Collection: Monstera

How to Grow and Care for Monstera Deliciosa

Tropical plant makes a great houseplant in a window facing south, west, or east


Monstera deliciosa, also known as the split-leaf philodendron or Swiss cheese plant, is a tropical plant often kept as a houseplant. This easy-to-grow climbing evergreen can be found in many designer spaces for its "wow" factor. Monstera deliciosa makes a statement with its glossy, heart-shaped split leaves. Growing fast, about 1 to 2 feet a year; it takes about three years before you have a full-grown monstera.


Monstera deliciosa grows best in humid and warm environments, requiring dappled or partial light, acidic or neutral, well-drained peat-based soil, and temperatures between 65 and 85 degrees Fahrenheit. This beautiful plant is toxic to humans and pets when consumed.



Monstera Deliciosa Care

Here are the main care requirements for growing a Monstera deliciosa:


  • Requires warmth and humidity; can plant outdoors in USDA zones 10 through 12.
  • Prefers partial sun or dappled light.
  • Needs acidic or neutral, peat-based, well-draining soil.
  • Use a pot with ample drainage holes and water regularly.
  • Can't tolerate salty soil or full sun.
  • Give balanced fertilizer three to four times per year.



This evergreen prefers bright, indirect sunlight between 65 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit. Too much direct light in warmer months may burn the foliage. Still, set indoor plants outside at least once a year in direct sunlight to encourage lush growth.













When established in a container, it requires peat-based potting media. Outdoors, it is suitable for light sandy, medium loamy, and heavy clay soils with acid or neutral pH. Even so, it thrives most in well-drained, moderately moist soil. You'll also spot intricate aerial roots growing out of the soil, which benefit the plant by supporting the stems that hold leaves that can grow up to 3 feet long.




Give the plant regular waterings during the growing season every one to two weeks. Water until excess drains through drainage holes. Do not return the excess water to the plant's container because it has taken all the necessary water. The soil will need to dry out slightly in between waterings. Water only occasionally in fall and winter. To increase humidity indoors, mist the foliage using a spray bottle of demineralized water or rainwater.



Temperature and Humidity

Monstera deliciosa grows best in temperatures between 65 and 85 degrees Fahrenheit. It can tolerate temperatures down to 50 F and up to 90 F but will stop growing at these extremes. It prefers high humidity, about 60%. Mist it or provide a humidifier to keep its leaves moist daily.




Choose a balanced liquid 20-20-20 fertilizer to feed the plant every few weeks during the growing season. Dilute 1/2 teaspoon of the fertilizer in a gallon of water. Use the diluted fertilizer in place of regular watering. Pour the mixture into the soil until it begins to flow out of the drainage holes. Throw out the excess diluted fertilizer because the plant has taken what it needs and cannot use the extra that it drains off.





Types of Monstera Plants

Native to rainforests of Central America, there are nearly 50 species in the Monstera genus, with several species, cultivars, and variegated varieties. Variegated foliage and plants with exaggerated fenestrations (holes and splits) are pricier to buy since they're harder to propagate and grow slower than others. Here are a few of the most common, closely-related Monstera plants:


  • Monstera albo (Monstera deliciosa 'Albo Borsigiana') is a rare (and expensive) variegated Monstera deliciosa subspecies with white, speckled coloring.
  • Monstera obliqua is one of the rarest and most pricey of the Monstera plants, with large, delicate holes and splits.
  • Monstera acacoyaguensis has mature leaves that don't split—instead, they perforate.
  • Shingle plant (Monstera acuminata) has dark green, narrow, small leaves with small holes. Also, Monstera acuminata is dark green, and Monstera adansonii is lighter in color.

  • Monstera adansonii, also called Swiss cheese plant, has larger leaves than M. acuminata, with larger holes and lighter green coloration.




Trim aerial roots if they get too unruly for the space, though tucking them back into the pot is preferred. Unlike some other houseplants, their roots do not damage surfaces. Stems and leaves respond well to trimming and can be used for propagation.


Propagating Monstera Deliciosa

Monstera deliciosa can be easily propagated by stem cuttings from pruning. However, the most popular method of propagating Monstera deliciosa is air layering. Here are the steps for both methods:


To propagate with stem cuttings:


  • Using a clean, sharp pruning shear, cut off a stem that includes a node (a little bump where the roots will emerge), an aerial root, and at least two leaves.
  • Put a dash of ground cinnamon (the usual spice you can get at the grocery store) on the mother plant where you cut. This will prevent the disease from entering the cut and help the wound heal.
  • Put the cutting in a glass of water. Change the water every three to five days, and if possible, use filtered water or rainwater over tap water.
  • You will see a clump of roots growing in a couple of months. At that point, you can put your new plant in a pot with fresh soil and keep it moist as it establishes itself in its new home.

    To propagate with air layering:


The mother plant may not look attractive for a while, but getting a healthy new plant is worth it. Air layering is a preferred low-risk method because you're not cutting the mother plant until the baby is ready to be put in a pot with new roots. You'll need floral or sphagnum moss, a plastic bag or wrap, and twist ties for this method.


  • Find a stem with a couple of nodes (where the roots will grow). Or, find a leaf growing out of a stem with a short aerial root below it.
  • Cut a small notch about 1/3 of the stem's width below that root.
  • Wrap a 1-inch layer of sphagnum moss around where the leaf joins the stem.
  • Spray the moss with water to increase moisture, and wrap it in plastic. Use twist ties to secure it (it may look a little messy, which is okay).
  • Ensure the moss can remain moist until the roots develop.
  • When roots develop in a few months, you can cut (with a clean, sharp tool) the stem below the roots and establish the young plant, with its roots, in a fresh pot of soil.

  • Don't forget to pat ground cinnamon on the wound created by the mother plant. This will stop any disease from entering the cut and help the wound heal.



Potting and Repotting Monstera Deliciosa

The Swiss cheese plant will likely outgrow its pot every two years or so. Transplant into a pot a few inches wider and deeper to accommodate growth. This plant prefers well-draining porous pots, such as terra-cotta or ceramic, because they like airflow and drainage; however, any material pot with drainage holes will do. Pot the plant using these simple steps:


  • Fill the bottom third of a pot with peaty potting soil.
  • Establish a stake gently for the stem to climb on.
  • Set the roots into the container. Fill with soil around the roots.
  • Firmly surround the stake with soil and use plant ties to attach the stem to the stake.



Common Pests

Wiping dust or debris off leaves with a damp sponge or paper towel will keep the plant clean and deter pests. However, common pests that may invade the plant include sap-sucking mealybugs, aphids (plant lice), tiny cigar-shaped thrips, scale insects, and spider mites. If any are found on the foliage, spray the plant with a direct water stream. Leaves can also be washed with insecticidal soap.


How to Get Monstera Deliciosa to Bloom

Monstera deliciosa rarely blooms indoors. When it grows outdoors or in a greenhouse in ideal conditions, it produces tannish-cream flowers—in no particular month—but the plant must be at least two to three years old. It will bloom if it feels all its requirements are met, such as warm temperatures, high humidity, plenty of water, appropriate light, and adequate nutrients.



How Long Does Monstera Deliciosa Bloom?

Each Monstera deliciosa bloom lasts for about two to three weeks before it begins to fade.



What Do Monstera Deliciosa Flowers Look and Smell Like?

The bloom comprises the spadix, or flowering cylinder in the middle, and the spathe or cup enveloping the 4- to 6-inch spadix. The total inflorescence or floral head is about 8 to 10 inches long. Once it flowers, it is pollinated by bees, developing edible juicy fruit with pineapple and banana combined flavor. The fruit produced has a light, pleasant scent. Fruiting is not expected in houseplants.



Common Problems of Monstera Deliciosa

Though it's a somewhat easy-going houseplant, Monstera deliciosa can cause a few headaches. Figure out the cause of your sickly plant and how it can bounce back. Review these common symptoms of failing health.



Browning Tips

If the tips of the leaves are turning brown, that usually means the soil could be dry, or you need to consistently water the plant on a schedule to keep it moist. Remove the affected leaves.


If there's a yellow halo around the brown spots or tips, that means your plant has contracted a fungus. Remove the affected leaves and let the plant dry out before watering. The fungus likely got there because of overwatering or keeping the plant in overly wet soil for too long.



Yellow Leaves or Light Brown Spots

Yellowing leaves are an indication of dry soil. The oldest leaves on the plant will turn yellow first. Remove the affected leaves. If you notice dry, crispy spots on the leaves, check the soil; if it's bone dry, give it a good watering.



Wilting, Curling, or Drooping Leaves

If you see wilting leaves, it's likely a watering issue. The plant is either overwatered or underwatered. It's underwatered if the first few inches of surface soil are dry. Also, curling is a sign of low humidity; mist the leaves regularly or place them near a humidifier and move it away from air conditioning or heat vents.


Try taking the plant out of the pot to evaluate the roots. If it's overwatered, the plant could be suffering from root rot. Clean the roots, prune off mushy parts, and repot in new soil.




  • Is Monstera deliciosa easy to care for?
    As a houseplant, this plant is easy to grow and maintain. Outdoors, however, you need to live in the right warm and humid environment for it to thrive.

  • Why do the leaves on some Monstera deliciosa plants split more than on others?
    Fenestrated leaves require a lot of energy to split. The more light the plant receives, the more it will split. Less light produces smaller, less showy leaves.

  • Where is the best place to put a Monstera deliciosa?
    Monstera deliciosa prefers bright, indirect light, so give it a spot a few feet away from a southern, western, or eastern-facing window. It can tolerate some shade, but too much shade will make it leggy.

  • What is the difference between Monstera deliciosa and Monstera adansonii?
    Both monstera plants are known as Swiss cheese plants, but what differs is the size of their leaves. Monstera deliciosa's leaves are significantly larger than the petite leaves of Monstera adansonii.