Is the Monstera Really a Vine?
About the Monstera
Also known as a Swiss Cheese Plant and a Five Holes Plant, the Monstera deliciosa and other muchloved varieties such as borsigniana, adansonii, dubia, obliqua, and variegata are beautiful and bountiful plants.
The Monstera thrives in many regions across the globe, such as South America, North America, the Atlantic, Western Mediterranean, and Australia. Recently, however, the Monstera has gained an extra special place within many-a-home across the world.
Growing big and beautiful, the Monstera is a popular houseplant that’s sure to take center stage in any plant environment. Yet, as it enjoys pride of place in our pot-bound plant collections, what many people don’t realize is that the monstera is an evergreen aroid and vining plant that can trail for miles and miles.
What is a Monstera?
The Monstera plant is a tropical vine that’s commonly recognized for its vibrant green coloring and iconic split leaves that allow gusts of wind and rain to pass through the leaf when in tropical environments.
In its natural habitat, the Swiss cheese vine is a fast-growing vine plant that can grow to impressive heights. As part of the aroid family, wild Monsteras can also produce delicious (or deadly, if not ripe!) fruits that resemble the combined flavor of banana, pineapple, and mango.
Growth habits of the Monstera
A fast-growing plant, the Monstera loves to attach itself to a vertical object and climb upwards with the help and support of its long, strong stems. If you have a suitable wall, trellis, or support pole, your Monstera will love climbing up towards the sun for years and years!
Making it climb
Training the Monstera to climb is relatively easy – all it needs is a little bit of extra love and support. In its natural habitat, the Monstera plant would climb around a tree or another vertical surface strong enough to support its weight. In your home, a moss pole, coco coir pole, or trellis works wonderfully for Monsteras and encourages your Swiss cheese vine to follow its natural inclination for growing upright.
Adding the support
Moss and coco coir support poles can be added at any time, although many plant parents find it easier to wait until the Monstera is ready for repotting. This makes it easier to avoid breaking or damaging roots and causing severe disruption that your Monstera plant cannot recover from.
Support poles are best added near to the edge of the pot and buried as deep as possible. Once the pole is planted firmly into the soil, be sure that the stake doesn’t wiggle and is secure enough to attach your vine to.
Clips, plant wire, and garden twine are all great ways to attach the Monstera stems to the support pole. As new leaves start to grow, ensure you are quick to wrap them around the support pole to encourage growth to continue in the same, upright direction.
Pruning your Monstera is another great way to encourage it to grow upwards. Trimming back the growth on your monstera can help to balance out the volume of the plant’s leaves and encourage upward growth.
Regularly pruning your Monstera encourages growth in your existing plant so you’ll likely have to do it often to reap the rewards you want. Pruning also gives you the perfect opportunity to create a brand new plant! This leads us to our next point…
Propagating a Monstera
A Monstera is a great plant to propagate in water. These Swiss cheese vine plants are perfectly suited to those who are just finding their green fingers as they are relatively low-maintenance and offer wonderful results. If you take the correct steps to propagate a Monstera, the roots will develop in a matter of weeks.
Like other plants, propagating a Monstera vine in water is relatively easy and involves:
• Taking cuttings below the nodes
• Placing into a vase and watering above the node
• Watering as needed for nutrients
Water propagation is easy – when you know how! Our plant propagation 101 has in-depth information for beginners and experienced plant parents alike to get started with water propagation – read it here.
You grow, girl!
The Monstera is a vine that looks fantastic when climbing up walls and poles as a large and formidable plant. Encouraging upright growth helps to mimic the Monstera’s natural environment, saves you space, and makes your plant look happier and healthier, no matter its setting.
Learn more about the many different varieties of Monstera from one of our favorite posts by The Spruce.
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