Monstera Deliciosa a.k.a Swiss Cheese Plant/Fruit Salad Plant/Split Leaf Philodendron
Monstera Deliciosa Quick Overview
|Full Size||8 foot high|
|Light||Bright indirect light|
Monstera Deliciosa is probably one of the most popular house plants. It has beautiful large green leaves that feature slits and fenestrations as it matures and not only is it a hardy, easy to care for plant, it also grows fruit! In the rainforest, these slits are used to help withstand the heavy winds and rainfall.
The Monstera Deliciosa is part of the Araceae family that’s native to tropical forests of Southern Mexico. This plant loves to climb and will use a tree to hold on to and grow. It has large arial roots that shoot out and latch onto the tree to not only climb, but to also collect nutrients it needs rather than obtaining them from the ground. When in pots, you can sit the arial roots into the soil or allow them to freely hang out. Providing your Monstera plant with a pole will assist in holding it up.
Monstera Deliciosa is a very large plant. The plant is known to grow up to 60 feet high with leaves reaching up to 1 metre in length. However, when kept indoors, you can expect your plant to grow up to 8 feet.
Monstera Deliciosa Light Requirements
Providing your Monstera Deliciosa with sufficient lighting is super important. You don’t want to house your plant in a spot where lighting will be insufficient as you will start to run into plant health problems. If your Monstera is placed in a spot with insufficient lighting you may notice your plant will start producing leaves without splits, leaf discolouration and slow growth.
Monstera like to be positioned in a spot with bright indirect lighting and will require this to thrive. It’s important that you don’t have your plant in a spot where it will be exposed to long hours of direct sunlight. Providing too much harsh sunlight can cause the leaves to burn. Putting up a curtain or blind on the window will help to diffuse the sunlight. Housing your plant in a bright spot will result in larger leaves, more fenestrations, fast growth and a happy plant.
Monstera Deliciosa prefer being in a spot that maintains a temperature of 68-86˚F (20-30˚C). If the temperature drops below 50˚F (10˚), the plant will seize growing. It’s best to try and avoid frost temperatures if you can as the plant may die off.
Since Monstera Deliciosa are native to rainforests where humidity is generally quite high, providing your plant with a medium to high humidity will assist in keeping your plant happy. Even though this plant can tolerate those drier conditions, providing some humidity will assist in healthy growth.
If you plants leaves start getting brown tips or edges, this can be a sign that the air is too dry and the humidity is too low. If your plant is housed in a spot where the humidity is quite low, there are a few tips you can follow that will help assist in increasing the humidity in your home. You can see those tips here.
Monstera Deliciosa Watering Requirements
One of the most common reasons for house plant deaths is over-watering. It’s important that you check the plants soil before you give it some water. As a rule of thumb, check the top 2-3 inches of soil with your finger. If the soil feels dry, you should give your plant a drink. Wilting leaves is also an indications that your plant is thirsty.
When watering your Monstera plant, you should give it enough water so that it starts draining from the bottom. Ensure all water is drained completely so the plant doesn’t end up sitting in water. Over-watering your plant can result in issues like black leaves and root rot. If you notice the plants leaves are going pale in colour or yellowing, this can be a sign that you are over-watering your plant.
Monstera Deliciosa are a fast growing plant that will benefit from regular fertilizing. You should fertilize your plant at least one a month during the growth period with a liquid fertilizer. During the cooler month when growth slows, fertilizing isn’t required. Fertilizing your Monstera provides it with the nutrients it needs to promote new and healthy growth.
You should provide your Monstera Deliciosa with a soil that is peaty and well draining. You want to use a soil that will stay moist but not soggy. Adding perlite to any general potting soil will assist with better drainage. Adding peat moss to the soil will help with holding moisture without keeping it too wet.
Using a soil that stays too wet will cause health problems and the plants roots could start to rot.
Diseases & Pests
The most common diseases and pests that you can encounter whilst caring for your Monstera Deliciosa are spider mites, scale insect and mealy bugs. Monstera can develop root-rot if over-watered. For a wide range of information on combating a range of indoor plant diseases and pests click here.
Monstera Deliciosa are considered to be toxic if eaten. Consumption of the plant (especially in large quantities) can cause symptoms including; burning of the lips, throat and mouth, difficulty breathing or swallowing, nausea and vomiting/ diarrhoea. If these symptoms occur make sure to seek the appropriate medical attention.
The sap of monstera Deliciosa is also known to cause minor skin irritation.