How many houseplants can you tell, that boast gorgeous, monstrous leaves and equally help purify indoor air yet require low-maintenance round the year?
Only a handful, and one of those is Monstera lechleriana, which flaunts its funky oval-shaped, perforated leaves with magical air-purifying abilities.
The classy tropical plant is easy to care for and requires minimal maintenance.
Monstera lechleriana thrives with a combination of bright-filtered sunlight plus weekly watering, warmer temperature (55-80°F), moderate humidity (50%-60%), monthly balanced plant food, and fast-draining perlite mix.
It will become a monster plant with long veins and massive foliage closely resembling Monstera Adansonii.
However, ensure to pamper them with love to get a healthy plant that you can multiply once every few years!
Read on to find out how to best care for M. lechleriana, where to find them, and how not to confuse them with the M. Adansonii plant.
Table of Contents
- Overview of Monstera Lechleriana
- Where to Buy Monstera Lechleriana?
- Monstera Lechleriana Care: All Covered
- Growth Rate and Foliage of Monstera Lechleriana
- Propagating Monstera Lechleriana
- Toxicity of Monstera Lechleriana
- Common Problems with Monstera Lechleriana
- Monstera Lechleriana vs. Monstera Adansonii
- FAQs about Monstera Lechleriana
Overview of Monstera Lechleriana
Monstera lechleriana is a magnificent evergreen plant from the Monstera genus that hails from tropical regions of South America.
It is native to Bolivia, Ecuador, Panama, Panama, Peru, Colombia, and Venezuela.
Did you know the word Monstera comes from Monster? The Monstera plant is called so because of it’s large leaves, spanning four feet.
Lechleriana is highly prized for the ornamental leaves that boast an attractive, deep-green, fenestrated texture.
When everything goes well, your M. lechleriana will reward you by producing extra-large foliage. You would know this by its oval-shaped leaves growing more prominent as they mature.
Being a tropical plant requires similar growing conditions to any other tropical houseplant. Here is a brief table describing the basics of M. lechleriana.
|Scientific Name||Monstera lechleriana|
|Other name||Monstera maxima or Monstera henry-pittieri|
|Growth Zone||USDA 11b to 12|
|Growth Size||4-6 feet tall|
|Growth Rate||Moderate to fast|
|Foliage||1. Oval-shaped, fenestrated leaves
2. Variegated leaves
|Flowering||In the growing season|
|Toxicity||Toxic to Humans and Pets|
|Common Pests||Mealybugs, Spider mites, and Brown scales|
|Horticultural Diseases||Dasheen Mosaic Virus (DMV), Bacterial Leaf Spot, Powdery mildew, Southern Blight|
It is so much in demand that many home decorators recommend growing M. lechleriana for its strong Feng Shui properties.
Where to Buy Monstera Lechleriana?
Monstera lechleriana is a popular Monstera plant to have in your home.
Although its robust and extra-large foliage may seem overwhelming, it would still make an easy-to-care-for houseplant.
Most M. lechleriana is sold when they are still young and only a few inches long, often ranging from $12-$150 or more for variegated kinds.
There are a few sellers willing to offer you some healthy, young M. lechleriana plants.
|Where to Buy||What they Offer||Pros/Cons|
|Etsy||Choose from fenestrated leaves to variegated leaves |
|Pros: Expect to receive your delivery within 7-10 days.
Cons: Not many items are available
|Carousell.sg||It boasts a wide range of Monstera lechleriana.||Pros: Shipped worldwide through Singapore
Cons: Slightly expensive
|Ken Philodendrons||A vast leaf variety of lechleriana are shipped throughout the US.||Pros: Quick delivery and return policy
Cons: Slight expensive shipping fee
|Ecuageneraus||It features a great many houseplants, including M. lechleriana, at a reasonable price||Pros: Reasonable price and local products
Cons: No free shipping
|Rare Home Plants||You can find the rare variegated species of Monstera lechleriana||Pros: Quality houseplants shipped within a few days
Note: The plant offers multiple benefits, including air purification, dehumidifying, stress relieving, and making the indoor space asthetic and pleasing.
Monstera Lechleriana Care: All Covered
You need not provide extra attention but just a few hours every week to your M. lechleriana. Here are some fundamental points to consider when growing M. lechleriana at home.
Bright, indirect sunlight
Allowing a few top 1-2" to dry first.
Perlite-based potting mix or orchid mix
pH level: 5.5-7.0
Diluted Phosphorus and nitrogen-rich plant food
Every month in the growing season
50% or more Humidity
Repot only when the root ball engulfs the soil
Propagate via Stem cuttings
Below is the complete and detailed care guide about your Monstera lechleriana.
1. Indirect Filtered Sunlight
A type of tropical plant, Monstera, naturally grows in rainforests under the shades of large trees.
Keep your Monstera lechleriana in a warm location with diffused or filtered (70-85%) sunlight throughout the day.
It would be harmful to expose them to direct sunlight as it can quickly burn the foliage.
Hence, ensure your M. lechleriana stays a few feet away from the direct light source.
Similarly, do not place them in full shade as it can lead to little or no growth and soft foliage. Monstera exposed to complete shade or direct sunlight may begin exhibiting unusual signs.
How to Ensure Optimal Light Intake?
- Start with finding an appropriate location around the house that is well-lit and warm. Patio, door, and window are ideal choices.
- Place them 4-5 feet away at the south-facing window to provide ample bright yet diffused sunlight.
- Alternatively, please place them in an east or west-facing window to provide great morning or late noon sunlight.
- Rotate them every couple of weeks at the same spot to provide an even amount of sunlight.
- When keeping close to the sunlight, ensure to tie a cloth to a window to allow diffused sunlight.
- Make sure to maintain their light requirements for 8-10 hours a day.
- Otherwise, consider putting them under appropriate LED grow light for at least 10-12 hours to boost healthy foliage growth.
Did you know? The light color spectrum and intensity also plays a role in the plants’ growth. Read our article about; The best light color for plant growth to get a better understanding
2. A Medium, Even Watering
Monstera lechleriana prefers evenly moist soil in the growing season; not too soggy, though, as it can quickly lead to root rot.
Water your 5″ potted Monstera lechleriana with 700-800 ml of water once a week in the active growing season (spring and summer), and cut back to once in a fortnight during dormancy.
The basic rule is to water your Monstera when 70% or the top two inches of the soil dries out.
As it enjoys staying in warm conditions, it would do well without overwatering, which would block the oxygen+nutrient flow to the roots.
You would know it when the leaves turn yellowish or brown with crispy texture and a slight stem decay.
Tips- Dark-colored soil will indicate evenly moist soil, while light greyish color indicates dried soil.
The severe drought would push back the plant growth, often indicated by wilting and curling leaves.
|Overwatered Plant||Underwatered Plant|
|Yellowing, limping, and droopy foliage||Wilted and crispy leaves|
|Decayed lower roots||Brown leaf edges|
|Slowed plant growth||Curled and browned leaves|
|Root Rot||Stunted foliage growth|
How to Ensure Adequate Watering?
- Keep checking the watering schedule, once every week in spring and summer and once in two weeks in fall and winter.
- Otherwise, check the soil condition using a soil moisture meter or insert your finger to assess whether the top 2-inches have dried out.
- Otherwise, download a water scheduling app to keep a tab on watering.
- Postpone watering to 3-4 days when the soil feels soggy, and water immediately when it feels dry and crumbled.
- When watering, deepwater thoroughly to allow the roots to obtain enough moisture.
- For severely dehydrated Monstera, deepwater the plant or leave it on a pebble tray filled with cool water.
- Use distilled (tepid) or rainwater water kept at room temperature to prevent chemical build-up in the soil.
3. Warm Temperature
Monstera lechleriana will naturally grow as a perennial in a warm region, preferably USDA 11b to 12.
Otherwise, ensure to keep them close to the light source to maintain an adequately warm temperature around the year.
To witness a healthy-looking plant, provide a warm condition at all times ranging from 55-80°F (12.7-26.7°C). Anything under 50°F will push back the plant growth due to cold stress.
Similarly, excessively warmer weather (>90°F) will dry the plant’s stem and leaves, leading to transpiration.
Transpiration refers to excessive evaporation of water from the leaves.
Tips to Maintain Ideal Temperature
- Keep your Monstera close to the east or west-facing window, where it would receive a lot of filtered sunlight.
- Avoid placing them in front of the air conditioner or heater to compensate for low temperature.
- Move the plant close to grow light in winter to provide the optimal warm condition, significantly when the temperature drops below 50°F
- Otherwise, cover the plant with a frost blanket or plastic bag to prevent cold drafts and place it on a heating pad.
Pro Tip: Adding dry pine mulch over the potting mix will act as insulation against the cold.
4. Moderate Humidity Level
Being a tropical species, Monstera demands moderately high humid conditions.
Provide 50% or more humidity to Monstera lechleriana to help boost consistent growth and freshness and attain waxy-looking leaves.
They are easygoing with humidity found in most household environments; hence, you need not worry about providing high humid conditions.
However, it is essential to maintain a moderate humidity level around the year as the plant could quickly dry out when the temperature soars up.
Here is a table with the symptoms of less and too severe humidity effects on the houseplant.
|Too Low Humidity||Too High Humidity|
|Wilting and shriveled Leaf||Stems and leaves rot|
|Yellowing of leaves edges||Patches of grey mould on the leaves|
|Brown leaf tips||Fungal growth|
|Leaves may fall in severe conditions||Mold presence in the soil and flower as well.|
How to Maintain Moderate Humidity Level?
- Start with huddling all the houseplants together to naturally boost the humidity level. Watch out for the pest and disease infestation.
- Use a hygrometer to inspect the humidity level.
- Add an electric humidifier to the room to increase or decrease the humidity depending on the temperature.
- Mist the leaves occasionally in spring and summer using the plant mister to vamp up humidity around the plant.
- Consider placing it on a pebble tray filled with water to boost humidity levels when the temperature rises.
5. Fast Draining Substrate/Potting Mix
Monstera comes from tropical forest wetlands that naturally thrive in fast-draining soil.
It is essential to provide an organic substrate that is equally well-draining and stays evenly moist without getting excessively wet.
Ensure to provide an organic substrate rich in perlite or pumice with some peat moss but keep the compost and bark away.
Buy a commercial potting mix intended for houseplants like Monstera. Here are a few recommendations to make your work easier.
|Black Gold All Purpose Soil||A multi purpose, nutrient rich mix that's ideal for most of the plants|
|Miracle-Gro Indoor Potting Mix||Contains coco coir, which holds and releases water,
Also helps soil to get easily wet again
|FoxFarm Ocean Forest Potting Mix||Ocean Forest has a light, aerated texture that's perfect for indoor and outdoor plants
Otherwise, consider preparing a homemade mix by combining different materials.
Here is a proven Monstera soil recipe.
- 80% Potting soil
- 20% perlite
Alternatively, make a ratio of 2:1:1 for the following items.
- Vermiculite or peat moss
- Activated charcoal
- A mix of perlite and peat
6. Monthly Diluted Plant Food
Although Monstera grows naturally on the rich substrate, they will appreciate regular plant food to attain an ample boost in growth.
Feed your Monstera lechleriana with balanced liquid plant food at an NPK ratio of 20:20:20 or 10:10:10 once a month in the growing season.
When using granular or slow-release fertilizer, ensure to use fertilizer once every three months during the active season.
Here is a list of a few houseplant fertilizer recommendations
However, do not overfeed your Monstera and keep active fertilizer 6-inches away from the base of the plant.
Overfeeding fertilizer will lead to soil salt build-up that may choke the plant roots. On the other hand, applying fertilizer too close to the plant base will burn the roots.
The rule of thumb is to dilute the liquid plant food with water to make a 1:1 ratio before applying.
You would know it by the yellowing foliage, drooping foliage, brown patches on leaves, and stunted growth.
How to Revive Overfertilized Monstera?
- Run the plant under the sink to thoroughly flush the salt, repeating as needed (3-4 times).
- Cut back on fertilization in fall and winter.
- Hold back on fertilization until the plant seems to revive.
- Consider transplanting in a fresh potting mix for severely wilted plants (stunted growth).
7. Repotting Overgrown Monstera
Like any other houseplant, Monstera lechleriana benefits from occasional repotting.
When repotting Monstera, ensure to pick a pot at least 2 inches bigger than the current one and add a fresh potting mix.
Repotting once every two years or when the roots begin to grow out of the drainage holes would suffice.
It is best to repot them at the beginning of spring as the plant begins to spend a lot of energy generating new stem and foliage.
Monstera usually loves to stay root-bound to ensure robust root growth; however, the weaker they will become, the longer they last.
In some cases, the plant infested with pests or diseases would also require repotting.
Steps to Repot Monstera Lechleriana
Here is the step-by-step guide to repotting.
Step 1: Choose a New Planter
- Choose a container preferably made from clay, ceramic, or terracotta.
- When choosing a plastic container, ensure it has enough drainage holes underneath.
|Classic Planter, 8" (Plastic)||They are durable and lightweight. The drainage holes lie at the bottom|
|LE TAUCI Ceramic Plant Pots (Ceramic)||4+5+6 inch, Set of 3, Planters with holes in the bottom|
|Plastic Planter, HOMENOTE (Plastic)||Comes in five different sizes 7/6/5.5/4.8/4.5 Inch|
Step 2: Transplanting Monstera Lechleriana
- Prepare an ideal potting mix or buy a commercial soil
- Water the plant and gently slide it out of the container. Loosen the excess dirt by shaking it.
- Inspect the roots for signs of root rot and trim them using a sterilized pruning shear
- Apply some fungicide to the trimmed end before transplanting.
- Fill the pot about 2-3 of its height. Next, insert the plant with roots facing downwards and fill the rest of the pot with the same potting mix.
- Water thoroughly and place it in the exact location.
- If you notice your plant dropping after repotting, consider running a diagnosis for transplant shock.
Read our article about Why does a Monstera droop after repotting?
8. Seldom Pruning
Monstera lechleriana would only require pruning when it matures; as the overgrown plant take up a lot of space.
Prune your M. lechleriana once or twice in the growing season to trim off the top and decayed foliage to control its size.
Prune them every spring since these houseplants remain dormant during winter.
- Sterilize the pruning scissors/shears before trimming off a vine or two.
- Next, cut off browning or decayed leaf.
- Prune off the leggy stem growth with no foliage.
However, do not cut off many stems as it will make the plant look empty.
Growth Rate and Foliage of Monstera Lechleriana
Monstera lechleriana could naturally grow 23 feet (7 meters) in their native habitat. The terrestrial creeper would stick to their surroundings and climb like vine plants.
When grown as a houseplant, lechleriana will easily attain 4-6 feet in height when the conditions are correct.
As a fast-growing plant, it will quickly increase vertically and grow out multiple leaves on every stem. During fall and winter, the growth will slow down significantly.
1. Large-Sized Foliage
It will achieve what it does not attain in height in the foliage growth. A single Monstera lechleriana leaf could grow over 4 feet and 14-28 inches in width.
The leaves would become so massive on a mature plant that they would quickly engulf the entire plant. You would know it by its leathery, glossy green leaves with a pale underside.
The leaves will attain their distinct oval-shaped pattern with multiple holes close to the veins, but the fenestrated (holes) marks do not appear until the plant is mature.
As the Home Pursuit points out, the stem cluster has about 10 to 15 leaves at the top of the stems, and their bases overlap.
Variegated Lechleriana Leaves
Some Monstera lechleriana species are variegated, but it is pretty rare.
Monstera lechleriana Variegata or Variegated lechleriana requires a similar growing condition to attain healthy leaves; however, the foliage would not grow as big as the fenestrated leaves.
2. Flower and Fruiting
The variegated leaves will begin producing distinctive leaf holes as the plant matures.
It rarely flowers under cultivation. The flowering may occur when the plant is about 6 to 8 years of age. Similarly, fruiting spadix may only appear in a few lechleriana, cream to medium yellow.
Propagating Monstera Lechleriana
The best thing about Monstera lechleriana is that you can quickly multiply this plant at home using only essential tools and a few steps.
All you need is a healthy Monstera plant, stem cuttings, a pair of scissors, a container, and the right soil mix. Here is how to go about propagating via stem cutting.
Step 1: Stem Cutting
Start assessing your plant and picking out healthy stems indicated by the green, upright stem with one or more leaves.
- Choose a stem with several nodes to increase the chances of successful propagation.
- Take a pruning shear sterilized with isopropyl alcohol and cut the stem above the bottom node.
- Ensure the stem is 3-4 inches long with one or two foliage attached.
You can let it sit for a few days to produce callous at the end, which helps roots grow quicker.
Step 2: Rooting the Cutting
There are two ways to root the cutting: water and soil medium.
1. Propagation in Water
- Take a glass or small jar and fill it with clean room temperature.
- Ensure the water is tepid or let the tap water sit for a whole day to remove chlorine content.
- Add some rooting hormone to the water and submerge the cutting into the water with roots inside and leaves sticking outside.
- Place it in a warm spot with bright, indirect sunlight.
- Change the water every 4-5 days or when it begins to turn yellowish.
- The roots begin developing within 2-3 weeks. Let it sit for a few more weeks until the roots become at least 2-inches long.
- It is time to transplant the cutting into a container with potting medium.
2. Propagation in Soil
- Get a container at least 3-inches big and fill it with the appropriate potting medium.
- Add some water to moisten it. Ensure the pot has multiple holes for good drainage.
- Apply a mix of fungicide and rooting hormone to the trimmed end.
- Slide the stem cutting into the potting medium and place it in a warm location with ample bright, indirect sunlight.
- The cutting will begin rooting within a few weeks.
- Let it sit for 2-3 months until you begin providing usual care and maintenance.
- Transplant the cutting into a larger pot so the roots can increase in size significantly.
Toxicity of Monstera Lechleriana
Monstera Lechleriana is toxic to both humans and animals; hence be wary about keeping it in reach of your children or pets.
Monstera contains Calcium Oxalate crystals that are toxic to humans and animals when touched or consumed.
Touching the plant sap on the naked skin may lead to itchiness, rashes, and stinging. However, ingesting the parts of the plant is a Big No.
Eating the plant parts may cause nausea and intense mouth, tongue, and throat burning.
Vomiting, difficulty swallowing, drooling, and diarrhea may become common when eaten in large quantities.
The ASPCA listed the genus Monstera as being toxic to all kinds of pets.
Contact the American Association of Poison Control Center at (800) 222-1222 immediately if you suspect poisoning in children.
For poisoning in pets, contact ASPCA Poison Center at (800) 426-4435.
Common Problems with Monstera Lechleriana
Your Monstera lechleriana is not from common houseplant problems, including pests and horticultural diseases.
Here is a list of common problems found in the Monstera genus like lechleriana.
1. Pests Infestation
Monstera lechleriana, as a houseplant, is prone to common sucking pests that infest its leaves and stems for the juicy sap.
Spider mites, Brown scales, Mealybug, and Aphids are some of the common Monstera pests.
Here is a table describing the pest with their symptoms:
|Brown Scale||1. They are soft and flat in shape, similar to mites, that suck the sap off the plant.
2. They resemble lumps of shells rather than insects.
3. The leaves start Wilting or drooping
|Aphids||1. Curling and falling off leaves
2. Stunted growth
|Mealybugs||1. White cotton-like structure forms on the undersides of the leaves
2. Curling, wilting and falling off leaves
|Spider Mites||1. Discoloration of leaves
2. Stippled and yellowed leaves
3. Fine webbing on leaves might appear on the leaves.
- Start with handpicking the visible pests and dropping them in a soapy water solution.
- Scrape off scales on the plant using a blunt knife.
- Apply Malathion solution to get rid of Mealybugs. Pyrethrin sprays would effectively work for other bugs.
- Otherwise, treat the plant using a cotton ball soaked in 98% isopropyl alcohol and wipe the affected parts.
- Alternatively, horticultural oil or Neem oil will also effectively kill the pests.
- Prevent bringing in houseplants that may look suspicious (yellowed leaves, spider webs underneath, visible pests).
- Quarantine your lechleriana for at least two weeks and treat it before bringing it close to other plants
- Wash the Monstera with clean water or soapy water solution every few weeks.
2. Horticultural Diseases
As a tropical plant susceptible to diseases, your Monstera is prone to common fungal and bacterial infections that will mostly infest when the conditions are wrong.
Fungal and bacterial diseases are pretty common in the Monstera plant, which becomes evident with vivid signs. Above all, Dasheen Mosaic Virus (DMV) is the most common and contagious.
Here is the list of diseases and problems posed by them.
|Dasheen Mosaic Virus||Caused by Aphids||Distorted leaves, Curling leaves|
|Bacterial Blight||Xanthomonas axonopodis pv. dieffenbachiae||Yellowed (chlorotic), water-soaked lesions in the leaf edges.|
|Bacterial Wilt||Ralstonia solancearum||Leaves veins and stems turn brown and bronze color.|
|Rhizoctonia Root Rot||Rhizoctonia solani||Young stems are girdled, water soaked lesions.|
|Phytophthora and Pythium Root Rot||Phytophthora nicotianae var. parasitica and Pythium splendens||Wilting plants, root sloghing, foliage may exhibit black to brown leaf lesions.|
|Anacthrose||Colletotrichum||Infected plants develop dark, water soaked lesions on stems.|
- Start with quarantining the infected plants or disposing of them if the problem seems severe.
- Slide out the plant and cut the infected roots in case of root rot. Before transplanting, apply fungicide to the cut ends.
- Common fungicides like Medallion (fludioxonil) and Prostar (flutolanil) effectively treat fungal infestations.
- Use dimethomorph and phosphorus acid to treat Phytophthora and Pythium. Alternatively, you can use fungicides such as mefenoxam and aluminum tris/Fosetyl-al.
- Agrimycin is effective in treating bacterial infections.
- Avoid severely wetting your plant when watering or misting.
- Maintain an ideal humidity level and keep it under 70%, a humidifier can prove to be useful in this case.
- Every week, inspect the plant in the active growing for fungal and bacterial infections.
- Sterilize the pruning shear or scissors using 98% ethyl alcohol.
Monstera Lechleriana vs. Monstera Adansonii
If you have grown or seen Monstera Adansonii, you could tell that your lechleriana and Adansonii look alike.
In fact, they both belong to the Monstera genus that grows large leaves with fenestration, and they both are epiphytes.
You would be confused at first between the two because the leaf sizes and holes resemble each other a lot.
Even in the case of variegated leaves, both plants exhibit similar variegated patterns. However, there are some fundamental differences between the two Monsteras.
|Monstera Lechleriana||Monstera Adansonii|
|It is a fast grower||It is a slow to moderate grower|
|It has thinner, oblong holes throughout the leaf||It has holes that are fairly distributed throughout the leaf|
|It boasts larger and thick leaves, spanning over 4-feet||It boasts smaller and thinner leaves, 3-4 feet in length|
|Their foliage can grow up to 10 inches (25 cm) in their natural habitat||Their foliage will only manage to grow a few inches|
|It is more easily adaptable to the home environment||It may slightly struggle to survive in common household condition|
|It requires a warmer temperature to grow well||It grows well in a combination of cool temperature|
|It loves slightly moist soil condition||It does not stand well in moist soil|
|It will grow taller||It will grow richer and fuller|
Learn more about taking a complete care of Monstera Adansonii
FAQs about Monstera Lechleriana
Is Yellowing Monstera Lechleriana Problematic?
Yellowing leaves on Monstera are pretty standard when the growing condition goes awry.
Sometimes, it indicates a more severe problem to come, such as root rot, fungal disease, root burn from over-fertilization, and sunburns.
Diagnosing the problems to pinpoint the reason for yellowing will help you find a reliable solution.
Read our article about diagnosing and treating yellowing Monstera.
Does All Monstera Lechleriana Become Variegated?
Not really; variegation in Monstera is obtained from genetics. A non-variegated Monstera is not likely to produce any variegation in the future.
However, if your Monstera begins to produce one or two variegated leaves, you should know it was always variegated that only started to bloom late.
Why is Monstera Lechleriana Growing Slow?
A slow-growing lechleriana indicates a lack of sunlight or root-bound condition. A plant that lacks bright enough indirect sunlight will begin to exhibit stunted growth.
Start with placing it close to the window that receives bright, diffused sunlight. For root-bound conditions, consider transplanting it to a larger pot.
Monstera lechleriana is a beautiful Monstera houseplant that does well with minimal growing conditions.
Its unique leaf foliage and size will brighten up any house corner. However, please keep it away from your children or pets’ reach to avoid accidental poisoning.
Stick to essential growing conditions and follow this guide to witness a healthy Monstera lechleriana plant.