Caging the Monster[a]

cmwren(Mid-Atlantic Coast, z7)June 20, 2012

Yay! Big Momma Monstera survived another winter inside. Um, uh-oh, Big Momma survived another winter with relatively little, for us, leaf drop. (I think the water trays--I set the tree philodendrons' pots in under-the-bed boxes filled with a couple of inches of water--may actually have helped.) She'd already outgrown my small front deck last year, so this year I relocated her to the larger side deck. (She's spread out across at least eight feet in this shot, and is tied to the bench and deck rail.)

In the wild, these plants climb huge rain forest trees. I'd had to tie her to the ceiling over the winter to keep her upright (she's just a wee bit top-heavy); the poles I'd been using in her pot weren't keeping up. So I built her her very own trellis!

Ta-da! That was the easy part. Now I just need to repot her. ::shudder::

(And, perhaps, I could polish the copper. Someday. At the very least, take off the UPC tags.)

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Tiffany, purpleinopp GardenWeb, Z8b Opp, AL(8B AL)

I really like that! Quite attractive, and your plant is awesome. How long have you had "her?"

    Bookmark   June 20, 2012 at 4:24PM
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stonesriver(6B Tennessee)

What a wonderful idea: lovely and practical.



    Bookmark   June 20, 2012 at 5:13PM
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cmwren(Mid-Atlantic Coast, z7)

Thanks! It turned out much better than I expected. I hadn't planned on going quite so fancy, but once I have the pipe cutter in my hand, I get carried away... Good thing I had a goodly stash of pipe tucked away.

I think I've had Momma about five years now. More or less. (Somewhere I have a photo from the first or second year I had her; will have to check the date.) To be fair, she was a rather good-sized specimen to start with--had a nice dense crown of stems and leaves already splitting, unlike most Monsteras from box stores that are only made up of one or two very young plants (small, heart shaped leaves).

She loves our hot, humid, South Jersey summers (and my more attentive watering during them) and the dappled sun/shade of my yard. One of these years I will not be able to haul her in and out of the house, never mind up and down the stairs. (She and my other giant philos get a big east-facing window on the second floor all to themselves for the winter.) I don't have the heart to chop her up, which I could do as she has a good set of aerial roots along most of her stems. Well, to be truthful, I don't have enough room for more giant plants! *lol*

    Bookmark   June 20, 2012 at 5:13PM
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That looks very nice. Can you take the setup inside in the fall? You could take off the UPC tags, but as for polishing, it looks perfect the way it is. If it's shiny it will detract from Momma.

Yes, I think she needs a bigger pot. It would be really nice if you had a little help with that project to protect the plant itself from damage and yourself as well. It will be hard to move around, so use a dolly if you have one.

Thanks for sharing. Beautiful plant, the result of your TLC.

    Bookmark   June 20, 2012 at 9:29PM
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That is a very attractive set up. Unfortunately they do keep growing so will come the time when you must cut. Otherwise you'll never get her into the house and Mother Nature will reduce her size for her. Think of it as a haircut, a session with a beautician. And your bound to get offers for the trimmings.

    Bookmark   June 20, 2012 at 10:51PM
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cmwren(Mid-Atlantic Coast, z7)

Thanks for the compliments and good advice!

I'm thinking that potting up will actually be easier with the trellis to support most of the plant... I know where I can get my hands on a dolly for the the fall move. And luckily, she doesn't seem to mind that I let her dry out in order to be able to pick her up. Bundling her up in a sheet (like you'd wrap a tree) will help get her up the stairs safely. (Hmm, now I'm envisioning ramps and pulley systems... Might be easier to build a conservatory!)

Nothing on the trellis is actually joined permanently, so I can take it down to move it, and I have about three more feet of available vertical space (it's currently about five feet tall) to add on for future growth! *lol*

Might have to agree that shiny copper could take away from Momma's looks. Besides, the dark pipe had been stored outside for years and it would take too much elbow grease (not to mention vinegar and salt) to get it to sparkle again. ;o)

    Bookmark   June 21, 2012 at 4:38PM
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