The Monstera Karstenianum— better known as the Monstera Peru— is a variegated plant variety. This gorgeous plant is not your average indoor plant, and it is actually considered a unique plant. Thanks to its stiff, wrinkled leaves, this impressive tropical plant is one of the most sought-after Monstera plants among gardening enthusiasts.
In this guide to Monstera Peru care, we're breaking down everything you need to know about caring for this rare plant. With the right amount of water, sunshine, and love, anyone can grow a stunning Monstera Peru!
Monstera Peru Care Overview
The Monstera Peru— formally known as the Monstera Karstenianum— was named after the country where it's natively found. The tropical plant grows in jungle and tropical regions, making it the perfect choice for a houseplant.
Monstera Peru is sought after by everyday plant lovers and avid collectors alike for its unique leaves. The wide, dark green leaves are unusually thick and stiff with a unique waxy, wrinkled texture. Because of their similar texture and appearance, Monstera Peru plants are often mistaken for Monstera Pinnatipartita plants when they're young.
Monsteras are evergreen vines and are natural climbers and can grow surprisingly lengthy vines under the right conditions. They're incredibly fast growers when grown in optimum conditions and will need to be trimmed back regularly. Gardening experts recommend using stakes or moss supports to help your Monstera Peru grow big and strong. You can also allow it to climb up a bookshelf or other piece of furniture. Alternatively, you can grow it in a hanging basket and allow the vines to hang downwards.
But heads up, Monstera plants are toxic to pets and humans. Be sure to keep them off the ground and away from cats, dogs, and small children.
Family: Araceae (Calla family)
Where to Buy Monstera Peru
Depending on where you live and where you're shopping, Monstera Peru plants can be somewhat hard to find. If you don't find one at your local plant store, you can purchase this rare houseplant online through Etsy or an online plant store.
How Much Does a Monstera Peru Cost?
Depending on the size of the plant, they'll cost you anywhere from $20 to upwards of $50. Once you've purchased one, you can propagate it at home to save money.
How to Care for a Monstera Peru Plant
Good news! Like all Monsteras, Monstera Peru is a relatively low-maintenance plant. They're a great option for inexperienced indoor gardeners.
As tropical plants, Monsteras prefer moderate humidity and an ideal temperature range from 65-80 degrees F. Your Monstera Peru plant won't respond well to quick temperature changes and is not frost-tolerant. To avoid permanently damaging its leaves, keep your plant away from cold window sills in the winter months.
Additionally, you'll want to dust off your plant's leaves if you notice them collecting dust. A damp cloth or paper towel can help remove stuck-on dust and other grime that detract from the gorgeous leaves. Keep the feeble plant away from strong air pressure or continuous air exposure.
A Monstera sp. Peru plants should be watered regularly to maintain evenly moist soil. The frequency will depend on how much light it receives. Its thick leaves help the plant hold water over long periods of time, so it won't need to be watered as often as other Monstera genus members and tropical houseplants.
While you don't want the soil to dry out completely, you'll want to avoid overwatering. On average, they'll need to be watered weekly during the spring and summer and every two to four weeks during the winter.
While Monsteras are not particularly prone to root rot, their shallow roots (and oftentimes aerial roots) aren't designed to sit in wet conditions for extended periods. Yellowing leaves and brown spots are clear signs of overwatering.
If the stiff leaves begin to soften or curl inwards, it's time to give your plant a good watering. Try to water directly around the roots and avoid getting the waxy leaves wet.
Monstera sp. Peru likes light and free drainage soil that allows for ample airflow around the plant's root system. Avoid using compacted soil. Look for a rich, bark-filled soil mixture that retains moisture and drains well. Adding compost, mulch, peat moss, shredded bark, or perlite will help keep the soil moist and nutrient-rich. Aim for an acidic to neutral soil with a pH level between 5.0 and 7.5.
Like all Monstera plants, your Monstra Peru likes bright, indirect light. In their native jungle environments, they grow under the protective cover of trees and other plants and don't receive much direct light.
Ideally, your Monstera sp. Peru should be placed in a North-facing window where the hot midday sun won't get scorched. Your plant shouldn't receive more than an hour or two of direct sunlight a day. Crisp, brown spots around the edges of the leaves are a sign it's receiving too much direct exposure.
This fast-growing plant only needs to be fertilized during the growing season. As long as you use nutrient-rich, well-draining soil, you won't need to fertilize your plant during the winter. Too much fertilizer may cause salt buildup and can lead to burning the plant. Use a slow-release granular fertilizer with an even balance of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium.
Monstera Peru grows best in warm temperatures with enough humidity. One of the best spots in your home is actually on a bathroom shelf or windowsill. If you live in a dry climate, you may want to use a humidifier to increase the humidity. If your home's humidity level isn't suitable for the plant, you will notice the plant edges will turn brown. To increase humidity level or add extra humidity, you can:
- Mist the leaves.
- Place a pebble tray with water near your plant to add moisture to the surrounding air.
- Install a humidifier.
While they're fairly resilient, Monstera Perus are still prone to a handful of diseases and pests, including:
- Spider mites
- Root rot
Monsteras are surprisingly fast-growing plants, so they'll need to be pruned regularly to keep them looking their best. Start by trimming any dead, damaged, or discolored leaves that detract from your plant's overall appearance. It's best to prune during the growing season instead of in the winter.
Propagate Monstera Perus make great gifts for the plant lovers in your life. Plus, they'll help save you money when you're ready to adopt a new plant baby.
Monstera Peru plants are easy to propagate by stem cuttings. While you can plant the cutting directly into the soil, we recommend growing the stem cutting with several leaf nodes in water first. This helps the plant grow faster and allows you to monitor root development. Here are easy, step-by-step instructions for propagating your Monstera Peru:
- Choose a thick, healthy stem with at least two or three leaves on it. Your cutting will need to be around four to six inches to ensure it's long enough for water propagation.
- Using a pair of pruning shears or sterilized scissors, trim the stem about a half-inch below the node.
- Place the cutting in a clear jar (such as a Mason jar) filled with a few inches of water. Place somewhere that receives an ample amount of indirect sunlight. Change the water every few days to help prevent root rot.
- It will take a few weeks for the stem cutting to begin growing roots. Once the plant's roots grow to be at least an inch or two long, it's ready to plant.
- Plant the stem cutting into a small pot filled with a rich potting soil mixture. Place the Monstera plant in a warm, humid place where it receives ample indirect sunlight. Water regularly to keep the soil moist.
- After a few weeks, give the plant a slight tug to determine if the plant has properly rooted. Be gentle, not to harm the plant.