Monstera Juliusii Plant Care Guide: New Costa Rica Variety

With so many different varieties, Monstera plants are an exciting way to add some greenery to your living space. The Monstera juliusii is one of the more recently discovered members of the Monstera family. 

Not only is it a beautiful plant, but it is also relatively easy to care for as a first-time plant parent. 

What is Monstera Juliusii?

Monstera juliusii was first described in a 2020 article for Phytotaxa ¹, a botanical taxonomy journal. Before it was identified as a separate variety in 2020, it was often confused with another Monstera variety, M. standleyana

Native to southern Costa Rica, it shares many similarities with other Monstera varieties. 

Meet the Monstera Family

Monsteras are a family of evergreen vines native to the tropical regions of Central and South America, specifically between Mexico and Panama. They are known for having large, leathery, heart-shaped green leaves. 

They are sometimes known as “Swiss cheese plants” because of the splits and holes that naturally form in the leaves (also known as fenestrations). 

The most common Monstera variety you are likely to find in homes or plant nurseries is the Monstera deliciosa. 

In the wild, Monstera plants can grow up to 65 feet high. However, they aren’t likely to get larger than 10 to 15 feet when grown indoors. 

What Makes Monstera Juliusii Unique?

The Monstera juliusii is a rare variety of Monstera, found only in Costa Rica. 

It stands out for having white-green or mottled leaf stems, a very thick protective covering along the entire leaf length, a feather-like appearance, and a yellowish-green spathe that is white on the inside. 

Plant Care Guide

Monstera juliusii plant
Image credit: Insta @fred.und.phil

Potting

When choosing the best pot for your Monstera juliusii, you want something that holds a reasonable amount of moisture while encouraging proper drainage. 

Most experts advise against planting Monstera plants directly in terra cotta pots because the porous material can absorb too much water and dehydrate your plant. 

The best choice is actually a plastic nursery pot. Place the nursery pot into a slightly larger decorative houseplant pot if you want something more attractive.

Size

Monstera plants grow relatively slowly—only about 1 to 2 feet yearly. As a result, you only have to repot them every 2 to 3 years. Select a pot that is 2 inches bigger than your plant’s root ball. 

Staking

In the wild, Monstera plants usually grow upwards along the trunk of host trees.

Using a stake can provide extra support and help balance the Monstera juliusii’s large leaves. A moss stake is ideal, as it more closely mimics the plant’s natural host, but you can also use a normal stake without a problem.

Soil

Use well-draining organic soil to pot your Monstera juliusii plant. You can also add bark, charcoal, or perlite to the potting mix to encourage some air flow around the roots and prevent root rot.

Watering a Monstera Juliusii

Monstera juliusii plants are native to tropical rainforests and prefer regular watering and slightly moist soil. However, it has aerial roots because it usually grows up the side of a larger tree. As a result, it does not do well in soggy soil. 

Let the top 1/3 to 1/4 inch of soil dry before watering again. During the growing season—spring and summer—you’ll want to water once a week or every other week. 

You can cut back on watering during the fall and winter. Again, your best guide will be to check the soil. 

Sun Requirements

In their natural habitat, Monstera juliusii grow under the canopy of the rainforest and only get indirect or dappled sunlight. 

Too much direct sunlight can burn the leaves. They tend to do best in bright, indirect light. Find a room that tends to get a lot of sunlight. 

Place your houseplant on the opposite side of the room so it never gets a direct beam of light. You also use sheer curtains or blinds to filter the light. 

Temperature and humidity

Again, when it comes to caring for your Monstera juliusii plant, it helps to think about the tropical rainforests it calls home. 

Monstera plants love a warm, humid environment. They do best in temperatures above 60° F but less than 85° F. 

A minimum of 50% humidity is required to help your plant thrive, but ideally, you want to aim for 60% or more.

 If you live in a dry climate or humidity levels drop during the winter, you can purchase a humidifier or mist the leaves and exposed roots with a spray bottle daily. 

Fertilizer

You should only fertilize your Monstera ‘juliusii’ plant during its natural growing season: early spring through early fall. 

You can use any typical houseplant fertilizer for a Monstera juliusii; just make sure you dilute it to 50% strength. 

Space feedings out to once a month or every two weeks. You can also use ¼ to ½ inch of compost once or twice a year to mimic a more natural environment. 

Don’t feed your Monstera in the late fall and winter—the plant is dormant during this time of year and won’t be able to process fertilizer correctly. 

Potential Pests & Problems

Like any plant, Monstera juliusii can fall victim to pests, including: 

  • Scale insects: If your plant has a scale infestation, you might notice white or yellow spots on the leaves, or the leaves may turn yellow and fall off. You can remove them by manually scraping them off, applying rubbing alcohol, or washing your plant with horticultural soap. 
  • Spider mites: Spider mites will also leave a Monstera juliusii’s leaves yellowed at the tips or covered in yellow or brown spots. You can hose down your plant with plain water and then wipe the leaves with rubbing alcohol or horticultural soap to get rid of them. 
  • Thrips: You may have a thrip problem if you notice clusters of small, white, oblong insects on the underside of the leaves. Hose your plant down outside, then apply horticultural soap or neem oil. If there is significant damage to one leaf, consider pruning that leaf. 
  • Fungus gnats: Fungus gnats resemble fruit flies. You’ll most likely notice them in the soil around the base of your plant. Yellow sticky traps are the best way to get rid of the infestation. You should also disrupt their breeding cycle with a layer of rocks over the top of the soil or Mosquito Bits. 

It is possible to overwater or underwater your Monster juliusii. 

If you are underwatering your plant, you might notice the leaves start to curl. Yellowing leaves and blackened stems may indicate overwatering. 

If the tips of the leaves turn brown or you start to notice a chalky substance on the soil’s surface, you probably need to cut back on fertilizer. 

Toxicity / Pets

The sap of the Monstera plant is toxic to humans, cats, dogs, and other house pets ². It is unlikely to be fatal unless ingested in large amounts, but it can irritate the skin, the mucous membranes of the mouth and throat, or the digestive tract.

If you have pets and you want to add a Monstera juliusii to your home, you want to take extra precautions. If possible, keep your plant someplace where your pet cannot reach it. 

This may be more difficult if you have a cat or a large dog. 

Pruning and Propagating

It’s a good idea to prune your Monstera juliusii plant in the early spring to encourage new growth. 

You can also prune more regularly to keep your plant from growing too large. After pruning your plant, you can propagate the trimmings into new plants. 

The best way to propagate is to take a stem that has at least one healthy leaf and trim it off below the node. 

You can plant the cutting directly into new soil or leave it in a clear glass of water until it grows roots. 

If you choose water propagation, change out the water weekly.

Sources

1: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/344495866_Two_new_species_of_Monstera_Araceae_Monsteroideae_from_Costa_Rica/download

2: https://www.aspca.org/pet-care/animal-poison-control/toxic-and-non-toxic-plants/swiss-cheese-plant

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Davin is a jack-of-all-trades but has professional training and experience in various home and garden subjects. He leans on other experts when needed and edits and fact-checks all articles.