I started taking care of a monstera recently. I wanted an indoor plant and it needed a cozy space to recuperate, so it was a perfect arrangement for both of us. Although its leaves had wilted due to prolonged exposure to direct sunlight, the stem is green and healthy. So it is just a matter of time until it recovers.
Within a week, I noticed new growths in its aerial roots, and today morning the second leaf finally unfurled. The leaf had been damaged at the tip before I brought it in, so I expected the shape to be irregular. But I’m happy that it seems otherwise healthy.
Then I noticed another new rolled-up young leaf at the back, which was exciting, as it was a sign that my monstera was adapting very well to its new home. But then I saw that the tip was damaged as well! It seemed the third leaf shared the same fate as the second. I felt a bit sad.
While wondering what was happening, I noticed a bagworm larva hanging in the leaf! Suspicious… I immediately pulled it off, and saw a wilting leaf tip attached to its ‘bag’…
Well, the mystery was solved. And just to be extra sure, I removed the green thing with forceps and unfurled it, and lo and behold it was indeed the missing leaf tip.
I failed to stop the criminal this time, but I learned that bagworms build their bags using twigs, leaves, plant debris, and self-spun silk.
I guess it makes perfect sense when you inspect the bag’s structure. But I’d never stopped to think about it before. So while I feel bad for my monstera, I really appreciate the bagworm’s ingenuity.