Monstera Borsigniana: The Complete Care Guide

Monstera borsigiana

Monstera borsigiana is a common houseplant in the United States. It is originally from Central America, growing wild in tropical forests. This beautiful green plant can reach very different heights depending on whether you grow it inside as a houseplant or outside on the lawn.

When Monstera borsigiana is a small or juvenile plant, plant lovers cherish the very dark green leaves that are heart-shaped. As the plant grows, the leaves change to have deep perforations when they mature. This plant is commonly known as the Swiss Cheese Plant by many gardeners. The growth habits in the forests are very interesting in the Monstera borsigiana. It's a vining plant that uses aerial roots to attach to and grow upward on trees. In the wild, it can grow over 50 feet tall.

It's believed that the deep serrations in the leaves allow sunlight to reach the lower leaves on the plants and that the serrations also allow water to drain through them downward to supply the roots with hydration.

How to Grow Monstera Borsigiana

monstera plant placed in the table

You can grow Monstera borsigiana in a pot inside your home, or you can plant it on the ground outside on your lawn. Inside your home in a pot, you can expect this climbing vine to reach a maximum height of 6 feet tall as a very showy and large plant indeed. If you are growing it as a houseplant, make certain you use a support pole of sphagnum moss, so the plant doesn't topple over by being top-heavy.

Light, Temperature, and Location

monstera plant beside the window

The best location for Monstera borsigiana is in an area with bright indirect light. This can be in your home close to a window that faces east, so it only gets the morning sun. It will grow without any indirect sunlight, but it will grow more slowly and reach its full potential in height. It will also grow well under lights.

The best temperature range for your tropical plant is 65 to 80 degrees F.

Can You Grow Monstera Borsigiana Outdoors?

Monstera plant

Yes, you certainly can. It does best in US hardiness zones 10 and higher, where the weather is warmer and more like its native tropical habitat. Make certain you choose a spot that will receive indirect sunlight and provide it with the stability of vertical support of some sort. You can plant it near a tree, next to a trellis, or add a support pole next to it to keep it from toppling over.

Best Soil

Hand using shovel to get soil

This beautiful tropical plant grows best in well-draining and fertile soil, such as compost. Other additions to the compost are perlite and sphagnum peat moss to help with drainage.

Water and Fertilizers

Monstera plant in a squared pot

Monstera borsigiana likes its soil to be moist but not wet. Overwatering your tropical plant will lead to it dying pretty quickly. It usually requires watering as an indoor plant about once a week, and as an outdoor plant, you should check the moisture level twice a week in a warm climate to decide if it needs watering.

A balanced fertilizer, such as 20-20-20, works best for this plant. It should be fertilized about once a month during the active growing season.



Monstera Borsigiana Care

Monstera borsigiana takes mostly the usual care, just as other houseplants or plants in your garden do. As a potted plant, you will need to repot it when it becomes rootbound, and you will need to prune it for the best health and for it to look its best.

Watering Monstera Borsigiana

Person misting water to monstera leaves

Check your indoor potted plant to see if it needs watering about once a week. You want the first top two inches of the soil to be dry to indicate that it needs hydration. Press a finger into the pot at a depth of about 2 inches or so. If the soil is moist enough, the damp soil will stick to your finger when you remove it. If it needs water when you remove your finger, no moist soil will be on it.

The amount of water depends on the size of your plant. The best idea is to have a saucer underneath the plant to catch extra water. Add water to the potted plant to the top of the pot, which should be a few inches above the soil line. Watch the water drain through the bottom drain holes in the pot and into the saucer. When the water comes out into the saucer, it has enough hydration. You may need to add water to the top of the pot more than once for this level of irrigation to occur.

For outdoor plants, you should check the soil for moisture in the same way as a houseplant about twice a week. As a general rule of thumb, plants in the ground need more water than plants in pots. Because of the warm outdoor temperatures, the moisture level will evaporate in the sunlight during the summer, so outdoor plants will need more additional irrigation to thrive. If you've recently had rain, you may not need to add additional water to your outdoor plant. Your goal is to add 1 to 2 inches of water per week to your outdoor Monstera borsigiana. This may take a bit of practice, but you will be rewarded with beautiful green foliage.

Light and Temperature Requirements of Monstera Borsigiana

Monstera plant with sunlight

The light requirements of Monstera borsigiana are for it to have filtered light if it's indoors. Direct sunlight from a window shining on it will burn the delicate leaves, but if you choose one that faces east, you must place it near a window. The morning sunlight is not as harsh on plants. You can instead grow it in the shade or under artificial lights, but this will result in it growing slower and not as tall. The lack of sunlight can also make the leaves stay heart-shaped and not develop the serrations that are its signature in appearance.

Monstera borsigiana thrives in temperatures between 65 and 80 degrees F. If the temperature drops below 60 degrees F, the plant will stop growing and eventually die. It would help if you also positioned your pot so that the air vents in your home don't blow cold air in the summer or hot air in the winter directly onto it. Since this is a tropical plant, it likes humidity. You can spray them with a water mister every few days to raise the humidity level for great growth. Misting them also keeps the leaves dust-free for healthy plants as well.

Soil Requirements of Monstera Borsigiana

Two hands holding soil

The very best soil for Monstera borsigiana is compost because it is rich in vitamins and minerals with a loamy texture so that the roots can grow strongly to support the height of the plant. Whether you grow this plant inside or outside, it's best to use 100% compost either in a pot or in your outside garden.

After using compost for your base, you can add other ingredients as needed to the soil. Perlite helps the soil drain properly and avoid "wet feet" or root rot. Sphagnum peat moss also helps with drainage as well, and it keeps the soil aerated while it retains moisture.

Monstera Borsigiana Fertilizing

Woman spraying fertilizer to monstera

Your Monstera borsigniana should get a dose of liquid fertilizer once a month from spring through summer and fall. A good fertilizer to use is 20-20-20, which is balanced in the nutrients. This type of nitrogen-rich fertilizer stimulates your beautiful leaves to grow large and dark green.

Monstera Borsigniana Pruning

Monstera plant in a clear jar

Pruning your plant will help keep its shape, and you can prune it back, so it doesn't get too large for your indoor space. Damaged leaves and limbs should be removed, and any leaves that appear to have a bacterial infection should also be removed so as not to infect the healthy parts of your plant. Removing yellowed leaves will promote the new healthy growth of your plant.

Your pruning tools include gardening gloves for your hands, alcohol, and a pair of sharp shears or scissors. Pour some alcohol over your shears or scissors in order to disinfect them. If you happened to prune a diseased plant with the shears last, there could still be infected spores on the shears, and you certainly don't want to transfer that to your healthy plant.

The best time to prune your Monstera borsigiana is in early spring and through the summer. You always prune during the active growing season. Locate the node where you want to make a cut. The node is where one or more leaves grow outward from it. Cut the limb or leaves about one inch below the node with a snipping motion. Please don't use a sawing motion, or it can cause bruising, which can open the door for infections.

Most people remove the long aerial roots when they prune their indoor plants. They can be quite unsightly in a houseplant. You simply snip them off from the lowest part where they are growing. Otherwise, you will have these long brown roots growing up everything near the area where your pot is. For outdoor tropical, you can leave the aerial roots to have better support on its support pole or post.

Monstera Borsigiana Propagation

You can create new Monstera plants through propagation. Fortunately, you have three choices of propagation: air layering, cuttings, and separation.

Air Layering

 Monstera plant in a circular jar

Air layering is the most difficult and slowest propagation method for any plant. You cut a tiny slit into the stem or main trunk of the plant underneath the node of a leaf that already has an aerial root. Then, wrap the area with sphagnum moss to cover the root, incision, and node. Next, you cover the area with plastic wrap and tape it in place so that it is slightly loose. You then water the area with water every 3 to 3 days, and in about six weeks, you have new roots in the area that you can see. Cut the Monstera borsigiana stem from the node and put it in a pot to propagate Monstera borsigiana.

Propagation From Cuttings

Monstera stalk in a clear glass jar

Monstera borsigiana roots easily through the cutting method. Cut a stem off just below a node. Remove all lower leaves and keep 2 to 3 smaller leaves at the top. You can then plant it in a pot in the soil or root it in water. To root it in water, add filtered water to a glass and put the Monstera cuttings in it. Rinse the roots, put fresh water in the container every 2 to 3 days, and keep it in a warm area, such as a window sill with sunlight. In 3 to 6 weeks, you will have roots on your new Monstera plant, and you can pot it.

Propagation By Separation

Hand holding two monstera leaves

This is the simplest method of propagation for your borsigiana plant. Take your potted plant outside and water it heavily. Then carefully remove it from the pot. Cut through the roots without cutting any stems and remove a portion of the mother plant. You can cut the roots in half to have two plants of equal size or take a small portion off for one plant or multiple plants. Then you pot it in a new pot and replace the mother plant in its pot.

Monstera Borsigiana Repotting

Pots with soil in the garden

Your tropical plant does not like to be rootbound, as most potted plants don't. It's the best practice for repotting Monstera borsigiana in a larger pot every 2 to 3 years to stay healthy. In early spring, you should choose a pot 1 to 2 sizes larger than the current pot. Your new pot needs drainage holes in the bottom. Water your plant thoroughly, squeeze the pot, and pull the plant out by the bottom stems near the soil line.

Examine the roots. They should be firm and have a pale creamy color to be healthy. Tease the roots apart from each other with your fingers so that the roots are loose. Put some compost in the new pot, place your plant in it and fill around the plant until the pot is full of soil. Then add your support system to the pot.

Monstera Borsigiana Problems and Solutions

It's always a good idea to know the signs of problems with any houseplant and how to correct them.

Yellow Leaves

Monstera yellow leaf

If your beautiful bright green leaves start turning yellow, you are overwatering your plant. Make sure to check the moisture level each time before adding water to the pot. On the other hand, your leaves can turn yellow from a lack of light as they need sunshine to activate the chlorophyll in them and be green. You may need to move your pot so that it gets more indirect sunlight in your home. A few yellow leaves at the bottom of the plant are totally fine.

Brown Tips or Edges or Brown Spots

Brown edges of monstera leaf

If your Monstera borsigiana has dry and brown tips or edges on the leaves or the leaves have brown spots on them, then it is not getting enough water. Again, check the moisture level and water when the top 1 to 2 inches of soil is dry. You can also put a pebble tray under it with water in it to add humidity to smaller plants. If your plant is large, you can lightly mist it with water every few days to add moisture.

Leaves Without Slits or Holes

Monstera Leaves without slits

If the leaves on your Monstera borsigiana do not have slits or holes in them, then it can be all-natural or a sign of something else. Your plant may be too young to have formed the slits or holes, so it will appear to have heart-shaped leaves. This is totally normal in this tropical plant. If it isn't getting enough light, it can cause this effect on larger, mature plants. It would help to put the pot where it gets 6 to 8 hours of indirect sunlight per day. If this occurs in the winter, you can use grow lights to achieve the amount of lighting.


red spider mites

Fungus gnats and spider mites are the culprits of pests on this plant. Fungus gnats look like fruit flies. The larvae live in the soil, and they can damage the root system. Make a spray using equal parts of water and hydrogen peroxide and spray your soil to get rid of them. Spider mites reside underneath the leaves in a spider web. To remove these, you make a spray of water and isopropyl alcohol in equal parts and spray all the leaves underneath for three weeks.

Root Rot

Root rot

Whenever you repot your Monstera borsigniana, you should check it for healthy roots. Signs of root rot are soggy roots that are dark in color. When repotting, you remove these from the plant. The most common cause of root rot is overwatering your plant, so be sure to check the moisture level before you add water.


What Is The Difference Between Monstera Deliciosa and Monstera Borsigiana?

Monstera plant with pebbled pot

Monstera deliciosa borsigiana has more of a sprawling habit than growing upright like Monstera borsigiana. Inside your home, the Monstera deliciosa plant will grow much bigger, and it has more compact leaves that are not as broad. The base of the leaves that attach to the main plant stalk is also different. The Monstera deliciosa is wavy or crinkled, and the Monstera borsigiana is smooth in this area. Monstera borsigiana plants grow much faster, and the Monstera deliciosa is usually more expensive. A subspecies of Monstera deliciosa is the Monstera borsigiana albo. It sports highly variegated leaves for a lot of interest. It's also called a variegated monstera albo borsigiana plant, or a variegated Monstera borsigiana.

Does Monstera Borsigiana Purify Air?

Hand showing monstera leaf

Yes, they do indeed. This plant will reduce air pollution in your home and make the air cleaner to breathe.

Can Monstera's Grow in Water?

Monstera plant in a jar beside the window

They can survive growing in water alone, but they will grow much better in rich, fertile compost.

Is Monstera Borsigiana Toxic to Pets and People?

Cat beside monstera

The entire plant is moderately toxic if any part of it is ingested. Make sure to place any areas that you trim off the plant in the garbage so your pets or small children won't "taste" them. The side effects are vomiting, drooling, and swelling of the mouth and tongue.

Final Thoughts

Monstera borsigiana is pretty straightforward to grow--even for beginning gardeners. It just needs the primary care of water, sunlight, and fertile compost for the growing medium to do very well. You should consider a Lomi kitchen countertop composter to turn your food scraps into your very own loamy and rich fertile compost for the best results with your tropical plant.


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