Scientific name: Monstera Deliciosa
Synonyms: Swiss Cheese Plant, Delicious Monster
Lush and bold, Delicious Monsters make a bold, green accent in any space.
Given the space, Delicious Monsters can grow to 3m tall, whilst their dramatic, perforated leaves can grow to 30cm long or more. It’s thus best to give them a bit of elbow room especially as they get larger.
This handsome foliage plant is a climber in the wild,growing up large trees. Thus you will eventually need to support it indoors by means of a moss pole or a stable structure nearby, such as a column or beam etc.
It anchors itself with thick, aerial roots. You will notice these roots growing from your plant and you can just tuck the roots into the soil at the base of the aerial root. The tail-end can be trained to grow up a moss pole if you wish or train them back into the soil.
Young plants have smooth,heart-shaped leaves. But as the plant matures, the leaves develop deeply cut slits or holes giving the leaves the Swiss Cheese effect. If your plant’s leaves do not develop the holes and slits it may be that your plant isn’t receiving enough light.
Delicious Monsters can grow up to 20m is allowed to, but if you would like to keep your plant constrained you can restrict it by not re-potting it into a larger pot when it’s roots fill up the current pot and fertilizing the plant less regularly which will slow down it’s growth.
Take Note: The leaves of the Delicious Monster are poisonous and can cause severe burning in the mouth if eaten. They can also cause skin irritation. If this occurs, use gloves when handling this plant.
NOTE: These plants are considered poisonous and should be kept away from pets and children.
Delicious Monster Common Symptoms
Some of the common symptoms that Delicious Monsters encounter, and how to address them.
- Yellowing leaves/lower leaves are a sign of overwatering. Water thoroughly, then allow soil to dry out a bit before watering again. Yellow lower leaves can also be a sign of the temperature being to low. Move the plant somewhere warmer. Note: Yellow leaves also occur on healthy plants and are just a natural shedding of old leaves and there is no need to show concern. Assess the plant, the environment adjust the plant’s environment as needed.
- Curled, brown crispy leaf tips are caused by humidity levels being too low or the plant receiving too much fertilizer. Mist the plant more regularly or increase room humidity. For plants that have been over-fertilized you should flush soil with clean water to wash away any accumulated fertilizer. Wait a month before feeding again.
- Brown tips and yellow leaves are a sign of over-watering. Let the plant dry out a but between watering and take note of its environment.
- Dry, brown spots (scorched leaves) are caused by strong, harsh, direct sunlight. Move your plant to an area where the light is bright, but indirect. Filtered light or gentle sunlight is best.
- No holes in leaves and plant is ‘spreading’ outwards this happens when the plant isn’t getting enough light. Move your plant to an area that gets better light. Spreading: you can recognise this when the plant is thin and scraggly and it’s stems are long, trying to reach out for the light.
Delicious Monster Care Instructions
- Origin: Southern Mexico and Guatemala
- Height: When trained it can grow many metres 15 -20 but for the average house plant with some support can be grown to about 3m.
- Light: Bright light, with no harsh sun. The Delicious Monster can handle some gentle sun, though.
- Water: Water thoroughly and allow the top part of soil to dry out between waterings. Keep soil barely moist in winter. Yellowing lower leaves are usually a sign of overwatering. Provide good drainage.
- Humidity: Average to high (at least 40% relative humidity).
- Temperature: Average to warm, 18 – 29°C
- Fertilizer: Feeding is important for lush, new growth. Feed every 2 weeks spring through autumn with a balanced liquid fertilizer diluted by half. Feed monthly in winter.
- Propagation: Take growing tip cuttings of a mature plant in spring and insert them into moist peat moss based potting mix.
- Repotting: Re-pot in spring when roots have filled the pot. When you re-pot pick a plant that is a few cm’s bigger than its current size. Take note that a plant grown in a large pot will become a very large Monster! Keep that in mind when you choose a place in your home for it to live. Always use a pot with drainage holes to prevent soggy soil
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