It wasn’t until I had to style my first home photo shoot that I realized how much work goes into making the images shine. The photography is a feat in and of itself, but this was something I expected, and not something I had to worry about. The styling, on the other hand, came as a surprise.

My team and I had our go-to accessories. We knew that we would almost always need a clear glass pitcher, big vases and cutting boards, and we would keep these on-hand in the prop closet. Another must-have? Monstera. When in doubt, Monstera was the sure-thing leaf that was guaranteed to add a flavor of Hawaii without competing with the other accessories and colors in the space.


Monstera has made itself a staple in my own home as well. After seeing the versatility of the foliage in photo shoots, I decided I must have some gracing my shelves and tabletops, too. I star ted growing some of my own, and have kept the plants strategically placed throughout my interiors as well.

Looking into how to properly care for the plant, I came across some great information from the College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources at the University of Hawaii at Manoa. If you are interested in growing Monstera of your own and using it to spruce up your space, consider some of these tips:



• Plant your Monstera in an area with filtered shade or full shade. If you have a fence, wall, or place beneath trees, these are good spaces to start.

• Give the plant rich soil. Mix the soil with compost or aged manure. When digging your hole, aim for a size that is at least twice as wide as the root base and 3 inches deeper.

• Keep it watered regularly, but be careful not to over-water. Once per week should suffice. Keep an eye on the soil and moisturize if it ever feels dry. Fertilize about once per month.

Monstera will tolerate low light and humidity, but it does not do well with soil salinity or wind-borne salt. Because Monstera is a woody vine, it can climb heights with support. This makes it great as a wall cover or on a trellis. If you want to plant it indoors, it also will do well. Just make sure to give it plenty of drainage and rich soil.


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