Everything You Need to Know About the Uses, Benefits, and Value of Monstera Plants
Monstera plants are not only low-maintenance, easy to care for, fast-growing, and lovely to look at – they’re also prized for their incredible array of uses and benefits. If you want to add interest to an empty corner or bliss out your office space, then a monstera plant might be the right choice for you. Read on as we take you through the 15 amazing benefits of Monstera plants.
- Monstera Plant Uses and Benefits – The Essentials
- About Monstera Plants
- 15 Uses and Benefits of Monstera Plants
- Monstera Plant Benefits FAQs:
- Enjoy the Many Benefits of Monstera Plants in Your Home or Office
Monstera Plant Uses and Benefits – The Essentials
Monstera plants are low-maintenance and primarily prized for their ornamental value, thanks to their attractive, deep-green, waxy, fenestrated leaves. However, they have several other uses and benefits for air purification, dehumidifying, feng shui, reduced stress, improved workplace, and more.
About Monstera Plants
Monstera plants have recently become one of the trendiest, most popular houseplants out there, but they have always been well-loved by plant enthusiasts worldwide.
Taxonomy & Native Range
The Monstera genus contains about 45 plants that belong to the Araceae (Arum) plant family and are native to the tropical regions of the Americas.
The name monstera comes from the Latin word “monstrum” which means monster, monstrous, or abnormal. Some of the various species’ common names, like the Swiss cheese plant or the five-hole plant, refer to the fenestrated appearance of monstera leaves.
Monstera plants grow like vines and have aerial root systems that can either be rooted in the ground like terrestrial plants or on the sides of trees or rocks like epiphytes. As a result, they’re classified as hemiepiphytic plants.
In their natural habitat, they can grow anywhere from a few feet tall to nearly 70 feet tall, as long as they have a tall enough tree to support their growth.
Monsteras are most recognized by their leaves which develop fenestrations (holes) at maturity. In certain species, the fenestrations grow so large that they reach the edge of the leaves, creating a finger-like appearance.
Monstera plants blossom with creamy-white flowers that have a unique inflorescence called a spadix, and they also produce fruit.
History and Origins
Monstera plants have a long and rich history in the American tropics, where their roots have been used for medicinal purposes, and their vines have been used for weaving baskets and creating.
Like many New World plants, they did not become popularly cultivated or widely recognized in Europe until the late 18th century.
Popular Types of Monstera Plants
The two most popular species of monstera plants are the Monstera deliciosa (Swiss cheese plant) and the Monstera adansonii (Adanson’s monstera). Most monstera plants found at garden centers and available to order online are varieties of these two species, including the highly coveted variegated cultivars.
For the more intrepid Monstera plant parent, there’s also an eclectic mix of Monstera plant types to discover:
- Monstera epipremnoides
- Monstera obliqua
- Monstera punctulata
- Monstera karstenianum (Monstera sp. Peru)
- Monstera standleyana
- Monstera pinnatipartita
- Monstera siltepecana
- Monstera variegata
- Rhaphidophora tetrasperma (Mini Monstera)
15 Uses and Benefits of Monstera Plants
While plants have long been proven to carry a multitude of beneficial traits, Monstera offers an array of intriguing uses that are uncommon amongst similar plant life:
The fruit of the Monstera deliciosa is edible when fully ripened. (If you eat it before it’s ripened enough, it will cause severe gastrointestinal upset and swelling/inflammation of the mouth due to calcium oxalate crystals.)
The fruit is nutrient-rich and contains vitamin C, vitamin B, phosphorous, potassium, and some proteins.
2. Air Purifying
According to NASA’s clean air study, plants with large, broad leaves (like monstera plants) can effectively remove certain toxins from the air. While they might not remove every toxic particle floating around indoors, growing these types of plants in your home will help to remove some harmful substances from the air you’re breathing.
3. Feng Shui
Monstera plants grow rapidly upward and outward. In feng shui they represent expansion, upward growth, and positive energy. Place a monstera in the appropriate section of your home’s Bagua map to draw this type of energy and expansion into various corners of your life.
Despite their numerous benefits, monstera plants are probably most prized for their beauty and ornamental use. They grow easily indoors (and can also be propagated) and add visual interest to any space.
Thanks to their uniquely fenestrated leaves, they’re also a popular subject replicated in art, textiles, and wallpaper used in fashion and interior design.
5. Medicine and Health
The roots of monstera plants have been used to make a remedy for snakebite in Martinique, and parts of the plant have also been used as a topical treatment for arthritis.
Don’t try to replicate any of these treatments on your own, however. All parts of monstera plants contain insoluble calcium oxalate crystals, which cause extreme irritation to the soft tissues inside and outside the body. Handling them without gloves results in irritated and swollen skin, and ingesting them will cause severe gastrointestinal upset.
6. Symbolism and Meaning
Due to their rapidly growing vines and shoots, monstera plants have become a symbol for suffocation.
However, in the Victorian language of flowers, monstera flowers represent deep relationships, glad tidings, and big plans.
In Chinese traditions, they represent longevity, honoring one’s elders and respected individuals. This makes them an excellent gift for anyone older whom you greatly admire and respect.
7. Stress Reduction
Live plants in the home or office can help lower stress levels while reducing physical stress responses like heart rate and blood pressure for overall improved mental and physical states.
8. Sharpened Attention
Studies have suggested that working with live plants, like monsteras, nearby can help sharpen attention and improve one’s ability to focus.
Horticultural therapy (cultivating plants for therapeutic benefits) has been shown to significantly reduce anxiety, depression, and even dementia symptoms in patients. It follows that caring for a monstera could help improve your quality of life, too.
10. Job Satisfaction and Productivity
Growing plants (including the low-maintenance monstera) in the workplace has improved job/workplace satisfaction and increased productivity by approximately 15%!
11. Improved Sleep
As monstera plants remove toxins from the air, they can also help you sleep better. People fall asleep more quickly and enjoy higher quality sleep when slumbering in clean air.
12. Sound Absorption
Monstera plants have the aerial root systems and waxy leaves of epiphytic plants. These adaptations allow them to absorb humidity from the surrounding air.
As a result, they’re an excellent choice for controlling the humidity and temperature of your home if you live in a high-humidity region, or they can control the moisture inside your home when kept in a bathroom with plenty of filtered sunlight.
14. Odor Elimination
Since monstera plants can both remove toxins from the air and help control the humidity in your home, they will also help eliminate some odors and prevent your home from becoming musty due to too much moisture leading to mold and mildew growth.
15. Ropes and Baskets
Since they produce long, sinewy vines, monstera plants have been used in Mexico to weave baskets and to fashion ropes in Peru.
Monstera Plant Benefits FAQs:
What is so special about monstera plants?
Monstera plants have become a highly popular houseplant thanks to their uniquely fenestrated leaves, fast-growing habits, and low-maintenance care profiles. Due to their recent increase in popularity, some varieties, such as the variegated cultivars of Monstera deliciosa have sold for thousands of dollars.
Is it good to have monstera plants at home?
Monstera plants are great for growing at home because they are easy to care for, thrive in most indoor environments, and offer various benefits such as air purification, stress reduction, and great ornamental value.
Are monstera plants used in feng shui?
Monstera plants are popularly used in feng shui to draw in expansive, upward, positive energy into various corners of the home’s Bagua map.
When incorporating a monstera plant into a feng shui design, however, it is essential to be mindful of the plant’s large size. Placing it in a location where the plant will feel out of proportion and overly large can actually attract too much energy or cause energy blocks inside your home’s Bagua map.
Is monstera a lucky plant?
Monstera is not generally considered to be a lucky plant. In fact, it is actually a symbol of suffocation due to its fast-growing vines.
However, used properly in feng shui, it is thought to attract positive energy into the home and growth in various aspects of life. For example, placing a monstera in the money, professional, family, or relationship corner of your home’s or office’s Bagua map can attract energy and abundance in these areas of your life.
Are monstera plants poisonous to humans and pets?
All parts of monstera plants contain insoluble calcium oxalate crystals that are considered toxic to people and pets. Although they are not actually poisonous, these tiny crystals are highly abrasive and damage soft tissues. As a result, monsteras can cause severe skin irritation and swelling if handled without gloves, in addition to severe gastrointestinal upset if ingested.
Are monstera plants easy to care for?
Monstera plants are some of the easiest houseplants to care for and are great for offices or amateur plant lovers.
Monstera plants are low-maintenance and do well in most average indoor environments. Make sure yours has plenty of medium to bright indirect sunlight and even moisture, and it will stay healthy and happy. You’ll also need to consider repotting your Monstera plant every few years once it has outgrown the current potting vessel.
Enjoy the Many Benefits of Monstera Plants in Your Home or Office
Since they are extremely easy to care for, keep alive, and grow, monstera plants are popular for both homes and offices. These low-maintenance plants offer a big payoff with little investment in terms of time and care. Just make sure you have a space large enough to accommodate your new monstera’s impressively fast growth and soon-to-be large size.
Everything You Need to Know About Growing Monstera Plants:
For more on the famed Monstera plant and to learn more about how to grow and care for these plants at home, please see our guides to:
- The 12 Best Monstera Varieties to Grow at Home
- Monstera Plant Light Requirements
- The Best Soil Mix for Monstera Plants
- When and How to Water Monstera Plants
- When and How to Fertilize Monstera Plants
- 12 Common Reasons Your Monstera Plant Leaves are Turning Yellow
- How to Grow and Care for Variegated Monstera Plants
- Monstera Peru Ultimate Care Guide
- Monstera Plant Meaning and Symbolism
- How Fast do Monster Plants Grow?
- How Long Do Monstera Plants Live For?
- When and How to Prune Monstera Plants
- Common Monstera Plant Pests & Diseases
- How to Manage Brown Spots on Your Monstera Plant