The monstera siltepecana is a medium sized, vining foliage plant that can grow to about 4 feet in height and breadth upon maturity. In contrast, it has relatively small leaves getting up to about 4 to 5 inches. You’ll find 50 or more different species available.
Interestingly, the plant looks very different in its juvenile stage where it is fairly small enough to live in a terrarium.
It is native to tropical rainforests. As such, it is used to warm, humid and damp conditions. This means that you want to mimic these conditions as closely as possible to get the most out of the plant.
Monstera Siltepecana Plant Care
Monstera Siltepecana Light
The monstera siltepecana likes bright, indirect light to grow optimally. You want to keep it from long hours under direct sunlight on a regular basis. Doing so will cause its foliage to scorch.
But, a few hours a day, like that In the morning when the sun is gentle is find. What you want to keep it away from is the intense afternoon sun or that in hot summer days.
This makes an east facing window a good option. West and south facing windows can likewise work as long as you keep the plant protected by filtering the light, especially between 12:00 noon and 3:30 p.m.
Interestingly, that said the monstera siltepecana can likewise tolerate partial or full shade outdoors. But indoors, it prefers bright, filtered or indirect light.
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Monstera Siltepecana Watering
Your monstera siltepecana is used to getting drenched in the rainforest. As such, it likes moist soil conditions. But, being a partial epiphyte, it doesn’t like staying in soggy soil.
Thus, you want to mimic these conditions. However, you want to be careful with overwatering as it can lead to root rot.
The best way to do so is to water your plant when the topsoil is about to dry. You don’t want to allow it to completely dry before doing. To gauge this, you can use a moisture meter or judge basing your finger.
The former is a good option for beginners. Whereas, you need a little more experience with the later method. Both strategies work.
I also prefer doing this instead of a regular watering schedule. The reason is that you will need to water more if you live in a warm region that you would in a cooler location. Similarly, you’ll also need to water more frequently during the summer and much less in the winter.
But testing the soil before you water, you’ll be able to tell if it is time to water or wait a little longer.
This also means that morning watering is the best. Mornings are cool enough to allow the water to soak into the soil. But, not for too long as the sun and warm air will help with evaporation.
Watering in the afternoon works as well. But, because of the warm conditions and more sun, a lot of the water you pour will quickly evaporate. Thus, not allowing the soil to soak enough of it.
The worst time to water is at night. It is cooler which means your plants will sit in wet conditions for longer. This increases the risk of root rot.
All being said, here are a few things to look for:
- Yellow leaves – over watering. Allow the soil to dry first. Then start watering again with less frequency.
- Brown tips – lack of water. When this happens, add more water.
- Drooping leave – your plant needs more water.
Last but not least, how you water is just as important as when you water and how much you water.
When watering, use room temperature water. Water that’s hot or cold will shock the roots.
Similarly, avoid tap water is your city uses hard water (adds lot of chemicals including fluoride and chlorine to it). You can use rainwater, distilled water or filter it. If you use tap water, allow it to sit overnight at room temperature. This will let the chemicals evaporate.
From above, you can already gather that your monstera siltepecana likes moist, well-draining soil. As such, using a loose, airy and light mix works well.
And easy way to achieve this is to use standard potting mix and add perlite or pumice. Both, increase drainage. This way, you can continue using the potting soil you already have or use it for your other plants as well. In doing so, you save money while giving your monstera siltepecana what it likes.
If you notice that the substrate is not retaining enough water, add sphagnum moss.
In addition to this, using rich, fertile soil will allow the plant to grow at its best.
Monstera siltepecana needs fertilizer to grow at its best. Although it isn’t a heavy feeder.
You can apply a liquid houseplant fertilizer diluted to 50% the recommended dose once a month during the spring and summer. Then, scale back to once every 2 or 3 months in the fall and winter.
Similarly, you can use a slow release fertilizer, which works by releasing the doses at different times in the future. This allows an even distribution of plant food over time.
Whichever you choose, make sure not to overfeed your plant. This means giving it high doses per feeding or feeding it more regularly. You also want to water the soil when you apply fertilizer to reduce the concentration.
Too much, too often or too concentrated a dose can increase the risk of root burn and yellowing leaves.
Monstera Siltepecana Pruning
Monstera siltepecana will look very different from its juvenile state and when it matures. So, if you’ve had the pleasure of growing it from a young plant you’ll notice the juvenile monstera siltepecana is fairly compact.
As such, you don’t need to prune it much. Keeping it in a terrarium will help it stay in this state and maintain its smaller size.
However, once it matures it becomes the plant that we all know. You get large foliage that reach about 5 inches or so with very beautifully decorative patterns.
In this state, you’ll need to prune it much like other monstera plants.
Because it is fast growing, you can prune it to control its size and shape according to how you’re displaying it.
Also, remove any damaged, discolored or dead leaves. You also want to trim off any leggy stems.
Pruning helps keep the plant healthy by allowing it focus its resources on new growth.
The easiest way to propagate monstera siltepecana is via stem cutting. In this method, you will be taking a stem and planting it. Eventually, it will grow into a new plant that’s a clone of the mother plant.
How to Propagate Monstera Siltepecana from Stem Cuttings
- Select a healthy stem. You want something about 3 to 6 inches long with at least a few leaves on it.
- Cut the stem just under the node. About half or quarter inch below the junction where the leaves meet the stem is enough. Make sure you do this under the node since you’ll need a node in order for the plant to grow. Without it, you can wait years and never see any new plant sprout.
- Remove the bottom leaves since they’ll get submerged into water. If left, they will rot, which will mess up your new plant.
- Once you have the cutting, place in in a glass or jar filled with water. Use distilled, rainwater or tap water that’s been left out for 24 hours.
- Replace the water when it gets murky.
- After a 2 to 4 weeks, you’ll start seeing roots develop from the end of the stem.
- Wait for the roots to grow to a few inches long.
- Then, move the plant to a small container with potting mix.
Monstera Siltepecana Transplanting & Repotting
The monstera siltepecana will grow fairly quickly. Although, you’ll only need to repot it when it becomes pot bound. Once it outgrows its container, it will be time to get a bigger one.
When you do, keep in mind two things.
Go up 1 to 2 inches bigger, nothing more. Don’t jump up too many pot sizes because it will increase the soil relative to the plant’s roots. As a result, there will be much more moisture when you water it. This increases the risk of the plant sitting in water for longer periods of time.
Get a container with drainage holes. This ensures that excess moisture easily escapes. Thus, your plant doesn’t sit in water for long periods of time.
The monstera siltepecana is mildly toxic. Nevertheless, it is still poisonous to humans, cats and dogs because it contains calcium oxalates. This means it is a good idea to keep young children and pets away from it.
If ingested, it can cause mouth, through and digestive tract swelling and irritation. Other symptoms include dizziness, difficulty breathing and vomiting.
Pests and Diseases
Monstera siltepecana are susceptible to pests. The most common of which are spider mites, aphids, scale and mealy bugs.
As such, it is important to keep in mind a few things to prevent them from happening.
- Keep your plant as healthy as possible. The right conditions, enough sun, water and fertilizer will make it more resistant to pests.
- Don’t place it under stress. Stress decreases its resistance making it more vulnerable.
- Inspect regularly. Checking every so often all parts of the plants including the under sides of the leaves will let you spot nay pests or signs of damage early. When you do, treat immediately.
If you do spot any pests, separate the plant from others then check if any of your other plants have pests. These critters usually move to other plants nearby.
Once you’ve separated all affected plants, apply insecticidal soap spray or neem oil. Both work though it takes about 3 weeks to eliminate all the pests.