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Monstera Obliqua- Unknown Care Facts About the Unicorn Plant

The aesthetic foliage of Monstera Obliqua (Laceleaf plant) falters away and turns yellow under improper care conditions.

Generally, Monstera Obliqua needs a rich organic mix, warm temperature (59-77°F), high humidity levels (80-90%), and bright filtered sunlight around the year to attain full heart-shaped or signature fenestrated leaf growth. Aim to regularly prune damaged or sick parts and repot every 3 years.

Moreover, ensure weekly watering during the growing season and feed once a month with diluted houseplant fertilizer to ensure even growth.

Read more to beat misconceptions around Monstera Obliqua and find a reliable growing guide.

Monstera Obliqua: Debunking the Myth

A big misconception is that 90% of Obliqua [oh-BLIK-wuh] leaves are made of perforations or holes.

Not every Obliqua species bear the fenestration. Some are born with whole leaves and variegations.

But only a few species, like ‘Peru Obliqua’ hailing from Peru, have signature fenestration and are prized for their exotic looks.

Scientific NameMonstera obliqua
Common nameMonstera Unicorn, Window-leaf, Swiss-Cheese Vine, and Mexican Breadfruit
NativeCentral and South America
Growth ZoneUSDA zone 10a, 10b, 11
Plant TypeEvergreen, climber
Growth Size8-10 ft. (2.4-3 m) tall and 15-20 ft. (4.7-6 m) wide
Growth RateSlow
FoliageDeep green, whole heart-shaped but some are heavily fenestrated and may have variegation (green and white)
Foliage size10-25 cm
Toxicity Toxic to Humans and Pets
Common PestsMealybugs, Spider mites, and whiteflies
Horticultural DiseasesDasheen Mosaic Virus (DMV), Bacterial Leaf Spot, Powdery mildew, Southern Blight

Monstera Obliqua – Complete Grow & Care Guide

An easy-to-care-for Monstera Obliqua requires regular care and occasional maintenance around the year.

Here is a quick care hack highlighting the primary care requirements of Monstera Obliqua.

Quick Care hack Monstera Obliqua
Follow these quick care hacks to ensure flawless growth of fenestrated leaves of Obliqua.

Now, let us delve deeper into the complete care for Monstera Obliqua, shall we?

1. Sunlight & Temperature

Monstera Obliqua thrives in bright shaded with filtered sunlight in a warmer climate (60-80°F).

Place them 3-5 feet from the east or south window, ensuring 10-12 hours of bright indirect sunlight. Opt to keep them outdoors in the 10-11 USDA zone.

Remember, they are susceptible to excess heat and scorching that discourage signature fenestration.

Scorched Obliqua leaves begin yellowing with brown spots and crispy dry brown tips.

Leaves of Monstera Obliqua Peru
Optimal care conditions can make the fenestration in Monstera Obliqua Peru more pronounced.

Moreover, low light and cold temperatures (<60°F) cause Monstera to wilt, droop, and curl alongside leggy growth.

To compensate lack of sunlight in winter, use an LED grow light for about 10-12 hours.

Similarly, use frost blankets, heat pads, or mulches on top to protect them from frosts.

2. Watering & Humidity

As a tropical plant, Monstera Obliqua enjoys the high humid (80-90%) conditions and prefers moist but not soggy soil.

Therefore, water Obliqua 1-2 times a week aided with occasional misting in the active growing season. But cut back watering up to two weeks in winter.

Otherwise, use a moisture meter or water them once the top inches of soil feel dry using chemical-free water.

If you notice dark-colored smelly soil with browning leaves, root rotting, and decaying lower stems, they are the signs of overwatered Obliqua.

Likewise, low humidity and lack of moisture cause yellowing, wilting, and curling leaves.

Thus, accommodate flexible watering habits and adjust as per the surrounding parameters.

You can place your Monstera Obliqua in a bright kitchen or bathroom and follow the bottom watering approach aided with an occasional overhead shower.

3. Soil & Fertilizer

Monstera Obliqua is rather fussier about the proper soil need and may quickly wither in poor potting mix.

They proliferate flawlessly in nutrient-rich, well-draining soil (pH 5-7) made up of peat moss, coco coil, perlite, and compost on top.

Similarly, monthly fertilize Monstera Obliqua in the growing season with a balanced liquid formula.

But refrain from fertilizing them in winter to dodge chemical root burn brought by overfertilization issues.

Moreover, excess fertilizer often results in stunted growth, droopy foliage, and brown spots.

potted Monstera Obliqua
Prepare airy, loose, well-draining soil mix for your Monstera to avoid overwatering issues like root rot.

Thus, aim to apply slow-release food once every three months to ensure optimal growth.

Likewise, nutrient-deficient plants show signs like pale green leaves with yellow or brown patches and have a crispy appearance.

Pro Tip: When applying, dilute the fertilizer and keep the fertilizer solution 6 inches away from the plant base.

4. Yearly Pruning

Monstera Obliqua is a slow-grower aroid of the Araceae family, so they hardly need any pruning.

However, pruning yellowing, damaged, or leggy foliage encourages optimal plant growth. Thus, regularly inspect and prune away decaying parts.

Also, pruning becomes crucial when pests like mealybugs, spider mites, and whiteflies invade Obliqua.

In such peril, use sterilized pruners to trim all infested plant parts. Once done, apply neem oil or alcohol to prevent future infestation.

You can aim to prune your Monstera in the early spring to encourage optimal growth.

Also, grow aromatic basil, mint, sage, and rosemary plants around the Monstera Obliqua to naturally repel the pests.

5. Potting & Repotting

Being a slow grower would only require repotting when the roots have substantially outgrown the pot.

Repot your Monstera Obliqua every three years in spring when the substrate has significantly dried up or becomes severely rootbound.

Besides, you must repot your Obliqua when they are infected with horticultural diseases.

Generally, excess humidity invites problems like Mosaic virus (DMV), Bacterial leaf spot, Powdery mildew, and Blight.

DiseasesCausative AgentsSymptoms
Dasheen Mosaic VirusCaused by AphidsDistorted leaves, Curling leaves
Bacterial BlightXanthomonas axonopodis pv. dieffenbachiaeYellowed (chlorotic), water-soaked lesions in the leaf edges.
Bacterial WiltRalstonia solancearumLeaves veins and stems turn brown and bronze color.
Rhizoctonia Root RotRhizoctonia solaniYoung stems are girdled, water soaked lesions.
Phytophthora and Pythium Root RotPhytophthora nicotianae var. parasitica and Pythium splendensWilting plants, root sloghing, foliage may exhibit black to brown leaf lesions.
AnacthroseColletotrichumInfected plants develop dark, water soaked lesions on stems.

After thoroughly inspecting the severity of the problem, dispose of the plant if it does not appear salvageable.

Otherwise, apply Medallion (fludioxonil) to treat a wide range of fungal infections, followed by repotting.

After repotting, if you notice drooping Monstera, thoroughly water to moisten the soil.

Monstera Obliqua: All About Growth

In natural habitats, Monstera Obliqua can grow over 20 feet tall despite its slow growth.

They actively grow and add new foliage during spring and summer but remain dormant in winter.

Thus, cut back basic cares like fertilization and watering in winter as they have minimal uptake.

A mature plant will reach a height of 8-10 ft (2.4-3 meters) and 15-20 ft (4.7-6 meters) wide when grown indoors.

Like any Monstera plant, they are mainly grown for their foliage quality and appearance.

Each stem boasts numerous leaves in varying shapes, ranging from lanceolate to broadly ovate, usually reaching 10-25 cm long.

Monstera Obliqua Bolivia
Not all Monstera Obliqua varieties have fenestration as in Obliqua Peru.

Though fenestration appears even in the juvenile stage of Obliqua Peru, variegated Obliqua will only begin producing a whitish layer on the leaves as they mature.

In addition, once they mature, they produce cream to white color spadix 5-6 inches long. But it is rare for them to bloom indoors.

But Monstera Obliqua, kept outdoors with conducive care, can bloom at any time of the year.

Generally, they will begin flowering after 1.5 years from the germination of Monstera seeds.

After successful pollination, the inflorescence will begin fruiting and produces Monstera fruit.

The spathe turns green and turns deep orange in the latter phase.

However, unlike other Monstera fruits that witness berries arranged together, Obliqua berries are free from one another.

Propagation Methods for Monstera Obliqua

Monstera Obliqua can be propagated via stolen and stem-cutting methods, where the latter is more accessible and yields quicker results.

Aim to propagate Monstera in early spring or summer to ensure favorable conditions for root growth.

Also, gather materials like rooting hormones, sterilized shears, potting mix, and small pots or trays.

Now, let us start with propagation methods, shall we?

1. Propagation via Stem Cutting

Propagating via herbaceous stem cutting is the easiest way to propagate Monstera Obliqua.

  • Identify healthy green upright stems with multiple leaves.
  • Take 5-7 inches long stems with at least two nodes.
  • Remove all but two or three leaves at the top and root hairs.

Rooting in Water: Submerge the cutting in a jar filled with chlorine-free water and rooting hormone.

  • Move it to a warm location with bright, indirect sunlight.
  • Change the water every 4-5 days to prevent bacterial growth.
  • Roots should sprout within 2-3 weeks, and once they grow over 1-2″ long, transplant them to an appropriate potting medium.

Rooting in Soil: Apply fungicide and rooting hormone to the trimmed end.

  • Gently slide the cutting into a 3-inch container filled with fresh mix.
  • Thoroughly moisten the mix with water and let it sit.
  • Place it in a warm location with indirect sunlight and cover it with a self-sealing plastic bag to reduce water loss.
  • Let it sit for at least 4-6 weeks or more to begin seeing new feeder roots.

You do not need to fertilize the stem cutting for about 3 to 4 months as enough nutrients are in the mix.

2. Propagating via Stolon

Propagating via stolon is slightly tricky and more appropriate for seasoned growers.

Stolon is any slender stem that grows horizontally along the soil line and produces roots and aerial branches.

Moreover, this plant does not often create theft, making acquiring one difficult.

  • Identify the stolon and cut it above the lower node using a sharp pruning shear.
  • Place the cutting in a substrate and set it aside in a warm location with bright indirect sunlight.
  • Mist the stolen regularly after it begins developing roots.
  • Once the root grows about 1-2 inches, after 3-4 weeks, transfer it to a new pot with the appropriate potting mix.

Toxicity of Monstera Obliqua

Monstera Obliqua is also toxic to humans and pets, like other Monstera and familial aroids.

According to the ASPCA, aroids like Monstera and Syngonium contain calcium oxalate crystals toxic to cats, dogs, and horses.

Accidental ingestion leads to oral irritation, vomiting, difficulty swallowing, drooling, dilated pupils, and cardiac issues.

The severity of the poisoning would depend on the intake dosage and can cause kidney failure in critical cases.

Thus, keep the plant out of pets’ and kids’ reach to ensure no accidental consumption.

  • If you suspect poisoning in your children or pet, contact the American Association of Poison Control Center at (800) 222-1222.
  • Contact ASPCA Poison Center at (888) 426-4435 for pet poisoning.

Where to Buy Monstera Obliqua?

Much to our surprise, Monstera Obliqua is not so rare to buy.

However, many retailers may sell M. adansonii by calling it Monstera Obliqua. So, remember to look out for key distinct features before buying one.

Otherwise, aim to buy one from a reputed, verified online retailer with the best user rating.

Where to BuyShipping Details
EtsyExpect to receive your delivery within 7-10 days.
CarousellShips within 7-15 days
NSE TropicalsImmediate shipping if available
PlantlyWithin a week

Monstera Obliqua vs. Adansonii

Many growers mistake Monstera Adansonii for Monstera Obliqua because they boast similar-looking fenestrated leaves.

They belong to the same Monstera genus with similar native habitats and growing conditions.

However, there are some striking differences between the two plants, which you should look closely at when purchasing.

Monstera ObliquaMonstera Adansonii
It develops thin, paper-like leaves with deep fenestrations.It gradually develops robust leathery leaves with lighter fenestrations.
The fenestrations are not symmetrical and may appear anywhere inside the leaf.The fenestrations are symmetrical in structure.
The variegated leaves lack fenestration of any kind.The fenestrated leaves are also variegated in appearance.
It is slightly pricier than Adansonii because of less circulation, costing a whopping $150 or more.You can easily find one for under $50.

Monstera Obliqua vs. Monstera Esqueleto

Although both Monstera boasts heavily fenestrated leaves, Esqueleto boasts slightly different colored leaves.

There are some striking differences between the two.

Monstera ObliquaMonstera Esqueleto
Monstera Obliqua is the most heavily fenestrated Monstera species.It boasts heavily fenestrated leaves but slightly lesser than Monstera Obliqua.
The leaves are almost paper-like thin when touched.The leaves feel leathery, thick, and waxy.
It gives a deep green shade (except for the variegated subspecies).It provides a slightly lighter shade of green with a yellowish tinge.

FAQs About Monstera Obliqua

Why is Monstera Obliqua so rare?

They are slow-growing tropical plants, so only little stock is available for sale. But there is a massive demand for them, making them so rare.

Is Monstera Obliqua indoor plant?

Like any other Monstera plant, Obliqua is an indoor plant proliferating in a bright, warm room.

From Editorial Team


Monstera Obliqua is a magnificent plant that stays problem-free when provided at a relatively higher humidity level.

However, the pattern or size of fenestration depends entirely on the mother plant it has derived from. So, do not assume fenestration right after hearing Obliqua.

Additionally, use terracotta pots as flowerpots for Monstera Obliqua.

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