Monstera Deliciosa


PLANT PROFILE: Monstera Deliciosa
 
Common Name: Monstera, Fruit Salad Plant, Cheese Plant, Hurricane Plant
 
Scientific/Botanical Name: Monstera Deliciosa
 
Family: Araceae
 
Type of Plant: Epiphyte – meaning it grows on other plants
 
Origin: Tropical rainforests of Southern Mexico
 
Watering: Flood your Monstera with a litre of water and let all of the water drain out will do the trick for these plants. They don’t like having wet feet or don’t leave this plant sitting in a saucer or pot of drained water!
 
Climate: Monstera’s are tropical plants so they love the warmer humid weather! Summer (their growing season) they thrive indoors in a warm, humid environment and you will find these plants just bloom like nothing you’ve seen before! In the cooler months make sure this plant has a great amount of indirect sunlight so it can stay nice and warm
 
Sunlight: An abundance of indirect warm sunlight is just what the Monstera ordered! Keep this plant in a bright room and you will see it flourish with it’s amazing perforated leaves! You will find that you have to rotate your plant as the leaves grow towards the light and can bend and twist in order to get there!
Don’t be worried if your leaves aren’t splitting or perforating, this just means the plant isn’t getting as much sunlight as it would like, so perhaps a trip to a bright stop or outside under the veranda will do it some good!
 
In winter these plants can be placed in direct sunlight for longer periods of time but in summer the leaves will burn easily from direct sunlight.
 
How does the Plant go with pets?
It is said that these plants can irritate animal skin so it’s best to have these plants up on a higher level where our pets can’t brush against them (I’m looking at you mister cat). These also are a plant you don’t want your furry family members to snack on, so keep your eye or for an inquisitive towards this plant from your animals.
 
How big does the plant grow?
If your Monstera is an indoor plant, it’s average length each leaf can reach is approximately 45cm and the plant itself can reach 3-4 meters high. The happier the plant, the bigger it will grow!
If you decided to plant this plant in the garden, prepare to watch it go a little crazy.. our gardens are different to the southern tropics of Mexico, so the chances of it growing an incredible 20m tall are slim to none, although at least a couple of metres is definitely do able!
 
Flower or a fruit?
 
The answer is, both! The amazing Monstera actually does grow a cone-like fruit which as a matter of fact is the unripened version of the flower and apparently takes like a cross between a pineapple and a banana! This fruit/flower is covered with hexagon shaped scales which dry out and fall off as the fruit begins the ripen. Amazingly, it can take a year or more for this fruit to ripen and become edible. Eating the fruit in it’s unripe stage is a big no no! If eaten when unripe, the fruit can actually cause major irritation to the mouth and throat because of high levels of oxalic acid.
 
Indoors it is very unlikely that your Monstera will flower or fruit.
 
Fertilizer: A regular liquid fertiliser can be used once every two weeks during the growing season for optimum growth
 
Repotting: Repotting isn’t something that needs to be done too regularly with this plant. They only like to be re-potted into pots that are one size bigger than its previous size. They can be re-potted each spring time if that suit you or “top-dressed”, in other words, fresh potting mix added on top annually.
 
Common Problems:
  • Dusty leaves – using a soft, damp sponge gently wipe away any dust that may have gathered on the leaves. Dust on the leave can prevent the plant from obtaining sunlight.
  • Yellowing leaves – If the leaves of the plant begin to yellow, it may be caused by over-watering. If the plant is not being over-watered this could mean that the plant needs a good fertiliser!
  • Leaf tips and edges of the leaves turning brown – this is due to low humidity and dry air. Say hello to a little bit of this during the colder weather in Australia! Not to worry, this can be removed and the plant will be fine.
  • Leaves not splitting – this could be from either, a lack or water, light or fertiliser. It’s all about trial for these plants!
  • Scale insects – scale insects drive us at EEFM insane! They are the little tiny black or brown sap like droplet looking critters that can take over a plant if you don’t get rid of them! Just use a warm damp cloth to wipe away the scale and then spray with an either mix together a soap solution or buy a gentle insecticide.
 
Little Fun Facts
  • Monstera’s have beautiful perforated leaves, although the young stems will have completely unsplit, intact leaves
  • The leaves of the Monstera actually helps it in it’s native environment as they can withstand any hurricanes and high tropical winds! (hence it’s common name, Hurricane Plant)
  • This plant can grow a fruit, although it is very unlikely that it will as an indoor plant and it can take up to a year for the fruit to ripen!