How to Grow and Care for Monstera Lechleriana



Common Name  Monstera lechleriana
Botanical Name  Monstera lechleriana
Family Araceae
Plant Type  Vine 
Mature Size  8-10 ft. tall, 2-3 ft. wide (indoors) 
Sun Exposure  Partial 
Soil Type  Moist but well-drained 
Soil pH  Acidic 
Bloom Time  Spring, summer 
Flower Color  Green 
Hardiness Zones  10-12, USDA 
Native Area  Central America, South America 
Toxicity  Toxic to pets, toxic to humans 

Use a Moss Pole!

Similar to the monstera adansonii, this vining Monstera has a climbing growth habit which means it benefits from the addition of a moss pole or trellis to help it climb.

Monstera Lechleriana Care

Here are the basic requirements for growing monstera lechleriana:

  • Choose a location with bright to medium indirect light.
  • Water once the top half of the soil is dry.
  • Warm temperatures and humid conditions are ideal.
  • Fertilize regularly during the active growing season.

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Light

Monstera lechleriana grows best indoors with several hours of bright indirect light. In its native environment, this climbing vine grows in the forest understory, receiving dappled sunlight through the dense jungle canopy. 

Bright to medium indirect light indoors best replicates these conditions and will encourage prolific growth and attractive fenestrations on the leaves. Avoid prolonged periods of harsh direct sunlight, which can cause leaf burn, and low light conditions, resulting in stunted growth and a leggy appearance.

Soil

As with all aroids, this monstera requires an airy, well-draining soil mix that is rich in organic materials and retains some moisture. A mix designed for aroids is ideal, but you can easily make your own at home too. Simply combine equal parts potting soil, coco coir, orchid bark, and perlite.

Water

The monstera lechleriana appreciates regular watering but is known to be relatively drought-tolerant. Water your plant thoroughly once the top half to three-quarters of the soil has dried out—approximately once a week in spring and summer and once every one to two weeks in fall and winter. 

These plants are sensitive to overwatering, so as a general rule of thumb, it is always best to underwater them rather than overwater them. If you aren’t sure whether your plant needs watering, waiting a couple of extra days won’t hurt.

Temperature and Humidity

Monstera lechleriana is an excellent houseplant because it thrives in warm temperatures and average-to-high humidity levels. Standard household temperatures are ideal for this tropical plant but keep it away from drafty or cold windows or air vents. 

Standard household humidity levels are also fine for this plant, although it will thrive if some added humidity is provided. Choosing a naturally humid room of the home (like the bathroom, laundry room, or kitchen), placing a small humidifier near the plant, or putting a pebble tray filled with water under the pot are all great ways to increase humidity around your monstera. 

Fertilizer

During the spring and summer months, apply a balanced liquid fertilizer once a month during watering to encourage strong, healthy growth. Once the temperatures begin to drop, stop fertilizing in fall and winter. 

Types of Monstera Lechleriana

Besides the standard monstera lechleriana there are a few unique varieties you can add to your collection. However, these gorgeous cultivars are extremely rare and difficult to find.

  • Monstera lechleriana ‘Variegata’
  • Monstera lechleriana ‘Mint’

rukawajung / Getty Images

Propagating Monstera Lechleriana

Like most monsteras, the lechleriana can be propagated by stem cuttings. Propagation is a great way to grow new plants and repurpose stem cuttings if you give your plant a trim. You can technically propagate your plant at any time of year, but spring and summer are best since the plant is actively growing in these months. 

Here’s how to propagate a monstera lechleriana in a few simple steps. 

  1. Using a pair of clean pruning shears or scissors, take stem cuttings from a healthy monstera lechleriana plant. Each cutting should have two to four nodes on the stem and at least one leaf. 
  2. Remove the bottom leaves from each cutting, leaving one or two leaves at the top. 
  3. Prepare a container with fresh room-temperature water and place the stem cuttings in it, ensuring the nodes on the stem are submerged while the leaves are above the water. 
  4. Put the cuttings in a bright, warm location. 
  5. Change the water once a week to keep it fresh. After a couple of weeks, small white roots should begin to sprout along the stem.
  6. Once the roots are an inch long, you can transfer the cuttings from water to soil. Fill a small pot with a well-draining soil mix and plant the rooted cuttings in it. Water the soil thoroughly, allowing the excess water to drain from the bottom of the pot. 
  7. Return the plants to the same warm, bright location. 
  8. Keep the soil evenly moist for the first one to two weeks to help the plant acclimate from water to soil. Then, gradually begin cutting back on watering until you’ve resumed a normal watering schedule. 

Potting and Repotting Monstera Lechleriana

This monstera should be repotted once every one to two years or whenever it outgrows its potting container. Roots growing from the pot’s drainage holes or circling the inside of the pot are both signs your plant is ready to be repotted. Spring and summer are the best times to repot this plant, although it can be done at any time of year. 

Follow these steps to correctly repot a monstera lechleriana:

  1. Gently remove the plant from the old pot. This can be done by flipping the pot upside down and wiggling the plant out into your hand or turning the pot on its side and pressing on the sides until you can pull the root ball out by the base of the stem. 
  2. Loosen the root ball with your fingers (being careful not to break too many roots) to remove as much of the old soil as possible. 
  3. Choose a new pot that is two to four inches wider in diameter than the plant’s previous pot, and fill the bottom with fresh potting mix. 
  4. Place the plant’s root ball on top of the fresh soil and fill in the remaining space, patting it down firmly around the base of the plant. 
  5. Water the freshly repotted plant thoroughly. Soak the soil completely and then allow the excess water to drain from the pot’s drainage holes. 
  6. Return the plant to its original location after watering. 

Common Pests and Plant Diseases

Watch for common houseplant pests such as scale, mealybugs, spider mites, and fungus gnats. If you notice an infestation, immediately isolate the plant from your other houseplants and treat it with a natural or commercial insecticide until the pests are gone.  

Monsteras are known for being relatively disease-free, and lechleriana is no exception. However, if overwatered, it is susceptible to root rot, so watch out for classic signs of this disease, such as mushy stems, yellowing leaves, and dropping leaves. 

Common Problems With Monstera Lechleriana

Like most monsteras, the lechleriana is pretty low-maintenance and problem-free. That said, there are a few issues to watch out for, particularly as you learn how to grow this plant for the first time. Most of the time, these common problems can be resolved with a change in watering schedule or lighting conditions. 

Yellow Leaves

Yellow leaves are usually a result of underwatering or a lack of light. That said, sometimes yellow leaves can indicate overwatering and root rot, or a pest infestation. Examine your plant closely to determine what may be the underlying cause. 

Brown Leaves

Similarly, brown leaves can have a few different root causes. Underwatering and overly dry conditions are some of the most common culprits, especially if the leaves are dried out and crispy. Occasionally, brown leaves can also be a sign of leaf burn, which usually appears as large, crispy brown spots on leaves exposed to direct sunlight.

FAQ

  • Compared to other monsteras, such as the deliciosa, adansonii, and even the Peru, the monstera lechleriana is considered rare and difficult to find. Rarer still are the variegated varieties, which can go for several hundred dollars a piece, depending on the size of the plant.

  • Monstera lechleriana and adansonii can be particularly difficult to tell apart as young plants, but they are easier to distinguish once the fenestrations develop. M. lechleriana has larger leaves with fewer fenestrations than the adansonii, with most of the fenestrations concentrated towards the center vein of the leaf. The fenestrations also tend to be smaller and more circular on M. lechleriana than M. adansonii.

  • Mature Monstera lechleriana leaves can grow about 12 inches long and eight inches wide indoors. In its native environment, plants have been found with leaves as large as several feet!



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