Monstera deliciosa, famous as the Swiss cheese plant or fruit salad plant, has been a beloved houseplant worldwide. While many appreciate this tropical plant for its ornamental beauty, fewer people are familiar with the fact that it produces edible fruit.
But what does Monstera deliciosa fruit taste like, and how do you know when it’s ready to eat? We’ll answer these questions and more.
Monstera Deliciosa Fruit: The Delicious Monster
Monstera deliciosa, whose name means “delicious monster,” is native to the rainforests of Central and South America. As an indoor plant, it’s cherished for its large, glossy leaves and their unique perforations.
However, under the right conditions, the Monstera deliciosa can bear fruit. These fruits can grow up to 12 inches long, resembling a green ear of corn covered with hexagonal scales.
What Does Monstera Fruit Taste Like?
A ripe Monstera deliciosa fruit tastes like a combination of banana and pineapple. This delightful tropical taste has earned it the nickname “fruit salad plant.”
The green scales peel off as the fruit ripens, revealing the edible flesh underneath. The white flesh underneath the scales is the edible part of the fruit.
Unripe vs. Ripe: The Importance of Timing
Eating the Monstera deliciosa fruit requires patience, as it takes several months to ripen after it appears. The fruit contains calcium oxalate crystals, which can cause a burning sensation in the mouth and throat with unripe fruit.
However, as the fruit ripens, these calcium oxalate crystals dissipate, making it safe to eat.
Knowing when the fruit is ripe is essential. Unripe green fruits can irritate your mouth and throat, but their taste is also unpleasant.
As the fruit ripens, the green scales covering the surface begin to lift, and they fall off when it’s fully ripe. If you place the fruit in a brown paper bag, it can speed up the ripening process.
Where Can You Buy Monstera Fruit?
If you’re looking for Monstera deliciosa fruit, here are a few places you can try:
Local Nurseries or Garden Centers: Some well-stocked nurseries or garden centers may carry the fruit. It’s always worth a phone call or visit to see if they have the fruit available.
Farmers Markets: Farmers’ markets are excellent places to find unique and unusual fruits. Look for larger markets that feature tropical fruit vendors.
Specialty Grocery Stores: Stores specializing in exotic or tropical fruits may stock Monstera deliciosa. These are often found in larger cities.
Online: Numerous online retailers specialize in rare and exotic fruits. Be sure to check the reviews and reputation of the retailer before making a purchase.
Growing Your Own: If you’re up for a long-term project, you can try growing a Monstera deliciosa plant yourself. Remember that fruiting typically occurs in mature plants, often 3-5 years old, requiring specific conditions, like high humidity and ample sunlight.
Propagation and Cultivation: Growing Your Own Monstera Deliciosa
Monstera deliciosa plants can be propagated from stem cuttings, and they can thrive in indoor settings with appropriate care. They require indirect light and regular watering but do not like to be overwatered.
The plant can produce aerial roots that help support its growth. As the plant matures, it may produce fruit, which isn’t guaranteed indoors without pollination.
To sum up, the fruit of Monstera deliciosa is indeed edible, providing a unique taste, combining flavors reminiscent of banana, pineapple, and passion fruit. However, caution must be exercised to ensure the fruit is fully ripe before consumption.
The Monstera deliciosa plant adds an exotic touch to your interior decor. It could provide an intriguing culinary experience should it bear fruit.