How To Care For A Monstera Obliqua Plant
The Monstera Obliqua is a rare type of monstera plant that is not commonly found in people’s households.
This plant is very rare in the wild, but it is often confused with the popular houseplant called Monstera Adansonii. Although, these two plants are very different, even though they have a similar appearance.
The leaves of this plant are thought to be more hole than leaf, and this plant is certainly one to catch your eye.
However, growing this plant is not the easiest of tasks, and it might be better suited for experienced monstera collectors.
This is mostly due to the fact that these plants are very rare, pricey, and hard to keep in the land of the living.
In this article, we are going to tell you everything that you need to know about caring for the monstera obliqua plant, so you can make sure that you are on the right track.
This will give you the best chances of keeping your plant alive, as they can be quite difficult to take care of.
We will also explain how you can tell if it is in fact a monstera obliqua plant, rather than a similar variety of monstera.
What You Need To Know At A Glance
Where to put them – In a bright area that is not in direct sunlight as the leaves can easily burn.
Watering – They should be watered infrequently, but you will need to mist the leaves on a regular basis.
Growth – These plants can grow to between 6 and 10 feet outside, but they are typically smaller when grown indoors.
Climate – The monstera obliqua does not do well in the cold, and they should be kept at a minimum of 70 degrees fahrenheit.
Propagating – Can be propagated from the stem stolons and cuttings.
Season – These plants are evergreen, but they will be dormant throughout the winter.
Flowering – These plants do not flower seasonally.
The most highly regarded and photographed variety of monstera is the Peruvian Monstera Obliqua, which features delicate and lace-like leaves.
Some types of Obliqua plants that have less leaf fenestration are those that are native to the Monteverde region of Costa Rica.
Although, they can be found in other Central and South American countries, like Panama, Nicaragua and Peru.
Due to the rarity of this plant, a real Monstera Obliqua will come with a hefty price tag of a few thousand dollars. Some people have even reported paying up to $20,000 for one of the larger varieties of this plant.
So, you should know that if you are looking for these plants online and have found them for less than $100, it is highly likely that you are not looking at a genuine monstera obliqua.
Instead, it is probably a Monstera Adansonii, which is much more common, hence the lower price tag.
What Is The Difference Between A Monstera Obliqua And An Adansonii?
Both the Monstera Obliqua and the Adansonii plants are very similar in nature, especially during the first few years of their growth. This is the main reason why they are often mistaken for one another.
Usually, these two plants will become much more different as the plants mature, and the Monstera Adansonii will develop thick and leathery leaves.
On the other hand, the Monstera Obliqua will remain slender, with paper thin leaves.
Some of the other physical differences between them will become more pronounced as the plants grow.
One of the main differences between the Monstera Obliqua and the Adansonii plants is their size difference.
The Monstera Obliqua is known to be the smaller of the two when they are fully grown, and they also grow much more slowly than the Monstera Adansonii.
The Obliqua also produces leafless runners that are known as stolons. These are able to grow up to an impressive 60 feet in length when they are grown in their natural habitat.
As well as the higher price tag and the general rarity of the plant itself, the Monstera Obliqua is known for being very difficult to look after.
It has very delicate leaves that can easily be burned by the sun or prolonged exposure to something as simple as LED grow lights.
This plant also requires a humid environment in order to thrive, with moisture levels of around 80%.
This is a beautiful plant variety, but there are some things that you will need to consider before you go ahead and invest in one.
We are going to tell you everything that you need to know about properly caring for a Monstera Obliqua below.
How to Care for a Monstera Obliqua
Unfortunately, these are not the easiest of plants to care for, and they require a lot of care and attention.
Due to their expensive price, you will want to be sure that you can care for this plant’s needs before you purchase one. Find out everything you need to know here.
When it comes to the positioning of the Monstera Obliqua, you will need to ensure that you are placing it in a location that is bright from natural light, but that is not within direct sunlight.
Direct sunlight will only cause burn damage to the delicate leaves. This is a plant that is used to humidity levels of up to 90% in their natural environment, as well as shelter from strong direct sunlight.
With that being said, you will need to give this plant lots of moisture and humidity. Monstera Obliquas often thrive in greenhouses or warm conservatories, as they will be able to replicate this kind of environment.
Something else that you could do is put your plant in a warm and bright room that has higher moisture levels, like in the kitchen or the bathroom.
You should also avoid placing it somewhere where the temperature fluctuates, like near a radiator or a draft.
Some of the ways in which you can increase the humidity levels for your plants are:
- Misting the leaves of the plant on a regular basis
- Placing it next to other plants that love humidity as this will create a humid micro-environment
- Put stones or pebbles in a tray under your plant pot. Water can collect here and add even more humidity to the area
- Purchase a room humidifier for your home
Something else that you should know is that these plants will not tolerate long periods of time under an artificial grow light.
So, if you are thinking about trying this, then you will need to ensure that your plant is not positioned in a way that puts it directly in the light.
You will need to try to give your plant some periods of rest when it is not under the artificial light for a few days at a time. This will prevent its leaves from becoming scorched.
A fully grown Monstera Obliqua that has been grown in its natural habitat will be able to grow between 6 and 10 feet in height.
When they are grown indoors with the right level of humidity and soil conditions, they are unlikely to grow to be as tall. Instead, they will grow up to around 4 feet tall.
They are known to grow quite slowly, with a growth of just 1 or two leaves per month throughout the growing season. Each of these leaves will grow to be around between 10 and 25 cm in length.
In order to try and replicate the heavy rainfall and intense humidity conditions that are present in the rainforest environment, a Monstera Obliqua will need to be watered thoroughly, as well as kept in humid conditions.
You will also need to allow the soil to become slightly damp before you go ahead and water it again.
This is an area where lots of people go wrong with these plants. There is no specific length of time that needs to pass before you water your plant.
Instead, you should water it based on the moisture levels of the soil, instead of creating a specific watering schedule.
There are lots of things that can influence how often you will need to water your plant, so it is important to monitor the situation.
Some of these variables include changes in temperature, the amount of light that your plant is getting, and whether or not the plant is dormant or amidst the growing season.
You will need to keep a close watch on your plant rather than keeping on top of a watering schedule. You can do this by making sure to check the moisture level of the soil each day.
There are tools that you can purchase to help with this, or you can simply place your finger into the soil.
If you find that the soil on the surface is dry, but it is slightly damp beneath the surface, then you will know that you need to water your plant.
If the soil beneath the surface is still soggy, then you can wait a few days before you check the moisture level again.
A Monstera Obliqua has specific soil requirements and needs to be planted in a well-draining peat-based potting mix that is combined with perlite and bark and also rich in nutrients.
Good quality potting mixes are readily available to purchase online.
Monstera plants are able to flower during any month of the year, but the Monstera Obliqua will only flower 18 months after germination.
Although, when this plant does bloom just like any other variety of Monstera. It will usually produce multiple spikes that will cluster together and contain small and delicate flowers.
There are also other Monsteras that will produce only two of these spikes, so this variety is quite unique in this sense.
A Monstera Obliqua will need additional nutrients during the growing season.
It is beneficial to provide them with half-strength liquid fertilizer once a month between the months of Spring and Autumn.
You do not need to feed this plant anything in the winter as it will be dormant during this period.
Due to the fact that this is a slow growing plant, it will not need to be repotted very often at all.
In fact, they can become very stressed due to damaged roots when they are repotted, so you should avoid doing this often and be as gentle as you can throughout the process when you do need to repot your plant.
Some of the things that you should keep in mind when you are repotting a Monstera Obliqua include:
- You should always repot this plant during the growing season throughout the Summer, as your plant will be actively growing at this time, meaning that its chances of recovering from stress are higher.
- It is also beneficial to repot your Monstera Obliqua two days after you have last watered it, and this is because the damp roots will be softer, making it easier to get them out of the pot without causing any damage.
- You will also need to be careful not to pull on the stems of the plant, as this is another area that can easily become damaged. Instead of doing this, you can tip the pot onto its side to loosen the soil around the edges of the pot with your finger. This will ensure that it is easier to slide the plant out of the pot.
- Try to remove as much soil as you can from the roots of the plant by carefully brushing it away. At the same time, you can inspect the roots and check for any signs of damage or disease.
- Use a container that is slightly larger than the one you were previously using and ensure that it has good sized drainage holes. Clay or terracotta pots are great for drawing moisture away from the soil.
- You should be careful to bury the roots and part of the stem to ensure that the plant is stable enough to stand up. You can press the soil around the stem to help with this, but try not to cover it too much.
- Finally, you will need to use fresh potting soil and avoid fertilizing your plant for at least 4 months after replanting it. Fresh soil will contain enough nutrients already, and adding more can be too much for your plant.
It might take a few weeks for your Monstera Obliqua to settle into its new environment, and you will need to give it time to adapt.
The stress that occurs from repotting will eventually subside, and it shouldn’t be too long before your plant bounces back again and starts to thrive as normal.
What You Need To Know About Propagating A Monstera Obliqua
Propagating a Monstera Obliqua plant can easily be achieved either by using the stem or the stolon of the plant. Both of these methods will need high humidity levels if you want your results to be successful.
Before you do propagate your plant, you will need to carefully consider the cutting you choose.
The stem or stolon will need to be healthy and have at least 2 or 3 nodes attached to it for successful propagation.
The new roots will appear from these nodes, so it is really important that they are in top condition and not damaged at all.
How To Propagate Monstera Obliqua From A Stolon
A Monstera Obliqua will produce side-shoots that are called stolon, which will usually grow without any leaves. However, they will have nodes on them.
Once you find a healthy stolon, you can put some sphagnum moss or potting compost around each node of the stolon. Be sure to feed and water the plant as normal and provide the correct level of humidity. Small roots should appear within 4 to 6 weeks.
You should wait for these roots to attach to the moss or compost before you remove the section of stolon by using sterile scissors or a sharp knife.
You can then carefully transfer it to a pot full of potting compost and wait for your new plant to start growing. You will then need to wait some more for some signs of growth to appear above the surface of the soil.
This can take a further 4 to 6 weeks. Once you see this, you can start to water it as you normally would.
How To Propagate Monstera Obliqua From A Stem
Remove a healthy cutting from the main stem using a sterile and sharp pruning knife or pair of scissors and dip the cut end and the nodes in a good quality rooting hormone.
Place the cutting in a small pot with drainage holes and fill it with potting soil. Position in a bright spot but not in direct sunlight and keep the soil slightly damp.
Keep your cutting warm by covering it with a plastic bag to seal in moisture but remember to remove the bag for a few hours every few days to allow air to circulate.
You’ll then need to be patient and wait for the first signs of new growth to appear above the soil. This should take 4-6 weeks.
Once new growth has appeared, you can remove the plastic bag and begin watering as you would for a Monstera Obliqua plant.
Issues That Commonly Occur For Monstera Obliqua Plants
There are some issues that can occur with Monstera Obliqua plants, and we are going to tell you about some of the most common issues for these plants below. This will help to prepare you for when things don’t quite go to plan.
Root rot is an issue that can be quite common when it comes to the Monstera Obliqua. It is usually caused when the roots are too wet for a long time.
To avoid this issue, you should always use well draining soil, ensure that your container or pot has sufficient drainage holes, and only water your plant when you need to.
If you want to check if your plant has root rot, you will need to carefully remove the plant from its pot. Although, this can cause stress to your plant, so you will need to be really careful.
To avoid this stress, you should remove your plant from the pot two days after it has last been watered.
This will help to ensure that the roots are slightly softened, which should work to minimize root damage during the removal process.
You can then brush the soil away from around the roots and check them. If they appear black or brown or they are soft and mushy, then it is likely that your plant has root rot.
You will need to trim away these roots using a sterilized pair of scissors or sharp knife.
You will then need to repot your plant into fresh soil and give your plant a few weeks to recover before you go back to frequent watering.
Monstera Obliqua plants can also be prone to bug infestations by various different common pests, including mealybugs, whiteflies, spider mites, and scale.
These pests are highly inconvenient, but they shouldn’t be detrimental to the health of your plant as long as you treat the issue quickly enough.
The first thing that you will need to do is move your plant away from any other plants and check them for any signs of infestation.
You can use a wet cotton tip or pad to gently dab away as much of the infestation as you are able to.
You should also use a household insect spray or soapy water to wash away the rest of the infestation. You can repeat these steps until there are no longer any signs of infestation.
Mealybugs – Mealybugs are small white dots that will produce a distinctive cotton-like mass onto the surface of your plant. They will feed on the sap of the plant, and they can be quite the nuisance.
They are small insects that do not have any wings, and they love the humid and damp conditions that you create to allow your plant to thrive.
They will typically hide out in the crevices and leaf junctions where the water will collect.
Scale – Scale are small static shell-like parasites that will hide out on the bottom side of the leaves and feed on the sap of the plant. These infestations can leave your plant looking sick and wilted.
Spider Mites – These are very small bugs that are almost invisible to the naked eye, and they are known for being able to extract chlorophyll from the leaves of the plant.
They can typically be found on the underside of the bottom side of the leaves, and they will cluster amongst small webs that look like yellow bumps.
Whitefly – Whiteflies are small and winged insects that have soft bodies and are actually close relatives of the mealybug.
They are triangular in shape, and they can often be found clustered together on the bottom of leaves. They can be easily spotted as they are most active throughout the day.
They will also quickly disperse if you disturb them.
They will even use their mouths to pierce the plants and then extract the moisture. They can also produce a sticky substance that is known as honeydew, which can cause fungal diseases to form on the leaves if your plant is left untreated.
Over time without treatment, your plant will start to wilt and turn pale before it ceases to grow completely.
Eventually, the leaves can start to shrivel up and drop from the plant. You will need to follow our cleaning method above to get rid of any bug infestations before they do any real harm to your plant.
Make sure to keep checking on your plant to ensure that you have completely rid it of infestation.
Too Much Sunlight
Monstera Obliqua plants will require a lot of natural light, but they should never be placed in direct sunlight. Otherwise, the leaves can get sunburn, and they will start to curl and turn brown at the edges.
You cannot recover the leaves once this happens, and they will need to be removed from the plant. You will then need to move your plant to a location where it will not be in direct sunlight.
Not Enough Humidity
The final common issue to occur with Monstera Obliqua plants will happen when the plant is not getting enough humidity.
If the leaves start to turn yellow or brown at the edges, then there might not be enough humidity for your plant to thrive.
This can be treated if it is caught early on, and you can increase the humidity levels to between 80% and 90% and regularly mist the leaves of the plant to restore it to its previous glory.