Monstera deliciosa

Family: Araceae

Countries: Americas, Central America, Mexico, North America, Panama

Monstera deliciosa can be found growing in the wild, in the damp, humid rainforests of Panama, and Mexico.  The rainforest is a competitive environment.  Monstera deliciosa plants grow towards and then climb up nearby trees, to reach the sunlight.

Monstera deliciosa is a tender evergreen climbing plant, that favours growing in a location where it can enjoy bright, but indirect light, or partially shaded conditions.  Plants thrive in a very humid environment – Monstera deliciosa is an ideal houseplant to grow near a frosted window, in a steamy bathroom.  To increase the humidity around your Monstera deliciosa plants, mist your plants regularly, using a hand-held sprayer.  In the summertime, I pop my Monstera plants outside, while it’s raining, to wash their leaves and remove any dust or debris.  Rainwater is ideal for watering houseplants.  This is a tender plant, so don’t forget to bring it inside.  Don’t be tempted to move your Monstera deliciosa plants outside to receive the rainfall during cooler spring days or in autumn or wintertime.  During the colder months, it is better to collect rainwater and then wait for it to reach room temperature before watering your plants.  Allow your Monstera deliciosa plant’s compost to dry out a little, before you water your plants again.  But water your plant at regular intervals.  Monstera deliciosa plants enjoy moist, but well-drained compost – these plants really don’t want to sit in water.  Monstera deliciosa thrives in the warm temperatures inside our homes.

Monstera deliciosa‘s common name of the Swiss cheese plant is very fitting, as Monstera deliciosa dark green, heart shaped leaves feature these wonderful splits and holes, that rather resemble the holes in a Swiss cheese.  It’s only a Monstera deliciosa plant’s older foliage that displays these distinctive cuts.  Younger Monstera deliciosa plant’s leaves are solid and complete, without any divides.  When a Monstera deliciosa plant reaches a small, but sturdy size, after the plant has already produced a few simple leaves, then this plant’s iconic dissected leaves will start being produced.

Given the opportunity, Monstera deliciosa plants will keep on growing and climbing.  Their eventual size will depend on each particular plant’s growing conditions.  The plant’s support system will also effect the size and appearance of a Monstera deliciosa plant.  Many gardeners use a moss pole and encourage their Monstera deliciosa plant to climb it.  This can be successful, but it pays to attend your plant at regular intervals, to maintain a happy shape and an attractive form.

Provide your Monstera deliciosa plants with a peat-free, loam-based compost.

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