Monstera Peru (Monstera karstenianum)

Monstera karstenianum, also known as Monstera Peru, is a beautiful and dramatic tropical terrarium plant that can really be a showstopper in your enclosure.

It grows quickly up a post or trellis and has broad, waxy, arrow-shaped leaves. The aesthetic of this plant is amazing and will instantly add a tropical vibe to any enclosure.

Monstera karstenianum is a relatively easy-care vivarium plant, but I would still consider it an intermediate level of care.

Quick Stats:

Scientific Name: Monstera karstenianum

Family:  Araceae

Common Names:  Monstera Peru

Habitat:  Tropical Forests

Height: Up to 6ft

pH Range: 5.0 to 7.0

Temperature: 70°F to 90°F

What Is Monstera Peru?

Monstera Karstenianum is a species of evergreen climbers native to the tropical rain forests of Central and South America.

It has thick, strap-like leaves with leathery textures and patterns of holes, making this a stunning addition to any vivarium.

This species prefers damp, sheltered environments and will rapidly climb anything placed near it with the help of aerial roots.

Monstera karstenianum is a closed terrarium plant common in many enclosures, so make sure you do your research and pick the one that best fits your setup and care level.

Monstera karstenianum "Monstera Peru" | Plant Care Guide

Monstera Peru Facts

The most interesting thing about Monstera Peru is the incredible display of large, tropical, glossy leaves.

The leaf shape and structure resemble the similar Monstera siltepecana but all of the leaves are much smaller, whole, and leathery.

Its leaves are faced with intricate varieties of natural designs.

The aerial roots of this species of Monstera grow from the stem and help the plant adhere to surfaces and climb scaffolding.


Monstera Karstenianum typically does not reach its full potential height in vivariums, but it can still easily become 3 to 6 feet high.

The adult leaves can grow up to an impressive 8 inches in width.

They are oval to triangular-shaped, heavily textured, and mostly green. When the plant is mature, the leaf’s underside is revealed to have a beautiful silver-green color.


Monstera Peru is native to the forests of Mexico, Belize, Costa Rica, Guatemala, and parts of South America.

In its natural habitat, this species of Monstera will climb and coil itself around trees in search of more light and moisture. This makes it an ideal candidate for a partway enclosure.

pH Preference

Monstera Karstenianum generally prefers a slightly acidic environment with a pH of 5.0 to 7.0.

Vivarium Type

Monstera Peru is quite an easy-going species. With that in mind, it will not be too complicated when choosing the type of enclosure it is grown in. It is best to try and replicate the plant’s natural habitat as much as possible.

Doing so will make it easier to provide this foliage plant with its basic needs. The proper setup and theme of the enclosure will make a big difference to the overall look and health of the plant. Be sure to choose setups that are moist and high in humidity.

Here are recommended vivariums it will do well in:

  • Paludariums – Half aquatic/ half terrain-based enclosure.
  • Ripariums – Mostly aquatic-based enclosures with some terrain features present.
  • Aquariums – Fully aquatic-based enclosure with little to no dry terrain.

Vivarium Placement

This is a great species to use as a canopy or wall climber in your vivarium. It thrives best when given a post, trellis, or moss pole to climb on.

Plant it at the back or side of the terrarium with adequate amounts of indirect light and warmth.

When placed in the right environment with slightly acidic soil and minimal water, Monstera Peru will grow with ease.


Monstera Peru is sensitive to different substrates, so make sure the substrate you choose is not too heavy, acidic, or nutrient deficient.

It doesn’t need difficult soil and will thrive in a loose, sandy terrarium substrate with lots of organic matter.

If possible, provide a post, trellis, or moss pole for the plant to climb on.


Monstera Karstenianum prefers bright but indirect terrarium lighting.

In their natural environment, these plants would receive a large amount of indirect light, so something like a cool color-led light will do great.

Too much direct light can scorch the leaves so make sure you provide adequate coverage in the tank.

Buy Monstera Peru

When buying Monstera Peru, there are a few things to keep in mind. Making sure the plant is healthy when purchased is essential for its success in a vivarium or pond.

Vegetation that is already in poor conditions will have a very hard time adjusting to new environments.

Click the image below to learn more about the current price and other relative info about this plant.

Monstera Peru Care & Propagation

Monstera Karstenianum is relatively easy to care for. The best way to propagate this plant is to use cutting or runners. You can also use spores, but it is much slower and more challenging.

When taking cuttings or runners, cut away the section of growth with at least one leaf on it. Place the cutting in moist soil or water until it establishes itself over the course of a few weeks.

How To Grow

To grow Monstera Peru successfully, you will need to provide the plant with enough light, moisture, and air.

Avoid keeping the root as wet as possible as this could rot the whole stem.

To ensure optimal growth, water the soil just enough so that it is consistently moist.

Make sure to prune the plant when needed to encourage faster and healthier growth.

Water Requirements

Monstera Karstenianum is a plant that prefers damp conditions, but it is not necessary to water it every day.

It is recommended to water it lightly 2 or 3 times a week depending on the atmosphere.

If the soil begins to dry out you can mist the plant lightly to keep it moist.

Plants Similar To Monstera Peru

Adding diversity to an enclosure is key to an aesthetically pleasing setup. Try mixing up the look of your vivarium with different flora that can easily co-exist in the same types of environment.

Furthermore, if for some reason you find Monstera Peru hard to acquire or would like to consider something similar to this terrarium plant…

Here are other plants you might see will do well with or in place of Monstera karstenianum:

Acorus calamus "Sweet Flag" Plant Care Guide
Alternanthera ficoidea "Party Time Plant" | The Care Guide
Coleus scutellarioides "Painted Nettle" Plant Care Guide


Monstera Karstenianum is an amazing addition to any terrarium. This is a great species for climbers, or for those seeking that extra bit of tropical drama.

It’s relatively easy to care for and will bring a beautiful array of shapes and colors to your enclosure. With the right environment and enough support, this plant will thrive in no time.

Frequently Asked Questions

Yes, Monstera Peru is the common name of Monstera karstenianum. 

Monstera karstenianum is a rare tropical vining plant native to Central and South America. It is characterized by its huge, dark green leaves with deeply lobed edges and yellowgreen variegations. It is an epiphytic species, meaning that it grows on other plants for support, and its aerial roots help it to cling to its host.

To take care of Monstera karstenianum, make sure it has bright, indirect light and temperatures of 70 to 90 degrees Fahrenheit. Keep the soil moist but not soggy and fertilize once every two weeks during spring and summer with a balanced liquid fertilizer. Reduce watering in winter, when the plant is dormant, and provide high humidity by misting the leaves regularly.

Yes, Monstera Peru is a rare plant. It is hard to find in nurseries or through online sellers and typically requires a specialty hunt.

Monstera Peru plants can both hang and climb, depending on the support they are provided. They need something to either climb up, such as a trellis or support pole, or hang from, such as a basket or hanger, in order to do either.

Yes, Monstera Peru plants need a lot of bright, indirect sunlight in order to thrive.

Yes, the Monstera Peru plant does flower. The white or yellowgreen blooms are usually 46 inches long and wide and grow in clusters on long stems. However, it is not common for them to flower in captivity.

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