Monstera deliciosa foliage

Source: Own work

Monstera deliciosa foliage

Monstera deliciosa or Swiss Cheese Plant is a vine with huge, deeply cut leaves.

It is part of the Aracea and closely related to Philodendron. It is often sold under the name Philodendron pertusum but it is not a Philodenderon.

The plants with smaller leaves that are sold are actually the same species but in the juvenile stage. After a few years, leaves will become larger.

In the tropics and sub-tropics it can grow in the garden, elsewhere as a houseplant.

Growth is extremely fast if you keep the substrate moist and fertilize regularly. But it can be pruned to keep its size in check.

Actually this is a very easy plant which resists neglect and will do okay in semi-shade or shade.


Monstera deliciosa is a vine that can grow to more than 10 m high.

The stems are cylindrical, 6.25-7.5 cm in diameter, with rough leaf scars and produce numerous long, tough aerial roots with which it clings to trees.

The leathery leaves stand on a stiff, straight, flattened petiole of up to 1 m long. The leaf blade is oval, heart-shaped at the base, up to 1 m long and 80 cm wide. It has deep incisions at the margin and oval holes in the middle.

Several inflorescences arise in a group from the leaf axils on thick, cylindrical stems. The cream-colored spadix is first protected by a waxy, white, lily-like spathe and develops later into a green frutescence of 20-30 cm long and 5-9 cm in diameter.

The fruit (ceriman) is a berry with thick, hard shell, forming a hexagonal plate. It contains ivory, juicy, aromatic pulp. Between the segments are thin, black particles (flower residues).

Usually fruit contains no seeds but sometimes there are light green, hard seeds the size of a pea.

Monstera deliciosa, Royal Greenhouses in Laeken

Source: Own work

Monstera deliciosa, Royal Greenhouses in Laeken


Ripe fruit is edible, unripe fruit is toxic: it contains calcium oxalate crystals.



Monstera borsigiana, Monstera deliciosa var. borsigiana, Monstera deliciosa var. sierrana, Monstera friedrichsthalii, Monstera lennea, Monstera tacanaensis, Philodendron pertusum, Tornelia fragrans

Common names:

Ceriman, Cut-Leaf Philodendron, Cut-Leaf-Philodendron, Fruit Salad Plant, Fruit-Salad Plant, Harpon, Mexican Breadfruit, Mexican-Breadfruit, Monstera, Pine Fruit Tree, Split Leaf Philodendron, Split-Leaf Monstera, Split-Leaf Philodendron, Swiss Cheese Plant, Swiss-Cheese Plant, Swiss-Cheese-Plant, Tarovine, Window Leaf, Windowleaf


Monstera: from the Latin monstrum (monster)
Deliciosa:from the Latin delicia (preferred, loved)


Central America

Monstera deliciosa inflorescence

Source: Barbara Dieu

Monstera deliciosa inflorescence


Rainforest between 1,500 and 2,000 m altitude, in the vicinity of water. Its habitat is quite limited, but it is grown all over the world.


USDA zone 10-11



Potting soil, provide a big pot


Licht, partial shade, no direct sunlight


Prefers constant humidity but substrate may dry out between waterings


Organic fertilizer 3-4 times per year or universal liquid fertilizer weekly during the growing season.

Note: the more you fertilize, the faster it grows. You can control the size by reducing feed.



Seeds, cuttings, layering

Sowing instructions:

  • seeds quickly lose their viability and should be sown fresh
  • sow in a light substrate
  • keep moist
  • 25-30 ° C
  • germination time: 1-2 months