Monsteras, or Swiss cheese plants, are tropical plants that gained wide popularity in recent years. They’re best known for their large perforated leaves resembling Swiss cheese slices.
Even though Monsteras are mainly used for decoration, they offer more than aesthetic appeal. For instance, they can aid in air purification and removing toxins.
They also help improve your mood and lower stress and anxiety. If that’s not enough, a Monstera can act as an air humidifier, too!
In this article, we’ll take a closer look at various Monstera benefits and uses for your home and health.
From their edible fruits to their positive effects on mental health, let’s see why the Monstera deserves a spot in your home.
The Monstera deliciosa produces appealing and delicious fruits. The Monstera fruit looks like a corn ear covered with hexagonal green scales.
Even though many think that it’s poisonous, the fruit is safe for animals and humans once it ripens.
As the Monstera fruit ripens, the scales begin to fall off, revealing the sweet fruit. It’s almost impossible to describe how Monstera fruits taste because it tastes like many delicious fruits; mango, banana, pineapple, passionfruit, and guava.
Still, you should never eat unripe Monstera fruits as they contain calcium oxalate crystals that irritate the mouth, stomach, throat, and skin. Keep in mind that the fruit takes at least ten months to ripen.
However, you can accelerate the ripening process by placing the fruit in a paper bag until the scales fall off.
House plants purify the air by converting carbon dioxide to oxygen and trapping volatile compounds in the atmosphere through photosynthesis.
According to the NASA Clean Air Study, some house plants like the Monstera aid in air purification. These plants can remove toxins like benzaldehyde, ammonia, xylene, toluene, and benzene from the air.
Moreover, the experts at NASA found that large leaves contribute to the plant’s ability to remove these toxins. The more surface area the plant has, the more toxins it removes.
That said, Monsteras have large fenestrated leaves, making them perfect plants for air purification.
Even though it takes time for Monsteras to reach their full potential, the large fenestrated leaves are worth the wait.
Monstera’s roots, leaves, flowers, and stems have various health benefits and are widely used to treat some medical conditions.
For example, in Mexico, Ceriman Monstera roots are widely used in making infused beverages that alleviate the symptoms of arthritis.
Furthermore, in the Caribbean Islands, many use the Monstera’s roots to cure venomous snake bites.
Medicinal plants are mainstream in traditional Chinese medicine, and Monstera is no exception. The Chinese use various parts of Monstera to treat bruises, coughs, trauma, and fever.
Monstera leaves are also beneficial. In Brazil, they use them to make a paste for wound sealing.
Finally, the high potassium and vitamin C levels in Monstera fruits make them a great option for smoothies if you’re an athlete.
Why? That’s because introducing greenery to your house boosts the oxygen levels in the air, which reduces stress hormones.
Moreover, plants can increase your productivity. A study from Exeter University says that working with greenery in your workplace increases your productivity by 15% compared to others working in spaces with no green plants.
That’s why many workplaces now have small green plants in their offices.
The Monstera is cherished in horticultural therapy—planting green plants to improve health and quality of life.
Studies have proved that taking care of a green plant aids in reducing stress, anxiety, and depression. That means that watering and taking care of your plant daily produces a sense of calm and boosts your mood.
People usually sleep better when breathing fresh, oxygen-rich air. Adding green plants like Monstera to your bedroom can improve your sleep.
That’s because they purify the room’s air and increase oxygen levels. Moreover, the giant Monstera leaves act as sound barriers, absorbing sound vibrations and resulting in a calm and quiet room.
Besides their health benefits and aesthetic appearance, Monsteras also have a cultural significance.
Plants that produce edible fruits are often used to symbolize fertility and abundance, and the Monstera is no exception. The white flowers of the Monstera may also resemble innocence, grief, and elegance.
Here are other meanings and proofs of the historical significance of Monsteras.
Feng shui is based on collecting the five elements of nature in one place to harness the natural energy positively. We prefer to see Monstera as a symbol of growth, energy, and abundance, which it represents in feng shui.
As Monsteras proliferate upward and outward, they symbolize positive energy, development, and expansion in Feng Shui. You can place a Monstera on your Bagua map to attract positive energy into your life.
In many Eastern cultures, Monsteras are a symbol of longevity, respecting people, and honoring elders.
That’s why a Monstera would be a perfect gift for elderly people.
Monstera plants have significance in the Victorian language of flowers.
They’re often symbols of deep relationships, big plans, and good news.
Monsteras are epiphytic plants; they get their nutrition by absorbing nutrients from the soil and using their giant leaves to absorb humidity from the surrounding air.
That said, Monsteras aid in reducing the humidity of a room’s air when planted indoors. Moreover, they absorb toxins and foul odors from the air, leading to a better-scented place.
As a result, Monsteras are an excellent option for growing in high-humidity regions.
Since the 70s, Monsteras have been popular in households thanks to their ornamental beauty. To this day, Monsteras are widely used in interior design as they provide a real show-stopper in interior spaces.
There are multiple options to incorporate a Monstera in your home. Instead of placing it in a large pot to fill an empty corner, you can create a Monstera forest by matching small pots on a display shelf or window sill.
Another idea is to use a hanging pot or macramé hanger to add interest to a high ceiling or wall space. No matter how you display your Monstera, that giant plant will turn heads.
Monsteras are trendy in home decoration because they’re versatile. Thanks to their various sizes, Monsteras can add a stunning tropical touch to both small and large spaces.
Here are some ideas for incorporating Monsteras in your home.
- Fill empty corners in your home with Monstera pots.
- You can go for small Monsteras if you don’t have enough space or larger ones that grow up to 15 feet.
- Display your Monsteras outdoors by putting them in a cement planter.
- Use big Monstera leaves as placemats or plate chargers.
- Surround your Monstera leaves with other plants to create a garland to display on an archway or hang on the wall.
A study published in the Journal of Environmental Psychology found that green plants can sharpen attention and improve performance.
The study compared the abilities of reading, memorizing, and attention capacities of participants in the presence and absence of green plants.
The results showed that working around greenery can sharpen attention and boost performance.
Another study stated that interacting with nature by taking a walk outside, watching foliage, or viewing pictures of plants can improve your attention and memory.
As a result, incorporating a small Monstera on your study desk might be an excellent idea to increase your attention spans while studying or working.
The Monstera is a unique plant, not only for its striking appearance but also for its benefits. Looking at the Monstera benefits and uses, you wouldn’t think twice about investing in one.
You can use Monsteras for decorating your home or office, as they add a touch of nature to any space. If that’s not enough, Monsteras aid in air purification and dehumidification.
On top of that, they produce delicious edible fruits that are rich in vitamin C and nutrients, which are an excellent addition to your diet. Monsteras also have medicinal properties, as different parts of the plant are used in reducing inflammation and treating snake bites.
Finally, Monsteras have significant meanings in many cultures. You can place them on your Bagua map or gift them to a senior friend as a token of love.
Growing up with a mom who filled her home (inside and out) with all sorts of plants, Lisa got her start in gardening at a young age. Living now on her own with a home and yard full of plants (including an indoor greenhouse), she shares all the gardening tips she’s gained over the years.