The Monstera Lechleriana is a rare but beautiful houseplant that is sought after for its large, unique looking leaves. It is related to the Monstera Adansonii and has some similar features, but is larger.
If you’re lucky, you may even spot a Variegated Monstera Lechleriana which is features a lighter green pattern over its green leaves
I say lucky because the variegated form is even rarer than the standard Monstera Lechleriana.
In any case, the plant is well loved for its huge leaves that will eventually develop fenestrations. These holes will appear near the center of the leaves closer to the mid vein. Thus, making it look similar to the Monstera Deliciosa in some ways. But different from the split leaf philodendron.
That said, the Monstera Lechleriana is a climbing foliage plant that is native to Central America. There, it lives in the rainforest where it climbs up trees and grow into a very large plant.
Monstera Lechleriana Plant Care
The Monstera Lechleriana is naturally found in rainforests where it lives under the canopy of large trees, their leaves, and branches. As such, it is used to partially shaded locations in the outdoors.
Indoors, because our home’s ceilings and walls block out most of the light from the outside, the plant will need bright light. However, it cannot tolerate direct sun or very intense light.
Again, this comes from its natural habitat where the strong rays of the sun are blocked by the larger trees.
Instead, keep it somewhere with indirect, diffused or filtered light. This means positioning it so that the sun’s rays don’t touch the plant. Otherwise, with long or regular exposure to direct sunlight, its leaves will get discolored and even scorched.
This makes an east, west and north facing windows are ideal. The more fenestrations your plant has, the more light it will need because the holes reduce the amount of leaf surface area to collect light.
With a southern exposure, you want to distance the plant at least 4 feet away from the window since this direction gets the heaviest amount of sunlight. Thus, in a bright room, you can keep your Monstera Lechleriana 10 feet away from a south facing window and it will still get sufficient light.
Just as you avoid overly strong light, keep the plant away from very dim locations or those that are fully shaded. It needs sufficient light to grow. Otherwise, you’ll see a small, slow growing plant with tiny leaves.
Since the Monstera Lechleriana hails from a tropical environment, it is used to warm weather. More importantly, this means it does experience any snow where it is from.
This makes poorly equipped to handle the cold.
Therefore, avoid leaving it in places where the temperature is below 50 degrees Fahrenheit. It can only tolerate short periods of this. And the longer it stays where or the lower the temperature drops, the higher the risk of your plant sustaining cold damage.
Instead, keep your Monstera Lechleriana in a moderate to warm spot.
Ideally, somewhere between 65 and 85 degrees although the plant will be happiest around 75 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit.
Keeping it in this range will let it grow bigger. In contrast, in colder areas, it will focus more on survival rather than growth.
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The Monstera Lechleriana loves humidity. ideally, its preferred humidity is between 50% and 70%.
Fortunately, it tolerate moderate humidity quite well. This makes it easier to accommodate the plant in most homes.
Still, try to keep humidity at 40% or higher. While it can withstand levels below that, depending on the other factors where you live like temperature and how much water you give it, the plant may or may not tolerate drier air.
The key thing s to watch its leaves and take your cue from there.
Any crisping of the tips or browning of the edges is a sign that the air is too dry. Therefore, it needs more humidity.
If hits happens, group the plant along with your other houseplants. You can also place it on a pebble tray or mist it. Of course, you can always set up a humidifier.
How Often to Water Monstera Lechleriana
The Monstera Lechleriana likes water. Unfortunately, it is susceptible to too much water. If left in this kind of environment, it can experience root rot, be more prone to pests and infections.
Therefore, a good middle ground is to keep the soil moist. But avoid too much water that the soil becomes soggy.
This comes out to around once a week watering during the summer and once every two weeks in the winter. Make sure to adjust your watering routine based on how much sunlight and temperature there is.
The more light and warmer the weather is, the faster the soil will dry. The less sun and colder the climate gets, the longer it takes before soil dries.
And because overwatering the one thing that that the plant is fussy about, you always want to check the soil before you add more water.
You can do this by sticking your finger into the soil down to the second knuckle. This gets you to about 2 inches below the surface of the soil.
Only add more water once that depth is dry, never before that. This will ensure that you avoid overwatering.
Alternatively, you can also use a moisture meter or a wooden stick to test whether the soil is dry enough before watering again.
Depending on how big the plant is, you can water it in the sink, bathtub or use a hose. Any of these methods will work.
The important thing is to make sure you let it drain after you water so that the soil is moist not wet.
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Monstera Lechleriana Potting Soil
The best soil for the Monstera Lechleriana is well-draining, loose and airy. It is also rich in organic matter. This will ensure that excess moisture drains out in order to avoid overwatering.
Additionally, make sure to use a pot with drainage.
The easiest way is to get a container with drainage holes at the bottom. But if you prefer something without holes, place some gravel underneath to keep the soil above any water that pools at the bottom of the pot.
You can likewise use a pot without holes. But, make sure be careful and avoid overwatering.
With soil, you can use any of the following for your Monstera Lechleriana.
- Aroid mix – this works really well and you can use it for other aroids like philodendrons. A combination of potting soil, bark, peat and perlite with some activated charcoal works great You can also buy aroid mixes from your local garden center if they make them.
- 1 part potting soil with 1 part orchid bark
- 1 part potting soil with 1 part peat moss
- LECA – LECA are clay balls that absorb water. They replace soil altogether. Because they provide lots of aeration, it is easier to water the plant. Try this option if you find that you have problems managing overwatering when using potting soi.
The Monstera Lechleriana does not need a lot of fertilizer. This is especially true if you supply it with compost or worm castings in the potting mix.
However, the plant does need fertilizer.
So, the important things are to:
- Make sure you give it fertilizer
- Follow the instructions on the label
- Don’t feed it more than it needs. Overfertilizing is the worst thing you can do.
Since the plant is not picky about plant food, you can use either a balanced formulation or all-purpose houseplant fertilizer.
Apply once a month during the spring and summer then stop by early or mid fall. Don’t feed it during winter as it does not need the nutrients then.
The Monstera Lechleriana grows at a moderate rate. In its native environment, it is an epiphytic plant that climbs up tree trunks. It does this in order to get more bright light since living lower down in the forest has more shade.
And the more light it gets, the faster and bigger it will grow.
Thus, giving it some kind of support to climb on will allow it to grow its best. And can get to between 6 to 10 feet tall indoors if you let it. If you don’t want it to grow that big, you can prune it.
That said, sufficient humidity, warm conditions and a climbing environment lets it grow larger leaves with more fenestrations. Therefore, if you want to see this, try to provide it with these conditions in addition to bright, indirect light.
That said, because of its long vines, it also looks good in hanging baskets. Some owners likewise prefer growing the Monstera Lechleriana in pots without support.
All of these options work really well. And it is really up to you how you want to display the plant.
But, all this will affect how often and how much you need to prune.
In general, pruning your Monstera Lechleriana is all about controlling its size and shape.
- In pots it looks amazing when you let it get bushy. Therefore, a shorter plant that’s stocky and fully looks best.
- In a hanging basket, you want enough fullness but also have longer vines. Thus, less pruning is needed.
- When you let the plant climb, it is all about size and trimming off the outliers to the sides so it looks neat and trim going up.
How to Propagate Monstera Lechleriana
Stem cutting is the most common way to propagate the plant. if your Monstera Lechleriana is quite big and you want to reduce its size while propagating, you can divide the plant as well.
This will give you 2 or more smaller plants instead of a larger parent plant.
That said, stem cutting is more practical because you can do it almost any time. In contrast, you need the plant to get bigger before you can divide it. Otherwise, creating very small divided plants that can’t sustain themselves is not a good idea.
Propagating Monstera Lechleriana Using Stem Cuttings
- For stem propagation, you want to take a stem cutting. Make sure that the cutting has at least one leaf node. You need this because the nodes are where the new roots will grow from. Without it, your cutting will never propagate into a new plant.
- If you want to grow more than one new plant, you can take several stem tip cuttings. Or, get a longer stem and cut between the leaves (in the internodes) to create multiple cuttings. Again, make sure each of these cuttings have a leaf node and enough stem below it to submerge in water or bury in soil.
- After you take the stem cutting, you can opt to propagate it in soil or in water.
- To propagate the stem cutting in soil, plant the cutting into well-draining potting mix. Ensure that the node is under the soil. Then water and keep the soil moist.
- To propagate the stem cutting in water. place the cutting in a glass container filled with water. The node has to be under the water line to root. If your cutting has air roots, submerge them as well. These will grow faster and you’ll see water roots grow out of the long woody air roots first.
- Keep the cuttings in a warm location under bright, indirect sun.
- It will take about 20 to 30 days to see roots develop. Although with water propagation, you’ll likely see the first white roots as early as 7 to 10 days. But, you need to let them grow to about 2 inches or more before potting them into soil
How to Repot or Transplant Monstera Lechleriana
It takes about 2 to 3 years before you need to repot your Monstera Lechleriana. But don’t rely too much on the figures because they are guidelines.
Instead, see what your plant is telling you.
The moment that it becomes root bound, it is time to repot.
The easiest way to tell is to look at the bottom of pot or the surface of the soil. If there are nay roots popping out from below the pot or above the soil, it means they are searching for more space.
Thus, the current pot is not enough for them.
Come early spring, repot the plant to a larger container.
Make sure to only move up one size (2 to 3 inches max in diameter). This will reduce the risk of overwatering.
Is It Toxic/Poisonous to Humans, Cats & Dogs
The Monstera Lechleriana is toxic because it contains calcium oxalate crystals. This means that they are poisonous when ingested. Thus, avoid letting young children, dogs or cats chew or consume the leaves or stems.
Problems & Troubleshooting
How Can I Make My Monstera Lechleriana Grow Faster?
Bright indirect light is often the number one thing that will speed up growth. On the other hand, lack of light will slow or even stunt its growth.
Another cause is the plant is pot bound. The tighter the rotos are in the container, the less room they have to grow. Therefore, the overall growth of the plant is likewise limited.
Finally, if you want your Monstera Lechleriana to grow its best, consider giving it a support to climb on. The plant grows faster and bigger when allowed to climb on something compared to being in a pot or hanging basket.
Yellow tips usually point to a moisture problem. This can be over or underwatering.
To check, feel the soil to see whether it is wet or dry.
Overly wet or soggy soil means there’s too much water. Therefore, let the plant dry out a bit before adding more water. And adjust your routine.
If the soil feels very dry, it means the plant needs more water. Thus, add moisture and try to avoid letting the soil go completely dry.
Drooping & Wilting
Wet, soggy soil or very dry soil are the most common causes of wilting.
Plants, including the Monstera Lechleriana, need water. And when you let the soil dry out completely, especially for long periods of time, it will lead to wilting.
Fortunately, once you water, it will usually recover quick fast (within 24 to 48 hours). However, avoid letting this happen regularly, as the plant will sustain damage each time it dries out too much.
On the other hand, overwater is a bigger problem because it can lead to root rot. Thus, avoid this at all costs.
To diagnose between the two, check the soil to see whether it is mucky or hard and dry. The former means overwatering, the latter is lack of moisture.
Spider mites and mealybugs are the most common pests to watch out for. Although he Monstera Lechleriana is not very prone to pests, these fan happen to any houseplant.
Therefore, you want to keep an eye out for them.
The earlier you spot them, the easier it is to get rid of them because there are only a few of them. However, once they grow in size, it takes much longer.
Overwatering is the main cause of diseases for your Monstera Lechleriana. And there are many different bacterial and fungal infections around.
Most of these diseases will attack the plant’s leaves or roots. As such, it is very important to avoid too much moisture.
Wet leaves that don’t dry soon enough can experience spots, markings and lesions. These are signs of different infections including leaf spot disease.
On the other hand overwatering the soil can lead to a more serious issue, root rot.