One of the trendiest plants right now is the Monstera deliciosa, also known as the split leaf philodendron (which isn’t a philodendron at all), Adams Ribs, Fruit salad plant, Mexican Breadfruit, Swiss Cheese Plant, and Windowleaf. Thank goodness for the Latin Name!
So, while most people know a little about this plant, here are some interesting facts about this plant.
Yes, it’s a vine. But a champion vine it is! This plant will climb up large trees and reach lengths of over 70 feet! Thats approximately 7 stories high of an office building!
While the plant is extremely poisonous, it bears a fruit that is, well, deliciosa! Although I only have eaten it once as a kid, I’ve never forgotten how great that fruit was. The fruit takes a little over a year to mature, and has a flavour that some say is a cross between a mango, pineapple and banana. Isn’t that the perfect smoothie wrapped up in one?
The mature leaves split as they begin their climb, while the immature leaves creeping on the jungle floor are whole. The reason for the holes in the leaves above ground, is to allow for the wind to pass through the leaf without ripping it. However, If you’ve ever had a young Monstera, and the leaves don’t split, it could be because your plant isn’t receiving enough light, and once moved into a sunnier location, the leaves will split. But wait! How do you know that your young plant is indeed a Monstera? One side of the leaf lobe is always noticeable larger than the other side. Now you’re an expert Monstera deliciosa identifier!
Have you ever seen a plant sweat? Its not uncommon for this plant to have droplets of water dripping off its leaves in the mornings. Its called ‘transpiration” and is one way that the plant releases excess water from the soil.
While some arial roots are used to help a plant climb, this plant sends down arial roots towards the ground in order to help support the weak but heavy stems as it climbs.
So those are just a few of the interesting features of this plant. It grows fast, so be prepared to transplant this plant often. As it grows, fertilize it in the summer, as with any child, it takes a lot of nutrients to get big. Indoors, place your plant in good lighting, but remember it grows under the tree canopy in its natural habitat and prefers indirect light. Originally from the jungles of Mexico to Central America, this plant loves humidity so don’t forget to mist it on a daily basis when possible!