Monstera is not just Monstera. The crooked window leaf Monkey Leaf is conquering many a living room and is becoming a real trend plant. Everything you need to care for the Monstera obliqua below.

window leaf with “monkey mask”

The Crooked Window Leaf or Monkey Leaf is also commercially available under the names Monstera obliqua, Monstera adansonii, Monkey Mask or Swiss Cheese Plant. This is a smaller brother of Monstera deliciosa. The windowed leaves are also typical of the Monstera obliqua. However, they are much smaller. Features of the Monkey Leaf are

  • a liana-like growth
  • fleshy aerial roots
  • initially soft light green leaves
  • later formation of leaf breakthroughs
  • however, leaf margins remain closed
  • Leaf size 30 to 40 cm
  • Leaves stalked and heart-shaped
  • Growth height 50 to 300 cm
  • overhanging creepers

With good care, the arum plant can also form white flowers. Incidentally, these appear in a flask-like inflorescence. It is enclosed in a large bract. After flowering, a flask-like infructescence develops from this, consisting of brown berries. The Monstera obliqua is known for its air-purifying effect. It is relatively undemanding and therefore ideal for beginners. However, there are a few things to keep in mind when it comes to maintenance.

Note: There is a cute story surrounding the plant’s name. In the jungle, a researcher is looking for unknown plants and spots a monkey holding a leaf in front of its head. This has the effect of a mask.


The right choice of location is very important for good growth of the Monstera obliqua. Since the plant has its origins in the tropical regions of Central and South America, it needs an evenly warm spot throughout the year. For good growth, it places the following requirements on its location:

  • Temperatures between 18 and 30 degrees
  • bright, sunny to semi-shady place
  • no direct sunlight
  • light morning and evening sun as well as winter sun is tolerated
  • high humidity
  • no draft

The plant also thrives in a dark corner of the room. However, it grows very slowly there and the leaves remain small and their typical hole formation is inhibited. In the hot season, make sure that the Monstera obliqua is not in the hot summer sun. The distance to the window should then be at least one meter.

Note: Monkey Leaf can be pulled upright. Then the Monstera needs a climbing aid, where the tendrils are guided and fastened. This can be a moss stick. In addition, it is also well suited as a traffic light plant.

Avoid waterlogging

A bit of finesse is required when pouring. These plants do not tolerate waterlogging and also no complete dryness of the ball. If the root ball has dried up to 80 percent, it must be watered. It is therefore important to pay attention to the correct watering during care:

  • Let the surface of the soil dry slightly between waterings
  • Use room temperature soft water
  • decalcify very hard water
  • water thoroughly until water runs out of drainage holes
  • Avoid waterlogging

During the hot summer season, the plants can safely stand in a saucer with water for a day or two, but no longer, otherwise damage can occur.

Note: The first signs of waterlogging are root rot and brown to black leaves.

Nutrient and humus rich substrate

Furthermore, care must be taken to ensure that the correct substrate is used. The choice should always fall on a compost-based soil without peat. This comes very close to the conditions in the natural habitat of the plants. Ready-to-use soil mixtures for houseplants or potted plants, as well as substrates for herbs and vegetables, can preferably be used. Nutrients are already contained here in a balanced ratio. The earth should be loose and, if necessary, enriched with expanded clay. This monstera loves it

  • slightly sandy to loamy
  • moderately dry to moderately moist
  • rich in humus and nutrients
  • pH from slightly acidic to neutral

However, the Monstera Monkey Leaf does not necessarily have to be planted in soil. It is excellent for hydroponics where expanded clay is used as a substrate.

Have high nutrient consumption

The Monstera obliqua has a high nutrient consumption during the growth phase, so regular fertilizer applications are necessary:

  • Fertilize from April to September
  • Administration every 14 days
  • every two months in winter
  • Use of special liquid fertilizer for indoor plants
  • alternatively use long-term fertilizer in the form of sticks, pellets or granules
  • Give long-term fertilizer in spring and summer
  • no fertilization in the first year after purchase

Create high humidity

Since these are tropical plants, they need high humidity. Especially in the warm season or during the heating period you have to pay attention to this. It is then necessary

  • Spray or shower plants at least once a week
  • Use of lukewarm, lime-free water
  • alternatively set up humidifiers
  • next to it, clean the leaves regularly with a damp cloth
  • possibly use fresh banana peel
  • Wipe leaves with damp side

To achieve an increase in humidity, the pot can also be placed in a bowl filled with stones and water. The roots themselves must not come into contact with the water. The only thing that needs to be refilled here is water on a regular basis.

Tip: The humidity in the kitchen or bathroom is particularly high. The Monstera Monkey Leaf feels quite comfortable here, provided there is enough light.


These plants grow relatively quickly with good care. When the first roots start to protrude from the pot’s drainage holes, a new pot is needed. However, repotting should also be considered if growth is stunted for a long period of time or if water uptake is prevented. That can easily be checked. To do this, the root ball is removed from the pot. Most of the time, a dense network of white roots appears without any soil attachments, in other words the plant needs new soil and a larger pot. It should be noted

  • transplant annually
  • best time in spring
  • Pot should be only 5 cm larger
  • pour 3 cm layer of expanded clay for drainage
  • then insert substrate and plant
  • water vigorously
  • put back in the old place
  • do not fertilize for the next two months
  • do not repot in the first year after purchase

If you don’t want the plant to get bigger, growth can be slowed down by choosing a smaller pot. Another option is not to repot every year, but only to remove the top layer of soil in the pot and replace it with fresh substrate.

Easily tolerates pruning measures

If the Monkey Leaf becomes too sprawling or if only individual shoots disturb it, it can be cut back. The shoots can be cut back to the desired length or removed entirely. The plant drives out again at interfaces. Sharp and disinfected pruning shears must be used for cutting. The cut shoots can then be used for propagation. But be careful, never prune the aerial roots, because on the one hand they serve as a climbing aid and on the other hand for additional absorption of nutrients and water. If necessary, aerial roots can be diverted into the soil substrate. Here they then develop into normal earth roots.

easily propagated

Propagation can be done via offshoots. For this purpose, 20 cm long shoots are cut in the spring. These should have at least one leaf node, two leaves, and an aerial root. The cut is made with a sharp and disinfected secateurs one centimeter below an aerial root. There are two options for breeding:

  • Leave shoots to dry for at least an hour
  • only then stick in a pot with potting soil
  • Cover whole shoots and leaf buds with soil
  • only leaf should protrude from the ground
  • water well and keep moist
  • place in a bright place at 20 to 25 degrees
  • after 4 to 8 weeks the first leaves appear
  • Use Soil mixture of sand and seed soil
  • this promotes root formation

Alternatively, the cutting can also be rooted in a glass of water:

  • Set up glass in a bright place at 25 degrees
  • Change water twice a week
  • first roots visible after about 3 to 4 weeks
  • Then plant the cuttings in soil

Diseases & Pests

This type of Monstera is very robust and not particularly susceptible to disease. Eye spot disease can occasionally occur. Signs of this are brown spots with a yellow halo mostly on the leaves. These should then be cut off and disposed of immediately. If there is no improvement, only fungicides can help. The Monstera obliqua is also usually largely spared from pests. An infestation with spider mites and scale insects can only occur if the heating air is dry . Regular showering and spraying of the leaves can prevent this. In addition, there are some care mistakes that should be avoided such as

  • yellow leaves or black leaf edges when waterlogged and
  • brown leaves with cracks at too low temperatures

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *