Monstera are incredibly hardy houseplants, but they need extra care in the winter, especially if you live where it’s very cold! Monstera needs to be watered only once every 2 weeks, as they hibernate in winter. In addition, installing a humidifier is necessary to add moisture to the dry, heated air, which makes the plant happy.
In this article, I will also explain in more detail how to identify a dying Monstera and other tips that you need to apply in order for them to survive the winter. Let’s start!
The name of the genus Monstera comes from the word “monstrum”, which translates as “monster”, this is due to the large size of the plant and its frightening appearance. Representatives of this genus are evergreen vines and shrubs. Their thick shoots are climbing, and aerial roots are often present.
Dark green long-leaved large leafy plates, leathery to the touch, decorate slots and drainage holes of various shapes and sizes.
The inflorescence is a thick-stemmed vine’s ear of a cylindrical shape, sterile flowers are located at its base, and bisexual in the upper part.
Monstera is one of the most popular plants cultivated at home. It has been scientifically proven that indoor Monstera is able to ionize the air in the room, which is a big plus when growing such a flower.
What should be remembered when caring for a Monstera?
When purchasing a Monstera, you need to consider that not only in nature but also at home, this tropical inhabitant reaches an impressive size. Over time, you will have to share a significant part of your room with it. In height, it grows to the ceiling, which creates certain difficulties in caring for the upper leaves.
Another feature of the Monstera concerns its structure. It develops many long aerial roots extending from the stem. With their help, the plant seeks to gain a foothold in the ground or on any nearby support. It was they who were taken by the first travelers in the tropics for the giant legs of the Monstera.
However, in fact, Monstera aerial roots are very delicate, they are important for the life of the plant, and they must be handled very carefully so try not to break or injure the plant.
At the same time, with these Monstera’s roots, the Monstera can firmly “grow” to the wall, if there are roughness and irregularities on it. When adventitious roots reach sufficient length, it is desirable to direct them into a pot and root ball.
How to care for a Monstera in winter?
Adjust position for optimal lighting
In winter, the farther you are from the equator, the less sunlight gets into your home every day. Shorter days and weaker sunlight will cause your Monstera to slow down its growth during the colder months and enter a state of pseudo-dormancy (not true dormancy, like deciduous trees, have when they shed their leaves in autumn).
To keep your Monstera happy, you need to make sure it gets as much light as possible without getting sunburned. In winter, keep the Monstera two to three feet from a south-facing window (or north if you live south of the equator). This will give your plant the perfect bright, indirect light.
If your room is in low light, consider getting grow lights. The price may vary depending on the complexity of the system you are building, so you will need to do more research. The lack of light is not a critical situation, but over time it will stop the growth of the Monstera and make it etiolated or “long-legged”.
Reduce the frequency of watering
In winter, Monstera does not need much water, as they do not grow actively. Schedule watering once every two weeks and make sure the new pot and soil have proper drainage holes. Too much water or too frequent watering can lead to waterlogging of the plant and the risk of root ball rot.
Root rot can be fatal to the plant and requires potting mix and fresh soil. This is easy to prevent by watering correctly!
In winter, follow the normal Monstera watering schedule, but with short breaks between watering.
Water only when the top inch or two (3-5 cm) of soil is dry. Soil moisture can be checked by sticking your finger into the pot. If the soil is dry to the second joint, it’s time for your Monstera to get drunk!
Plants only need fertilizer when they are actively growing. As already mentioned, Monstera will slow down its growth (or stop growing altogether) in winter.
Reduce feeding in winter and let the plant rest in a dormant state.
If repot your Monstera looks happy and is still growing, you can continue to fertilize it, but at half the amount. You should resume your regular fertilization schedule as soon as the early spring warms up again and you see new growth in your plant.
Increase indoor humidity
Monstera, like tropical plants, are very fond of high humidity (for example, 80% and above).
In summer, this is usually not a problem! But in winter, many people’s homes become very dry due to running heaters, up to 20% humidity. It’s too little for a Monstera to stay happy.
You need to make sure repot your Monstera has adequate moisture during the winter months.
There are several different ways to achieve this.
- If you have a humidifier, place it near the Monstera (and other tropical plants if you have them).
- If you don’t have a humidifier, place a tray of water next to the plant. It will evaporate in the warmth of your home and gradually increase the humidity of the surrounding air.
- It would be better if you also consider keeping your Monstera in the bathroom if there is enough bright light. Daily hot showers add moisture.
Constantly check for pests
If you prefer to keep your Monstera outside during the summer and then bring it inside from the cold, you will need to keep an extra eye on pests.
Two main pests seem to have an interest in young Monstera plants: spider mites and scale insects such as mealybugs.
Spider mites are microscopic, almost impossible to see, but they create webs between the stems and leaves of the host plant. They suck the juice from the leaves, causing the leaves to turn yellow.
Solution: When you find a spider mite infestation, the first thing you should do is isolate it from your other plants. The last thing you want is to spread the infection!
Get rid of spider mites by rubbing the leaves with warm water and a little soap every day until the infestation is gone.
Neem oil is also effective against spider mites when sprayed on the leaves. Prevent spider mite infestation by keeping Monstera hydrated and in high-humidity conditions.
Mealybugs and other scale insects also suck the juice from the leaves, slowly killing the plant. These errors are easier to see, but not so easy to erase.
Solution: You will need to use an insecticidal soap or neem oil to kill these nasty insects.
As with spider mites, keep your Monstera happy, and it will be less susceptible to infestation by unwanted pests.
Can you repot houseplants in winter?
As a rule, winter is not the best time to transplant Monstera deliciosa.
But if you need to, wait until the middle or end of winter.
During these months, your repotting Monstera deliciosa will grow and will experience less transplant stress, and will bounce back in the early spring.
When it’s time to repot a Monstera plant, choose a pot no larger than 5 inches than the current pot.
Too much extra space can cause the soil to hold too much moisture, leading to root rot.
Monsteras love to have more peat in their soil. For transplanting, you can use potting mixes from ordinary soil with a small amount of peat. You won’t be replacing all of your plant’s soil, just add enough to fill a new pot.
First, place a few inches of peat mixture in the bottom of the new pot. You should NOT lay a layer of gravel on the bottom, as this prevents proper drainage holes.
Carefully free the Monstera plant from its current pot. If your Swiss cheese plant is large and bulky, you can ask a friend to help with this step.
Be careful not to damage the big Monstera plant leaves! Maneuver the plant as much as possible using its main stem and root ball.
Place the Monstera plant in its new home. Keep it upright (more work for your friend) while you add new potting soil around the edges, pressing down gently to release air pockets.
Water gently and add new potting soil to fill in gaps if needed.
Keep in mind that with all this new potting soil, your Monstera plant won’t need to be watered as often, in addition to requiring less water in winter.
It may look drooping for a while due to transplant shock, but don’t water it until you test it with your finger and the potting soil is really dry.
Do Monsteras go into shock after repotting?
The repot Monstera plant experiencing transplant shock is a natural reaction for large plants that are repotted as they adjust to a new home. Usually, if you give them time to get used, they tend to recover to full health.
You can reduce the effects of transplant shock by providing your plant with a little care, including possible tips:
- Water the plant well the day before transplanting to keep it well hydrated and the soil loose.
- Work quickly, but carefully so that air pollution does not occur for too long. If you are interrupted, cover the lock with a damp towel to dry them.
- Give your Monstera plant a fresh potting mix designed for Monstera. Suitable potting mix for aroids.
- Water the Monstera plant thoroughly after transplanting to keep the soil moist.
- Place the Monstera plant back in its original growing area. If you are suggesting moving it to a new location, place it in the old location for a week or two to reduce stress on the plant.
If the Monstera does not have proper drainage holes cared for or does not provide optimal conditions for growth, then problems may arise with it.
Leaves fall. If the lighting is too poor, then the plant begins to throw off the foliage, and there is also a suspension of its growth.
Foliage spots. Brown spots may appear on the underside of the leaf plates if spider mites have settled on the bush.
Yellowing of leaves. Foliage turns yellow in the event that the Monstera plant feels a lack of nutrients. Also, the foliage can turn yellow, and rot appears on it due to the regular stagnation of fluid in the substrate.
Foliage turns brown. The leaf plates turn brown and turn paper-like if the air humidity level is too low or when the flower is very crowded in the pot.
The color of young leaf plates is pale. If the lighting is too intense, then faded leaves appear on the bush, and yellow spots may also form on their surface.
The bush is pulled out. If the Monstera plant does not have enough light, then its shoots become elongated, the stem twists, and the new leaf plates grow faded and small.
The foliage is whole. There may be no slots on young leaf plates due to the fact that the flower feels a lack of light or nutrients.
The leaves dry up and fall off. If the leaf plate turns brown and dries before falling, this means that the room is very hot. Also, the foliage flies around as it ages, but in this case, it does not turn brown.
Harmful insects. Most often, aphids, scale insects, and spider mites settle on the Monstera.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I repot my Monstera in January?
Repot your Monstera plants at any time of year using all-purpose potting mix soil. Since these plants prefer to be pot-bound, it’s a good idea to repot a Monstera only every two to three years. Once your Monstera plant is in a container with a diameter of eight inches or larger, top-dress with fresh potting mix soil rather than repotting.
When should I stop repotting Monstera?
If your Monstera plants have reached the height limits of your home, and you don’t want them to grow taller, you don’t need to repot a Monstera in a larger pot. Instead, you can grow it in the same pot with occasional root pruning. Adult Monstera plants do not need frequent repotting if they are healthy.
However, if your adult Monstera plant is starting to look weak or unhealthy, transplanting it into fresh soil can give it a boost.
Is it possible to transplant a Monstera in the summer?
It is best to repot Monstera plants in the spring to take advantage of the growth spurt that occurs in the spring. But Monstera plants are also actively growing throughout the summer, so you can transplant Monstera in the summer if you like.
Monstera plants transplanted in the summer may take a little longer to adjust and put out lush new foliage, but they will soon establish themselves and start growing.
Learning how and when to repot a Monstera plant is an important part of daily care. Although transplanting the plant is usually done in the spring, just before new growth appears, it can be done at other times if the Monstera plants need immediate care.
For best results, plan ahead for your Monstera plants’ needs and repot a Monstera in the spring when the plant has the resources to grow and thrive.
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