What is a Monstera?
Monstera deliciosa, aka Swiss Cheese Plant, is a very ornamental perennial fruiting vine native to tropical Mexico and Central America. It is grown both indoors and outdoor and regarded as a highly sought after exotic houseplant. It’s name comes from the latin word for "abnormal", most likely given this name because of it's odd, perforated leaves, often punctured through with holes. The technical term for these holes or clear parts is called leaf fenestration. Hardy and beautiful, the Monstera vine has large glossy splitting leaves. It's possible to grow Monstera to dozens of feet tall with leaves nearly 2-4 feet in size! Planted outdoors in the shade Monstera will thrive for many years climbing up large oak trees. Monstera producing large white flowers that yield an amazing tropical fruit.
DID YOU KNOW? Not only does this plant make a statement in your home, it could also find a place in your fruit salad! This super popular house plant produces a rare and delicious fruit! Yup, you read that right. Monstera’s have a unique appearance and flavor. It tastes like a delicious fruit salad made up of pineapple, banana, and mango. When ripe, the inedible outer scaley shell will naturally peel away, revealing the edible interior flesh. Monstera fruit is high in Potassium and Vitamin C and low in calories and it’s harvested in the Fall and Winter. Have you produced fruit with your Monstera? We want to hear from you!
Monstera Plant Care: The Do’s and Don'ts
Do: Give it space to grow! Monstera's make fenestrated leaves as they age. The shape changes with the age of the plant, so it's important to give them that space to get to roughly three feet, as this is when you'll start to see the holes start to form!
Don't: Put it in a tight corner or on a window. This plant will not thrive in these tight and small growing conditions.
Do: Add support into the pot if growing indoors. Since it thrives outdoors and is a climbing plant that typically uses other plants and trees as support, it's recommended you add a bamboo stake, trellis, or pole near the plant.(link to product if available).
Don't: Allow this plant freeze, a Monstera planted under a tree in zone 9 is safe from most freezes, any conditions cooler than zone 9 and this plant will need protection or to be moved indoors.
Do: Correctly prune your healthy Monstera. (**Here's a How To video on pruning your plant. link to a video on pruning). The older, smaller leaves come up at the base of the plant, so don't be shy about plucking these off. This pruning encourages the plant to put its energy and nutrients into the already developed, larger leaves.
A Do or Don't: Re-pot frequently (1-2 times a year) as re-potting encourages growth. Small space = less frequent re-potting. Larger space = more frequent re-potting. Depending on your space and growing conditions, this could either be a Do or a Don't for the Monstera. We'll let you decide. But please never hesitate to reach out if you have any questions.
Do: Apply organic fertilizer to the plants roots once a month.
Don't: Put monstera in direct sunlight. it requires a balance of shade and light. You'll know if you've got it in the right place because the leaves will stay healthy looking, vibrant, dark green, and shiny. As with most plants, if you don't have it in the right place, the plant will show indicating signs. For the Monstera, the leaves will turn yellow and start to crisp. This is called scorching. Another tip to keep it healthy and happy, wipe the leaves weekly with a damp cloth.
Do: Water once a week. Make sure to evenly water the plant. Always (for this plant and every other!) check the soil moisture before watering, as it should be fairly dry. Monstera's like fertile, moist, loose, well-draining soil so always water thoroughly.
Do: Keep it in a moderately moist environment, if growing outside. It thrives in shaded environments which promotes moisture.
Do: If growing indoors, keep out of reach of reach from your fluffy loved ones, as this plant is toxic to dogs and cats.
Do: Outdoors grow in USDA plant hardiness Zones 9+. If you’re growing on a patio, Zones 4+.