This article will tell you everything you need to know about Monstera Obliqua.
Keep reading to learn:
· How to grow and care for this plant
· What type of fertilizer to use
· Its varieties
· and more!
The Monstera Obliqua is a species belonging to the genus Monstera and the family Araceae. The name ‘Monstera’ is derived from the Latin word ‘monstrum,’ which means large or monstrous. The epithet ‘obliqua’ is derived from the Latin word ‘obliquus,’ which means neither perpendicular nor parallel or having no right angle.
The genus Monstera consists of 48 different flowering Monstera species. The Monstera plants are evergreen hemi-epiphytes (able to grow on trees and in the soil) and have aerial roots. A few popular species in this genus are Monstera deliciosa, Monstera adansonii, and Monstera siltepecana
The Monster obliqua plant has many common names due to its unique and peculiar-shaped leaves. Some of the common names for Monstera obliqua include:
· Swiss Cheese Vine
· Swiss Cheese Plant
· Mexican Bread Fruit
· Window Leaf Plant
· Monstera Obliqua Monkey Leaf
The botanical name of this Monstera plant species is Monstera obliqua. They are angiosperms native to Tropical America and are also found in terrestrial habitats with tropical climate zones.
Varieties of Monstera Obliqua
The Monstera Obliqua are divided into four varieties based on their fenestrations.
Monstera Obliqua Peru
The Monstera obliqua Peru has the highest fenestration amongst the Monstera obliqua types and is one of the most commonly seen Monstera obliqua species. Monstera obliqua Peru is known for its larger holes and is frequently found in urban jungles. On the other hand, the Monstera obliqua Peru is a green plant that can climb a few meters.
Monstera Obliqua of Pangui
A particular Monstera obliqua species is named after a town in Ecuador, Pangiu. The Monstera obliqua cf Pangui (cf meaning ‘compare to’) is an extremely rare variety of the Monstera obliqua and is known for its light yellow color in the juvenile stage.
Monstera Obliqua Amazonas
The Monstera obliqua Amazonas has the largest leaves. It is famous for its foliage similar to the Anthurium flower (hanging down) but with holes.
Monstera Obliqua Suriname
The Monstera Obliqua Suriname is an extremely rare houseplant species known for its dark green foliage. It is mainly grown indoors and is great at climbing.
Monstera Obliqua Bolivia
The Monstera obliqua Bolivia has the least amount of fenestrations in all varieties and proliferates the least often.
Origin Of The Monstera Obliqua
The Monstera originated from the tropical regions of Central and South America, in areas like Panama and Hawaii. The first Monstera plants were discovered in 1693 by French Botanist Charles Plumier.
In 1975, a famous researcher from Miami, Monroe Birdsey, discovered the Monstera obliqua in Peru. It was confirmed two years later, in 1977, by Dr. Michael Madison, who collected 17 Monstera obliqua plants.
The Monstera Obliqua are found primarily in South America and some regions of Central America. These Monstera species are native to Panam, Costa Rica, and the Amazon. Wild obliques have been collected over 710 times, far lower than most due to their extreme rarity.
Monstera obliqua is an extremely delicate plant that is tough to grow. It is essential to have the appropriate knowledge of the requirements of the obliqua plant to ensure healthy growth. Below are some care guidelines and requirements for the Monstera obliqua.
The Monstera obliqua is a sunlight-loving plant; the more light it has, the better it will grow. However, the plant leaves do not have large surface areas to absorb light, so too much direct sunlight can burn the plant’s foliage and harm the thin leaves, so it is vital to keep it out of direct lighting.
It can withstand up to three hours of direct sunlight. Due to their Tropical habitat, the Monstera obliqua are accustomed to high levels of humidity that protect them from direct sunlight. The morning light is less harsh and perfect for the obliqua.
Providing your Monstera obliqua plant with eight to ten hours of indirect light from a window is plentiful.
The leaves start to wilt and turn yellow if it receives little sunlight. The leaves begin to curl and dry up if it gets too much sunlight. It is essential to find the right balance.
If you prefer to keep your plant away from sunlight altogether, LED lamps can be a good alternative. Choose an LED lamp that allows you to change the intensity of the light.
Generally, watering the Monstera obliqua once or twice a week during the summers and once every two weeks during the winters is enough.
Another general rule for watering the plant is to wait until the top layer of the soil is dry. You can check this by touching the soil surface with your finger.
If your plant is not getting enough water, the leaves will start browning and crippling. If you are overwatering your plant, the leaves get waterlogged and start turning yellow, and in extreme cases, the stems will collapse.
As a tropical plant, the Monstera obliqua is accustomed to high humidity levels (between 60% to 80%).
If the humidity levels are low, the leaves will curl and wilt. Keeping the plant away from direct heat, open windows, and air conditioners is essential. The plant can stay healthy even in low humidity levels, but appropriate humidity levels are needed for perfect growth.
Misting the leaves frequently or putting them near the bathroom or the kitchen is fine. You could also use a humidifier to maintain the humidity levels required by the plant. You could also place a moist pebble tray underneath the plant or place the plant with other houseplants.
Although not necessarily a requirement, fertilizers are a great way of taking good care of the Monstera plant. Unlike most plants, the Monstera obliqua is a slow grower and requires less fertilizer. Feeding the obliqua plant every two weeks during the growing period is enough.
Alternatively, it can be beneficial to fertilize it once a month in small amounts during the spring and summer. In the winter, avoid fertilizing the plant to prevent salt buildup that can damage the roots.
Fertilizing the Monstera should be done if you want the plant to grow quicker (albeit still slower than most) or if you notice the leaves beginning to droop.
A 20-20-20 liquid fertilizer mixed with a gallon of water is the optimum choice for feeding. Add the fertilizer a few centimeters above the base of the pot. Fertilize it again every few weeks.
Most potting mixes come with added fertilizers, so it is essential to look at the soil mix before deciding on fertilizers.
Soil Mix Recommendations
Proper soil is essential for the growth of the Monstera obliqua plant. The plant’s delicate roots can be crushed or restricted by dense, dry, or clogged soil. A potting mix that provides the required nutrients, better aeration, and prevents fungal or bacterial infections is optimal for the plant.
A peat-based soil mix is a good choice for good care of the plant as peat stores water, allowing the plant to absorb as much as possible.
Coconut coir is the soil mix is an alternative to peat as it has water-holding capabilities and retains moisture, removing excess moisture from the roots.
Another alternative is loam. Loam soil creates air holes that allow roots to spread without resistance and absorb nutrients.
The optimum pH of the soil for the Monstera obliqua is slightly acidic, with a pH level between 5 and 7.
Pot Types and Pot Sizes
The Monstera obliqua, when bought, usually comes in a small plastic pot. The small pots help allow the roots to settle, but soon the roots start to grow and break out of the pot. When choosing the type and size of pot for your obliqua plant, you need to choose one that’s big enough for the plants to grow while having appropriate drainage.
You can choose many different types of pots to grow Monstera obliqua.
Plastic pots are often the pots that these plants come in. They are an excellent choice for water retention, especially if the plant is placed in a dry environment.
Clay pots are often used for their water-retention properties that don’t dry out quickly, allowing you to water your plant minimally and preventing fungal rot.
Ceramic pots are often the go-to for aesthetics as they come in different designs and make your home look elegant. However, these pots are often expensive and have poor drainage, ultimately harming the plant.
In the early juvenile stages, the Monstera obliqua does not demand a large spot size, so a small pot of around twenty centimeters in diameter can work just fine.
As the plant grows, the pot needs to be changed for a bigger one. An adult Monstera obliqua would demand a larger pot of around ninety centimeters.
It is important to choose an appropriately sized pot as a pot that is too small will damage the roots and cause the soil to dry out. A large pot will not hold moisture, causing moisture to accumulate on the roots, leading to fungal diseases such as root rot.
The Monstera obliqua is a slow-growing plant and only needs to be repotted once every few months when it is in its growing period. A mature plant will only need to be repotted once every few years.
A good indicator that your plant needs to be repotted is when you see roots growing out of the pot’s drainage holes. Another method is to check the soil to see if there is enough space for the roots to grow.
When repotting the plant, choose a pot at least five centimeters larger in diameter than the previous. To avoid damage to the plant, avoid repotting the plants in the winter.
Place the plant in the pot and add soil carefully to avoid damaging the roots.
Once you’ve repotted the plant, add water to the soil and continue growing it.
Ideal Growing Zones
The geographical range of the obliqua plants is mainly localized to central and south America. The plant should only be grown in USDA hardiness zones 9b to 11.
The minimum average temperature for these zones is around 25°F to 30°F and consists of some parts of Florida, South Carolina, New Mexico, Hawaii, and Louisiana.
You can propagate Monstera Obliqua in two ways:
Propagation from Cutting
To propagate the plant from its cuttings, you need to look for the nodes on the branches. These nodes are areas from where new branches grow. Often, these nodes would start to grow roots themselves. If you notice a node with roots, cut the stem from the node, including the roots.
Place the stem cuttings in a pot, cover with peat or loam soil mix, and water the pot generously. In a few weeks, the cutting will start to develop roots.
Propagation from Stolon
Stolons are stems that grow out of the soil and don’t grow leaves. They are highly polypotent and can grow new roots without being removed from the plant.
Stolons don’t appear often and can take their time. Once they do, cover the stolons with soil in the same pot, and they will start to generate roots. They require high humidity, which is tough to do without damaging the original plant.
Hence, you can cut the stolon from the plant and place it in another pot. You can create a humid environment using a glass or a jar.
Growing From Seed
Once you have obtained the ripened fruit from the plant, you can deseed it or use store-bought seeds (however, they are harder to obtain as the obliqua is a rare houseplant).
Submerge the seeds in lukewarm water for almost 12 hours and once the seed has swelled up, place it in the soil. Keep the soil moist and well-watered. A new sapling will grow in anywhere between one to three weeks.
Pests and Diseases
The Monstera Obliqua is extremely susceptible to diseases, such as root rot, mosaic virus, and leaf scorch.
Out of all diseases, the most common disease affecting the obliqua is root rot, a fungus affecting the roots. To prevent the disease, ensure you don’t over-water the plant (refer to the watering section above).
To treat it, gently remove the plant roots from the soil and wash them with water and antifungal soap.
The obliqua plant is prey to many common pests such as spider mites, whitefly, and thrips. These pests feed on the plant and drain it of its resources.
You can tell that your plant has a pest infection by checking the leaves, stems, and soil for insects or damage. You can treat the plants using insecticide spray or soap and by cutting affected areas of the plant.
Foliage & Leaf Shapes
The Monstera obliqua has slim stems that are only 2 millimeters thick and can grow up to 5 meters in one year. The obliqua plant also grows stunners, as mentioned before, and these stunners grow horizontally towards the nearest tree, where they grow epiphytically.
The plant’s foliage consists of thin and smooth leaves with large holes. The leaves are variegated, whereas the exotic vines contain less chlorophyll. The leaves of the obliqua plant reach a size of around 25 centimeters, and the perforations in the leaves vary depending on the type of Monstera obliqua.
Growth and Maturation of Monstera Obliqua Plant
The Monstera obliqua grows at a very slow pace, taking almost five years to reach full growth. A juvenile Monstera obliqua will take 12-18 months to grow leaves. A new leaf bud grows from the stem once a month.
The flowering of the obliqua plant does not have a fixed period and can happen randomly in any season. The plant can grow to eight spadices (a spathe that closes on the flower).
The spathe turns from green to orange as they grow; by then, the flower turns into a fruit akin to grapes.
Common Problems and How to Fix Them
Below are some common problems you may face when growing Monstera Obliqua and how to solve them.
1. Browning Leaves
The leaves of the plant can turn brown, starting from the edge, which may indicate many problems. The first thing you should do is to check whether the plant is receiving too much direct sunlight. If so, either decrease the intensity of the light or relocate the plant.
If not, check if the plant is receiving enough water. Check the uppermost and bottom layers of the soil with your finger to check if the soil is dry.
2. Yellow Leaves
Yellow leaves are common with the Monstera obliqua plant, especially for someone growing them for the first time. Yellow leaves indicate excess moisture in the soil, and t the plant is overwatered. Try watering the plant once every week.
3. Stunted Growth
Stunted growth can be because the plant lacks enough nutrients and has a fungal infection. If this happens, add fertilizer to the soil mix. If the latter, take out the roots and wash them with an antifungal soap.
Here are some additional care tips to keep in mind when growing Monstera obliqua:
· Use a moss pole to help the plant climb.
· Use fertilizers once a month during spring and summer (the growing periods).
· Prune some of the branches off every few months.
· If you see signs of pest damage or disease, separate the plant from the others.
Where to Buy & Price
The Monstera Obliqua is an extremely rare plant that you might not find Monstera Obliqua in local nurseries or garden centers. Due to their rarity, these plants are also somewhat expensive.
You can buy the obliqua plant online. Listed below are some websites from where you can buy Monstera Obliqua:
· NSE Tropicals
Toxicity to People & Pets
Monstera obliqua is toxic to both people and pets. These plants contain oxalate, an insoluble crystal that can cause many problems. Ingesting the leaves of these plants can lead to allergic reactions in the mouth and esophagus, which may cause vomiting. The sticky sap of the plant can cause eye irritation, too.
Keep the plant out of the range of children and pets. Place them on a shelf or any high surface.
The Monstera obliqua is part of the genus Monstera of the Araceae class, which contains forty-five other plant species. Each of these species contains similarities that make people confuse them. These species’ most common features are the perforations and the leaf size.
The Monstera obliqua plant is often confused with the philodendrons and is sometimes referred to as Philodendron obliqua.
The Monstera obliqua plant is often confused for the more common Monstera Adansonii, especially the juvenile Monstera. However, some minute details differ between the two:
· Monstera adansonia has thick leathery leaves with more texture (membranous). Obliqua leaves are soft and thin.
· Obliqua leaves are fewer and have more perforations. Monstera Adansonii leaves are more in number.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. How can I get Monstera obliqua to climb?
Obliqua is a green climbing plant that needs something to lean on and grip to start climbing. A moss pole can work well.
2. Can Monstera obliqua grow in water?
Although the obliqua plant can survive in water, it is not suitable for plant growth, and the plant will be short and with fewer leaves.
My name is Daniel Elrod, and I have been houseplant love ever since I was 17. I love how much joy they bring to any room in the home. I’ve always been amazed at how a few pots of flowing leaves can turn a drab and sterile office into an inviting place where people love to work at.