Monstera Deliciosa is a special kind of plant and its name is contained of two Latin parts. Monstera means a monster that refers to the big leaves of this plant; also Deliciosa means delicious and refers to its fruit which can be eaten. Monstera Deliciosa originated from tropical rainforests in Central America and entered homes as a houseplant, has some other names such as Swiss cheese plant and split-leaf Philodendron. As this plant has a lot of deep holes in its huge leaves, it is commonly called the Swiss cheese plant and because of its similar protection process and appearance to a young Philodendron, it is called split-leaf Philodendron.
Its leaves are heart-shaped and shiny and sometimes exceed 40 centimeters in their width. Their colors are white and pale yellow when they are young and change to darker green when they are mature. This evergreen plant has long and strong roots which attach to every branch and trunk close to it. Big holes in the leaves let air pass through them without being torn. Its fruit, tasting of pineapple and banana, is full of vitamin C but it usually does not grow at home. It is also needed to mention that eating unripe fruit can be toxic and damage the body.
How to Care for a Monstera Deliciosa
Monstera plant care is fairly low maintenance. This plant needs a spacious area with garden soil and compost near a stick to climb. It needs a warm and humid atmosphere to grow in. Split Leaf Philodendron requires organic fertilizer to stimulate its growth. It is better to change its vase every year to prepare more room for its roots if you keep it indoors. If the plant is misted once a week in the morning or is kept in the bathroom, its required humidity is provided. All in all, if Monstera Deliciosa is kept at average light levels and room temperature with enough watering and feeding, it can live for a long time.
Preferable Conditions for a Monstera Deliciosa
In order to help every plant grow well, there are some general factors that should be considered. The following points can be significantly beneficial in the growth of Monstera Deliciosa:
- Water: similar to a yucca plant, this plant also does not need a lot of water. So check the soil in order to make sure that the soil is not moist a lot because overwatering damages its roots. Water the plant less in the winter. If the humidity is not enough, the edges of the leaves will be changed to brown.
- Feeding: In order to increase the growth of this plant, feeding is really important and every king of houseplant feed can be used once a month. Fertilizers like 10-10-10 or 20-20-20 are considered best for a Swiss-cheese plant. If the plant is growing too much, try to decrease the frequency and time of feeding. It should be remembered not to give newly repotted plants feed for about three months.
- Light: put M. Deliciosa in a light area and rotate it regularly to share light to all its sides because new leaves tend to move toward darkness. In addition, the photosynthesis of the plant will be improved if the leaves are dusted well and checked for pests. Bright light in the summer and direct sunlight in the winter can help Monstera grow more, while it grows slowly in dryness.
- Temperature: This plant can survive between 10 degrees Celsius to 30 degrees Celsius but the ideal temperature is 18 degrees Celsius, so it can survive in most cities in the US and Canada as an indoor plant.
When food, water, light, and temperature are desirable, new leaves and shoots will be produced in spring and summer. This plant can have a height of about 20 meters and the leaves can vary from 25 to 90 centimeters in their length and width. Generally, medium sunlight is efficient for this plant but if this level will be increased; it seriously damages it and makes its leaves yellow. Furthermore, dark rooms prevent the growth of the Split Leaf Philodendron and should be avoided. Keep in mind that if you take this houseplant in warm and dry places, you need to increase its watering times.
Benefits of Keeping Swiss Cheese Plant
There are a lot of advantages regarding keeping Monstera Deliciosa:
- The most important benefit? It makes your home or office more attractive with its beautiful unique leaf patterns.
- It can purify the air and is useful in humidifying air conditions.
- Its fruit is full of vitamin C, proteins, some vitamin B, calcium, phosphorous, and no fat but it is poisonous if it does not fully ripen.
- It can be a cure for different diseases and health problems such as arthritis and insect or snake bites.
It is surely beneficial for mentioned points but it should be remembered that its high doses result in diarrhea and stomach cramps. Moreover, its leaves and roots are toxic for both animals and people.
Propagation Methods of Split Leaf Philodendron
There are different ways to propagate this plant:
- By seed: when the seeds are planted, they will sprout in a couple of days; however, their speed is not fast and they are hard to appear. In comparison with light which is not very important at this level, keeping the soil moist is highly valuable.
- By cutting: this way is really popular for this plant because it is not very difficult to root. The cuttings should be taken after a leaf node, removed from the bottom leaves. Then, they can be rooted in water for a few weeks and after that, they can be planted in soil.
- By air layering: cover the place where aerial root and leaf axil are located with some damp sphagnum moss and put it in a plastic bag with some holes to pass air and tie its top. More roots will appear after a few months, and then they can be put in a vase.
Do you have any easy-to-care plants at your home or office? Leave a comment and share your personal tips and tricks on how to take care of them.