About This Plant
Also known as the Swiss cheese plant, Mexican breadfruit, or hurricane plant, Monstera deliciosa is recognizable by its large, glossy green leaves with deep splits and holes. Like most houseplants, it's native to the tropics, hailing from the rainforests of southern Mexico and Central America.
All parts of the plant are toxic to people except for the ripe fruit, and according to the ASPCA, Monstera deliciosa is toxic to dogs and cats.
Where to Grow
Monstera deliciosa plants like standard indoor temperatures (68–86 °F), and prefer high humidity and filtered, indirect light. They can be grown outdoors in a shaded location as a climbing, evergreen perennial in US Department of Agriculture zones 10-11. Too much harsh sunlight can result in scorching, but if it doesn't get enough the plant may not develop as many perforations in its leaves.
Care and Planting
Plant in a peaty, well-draining soil in a pot with drainage holes. Monstera deliciosa is a climber in its natural habitat, using its aerial roots to cling to large trees, so you should provide it with moss-covered support sticks or a trellis. If its aerial roots get unruly you can trim them, but it's best to just tuck them back into the pot. They're not the type of roots that damage walls or surfaces. Water when the top quarter-to-third of the soil feels dry to the touch. Standard liquid plant fertilizer can be applied about once a month during the spring and summer growing season. Keep leaves clean and dust-free by washing with a cloth dipped in a solution of a drop of dishwashing detergent in a few cups of water. Though it's not required, the plant also appreciates regular misting of its leaves. When Monstera deliciosa outgrows its current pot (about every two years), transplant to a new pot a few inches larger in diameter and depth than the old one.