Monstera plants are stunning tropical houseplants usually grown for their attractive foliage and beautiful fenestration. However, some Monstera varieties can actually produce edible fruits. In this article, we’ll find out which types of Monstera plants can produce fruits.
What Types of Monstera Produce Fruit?
The Monstera genus contains approximately 60 species that belong to the arum family (Araceae). Most of these Monstera plants will produce fruit in the wild. However, only one species is known to produce fruits humans can eat – Monstera deliciosa.
Monstera deliciosa has several common names that reflect its edible fruits. This Monstera variety is sometimes called the fruit salad plant or Mexican breadfruit. In fact, part of this Monstera’s scientific name, “deliciosa”, refers to the pleasant taste of its fruit.
What Do Monstera Deliciosa Fruits Look Like?
Monstera deliciosa fruits are often described as a cross between a pineapple and corn cobs. The green fruits can grow up to 12 inches long and have hard, woody outer scales like a pineapple. The shape of the fruits is similar to that of corn cobs.
Even in the wild, these fruits take an entire year to ripen. Unripe Monstera fruits can cause severe throat irritation due to the calcium oxalate crystals within. You may also experience stomach discomfort, diarrhea, and vomiting if you eat an unripe Monstera fruit.
Thankfully, calcium oxalate crystals aren’t present in ripe fruits. Always ensure that a Monstera fruit is fully ripe before attempting to eat it.
There are two ways to identify a ripe Monstera fruit. The fruits produce a distinctive fruity odor that gets stronger as the fruit ripens. Once the fruit is fully ripe, the odor will quickly dissipate. The inedible outer scales will also split open when the fruit ripens, revealing the creamy edible flesh within.
Ripe Monstera fruits are said to have a delicious, unique taste. The taste is often described as having notes of banana, pineapple, strawberry, and even passion fruit.
Can You Encourage Your Monstera Deliciosa to Produce Fruit?
Although Monstera deliciosa plants can produce fruit, it’s extremely difficult to get fruits from indoor specimens. Monstera plants can only produce fruit if they’re able to flower, which is exceptionally uncommon indoors. Even if your plant does flower, it must be pollinated to produce edible fruits.
Your Monstera deliciosa needs to be at least three years old to flower. Provide approximately 5 to 6 hours of bright, indirect sunlight every day. Your plant also needs warm, humid conditions with temperatures between 65 and 85ºF and humidity levels between 60 and 80%.
You’ll also need to provide well-draining soils that still hold some moisture. Water your Monstera whenever the top 2 inches of soil feel dry – usually every 10 to 14 days. Fertilize your Monstera once a month to provide as many nutrients as possible.
Most Monstera plants produce fruit, although Monstera deliciosa is the only species with edible fruits. However, it’s challenging to get indoor Monsteras to produce fruits.