Sunday, 6 September 2009

poor monster plant

My only houseplant is a gigantic Monstera deliciosa, also known as the Swiss cheese plant.  I prefer to call it the monster plant because it has absolutely thrived on neglect.  If you're really good at killing houseplants and you want something big, lush, and tropical, get one of these.  The only way to hurt it is to water it too much, which I did the first month or two after I bought it two years ago.  But to give you an idea, when I watered it too much the potting mix grew mold but the monster plant didn't even blink.

http://www.alexareynolds.com/garden09/Monstera.JPGHowever, the monster plant met its nemesis about a month ago.  After generally ignoring it for two years, the cats (mostly Percival) suddenly decided it made an excellent toy and proceeded to shred every leaf that was low enough to grab.  I think he got the idea from attacking the fig tree

That's why it's looking sad and wilty in this photo.  The top lucious leaves are what the whole plant used to look like, but the lower leaves are shredded or completely pulled off.  And there's the primary suspect returning to the scene of the crime.

http://www.alexareynolds.com/garden09/Monstera2.JPGAfter some consultation on Ozgrow forum, I was advised that they do bounce back from pruning so I cut the better part of three branches off.  They're actually the best parts of the plants, strong and healthy, so I've put them in a bucket of water to see if they'll strike as cuttings to make new plants.  I'll have to give them away as the last thing I need are more monster plants for the cats to shred.  You can see how interested they were in the carnage.

And finally the monster plant got moved to a new home on top of the filing cabinet.  It looks so small and sad now but I'm hoping it'll put out some strong new growth soon.  And though the cats can pretty easily jump up there, I'm hoping they're not dextrous enough to try to bat at the leaves from such a precarious perch.  They're no ballerinas after all.
http://www.alexareynolds.com/garden09/Monstera3.JPG
Oh poor little monster plant, I know you'll survive!


2 comments:

kee and fi said...

hello there! i'm looking for as much info on growing indoor plants as possible. this looks great - can you readily buy them from places (of course, like you, i TRY and avoid the B-store!!!)

Alexa said...

Yep the Monstera deliciosa is a common house plant you can buy in most garden shops. My advice is not to waste the money on a big plant as they grow pretty quickly. Get a smaller plant and be prepared to re-pot it into a larger pot after a year or two.