Monstera Deliciosa is a gorgeous foliage plant, an easy care pot plant, and produces an exotic tropical fruit - not to be missed in any tropical garden. The name means "Delicious Monster" for a reason!
If planted in a pot, size is contained but if planted in the garden the leaves grow to be huge, up to 90cm long and 75cm wide, and heart-shaped. Leaves are whole on young plants, but soon develop lobe a shaped holes, hence the name ‘Swiss Cheese Plant’ and ‘Window Leaf’. Aerial roots are produced, which are used to climb up a support (such as a tree, or totem pole), or will form a thick mat on the ground if unsupported. The Split Leaf Philodendron is stunning grown either way. It is native to Central American rainforests.
About fruit & flowers
Monstera deliciosa produces a spathe and spadix. The spadix is formed in the shape of a succulent spike with little flowers, and the spathe surrounds the spadix. Spadix can take over 12 months to mature, and swells into a fruit which tastes like fruit salad, with hints of banana, mango and pineapple. Fruits are up to 30cm long and around 5cm in diameter.
This fruit is delicious! (Deliciosa!) A rare, exotic fruit only occasionally found commercially. All parts of this plant are poisonous, except for the ripe fruit. Flowers are produced at 2-4 years and fruit takes around 12 months to mature.
Fruit that is fully formed is large and covered with hexagonal sections. The fruit is then left to ripen off the plant (in your fruit bowl). The fruit ripens from tip to base over a number of days. Once the hexagonals fall off, that part of the fruit is ready to consume. If the hexagonals are still stuck, it is not ripe, not edible and will irritate your mouth and throat. But when ripe, DELICIOSA!!! This means you get to enjoy a little of the fruit every day as it ripens.
Growing Monstera Deliciosa
Best grown in warm positions, sheltered from frost and cold winds. Moist, well draining soil is preferred. This plant benefits from a regular application of fertiliser during the growing season. Choose a fertiliser suitable for tropical/foliage plants, or use a soluble fertiliser which can be applied over foliage & soil. Once established in the ground, these plants do not need much maintenance, but will benefit from some additional organic matter & mulching.
Monstera Deliciosa is best grown in a shaded position with indirect light. Adequate water should be provided in tune with rainforest conditions, meaning a ‘wet’ and a ‘dry’ season. Water well in summer, less in winter.
Temperature is best above 18 degrees for this plant; however, some people have reported happy plants growing in temperatures as low as -2! Frost damage should be expected at this temperature, but there is a good chance this plant will recover. Monstera deliciosa will need to be slowly adjusted to this conditions, but will grow happily almost anywhere.
If, after a year or so, you realize your Monstera is not producing large leaves with holes, try and expose this plant to some more indirect light. Without bright indirect light, Monstera will not do much, although it will most likely still look healthy. Feed well, provide nice fertile moist soil/potting mix & place in bright, indirect light – your Monstera will love it.
Excellent for ornamental uses in tropical gardens, and as house plants Australia wide. These plants are often seen in buildings & offices as indoor plant. This plant handles dry air well which makes it very suited to indoor positions, as long as leaves are regularly wiped, and fertiliser is applied in the warmer months.
Provide a totem pole or moss totem for support. You can make your own, or purchase from a garden centre. You can make your own by wrapping sphagnum moss around a piece of wood and securing it with rope. Place it in the pot with the plant, taking care not to damage roots. The totem is best placed when you plant the plant. It is well suited to a position alongside a fence, or growing up dead trees and tree stumps.
For a beautiful tropical look, let the Split Leaf Philodendron climb palm trees, or train up pergolas, verandas or archways. This plant does not rob nutrient of its host, it just uses it for support.
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Plants for sale: Beautiful baby monsters approx 20-30cm tall