Monstera acuminata

Monsteras are generally known as large, handsome climbing plants but there are also small species suitable for growing as epiphytes on a branch or in a small plant-case.

The species is from Guatemala. The stem is slightly flattened, with short internodes (only about 6 to 10 cm [2-½ to 4 in] long). The leaf stalks are up to 15 cm (6 in) long at the most, but usually only half that, the leaf blades between 10 and 25 cm (4 and 10 in).

Adult plants have leaves resembling those of M. deliciosa (in cultivation, however, they do not reach this stage even after many years).

Cultivation of the species is not difficult. In the wild similar species of small monsteras almost always grow as epiphytes and this should be kept in mind when growing it at home. As a compost use a blend of peat, cut sphagnum moss, sand and charcoal, but a ball of sphagnum moss in which the roots are spread out will serve the purpose too. In the latter case, however, growth will be much slower, particularly at the start. The ball should be tied to a trunk or branch.

For good growth Monstera acuminata requires a constant high temperature (normal room temperature that does not permanently drop below 18°C [65°F] is sufficient), frequent syringing of the leaves and an occasional light application of feed.

Propagation is easy; simply cut the stem at the points where aerial roots are formed in the internodes; the cuttings will readily form roots even in water.

15. November 2011 by Dave Pinkney
Categories: Featured Articles, House Plants | Tags: , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Monstera acuminata

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