Monstera Peru (also known as monstera karstenianum) is an unusual monstera species that doesn’t produce the fenestrated leaves usually associated with monsteras. Instead, this small variety has small, rounded, somewhat leathery leaves that are puckered and ridged, similar to some species of peperomia.
This plant originated in Peru, which is where it gets its nickname (no surprise there, right?) and because its leaves are so different from other varieties of monstera, the care for this plant differs a bit from that of its cousins in the monstera family. But though it’s a little different, monstera Peru plant care is still quite simple, and many consider this variety to be more forgiving than many of its relatives!
Here’s everything you need to know about monstera Peru plant care so you can bring this beautiful variety into your indoor jungle.
Monstera Peru Care
Like all monsteras (and most houseplants) monstera Peru is a topical plant, which means it appreciates conditions similar to what would allow it to thrive in the wild. The closer you can replicate that, the better!
The leaves of monstera Peru tend to be dark green, much darker than those of its cousins, like monstera deliciosa or monstera adansonii, which means monstera karstenianum doesn’t need quite as much sunlight as other varieties. While it prefers bright, indirect sunlight, it will be fine a little farther away from a window or in a north-facing window.
This is perfect for that slightly dimmer room that just needs a little something but may not have enough light for other monsteras or, say, a fiddle leaf fig.
A north-facing window is the perfect place for a monstera Peru, and it will also do well in any room with a bright window. Since this is a tropical plant, it does appreciate humidity, so a bright bathroom might be a good place to put your new monstera buddy.
Try this as a shelf or tabletop plant or in a hanging planter that allows the vines to trail down. You could also train this plant to climb a trellis or moss pole.
This plant also does well in terrariums with other drought-tolerant species. Try this if you want a different look for your houseplants! You have lots of display options with monstera Peru.
Potting and Soil
Because this monstera variety has thicker leaves that store water (more like the leaves of a succulent), it won’t need to be watered quite as often as other monsteras. This also means that monstera karstenianum doesn’t like to sit in wet soil.
Choose a pot that drains very well and a light, well-aerated soil that drains quickly. Our Premium Monstera Potting Soil is the perfect choice for monstera Peru, other species of monstera, and aroids in general! The blend of coco coir, orchid bark, and perlite makes for the perfect balance of drainage, moisture retention, nutritional content, and pH for your monstera.
If you need a quick solution, cactus soil with a few handfuls of perlite mixed in will do until you can buy or make something better!
Another place where monstera Peru care differs from the care you might give another monstera variety is the watering. Monstera Peru’s thick leaves store water, so you definitely don’t want to overwater here. (If you tend to forget to water your plants, this might actually be the perfect monstera species for you!)
Water your monstera karstenianum when the top 3-4 inches feel dry or when a moisture meter reads 2-3.
The best way to propagate this monstera is with stem cuttings.
Locate a young, healthy section of vine and use clean scissors or shears to cut a section with several healthy leaves and at least one node. A node looks like a little brown or white bump on the opposite side of a stem from a leaf. This is where the new roots will sprout!
When you have your cutting, place the cutting in a glass of clean water and a little Propagation Promoter so that the cut end is fully submerged but the leaves are not touching the water. Place the glass in a bright place and change the water at least once every week.
Within a few weeks, you should see new roots beginning to form! When the roots are an inch or two long (which should take about 2 months), plant your new monstera Peru in soil and care for it like you would a mature plant.
Learn more about propagating monsteras here: Monstera Propagation: The Ultimate Guide to Propagating Monstera Plants (With Step-By-Step Photos!)
Fertilize regularly with a balanced liquid fertilizer like Monstera Plant Food during the growing season (spring and summer) and once a month or less during the dormant season (fall and winter). However, since we don’t really experience seasons indoors, you may notice that your monstera Peru grows in spurts rather than in long periods of growth with long periods of dormancy. If you observe this, you can keep fertilizing regularly year-round.
Monstera Peru vs. Monstera Siltepecana
Monstera Peru and monstera siltepecana, or silver monstera, are often mistaken for one another or mislabeled because they are both small species with similarly sized leaves.
There are a few differences in the mature plants, however.
Siltepecana can sometimes produce fenestrated leaves while monstera Peru typically doesn’t.
Monstera Peru is often darker green while siltepecana has a more silvery sheen. The leaves of monstera Peru are much more puckered than silver monstera, and its leaves are more rounded while the siltepecana leaves are more pointed.
Where to Buy Monstera Peru
You can sometimes find monstera Peru in the garden center of home improvement stores like Lowe’s or Home Depot, and possibly in smaller local nurseries.
If you don’t have luck shopping in person, monstera Peru plants aren’t difficult to find online.
Amazon is a great place to find houseplants, and you can also try online shops like Bloomscape.
Etsy is also a wonderful resource, but make sure to read seller policies and reviews carefully to make sure you’re getting a good product and that you have options if the plant arrives in poor condition.
Here are our favorite Etsy shops for houseplants:
eBay, Facebook Marketplace, and your local Craiglist are also worth searching!
While monstera Peru is a fairly easygoing plant, it can still develop health problems. Here are the most common issues to watch out for, and what to do if you see them.
Yellowing leaves: Your monstera Peru is likely overwatered and/or may need more light. These issues are actually related, so you may find that your plant gets overwatered if it’s not receiving enough light, even if you aren’t actually watering too often.
Learn more about light conditions for monsteras here: How Much Light Does a Monstera Need?
Dried-out leaves: Your plant is either severely underwatered, or there may be a heater or vent nearby that’s drying out the leaves!
Dropping leaves: This is also likely due to overwatering and possibly a lack of light. If your monstera is losing leaves, put it in a brighter spot—quick! Severe underwatering can also be the culprit, but you’ll likely notice other sights of stress before it starts dropping leaves.
Faded-looking, dry leaves: Your monstera Peru might be getting too much direct sunlight. While this plant is flexible with its light requirements and can tolerate quite a bit of bright light, it doesn’t like direct sunlight. Too much light can give it a washed-out, sun-bleached appearance and even scorch the leaves. If you see this, scoot the plant back away from the window a few feet, or find a window that doesn’t receive direct sunlight.
Small spots, webbing, and/or sticky residue: These are all signs that your plant may have an insect infestation. Read this article about getting rid of pests that may be harming your monstera and other houseplants: How to Get Insects OFF Your Monstera.
Monstera Peru FAQs
FAQ Is monstera Peru rare?
A few years ago, monstera Peru was tough to find.
But these days, we wouldn’t call this plant “rare.” Monstera Peru isn’t one of the more common monstera varieties you’ll find online or in nurseries, but they aren’t difficult to find online.
The award for the rarest monstera goes to monstera obliqua, which is extremely difficult to find and grow. If you can find a cutting, you might pay several thousand dollars for just one leaf!
FAQ Is monstera Peru from Peru?
It is! This plant grows natively in the tropical rainforests of Peru, which is where it gets its nickname.
FAQ Is Monstera Peru actually a monstera?
Even though this plant doesn’t produce the fenestrations that make other monstera varieties so famous, it is still a type of monstera.
FAQ Does monstera Peru grow quickly?
With proper light, this plant can grow quite quickly and send out long, trailing vines much like a pothos or small philodendron variety. But because this is a smaller species of monstera with little leaves, it won’t take over your home like a monstera deliciosa would if left unchecked.
Overall, this is a great plant for modest spaces and won’t grow into a large, statement-making plant that overwhelms a room.
Become a Monstera Expert!
You’re well on your way to growing a healthy, beautiful monstera Peru!
To learn more about monstera care and grow the most stunning monsteras around, check out these resources: