Meet ‘Monkey’ 🐵, our new Monstera deliciosa leaf cutting, complete with its one solitary root (hidden in the jar).
I’ve noticed Monstera deliciosa before – as unusual/interesting large leafy house plants with personality that blended in well with its perforated camouflage green. They often hanged out in the background, either decorative indoors or sprawled out in old gardens. And that’s about it.
Then my interests in plants grew, and the allure of Monstera deliciosa caught my eye/attention even more. Its strangeness and beauty grabbed me. Like many people I guess, I fell under its mysterious spell.
Understandably so, if strange and unusual plants are your thing. Its distinctive traits are its large luscious holey heart shaped leaves, proud hooded creamy white flowers and rod shaped, honeycomb scaled edible/delicious fruits that taste like candy. It’s also easy to care for and has a lust for life. Its other names include ‘Swiss cheese plant’ and ‘fruit salad plant’.
I appreciate/love Monstera deliciosa so much that it’s risen to become one of my new/current favourite plants (along with probably 100 others, haha). I’ve dreamed and hoped and planned to have one of our own.
To me, plants are like people (some with big personalities) and I’ve even thought of a name for our new to be Monstera deliciosa plant/baby – ‘Monkey’. After Monkey Magic. You know, Monstera, Monkey.
And then, last Monday (ha!), I worked up the courage to finally go and ask the people next door if I could get a cutting from the impressive Monstera deliciosa plant that I noticed one day living in their yard.
I pressed the bell and a kind woman approached the door. I politely asked and she said ‘yes’, and that she would let her husband know that she gave me permission to do so. I couldn’t help but notice that she had a perfect mole beautifully centred on her forehead which reminded me of Mother Buddha.
The original mother Monstera deliciosa plant in the yard is a massive coil/entanglement of vines, leaves and roots around an old short large dead tree stump. It beared many fruits and one perfect flower blooming/flaunting just above my eye level. I wanted to pick it but failed. I realised that my own cutting will also bear flowers and fruits one day, and I needed to be patient and not upset.
Trying to get a leaf cutting was not easy. I came prepared with scissors but the stems/vines were too thick/tough to cut. I tried to pull/snap the end of stems but to no avail. (Thankfully so, because if I had I might have walked away with embarrassingly way too much.) And then, after looking and circling the plant about 5 times and almost ready to give up, I saw one good/large sized leaf at the end of a vine. I grabbed it at the base and bent it back and it snapped off, along with just one (would you believe it!) small fragile root dangling on the base of the stem. I thought bugger this, finally, it will have to do. I showed the lady my cutting and thanked her again before walking back home. I mentioned to her that its name is Monkey, and she had a smile/chuckle.
I returned home and showed my partner my find who was impressed. He advised me to plant it immediately and give it some water and fertiliser. But instead, I decided to put it in a jar with water so that it could grow more roots first (as I’ve read online) and I can take some photos of it. I did add some diluted seaweed fertiliser to the water, which I wasn’t certain of. I placed it on the table in the lounge room as a wonderful centrepiece.
A few days later – even though the leaf still looked vibrant green and fine, when I lifted it out from the jar, I noticed that the one hopeful root it had looked a little rotten/mangy and no new roots had yet developed (a little too early, I agree). I also noticed some browning on the stem where I believe a new leaf/growth would develop from. It was clear that its health was deteriorating and I needed to do something fast.
So after taking some photos (above), I planted it in a pot and gave it water and shelter. Touch wood it will survive and resurrect itself and grow strong/beautiful for us. If not, then that’s ok because we can always try again another time. Will keep you posted on Monkey’s progress. To be continued. Peace out.