Monstera is an evergreen vine, native to the tropical forests of Mexico, North and South America. In their natural habitat Monstera can grow to 70 feet tall. It is commonly called Swiss cheese plant or Swiss cheese Monstera because of the holes in the leaves which is similar to Swiss cheese. The name Monstera deliciosa is derived from the words monstrous which refers to the unusual leaves with natural holes and delicious referring to the fruits. The fruits of this plants when ripe are edible. The smell of the fruits is similar to a combination of pineapples and bananas.
Monstera deliciosa and Monstera adansonii are the common species which are used as house plants or indoor plants. The glossy, large leaves are what makes this plant attractive. Monstera are commonly kept as indoor plants owing to its majestic appearance.
Monstera requires soil which is loose and well-draining. The soil should be rich in organic matter. The plant should be frequently watered as it likes slightly moist soil. Choose a spot where it will receive bright indirect sunlight and temperatures of 20-30 degree Celsius. You can place your Monstera in a corner of the living room in a large terracotta pot or you place a small container on your desk. The leaves can be easily grown in glass vases for decorative purposes. Because the leaves are eye-catching, they can be placed in any part of the room and it will light up the whole room with its splash of green. If you are growing the plant in the ground, you can grow it around a tree where it can climb. It can also be grown in pots with moss stick for support. Flowering is rarely seen when grown indoors.
Watering is an important aspect in keeping your Monstera healthy and alive. Overwatering will cause root rot but under watering will cause drying. Monstera likes moist soil but not wet clumpy soil. You can wait till the top few inches of soil feels dry before watering your plant.
Propagation of Monstera can be done very easily though cuttings. A cutting should be taken just below the leaf node. Keep the nodal region immersed in water in a jar. Roots will develop within 2-3 weeks. You can change the water every 2-3 days. Keep the jar in a sunny spot with bright indirect light.
Monstera is toxic to cats and dogs so keep it away from pets and children as well. Symptoms include oral irritation, swelling, vomiting, drooling and difficulty in swallowing.
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