How to Care for a Mini Monstera — The Tiny Houseplant That's Taking Over Social Media
In a bright corner of every plant lover's house is a Monstera deliciosa — its long stems and glossy, hole-filled leaves proudly on display.
Many houseplant collectors agree there is nothing better than a freshly-watered and shined Monstera — nothing except a smaller, more adorable version of the beloved plant.
The mini Monstera, a tropical houseplant that looks like a toy-sized twin of the Monstera deliciosa, is popping up all over social media as houseplant enthusiasts joyously share pictures and videos of their pint-sized plant.
But the charming plant isn't actually a Monstera — it's a Rhaphidophora tetrasperma. The popular houseplant is nicknamed mini Monstera simply because of its resemblance to the Monstera deliciosa.
The most apparent similarity is their unique "Swiss cheese" leaves. Monstera deliciosa has holes, or slits, in its bright-green leaves which help the plant adapt to strong winds in the wild, according to "The Complete Houseplant Survival Manual" by Barbara Pleasant. Like it's larger lookalike, mini Monsteras have similar eye-catching slits and smooth, bright, and shiny leaves.
But unlike Monsteras, the minis look more vine-like. Mini Monsteras don't typically hang down over their pots though — instead, they climb and grow vertically.
"They trail up like crazy," says Mallory Jones of House Plant Collective. "They definitely like to have something they can lean up against...like a wall, a stick, a trellis." Whatever object you choose, the mini Monstera will use it as support as it gradually grows upward.
Though mini Monsteras are visually appealing, it can be difficult to care for them, says Jones. But don't worry — with the right conditions, your fun-sized foliage will thrive.
"It definitely likes indirect light," Jones says. "If it's inside, just make sure it's not too close to the window." She explains that too much direct sunlight can burn the leaves and cause unsightly brown spots to appear.
During the warmer months, you can place the plant on a covered porch — especially if you live somewhere with high humidity. If you keep your mini Monstera inside where conditions are dryer, Jones has a few creative solutions to expose your plant to moisture.
"Put it in your sink while you're taking a shower to give it a good dose of humidity," she says. She also recommends placing your plant in the kitchen when you're cooking, especially if you're making a meal that involves boiling water. If you don't cook often, simply place the plant next to your coffee maker in the morning.
As far as watering your plant, err on the side of caution. Let the soil dry out completely between waterings to avoid overwatering. "Fertilize it once a month and not at all in the winter time," Jones adds.
To add the mini Monstera to your plant collection, visit your local houseplant shop or nursery. If they're sold out, ask what days they receive shipments or see if you can join a waitlist to be contacted when more minis arrive.