – the leaves of the Monstera acuminata are wider as they have an oval shape. The tip is also not as sharp as that of the Adansonii. And if you look at the mid vein, you’ll notice that the two blades are somewhat folded or pushed upward from the center. Meanwhile, the Monstera adansonii has flat leaves and comes in many different forms including the narrow, wide and round just to name a few.
- Fenestrations (Holes) – the holes of the Monstera acuminata are smaller and the shapes of the fenestrations look like they’re more controlled and uniform. In contrast the Monstera adansonii have larger holes that are fewer in number.
Monstera Acuminata Plant Care
The Monstera Acuminata does best in medium to bright, indirect light. In the wild, it is a hemiepiphyte that lives under the forest canopy climbing and clinging onto large trees to get closer to the sky to get more light.
The reason for this is that it grows faster and gets bigger with more light.
However, because it is used to having the large leaves and branches of trees covering the harsh rays of the sun, it cannot take more than 1-2 hours of direct sunlight.
Thus, avoid prolonged exposure as this can burn its leaves.
If you want to keep it in a west or south facing window which receive strong mid-day sun you can distance the plant at least 3 to 6 feet from it to avoid the yellow rays.
Alternatively, you can use sheer curtains or blinds to filter or diffuse the light. This way it does not bear the entire brunt of intensity.
On the other hand, an east facing window is ideal because it received the gentle morning sun. The plant appreciates this light and will grow faster with it.
It will likewise do well in the north as it can tolerate low light. However, its growth won’t be as fast as the other directions. But it will stay healthy. You can position it in the northeast or northwest if you want a little more illumination.
The one thing to watch out for with a northern exposure is wintertime. If where you live gets little sun or just a few hours of sun during winter, the light coming from the north may not be enough. If this is the case, move it somewhere brighter.
The Monstera Acuminata enjoys warm weather as it is native to tropical environments. This means that it prefers climates with perpetual sunshine even during the winter.
It also has very good tolerance for heat as it can stay in spots that get 90 degrees Fahrenheit without any problems.
That said, its ideal temperature range is between 65 and 85 degrees Fahrenheit. And the hotter it gets, the faster the soil will dry. Additionally, if you live somewhere with low humidity, you’ll want to mist the plant to keep it cool.
More importantly the Monstera Acuminata does not tolerate the cold. It has issues with temperatures below 50 degrees Fahrenheit where it will struggle.
Below this level, you’ll see growth initially slow and then stop if you keep it there for extended periods of time. As the climate gets colder it will experience more issues.
And below 35 degrees, cold damage will begin to happen first on the leaves then the stems.
As such, the plant is prefers US Hardiness Zones 10 to 12 where it can stay outside all year long. Bellow this, it does better as a houseplant with trips outside during the summer. Make sure to bring it back indoors when the weather goes below 50 degrees later in the year.
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In addition to warm conditions, the Monstera Acuminata enjoys humid environments as well. This is what it is accustomed to in the tropics. As such, its ideal humidity is 50% to 80%.
However, it can tolerate lower humidity which makes it somewhat easier to accommodate in most homes. I say somewhat because you still want to keep humidity at 40% or higher to keep the plant happy.
While it can tolerate levels a bit lower than this, the lower you go, the higher the risk of dry leaves. Thus, when you see dry, crispy leaf tips that are turning brown, it is a sign that the air is too dry.
If this happens, you can spritz the plant with water to increase the moisture in the air around it. But be careful not to wet the leaves too much as this can lead to fungal and bacterial infections if they stay wet too long.
You can likewise group it with other plants or our a pebble tray. If all else is not able to push humidity up high enough, it is a good idea to invest in a humidifier.
I’d also like to mention that if your Monstera Acuminata has aerial roots, you can mist those as well. Aerial roots work differently from soil (terrestrial) roots because they don’t absorb water and nutrients from the soil.
Instead, they hang in the air to get moisture and nutrients. This is how the plant gets its sustenance in the wild from the rain and the debris on larger plants.
Thus, you can mist the aerial roots as they help it cope with dryness.
How Often to Water Monstera Acuminata
Water your Monstera Acuminata when the top 1-2 inches of soil is dry. This usually comes out to around once every week during the warmer months and once every 2 to 3 weeks during winter depending on how cold your winters get.
Of course, the more light it receives, and the warmer the temperature, the faster the soil will dry out as well, and vice versa.
Thus, take the figures for number of days to water as initial guidelines and adjust it according to what your plant gets and your home’s environment.
If you want to play safe, you can likewise wait until the soil is dry 50% to 75% of the way down. The plant will be happy and stay healthy as well with this schedule.
As such, you can water anywhere between the time the soil is dry 2 inches from the top until 75% of the way down. So, you don’t need to worry if you’re late a few days or forget.
The reason why these precautions are important is because the plant is sensitive to overwatering. And doing so regularly can lead to root rot.
On the other hand, avoid it is also not a good idea to let the soil go completely dry. While it can tolerate a little bit of drought, it does not have water stores. Therefore, it will get dehydrated after that.
So, when you see dry, yellow leaves, crispy tips and edges or even leaf drop, check the soil. if it is bone dry, make sure to add water then adjust your watering routine.
These are all signs that the plant is underwatered.
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Potting Soil for Monstera Acuminata
The best soil for Monstera Acuminata is well-draining, loose and air. It also does best when soil pH is between 6.0 and 7.0.
I like to use an Aroid mix for my monsteras and philodendrons. This works really well because they hold just enough moisture to keep the roots hydrated but drain excess moisture to keep it safe from overwatering, waterlogging and root rot.
You can check with your local garden center to see if they make their own aroid mix. Not all do.
If that’s the case, you can use this Aroid mix recipe for your Monstera Acuminata.
- 30% potting soil
- 40% orchid bark
- 20% pest
- 10% perlite
- Then some handfuls of activated charcoal
If you prefer something with fewer ingredients you can go with any of these options:
- 50% potting soil, 50% coco fiber then add some coco chips and top dress with worm compost
- 75% potting soil, 25% perlite
- 50% potting soil, 50% peat moss
- 50% potting soil, 50% orchid bark
These are all similar in that they all use some kind of component/s that drain excess moisture.
Does the Monstera Acuminata Climb?
The Monstera Acuminata is a climbing plant with trailing vines. In its native habitat is clings onto trees and uses them to go up to get more bright light.
This also means that the plant appreciates some type of support to climb on. If you give it that, it will reward you with faster growth, a bigger overall plant with larger leaves and aerial roots.
In addition to sunlight, your Monstera Acuminata also needs fertilizer to grow its best. Together, they will allot it to get bigger and grow faster.
It is also important to feed your plant to ensure that it gets enough nutrients. If it gets deficient, you’ll see yellow and pale leaves happen.
The thing is, your Monstera Acuminata is not a heavy feeder.
So, while it does need fertilizer, the worst thing you can do is to give it too much. This actually does more harm to the plant than good.
Therefore, feed it only during the spring and summer. I like to use a balanced liquid fertilizer, although you can go with an all-purpose one or a standard houseplant fertilizer. The plant isn’t picky about this as long as it gets it nutrients.
Dilute the dosage by 50% to avoid overconcentration. And don’t feed the plant when the soil is dry, Instead, water the soil first if this is the case.
You don’t need to feed it during fall and winter.
The Monstera Acuminata has a moderate growth rate. And it can grow to between 12 to 20 feet outdoors when allowed to climb. Indoors, it is much smaller reaching about 6 to 8 feet upon maturity.
But it will take years to get to its maximum size.
Also don’t worry if you don’t see the holes (fenestrations) in a young small plant. Like many other monstera plants, the fenestrations start developing when it is maturing. So, give it time.
Because you want the plant to grow large leaves and get fuller, pruning is a low maintenance task unless you have a particular look you’re going for.
If this is the case, you may need to make minor trims here and there every now and then to keep it looking the way you want.
Beyond that, it is all about removing the outliers, leggy stems and those that make the plant look messy. Also prune off the damaged leaves and those that turn yellow or brown.
How to Propagate Monstera Acuminata
The best way to propagate Monstera Acuminata is through stem cuttings. The internodes of the plant are usually between 2 to 4 inches long depending on the size of the plant and the size of the leaves.
In any case, this gives you a lot of room to take stem cuttings with nodes for propagation.
When using stem propagation you also have the choice of:
- Propagating in water
- Propagating in soil
- Propagating in sphagnum peat moss
Here’s how to do them:
- Start by taking a stem cutting. You want to get a 4-6 inch cutting with 1-2 leaf nodes. If there are aerial roots then take them along too since these help a lot with propagation and later growth. Finally, choose a stem with at least 2 or more leaves if possible.
- People either love or hate aerial roots based on how they look. But they help the plant get excess moisture which goes a long way if you have low humidity.
- More importantly, the presence of aerial roots in stem cuttings increase propagation success rates and speed up rooting, shoot developing and leaf growth later on. So, it is a good idea to take advantage of them.
- Cut the stem cutting about an inch below the node (and aerial roots if there are any).
- Next, it Is time to decide between water, soil and sphagnum moss propagation. These all lead to the same place, rooting your stem cutting. But they do it differently.
- If you decide to go with water propagation, place the stem cutting in water submerging the nodes and aerial roots. Replace the water once it starts getting murky (about once a week works well).
- If you decide to go with soil propagation, prepare a pot and fill it with potting mix (please see recipes above). Then plant the cutting with the nodes buried in the soil. Keep the aerial roots out of the soil. You can lay it on the surface and see it they voluntarily burrow into the soil. Or you can prune them off if you don’t like them. You can also just leave them outside the pot. These all work. Water the soil and keep it moist, not wet.
- If you decide to go with sphagnum moss propagation, fill a pot with sphagnum moss and follow the same planting procedure to the potting mix.
- After you’ve place the cuttings in their containers, move it to a warm location with bright, indirect light.
- It will take a few days before roots start developing. With water propagation you’ll be able to see the progress.
- However, it takes around 4 to 6 weeks for more roots to grow and get longer.
- If you propagated in water you can move the cuttings to soil once the roots get to between 2-4 inches long.
- You can likewise do the same with the sphagnum moss propagation or wait a little longer.
How to Repot or Transplant Monstera Acuminata
It takes about 2 years before the Monstera Acuminata needs to be repotted. And between those times, try not to move it a lot or unpot it unnecessarily because it does not like it.
Instead, it likes being left alone.
Thus, the only times you need to repot or unpot are:
- Repot when you see roots coming out from the drainage holes at the bottom of the pot or from the top of the soil and the creases between the soil and pot on the surface. This means the plant wants more space. Move to a container that is 2 inches larger.
- Unpot when you suspect overwatering to check whether the roots have sustained any damage or rotting.
- Repot if there is root rot
- Repot if pests get to the root ball and you cannot seem to control or eradicate them after trying different treatments.
Is It Toxic/Poisonous to Humans, Cats & Dogs
Please be aware that the Monstera Acuminata is toxic when ingested. This applies to cats, dogs and humans.
Therefore, keep it away from the young children and pets who may accidentally chew or consume parts of the plant.
Problems & Troubleshooting
Your Monstera Acuminata has Small Leaves
Small leaves is most often caused by lack of light. in terms of growth and leaf size, the most important factor is sufficient lighting.
Make sure to give it bright, indirect light. This will help its leaves get bigger.
Another reason why you may have small leaves is lack of nutrients. Although this takes a back seat to sunlight, if the plant is not getting enough nutrients, it will grow slowly and produce fewer, smaller leaves.
Finally, if you want the biggest leaves possible, give the plant high humidity and something to climb on. These (along with bright, indirect light) are what it receives in its native habitat.
Brown Leaves and Tips
Low humidity is the most common cause of brown leaf tips and edges. This means the air is too dry.
If you have a digital hygrometer, it is a good idea to take note of what humidity level causes this issue. This way, you know when to start misting the plant.
You can likewise set up a humidifier if you prefer not to spray the plant with water manually on regular basis.
Yellow leaves can happen for many reasons. But the two you want to look out for are overwatering and underwatering.
Of the two, too much moisture is the more concerning one. That’s because it can lead to root rot which can eventually destroy your plant.
To verify which of the two is the culprit, check the soil.
If it feels wet and mucky, then it is overwatered. Therefore, let it dry out quite a bit before adding watering again. Then adjust your watering routine.
If the soil feels very dry, add water. The plant should recover much faster usually within 24 to 48 hours you’ll see it perk back up.
Spider mites, mealybugs and scale insects are the most common pests that will try to attack your Monstera Acuminata.
The easiest way I’ve found the get rid of them is to wash them off with a stream of water.
If your plant is small, you can use the sink. But if your Monstera Acuminata is bigger, you can take it to the bathroom and use the shower or outside with the garden hose.
Be careful not to use a very strong stream as the leaves have holes and wont be able to withstand strong water pressure without getting damaged.
A light stream is more than enough to wash off the bugs. The key is to be thorough to get both adults and eggs because leaving either one will restart the cycle of growth.
It may take 2 or 3 sprayings to get rid of them all. But if you’re very thorough of the first attempt, you should get them all off.
You can likewise use neem oil or insecticidal soap spray.
Diseases can strike both the leaves and the roots of the plant.
With leaves, you’ll see weird patterns, lesions, spots, discoloration and markings on foliage. The plant can also wilt and look weak.
On the other hand root rot is much more serious as it attacks the foundation of your plant. Additionally, because it destroys the roots, if too few rotos are left functional, the plant won’t able to absorb enough water and nutrients to support itself.
Since both problems are caused by excess moisture. it is important to be mindful of not wetting the leaves too much and avoid overwatering the soil.