Monstera deliciosa
Common Name: Swiss cheese plant 
Type: Vine
Family: Araceae
Native Range: Mexico, Central America
Zone: 10 to 12
Height: 30.00 to 70.00 feet
Spread: 6.00 to 10.00 feet
Bloom Time: Rarely flowers indoors
Bloom Description: Whitish-green spadix and white spathe
Sun: Part shade
Water: Medium
Maintenance: Medium
Flower: Showy
Leaf: Evergreen
Fruit: Showy, Edible


Winter hardy to USDA Zones 10-12. As a houseplant, it needs a peaty soil-based potting mix and bright indoor light with no strong direct sun. Best in a warm and humid location. Water regularly during the growing season, allowing soils to dry some between waterings. Reduce watering from fall to late winter. Can be grown with a pole or trellis to support their climbing habit. Without support plants tend to grow horizontally.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Monstera deliciosa, commonly called split-leaf philodendron or swiss cheese plant, is native to Central America. It is a climbing, evergreen perennial vine that is perhaps most noted for its large perforated leaves on thick plant stems and its long cord-like aerial roots. In its native tropical habitat, it will climb somewhat impressively to 70’ into large trees, clothing the trunks with leaves in the 1-3’ long range. Indoor plants more typically are grown in the 6-8’ range. Mature leaves of this plant are very large, glossy, deep green and distinctively cut and perforated. Juvenile leaves are small and mostly uncut. Mature plants may produce arum-like flowers with a spadix to 10” surrounded by a white spathe. Flowers give way to an edible fruit that is reminiscent in taste to pineapple-banana. Indoor plants rarely flower and fruit however. Aerial roots on the lower parts of this plant can be rooted into the soil to help nourish the plant. Aerial roots on the upper parts of the plant can be attached to a moss-like climbing pole or simply removed.

The origin of the genus name is somewhat obscure, but is thought to derive from Dracontium, the name Linnaeus assigned to this group of plants. Monstera is first found in a published work in 1763 as a revision of Linnaeus but no record is given as to why that particular name was chosen. However, the practice of naming aroids after snakes, dragons, and monsters was fairly common.

Specific epithet means delicious for the delicious, edible fruit.

Common name is in reference to the perforated foliage. Although not a philodendron, this plant is commonly called split-leaf philodendron.


Watch for aphids, mealybugs, thrips, scale or spider mites.


Tropical accent specimen. Large leaved indoor plant for warm, bright and humid areas.