Also known as
Monstera Monkey Leaf, Philodendron Monkey Mask, Adanson's Monstera, Five Holes Plant, Mexican Breadfruit Plant, Monkey Mask, Swiss-Cheese-Plant, Tarovine
Photo by TheNerdyPotter (All rights reserved)
10 years to reach maturity
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Monkey Leaf Overview
Monstera adansonii is an evergreen, climbing species from the Araceae family, commonly known by the names Monkey Leaf or Monkey Mask. It is capable of growing over 6m tall, providing good support is given - moss poles are a common choice. Native to tropical rainforests, this plant climbs using aerial roots and is classified as an epiphyte. It may be kept indoors as a distinctive foliage houseplant and this is the main reason it is cultivated. Allow to dry out a little between waterings and keep out of direct sunlight. It produces white arum-like flowers typical of the aroid family. Leaves are slightly rough in texture, and heart-shaped. Foliage is mostly whole in young specimens but changes structure with age - developing larger characteristic holes. There are cultivars with attractive variegated foliage available, such as Monstera adansonii 'Archipelago'. Monstera adansonii is often confused with the related species M. obliqua which is a rarer plant, not commonly found in cultivation (its main distinguishing feature being the thickness and texture of the leaves, that are paper-thin and smooth). Can cause stomach upset if eaten and it can also be a skin and eye irritant.
Common problems with Monkey Leaf
How to propagate Monkey Leaf
A tip cutting, including at least two leaves, will root in spring, if it is planted in a deep pot containing a moistened equal-parts mixture of peat moss and sand. Enclose the cutting in a plastic bag.
Special features of Monkey Leaf
Provide a large container to allow air roots to tap into the soil.
Attractive foliage plant
Plants grown indoors in temperate regions only occasionally produce flowers and fruit.
Other uses of Monkey Leaf
Suits a conservatory or light indoor room as an architectural feature houseplant.