Monstera deliciosa 

(mon-stair' ah daa-li-cee-o' sah)

Common name: Swiss Cheese Plant, Splitleaf Philodendron, Hurricane Plant, Mexican Breadfruit, Windowleaf, Ceriman

Family: Araceae, Arum

Height x width: vining to 16' or more

Foliage: alternate, ovate, entire or deeply cut (pinnatifid) varying with light conditions and age

Flowers: arum-like spathes on mature plants, seldom produced indoors

Light: bright, adaptable to low

Temperature: moderate to warm

Watering: moderate, tolerates occasional dry

Fertility: moderate

Humidity: humid

Soil: well-drained

Pests and Problems: leaf spots, scales, spider mites, mealybugs (often common); brown leaves and tears indicate excess water; small leaves or non-perforated leaves indicate low light

Growth habit, uses: large climbing foliage indoors

Other interest: an epiphytic root climber native from southern Mexico to Panama in rainforests; from the Latin monstrum meaning marvel or monster, refering to large leaves; common and popular, especially used in Victorian times; once cultivated in English hothouses for its edible, large, cone-shaped compound fruit (ceriman) with a flavor between pineapple and banana; parts other than fruit may cause stomach upset if ingested, or contact with fruit may irritate skin

Other culture: needs a large space indoors, and often frequent pruning or propagation to keep to desired size; wipe leaves occasionally to remove dust; do not cut aerial roots, rather direct into soil if possible

Propagation: cuttings (stem, internodal, tip), air layer, seed

Cultivars: (much less common than the species)

'Albovariegata'-- irregular, creamy white patches

'Bonsigiana'-- more compact

'Variegata'-- splashed or marbled creamy yellow, tends to revert to green

©Authored by Dr. Leonard Perry, Professor, University of Vermont as part of PSS121, Indoor Plants.

Return to  Perry's Perennial Pages | PSS121 course