Monstera Peru care is easily, which is kind of surprising considering this plant is somewhat rare! Monsteras are gorgeous plants in general, but the color and finish of the gorgeous Peru’s leaves make this climbing stunner an excellent addition to your houseplant family. Also learn how to root Monstera Peru cuttings to propagate more plants.
What is Monstera Peru and is it easy to care for?
The Monstera Karstenianum, more commonly known as the Monstera Peru, is a rare plant that looks like a Monstera but acts like a succulent. It doesn’t grow very large, and has vibrant glossy, green leaves that feel leathery to the touch. They also have a gorgeous deep green veining on the leaves.
The more mature the plant gets, the deeper and darker the veins will get, appearing like an intricate carving. Unlike the Monstera Deliciosa and Monstera Adansonii, this variety doesn’t have any holes or fenestrations (splits) in the leaves.
The Monstera Peru is a hemiepiphyte, which means it lives part of its life in nature independently, and the other part growing atop other plants and trees. And it’s almost as if this plant was designed to be a houseplant; it is low-maintenance, doesn’t require much special attention, and looks stunning.
Where can I find a Monstera Peru?
Your only struggle will be getting your hands on one! I had never seen one in person until I decided to treat myself to a little nursery hopping down the road. I went to Seasons in Gaithersburg, MD—one of my favorite nurseries in the DC area. They always have an amazing selection but the prices are usually a little out of my reach.
However, I saw they had a very reasonably priced Monstera Peru, and it was absolutely gorgeous. I had to snag it—it was only $35! They had ones for $50, too, but I found a $35 one in the bunch that was the same size as most of the $50 ones. Yay!
Costa Farms “Green Galaxy” Monstera Perus
Costa Farms is including Monstera Perus in their 2021 Trending Tropical collection, but I’ve yet to get my hands on one or even see one in person. The photos I’ve seen are of very full, healthy plants, so I’m dying to see one in the wild! Keep in mind that if it’s a Costa Farms Peru, it will be labeled as “Green Galaxy.”
Similar to how they’ve branded scindapsus treubii moonlight as “Sterling Silver.” Since Costa Farms is such a giant in the plant world, I do expect this name to start catching on and become associated with this plant more and more. I kind of love it—Green Galaxy 🙂
Where does Monstera Peru come from?
Monstera Peru got its name from a rumor that it originated in Peru. Pretty straightforward, ha. Many nurseries, however, list its place of origin as Venezuela. There’s a good chance it came from Venezuela, seeing as there are millions of hectares of the Amazon rainforest there.
Most Monstera plants, monstera meaning “monstrous” or “gigantic,” originated in the jungles of Thailand or in tropical regions of America. The Monstera Peru is native to subtropical, jungle environments. It is a fast-growing climber that has shallow roots, so as an indoor plant, it will do best with a stake or totem to climb.
The average indoor plant is said to grow to be about a foot in height, but I kind of side eye that. I got my plant at about 6 inches tall and it has already shot up another new leaf, so we’ll see how tall it gets! Its leaves can grow large, in true Monstera fashion, reaching almost half a foot long.
How much light does a Monstera Peru need?
Light is an important part of Monstera Peru care. Like most tropical plants, it enjoys bright, indirect light. Remember that in nature they grow under the dense rainforest canopy, so the bright light is filtered by the time it gets to them. A north-facing window will give it enough sunlight without scorching the leaves.
However, it can tolerate a couple hours of direct sunlight in the morning. I have mine in a south-facing window, but I will likely move it this summer when the days get longer and brighter. Too much bright direct light will damage it. Additionally, the more sunlight it gets, the more you’ll have to water it.
Watering a Monstera Peru
And since I brought up water, I’ll go ahead and tackle that topic. As a jungle plant, it will not do well with dry, crumbly soil, nor with soggy soil. The trick is finding the balance! You can expect to have to water it about twice a week while it is actively growing in the spring and summer.
But always check that the top 2 inches of soil is completely dry before doing so. Otherwise, you risk overwatering the plant and causing root rot—just like other monsteras. A pot with a drainage hole is also a good idea for this reason. Keep your Peru happy!
Monstera Peru care and soil needs
The soil you use will also affect its watering requirements. If you choose well-draining soil, you can water your Monstera Peru more often without worrying that it’ll become saturated. Monstera Peru requires moist, rich soil with good drainage.
A light, barky, soil mixture will work just fine. If you want to make your own, you can use compost, mulch, perlite, and shredded bark or peat moss. For most of my similar plants, I use a high-quality indoor potting soil with orchid bark and some peat moss added in. Occasionally some extra perlite. And worm castings for extra nutrients!
The one thing you have to watch out for is compacted soil. You have to keep its soil loose to allow oxygen to pass through to the roots, otherwise it’ll “choke” your Monstera Peru, stunting its growth. If you notice your soil beginning to easily cake and shrink, even with watering, it’s probably not the best soil for your plant.
Temperature & humidity
All monsteras thrive in warm temperatures, so keeping your plant indoors won’t be an issue. Their ideal temperature range is 65 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit, which is pretty warm. Our house gets pretty cold in the winter, and it’s fine, it just doesn’t grow as quickly or need as much water.
Sudden drops or spikes in temperature will shock the plant and could damage it permanently. The Monstera Peru is not frost tolerant at all, and it could die. Keep it away from cold windows and drafts.
It’s no surprise that Monstera Perus love humidity, especially since they’re native to tropical environments. It’ll require more humidity than the average home has, so you might have to artificially increase the humidity near your plant if you notice browning edges or tips.
That is probably a sign that the plant isn’t getting enough humidity. You can easily increase humidity (without adding a humidifier) by placing a pebble tray with water near your plant to increase the humidity in the surrounding air. Keep in mind that the more light it receives, the more humidity it’ll require.
How do you root a Monstera Peru cutting in soil? to propagate it?
Propagating your Monstera Karstenianum with stem cuttings might be a little tricky the first time you do it, but don’t let that stop you. Make sure your plant is healthy and that you’re doing this during springtime.
Choose a stem that is about 8 inches long and has several leaf nodes. Cut just below a node and remove only the bottom leaves. Then, you have to wait for the cut to callus over, so leave the cutting in a warm place for a few days.
In the meantime, prepare a pot with fresh potting soil mixed with a little fertilizer to kickstart the process. Then, plant the stem cutting about 4 inches deep in the soil, calloused-side down. Pack the soil in a bit to give it support.
Keep the cutting in a warm place out of direct sunlight. Water on a regular basis, keeping the soil moist but not soggy. You can expect roots to develop in about 3 to 4 weeks. It will take less time the more ideal the growing conditions are. It will take forever in the winter. 🙂
Can you propagate a cutting in moss, LECA, or water?
Yes! You can also ditch the soil and try to root a Monstera Peru cutting in moist sphagnum moss and perlite instead. That way you can monitor root development. Or try LECA propagation! I haven’t done water propagation with Monstera Peru, but I have done it very successfully with Monstera Deliciosa and Monstera Adansonii.
How do you clean dusty leaves on a Monstera Peru?
Since the Monstera Peru leaves can get pretty large and have a neat-looking texture on them, you might notice them starting to collect dust as a houseplant. If you have your peru in a plant with drainage holes, simply wash off the leaves with a faucet or in the shower when you water it.
If it’s not time to water it, you can use a damp microfiber cloth. Spritz in a bit of heavily diluted neem oil for its pest control properties and just a hair of extra shine. I have a whole post about how I clean houseplant leaves you can check out.
Is this plant toxic to pets?
Monsteras in general are unfortunately toxic to pets, and that includes Monstera Peru. They contain calcium oxalates that can lead to swelling, burning, vomiting, and a variety of gastrointestinal issues. Keep your monsteras away from your pets or in a glass-enclosed cabinet if your kitties are leaf munchers. See my post on pet-safe houseplants for more.