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5 Ways You Can Care For Monstera Subpinnata [Updated 2023]

Deeply lobed leaves of the tropical Monstera Subpinnata are a unique trademark that only a handful of aroids own.

But along with a unique set of foliage features comes a tedious list of special care routines. 

Generally, Monstera Subpinnata needs daily dappled sunlight for 6-12 hours, 55-85°F temperature, watering every 7-10 days, organic porous soil admixed monthly with balanced liquid fertilizer, 60-90% humidity, periodic pruning and repotting every 1-2 years in spring.

Here is a guide to help you learn more about Monstera Subpinnata and how to best take care of them.

Overview of Monstera Subpinnata

Monstera subpinnata is an all-embracing tropical aroid with signature rich green and deeply segmented leaves.

Additionally, the moniker “subpinnata” originates from its feather-like or feather-patterned leaves. 
Image represents a potted Monstera Subpinnata
Monstera Subpinnata is a tropical aroid hailing from the South American rainforests.

Hence, its leaves closely resemble the leaves of Palm Trees, but Monstera Subpinnata doesn’t belong to the same family.

However, the plant has some interesting features, which you can view from the table below.

Scientific NameMonstera subpinnata
Common NamePhilodendron Subpinnata

NativeSoutheastern Columbia, Bolivia, Peru & Ecuador
USDA Zone4-11
Growth HabitPerennial Evergreen Climber or Epiphytic Herb
Growth SizeOutdoors (In Wild): 22-30 feet tall & 6 feet wide

Indoors (Potted): 6 feet tall & 3-6 feet wide
Growth RateMedium to Fast
Growing SeasonsThroughout Spring and Summer
Flowering PeriodDuring Summer
LeafDeeply segmented, palm-like green and glossy leaves with lobes arranged alternately along a single midrib
InflorescenceYellowish-orange leafy Spathe veiling a deep orange and cylindrical Spadix
Grown forElegant divided leaves & inflorescence
Toxicity Mildly poisonous to humans and highly poisonous to pets if eaten

Monstera Subpinnata for Sale

This rare tropical aroid is not easily available, but you can purchase one from these trustworthy sites. 

SitesExpected Delivery Periods
Ken PhilodendronsWithin 1-3 weeks after placing an order
Gabriella PlantsWithin 1 week after placing an order
Earth and JungleWithin 1-5 days after placing an order

Complete Monstera Subpinnata Care

Warm temperature and humidity with plenty of dappled light are what you need to grow your Monstera Subpinnata.

But, you must also be heading up for watering and maintain a feasible soil with periodic fertilizer application for your plant.

To get a deeper look at the complete care tips, keep reading.

1. Daily Light & Temperature Needs

Offer Monstera Subpinnata daily 6-12 hours of bright indirect sunlight and surrounding temperatures of 55-85°F.

Extreme light & temperature effects

  • Progressive yellowing and browning of foliage
  • Crispy leaf tips and margins (sunburns)
  • Wrinkled and saggy leaves and petioles
  • Probable leaf drops

Low light & temperature effects

  • Stalled growth rate and leggy petioles
  • Leaf and bloom fallouts
  • Irregular flowering incidences
  • Smaller and fewer leaves and flowers

Steps to Maintain Correct Light & Temperature

  • Situate the plant near a curtained east-facing window or 3-5 feet from an open south-facing window.
  • Prevent temperatures below 55°F by using frost blankets as a shield from winter breezes.
  • Keep the plant away from drafty vents indoors and about 3 inches from window panes.
  • Use UV shields to screen direct sunlight on the plant leaves.
  • Rotate the plant quarterly every week to ensure uniform light incidence to the foliage.
  • Alternatively, place them under an LED grow light for at least 10-12 hours to boost growth.

2. Weekly Watering & Daily Humidity Needs

Ensure watering care every 7-10 days in spring and summer, but avoid watering in fall and winter. Also, keep humidity levels between 60-90%.

Overwatering & High Humidity Signs

  • Soggy and stenchy soil
  • Black pulpy or mushy roots (root rots)
  • Precocious yellowing and browning of foliage
  • Floppy leaves, petioles, and stems
  • Mold growth on the stems near the soil

Underwatering & Low Humidity Signs

  • Brown, crispy, and curly leaf tips and edges
  • Foliar and leaf drops with inconsistent flowering
  • Creased leaf surface and petioles

How to Maintain Watering & Humidity?

  • Lower watering constancy during fall and winter by checking 1-2 inches of the topsoil.
  • Uproot the plant to inspect for root rots, and remove the decaying parts using sterilized pruners.
  • Place a layer of pebbles at the pot’s base to improve drainage while repotting or transplanting your plant.
  • Unclog the drainage holes weekly to keep a porous potting environment.
  • Avoid heavy or clayey soil, and add organic perlite to encourage porosity.
  • Don’t over mist the plant, and wipe any leaf drops from the leaves to prevent fungal infection.
Image illustrates yellow leaves in Monstera
Yellow leaves in Monstera are an outcome of sunburn or root rot.

3. Soil & Fertilizer

Provide well-draining organic soil with a pH of around 5.5-7, admixed with the monthly dose of balanced liquid fertilizer in spring and summer. 

Effect of Using Wrong Soil & Fertilizer

  • Hindrance during root growth (effect of heavy or hard soil usage)
  • Salt build-up in the soil and chemical root burn
  • Fewer air pockets and low oxygen inside the pot
  • Yellow and brown leaf tips and margins (overfertilization)
  • Foliar color change (underfertilization)

How to Offer Proper Soil & Fertilizer?

  • Keep the soil mineral-free by flushing out the excess salts with distilled water monthly.
  • Encourage using organic fertilizer blends like fish emulsion and coffee or tea grounds to maintain the soil pH.
  • Don’t feed the plant during fall and winter, when the plant enters dormancy.
  • Schedule feeding the plant after each watering session monthly so that the nutrients reach deeper soil layers.
  • But dilute the fertilizer to the required strength as instructed per pack.
  • However, change the potting soil with a fresh mix if the mineral buildup persists.

4. Pruning Care

Trim diseased, pest-infested, or spent plant parts using sterilized pruners regularly or annually in early spring to offer shape to the plant.

Pests and Diseases

Some obnoxious visitors of Monstera Subpinnata include pests like spider mites, brown scales, aphids, and mealybugs.

Additionally, diseases like blight, wilts, rots, distortions, mosaics, etc., are some common diseases caused by bacteria, viruses, or fungi. 

However, you can prune the plant parts or use other immediate measures to control the pest and disease outbreaks.

Tips To Prune & Prevent Epidemics

  • Isolate the infected plants to prevent the spread of infection or pests. 
  • Use sterilized pruners and cut the infected leaves as close to the soil as possible.
  • Collect the plant parts and burn them to kill all the liable pathogens.
  • Use neem oil-laced Q-tips to dab the pests or install sticky traps around the plant to keep hovering pests at bay.
  • You can also employ copper-rich fungicides to subside the symptoms. 
Image represents the lobed leaves of Monstera Subpinnata
While pruning damaged leaves, cut back the entire frond to the base instead of trimming the damaged portions.

5. Repotting Tips

Monstera Subpinnata needs annual or biennial repotting in a 1-2 inches wider and deeper terracotta planter in spring.

Signs of Repotting

  • Roots crowding in the topsoil
  • Protrusion of roots from the drainage holes 
  • Quick drainage of water
  • Compaction of the root ball
  • Droopy leaves and petioles

Tips to Repot

  • Water the plant 1-2 days before repotting for easy access.
  • After, take out all the soil from the pot, grab the stem close to the soil surface, and tug out the plant.
  • Untangle the roots inside a bucket of water and clean out any wounded roots.
  • Prepare a new pot, lay a few pebbles at the base, fill it one-third with fresh potting soil and hold the plant at the center.
  • Then, add more soil from the sides to fill the pot about an inch below the brim.
  • Further, keep it in bright indirect sunlight with regular watering until new growth.  

Monstera Subpinnata [Growth & Flowering]

Like most Monstera plants, Subpinnata is a tropical epiphytic aroid known for its showy and deeply partitioned green leaves.

These leaves rise from underground rhizomes, attaining 12-24 inches long. However, reaching maturity and begetting these giant leaves takes about 7 years.
Image illustrates inflorescence of Monstera Subpinnata
Like all the plant family Araceae members, Monstera Subpinnata consists of an entire inflorescence composed of spathe and spadix.

As a moderately fast-growing aroid, Subpinnata only grows during spring and summer as it needs bright sunlight.

The plant’s growth slows during fall and ceases completely in winter, but you can upkeep its growth by offering a warm temperature, light, and high humidity.

Regardless, the plant blooms comfortably just before going dormant in summer, bearing spathe and spadix as inflorescence or combined flowers.

The yellowish-orange spathe is a leafy structure veiling over a deep orange extensive spadix.

Moreover, the vibrant spathe lures in pollinators, while the spadix is bisexual and bears tiny male and female flowers. 

Propagating Monstera Subpinnata

Monstera Subpinnata is easy to propagate through stem cutting.

Although the plant produces seeds, it rarely does so indoors, and they are hard to get by from online stores.

Additionally, you must take the stem cuttings during early spring when the plant is actively growing for propagation.

Once you are done, you can root the cuttings in the water and then transplant the cuttings into the soil. 

1. Taking Stem Cutting

  • Cut the stem 4-6 inches long just below a node.
  • Remove the lower leaves to expose the nodes or growth points.
  • Snip all but 2-3 leaves at the top.

2. Rooting the Stem Cutting in Water

  • Prepare a rooting hormone solution in a clean glass jar and plunge the cuttings into the water.
  • Next, place it in a warm location with bright, indirect sunlight.
  • Change the water every 2-5 days or when it turns slightly murky.
  • Feeder roots will develop within 2-3 weeks and become an inch long in another few weeks.
  • Once you witness a 1-2 inch long feeder root, transplant it into a potting medium.
Image represents the process of propagating Monstera
Monstera Subpinnata can be propagated using stem cuttings, but ensure that the transplants contain a few leaves and growth nodes.

3. Transplanting in the Soil

  • Fill a 6-inch wide terracotta pot with potting medium and thoroughly moisten it with water.
  • Additionally, plant the stem cutting into the potting medium and place the container in ample indirect sunlight.
  • Use a self-sealing plastic bag to cover the pot to secure warmth and temperature.
  • Let it sit for 3-8 weeks for new feeder roots and growth.
  • Finally, repot the plant in a wider and deeper planter with all the cultural conditions provided.

Toxicity of Monstera Subpinnata

Monstera Subpinnata is a toxic houseplant for humans and pets.

According to ASPCA, Monstera species contain calcium oxalate crystals in their parts, which causes a burning sensation upon contact or ingestion.

The severity of the toxicity would depend on the intake dosage and whether it has reached the respiratory tract.

Touching the plant sap on the skin may lead to itchiness, rashes, and stinging or irritation in humans.

While consuming the plant leaves, fruit, or stem could cause oral and gastrointestinal irritation, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea.

Similarly, mild poisoning may cause nausea, and intense mouth, tongue, and throat burns in pets, especially dogs and cats.

Contact America’s Poison Center at (800) 222-1222 immediately if you suspect poisoning in children. For pet poisoning, contact ASPCA Poison Center at (888) 426-4435.

Monstera Subpinnata Vs. Pinnatiapartita

Many growers confuse Monstera Pinnatipartita with Monstera Subpinnata because both plants boast similar-looking foliage.

Likewise, both Monstera plants hail from South American tropical rainforests and belong to the Araceae family.
Image illustrates leaf shapes of Monstera varieties
Monstera Subpinnata have deeply lobed and pinnate leaves with finger-like projections.

Even in the case of leaves, many varieties of both plants exhibit similar variegated patterns with only a slight difference.

However, there are only a handful of differences between the two Monsteras, which are also related to the leaves.

Monstera SubpinnataMonstera Pinnatiapartita
The leaves are deeply incised or segmented at places towards the mid-rib and appear palm-like.The leaves are not segmented deeply and the sections are broader towards the mid-rib.
The leaves are more pinnate in appearance.The leaves are more fenestrated in appearance.

From Editorial Team


Monstera Subpinnata is also a great air-purifying plant. Hence, it’s perfect for improving indoor air quality while also boosting indoor decor due to its unique leaves.

However, do provide optimal home growing conditions to witness a healthy plant with signature foliage.

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