The Encyclopedia of House Plants

Click a link for description, or click a picture to see a larger image

Monstera

Family: Araceae.

This plant is available in our partner's store!

Monstera deliciosa Common name(s): Ceriman, Mexican breadfruit, Swiss cheese plant, Windowleaf
Monstera Genus of 22 species of evergreen, often epiphytic root climbers found in rain-forest in tropical Notrh, Central and South America. Monstera deliciosa has been a favourite for many years. Large adult leaves are perforated and deeply cut. Sturdy support is essential, and stems can reach a height of 20 ft or more. You must care for the aerial roots - push them into the compost or use a moss stick. The plant stops growing in deep shade. The Monsteras are easy to grow. The white flowers are only likely to appear on conservatory or greenhouse plants. The fruits of Monstera deliciosa taste of pineapple when fully ripe. Other parts may cause mild stomach upset if ingested, and contact with the sap may irritate skin. Monstera
Growing conditions Watering and misting Propagation
Average warmth in summer - minimum 60F in winter.Semi-shade or bright light. Keep well away from direct sunlight. Water sparingly in winter. For the rest of thr year water thoroughly. Misting is necessary. Never use a coarse spray. In spring or summer pot up basal shoots with a few leaves and roots attached. Air layering is an alternative. Sow seed at 64-75 F (18-24 C) as soon as ripe.
Monstera deliciosa
Mature leaf is about 3ft long. Monstera deliciosa
Monstera obliqua (Mig.) Walp.
This is a small variety of Monstera - the climbing plant which can be grown in hanging baskets. The leaves are 3-4in (7-10 cm) long. Monstera obliqua (Mig.) Walp.

User-submitted additions and corrections:

Shannon
USA
5th May 2007
I have one of these. I bought it because it has beautiful leaves. When I brought it home and repotted it, it started to grow like crazy. I have also found that the pot needs to be twisted daily because all of the leaves lean towards the window. Again it is a beautuful plant.
Julie
United States
12th Aug 2007
I also thought this was a split leaf philodendron. I have had it for almost 30 years and it has grown to the ceiling in a 2 story vaulted ceiling room. A large part of it was knocked off and I just stuck it in a pot and it is now about 3 feet tall. I have been cutting the air roots off, but wonder if that is damaging the plant some how. It doesn't seem to have affected its growth.
cana
US
22nd Aug 2007
the monstera I have has been alive since 1989. Have kept potting it up and have shared at least 12 baby plants with my family. the mother plant has roots about one inch in diameter. this plant will never give up. my mother gave me a sprout and then mine grew about 6 ft. tall and then shoots after shoots. great plant!
Claudia
Mexico
16th Sep 2007
Monstera (Swiss Cheese plant/ Piñonona) seems to be a native to Mexico. My dad had some growing in our shade garden in Mexico City, they were over 16 years old, beautiful and climbing the old Eucaliptus tree that shaded them. I just moved back to Mexico (was away for 15 years) to the cloud forests of the State of Veracruz (off the Gulf of Mexico) and the Monsteras grow wild here. There are plants that have climbed close to 20 feet high on some trees. They seem to propagate freely from cuttings and do really good even in direct sun (at least in the wild). I have seen people cultivating the big "fruit" left after the flowers bloom, but I am still to find out what they do with it. I had not seen it flower as an indoor plant, but in the wild the blooms are about a foot long and probably up to 8 inches wide. They are very sturdy plants.
Tony F.
USA
14th Jun 2009
I've had this plant for m,ore than 40 yrs.
From it, I've given aleast 60 to 70 plants, started from cuttings to
friends and family. I love this plant- forever growing.
Dave
Arizona, USA
14th Jan 2011
This may very well be the perfect houseplant. Put it in an east-facing window for fast growth, or bright north light if you would like to just maintain it. The leaves do collect dust, so wipe them off with a damp paper towel once a month. Don't remove the air roots; gently direct them into the soil. Does not necessarily need a support; put it in a hanging basket and it'll hang and grow great. Don't put it outside unless the location is shaded and protected from weather. It's not really suited to outdoor cultivation unless you live in the tropics.
Graham Arnold
uk
17th Nov 2012
A Monstera Deliciosa plant will shake and tremble violently if there is too much dust on the leaves. Also the plant itself will twist about 180 degrees in a day.
These materials are freely provided for instructional and educational purposes. Any duplication or publication of text or images herein for commercial gain without explicit written permission of the owner or photographer constitutes breach of trust and violation of copyright.
Copyright © Galka Okhapkina 1998-2014