Plant of the Week – Monstera deliciosa

An old favorite that has had a resurgence in popularity, particularly with the current trends in indoor plants!

Plant of the Week – Monstera deliciosa

Author: Amy Davidson

A member of the arum family, the Swiss Cheese Plant (Monstera deliciosa) is an epiphyte native to the tropical forests of southern Mexico.  Growing on other plants and getting most of its nutrients from the air, the plant starts its life on the forest floor and soon scrambles up anything it can attach itself to.

(www.bobvila.com)

In the wild, Monsteras can grow to 20 metres tall.  The plant has large green, glossy leaves (up to 90cm across) that develop lobes or holes as the plant matures.

(www.dawsonsgardenworld.com.au)

The fruit of the Monstera is edible, up to 25cm long and looks like a green ear of corn.  The smell of the fruit is often described as a combination of pineapples and bananas, giving the plant another name; Fruit Salad Plant.  The aerial roots of the plant are used as ropes and to make baskets.  In Mexico, a leaf or root infusion is drunk daily to relieve arthritis.

Fruit of Monstera deliciosa (www.mygardenofdelights.com)

Monsteras like shade, warmth and moisture and will die if they are subjected to temperatures below 10°C.  Commonly grown as an interior houseplant in southern Australia, Monsteras grow best between the temperatures of 20-30°C.

(www.katrinaleechambers.com)

Monsteras were very popular in the 1970’s and have seen a revival in recent years. They are very hardy plants with a quirky appearance and can brighten up any room.

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