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How to Grow Monstera Deliciosa

By Karen Carter ; Updated September 21, 2017
Monstera deliciosa has large splits in the leaves.

Monstera deliciosa is also called windowleaf, split-leaf philodendron and the Swiss-cheese plant. This fast growing broadleaf vine develops a thick stem of 2 to 4 inches around. The vines can reach 70 feet long. The heart-shaped leaves are 3 feet long and 2 to 3 feet wide. The leaves are deeply split along the edges. Monstera deliciosa is native to Mexico, Guatemala, Costa Rica and Panama, growing in the hot, humid, tropical forests. This vine is commonly grown as an ornamental plant in the landscape in warm climates or in containers as houseplants.

Place a 6-foot bamboo pole in the container next to the vine. Tie the vine to the pole as it grows. Use a soft cloth or twine and do not tie the knot tightly around the stem, since this could kill the vine.

Keep the Monstera deliciosa warm, since it does not tolerate freezing temperatures. The leaves are damaged at 32 degrees F, and the stems are killed at 28 degrees F.

Place your vine in light shade or filtered sunlight. Long exposure to intense sunlight causes leaf scorching.

Prune the Monstera deliciosa vine back to the desired height. Cut the vine just above a leaf with a sharp, clean knife.

Feed your Monstera deliciosa every eight weeks with 10-10-10 slow release fertilizer. Spread the fertilizer evenly on top of the soil and then water well. Pour water in top of the container until it runs out the bottom whenever the soil feels dry.

Transplant the vine to a larger container when the roots escape the container. Spread 2 to 4 inches of shredded bark or wood chip mulch on top of the soil. This conserves soil moisture so the Monstera deliciosa does not need watering as often.

Cut the fruit from the Monstera deliciosa with a sharp knife when the ends begin to bulge. The fruit will become fully ripe five to six days later. The fruit is ready to eat when the pieces of rind are easily flicked off.

 

Things You Will Need

  • Bamboo pole
  • Soft cloth
  • Sharp knife
  • Fertilizer
  • Water
  • Large container
  • Shredded bark mulch

Tip

  • Monstera deliciosa is invasive when planted in the landscape. It takes over and climbs trees without control. Long, aerial roots appear along the vine and take root wherever they touch the soil.

Warning

  • Monstera deliciosa contains high amounts of oxalic acid in the unripe fruit, flowers and all parts of the plant. This causes mouth and skin irritation. The reaction is extreme in some sensitive people who suffer diarrhea, intestinal gas and anaphylaxis.

About the Author

 

Karen Carter spent three years as a technology specialist in the public school system and her writing has appeared in the "Willapa Harbor Herald" and the "Rogue College Byline." She has an Associate of Arts from Rogue Community College with a certificate in computer information systems.