Growing & Caring for Monstera Standleyana

Monstera Standleyana

The monstera standleyana is sometimes call the five holes plant. It is likewise referred to the philodendron cobra because its leaves are similar to that genus. That said, is the these leaves that make the plant very attractive.

The monstera standleyana has thick leaves that often grow to about 6 to 8 inches in length. Their variegations makes them beautiful to looks at.

Its climbing nature makes it perfect for trellis if you’re able to grow it outdoors.  But, in most cases, it lives in containers or as a houseplant.

If you do keep in indoors, be aware that it can grow up to 20 feet tall. Although, this happens outdoors. Inside is it somewhat more manageable depending on how high your ceiling is and how often you’ll trim it to limit its size.

Like a few other monstera plants, it is hard find. And, with their looks, this means be willing to pay a premium to get your hands on one.

Monstera Standleyana Plant Care

Monstera Standleyana Light

The monstera standleyana needs bright indirect light or filtered light. It needs a good amount of light in order to grow optimally. However, keep it away from direct sunlight as that will scorch its leaves.

While the plant can take short amounts of this, it cannot tolerate longer periods. Left in the path of the sun’s rays, its leaves will curl up.

On the other hand, too little light will cause the plant to slow down. If it gets too dark, it will completely stop growing altogether.

Thus, the best spots for your monstera standleyana is a north or east facing window.

The north, provided it isn’t too dark, is a good spot because it doesn’t have the intense light from the sun. An east facing window likewise works because the plant can tolerate morning sun without a problem.

However, it will have issues if left near a window in the west or south. Both experience afternoon sun which becomes intense. As such, if you keep it there, you want to filter the light or keep it a few feet away from the window.

Another option is artificial light. This is a good choice is can’t find a spot that works. However, with grow lights, the plant will need at least 12 to 14 hours or artificial lighting daily.

You also want to keep the grow lights about 6 inches away since it emits heat. While not a great deal, 12 hours of this daily accumulates and can burn the plant’s leaves.

 

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Monstera Standleyana Temperature & Humidity

The monstera standleyana enjoys a temperature range between 65 and 80 degrees Fahrenehit. The plant is hardy to USDA zones 9b to 11. As such, if you live in these areas, you can keep it outdoors all year round.

Since the plant is native to Costa Rica, and originates from Panama, Honduras and Nicarague, it likes warm weather. More importantly, your monstera standleyana also cannot stand frost. So, if you do bring it outdoors during the summer, make sure to take it inside in fall once the temperatures drop under 60 degrees.

If left outside for the winter, this precious plant will die.

Similarly it thrives on high humidity. Thus, you want to keep humidity above to at least 50% indoors.

This may or may not be a problem for you since most household have humidity between 40% and 50%. Thus, if you live in the warmer part of the country (southern states), you may get enough humidity .

Otherwise, it is a good idea to employ some kind of humidity raising method, at least around the plant. Here are a few you can choose from. You only need to use one.

  • Misting. Spraying the plant and the air around it with water every few days helps keep moisture in the air.
  • Group it with other plants. Collectively, they transpire enough to increase the moisture in the air. But, leave enough space between them to allow for good air circulation.
  • Pebble tray. Placing the pot over stones in a water tray will keep it away from the water. As the water evaporates, in increases humidity.
  • Humidifie If your home’s humidity is in the 30s, you may need to use one of these. The other natural means are not able to push up humidity by a large amount. But, a humidifier can.

 

Watering Monstera Standleyana

Monstera Standleyana

Your monstera standleyana needs moist soil. But, it will not tolerate wet or soggy soil. Thus, it is very much like light where you have to strike a balance between too little and too much.

Of the two, making sure that the plant doesn’t sit in water is the more important thing. That’s because it can cause your plant to die.

While dehydration will likewise do so, it will take longer for this to happen. And, once you water the plant, it will start coming back to life.

On the other hand overwatering or allowing the plant to sit in water can cause root rot. This is a hidden problem since the roots are under the soil. So, you’ll need to wait for the symptoms to start appearing in the stem and leaves before you might notice it. By then, the damage can be extensive.

Extensive rotting of the root system cannot be reversed as root rot has no cure. So, you’ll likely end up throwing away your plant.

I’ve found that there are two ways to know when to water your plant.

  • Moisture meter. This measures the amount of moisture in percentage. So, all you need to do is insert it into he soil and look at the digital reading. Because you get exact numbers, it is very precise. And, you will know exactly when to water your plant every time.
  • Sticking your finger into the soil. With experience, you can likewise tell by sticking your finger into the soil. If the top soil is still moist, wait before testing again. If it is dry, it is time to water the plant.

This allows you to automatically adjust between the warmer months when you’ll likely be watering the monstera standleyana 2 to 3 times a week. And, in the colder months, only once every 7 to 10 days.

Since there is no set schedule, you don’t need to remember anything. Just test the soil and you know when to water.

Finally, here a re a few symptoms to watch out for.

  • Yellow or brown leaves. Overwatering. If see this happening, scale back on watering.
  • Wilting. More likely underwatering. Although in some cases you may be overwatering. So, check the soil. If it is moist, you’re overwatering. If it feels dry, you need to water to more frequently.

 

Soil

Your monstera standleyana likes loose soil that is well-draining. This all goes back to watering. Soil that is light and airy allows water to flow through easily.

In doing so, it prevents the soil from holding on to too much moisture. If this happens, your monstera can easily get waterlogged. As such, it ends up sitting in water for long periods of time.

Similarly, waterlogged soil means that water takes up all the small creases between the soil particles. This prevents oxygen from passing through. In addition to water, your plant’s roots need oxygen as well. So, well draining soil leaves these tiny gaps open for oxygen to reach the roots.

Besides drainage, your plant also likes soil with high organic matter content. This helps it grow optimally.

So, if you use your own substrates, you may want to add compost or manure to help it along.

A good combination that has worked for me includes:

  • potting soil
  • orchid bark
  • perlite or coarse sand

Using a high quality potting mix is a great start as it gives you a light base. Then the perlite and orchid bark help improve drainage. I like to use 2 parts potting soil to 1 part each of the other two.

Adjust as needed based on how well the mixture drain moisture for you.

That said, just as you don’t want to overwater your plant, you also don’t want to underwater it. a little lack of water every now and then if you forget is fine. But, do water it when you remember.

However, don’t allow it to dry as this can eventually cause your plant to die as well. Although, it takes much longer than overwatering because once root rot comes in, it can be very hard to fix.

 

Fertilizing

Your monstera standleyana will be happy with regular houseplant fertilizer. As such, there’s no need to pick out any special product. If you’re just starting out and are afraid of using too much, dilute the recommended dose by 50%. Then adjust according to how the plant responds.

The monstera standleyana isn’t a heavy feeder. You only need to feed it once a month during its growing season (spring and summer). Cut back when fall arrives. No feeding in the winter as the plant will be resting.

You can use a liquid or slow release fertilizer depending on which you prefer. Both work, but do so differently. And, they have their pros and cons.

  • Liquid fertilizer. Allows you to control the dose better and distribute the plant food easily because it is in liquid form. But, the entire dose it applied to the soil at once.
  • Slow release fertilizer. Comes in pellet form, often different colors. This makes it harder to evenly distribute the fertilizer. However, the pellets are designed to release the fertilizer in them at different times, so the dosage is released slowly over months.

Whichever way you choose, make sure you don’t overdo it. Too much fertilizer will cause your plant’s roots to burn due to the salt buildup from their residue.

Thus, it is a good idea to flush the soil every 3 to 6 months.

Similarly, you want to avoid cheap fertilizers even if they look more economical. That’s because they leave heavier amounts of salt residue compared the higher quality ones or organic ones.

 

Monstera Standleyana Pruning

Monstera standleyana are vigorous growers. Although, won’t get as big as some of the other monstera varieties.

As such, you want to prune it to keep its size and shape under control. Trimming foliage also helps keep some of them from getting wayward.

In addition to making the plant look good, pruning also keeps it healthy.

By removing dead or discolored leaves you’re taking out parts of the plant that aren’t growing or deteriorating but still use up its resources.

This frees up those resources for new growth and allows the plant to focus on its healthy parts.

When pruning, you don’t have to be overly gently with it because it can take it without getting stressed. So trim as needed.

 

Monstera Standleyana Propagation

Monstera Standleyana

The easiest way to propagate monstera standleyana is via stem cutting.

The best time to do this is in the spring. As it allows the new plant to quickly root and sprout.

The good new is, stem cuttings are fairly easy. It just take a little practice and patience.

  • Pick a health stem that’s 6 to 8 inches long. You want it to have at least 2 or so leaves on it.
  • Cut the stem just under the node. This is the point where the leaf extends out from the stem.
  • Leave the cutting out to dry and callous. This will take 5 to 7 days.
  • Once it dries, apply rooting hormone powder on the calloused end to speed up growth.
  • Fill a small pot with fresh, well-draining potting soil. Make sure the pot you select has drainage holes.
  • Plant the stem cutting into the soil going down to a depth of about 2 inches.
  • If the cutting can’t stand upright without help, use a small skewer to support it.
  • Leave the pot in a warm, humid spot with bright, indirect sunlight.
  • In about 2 to 4 weeks, it will begin to develop roots.

 

Transplanting & Repotting Monstera Standleyana

From above, you already know that the plant grows fairly quickly. As such, its roots do to.

This means that you’ll need to repot the plant every 12 months.

Spring is the best time to do so because it is when the plant begins to actively grow for the season. This allows it to overcome the shock of being moves better.

And, after that, the newfound space will allot it to take advantage of the warm weather to grow faster.

With other houseplants, you’ll often need to wait until the roots start coming out of the pot before you need to repot it.

With the monstera standleyana, you’ll likely see the roots come out on their own once you get to 11 or 12 months out from the last time you repot.

The good news is repotting is fairly straightforward. You just have to get your hands a little dirty.

  • Start by picking out a spot where you’ll repot. You want somewhere that can easily be cleaned afterwards. Thus, outdoors or in the sink works well. You can also lay out newspapers on the floor.
  • In addition, have a slightly larger pot ready. Ideally 1 to 2 inches bigger than your plant’s existing container. Then, some fresh potting mix to replace the spent one.
  • Start by carefully taking the plant out of its container.
  • Check the roots for any damage or rotting. Then, brush off any excess soil or dirt from the root ball.
  • Fill the new pot with fresh soil up to about a third or so.
  • Insert the root ball and backfill with soil to keep the plant stable in its position.
  • Water the soil and allow to drain.
  • Return the plant to its original spot.

 

Toxicity

Keep the monstera standleyana away from children dogs and cats. While it is only mildly toxic and isn’t known to cause death, it will still produce very unpleasant symptoms when ingested.

These include vomiting, mouth and throat irritation and swelling. At times, it can likewise cause difficulty in breathing.

 

Pests and Diseases

Monstera standleyana aren’t overly affect by disease or pests. However, there are a few pests that seem to like attacking the plant more often. These are aphids and spider mites.

Aphids damage your plant by sucking their sap. In the process, they also take nutrients away from your plant. So, you want to get rid of them as soon as possible.

The easiest way you can tell aphids are present is you see sap in different parts of your plant. Areas covered with sap means aphids have been working there.

To get rid of them, spray with water then wash with insecticidal soap. It will take about 2 to 3 weeks to get rid of them.

Spider mites are another common problem. These leave small spider web-like material so you can spot them. Similarly, they damage your plant by causing brown spots on the leaves.

When you see these, trim the affected sections off. Then wash the plant with insecticidal soap.

Finally, there’s root rot. This is highly preventable as long as you don’t overwater your plant and ue well-draining soil. You want to take all the precautions here because root rot has no cure. And, it is difficult to recover from, it at all.

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