The Monstera plant has become wildly popular due to its fenestrated leaves. However, only those originating from Peru, Panama, Suriname, and Bolivia have these fenestrations.
There are lots of misconceptions about this plant. So let’s clear some up!
Monstera obliqua is a strange plant with perforated leaves native to Central and South America. It’s pronounced [mon-STER-uh] [oh-BLIK-wuh].
Monstera obliqua like Monstera deliciosa is a member of the Araceae family and is considered a perennial plant.
If the botanical name (Monstera obliqua) is too difficult, you can refer to the plant by its common names, which include:
- Swiss Cheese Vine/Plant
- Mexican Breadfruit
NOTE: Monstera obliqua variegated has green and white leaves
Monstera Obliqua Care
Size & Growth
The obliqua requires between eight months to a year to grow 30 to 70 leaves. The plant can grow to up to 20′ feet or more. But Obliqua plants are slower growers.
The stem tends to have a thickness of approximately 2mm. The juvenile form of this plant species tends to be bushy and compact.
On the other hand, older plants have either dangling vines, bushy climbers, or pruned bushes.
Flowering and Fragrance
The Monstera plant can flower at any time of year since it doesn’t have a specific flowering season. Flowering usually only occurs 1.5 years after germination. The flowers have a cream to white color and are 5″ to 6″ inches.
The flowering is in the form of sequential inflorescences. Most members of the Monstera family produce only two spadices per cluster. However, the obliqua can produce up to eight.
The Monstera obliqua also produces fruits that have green spathe. The spadix changes color throughout its developmental process.
At the end of its development, the spadix turns into a deep orange fruit referred to as globose berries.
The fruits of this plant are unique because other Monstera species have berries that are arranged closely together. On the other hand, the obliqua berries are free from one another.
This makes the fruit a good differentiating factor between the different obliqua and the other Monstera Species.
Light & Temperature
Monstera obliqua thrives in indirect sunlight—partial to full shade. It’s not advisable to grow your obliqua in direct sunlight. If you overexpose your plant, it might yellow quickly.
Unlike other plants, the obliqua has sensitive leaves. Unfortunately, the yellowing of leaves can’t be reversed. Eventually, the leaves will start to brown and fall off.
The obliqua can’t grow in temperatures below 25° to 30° degrees Fahrenheit. However, the plant can tolerate humidity and actually thrives at humidity levels above 90% percent.
The recommended maximum USDA hardiness zone for the Monstera obliqua is Zone 11. The minimum hardiness zone is Zone 9b.
Watering and Feeding
Watering the Monstera Obliqua is tricky because overwatering may cause the plant to die. So you must get the time between each watering correct.
Usually, the time between each watering is a few days, depending on the season and humidity levels. Therefore, there is a trick that you can use.
If you stick your finger into the soil, and the bottom layer is moist but still dryer than the top layer, you have added the right amount of water. If the bottom layers are dry, then the plant requires watering.
Using the correct compost can make watering your plant easier. The best way to grow a healthy Monstera obliqua is to imitate its natural habitat. Therefore, considering that this plant is native to Central and South America, the best compost to use would be peat and loam.
Soil & Transplanting
A well-draining soil is a foundation for your plant. Getting it right is essential. As we mentioned before, your soil should be peat and loam-based.
This type of soil retains water which helps the plant absorb the water it needs. Loam provides air pockets that allow the aerial roots to develop and reach the nutrients in the soil. Sandy or dry soil should be avoided.
Having a slightly acidic pH is also vital. This means that your pH should be between 5 and 7.
Despite being a slow-growing plant, your plant will outgrow your pot. When it does, you’ll need to repot it.
Tips for repotting your Monstera Obliqua:
- Check the roots of the plant (gently to avoid damage). If the roots still have room to grow, then repotting is unnecessary.
- If there is not enough room, make sure you have a deep enough pot with adequate drainage holes.
- Fill only a third of the pot with soil before adding the plant.
- Then add the rest of the soil. Make sure that the roots are covered.
- Ensure that the soil around the stake is enough to support the plant’s growth.
Grooming And Maintenance
The only groom that might be necessary is removing dead (brown) leaves. Additionally, humidity, watering schedule, soil pH, temperature, and sunlight should be maintained.
Monstera Obliqua Propagation
Two methods are used for propagating Monstera Obliqua. It can be done either with stolons or cuttings. Let’s find out how.
This method requires patience and high humidity. It is a difficult method because Monstera obliqua doesn’t create stolons often.
Once the stolons appear, cut the section with the stolon and place it in some soil. After the stolons develop roots, mist the stolon. Placing a jar above the misted stolon will help increase the humidity.
Once the root system develops sufficiently, transfer the plant to a pot.
Propagating Using Cuttings
Take a cutting of your plants, ensuring that it has at least one leaf and node. Cut any root hairs before placing the cutting in a pot containing peat and loam compost. Water the top layer generously.
The roots should begin to develop within a few weeks.
Monstera Obliqua Pests or Diseases
Some pests that attack the Monstera are:
- Spider mites
- Plant Scale
Monstera plants are also susceptible to the following diseases:
- Root rot
- Red leaf-spot
- Southern blight
Monstera species are toxic when consumed and can cause irritation, nausea, or frequent vomiting. This might be a concern for gardeners with pets. If you have pets, keep your plant in an area that they can’t reach.