The Monstera obliqua is a stunning specimen, often found in the collections of serious plant owners. Mature plants are highly fenestrated and absolutely gorgeous. The obliqua can be challenging to grow and maintain. Find out why it’s important to only purchase this plant from a trusted source and everything you need to know about Monstera obliqua care.
The obliqua is part of the Araceae family and is found in Central and South America. This epiphytic plant climbs trees in nature to seek the best position possible.
There are four varieties of obliqua:
- Monstera obliqua Peru
- Monstera obliqua Bolivia
- Monstera obliqua Panama
- Monstera obliqua Suriname
The obliqua Peru is the most popular, and this is the plant most people think of when they hear the name ‘obliqua.’ What makes the obliqua Peru so amazing is its fenestrated foliage. The leaves of mature plants almost have more fenestrations than foliage, giving this plant a unique look and creating a serious tropical vibe. The leaves of the obliqua are paper-thin and feature large, round fenestrations. Just to point out, the Monstera Peru is a different variety than the Monstera obliqua Peru, and not all obliqua plants have fenestrated leaves.
The obliqua has an incredibly slow growth rate, so proper care is essential to help this plant grow and become as big as possible. Houseplants can grow up to five feet tall with excellent care and plenty of patience.
Why is the Monstera Obliqua so Expensive?
It’s all about supply and demand when pricing the Monstera obliqua. The obliqua is a slow-growing plant, so mature plants are hard to find because it takes a long time to reach maturity. The obliqua is also hard to propagate, so creating more is challenging. Increased demand also contributes to high prices.
Grow Your Collection
The obliqua is expensive and hard to come by, so make sure you’re ready to add this rare houseplant to your collection before purchasing. The obliqua is somewhat demanding, so it is not a good pick for novice plant owners. If you have experience with other Monstera cultivars and challenging plants like Prayer Plants or FLF, you’re probably ready to take on the obliqua.
Whether intentional or not, the obliqua is sometimes mislabeled as a Monstera adansonii. For this reason, take care when purchasing a Monstera obliqua and only do so from a specialty shop or a reputable seller. Both plants look almost identical when young, and it isn’t until the fenestrations fully develop that it is easy to tell them apart. The adansonii is an excellent plant worth adding to any collection, but it’s much easier to find and a lot less expensive, so be careful and only purchase an obliqua from a trusted source.
Monstera Obliqua Light Needs
Give the obliqua at least 8 hours of medium to bright indirect sunlight daily. Direct light burns the delicate leaves, so place the plant several feet away from a south-facing window. Plants in low light will grow even slower and fail to develop spectacular fenestrations. Yellow foliage can occur when the plant doesn’t receive enough sunlight. Grow lights are a great way to ensure the obliqua gets the light it needs.
Obliqua Water Needs
Water the Monstera obliqua when the top couple of inches of the potting mix are dry. Using your finger to feel the soil is the most dependable way to determine when to water the plant. Try to keep the soil moist but not soggy. Plan to water every 7 to 15 days during the growing season. Remember that plants that receive bright indirect light need water more often than those that receive medium light.
Yellow leaf tips indicate the plant is overwatered, while an entirely yellow leaf may indicate the plant is underwatered. Check the soil and closely monitor the conditions to determine the cause of yellow foliage so you can get to the bottom of the issue.
Best Soil for Monsteras
Give the obliqua rich, airy, moist soil that promotes drainage. Most ready-made potting mixes are a good start, but amend the soil with perlite. Some plant owners top-dress the potting mix with sphagnum moss to retain moisture.
Temperature for Monstera Obliqua
Warm household temperatures are best for Monstera obliqua care. Temperatures between 70° and 85° F are necessary. If you’re the kind of person who likes to run the air conditioning during the summer or wear a sweater instead of cranking the heat during the winter, then this may not be the plant for you. Temperature swings can be trouble, so keep the obliqua away from vents and drafty windows and doors.
Monstera Obliqua Humidity Needs
Humidity is vital for the obliqua. Place this plant in an area with 60% to 80% humidity. The super-thin foliage of the obliqua will dry out quickly when the humidity is too low, so there isn’t much room for trial and error. A humidifier is often the easiest way to achieve consistent, increased humidity. Consider placing the plant in a terrarium or a glass cabinet to increase the moisture content as much as possible.
Humidity fluctuates throughout the year, so the plant may not need a moisture boost during the summer. Routinely check the levels and be proactive around the change of seasons when the most significant humidity changes occur.
Monstera Obliqua Fertilizer
Fertilizer provides a nutritional boost and supports growth. The obliqua is a slow grower, and routine fertilizing will not help it grow faster but will help the plant continue to thrive. Feed the Monstera obliqua using a balanced, water-soluble fertilizer. Appy plant food once monthly during the spring and summer. Do not fertilize the plant when it is dormant in the fall and winter.
Does Monstera Obliqua Bloom?
The obliqua does bloom, but only under absolutely ideal conditions. It is exceedingly rare for a houseplant to bloom. The spadix and spathe flowers are not showy, so you’re not missing out.
The obliqua doesn’t need regular pruning. Trim damaged growth as it crops up, but generally, just let this plant do its thing.
When to Repot Monstera Obliqua
Repot your obliqua every few years. Check for signs the plant needs to be repotted before giving it an upgrade and fresh soil. Repot in the spring when the new growing season starts. Give the plant a new pot that is one to two inches larger than the root ball, so it has room to grow.
Monstera Obliqua Propagation
The obliqua can be challenging to propagate. The cuttings often take a long time to root, and the conditions must be ideal for this to happen. Propagate the Monstera obliqua by stem cuttings. Use clean, sharp shears to trim the plant. Each cutting should have two nodes and one to two leaves. Place the cut end, including the nodes, in water, soil, or sphagnum moss. Keep the medium consistently moist but never soggy if propagating in soil or sphagnum moss.
Place the cutting in a sunny, warm, and humid area. A greenhouse or a glass cabinet is a good spot. Roots will grow in one to two months. Cuttings in water or sphagnum moss can be moved to a potting mix when the roots measure a couple of inches long. Water young, recently transplanted obliqua plants consistently for the first week or two before settling into a watering routine suitable for an established plant.
The obliqua naturally sends out runners, also known as stolons, which look like leafless stems. In nature, the stolons will set roots and grow a new plant, but this is a long process. You can propagate the obliqua using stolons. Identify a node on the stolon and wrap it in damp sphagnum moss. Gently cover the sphagnum moss with plastic wrap and secure it loosely with twine. Poke holes in the plastic wrap to allow air to circulate, and routinely water the moss through these holes to keep it moist.
Roots will grow from the node in one to two months. Remove the plastic wrap and moss and trim the stolon, separating it from the parent plant. Transplant the cutting to a container filled with airy soil or sphagnum moss. Place the cutting in an area with increased humidity and plenty of indirect sunlight. A new plant should emerge in another one to two months. Once you see the new plant, you can care for this youngster like you would for an established plant.
Is Monstera Obliqua Pet Safe?
The Monstera obliqua is toxic to cats and dogs. Be careful introducing this plant into your home if you have pets. Since the obliqua grows best in a terrarium or glass greenhouse cabinet, having this plant in your home may be possible if it is always contained and inaccessible. While possible to have this plant in a home with pets, understand the risks and do what is best for your situation.
Monstera Obliqua Styling Tips
The obliqua is a skilled climber. Give this plant a moss pole or trellis so it can do what it does best. Giving the obliqua something to climb is necessary, but it’s also a great way to observe this plant in its element and keep it safe. The delicate foliage is easy to observe when the plant is climbing and more protected than it would be if it were trailing.
Monstera Obliqua Care Tips
Fussy and fragile are words that often come up when describing the obliqua. Monstera obliqua care is not necessarily hard, but this plant is demanding and does not tolerate change well. Some plants are adaptable and can happily live in various conditions, but the obliqua is not that kind of plant. The obliqua knows precisely what and how much it wants regarding sunlight, water, temperature, and humidity. If you are an experienced plant owner and up to the challenge, the Monstera obliqua can be a wonderful addition to your collection.