It’s been awhile since I last provided an update on the Monstera deliciosa seedlings that I’ve been growing for the past few months (6 to be exact). For the bulk of winter, these babies were growing indoors, while I provided about 4 hours of an LED light. I have no idea if that was enough light, but I figured less was actually better in this case. The plant typically does not enjoy strong, direct light and will thrive with bright, indirect light. That’s why they’ve been chosen as indoor plants for decades. They continue to be a trendy plant, but unlike the fiddle leaf fig tree, they’re popularity is in proportion to their ease of care (don’t sneeze next to a fiddle leaf or expect it to defoliate completely).
The seedlings have been doing fine for months now, slowly adding a leaf every few weeks or so. Each leaf seems to be broader, glossier, and thicker than the previous, however still no characteristic holes in the foliage. I expect that development to take a couple more years. Regardless, they were beginning to outgrow their pots. After awhile, soil will begin to compact and recede from the base of the plant, making for a wobbly appearance. I wanted to correct that, provide fresh soil, and a much larger space for the seedlings to grow for the next year. The beginning of spring seems like the perfect time to correct all those issues.
Here’s a group shot of all the Monsteras growing with my Ibervillea tenuisecta seedlings making a cameo toward the bottom of the image. Good color from my estimation and good height. There’s one or two leaves that look possibly burned, so I was always careful not to expose them to inordinate amounts of light. Unpotting anything is really like opening presents on Christmas–you really begin to get a much better picture of the health of a plant. Roots that disintegrate or are exceptionally brown/black in appearance are in the process of rotting. Remove those roots until you find healthy growth. Luckily, I didn’t have to cut any roots.
As I de-potted them, I saw something that I thought was kinda cool. You can actually still see the shell of the remaining seed pod! It’s completely hollow now that the plant has grown out of it.
The plants were not pot-bound, but still had decent development and looked to me like they could enjoy a soil refresh and a larger home. I worked on a soil mixture that I knew would retain moisture, remain airy, and provide decent organic nutrition. Here’s what I went with:
- 1 Part top soil
- 1 Part general garden soil
- 1 Part compost
- (Recommended) 1 Part perlite
This is a relatively rich mixture and it’s not something I would typically use for my plants (especially succulents). But these were growing fast, and seemed to enjoy the organic matter in the previous mixture. If they retain too much water, I would add more perlite or look for a peat-less mixture. You could even do a gritty mix, but expect to provide waterings every couple days during the growing season. I like to mix inside a plastic tub and then do the planting inside the tub so that when you spill soil, you’re able to keep using it. It also helps minimize the mess on the patio!
Now that we’re inching into spring and gaining more light each day, I was able to move some of my succulents outside and the Monsteras will now occupy their former spot. This is one of the best areas for light in my house. Really, it’s somewhat wasted on the Monsteras, because it’s South-facing. I have the blinds drawn somewhat during the day so the light is filtered. During a cloudy period, I open the blinds and let the Monsteras bask in that sweet, sweet filtered light.
When you’re growing with seeds, you end up with a lot of plants. Some will die and some will go on to become adult plants. Some gardeners will even cull the weakest. For my seedlings, I choose plastic pots because they help minimize moisture loss, which tends to be the number one reason seedlings die. They’re also much lighter than clay, which makes a difference when you’re working with multiples. Many nurseries actually have an abundance of these plastic pots that they either recycle or give away. As a seed grower, this is your best bet to find free pots for all your plants! Forage and don’t break the bank!