With its unique fragmented leaves, the Subpinnata is a Monstera like no other and a definite must-have for collectors. Hailing from Ecuador, this beautiful species has large, showy pinnate leaves that look more fern-like than other Monstera and reach extraordinary sizes of up to 12 inches (30 centimeters) long. The Subpinnata’s leaves are a bright, brilliant green, emphasized by its delicate but striking climbing pattern.
While still considered rare, the Subpinnata is finally increasing in popularity and, by default, dropping in price. These days, you can purchase one from online suppliers and stores like Etsy and occasionally even from your local nursery. Like other Monstera, the Subpinnata is easy to grow and care for, but it is good to have an overview of their likes and dislikes before investing in one.
In this article, I’ll take you through how to look after your Monstera to best set it up for success. I’ll also touch on where you can find one to purchase, how to propagate them, and how to tell if they’re in ill health. Read on to find out more about the stunning Monstera Subpinnata.
How do you care for a Monstera Subpinnata?
To best care for a Monstera Subpinnata, you must first understand its natural environment. Like most Monstera, the Subpinnata is a jungle plant that enjoys warm weather and high humidity, lots of water, nutrient-rich soil, and bright but indirect light. It also requires a quality aroid soil mix.
If you’ve just purchased a Monstera Subpinnata and you’re wondering about its care, you’re in luck. This variety of Monstera is extremely low-maintenance once it’s set up in ideal growing conditions, only requiring good light, water, well-draining soil, and humidity. Of these factors, humidity is the most crucial, as the Subpinnata loves a range between 60% to 90%, and most households are only in the 30% to 50% range.
Let’s take a more in-depth look at the Monstera Subpinnata’s care requirements.
How often should I water my Monstera Subpinnata?
It’s best to water your Subpinnata as needed rather than sticking to a regimented schedule. Every 7 to 10 days is a good range, but it’s best to test the soil with a fingertip to figure out how dry or damp it is. If the top few inches of soil are almost dry, it’s time for a good drenching.
Monstera Subpinnata like their soil slightly damp but not soggy. Wet, heavy soil can damage their terrestrial roots, and as they are quite susceptible to root rot, it can also serve as a breeding ground for harmful bacteria or fungus. For this reason, make sure not to let your Subpinnata stand in pooled water in its drip tray, as this can wreak havoc on its delicate root system.
In the colder months of the year, the chances are high that you will only need to water your Subpinnata every 10 to 12 days but do keep an eye to make sure it’s not drying out too much. Any yellowing, drooping, or wilting is usually a sign that you’re either overwatering or underwatering your Monstera, in which case you may need to revisit your hydration schedule.
Related: Exactly How Often to Water Your Monstera
How much light does a Monstera Subpinnata need?
This queen of the jungle is tolerant to quite a range of light conditions, although it prefers medium to bright and always indirect sunlight. In a home setting, you can keep your Subpinnata close to an East- or South-facing window that receives 5 to 8 hours of indirect light daily.
In its natural environment, the Monstera Subpinnata lives in the shade of bigger trees, so it’s best to emulate this as far as possible. With that in mind, the morning sun is preferable to the harsh rays of the afternoon, but this can also be easily solved by simply setting your plant a few feet back from the light source. To help your Subpinnata grow evenly, rotate it weekly.
If you’re planning to grow your Subpinnata outdoors, the same rules apply. A partially shaded area that receives dappled light is ideal, so planting your Monstera close to a larger tree or a structure like a wall is advisable. Failing this, you can cover your Subpinnata partially with a shade cloth. Alternatively, if you want to see your Monster Subpinnata baby thrive, place it in a conservatory or greenhouse and watch it flourish and grow.
Related: Monstera Light Requirements: How Much Does It Need?
What type of soil does a Monstera Subpinnata need?
Monstera Subpinnata loves airy soil mixes. Most nurseries and garden centers sell premixed Monstera blends, but you can also create your own in a few simple steps. All you need is a good-quality organic soil mix, an aerating substrate like orchid bark or peat moss, a moisture-retainer like perlite, and a bit of compost for extra nutrients.
Because of their essential function, the soil you root your Subpinnata in is super important. Chunky bits of bark or moss ensure that your soil is not too dense or heavy while also providing nutrients. Perlite is also a key ingredient when looking for the best soil for your Monstera plant as it’s excellent for aerating soil while simultaneously holding in moisture.
Having the right mix is critical because of Monstera Subpinnata having two sets of roots: aerial and terrestrial. It uses its aerial roots to attach to other structures, like trees or totems, as a means to climb and grow upwards. Its terrestrial roots live in soil and transport water and nutrients to its stems and large leaves.
Do I need to fertilize my Monstera Subpinnata?
Occasionally feeding your Monstera Subpinnata with a balanced slow-release fertilizer is beneficial for boosting growth. This particular variety of Monstera grows large and, for this, it needs loads of nutrients, vitamins, and minerals. While these components do exist in Monstera soil mixes, it’s not always enough to give your Subpinnata the vigor it needs to thrive.
A regular monthly feeding schedule is more than sufficient to keep your Subpinnata happy. When starting out, stick to a lower dose to see how your Monstera reacts. If it shows no adverse side effects, you can proceed with monthly doses during spring and summer.
During the winter months, hold off on fertilizing your Subpinnata. As temperatures drop, Monstera are inclined to slow their growth to an almost complete halt, entering a few weeks of dormancy. Fertilizing your Monstera at this stage can be detrimental, as they won’t have access to as much energy as they usually do to process the added nutrients.
Do Monstera Subpinnata need to be pruned?
Pruning is part of maintaining your Subpinnata’s beauty and shape, but it also prevents your plant from having to expend energy on leaves and stems past their prime. Most Subpinnata only need to be pruned every six months to a year.
That said, to make it easier for yourself, just give your plant a once-over every now and then and remove any old or damaged growth.
When it comes to pruning any Monstera, it’s best to do so during the spring and early summer, when it’s growing at its fastest. This way, it can focus its energy on developing new roots and shoots.
How much humidity does a Monstera Subpinnata need?
Monstera Subpinnata absolutely adore humidity, even if they live in lower light conditions. Bathrooms, for example, are an excellent spot for these jungle-dwellers. In most homes, humidity levels only range between 30% to 50%, so to keep your Subpinnata happy, you may need to consider supplementing its environment with a bit of extra moisture.
To do so, you can add a plug-in humidifier to its space or keep it clustered with several other plants that mutually humidify each other. A damp pebble tray placed beneath your Subpinnata is also helpful, so long as its roots don’t rest in any water.
Find out more: 12 Proven Tips to Get Your Monstera the Humidity It Needs
What’s the ideal temperature for Monstera Subpinnata?
The ideal Monstera temperature range for most members of this family, including Subpinnata, is between 65 and 85 degrees. Your Monstera Subpinnata won’t do well if it gets below 55 degrees or if the temperature suddenly drops, so keep it away from cool drafts in your home.
This is, after all, a jungle plant and you’d be hard pressed to find a jungle that sees the temperature plunge to those levels. For that reason, you should make sure your Subpinnata is kept somewhere, especially during winter, where your Monstera’s temperature stays fairly stable and as in line with its natural habitat as you can manage.
Do I need to mist my Monstera Subpinnata?
Regularly misting your Monstera Subpinnata is a good idea. The surface area of their leaves, particularly as they mature, is enormous – which means there’s a risk they don’t always get enough water from the root system. Misting keeps your Subpinnata’s leaves moisturized and humid, which in turn keeps them glossy and bright green.
Misting also serves an additional purpose of keeping your Subpinnata free of pests. Essentially, you’re aiming to wash them away before they can make a permanent residence on your Monstera’s beautiful leaves.
What’s a Monstera Subpinnata runner?
A Monstera Subpinnata runner is a stem or vine that develops from the parent plant, sometimes with nodes but generally without leaves. Runners can be used to propagate your Subpinnata straight into a soil mix or via a technique known as air layering.
If you’ve noticed long, trailing bits of stem coming off your Monstera Subpinnata, you’re probably looking at runners. They get pretty long and look a bit like your Monstera’s aerial roots but do not grow leaves and can give Monstera quite a messy, unkempt look.
For some, these runners are not bothersome at all and are part and parcel of a Monstera’s jungle aesthetic. However, they can get a little out of hand, so you may be wondering if you can prune them away and if this will distress your plant.
Good news! Monstera Subpinnata runners are handy when it comes to propagation. These extraneous bits of your plant can be used to create new Subpinnata babies, and the process to achieve this is straightforward. All you need to do is snip off a bit of a runner (preferably with visible nodes), dip it in growth hormone for good measure, and pop it into a prepared soil container.
In a bright, humid spot, you should find these cuttings will develop new growth and eventually turn into their own plants.
You can also propagate runners using a technique known as air layering. This is when you prepare a container with a damp substrate like sphagnum moss and gently rest your cuttings on top of it. The container should then be covered with a lid or plastic to lock in moisture and humidity, and in a few weeks (fingers crossed), you should see growth developing from its nodes.
Is there a Monstera Subpinnata variegata?
There is currently no evidence to suggest the existence of a variegated Monstera Subpinnata. However, this does not mean that they cannot exist. Variegation occurs as a consequence of genetic mutation, and it may well be that such a specimen has simply never been discovered.
Variegation can be a bit of a confusing term in the plant world. Generally speaking, it refers to any plant with bi-colored foliage, but when used in reference to a variegated Monstera, it’s usually regarding a genetic mutation that causes distinct light or white-colored patches. These patterns result from a lack of chlorophyll in those areas, which washes out any green pigment.
Technically, all plants can be variegated as they can all randomly undergo genetic cell mutations. However, whereas species of Monstera deliciosa or Monstera adansonii, for example, have specifically identified variegata cultivars occasionally appearing on the market, there is currently no such variety of Subpinnata.
Is Monstera Subpinnata rare?
Until very recently, the Monstera Subpinnata has been considered rare. Due to its rise in popularity, however, it is now more commonly available. It is also easy to propagate, meaning that suppliers can keep up with a relative demand for these plants and offer them at lower prices.
In the last few years, the houseplant craze has brought a lot of previously unknown Monstera into the limelight, and one of these is the Monstera Subpinnata. While it is not easy to identify by sight only as a Monstera, this particular species is charming for the very reason of its unique looks. It has pinnate foliage, which in simple terms means smaller fingerlike leaves deriving from one main stem. This characteristic is what makes it a must-have for earnest Monstera collectors.
And the good news is that if you’re looking for one of your own, they are finally becoming easy to find on the market. You probably won’t stumble across one perchance in a garden center, but a light Google search should reveal suppliers in your area. At the very least, you may be able to purchase a cutting or juvenile plant from a specialist breeder.
Honestly, though, if you have a friend or family member with a healthy Subpinnata, consider asking them to part with a cutting. Monstera Subpinnata price, while steadily becoming competitive, is still markedly high for a houseplant. This is set to change in the coming months, however, as this species continues to shine.
Find out more about how much you’ll pay for this variety with our Monstera plant price guide.
Where is Monstera Subpinnata for sale?
Monstera Subpinnata are not easy to find in nurseries or garden centers and will either need to be ordered in, or you’ll have to find a supplier or online seller. This is, of course, starting to change, and we can expect these beauties to become more freely available soon.
For now, a “Monstera Subpinnata Etsy” search on the internet is likely your best bet.
FYI: When purchasing plants online, try to always ask the supplier to send you a picture of your plant before shipping it to you. The web is full of horror stories of would-be Monstera parents who’ve had the wool pulled over their eyes, so make sure you know what you’re getting before money changes hands.
How to propagate Monstera Subpinnata
Monstera Subpinnata are great propagators, particularly when new plants are grown from stem cuttings. You can propagate your Subpinnata directly into a prepared planter with soil or root it first in water. Of great importance is selecting an appropriate cutting.
If, like me, you can’t help but want to multiply your Monstera, you’re in luck when it comes to the Subpinnata. This gorgeous plant is highly gratifying when it comes to rooting, taking only a few weeks to produce new growth (provided environmental conditions are correct).
In just a moment, we’ll look at exactly how to propagate a Monstera Subpinnata in water and soil, respectively, but first, let’s unpack how to select an appropriate cutting.
- Make sure your Subpinnata is in good health. The last thing you want is to cause your plant any undue distress, so only take a cutting from solid specimens.
- Take a cutting of 4 to 5 inches (10 to 12 cm) which has a few leaves and visible nodes. Nodes are where new growth starts, so these are vital.
- Prepare your water jar or soil container. Once you’ve identified the section of your plant you intend to cut, make sure you have your water jar or soil container ready. The less exposure to air an open plant wound has, the better.
- Ensure your tools are clean and sterilized. If they’re not, you risk spreading diseases between plants.
- Dip the end of the cutting into a rooting hormone. This can help to ensure things go well.
- Place the cutting in the growing medium. Whether you’re choosing to propagate your Monstera Subpinnata in water or soil, this is where the actual fun growing part starts!
Keep reading to find some specific tips on how to propagate a Monstera Subpinnata in water or soil.
Monstera Subpinnata propagation in water
Personally, I find water propagation most effective when it comes to Monstera, particularly for the bigger beauties like the Subpinnata. It’s also effortless and requires very little maintenance.
To propagate a Monstera in water, prepare a (preferably) glass container with fresh H20. Pop your cutting inside, making sure there’s enough room for its eventual growth, and place it in a sunny spot near a window, but not in direct sunlight. Once a week, refresh the water to keep it oxygenated. You should see new growth in four to eight weeks.
Once your cutting has rooted, you can transplant it into a quality aroid soil mix. Then, all you need to do is care for your Monstera Subpinnata juvenile as you would any other growing plant, making sure it has light, water, humidity, and occasional fertilization.
Monstera Subpinnata propagation in soil
Soil propagation is an equally easy way to reproduce your Subpinnata. This method is as simple as popping a cutting directly into soil and providing it with plenty of humidity. Of course, the ground you select is very important, as too-dense dirt will all but destroy your cutting’s chances of being able to produce new roots.
As mentioned in an earlier section of this article, your Subpinnata will like airy soil mixes with lots of rich organic matter. You can blend this yourself ahead of planting your cutting, or you can purchase a ready-mix from your local nursery. It’s also vital that you select a suitable planter for your cutting, ideally one with plenty of drainage holes and which isn’t too big or too small.
Once you have your cutting in your soil, the trick to growth is humidity. As cuttings have no roots, they can’t draw in water or nutrients via the soil yet and rely heavily on the moisture in the air around them for growth. You can supplement humidity by covering your cutting with a plastic bag to lock in moisture.
Monstera Pinnatipartita vs Subpinnata
The main difference between Monstera Pinnatipartita and Subpinnata is in their foliage. The Pinnatipartita has deep, split fenestrations, whereas the Subpinnata has pinnate leaves, with its leaves looking like collections of small, individual, lance-shaped leaflets attached to a central leaf rib.
While the Pinnatipartita and the Subpinnata are both part of the Monstera family, there are apparent differences between the two. That said, it’s fair as well to mention that the Pinnatipartita and the Subpinnata have some traits in common; namely, they are both relatively rare, and they are both larger species of Monstera. However, in appearance, they are very different.
As mentioned above, Subpinnata, as its name suggests, has pinnate foliage. The Pinnatipartita, on the other hand, has entirely whole leaves as a juvenile with fenestrate as it matures. Once these apertures start to develop, they split from leaf edge to center vein, giving them a fingerlike appearance.
Learn all about Monstera Pinnatipartita care here.
Monstera Spruceana vs Subpinnata
The main difference between Monstera Spruceana and Subpinnata is in the shape of their leaves. The split pieces of each leaf on Spruceana tend to be wider than with Subpinnata and do not have the long, lance-shape seen on the Subpinnata.
Also, when compared to the Monstera Subpinnata, Monstera Spruceana leaves have the more typical Monstera shape when the split sections are seen together. The Subpinnata doesn’t really give off the same impression, with the leaflets instead coming off what appears to be a stem.
I will say that if you want to look for similar members of this plant family, the question of Monstera Spruceana vs Subpinnata is a bit trickier than Monstera Pinnatipartita vs Subpinnata, as the former look much more alike than the latter. That said, they’re all pretty amazing houseplants and if you realize you have one and not the other, it’s not the worst problem in the world.
Does Monstera Subpinnata purify the air?
The Subpinnata is a large-leafed variety of the Monstera genus, and these plants are known to contribute to purifying air pollution. For this reason, along with the tropical vibe they give to any room, they make lovely additions to the home.
That a plant as breathtaking as the Monstera Subpinnata is also good for the environment is incredible. These jungle giants effectively purify air because of their size and love of humidity. Are you looking for an in-home air freshener? Consider investing in a Subpinnata.
Is Monstera Subpinnata toxic?
The Monstera Subpinnata contains a sticky sap that is toxic to both humans and animals when ingested, so you need to take great care when handling it. Furthermore, try to keep them away from pets or children with a tendency to chew on leaves.
If we really had to look for a chink in the Subpinnata’s armor, we could say that this gorgeous plant can be dangerous in the wrong hands. The sticky sap, which is only present if its leaves or stems are broken, means that your Monstera plant is toxic to cats, dogs, other pets and humans. Ingestion can lead to skin irritation, gastrointestinal distress, dizziness, vomiting, or even in very extreme cases, death.
Alas, all is not lost. These plants don’t taste great, which should deter wayward children from biting into them, whereas when it comes to pets, it’s good to keep them out of reach. If you’re pruning or working with your Subpinnata, make sure to wear gloves and prevent direct contact with your skin.
If you or a loved one (human or furry) come into contact with Monstera Subpinnata sap, depending on your symptoms, seek medical attention. It’s always better to be safe.
How often does Monstera Subpinnata grow?
A Subpinnata can expand by 12 to 24 inches per year (30 to 60 centimeters) in perfect growing conditions. This does, of course, depend on its access to light, water, humidity, and nutrients. Furthermore, as they mature, they’re inclined to grow more sizably faster.
The Monstera Subpinnata is a moderate to fast-growing plant that thrives in humidity. If you’re fortunate enough to have found the sweet spot in terms of environmental conditions, you’ll find your Subpinnata grows quite substantially in the space of a year, particularly during spring and summer.
Conversely, if your Subpinnata is showing lagging growth, you may need to consider where you have it positioned or determine if there are any deficiencies in its environment.
How do I know if my Monstera Subpinnata has root rot?
There are a few ways to diagnose if a Monstera Subpinnata has root rot. Be on the lookout for signs of yellowing leaves or drooping and wilting. A foul odor emanating from soil may also be a sign of disease. To confirm your diagnosis, inspect your Subpinnata’s roots.
Monstera root rot can be devastating for houseplant owners, mainly as it can be tricky to get rid of. The first step to cure is to determine the extent of the damage and then to plan your next steps from there.
Should your Subpinnata be in the beginning stages of root rot, you can usually manage this with reduced watering and a nice hot sunny spot near a window. However, if your plant’s roots have turned brown and mushy, you’ll need to prune them away and transplant your Subpinnata to get rid of the infection.
Either way, the best way to prevent root rot is to avoid overwatering your Monstera. By the time your Monstera leaves start to turn yellow, the infection may be quite severe, so also regularly inspect your plant for any signs of ill health and nip root rot in the bud before it has a chance to begin.