Plants A to Z

How to Grow and Care for Monstera Deliciosa

Monstera deliciosa, popularly known as the "split-leaf philodendron," is a large, robust plant native to Central America's jungles. This striking climbing evergreen is a popular, easy-to-grow houseplant that many interior designers recommend for both residential and commercial areas.

As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. Learn more

The plant grows at a modest rate indoors, reaching a height of 1 to 2 feet per year. It gets its leathery, glossy, split, and heart-shaped leaves from complicated aerial roots that can be used to make ropes and baskets. Because of its perforated leaves, it can grow up to 3 feet long. 

Plant it in the correct zone at any time of year, and it will produce tannish-cream blooms pollinated by bees and edible luscious fruit with a pineapple-banana flavor. Fruiting, on the other hand, is uncommon in houseplants. This lovely plant may poison pets.

Monstera Deliciosa Care

Monstera deliciosa thrives year-round in warm, humid climates and is hardy in USDA Zones 10 through 12. Plant it in part shade in well-draining soil when planting it outside.

If the soil in your area is naturally salty, take it to the patio or indoors. Using a balanced fertilizer three or four times a year will allow you to raise the plant to a height of ten feet or more. Choose a deep pot with plenty of drainage holes if it'll be used as a houseplant.


This evergreen enjoys bright, indirect sunlight and steady temperatures of 65 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit. In the summer, too much direct light can cause the foliage to burn. Set indoor plants outside in direct sunshine at least once a year to encourage luxuriant growth. The Swiss cheese plant thrives in the full shadow of deep woodlands and the semi-shade of light woodlands when grown outdoors.


It requires peat-based potting material to be established in a container. It grows well in light sandy, medium loamy, and heavy clay soils with an acid or neutral pH outside. Despite this, it prefers well-drained, somewhat damp soil.


During the growing season, give the plant one to two weekly waterings. Continually add water until the surplus drains through the drainage holes. Because the plant has used all of the water it requires, do not return the surplus water to the container. Between waterings, the soil should be allowed to dry gradually. In the fall and winter, only water on occasion. Mist the vegetation with a spray bottle of demineralized water or rainfall to boost humidity indoors.


Use a balanced liquid 20-20-20 fertilizer every few weeks during the growing season for indoor plants if needed or desired. In a gallon of water, dissolve 1/2 teaspoon of fertilizer.

Use the diluted fertilizer instead of watering regularly. Pour the mixture into the soil until it starts to drain through the drainage holes. Because the plant has used all of the diluted fertilizer, it will not use the excess that drains away.


Trim aerial roots if they become too rambunctious for the space; nonetheless, tucking them back into the pot is preferable. Their roots, unlike those of several other houseplants, do not damage surfaces. Trimming works well on stems and leaves, and they can be used for propagation.

Monstera Deliciosa Propagation

Monstera deliciosa is easily grown from pruning stem cuttings. However, air layering is the most common way of reproducing Monstera deliciosa. The stages for both ways are as follows:

To propagate via stem cuttings, follow these steps:

  1. Cut off a stem with a node (a small bump where the roots will sprout), an aerial root, and at least two leaves using a clean, sharp pruning shear.
  2. Sprinkle a pinch of ground cinnamon (or any other common spice) on the mother plant where the cut was made. This will help the wound heal by preventing the disease from entering the cut.
  3. Place the cutting in a glass filled with water. Replace the water every three to five days, and use filtered or rainwater instead of tap water if possible.
  4. After a few months, you'll notice a clump of roots forming. After that, you may put your new plant in a pot with fresh soil and keep it moist while it adjusts to its new surroundings.

To propagate using air layering, follow these steps:

Because you don't cut the mother plant until the baby is ready to be put in a container with its new roots, air layering is a recommended low-risk method. It's worth it to acquire a healthy young plant even if the mother plant doesn't seem appealing for a while. You'll need flowery or sphagnum moss, a plastic bag or plastic wrap, and twist ties for this procedure.

  1. Locate a stem with a few nodes (where the roots will grow). Alternatively, look for a leaf that has a short aerial root emerging out of it and is growing out of a stem.
  2. Just below that root, cut a shallow notch around 1/3 of the stem's width.
  3. Wrap a 1-inch layer of sphagnum moss around the leaf's stem connection.
  4. To add moisture to the moss, spray it with water and wrap it in plastic. Secure it with twist ties (it may look a little messy, which is okay).
  5. Make sure the moss stays moist until the roots emerge.
  6. After a few months, cut the stem below the roots (with a clean, sharp tool) and transplant the young plant, roots and all, into a new pot of soil.
  7. Don't forget to apply ground cinnamon to the mother plant's wound. This will help the wound heal by preventing the disease from entering the cut.

Monstera Deliciosa Potting and Repotting

The Swiss cheese plant will most likely outgrow its pot every two years or so. To allow for growth, transplant into a pot that is a few inches broader and deeper. Because they like airflow and drainage, this plant loves well-draining porous pots, such as terracotta or clay, although any material pot with drainage holes would suffice. Follow these simple instructions to pot the plant:

  1. Put peaty potting soil in the bottom third of a pot.
  2. Gently place a stake for the stem to climb on.
  3. Carefully place the roots in the container. Surround the roots with earth.
  4. Firmly surround the stake with dirt and secure the stem to the stake using plant ties.

Typical Pests

Using a moist sponge or paper towel to wipe dust or debris off leaves will keep the plant clean and pest-free. Mealybugs, aphids, thrips, scale, and spider mites are common pests that can infest the plant. Spray the plant with a direct water stream if any are found on the leaf. Insecticidal soap can also be used to wash the leaves.

Monstera Deliciosa Common Issues

The Swiss cheese plant, despite being a very easy-going houseplant, can give you a headache. However, once you figure out what's causing your plant to look sickly, it'll be OK.

Tips for Browning

If the tips of the leaves are turning brown, it's likely that the soil is dry or that you need to water the plant regularly to keep it moist. Remove the leaves that are damaged. Your plant has caught a fungus if there is a yellow halo surrounding the brown spots or points. Overwatering or maintaining the plant in highly wet soil for an extended period is likely to have caused the fungus to appear. Before watering, remove the afflicted leaves and let the plant dry out a little.

  • Leaves of Yellow

Dry soil is indicated by yellowing foliage. The plant's oldest leaves will turn yellow first. Remove the leaves that are damaged. Check the soil and give it a good soaking if it's bone dry.

  • Withering leaves

There's a watering problem if you see withering leaves. The plant has either been overwatered or has been submerged. The plant may get root rot if it has been overwatered. Remove the plant from the pot to inspect the roots. Clean up the seeds, remove any mushy areas, and repot in fresh soil.

0 ratings
Elissa Sanci
Elissa Sanci
Elissa Sanci, the owner of the website, and senior writer of New York Garden; graduated from Santa Barbara City College – a famous public school in California with many diverse training professions, and she majored in horticulture.