by Jessica Hill
There’s no mistaking the Monstera Deliciosa. Its signature, holey leaves have a cult like following and its hardy, easy going nature means it’s become a popular houseplant across the globe. You only have to spend a moment on Instagram or Pinterest to gain a wealth of inspiration.
For me it started with a photograph of the Monstera that French artist, Henri Matisse, had growing in his studio. This particular plant had lived up to its namesake of ‘monster’, sprawling across half the room. I knew I had to add one to my apartment.
The Monstera Deliciosa makes a perfect addition to any indoor space, especially if you’ve branded yourself a ‘black thumb.’ Try your best to create an environment that resembles its natural habitat. Channel the tropical rainforest in Central America. Make sure it’s positioned in a well-lit spot with enough space to spread out as it grows (its leaves can grow up to three feet wide). Give it a good soaking once a week and use a damp cloth to clean any dust that collects on its leaves.
It takes a while for the Monstera to develop its signature, holey leaves so if you don’t want to wait make sure you buy a mature plant. If you don’t have much of a plant budget the Monstera is easy to propagate from a cutting. Make sure to include some aerial roots and develop roots in water before planting into soil.
The Monstera Deliciosa isn't only used for its ornamental purposes. Its fruit is edible and meant to taste like fruit salad, giving it one of its nicknames the ‘Fruitsalad Plant’. Its aerial roots have also been used to make ropes and baskets as well as remedies for arthritis and snakebite. #itsplantporn
Jessica Hill is a freelance journalist who is interested in the relationship between plants and people. Follow her on Instagram @plantsunknown.