The Monstera is one of the most popular and distinctive indoor plants. Unlike most other plants it grows sideways in one direction. As it grows the leaves become larger and, if conditions are right, increasingly perforated. When a new leaf unfurls it is rather like watching a cut paper pattern unfolding. At this stage the leaf is very delicate and easily damaged but in a few days it becomes stiffer and takes on the characteristic leathery texture. Failure to provide sufficient humidity results in leaves that have fewer perforations or even no holes at all. Another feature of the plant is its aerial roots, which sometimes dangle uselessly over the side. When this happens, either push them back into the compost or wind them round the stem.

Plant type : Compact foliage shrub with standard or erect habit
Season of interest : All year round
Size : 100-200cm (39—78in)
Flower : Insignificant, pale greenish, produced in spring
Leaf : Oval, pointed, 5-6cm (2-2£in) long, 2-2.5 (f—1 in) wide, tough, green, with pungent smell, especially when crushed
Temperature : 10-20°C (50-68T)
Aspect/Light : Moderate to full light
Humidity : Moderate
Watering : Evenly moisten compost in spring and summer; keep on drier side when dormant in autumn and winter
Feeding : Once a month with houseplanf fertilizer in spring and summer
Propagation : Plant 10cm (4in) tip cuttings with bottom leaves removed in seed and cutting compost at 18-20°C (65-68°F) from mid spring to early autumn
Potting : Houseplant potting compost
Problems : Scale insect
Availability : Commonly available as indoor or garden plant throughout year
Uses indoors : Excellent plant for cool, well-lit room or porch or by entrance to office foyer; useful as outdoor plant for patio and garden