Monstera advice?

SarahofLaytonSeptember 16, 2012

Can anybody tell me what's happening with my monstera?

I don't know if you can see really well in the pictures, but the new stalk that's shooting up is really pale, the stem is almost white.

Thanks for any help.

Sarah

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birdsnblooms

Hi Sarah,

How much light is your Monstera getting?

New leaves are usually lighter in color, but as they mature color deepens..Same with shape. At first, your plant won't look like Monstera, but will change shape as it ages.

Toni

    Bookmark   September 16, 2012 at 2:19PM
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SarahofLayton

It sits in our front room about 7 feet from a large west facing window. I would say it gets medium to bright indirect light all day long.

    Bookmark   September 16, 2012 at 2:59PM
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birdsnblooms

Sarah...7-feet might be a little too far. Monsteras need more sun than their Philodendron relatives.

At your plants age/size, direct sun is too strong, but perhaps a little more brighter light will fill it out.

Just a thought. Would you happen to have an unobstructed east window? Toni

    Bookmark   September 16, 2012 at 3:19PM
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tapla (mid-MI z5b-6a)

How long has it been in that pot, and have you fertilized yet? With what? How long ago? What strength?

Al

    Bookmark   September 16, 2012 at 3:57PM
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SarahofLayton

Thanks Toni,

I'll search for a brighter location for it. I had it on my desk because I love it so much and like to watch it grow. I was under the impression Monstera could tolerate lower light levels. Is that why the new leaf is SO pale?

Sarah

    Bookmark   September 16, 2012 at 4:09PM
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SarahofLayton

haha, Hi Al.
3 months
about 3 times, liquid miracle gro all purpose, 8-7-6

Thanks,
Sarah

    Bookmark   September 16, 2012 at 4:15PM
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tapla (mid-MI z5b-6a)

It could be the low light, and it could be something nutritional or even related to pH, so one or more of the micro-nutrients aren't available, but I agree it's probably light. I was just fishing - thinking something might jump out at me.

Al

    Bookmark   September 16, 2012 at 4:43PM
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birdsnblooms

Sarah, new leaves can be pale green, then darken as they mature.
Your baby is a tad small, therefore needs more light for color and thickness.

Monstera babies grow semi-fast then grow at a slower pace as they age. 5+ years, etc. You'll notice the difference.

Now that winter is nearing, growth will probably slow down, depending on your location.

If your plant starts leaning, stake to a piece of wood/thin bark.

    Bookmark   September 16, 2012 at 5:09PM
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cynandjon(Z 5/6)

Is it possible the monstera is being robbed of moisture by the clay pot? They do like moisture and the clay soaks up the water. Mine has always been in a plastic pot

    Bookmark   September 23, 2012 at 12:12PM
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tapla (mid-MI z5b-6a)

I think that idea is sort of like the glass half full or glass half empty thing. By the way, there are actually 3 perspectives to that thought. The optimist sees the glass as half full, the pessimist sees the glass half empty, and the realist sees it as larger than it needs to be. ;-)

I think the idea that a clay pot robs a plant of moisture carries with it the implication that's necessarily a bad thing. It's not - it's a GOOD thing. Plantings that include your average out of the bag soil based on fine particles are usually too water-retentive for best results. That's why nearly all experienced growers (here) avoid them or amend them in an attempt to reduce the negative impact of excess water in the soil. Clay pots allow water vapor to pass through pot walls, which means air returns to the soil faster, and that provides a healthier root environment. Even in soils that don't have water retention problems, the act of more frequent watering flushes unwanted gases from the soil and pulls in fresh air as the water moves through the soil and out of the drain hole. Clay pots also allow exchange of soil gases (sulfurous compounds, CO2, methane) for fresh air, a considerable plus. They might not be pretty, but they're hard to beat from the perspective of root health.

I think pointing to the pot as a reason for a lack of moisture (in the soil) is like blaming premium fuel in our gas tank for a speeding ticket. The fuel has the potential to make the car go faster, but ultimately, who's in control? If the plant didn't get enough water, it's not the fault of the pot, it's the fault of the grower. ;-)

Al

    Bookmark   September 23, 2012 at 2:25PM
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