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Monstera Deliciosa Swiss Cheese Plant Large 5 Gallon Container

Monstera Deliciosa Swiss Cheese Plant Large 5 Gallon Container

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Monstera Deliciosa Swiss Cheese Plant Large 5 Gallon Container

Split-leaf philodendron, Swiss cheese plant, or windowleaf (Monstera deliciosa) is a tropical plant native to rainforests of Central America from southern Mexico to Panama, and commonly grown as a foliage houseplant. It was introduced into cultivation in England in 1752. This plant can be grown indoors or outdoors and is a very popular house plant.

It is the only ornamental aroid also grown for its fruit. In spite of its common name, it is not a member of the genus Philodendron (it was formerly classified in that genus) but is in the same family (Araceae). 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.

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. All other parts of this plant are poisonous.

How to Grow Monstera Deliciosa as a House Plant

As a houseplant, split-leaf philodendron does best in bright light in summer and direct sun in winter. It can be grown under florescent light, but will not develop the leaf perforations when light is inadequate. It prefers warm room temperature and medium to high humidity, but is fairly tolerant of a wide range of conditions once acclimated. Plants do not grow below 50ºF, however, and frost will kill them.
Grow split-leaf philodendron in a rich soil mix, with ample root room to promote larger leaf growth.

They can be very vigorous growers and need support to keep the stems from breaking. Provide a tree bark or strong, moss-covered support sunk into the pot for the aerial roots to attach to. Sphagnum moss wrapped around a wooden slat, secured with monofilament fishing line or nylon thread, will work well. Water thoroughly and allow the soil to dry slightly between waterings, being sure to also water the moss-covered support so the aerial roots can obtain water and nutrients. The leaves will “sweat” if the growing medium is too moist. If this happens, reduce watering to prevent root rot.

Your plant will be between two to three feet in height with well-developed roots. These plants are mature three to four year old plants and have been growing in large five gallon containers.

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