The first time I saw Monstera dilacerata was in a botanical garden in the section for tropical aroids. The plant specimen on display was grand and magnificent covering the entire wall on one side. It looked bewilderingly similar to several other plant species I’d seen across genera including the genus Monstera.
Many home gardeners struggle with identification before they decide to grow Monstera dilacerata. The plant is often confused with Epipremnum pinnatum, Monstera pinnapartitum, Rhaphidophora decursiva and Monstera deliciosa.
I’ve included a section below to guide you on identification.
Here’s the good news – it doesn’t really matter what species you have! All of these are tropical epiphytes belonging to the family of aroids with similar care requirements. In fact, if you want a lush tropical look to your garden, no better way than to bring some of these home.
With that, let’s delve into detailed Monstera dilacerata care tips.
- 1 MONSTERA DILACERATA CARE GUIDE
- 2 MONSTERA DILACERATA PROPAGATION METHODS – STEP BY STEP
- 3 COMMON PROBLEMS WITH PLANT MONSTERA DILACERATA
- 4 TIPS TO KEEP MONSTERA DILACERATA PROBLEM-FREE
- 5 FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT MONSTERA DILACERATA
- 6 CONCLUSION
MONSTERA DILACERATA CARE GUIDE
The best way to achieve optimal conditions for Monstera dilacerata care is to observe the natural environs of the plant.
Being an epiphyte, the plant grows with its roots not necessarily in the soil, creeping over other trees and gathering nutrients from the air, organic debris, decaying vegetation or animal droppings.
The ideal soil mix for to grow Monstera dilacerata is obviously one that contains plenty of organic matter.
Think mulch, compost, bark bits, and if you can lay your hands on animal dung based organic manure nothing like it. About 50% in volume is good. The other 50% is ideally sandy potting soil mixed with perlite.
The soil needs to be able to retain moisture but should also be absolutely well-draining if you want to grow Monstera dilacerata and not kill it.
This mix and texture is critical for your Monstera Deliciosa care as a soil too dense can lead to root rot. Once root rot starts it quickly spreads to the rest of the roots.
In its native environment Monstera dilacerata “climbs” robustly in order to reach brighter light cutting through the vegetation at the lower levels.
So, in order to trick them into getting taller, I simply duplicate this environment as best possible and grow Monstera dilacerata in bright shade.
I avoid sunny windows or direct sunlight, as I’ve observed this could burn the leaves.
Basically, if you want to grow Monstera dilacerata inside your home any window side spot without direct sunlight is great. If you’re growing it outdoors, I would recommend climbing it along the northern or north-eastern wall face.
If it’s too dark the leaves may also grow more sparsely and slowly. The leaves may even lose the lovely slits and perforations which is the reason why you would’ve chosen to grow Monstera dilacerata in the first place. That’s why the ideal cue is “bright shade”.
To grow Monstera dilacerata into a strong creeper, the soil needs to be kept moist but not wet.
It is often recommended to let the soil completely dry out between waterings. But in my experience, the amount of water your plant needs depends on things such as temperature, humidity, how much light it receives, the size of the plant, etc.
In general, my experience has also been that mature plants do better with good watering.
One Monstera dilacerata care hack that has worked for me is to acclimatize it. So basically you water about once a week until the plant gets used to the routine.
If you see the leaves yellowing then cut back the watering for a couple of weeks. Then resume regular watering.
If you want to plant it outdoors for wall or tree creeping, choose a raised spot with a short wall of bricks stacked around the mound. This is great for drainage, easy soil replacement etc.
Finally, the ultimate Monstera dilacerata care tip is to get the soil right! Yes, watering problems begin with clumpy waterlogging soil. It is prone to root diseases, especially during colder seasons.
You need at least a continual minimum of 50ºF (10°C) and never lower in order to grow Monstera dilacerata. The plant likes it warm.
It does best in average temperatures between 65-80ºF (18-27ºC) which means in cold countries you can only grow Monstera dilacerata indoors.
The plant starts to show active growth at 65°F (18°C) and will completely stop growing below 50ºF (10ºC).
Outdoor growing is possible only in hardy climatic zones where it rarely drops 50ºF (10°C). The plant is tropical, so it’s susceptible to frost, especially juvenile plants.
A ‘good to have’ element in Monstera dilacerata care is humidity, as these plants belong to regions with moderate to high humidity. Exposed to heavy Amazonian rainfalls in their natural habitat, they in fact thrive in levels upwards of 60%.
That said, you can grow Monstera dilacerata even in average humidity conditions, and it will “tolerate” it. Try manually spritzing the leaves from time to time or use a humidifier.
Huddling plants is an effective Monstera dilacerata care hack to manage humidity without relying on a humidifier. Make a sort of a “grove” for tropical climbers like Monsteras, Philodendrons and Pothos varieties. This creates a warm and muggy environment that these epiphytes love.
Not to mention, they even look gorgeous with multiple shapes and colors trailing, creeping, climbing and hanging together.
If you have the space, trying to grow Monstera dilacerata in a well-lit bathroom! This is a great place for humidity loving plants.
I grow Monstera dilacerata in a soil mix rich in organic manure but they respond very well to additional feeding producing bigger and more dense foliage.
Decomposed organic matter mixed with the soil acts as slow-release organic food for the plant. I top this with a balanced 20-20-20 or 20-10-10 fertilizer. Nitrogen rich soil helps to grow Monstera dilacerata well.
Monstera dilacerata care tip: The plant is easily burned by high soil salts. Water deeply if you fertilize.
For detailed information you could refer to this article on how to fertilize your Monstera Deliciosa. The fertilization requirements of the plant is similar to that of Monstera Deliciosa.
Stem cuttings or tip cuttings are the popular methods in order to propagate and grow Monstera dilacerata. They readily take root either in soil or water.
Over time, your plant will grow aerial roots from its stem which help in propagation.
My favourite method is ground layering because it’s very easy and non-invasive for the plant.
I find that a great way to grow Monstera dilacerata is outdoors, letting it creep up a corner wall for spectacular impact. In the natural habitat the plant creeps to as great heights as 33-66′ (10-20m) in its quest for sunlight, often losing contact with the ground.
These plants have the potential to transform your wall into a tropical jungle in a few years. Just make sure they’re not in direct sun or they burn.
Indoors you can grow Monstera dilacerata on a tall sphagnum moss totem. Choose a tall strong one because the plant easily grows to about 2 meters (6.5 feet) tall.
On Monstera dilacerata care tip is to keep the plant away from traffic. This plant isn’t suitable for crowded indoor spaces as the leaves spread our considerably.
Monstera dilacerata care requires regular pruning to prevent the vines from getting leggy. Trim out any discoloured leaves and stems with a sharp garden scissors for a clean look.
One tip to grow Monstera dilacerata nice and bushy is to aggressively trim the long vines just before the growing season and to use the stem cuttings to start new plants in the same pot. You can also twirl back long vines into the pot through layering.
If you choose to grow Monstera dilacerata in a pot, then train it on a strong jute ladder or a sphagnum moss totem. The stems grow aerial roots, which support the plant.
It should be planted in a fairly big planter i.e. nothing less than a 10-inch pot for a young plant. Monstera dilacerata care doesn’t need rootbound pots.
Also being top-heavy, Monstera dilacerata care requires a stable base so that the totem is well balanced. Repot to bigger pots every two years.
MONSTERA DILACERATA PROPAGATION METHODS – STEP BY STEP
Propagate Monstera dilacerata from tip cuttings
- Choose a stem tip from a mature mother plant, ideally where aerial roots are visible
- Cut the stem tip with at least two leaf nodes using a pair of garden scissors.
- Pinch the leaves at the bottom node.
- Keep a pot with a 50-50 mix of sphagnum moss and perlite that’s evenly very moist but not wringing wet.
- You don’t need a rooting hormone for the cuttings because they typically root quite readily.
- Stick in the stem with at least one node well under the soil and press down the soil for support.
- Keep the pot in a fairly bright spot but away from direct sun.
- Keep the soil moist until the cutting is established. This should take 1 – 2 weeks. Move it to regular potting mix after 8 weeks.
Propagate Monstera dilacerata in water
- Follow the instructions up to step 3 in the above section
- Select a jar that has a mouth that is at least 3 inches wide and only deep enough that the nodes of the cutting are under water but the terminal leaves are out.
- Pro tip: If the mouth of the jar is too narrow the roots break while pulling the cutting out.
- Put your cutting in the jar filled with clean water.
- Keep in spot where there is indirect sunlight and don’t disturb the cutting
- New roots will sprout from the nodes submerged in water after 1 – 2 weeks.
- You can transfer the cutting to soil once the roots are an inch or two long. Move it to regular potting mix after 8 weeks.
Propagate Monstera dilacerata using layering technique
- Choose a long vine of a on a mature, well-established plant with 4 to 5 leaf nodes.
- Pinch off alternate leaves to expose the nodes but keep the terminal leaves.
- Loosen 5 inches on the soil around the mother plant
- Twirl the prepared stem back into the soil
- Now carefully pin down the exposed nodes in the loosened soil using hair pins to secure them in place.
- Cover these nodes with soil and water.
- Continue with Monstera dilacerata care as usual
- The nodes should catch roots within 2 weeks.
- Pro tip: DON’T constantly check for roots. Your chances of success increase if you forget about it for a few weeks.
COMMON PROBLEMS WITH PLANT MONSTERA DILACERATA
Leaves and stems noticeably wilt and flag: Root and stem rot could be the problem caused due to draught stress or prolonged overwatering both of which can kill root systems.
Whole yellow leaves: Overwatering is the most common cause of yellow leaves. If your plant has yellow leaves, the first step is to check the soil. If the soil has been consistently soggy or drains poorly, or if you have been forgetting to empty the drip tray after watering, then overwatering is the likely cause.
Chlorosis (yellowing) along leaf edges: If it progresses to tan and eventually dark brown this could be a fungal disease called Anthracnose. The symptoms can spread inward and kill the whole leave. Immediately remove affected leaves and dispose them far away. Stop misting the plant and water only at the base to prevent spreading of the disease.
Dark brown spots on leaves with a yellow border: If the spots are similar in size and have a sticky ooze this is a bacterial leaf spot condition. Same as above cut down humidity completely. Cut off affected leaves. Chemical treatments should be last resort.
Brown edges: If you notice the edges getting brown and dry then you’re underwatering or overexposing to direct sun.
New leaves are not splitting: Usually, it has to do with light. If it’s getting colder where you live then that will slow its growth due to weaker sunlight.
The splits should return if you move it to a spot with good light and once the growing season starts again. It could also be the absence of something to climb on.
Those aerial roots attach to a surface and also help with leaf maturity.
Common pests and infections: When you grow Monstera dilacerata, pests and insects are normally not a problem since these are hardy tropicals.
However, the most common pests are mealybugs and spider mites. The best control measure is a routine application of insecticidal soap and neem oil once a month or as prescribed on the package.
My Monstera dilacerata care routine for pest control includes washing down the leaves with a water jet on its watering day. I wipe the leaves dry after the bath. This whole routine make a huge difference for not only pests for also for a shiny clean appearance.
Bacterial/fungal infections can be avoided by keeping the plant surroundings clean, removing dead leaves, and using sterile organic feeds.
TIPS TO KEEP MONSTERA DILACERATA PROBLEM-FREE
- Grow Monstera dilacerata bright shade and not direct sunlight.
- Keeping this plant on the moist side at all times is helpful but don’t let the roots get waterlogged.
- Absolutely well-draining soil.
- Use animal waste manure in the soil mix and regular application of nitrogen rich fertilizer for solid growth.
- Room temperatures are ideal for growth.
- Huddle the plant along with other epiphytic vines to manage humidity.
- Give it a surface like totems, grills, walls or trees to climb on. Monstera roots are not the type of roots that penetrate and damage walls or surfaces.
- Monstera dilacerata leaves have the ability to rotate to follow the sun. So, turning the pot around periodically so that a different side of the plant gets sun is a good way to get wholesome growth.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT MONSTERA DILACERATA
How to identify Monstera dilacerata?
The most widespread notion is that Monstera dilacerata is synonymous with Epipremnum pinnatum. E. pinnatum has tiny 2mm perforations like pin-pricks along the midrib which our plant doesn’t have.
Juvenile Monstera dilacerata actually more closely resembles Monstera pinnapartitum but grows to have much bigger and longer leaves. Also M. Pinnapartitum grows somewhat like a self-header (very small internodes), whereas you can grow Monstera dilacerata like a stiff creeper up a wall or a tree.
Monstera deliciosa is a more popular cousin of Monstera dilacerata and the OG of Swiss Cheese plants with its many fenestrations and heart-shaped leaves. But, Monstera dilacerata has deeply pinnafid adult leaves with hardly no fenestrations and an elliptical leaf shape.
Rhaphidophora decursiva is also a robust wall and tree climber but these are a different genus of aroids belonging to South East Asia, with many minor technical differences compared to Monstera dilacerata.
Can Monstera dilacerata live in water?
In my experience the do readily take root in water and can even live there for a time. But in the absence of something to climb on they don’t end of growing too much.
How do you grow Monstera dilacerata to look bushy?
The tendency for this plant is to get leggy as it matures and it doesn’t branch too often. Plant several cuttings in one pot to get a bushy look.
Fertilizing also helps with healthy growth.
If it’s being trained on a wall or a tree then the chances of branching greatly improves by virtue of the plant’s natural tendency to “reach out” for new places to climb.
Is Monstera dilacerata poisonous?
All Monsteras are poisonous with a low severity due to the presence of calcium oxalate crystals. Only the ripe fruit of a Monstera is edible.
I personally love Monsteras for various reasons. They are great as low-maintenance, low-light tolerance plants. My backyard looks like a tropical grove thanks to my aroids. Mature Monsteras give edible fruit that taste like all my favourite fruits in one – pineapples, mangoes, banana. I wouldn’t suggest you grow them for fruit though!
They have interesting light seeking behaviour, the leaves have tissue that enables them to “turn their heads” to the sun!
If you’re a first-time gardener I recommend you go through this list of easy growing plants.