Monstera: Houseplant of the Month for July
With this botanical beauty you’re not just bringing the tropics into your home, but also a living air purifier that’s easy to care for. Fancy a beautiful green monster?
An impressive name, an airy look, extravagant foliage: it’s no wonder that Monstera is a massive hit on Instagram. It’s not just photogenic because of its size – which ranges from tabletop size to welcome-to-the-jungle – but also its highly original components. Monstera has stems, sometimes a moss pole, or possibly a trunk, usually impressive aerial roots – it’s always exciting. The most fascinating aspect is that the young leaves are heart-shaped and only develop the characteristic incisions later, when they’ve had some experience of life.
- It’s an easy houseplant: hang, climb, whatever you want.
- Its size makes Monstera perfect for use as a decorative room divider.
- It’s a living air purifying system, for anyone who wants both privacy and fresh air.
- It’s one of the few plants with its own hashtags, such as #monsterarmy, #aroidaddicts and #monsteramonday.
Monstera really is different from other plants: when the seed germinates, it will grow towards the side that is darkest. Why? Because that’s where the biggest tree trunk is. Once Monstera has found a good trunk, it can climb up it and get plenty of light. If it had to settle for the light that reaches the ground, the plant wouldn’t stand a chance. While it’s very resilient in the wild, it’s more hesitant indoors: the plant will grow best if you give it a bit of guidance (moss pole, climbing string) in the direction you want it to go.
The emancipation of greenery
More restrained and sustainable living, taking responsibility, purity, organic shapes: Monstera fits perfectly into the style trend in which greenery is given an ever greater role. Not just in the home, but also in public spaces. Think of uses of plants to keep the air cleaner, to generate energy in an environmentally friendly way, or as a buffer against constantly advancing technology.
- The incised leaves are an evolution thing. They help Monstera to survive in the rainforest: the leaves are less likely to break in strong winds or heavy rain.
- In China Monstera symbolises a long life and honouring elders and respected people.
- In Feng Shui (a kind of Oriental acupuncture for your home) Monstera is used to bring happiness or to stimulate big dreams.
Monstera is a member of the arum family. They are originally mainly lianas from Panama and southern Mexico, where the plants can climb up the trees to a height of 20 metres. They also use their fleshy aerial roots to secure themselves a tree trunks, rocks or the soil in the forests of Southeast Asia. They snake and clamber upwards, enable their gigantic leaves to flourish and so provide some extra shade.
How to style Monstera
Because there’s already a lot going on with Monstera in terms of foliage, the base can be simple: sleek white, sleek black, or sleek terracotta if that’s more your thing. A mobile Monstera is very on trend, with wheels under the pot. They make it easy to bring it with you to your favourite flexi-spot or push it into a new Insta-worthy location.
- Monstera prefers a light spot, but not full sun.
- Cold makes the plant grumpy; keep it above 13°.
- Water moderately; the soil can be kept slightly damp, but not drenched.
- A bit of plant food once a fortnight is enough.
- Monstera rarely flowers indoors. If it does happen to you, cut the flowers off. They draw a lot of energy from the plant and have a rather… distinctive odour.
For more information see: www.thejoyofplants.co.uk
Published on: 24 June 2019