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Monstera Albo Care Tips


Many of you have asked about monstera albo (AKA variegated monstera) care tips so this post has truly been overdue! Before I begin, I want to give a little background on my personal monstera albo journey, which I chronicled in an Instagram reel. To summarize, I bought a 2-leaf cutting in September, 2018. I rooted and nurtured the plant and she quickly grew in a south-facing window. By summer of 2021, she was over 6 feet tall and started to produce flowers. I moved in to a new house in summer of 2022 while the fruit was still developing. By August of 2022, the fruits were ready to harvest. They tasted very sweet and tropical! I made 2 Instagram reels on harvesting and tasting the fruits! Watch part 1 HERE and part 2 HERE.


By summer of 2023, my big momma albo was close to touching the ceiling at almost 8 feet tall. I finally chopped her in July of 2023 so I can propagate more. Here's the Instagram reel!


Now that you know a little more about my personal monstera albo experience, I can start with the basics!


CREATING THE IDEAL ENVIRONMENT

Monsteras (whether green or variegated) prefer bright light or indirect sun, along with a warm and humid environment. This means that in order for it to thrive indoors, we must create similar conditions. Bright light next to a window is preferred. If it's south-facing, make sure you have light filtering shades to keep direct sun from burning the leaves. If your room is dark, consider using a plant light. I recommend the Soltech Aspect light. Use code: LIGHTUP for 15% off.


Try keeping your indoor humidity above 40%. Being in Southern California, my house was mostly around 50%, so I rarely used a humidifier. If your area is dry and arid, consider running a humidifier regularly or mist with a spray bottle daily. Always strive for as close to the optimal conditions as possible.



SOIL AND WATER

Having the right soil is crucial to the health of your plant. Monsteras prefer chunky well-draining soil mixes. I personally use a mixture of 4 parts Fox Farm Ocean Forest soil, 1 part orchid bark, 1 part perlite, and 1 part horticultural charcoal. Mix in some Systemic House Plant Insect Control granules to prevent gnats and pests. This will create a nutrient-rich chunky mixture for your plant and prevent it from being waterlogged. Remember to always have proper drainage when planting in a pot or planter.


The watering schedule for your plant will depend on its size and how quickly the soil will dry out. On average, I've found that I need to water every 7-10 days. I like to make sure the soil is mostly dry before watering thoroughly. Make sure your pot has drainage so excess water can drain out. Remember it's always better to under-water than to over-water! Over-watering will lead to root rot!


















LET YOUR MONSTERA CLIMB

Monsteras love climbing on the trucks of trees in the wild. In order for it to grow larger mature leaves, you'll need to provide a climbing pole. A moss pole is ideal, as the aerial roots can grab on and receive moisture from the moss and grow quickly. Initially, I had a moss pole on my large monstera and she was very happy. Unfortunately my moss pole broke so I switched to a bamboo pole and later a textured aluminum plant support pole. Although it was sturdier, I had to tie to stem of the monstera to the pole and the aerial roots were never able to grab on. The bottom leaves suffered because of this.



TROUBLESHOOTING: BROWNING LEAVES

If you notice browning tips on the white parts of your albo leaves, do not despair - this is common and natural! The more white your leaves have, the higher chance they will have brown tips. This is due to the lack of chlorophyll, the pigment used in photosynthesis. When a plant cannot photosynthesize, it will die off. Hence the white leaves turning brown after a time. I usually trim those tips off (shhh, don't tell anyone!). You can also try increasing the humidity and light to delay further browning!


TROUBLESHOOTING: DROOPY LEAVES

Droopy leaves are a sign of a watering issue! Check your soil to see if your plant needs water or if you've over-watered. If it's the former, water it thoroughly and it should perk up within a a day or so. If it's the latter, you'll need to check the roots and make sure there's no root rot.


If root rot is the issue, you will need to remove all of the soft rotted tissue from the roots and repot. If all the roots are lost, consider chopping the plant and propagating new roots. This can easily be done by rooting the cuttings in water.


TROUBLESHOOTING: YELLOW LEAVES

Many factors can contribute to yellowing leaves. If one or two bottom leaves start yellowing on a large plant, this could just be due to natural aging. If newer leaves start to yellow, this could mean a nutrient deficiency, a pest issue, or even fungal growth. Inspect the top and underside of your leaves carefully to see if there are any pests like thrips or mites. My pest spray of choice is End All. You can use a Copper Fungicide for fungal issues. For plant food, I recommend Schultz All Purpose.


For more plant styling and design inspo, follow @cubehousejungle on instagram!





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