Every plant lover loves Monstera deliciosa aka Cheese plant. Their huge ‘lush green, glossy, perforated leaves gives a tropical feel to any room. The cheese plant, can grow very large in the right conditions, up to 20ft.
In its natural habitat it ‘climbs’ up tree trunks and branches for support by way of its leathery aerial roots. These aerial roots not only provide a strong anchor but also takes up nutrients and water from the environment. The perforated leaves have been said to help the cheese plant withstand strong winds. Young leaves may be unperforated but as the they mature they develop the split leaf pattern that we all love.
Besides the beautiful lush leaves, the other thing outstanding about this plant are the aerial roots. As an indoor plant these aerial roots can be left as is, trailing on the floor, pushed into the soil, or attached to a stake. Attaching the aerial roots and stem to a pole for support not only allows the plant to climb but also adds to the health of the plant as its native habitat conditions are provided.
I tried using small bamboo poles to ‘lift’ my Monstera, 2 years ago. Now it has grown so big, the support poles no longer can hold the weight so it was time to train my monstera (repot and properly stake.) As an indoor plant you have to train it regularly to climb whatever support you provide.
Providing support for monstera can be done in a number of ways. You can buy support poles online or your local local garden store (couldn’t find any). You can also attempt to make one – which is what I did. In providing support for the plant whatever you plan to attach it to should have properties that mimics a tree trunk. The popular support are moss poles. I ended up using coir instead as I couldn’t find bulk sphagnum moss to buy and using those small packaged ones would have cost too much to cover the poles.
1.Bamboo sticks from dollar store. You can also using PVC pipes if available to you. The advantage of using a PVC pipe is that it will not rot. Also the best time to stake the plant Is at repotting, as it is difficult to push the poles into soil filled with plant roots. I used 2 bamboo sticks.
2. Coir. I searched everywhere for loose coir for sale – no luck. I ended up getting some coir lying around at a nursery for free. I also bought coir liners in the hopes of using them to wrap around the stakes. The loose coir though ended up being exactly the right amount so I didn’t use the liners.
Making the stake:
Very simple – Cut the coir and wrap it around the stick using twine or whatever strong string you have on hand. Thats it. Make sure to leave the part of the stake that will be in the soil bare (Like in the picture below).
Place the stake in the new pot and place soil around it to keep the stake straight. Then place the plant in the new pot and gently attach the stem to the stake wherever possible.
You have to be careful when removing the monstera plant from its old pot to the new one. I injured a few leaf stalks throughout this whole repotting process. This is because I had difficulty removing the plant root from the pot. I would suggest potting the plant in a plastic pot before putting in a decorative pot. That way if you need to repot in future it would be much easier to remove.
Voila! All done. I cut the aerial roots a little short and pushed some into the soil. Some I tried to wrap around the stake and the rest I just left hanging out. Mist the coir regularly (as it dries out faster than moss). This will encourage the aerial roots to attach to the coir promoting vertical growth.
Monstera can be grown in light shade, or in bright filtered light. Keep out of direct sunlight except perhaps in winter (with caution). Water when the top third of soil dries out. And remember- repotting Monstera means a huge monstera, so if you don’t have the space, limit the frequency of re-potting.
My monster-a now seem to be well contained now and isn’t taking up too much horizontal space. Feel free to share any Monstera staking tips you might have below.
Hi, I’m Barbara and I’m a little obsessed with house plants. I share my house plant adventures in the hopes of inspiring you to continue to enjoy the greens in your home. And if you have no plants (yet!) I hope this blog inspires you to add some green to your home. So go on! Try it! I think you might quite like it. And who knows? You may end up being … obsessed too.