9 Things to Check When Buying a Monstera: Master the Art of Plant Purchasing!

Ah, the elusive Monstera – a botanical diva famous for its lush, swiss-cheese foliage and lofty growth ambitions.

It’s a tropical temptress that has charmed many a plant enthusiast into green-thumbed surrender.

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But what happens when you’re in the store, looking to buy your next plant? How does one choose the perfect Monstera amidst a sea of verdant contenders?

Monstera plant for sale

Fret not, green warrior! Armed with this comprehensive guide, you’ll soon be a veritable Monstera maestro, adept at selecting a plant that promises to be more than just another leaf in the wind.

We’ll delve into the nine things to check when buying a Monstera, unraveling the green mysteries of size, leaf health, root vigor, and more.

So fasten your garden gloves and adjust your sunhat – it’s time to embark on your Monstera mission.

1. Check the Plant’s Size and Maturity

When shopping for a Monstera, size is an important consideration. These plants can grow up to 15 feet tall, depending on their environment​.

young monstera plant in nursery

A larger plant can make a bold statement, but it may need more care than a smaller one.

A young Monstera may only have solid leaves, but those iconic splits will appear as it matures.

Maturity is also key. Mature Monsteras have thicker, taller stems, while younger ones may be shorter and slimmer.

Don’t mistake height for maturity, though – a tall, ‘leggy’ plant may have been grown in poor light.

Remember, your new Monstera should match your lifestyle and space. So consider its size and maturity before you buy.

2. Examine the Color and Condition of the Leaves

The color and condition of the leaves are crucial. Healthy Monsteras typically have dark green, glossy leaves.

swiss cheese plant leaf or monstera adansonii

Light green or yellow leaves may indicate insufficient light or overwatering, while brown spots or edges can signal sunburn or under-watering.

Look for plants with firm, robust leaves. Limp or wilting leaves could be a sign of improper care or disease.

Similarly, check for holes or tears – while Monsteras are known for their natural leaf perforations, irregular holes or tears could be a sign of damage.

The healthiest Monstera is usually the one with vibrant, undamaged leaves.

Read more: Watering Monstera Plants – How To, How Often & How Much

3. Check for Pests or Signs of Disease

Pest control and disease prevention start right at the point of purchase with your Monstera.

Insect pests, aphid, on the shoots and fruits of plants, Spider mite on flowers.

Look closely at the leaves – both top and bottom surfaces. Spider mites, aphids, or scale insects can leave tiny spots, a sticky residue, or even visible bugs.

Watch out for signs of fungal or bacterial diseases. These can present as dark or soft spots on leaves and stems, often accompanied by a strange odor.

4. Inspect the Root System (If Possible)

The roots of your Monstera play a vital role in its health, so don’t overlook them!

If you can, gently remove the plant from its pot to inspect the roots. Healthy Monstera roots should be firm and white or light tan in color.

They should appear strong and spread out, indicating a well-established root system.

Avoid plants with roots that are dark, mushy, or have a foul smell, as these are signs of root rot, typically caused by overwatering.

Similarly, roots that are dry, brittle, or look shriveled could suggest the plant has been underwatered or neglected.

Also, beware of plants with roots tightly coiled around the pot’s interior, a condition known as being ‘root-bound’.

root of the monstera plants

This could mean the plant has outgrown its pot and may require more care after purchase.

Remember, a strong root system is the foundation of a healthy Monstera.

5. Check the Plant’s Sturdiness and Support Needs

A sturdy Monstera is a healthy Monstera. Check the plant’s overall structure; it should stand tall and have a solid feel to it.

Wobbly or weak stems might suggest a lack of light or other care issues.

Monsteras are climbing plants in their natural habitat, so they may need support as they grow.

Repotting of monstera adasonii plant.

If the plant is leaning heavily to one side or if its stems are sprawling out, it might be time for a support structure like a moss pole or trellis.

A sturdy Monstera with appropriate support will thrive and grow into a beautiful specimen in your home.

6. Consider the Plant’s Pot and Soil

The pot and soil are as important as the plant itself. The pot should be large enough to accommodate the plant’s size and allow room for growth.

Woman taking care of home plant monstera deliciosa. Woman changing white pots. Indoor plants. Home plant's caring.

It should also have adequate drainage holes to prevent waterlogging and root rot.

Inspect the soil too. Monsteras prefer well-draining, peaty soil. It should be moist but not waterlogged.

Soggy soil can lead to root rot, while dry, compacted soil may indicate under-watering or neglect.

Check if the roots are circling the inside of the pot – a sign of being ‘root-bound’.

This means the plant may need to be repotted soon after purchase, which can be a daunting task if you’re a beginner.

The right pot and soil will give your Monstera a healthy start and a promising future.

Read more: Monstera Potting And Repotting Guide

7. Look at the Overall Growth Pattern and Structure

Monsteras are naturally sprawling plants, so look for a balanced distribution of leaves around the plant. Too much growth on one side could indicate uneven light exposure.

Monstera deliciosa is the most popular type of Monstera plants. This plant is also called the swiss cheese plant.

The plant should have a sturdy structure with strong, thick stems. Weak or wobbly stems might suggest poor care or lack of sufficient light.

Don’t be alarmed if you see aerial roots – these are normal for Monsteras and can be trained to climb a support structure.

Check the leaf nodes, which are the small bumps where new leaves sprout. Active nodes are a good sign that the plant is growing well.

Keep in mind that a Monstera with a balanced growth pattern and sturdy structure will thrive in your care.

8. Consider the Price and Compare With Other Options

When you’re in the market for a Monstera, remember that price can vary greatly depending on the plant’s size, maturity, and overall health.

A large, mature Monstera with many split leaves will likely be more expensive than a young plant.

Don’t be discouraged by a smaller, more affordable option, though; with the right care, it can grow into a stunning specimen.

If a Monstera is out of your price range, consider alternative plants that offer a similar aesthetic.

monstera in store

Plants like the Philodendron or Pothos have heart-shaped leaves and a lush appearance, often at a lower price point.

Always consider the source of your plant, too. Local nurseries, garden centers, or reputable online stores are generally more reliable and may offer better after-sale support than other sources.

Remember, the best Monstera for you balances price with potential.

9. Verify the Plant’s Identity to Ensure It’s Truly a Monstera

When purchasing a Monstera, it’s crucial to confirm that you’re actually getting a Monstera!

These plants have certain hallmark features. They’re known for their large, glossy, dark green leaves that often have natural splits or holes, creating a beautiful “swiss cheese” effect.

Young Monsteras might not have these splits yet, but the leaves will still have the plant’s signature heart shape.

The leaf edges should be smooth, and the veins should be prominent, radiating from the central stem to the edge of the leaf.

Monsteras also have thick, sturdy stems and can produce long, aerial roots.

But don’t rely solely on visuals – ask the seller for confirmation, and if possible, get a botanical name. Most stores will just have that right there on the plant –

From Root to Leaf: Concluding Your Monstera Check-list

From assessing the luscious leaf health to scrutinizing the tenacity of the root system, buying the perfect Monstera is a rewarding horticultural adventure that combines the art of observation with a pinch of botany.

Always remember to gauge your plant’s size and maturity, ensuring it suits your living space and lifestyle.

Examine the leaf color and condition, look out for any sneaky pests or diseases, and never forget to check the plant’s sturdiness and support needs.

Analyzing the plant’s pot, soil, and overall growth pattern will give you clues about its past care and future needs.

Price, as always, needs a careful glance. Lastly, let’s not forget to ensure that your new leafy friend is indeed the iconic Monstera you seek!

With these nine key checks, you’re all set to select a Monstera that will bring you joy and add a touch of the tropics to your home!

9 Things to Check When Buying a Monstera Master the Art of Plant Purchasing