Monstera Minima: Plant Care and Growing Guide

Monstera Minima plant care

Monstera minima is a leafy, tropical houseplant with large, heart-shaped, split leaves. As an easy-care indoors vining plant, a potted Monstera minima is ideal for adding an exotic touch to any room. Monstera minima has lobed leaves that dangle elegantly over hanging baskets or grow up a supporting frame or moss pole. The Monstera minima has smaller leaves and shorter growth than other houseplants that are called Monstera.

This article is a complete guide to growing the Monstera minima at home. At the end of the article, you’ll find out how to resolve various issues with this split-leaved tropical plant.

How to Care for Monstera Minima

To care for Monstera minima, grow the vining plant in bright, indirect light. Monstera minima performs best growing in well-drained, peaty soil. Water when the top layer of soil is dry. Grow the Monstera-like plant in temperatures between 68°F to 80°F (16°C – 27°C) and humidity of around 50 percent.

What is Monstera Minima?

Monstera minimma light requirements

Monstera minima plant

Monstera minima is a species of plant in the genus Rhaphidophora and family Araceae. The characteristic identifying feature of Monstera minima is the cordate (heart-shaped) leaves with deep lobes or splits. The large glossy green Monstera minima leaves grow on trailing stems, making the plant suitable for hanging baskets or pots.

Pictures of Monstera minima show that the leafy foliage looks remarkably similar to Monstera deliciosa. Botanically, the Monstera minima plant is known as Rhaphidophora tetrasperma and also goes by the names Ginny Philodendron, Mini Monstera, or Philodendron Piccolo.

In its native habitat, Monstera Minima grows in the understory of lush, tropical rainforests in Southeast Asia. The warm temperatures and humid environment encourage the Monstera minima to grow rapidly. The creeping vines can grow on the forest floor or up tree trunks.

In its native environment, Monstera minima grows up to 12 ft. (3.6 m) high. As an indoor tropical potted houseplant, the Minima will mature at a height around 4 or 5 ft. (1.2 – 1.5 m) tall.

Monstera minima is a popular houseplant from the tropics. You can grow the split-leaved plant outdoors if you live in USDA zones 10 through 12. The plant isn’t tolerant of cold, and its minimum temperature is 55°F (12°C).

Monstera Minima Leaves

The reason why Monstera minima is such a popular houseplant is due to its leaves. The glossy green oval or cordate leaves have characteristic wide splits on the margins. This gives the Monstera minima the look of a Swiss cheese plant.

The shiny ornamental leaves of Monstera minima can grow up to 12” (30 cm) long and have 6” (15 cm) split lobes. However, Monstera plants growing indoors in pots tend to have smaller leaves than those growing wild.

Compared to large-leaved monsteras, the Monstera minima has smaller leaves and more compact growth. This is the reason the plant is named mini Monstera.

Monstera Minima Care Guide

Let’s look in more detail at the best way to grow an exotic Monstera minima indoors to add greenery and a tropical feel to your interior.

Where to Grow Monstera Minima

Monstera minima is an ideal ornamental foliage plant for growing in a sunny room. Its trailing stems and leathery split leaves mean it’s ideal for growing in hanging baskets. Or you could put the monstera pot on a high shelf to let the tropical vines dangle and provide a visual accent.

You can also grow a Monstera minima as a table plant or floor plant. The climbing stems need some support, so a moss pole or frame is ideal for twining the vines to create visual height with bushy, tropical foliage.

Monstera Minima Light Requirements

Monstera minima grows best in a bright room protected from direct sunlight. The intense sun’s rays can scorch the glossy split leaves, causing them to turn yellow. Although the Monstera minima adapts to shaded conditions, it won’t grow as fast, and the leaves will be smaller.

Ideally, the Monstera minima should be in an east- or west-facing room. If the tropical plant is near a south-facing window, protect it from direct sunlight behind a sheer curtain.

Suppose you notice that the long Monstera minima vines become leggy with sparse foliage. In that case, it’s probably a sign that it’s suffering in the shade. To encourage better growth, move the Monstera to a brighter spot.

The Best Soil for Growing Monstera Minima Houseplants

Monstera minima thrives in a loose, well-draining organically-rich, peaty soil mix. To make the best soil for monsteras, mix two parts peat moss, one part compost, and one part perlite. This fertile yet airy potting mix is ideal because it provides nutrients, retains moisture, and drains well.

You can also buy a commercial potting mix for houseplants and amend it to improve drainage. Perlite is a popular soil amendment that improves water flow through the soil. You can also use a combination of bark chips, coarse gravel, or pumice to enhance the soil structure.

The goal of creating the ideal monstera plant soil is for water to drain freely but not dry out too quickly.

To keep a Monstera minima indoor plant growing healthy, it’s vital to refresh the potting soil every other year. This allows you to replenish nutrients in the soil and check for signs of root rot.

How to Water Monstera Minima Plants

Water Monstera minima about once a week in spring and summer and once every two weeks in winter. Before watering, it’s vital to check the potting soil for moisture. Ideally, the top 2” (5 cm) of potting soil should be dry before drenching it and allowing it to drain.

Like many tropical houseplants, the Monstera minima can’t thrive in soggy, waterlogged soil. So, always allow the soil to dry partially between waterings.

The best houseplant watering technique is the soak and dry method. To water a Monstera Minima, poke your finger in the soil to check the top layer is dry. Pour filtered, room-temperature water evenly in the soil until it drains from the bottom. Allow excess water to drain, then put the Monstera back in a bright location to grow.

Monstera Minima Growth Rate

Monstera minima has a relatively fast growth rate and may grow up to 15” (40 cm) in a season. However, indoor conditions must be ideal for the Minima plant to grow rapidly. It can take five to ten years for Monstera minima to reach its mature height of 5 ft. (1.5 m) indoors.

Low light and humidity can affect its growth rate.

Monstera Minima Temperature Guide

The best temperature range for growing Monstera minima is between 68°F and 80°F (16°C – 27°C). Native to warm, tropical forests, the Monstera minima doesn’t perform well in the cold. For best growth, keep the split-leaf plant away from drafts or heating vents. The minimum temperature of Monstera minima is 55°F (12°C).

Monstera minima grows outside in USDA zones 10 through 12. If you take the exotic foliage plant outdoors in summer, ensure the plant grows in dappled sunlight where there’s plenty of air circulation. Bring the plant indoors when temperatures drop to 55°F (12°C).

Monstera Minima Humidity Requirements

Monstera minima thrives in relative humidity around 50 or 60 percent. Adequate humidity helps the Monstera to grow faster. However, the adaptable tropical plant will also grow well in lower humidity. A sign that the air is too dry is if the large lobed leaves start to curl.

The good news is that you don’t have to turn your room into a tropical, humid jungle. Placing the Monstera minima on a pebble tray with water will help increase air moisture around the plant. Or you could use a room humidifier to boost humidity.

Should you mist a Monstera minima leaves? Misting is an excellent way to add moisture to the leaves. If you wipe them with a damp cloth, you’ll also keep the shiny, leathery leaves free from dirt. However, misting monstera leaves is not a long-term solution to address its humidity needs.

Monstera Minima Fertilizer Needs

Monstera minima benefits from regular fertilization. Apply a diluted, balanced fertilizer for houseplants every four weeks to boost the soil’s nutrient content. Or you could apply a slow-release fertilizer once every four months. Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions, and never over-fertilize the plant.

To keep your Monstera minima healthy, flush the soil every three months to avoid a buildup of mineral salts. Over-fertilization can cause the shiny exotic Monstera leaves to develop brown spots.

How to Prune Mini Monstera (Monstera Minima) Houseplants

Monstera minima has few pruning needs. The only time you need to cut off the trailing vines is to remove dead or dying foliage or reduce leggy growth. To protect the Minima plant’s health, never prune more than 25 percent of growth. Snip off stems just below a node to encourage bushier plant growth.

After pruning a Monstera minima, you’ll have plenty of leafy vines that you can use to propagate a new exotic houseplant plant.

Propagating Monstera Minima

Monstera minima propagation is extremely easy. To propagate the plant, trim healthy vines that have at least three nodes on them and three or four leaves. Put the stem cutting in a jar of water to allow roots to grow. Change the water daily. When the roots are 1” (2.5 cm) long, you can plant the propagated Monstera in fresh potting soil.

Alternatively, you can place a Monstera minima stem cutting directly in a light, fertile potting soil mix to root the new plant. In this case, it’s vital to keep the plant sealed in a plastic bag and the soil moist for a few weeks. After this time, the stem should be rooted, and you can grow the Monstera minima as usual.

How to Repot Monstera Minima

It’s a good idea to repot a Monstera minima once every two or three years. Repotting tropical houseplants refreshes the soil, allows you to check for root rot, and encourages growth if you increase pot size.

To repot a Monstera minima, always use fresh potting soil. Remove the root ball and shake off excess dirt. Then half fill a new, slightly larger container with a light, aerated potting mix. Place the monstera plant at the same height as before and fill in the remaining space with soil.

Here are some tell-tale signs it’s time to repot a Monstera minima:

  • Roots are poking out the pot’s drainage holes
  • Water drains slowly or pools on the soil’s surface
  • The plant’s growth has slowed down in the growing season
  • It’s easy to remove the plant from the pot because it’s rootbound

Is Monstera Minima Toxic to Cats and Dogs?

Monstera minima—like all plants in the family Acracea—contains substances toxic to dogs and cats. Plants such Monstera, Philodendron, and Rhaphidophora contain insoluble calcium oxalates. Cats or dogs that ingest plant leaves or stems can show signs of mouth swelling, excessive drooling, or vomiting.

Pests Affecting Monstera Minima Growth

Spider mites are the most common houseplant pest affecting Monstera minima growth. The first sign of a spider mite infestation is thin web-like strands dangling from leaves or stems. After a time, you may notice webbing under leaves or tiny spider-like pests crawling around.

Get rid of spider mites from a Monstera minima with neem oil. Mix 2 tsp. neem oil with 1 tsp. dish soap in a quart (1 l) of warm water in a spray bottle. Shake well to combine the ingredients. Liberally spray the plant’s foliage with the neem oil solution and allow it to dry. Repeat every week to get rid of bugs from your Monstera minima.

Related reading: How to use neem oil as a natural bug spray.

Diseases Affecting Monstera Minima Growth

Fungal root rot is a common disease affecting Monstera minima plants if you overwater them. Thankfully, Monstera minima is resistant to many diseases. But watering too often causes the roots to decay and rot. Extensive root rot can eventually kill your exotic houseplant.

To avoid root rot, always water the Monstera minima when the soil dries partially. The potting soil around the root area should be constantly moist but never soggy. Allowing some of the potting soil to dry helps to prevent overwatering.

If root rot affects a Monstera minima, it’s worth checking that the potting soil is not overly compacted. Rootbound plants or poorly draining soil can also cause moisture issues that lead to root rotting.

Monstera Minima Care — FAQs

Despite its low-maintenance care, Monstera minima can show signs of stress. Here are solutions to common growing problems that Monstera plants can have.

Why are Monstera Minima leaves not splitting?

A lack of sunlight is often why Monstera minima leaves may not develop their characteristic deep lobes. New leaves emerge as small, heart-shaped blades with smooth margins and no splits. As the plant grows, Monstera minima requires plenty of bright, indirect sunlight for the leaves to split.

Why are Monstera Minima leaves curling?

The large split leaves of Monstera minima can curl due to watering issues—either underwatering or overwatering. If you notice Monstera leaf curling, check your watering schedule and only water when the soil is partially dry.

Additionally, heat, pests, low humidity, or outgrowing pot can stress the Monstera minima and cause its large lobed leaves to curl.

My Monstera Minima leaves are turning brown, what does that mean?

Brown spots on the Monstera minima leaves are usually due to a buildup of fertilizer in the soil. So, it may be best to flush the potting mix to help new leaves grow and prevent existing ones from turning brown. Overwatering can also result in root rot and brown leaves.

After resolving the growing issue, you may need to prune heavily damaged leaves. However, if the brown markings on the decorative leaves are small, you could leave them alone.

Why is my mini Monstera dying?

Root rot caused by overwatering usually kills Monstera minima. Suppose your ornamental tropical plant leaves start drooping, develop black mushy stems, or have yellow leaves. In that case, it’s crucial to check the roots’ health. Remove the plant and trim off any brown or mushy roots.

If there are plenty of healthy roots, you can replant the Monstera minima in fresh potting soil. If root rot is extensive, you may have to propagate a new monstera and discard all the diseased plant parts.

Why is my Monstera Minima leaning?

A Monstera minima that starts to droop or lean over is usually showing signs of insufficient sunlight or underwatering. If the soil feels dry, give the plant a thorough watering to help revive it. If you suspect the Monstera has been in the shade too long, move it to a brighter location but out of direct sunlight.

How often should my Monstera Minima grow new leaves?

Monstera minima should produce a new leaf about every four to six weeks. The Minima plant is a relatively fast-growing plant in ideal conditions. New leaves tend to be small and take a few seasons to develop splits.

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