If you’re looking for a Monstera unique among her peers, look no further than the Monstera Peru (monstera karstenianum). This gorgeous specimen stands apart because it does not develop the fenestrations so commonly associated with the Monstera genus. Instead, it has tough, leathery leaves tracked with deep indentations and ridges in shades of dark green.
Quick to grow and simple to care for, the Monstera Peru might not always be easy to find, but it is well worth it when you do. In recent years, these low-maintenance beauties have become increasingly popular with collectors and are prized for their resilient natures.
In this post, we’ll look at exactly how to take care of a Monstera Peru, including how often to water it, the type of soil and humidity conditions it prefers, and how to propagate it. Read on to find out more.
How to care for a Monstera Peru
Monstera Peru care is straightforward. They require regular watering, quality well-draining soil, relative humidity, bright light, and occasional fertilization. While they are not prone to pests or diseases, they occasionally develop faded yellow or drooping leaves, but this can be easily managed.
If you’ve had dealings with Monstera plants before, you’ll know that they’re pretty easy to care for in general. Most Monstera varieties originated in jungle environments and are quite adaptable, requiring only basic care to keep them happy and thriving.
The Monstera Peru (karstenianum) is no different. This unique-looking beauty asks for little in terms of care beyond the basics of light, water, humidity, and on occasion, some supplementary nutrition. In fact, they require less light and water than some other Monstera and can do just as well in a bathroom as they do in a sunny living room.
Furthermore, they are epiphytes, which means your Monstera has aerial roots and ground roots alike. In home environments, these gorgeous plants love having a surface to climb but can also be grown in hanging baskets.
Should you notice your Monstera Peru is developing yellow or drooping leaves, don’t be too alarmed. Monstera are good at communicating if their needs are not being met, and most of the time, they do so through wilting, drooping, or discolored leaves. Nine out of ten times, these symptoms are a sign that they are either overwatered, underwatered, overfertilized, underfed, or need more light or humidity.
While it may take some trial and error, identifying the ideal growing conditions for your Monstera Peru will set you on your way to owning a very happy and healthy plant. In the following sections, we’ll look at the Monstera Peru’s exact requirements in greater detail, but overall, you should be able to tell from regular inspection whether your plant is thriving or not.
Is Monstera Peru easy to care for?
The Monstera Peru is one of the easiest plants to care for in this genus and is considered hardier than some of its cousins, like the Monstera Adansonii. Of course, it prefers conditions close to the tropical environment from which it originates, but this beauty is forgiving to a little less light and humidity if need be.
On occasion, it may need a little pruning to get rid of older leaves, but other than that, the Monstera Peru requires very little maintenance. Every few years, or when it starts to outgrow its planter, it’s a good time to repot your Monstera Peru. Overall, though, a regulated care regime is all that’s needed.
How fast does Monstera Peru grow?
In ideal conditions, the Monstera Peru grows relatively fast and can grow several feet in a year. However, this does depend on how much light, humidity, and nutrients they receive, as they are less inclined to thrive in darker environments, although they can still be healthy.
To encourage growth, it is recommended that you cut away older, messy-looking leaves that are wasting your Peru’s energy. Doing so will allow your plant to focus on producing new Monstera growth. Additionally, you may want to consider giving it a dose of slow-release balanced fertilizer for an extra kicker of nutrients.
How to propagate Monstera Peru
The easiest and most successful way of propagating Monstera Peru is through stem cuttings. A healthy cutting, consisting of two to three leaves and one to two vigorous nodes, can be submerged in water and left in a sunny spot to grow. You should see viable roots forming within two months.
Because of their relative rareness, Monstera Peru are often propagated from cuttings to form new plants. This is especially true for Monstera enthusiasts who wish to expand their collections or share their treasure with like-minded green thumbs. Luckily for them, Peru are wonderfully gratifying growers.
Indeed, the propagation process is simple, with the trick being in identifying the cutting. In a nice, humid, sunny spot, a robust Monstera Peru cutting has very little reason not to grow. When selecting a stem to snip, make sure its leaves are rigid and dark green and that the plant shows no sign of ill health.
Once identified, you can proceed to make your cut. When propagating a Monstera, always use clean, sterilized tools to curb the spread of potential infections and cut at a 45-degree angle to allow as much surface area for new growth as possible. A good cutting will have one to two visible nodes. These are the nodules on plant stems from which new growth develops.
Before making your cutting, make sure you read: Can You Propagate Monstera Without a Node?
For growing a Monstera in water for propagation, you need to place your cutting in a (preferably) glass container in an area that receives plenty of bright but indirect sunlight. Once new roots have formed, you can transfer your cutting into well-draining, good-quality soil and take care of it just like your other Peru. Cuttings can also be propagated straight into a soil-filled planter but have a slightly lower chance of enduring.
How much light does Monstera Peru need?
Given the dark color of its leaves, the Monstera Peru’s light requirements are less than most plants in this genus. As its name suggests, this Monstera originated in the tropical forests of Peru but more commonly lives in the understory of the jungle, away from the harsh sun, so it only needs several hours of light a day.
Monstera are known for loving sunlight, but this beauty is a little different. Peru are not terribly big plants and tend to remain on the lower levels of the forests in which they originate. This has caused them to adapt to darker conditions, making them perfect for domestic indoor living.
In a home environment, a Monstera Peru still requires light but can live in dimmer areas, such as near North-facing windows or in steamy bathrooms. A Monstera Peru climbing will still reach for the sun in the direction it finds it but will certainly not suffer if it doesn’t get a full six hours of bright light every day. In fact, too much direct sun can scorch a Peru’s leaves, making it ill-advisable.
How often to water a Monstera Peru
Monstera Peru have cleverly designed leaves that store water for when they need it. This means they don’t need watering as frequently as other Monstera and should only be topped up when the upper few inches of their soil have dried out. Overwatering should be avoided to prevent root rot.
If you have a penchant for forgetting to water your plants, the Peru may well be the perfect Monstera for your home. This gorgeous specimen only needs watering every one to two weeks, as it stores water in its thick, leathery leaves. It is also highly susceptible to root rot and should not be left standing in pooled water in its drip tray.
(In addition to the Peru having beautiful-looking leaves, it’s also one of the very few examples of a Monstera with leaves that don’t split.)
In this regard, yellowed or drooping leaves are usually a sign of something amiss with your watering regime. Unfortunately, the symptoms of an underwatered and overwatered Monstera present in identical ways, so your best port of call is to feel your soil’s dampness physically. Failing that, you can invest in a moisture meter and ensure your Peru’s soil maintains a level of 2-3.
What’s the ideal humidity for Monstera Peru?
Monstera Peru in the wild are exposed to plenty of humidity, and this is what they want from their home environments too. Spots that tend to have higher humidity levels, like bathrooms and kitchens, are perfect for Peru. Failing this, you can supplement their environments with additional moisture.
You can take the Monstera out of the jungle, but you can’t take the jungle out of the Monstera. Peru love humidity and thrive in it, so it’s best to provide as much air moisture as possible in order for them to flourish.
If your Monstera is not placed in a naturally humid area, you can supplement the moisture in the air with a plug-in humidifier or place it close to a large collection of other plants. A damp pebble tray placed beneath your Peru will also more than do the trick.
In terms of temperature, Peru can survive in a wide range of conditions, spanning from 60F to 85F (16C to 30C), provided they can still draw humidity from the air.
Find out more: 12 Proven Tips to Get Your Monstera the Humidity It Needs
How to fertilize a Monstera Peru
Monstera Peru should be fertilized monthly during the spring and summer, although does not need to be fertilized during the cooler times of the year when the plant enters dormancy. A well-balanced slow-release fertilizer is ideal and can be diluted and fed straight into your Monstera’s soil.
Indoor growing conditions don’t quite emulate the natural, nutrient-rich environments Monstera are used to. For this reason, it’s always a good idea to give them a little boost in the form of fertilizer. That being said, you also don’t want to overdo it, so use a little less than prescribed when first feeding your plant.
What’s the best soil for Monstera Peru?
Nutrient-rich, aroid soil is best for Monstera Peru. You can either purchase a pre-mixed Monstera soil from your local nursery or garden center or mix your own by combining potting soil with perlite and peat moss, coco coir, or bark.
Monstera Peru are inarguably low-maintenance, but it is crucial that you get your fundamentals right. A considerable part of this is making sure your plant is housed in good soil. They need excellent drainage to ensure their roots don’t turn soggy but enough moisture retention to keep them stocked on nutrients and oxygen.
The addition of perlite to potting soil for aeration and bark, moss, or coco coir for nutrients creates a fantastic and balanced blend for Monstera Peru.
Is Monstera Peru rare?
The Monstera Peru is a rare plant that won’t be easy to come by in a local garden center. Instead, you’ll need to rely on specialist breeders or online suppliers if you hope to get your hands on one of these beauties.
Although the reason is unclear, the Monstera Peru, at this stage, is still considered a rare plant. This is irrespective of the fact that it propagates amazingly well and is super easy to care for. If you’re fortunate enough to come across a Monstera Peru for sale, snap it up and keep it healthy, and you’ll be propagating your own Peru babies in no time.
If you can’t find a Monstera Peru for sale, some people consider certain other members of the philodendron family to be similar. You can find out more in our article comparing the split leaf philodendron vs Monstera.
Can Monstera Peru be variegated?
Monstera Peru karstenianum variegata is a rare variegated species of Monstera Peru that can be identified by yellow and light green bicoloration on its leaves. This results from a genetic cell mutation causing a deficit of chlorophyll tissue cells, producing light-colored patching.
While already beautiful, variegation on a Monstera Peru will turn you into the envy of your friends. This mutation is rare, and there is no guarantee it will pass over from a parent plant to a propagated sapling, making it even more sought-after in the Monstera world.
From time to time (but very seldom), this cell transformation occurs naturally, but for the most part, the way to a variegated Monstera Peru is through specialist breeders or auctions, where, naturally, they generally tend to go for quite the pretty penny.