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A picture of a Delicious Monster

Delicious Monster

Monstera deliciosa

Also known as

Swiss Cheese Plant, Cheese Plant, Fruit Salad Plant, Fruit Salad Tree, Ceriman, Mexican Breadfruit, Split-Leaf Philodendron

Full Shade
Easy care
Moderate watering
Tender

12b

USDA zone

13°C

Minimum temperature

Expected size

Height
Spread

8m

Max

2m

3m

Min

1m

5 years to reach maturity

Flowering

  • spring
  • summer
  • autumn
  • winter

This plant has a mild fragrance

More images

A photo of Delicious Monster
A photo of Delicious Monster
A photo of Delicious Monster
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A photo of Delicious Monster

Overview

Monstera deliciosa is an impressive, spreading, easy-to-grow and generally low maintenance plant. It is a popular and distinctive foliage houseplant, requiring support for optimal growth. This houseplant lives happily in full or partial shade, however, it will grow faster in bright light. Monsteras like to dry out between waterings, which means less effort and less stress for you. Allow lots of space for this guy as it can grow up to 3 meters tall; hope you have high ceilings! Fun fact: in native tropical rainforests, Monstera deliciosa climbs using aerial roots and is classified as an epiphyte. This is an organism that doesn't require a water or soil substrate to grow and which survives on the branches of trees, gleaning nutrients and moisture from the air and immediate surroundings. So at home, it does well potted in an airy, well-draining soil mix. Moss and perlite can be added to achieve this. Its cream-white flowers are large, if not particularly pretty, and will later produce fruits that resemble a green ear of maize in shape, and which can cause stomach upset if consumed unripe. (Other plant parts can also cause stomach upset if eaten, and can cause skin irritation.) Blooms and fruit are infrequently seen in cultivation, requiring exacting conditions to achieve flowering. Foliage is the main reason for growing this lovely plant. The leaves are large, glossy and heart-shaped. They change structure with age, developing characteristic splits over time. This is where the common name Swiss Cheese Plant originates from. (Foliage is whole in young specimens.) This species has earned a Royal Horticultural Society Award of Garden Merit. It is frost-tender, so keep above freezing temperatures, plant in a position of full sun and grow it in well-draining soil for optimal growth. Water when the soil has thoroughly dried out for best results. Common names for Monstera deliciosa include Delicious monster, Swiss cheese plant, Cheese plant, Fruit salad plant, Ceriman, Mexican breadfruit and Splitleaf philodendron.

Common problems

Susceptible to sap-sucking pests indoors whereas grasshoppers might damage plants kept outside.

Harvesting

The fruit of the Delicious monster may be ripened by cutting it when the first scales begin to lift up and it begins to smell pungent. Set aside wrapped in a paper bag​ until the scales begin popping off. Brush scales off to reveal the edible flesh underneath which can be cut from the core and eaten.

Propagation

Layering

Air layering.

Seed

Cuttings

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

Indoor plant

Plants grown indoors in temperate regions occasionally produce flowers and fruit.

Pot plant

Provide a large container to allow air roots to tap into the soil.

Attractive leaves

Attractive foliage plant.

Uses

Edible

The flesh of the fruit underneath the scales can be cut from the core and eaten. The flesh has a fruity taste similar to jackfruit and pineapple.

Ornamental

Place in conservatory or light indoor room as an architectural feature houseplant.