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Philodendron Monstera deliciosa

Swiss Cheese Plant

Monstera deliciosa is a lush tropical vine that produces large decorative leaves. It grows quickly in the shade, climbing over 70' up nearby trees in the rainforests of Central America. While the plant is toxic, the fruit is edible.

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Philodendron Monstera deliciosa

Swiss Cheese Plant

Monstera deliciosa is a lush tropical vine that produces large decorative leaves. It grows quickly in the shade, climbing over 70' up nearby trees in the rainforests of Central America. While the plant is toxic, the fruit is edible.

Key Plant details

Cold Tolerance:

25-30° F

Growth Rate:

Fast

Total Height:

In habitat this vine can grow up to 70ft up neighboring trees

Habit:

Vine, rarely branching

Leaf Structure:

It has glossy, heart-shaped or rounded leathery leaves that develop deep clefts and oblong perforations as they grow older. The leaves may be as much as 18” wide on foot-long leafstalks.

Canopy size:

4-6 ft.

Trunk width:

2-3 inches

Exposure:

Partial to full shade

Soil requirements:

Rich

Tolerances:

Drought tolerant once established in a shady location

Reproduction:

The flowers, which are rarely if ever seen on houseplants, are a 8-12” long, creamy-white, Jack-in-the-pulpit type. The fleshy upright spike (spadix) with tiny flowers is surrounded by the boat-shaped spathe. It takes a little over a year for the fruit to mature, swelling into a 9” cone-like structure that looks sort of like a green cob of corn with hexagonal kernels. The edible fruits, called cerimans or monsteras, supposedly taste like a combination of banana, pineapple and mango and are high in potassium and Vitamin C. They are used to flavor drinks and ice cream, or are eaten fresh. The fruit ripens from the bottom up. Once the thick, hard rind of hexagonal plates or “scales” covering the individual segments begin to dry out and fall away, the off-white, custard-like pulp underneath is cut away from the inedible core to eat. There usually are no seeds, but occasionally pale-green, hard seeds the size of large peas, may occur in some of the segments.

Water usage:

Moderate

HEat requirement:

Partial to full shade

Hazards:

The plant contains oxalic acid, so all parts are poisonous except the ripe fruits. Young fruit, that still has the covering firmly attached, contains enough glass-like calcium oxalate crystals to cause immediate and painful irritation to the throat.

Native origin:

Brazil (South America), native to rainforests of Central America from southern Mexico to Panama

Further Reading:

https://wimastergardener.org/article/split-leaf-philodendron-monstera-deliciosa

/https://www.smgrowers.com/products/plants/plantdisplay.asp?plant_id=4227

What makes our plants so special? Our location on the cliffs of Santa Barbara receives over 280 days of sunshine a year and we utilize our indigenous soil, mixing it with a specialized amendment. Our plants are routinely watered, fertilized, and trimmed. We always aid our plants to proper health when needs arise, and we do so without the use of sprays.

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