Monstera plants are a beautiful ornamental prized for their size and characteristic holey leaves. They’re also relatively easy to care for!

Part of the fun of having indoor plants is learning where they come from and how they grow in the wild. Plus, understanding their origins and natural habitat can help us mimic that habitat in our home so our plants can flourish!

Let’s take a closer look at the history of monstera, where they come from, and how they grow in the wild so we can better understand (and care for) these gorgeous plants!

But first, a little background:

Monsteras belong to the arum/araceae family, which also includes peace lilies and calla lilies. They’re also a relative to pothos and philodendron and are often, though mistakenly, called split-leaf philodendron.

There are 22 different species of monstera out there with several different varieties within those species, such as variegated varieties. (Read more about the different monstera varieties here!)

Monstera deliciosa is the most common variety that you’ll find in homes and in local nurseries and is by far the most popular ornamental.

Is also produces the Mexican breadfruit, which earned this plant the nickname “fruit salad plant” because the fruit is said to taste like a fruit salad! This fruit smells like a cross between a banana and a pineapple when it’s ripe and looks like a scaly piece of corn on the cob. When those scales fall off, you know it’s ripe!

We also think this plant has the best name ever! The name monstera means “monster” or “monstrous” and refers to the size of these plants. Deliciosa refers to the fruit it produces, and that adds up to monstera deliciosa, or delicious monster, one of our favorite plant names ever!

History of Monstera in the Wild