If you want to add some variety to your plant collection, the highly unique Monstera obliqua plant is an excellent option. It has a classic green look, but the leaves provide a modern feel.
Unfortunately, taking care of this plant is challenging, and the leaves can be fragile. So you’ll want to learn a bit about its care before you take one on.
What is Monstera Obliqua?
Monstera oblique is a tropical plant native to Central and South America and got its name from Latin. The word ‘monstrum,’ meaning abnormal or unusual, is where the name Monstera originated.
It’s a green climbing plant that is part of the Monstera species, which includes 45 varieties—but obliqua is one of the rarest varieties.
These plants have aerial roots and are evergreen hemi-epiphytes. The roots develop in the soil and help the plants climb trees.
It’s well known for its perforated leaves, which have a specific structure that appears to have holes. It’s typical for one leaf to have about three open spaces, and this is a very slow-growing plant.
The beneficial thing about this variety is that it’s very resistant to low levels of water in its soil. So if you’re someone that frequently forgets to water their houseplants but has the best intentions, this may be the plant for you.
Monstera Obliqua Varieties
There are different Monstera obliqua, including:
- Monstera obliqua Colombia
- Monstera obliqua Peru
- Monstera obliqua Boliviana
- Monstera obliqua amazonas
Monstera Obliqua Peru
The “Peru” or Monstera Obliqua Peruviana is the variety most people picture when they hear Monstera obliqua—sought after by plant collectors because of its holes and fenestration.
Although much less well-known than the larger Monstera Deliciosa, this would be an excellent prize in your plant collection.
Mick Mittermeier posted a great video on YouTube detailing the history of this plant. And also only two known private collectors have mass-produced Monstera obliqua at some point (Bruce Mcalpin and Palm Hammocks), Although neither of them are selling any now.
Identification – Appearance & Description
When you get into a routine of properly taking care of your obliqua plant, you can expect it to get as large as six to ten feet tall.
The stems of this plant species grow anywhere from two to 10 millimeters in size. It will occasionally develop white berry-like fruits five to eight millimeters in diameter.
Regarding pot size, you’ll want to choose something about two inches larger than the diameter of your plant’s roots.
The leaves of this plant are very delicate. Because they have such thin sections surrounding the openings, you need to maintain a somewhat higher humidity level in the area where your plant is, especially if you’re not keeping up with watering it. Monstera obliqua leaves are extremely fenestrated as well.
In its native area, the oblique will thrive in 85 percent humidity, with temperatures fluctuating between 70 and 85 degrees. Consider frequently misting the leaves or keeping a humidifier in the area.
There is the potential for your obliqua to flower at random points during each season, but it’s not all that common for this to happen when you have your plant indoors. It is said to occur 1.5 years after germination.
However, there’s a small chance you could get a bloom or two with the right growing conditions.
Obliqua produces up to eight spadices in a cluster. Other Monstera in the family only produces two.
A spadix is a small, densely packed flower spike found on some plants. The spadix is typically surrounded by a large, leaf-like bract known as a spathe.
Fruit is an excellent way to identify the plant species and its various characteristics. However, flowers and fruit are only sometimes present.
The fruit of Monstera obliqua is a green spathe called
globose berries. The spadix turns from greenish-white to yellow. Once the blooming process is complete, the spadix becomes green, pale, and rich orange.
Mick does an excellent job of detailing this on Instagram:
Growing Monstera Obliqua
How Big Does Monstera Obliqua Get?
In its natural habitat, this tropical plant can be as large as six to ten feet in height. Unfortunately, it’s pretty challenging to achieve this size inside a home, so you may find your very mature Monstera obliqua grows to only reach about four feet tall.
The reason why this plant is so difficult to sell and grow is that it grows extremely slowly. This is one of the other reasons why Monstera adansonii is so often mislabeled as obliqua.
In an ideal environment indoors, this slow-growing plant will experience an increase of about two to five meters per year (the stem length).
However, this rate can be affected positively or negatively by humidity in the room where it’s located, too much or too little sun, soil quality, and how often you water it.
After several years, an obliqua Peru plant will produce amazing fenestrated and barely there leaves. Before that, they will look similar to an adansonii plant.
Monstera Obliqua Plant Care
USDA Hardiness Zone
This high-maintenance plant requires a good amount of ongoing attention and care. Therefore, it will do best in USDA plant hardiness zones 9b to 11.
These zones won’t have a temperature lower than 25 degrees F. This is because it’s rare to experience a freeze in these areas, even if it’s wintertime.
Wide varieties of Monsteras don’t have a lot of chlorophyll in them, which means they will require more light than other plants with higher levels.
If Monstera Obliqua doesn’t get enough light, it can stunt its growth. And, unfortunately, it can also prevent the ability to propagate the Monstera.
Ensure the light is indirect- as direct sunlight will scorch the leaves.
Despite its fragility, the obliqua doesn’t need frequent watering. However, you should water your plant approximately once or twice per week. During the summertime, when the sun is at its peak.
Once per week will suffice if it’s winter and cold/dark outside. Keep an eye on the top of the soil. Water when it becomes dry to the touch, and only use room temperature water so as not to shock the roots.
Another method to see if your plant needs water, check its leaves. If they are brownish-yellow and look dehydrated, the plant needs water.
If the leaves are dark, the plant has been overwatered. Monstera Obliqua has thin, delicate leaves that can crumble quickly if not watered properly.
If you want to increase the moisture content of your potted obliqua, you can place the entire pot in a tray of small stones. Add a little water to the rock, and small amounts of water will seep through the drainage holes in the bottom of your pot.
Temperature and Humidity
This tropical vine plant requires a temperature of at least 60 degrees Fahrenheit. But, unfortunately, it doesn’t prefer much heat over that point and doesn’t like cold.
Try to keep your indoor climate around this point; consistency is key.
Regarding humidity, you need to maintain a moisture level appropriate for your home, so you don’t face mold growth, but your obliqua will like levels around 80 percent humidity.
You can provide them with these conditions without raising the entire level of your home. For example, try misting the leaves, placing a humidifier near your plant, or using a pebble tray half-filled with water.
Placing the plant among other plants in a vivarium inside a dry home will also help maintain the humidity levels around it.
Keep your obliqua away from heat sources that could cause too dry and hot conditions. You should also keep your plant away from cold windows or doors that create a draft in your home.
This plant thrives exceptionally well when it has somewhat of an acidic environment with a pH level ranging from 6 to 6.5. In addition, your soil should be well-draining to prevent root rot.
Most growers who cultivate P. obliqua prefer to create their own unique blend of peat moss, compost, pumice, bark, and worm castings.
Peat is beneficial because it captures and stores water, allowing plants to absorb most of it.
Coconut coir is another soil water-holding component. Coir improves soil drainage while holding moisture in quick-draining soils- and decomposes slowly like peat, enabling plant roots to drain excess moisture.
You can also include some loam, which contains a mix of sand, silt, and clay particles. It is known for being fertile and having the ability to hold moisture and nutrients, which makes it ideal for plant growth.
If you’re interested in a certain obliqua, ask the seller about the plant’s current care conditions and what soil was used. Then, try to duplicate those conditions as best as you can!
A slow-release organic fertilizer is best for this plant. Both dry granular fertilizers and liquid concentrates are available. Here are some options:
- Arber Bio-Based Organic Indoor Plant Food
- Indoor Plant Food (Slow-Release Pellets) All-purpose House Plant Fertilizer
- Espoma Organic Liquid Fertilizer Concentrate For Indoor Plants
You can add some mulch to the soil to keep your soil nutrient-rich. Then, as it breaks down, it will release nutrients.
You can also use peat to increase nutrient composition and soil drainage capabilities. Luckily, the obliqua can absorb some nutrients from the air as well since it’s a climbing variety.
Choose a pot large enough to allow the roots room to grow but not so big the plant becomes suffocated.
Avoid plastic pots, as the roots of this plant are powerful and can break through the sides. Instead, opt for a clay terracotta pot, which will help to wick away moisture and prevent root rot.
Since this is a slow grower, it only needs to be repotted every few years. You can tell it’s time to repot your plant when you see roots coming out from the bottom of the pot- also an indicator of being rootbound.
Your plant may also not be draining correctly, meaning it’s time to repot your plant.
Lastly, if your plant looks too big for its pot, it’s time to repot it into a bigger pot.
You should repot into something larger, increasing the size of the container two inches at a time if you want your plant to thrive and grow in size.
To ensure you don’t damage your plant when repotting, only repot during the spring or summer when the plant is most active.
As you now know, this plant grows slowly, so you might only need to prune it a few times.
Although pruning can help the plant look healthier by removing dead leaves and allowing new ones to grow, regularly prune away dead, damaged, or wilting leaves.
Propagate Monstera Obliqua
Stem or the stolon methods can be used to propagate Monstera Obliqua. However, both of these methods require a high level of humidity.
Before you start propagating, you must carefully consider which stem or stolon cutting you want to use.
The stem or stolon must be healthy-looking with 2-3 nodes attached. These nodes are critical for new roots to appear, so they must be in good condition and undamaged.
Use a sterile pruning knife or pair of scissors to make a precise cut on the main stem. Then, dip the cut end and the nodes in the rooting hormone.
With potting soil inside, place your cutting in a pot with drainage holes. Put it somewhere bright but out of direct sunlight. Keep the soil moist.
Remember to take the plastic bag from your cutting for a few hours every few days to enable air to circulate while keeping it warm by sealing in moisture.
You should see new growth above the soil after 4-6 weeks. You may take the plastic bag off and water as you would usually when this occurs.
A technique called stolon propagation takes into account the original mother plant and all of the clones that were created from stolons from the same genetic individual.
This procedure may produce a healthy cutting from stems, which can then be planted and maintained in a small pot until it begins to grow.
Periodically, your plant will send out side branches called stolons. They usually grow without leaves but may contain nodes.
Put a small quantity of sphagnum moss or potting compost around each node after locating a healthy stolon.
Give the plant water, nourishment, and the ideal amount of humidity. As a result, little roots ought to emerge from the nodes in 4-6 weeks.
Before chopping off the stolon using sterile scissors or a sharp knife, please wait for the roots to affix to the sphagnum moss or potting soil.
After that, carefully move the plant to a pot with potting mix and maintain a high humidity level until the roots continue to grow and new growth starts.
Common Monstera Obliqua Care Problems
Toxic to Pets and Humans
All of the Monstera plant varieties are toxic to humans and pets. They contain insoluble calcium oxalate crystals that initially cause oral pain followed by swelling and vomiting when ingested.
Yellowing of Leaves
If you notice that your Monstera obliqua plant is developing several yellow leaves, this can be caused by overwatering the plant or nutritional deficiencies.
The lack of nutrients can result from too much water dilution in the soil.
There are some reasons why you may notice brown spots on your Monstera. It may be a pest infestation or disease plaguing it. You could also be under or overwatering or exposing it to too much direct sunlight.
Making the necessary changes is usually enough to prevent brown spots in the future.
Periodically inspect your plant for the presence of any pests. Some common pests that attack Monstera species include spider mites, mealybugs, and scale insects.
These pests can affect the overall health of your plant. A natural method of removing pests is wiping down the leaves of the obliqua with soapy water.
FAQ About This Houseplant
Why is the Monstera obliqua so expensive?
The rare nature of this plant is what places it on the pricier side of plant investments. In addition, they have a prolonged growth rate, so it can be challenging to propagate them.
You need to purchase one from a specialized grower who is very knowledgeable about this species.
Is there a variegated version?
Yes, there is a variegated version of this plant. It’s a very fast climber that can reach up to 20′ in length. It has much more prominent, glossier leaves with white lines throughout.
What’s the difference between a Monstera adansonii and Monstera obliqua?
You can tell the difference between these two plants by looking at the size of the leaf holes. Obliqua holes will be larger with thinner borders than adansonii.
The leaves of obliqua are also thin and fragile, whereas those of adansonii are slightly thicker and have some texture.
On a mature monstera obliqua leaf up to 90% is empty space!
Monstera obliqua is extremely rare, so you’ll most commonly have an adansonii.
What is the Monstera obliqua Peru price?
You can expect this variety to cost about $90 for a cutting and into the thousands for a substantially sized plant.
Where do I buy a Monstera obliqua?
You probably won’t run into a table of Monstera obliqua in garden centers, but you should be able to find one through an online botanical store or specialty plant shops.
Avid collectors make them available from time to time. They’re experiencing an increase in popularity, so you may not have a hard time with your search.