In the world we live in, houseplants have made a comeback. One plant has become especially famous—or at least instagram famous. It’s immediately evocative of a tropical rainforest: huge, dark green, waxy leaves, with interesting perforations in them. Meet the Monstera Deliciosa, a tropical plant (mine’s named Phil 😉) native to Mexico & Central America, Asia, and parts of Australia. But it also thrives as a houseplant: It doesn’t need too much water, tolerates medium amounts of sunlight, and can grow impressively large. Deliciosa means “delicious”, referring to the edible fruit, while Monstera means “monstrous”, in reference to the size that this plant can grow to (over 30 feet). Its popular houseplant name of “Swiss cheese plant”, is commonly stated to refer to the holes which develop in its leaves.
The Monstera is able to grow up to 65 feet high in the wild; with large, leathery, glossy, heart-shaped leaves 10–35 inches long by 10–30 in wide. Although it can grow very tall in nature, it only measures between 6 and 10 feet when grown indoors. The fruit of Monstera’s looks like a green ear of corn covered with scales. As the fruit ripens, these scales fall off, releasing a strong and sweet scent often compared to pineapples and bananas. The fruit is edible and safe for humans.
- Sunlight – Thrives in bright to medium indirect light. Not suited for intense, direct sun but can be acclimated to withstand it.
- Water – Water every 1-2 weeks, allowing soil to dry out in between. Expect to water more often in brighter light and less often in lower light. Monsteras can benefit from filtered water or leaving water out overnight before using.
- Humidy – Normal room humidity will do, but prefers humid conditions if possible.