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Ceriman Monstera deliciosa

Phonetic Spelling
mon-STER-ah de-lis-ee-OH-sah
This plant has low severity poison characteristics.
See below
Description

Split-leaf Philodendron is not actually a philodendron but a woody epiphytic vine that climbs by adventitious roots. It starts its life as a terrestrial plant, turning epiphytic once it comes into contact with a sturdy tree it can climb, sending down long roots to get nutrients from the soil. It is native to tropical regions of North and South America and can grow to 70 feet tall, though it stays between 6-8 feet in most home environments. Edible fruit is produced in its native habitat that is said to taste like a cross between a banana and pineapple. All other parts of the plant are toxic.

In NC, it is grown as a houseplant. Its showy leaves are conspicuously lobed with elongated holes throughout the blade. Young leaves develop this characteristic over time. This plant can get quite large and sturdy support is necessary to prevent the stems from breaking. It typically does not produce flowers nor fruits in interior landscapes.  It prefers an average warm temperature of 60-85 degrees, moderate brightness but not direct sunlight, and high humidity. Variegated cultivars will need more sunlight than darker green cultivars. Water this plant thoroughly then allow the top 1/4 to 1/3 to dry between watering. Misting leaves helps increase the humidity in dry interior settings. Prune and/or re-pot if needed in the spring and wipe dust off of the leaves regularly.

Quick ID Hints:

  • Gigantic pinnately-lobed leaves with internal holes
  • Leaves are broadly ovate to cordate
  • Junction between leaf blade and petiole on mature leaves

 

VIDEO Created by Laura Barth for "Houseplants, Succulents, and Cacti", a plant identification course offered in partnership with Longwood Gardens.   

Profile Video:
See this plant in the following landscapes:
Container Garden with Epiphytes
Cultivars / Varieties:
  • 'Albo Variegata'
    Variegated leaves
'Albo Variegata'
Tags:
#poisonous#houseplant#perennials#specimen#showy leaves#epiphytic#interiorscape#large leaves#dappled shade#trellises#spadix#edible fruits#fantz#vertical spaces#green leaves#white fruits#partial shade tolerant#problem for cats#problem for dogs#problem for horses#hsc#hsc-f
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
  • 'Albo Variegata'
    Variegated leaves
'Albo Variegata'
Tags:
#poisonous#houseplant#perennials#specimen#showy leaves#epiphytic#interiorscape#large leaves#dappled shade#trellises#spadix#edible fruits#fantz#vertical spaces#green leaves#white fruits#partial shade tolerant#problem for cats#problem for dogs#problem for horses#hsc#hsc-f
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Monstera
    Species:
    deliciosa
    Family:
    Araceae
    Life Cycle:
    Perennial
    Woody
    Recommended Propagation Strategy:
    Layering
    Stem Cutting
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    Mexico to Panama
    Climbing Method:
    Clinging
    Edibility:
    Only ripe fruits are edible and are used to flavor drinks and ice cream or are eaten fresh. Some people are allergic.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Edible
    Houseplant
    Poisonous
    Vine
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Broadleaf Evergreen
    Habit/Form:
    Climbing
    Growth Rate:
    Rapid
    Maintenance:
    Medium
    Texture:
    Coarse
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Dappled Sunlight (Shade through upper canopy all day)
    Partial Shade (Direct sunlight only part of the day, 2-6 hours)
    Soil Texture:
    High Organic Matter
    Loam (Silt)
    Soil pH:
    Neutral (6.0-8.0)
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Moist
    Available Space To Plant:
    6-feet-12 feet
    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:
    10b, 10a, 11b, 11a, 12b, 12a
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Color:
    Cream/Tan
    Green
    White
    Fruit Value To Gardener:
    Edible
    Fruit Type:
    Aggregate
    Berry
    Fruit Length:
    > 3 inches
    Fruit Width:
    1-3 inches
    Fruit Description:
    This plant produces an aggregate of creamy-white berries covered by green hexagonal "scales"; the fruit is ripe once the scale covering it falls off naturally. These berries are edible and taste like a mixture of banana and pineapple. Rarely produces fruit as a houseplant.
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Green
    White
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Spadix
    Flower Value To Gardener:
    Long-lasting
    Flower Petals:
    Bracts
    Flower Size:
    > 6 inches
    Flower Description:
    The inflorescence is a spadix and spathe. Spathes are large, creamy-white, and up to 1' in size. The spadix is shorter than the spathe at 10" long and an inch thick. Rarely flowers as a house plant.
  • Leaves:
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Broadleaf Evergreen
    Leaf Color:
    Green
    Variegated
    Leaf Feel:
    Glossy
    Leathery
    Leaf Value To Gardener:
    Long-lasting
    Showy
    Leaf Type:
    Simple
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Alternate
    Leaf Shape:
    Cordate
    Ovate
    Pinnatifid
    Leaf Margin:
    Lobed
    Hairs Present:
    No
    Leaf Length:
    > 6 inches
    Leaf Width:
    > 6 inches
    Leaf Description:
    Leaves are gigantic, up to 1 foot or more, dark green, glossy, long petiolate, heart-shaped, perforated with several holes throughout the blade, some extending to margin and splitting margin to appear deeply lobed to pinnatifid. Only mature leaves have these holes, developing as the leaf grows. The leaves have a distinct junction where the blade meets the petiole. Some cultivars are variegated.
  • Stem:
    Stem Color:
    Green
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
    Stem Description:
    Stems are thick, long, and leafy.
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Container
    Houseplants
    Design Feature:
    Specimen
    Problems:
    Contact Dermatitis
    Poisonous to Humans
    Problem for Cats
    Problem for Dogs
    Problem for Horses
  • Poisonous to Humans:
    Poison Severity:
    Low
    Poison Symptoms:
    Intense burning of mouth, tongue, and throat; nausea, vomiting, difficulty swallowing, drooling, and diarrhea may also occur; contact with cell sap may cause skin irritation. Only if eaten in large quantities.
    Poison Toxic Principle:
    Needle-like calcium oxalate crystals; possibly other unidentified toxins
    Causes Contact Dermatitis:
    Yes
    Poison Part:
    Bark
    Flowers
    Fruits
    Leaves
    Roots
    Seeds
    Stems