Monstera deliciosa (Monstera)

  • TropPlant Accession Number (TPAN): 0119
  • Botanical Name: Monstera deliciosa
  • Common Name: Swiss Cheese Plant, Monstera, Ceriman, Split-Leaf Philodendron
  • Cultivar: N/A
  • Family: Araceae
Monstera deliciosa 
Photo by Matthew Gaston

  • Native To: Mexico south to Northern Colombia

Landscaping Information

    • Plant Type: Vine, Groundcover, Indoor Plant
    • Texture: Course 
    • Form: Mat to Irregular Vining
    • Height (on average, in landscape use):  2'-3'
    • Height to Spread Ratio: 1:4, primarily irrelevant as it is a vine
    • Growth Rate: Medium-Fast
    • Landscape Values: Background, Facer, Filler, Foundation, Groundcover, Indoor, Lanai, Mass, Patio, Quick Effect, Sculptural Form, Specimen, Erosion Control
    • Outstanding Quality: Form/Silhouette, Foliage Characters

    Botanical Descriptions

    • Flowers: 4"-7" long, White to Cream, leathery, ovate spathe. Aroid Type flower. 
    • Fruits: Pale yellow with blue-purple spots, edible once fully ripened. 
    • Foliage Color: Young/immature: Light green. Mature: Dark Green
    • Foliage Tip:  Rounded to Acute
    • Foliage Base: Cordate
    • Petiole: 12"-40" long
    • Stipules: -
    • Margins: A description of the shape of the edge of the leaf; descriptions could include Serrate, Smooth, Toothed, Undulate, Lacerate.
    • Leaf Arrangement: Alternate
    • Leaf Shape: Cordate 
    • Leaf Type: Simple, yet sexy. Pinnately Divided.
    • Leaf Texture: Thick, waxy, glaucous, smooth, firm
    • Leaf Special Notes: Marvelously large leaves with naturally, genetically encoded gaps: Regularly Pinnately Divided. This large deep green is considered by many the ultimate tropical foliage plant. 
    Monstera deliciosa leaf adaxial surface. Note the ruler, which is 8 inches long.
    Photo by Matthew Gaston

    Monstera deliciosa leaves. Left: adaxial surface. Right: abaxial surface. 
    Photo by Matthew Gaston

    • Bark and Trunk: Green, vegetative and herbaceous, then ages to light brown and a lignified appearance. Notable leaf scars and root scars. Adventitious roots may emerge throughout the stem.
    Monstera deliciosa stem with prominent adventitious roots anchoring the plant and keeping it upright.
    Photo by Matthew Gaston

    Horticultural Information

      • Light Preference: Shade, Semi-Shade
      • Light Tolerances: Semi-Sun
      • Soil Preferences:  Loam, Organic, Moist
      • Tolerances: Humidity, Regular Watering, Slight Drought
      • Water Requirements: Does best with regular watering to maintain a moist soil. Nonetheless, It is used in xeriscaping in Florida. 
      • Notes on Maintenance: A spreading, sprawling, hemi epiphytic, large vine with the ability to adhere to surfaces. Plan for this plant to grow on surfaces with its thick aerial roots, which can leave lasting marks especially noticeable on buildings. Prepare accordingly. It is a popular container plant and what many houseplant enthusiasts consider the epitome of a tropical plant - essential for any good indoor tropical garden. The hashtag #MonsteraMonday is a testament to its popularity as an indoor plant.
      • Propagation: Seeds, Cutting, Division
      • Minimum USDA Hardiness Zone: 9b-11a
      • Weed Risk Assessment Score (WRA): -1,  Low Risk

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