Also known as; swiss cheese plant, split-leaf philodendron, hurricane plant, mexican breadfruit, delicious monster
Incredibly unique, tropical foliage with fenestrated splits and holes and a climbing nature make this a very well sought-after plant for bringing a jungle theme into the home or office. Rare even in the wild, some species can be surprisingly easy to care for if its basic needs are met. Variegated plants can be extremely valuable.
About the Monstera
The Monstera is a highly sought after species of tropical foliage plant that originates from south and central american rainforest. Thriving in humid environments with brightly dappled light, the Monstera is a popular houseplant and is often seen in well-lit offices.
The Monstera deliciosa is the most common variety that you will see, with large, highly fenestrated leaves and a climbing nature that is perfectly suited to moss poles or trellises. Other varieties include the Monstera adansonii, which develops smaller and more oval leaves that are highly fenestrated but don't show the split leaf effect associated with the deliciosa.
While Monstera are known for their large, showy, tropical leaves, they also produce fruit. The Monstera deliciosa is so-called because of the delicious fruit it produces, which is said to be like a sorbet smoothie of strawberry, mango, pineapple and banana. It is extremely rare for the plant to produce fruit when kept as a houseplant, unless the environment and climate is perfect.
With the right care, Monstera will put out new leaves every few weeks, from a single growing point.
To keep the plant happy, its primary needs are high humidity of at least 50% (but, the higher the better), bright but indirect light for 6-8 hours per day, temperatures of 18-30°c / 65-85°f and very well-draining soil.
10+ feet, but highly variable
3+ feet, but highly variable
Yes - rarely
Yes - rooting nodes
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Monstera buyers' guide
Where to buy a calathea online
Our simple guide to buying the perfect calathea
- 1Read our care guide and find the perfect place (for light, temperature and humidity) in your home or office.
- 2Look for a specific variety to narrow your search.
- 3Browse your local plant nursery / garden centre, so you can see healthy plants in person before you buy.
- 4Check online at Ebay and Etsy for trusted sellers and lower prices than official online stores.
- 5Investigate your plant to make sure it's healthy and disease-free, but complain if not.
- 6Give your plant a new pot with soil or other growing medium, a splash of water and nutrients to get it off to a healthy start.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the rarest Monstera?
There are dozens of extremely rare Monstera, but one of the rarest is likely to be the Monstera obliqua Peru, which is rumored to have only been seen in the wild a couple dozen times or fewer. The Peru is a form of obliqua found in Peru and is noted to have more highly fenestrated leaves, but is also even more difficult to take care of, requiring extremely high levels of humidity. It is thought that most Monstera obliqua Peru for sale are not legitimate, and are in fact a form of adansonii.
Is Monstera a good indoor plant?
The Monstera is a very good indoor plant, so long as you can provide the right growing conditions. Its large and highly fenestrated leaves can leave guests in awe at is unique and tropical appearance. The leaves are also very effective at producing clean, oxygenated air and for trapping dust which can be easy wiped off.
Can I make my Monstera variegated?
No. True variegation is a genetic abnormality that happens from seed. Most variegated plants on the market come from cuttings of already-variegated plants. Unfortunately, there is no way to force a plant to variegate itself, and attempts to chemically induce variegation are only temporary and are more likely to seriously damage the plant than produce anything that looks like variegation.