Your monstera will grow happily, flowering and fruiting, if you provide its growing requirements, like provide the right growing conditions adn offer additional nutrients.
Do you know that Monstera deliciosa can produce delicious fruit? In fact, it is popularly named Fruits Salad Plant. Its edible fruit is also known as a delicacy because it is very rare and tasty.
Sadly, not many can taste it, as only a few Monstera plants can bear the fruit during their lifetime. However, some plant collectors try to stimulate its fruiting. Hence, we would love to give you tips on how to get Monstera to fruit.
Furthermore, we will also provide some characteristics of this fruit to make it easier for you to distinguish the ripe and unripe fruits. It is crucial as the unripe ones will cause a burning sensation in your throat and mouth. In addition, Monstera’s fruit benefits are also available. Curious? Let’s find out!
Table of Contents
- What is Monstera Fruit?
- How do you encourage Monstera to fruit?
- How do you harvest Monstera fruit?
- How do you collect Monstera seeds?
What is Monstera Fruit?
Monstera is a tropical plant that naturally grows under a rainforest canopy. They are hemiepiphytes that live relying on other trees to lean on. It is because the aerial roots cannot support the weight of the plant as they grow bigger and taller.
Although it is a popular houseplant, the Monstera plant is considered mildly invasive in some countries, such as the Ascension Islands, Hawaii, and Seychelles. But, you can grow it just fine in the US hardiness zone 10-12.
Moreover, among all Monstera cultivars, Monstera deliciosa is the one that produces edible fruit. Hence, it is well-known as the Fruit Salad Plant. Its fruit is delicious because of its delicious and unique taste. Not only that, this fruit is also rare because not all Monstera can have this fruit throughout their lifetime.
Well, you may wonder how it tastes? Is it safe to consume? What are the benefits of eating Monstera deliciosa fruit? All the answers are wrapped up in the following sections. Therefore, bear with us and read thoroughly so you won’t miss anything!
What type of fruit is Monstera?
Since Monstera deliciosa is a tropical plant, the fruits also belong to tropical fruits. They have an oval shape with a length of about 10 inches and a diameter of 1-2 inches. From the visual point of view, the skins are like corn cobs, with deep green scales that will lift up and fall off as they ripen.
In addition, the flesh of the fruit will change color from white to yellowish, like a banana. It will also emit a strong sweet aroma that many think of as a mixture of strawberry, banana, and pineapple. And lucky for you, the ripened fruit is edible and safe to eat. You can easily find it in the market in the native countries, such as Mexico, Guatemala, Costa Rica, and some countries in South America.
What are Monstera fruit benefits?
Besides good taste, this ‘delicious monster’ fruit is nutrient rich. It contains a considerable amount of vitamin C. This natural antioxidant greatly improves your immune system, reduces fatigue, and releases stress because of the endorphin boost. Vitamin B is also reported to be available in this fruit.
Moreover, the ripe fruit is also loaded with carbohydrates and proteins, two macronutrients that will give your body additional energy. Some essential minerals, like phosphorus and calcium, are also present. Those are great for your bone regeneration and cell signaling. The fruit is also an excellent addition for those on a diet as it doesn’t contain fat.
How does monstera fruit taste?
Many people say that Monstera fruit tastes like a ripe banana. Others also argue that it resembles a blend of raspberry, strawberry, pineapple, guava, and banana. Can you imagine how rich the flavor is? No wonder people are curious to taste this tropical fruit. Also, the texture is juicy, which makes it even more tasteful!
So, how do you peel it off? It is simple! Once you notice the scales start to fall off, you can harvest them. Then, gently nudge with your fingers. If they are fully ripe, you will have no problem peeling them off, as they will effortlessly crumble.
Next, remove the ‘kernels’ as you do it to corn with a sharp knife. You can also cut the hump as you cut a pineapple. Some love to dig in it raw or cook the fruit into jams or desserts, like chefs do, whatever you prefer. Despite loving the fruit so much, you cannot eat it too much as it will have a laxative effect on your stomach.
Suppose you find yourself using force, even slightly. Please leave the fruit alone in that case, as it means they need some time to rip. Unripe one is dangerous to eat because of the oxalic acid that can burn your mouth and throat when ingested. Ensure that the fruit’s flesh has also changed from white to yellowish, like a banana with a sweet scent.
How old does a Monstera have to be to produce fruit?
Growing Monstera deliciosa plants for the fruits requires patience and patience since it will take 2-3 years before they are ready to fruit. Can you immediately get ripe fruit after that? Nope nope! You will have to patiently wait another 12 months after flowering before the fruit is ripe.
Even the ripening process takes a long time, eh? However, even though it costs you more time, it will be worth it once you harvest the tropical fruit. The taste won’t make you regret it a bit! However, it only applies if you provide them with proper growing conditions.
Like other tropical plants, Monstera deliciosa favors humid environments with bright, indirect light. It also appreciates a good amount of water. Therefore, watering every one or two weeks is necessary while giving the soil dries out between the schedule.
And for those growing Monstera indoors, you can also expect the fruit! Nonetheless, it only works if you live in tropical regions with medium to high humidity. You can do it by setting a humidifier or placing a tray filled with water and pebbles.
Also, you must provide the right light intensity that mimics the natural habitat, which is gentle light. Finally, help them to grow fruit by adding phosphorus fertilizer that will encourage flowers and eventually turn them into fruits.
How do you know when Monstera deliciosa fruit is ripe?
Knowing to distinguish the ripe and unripe Monstera fruit is crucial as the unripe green fruits can harm your body. Especially your mouth and throat. This is because immature fruit contains oxalic acid crystals that cause itching, irritation, and a burning sensation in both organs.
Since many people still mistakenly think they can eat the unripe one, we will share a brief guide to distinguish them. Check them out below!
- Observe the corn-like scales. They are highly likely ripe if they have started to lift up, loose, and peel off easily with your fingers.
- The scale will change color. The unripe one generally has green scales, while the ripe one tends to be more yellowish.
- Smell the fruit. The ripe one will emit a sweet and strong banana-like scent once the skin opens up.
- Touch it. You will notice the texture will soften on the ripe part, followed by fall-off scales.
- Don’t wait too long! Once the scales begin to fall off, it is ready to harvest. If you let it grow for any longer, it will rot.
In general, they will mature within 12 months after flowering. So, if you harvest it less than that time, the fruit is still raw. Collecting it too long can also make the fruit rot.
Moreover, you can help speed up the fruit ripening by storing it in a paper bag with ripe bananas. The banana releases ethylene gas that will boost the ripening process of the Monstera fruit.
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How do you encourage Monstera to fruit?
Alright, we are jumping to our main topic of this article, answering the question, “how to get Monstera to fruit?”. Similar to other plants, your Monstera will grow happily, flowering and fruiting, if you provide its growing requirements. So, what do they need?
1. Provide the right growing conditions
Monstera deliciosa loves to soak under bright indirect light with moist soil. Considering such requirements, place your potted plant on an east-facing or south-facing area on your patio. Also, ensure the high humidity by setting a watering schedule every once per week or two weeks.
Suppose you want to grow them in your garden. In that case, the location under the tree is a great choice. Besides offering the preferable light level, the stem can be a natural support for the plant to lean on.
2. Grow your plant outdoors
Your Monstera can indeed survive and fruit indoors. But, it is a difficult task as it will flourish better outdoors. In addition, they can get a growing environment similar to their natural habitat when growing outside. However, we recommend growing it in a pot so you can move it indoors when frost and extreme cold arrives.
3. Keep the flowering schedule on track
As we previously stated, monstera plants will start producing fruit 2-3 years after planting. Meanwhile, mature fruits can be harvested 12 months after flowering. Although there is no particular flowering period for the plant, this schedule is essential to track their growth and predict their fruiting season. Usually, it will be ready to collect from spring to fall, depending on your climate.
4. Offer additional nutrients
Fertilizing is crucial to boost monstera growth and stimulate flowering. Especially those with a high phosphorus content. You can use the NPK fertilizer with a ratio of 6-12-6 to have dense foliage with deep green color, encourage flowers to grow, and ensure strong plant structure. The best fertilizer for Monstera is liquid fertilizer, which is easily absorbed by the roots. Thus, deliver nutrients better.
How do you harvest Monstera fruit?
Harvesting monstera fruit is an easy task. Once they are ripe, characterized by loosening and cream-colored scales, you can pick them by breaking the base fruit from the flower stem with your hands. If you have trouble, you can use a sharp knife. But please don’t pull it as it will hurt your plant and the flowers still attached to your Monstera.
Next, carefully remove the scales with your hands. If the fruit is fully ripe, the scales will easily fall off, and you can taste the fruit. However, if some parts still need a few days to cook, you can place them on a plate. It will slowly ripen, indicated by the color of the outer layer, which changes from green to lighter green or yellowish daily.
How do you collect Monstera seeds?
By producing fruits, your monstera will also bring you seeds to plant and have a new plant. The seeds are in the fruit’s pulp, which you can harvest by breaking the ‘kernels’ of the fruit apart. Then, press it until the seed separates from the flesh. In general, the seeds will be cream brown or light green in color.
Moreover, what is important to note is that collecting the monstera seeds can only be done when the fruit is ripe. At this stage, the kernels will quickly fall and pick with your fingers. Unfortunately, not all fruit ‘kernels’ bear the seeds. Sometimes if you are unlucky, you don’t even get the seeds. But if you find one, you can try growing monstera with these seeds.
You can encourage fruiting by imitating the monstera’s natural environments in their native habitat, feeding with fertilizers, and keeping track of the flowering and fruiting schedule.
Meanwhile, the ripening process can be accelerated by placing ripe bananas with Monstera fruit in the same storage. Even though it takes so long to get a delicious monster fruit (approx. 2-3 years and another 12 months!), every effort you put in is worth it!
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FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)
Can you eat the fruit of Monstera?
Surprisingly, Monstera deliciosa fruit is edible and safe to consume for humans. It will emit a sweet scent once the scales fall off. Even cooler, the smell closely resembles a ripe banana or pineapple. However, you cannot eat the unripe fruit as it will irritate your mouth and throat because of its crystalline structure.
What happens if you eat unripe Monstera deliciosa?
While the ripe fruit of Monstera is sweet and tastes like a banana, the unripe fruit will make you ill. It is because the fruit contains calcium oxalate crystals which make your mouth and throat itchy and irritated.
In some cases, it also often causes a burning sensation. To prevent this from happening, you can observe the scales. If it starts to fall out and the color of the flesh is yellowish like a banana, then you can eat it.
Do all Monstera have fruit?
Unfortunately, not all Monstera can produce fruit. The most popular one that can bear delicious fruit is the Monstera deliciosa plant. And for that reason, it is also known as the Fruit Salad Plant. But remember to only eat the ripe fruit as the unripe one will get your mouth and throat in trouble, causing itching and burning sensation.
How often does a Monstera produce fruit?
You cannot expect Monstera to grow fruits as often as other fruiting plants. They can only produce fruit 2-3 years after planting. After that, they need 12 months after flowering until the fruit is ripe.
The ripe Monstera is characterized by loose scales, the base of the fruit turns lighter green, and emits a sweet banana-like scent.
The best way to eat Monstera deliciosa fruit?
If you prefer fresh fruit, then the best way to enjoy Monstera deliciosa fruit is by digging in raw. However, you can always make a dessert out of this tropical fruit. Some people add it to Monstera cake to have a distinctive taste. Meanwhile, others prefer to cook it into sweet and tasty jams.