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The Monstera plant is a classic beauty with its lush green leaves and fenestrations. If your Monstera does not have the fenestrations, you can read the detailed article about why your Monstera has no holes. Did you know that this famous ornamental plant also grows fruit like an unripe flower spike, and the fruit is edible when ripe?
A mature Monstera plant produces an exotic fruit with a tropical taste that’s sweet and citrusy. However, it is essential to consume the fruit only after it ripens; otherwise, it can burn your throat or stomach.
Several Monstera varieties are available in the market with different leaf shapes and sizes, and you might even find one during your walk in the local park. Some gardeners believe the name ‘Monstera Deliciosa‘ means a delicious monster referring to this plant’s delicious yet dangerous fruit. In my opinion, this fruit is a true example of how patience is rewarding.
This article answers important questions you might have about the Monstera fruit. Continue reading to know when the Monstera fruit is ready and safe to eat.
What is a Monstera Fruit?
Monstera is one of the easiest plants to care for and grow; however, making this plant flower and fruit indoors is challenging. The good news is, yes, Monsteras can fruit, but not every Monstera planted in a pot will start producing fruits, especially those grown indoors.
Monsteras usually fruit when planted in climates similar to their native habitat. You can read more about the ideal growing conditions for Monsteras outdoors. Generally, it would be best if you focused on fulfilling the following requirements to help the plant thrive and enter the fruiting stage:
- Keep it in high humidity
- Provide warm temperatures
- Make sure the plant has plenty of room for growth
You can even use a greenhouse to create the perfect controlled environment and a rainforest replica for your Monstera. If you get everything right and are lucky, your Monstera will fruit during fall and winter. Initially, the Monstera fruit does not look like a fruit; instead, it’s a flowering spike with a spathe and spadix.
Fruit Salad Plant and Mexican Fruitbread refer to the Monstera Deliciosa fruit. Although the fruiting time depends on the growing conditions, you must wait at least 10 months or one year for the fruit to grow after flowering. After the fruit has fully developed, it takes a few days to ripen.
If you wonder why Monstera fruit takes so long to ripen, the answer is that the starch in this fruit takes time to transform into sugar.
The main question is, how will you know when the fruit is ready to eat? Because you do not want to eat an unripe Monstera fruit and have a burning sensation in your mouth and throat. We have heard stories about skin irritation as well.
The top layer with a hexagonal pattern is hard and inedible. Still, as the fruit matures, this layer will start peeling off to reveal the fruit’s edible portion, which looks like white-colored popcorn kernels or a white pineapple. Some say the inside of the fruit looks like a banana with yellow and black speckles.
If the fruit has some areas with scales, it’s still dangerous for consumption. The fruit will start ripening near the base, connected to the main plant.
Monstera fruit has a strong but delicious fruity scent that is noticeable as it ripens. The aroma gets stronger as the fruit continues to ripen. The edible part has a gooey, soft portion covering a hardcore in the middle. This core is inedible.
A mature Monstera fruit looks like green-colored corn, growing to a length of 10 to 12 inches (25 to 30cm). The width is about 2 inches (5 cm).
If you are growing a Monstera, you already know about the toxicity of the Monstera plants. The unripe Monstera fruit contains calcium oxalate crystals and oxalic ac, making it unsafe. Every part of this plant, including leaves, roots, and stems, contains calcium oxalate, and it’s toxic for humans and pets. We have a complete list of houseplants toxic to cats, and Monstera is one of them.
Identifying the ripe stage and timing is the first step in unlocking the tropical flavor of the exotic Monstera fruit. Although fruiting on Monstera is a long process, you can keep the fruit in a brown paper bag to encourage peeling off. The fruit can be picked when it changes from a darker green to light green. Make sure the bag is closed and stored at room temperature.
Check the bag after a few days (usually 2-4 days) and remove the scales gently. If you need to force yourself to remove the scales, you should wait a few more days. Another method for eliminating scales is by keeping the base of the fruit in water and storing it in a dark location for a few days.
How to Eat the Monstera Fruit?
Monstera fruit is rarely available in non-native areas because it’s difficult to fruit. Monstera fruit is eaten independently, or you can prepare a delicious dessert with a unique tropical flavor. Monstera fruit is used in different recipes for other tropical fruits like pineapples, dragon fruit, and mango, and it will also make an excellent addition to your fruit cup.
The fruit’s green hexagonal scales and yellow interior give it a pineapple-like texture. You can cut the edible kernels with a knife or with fingers and cut the Monstera fruit along the length you would for an ear of corn. You can also cut this fruit into circular rings. And you safely eat the out part of the ring and leave the inner core.
The most common method to eat Monstera fruit is a fruit jam or a tasty sauce because this fruit can withstand heating. The jam can be cooked and stored longer than eating the fruit raw. Although this is a unique fruit, making jam is no big deal. All you have to do is follow any regular jam-making recipe and add lemon and sugar for texture. Remove any black pieces that rise to the surface while preparing the jam.
You can enjoy this jam with toast or mix it with some cream. You can even prepare a Monstera-flavored smoothie or yogurt. Lastly, have you ever thought about Monstera-flavored ice cream? It’s a tasting delicacy.
The fruit ripens in stages, about 1 inch each day, so that you can eat it in portions or when the whole fruit is ripe. This tasty tropical fruit will stay fresh in the refrigerator for one week. If you plan to store it in the freezer for smoothies and milkshakes, it will last up to a year.
Even if the fruit is ripe, you should consume it in small quantities to avoid stomach issues. Overeating can also cause a sore mouth. You can use the freezing or dehydrating method.
You can cut small pieces of the fruit and fill them in high-quality freezing bags. The freezing bags should not have any air trapped inside; otherwise, your fruit will rot.
How Does a Monstera Fruit Taste?
Like its native habitat, the Monstera fruit has a tropical taste, combining coconut, pineapple, strawberry, and banana. The overall flavor profile is exotic and complex, with sweetness and a touch of citrus.
The name Deliciosa fits perfectly to explain the flavor of the fruit because it’s indeed delicious. The fruit is tasty and exotic and filled with essential nutrients like Vitamin C and potassium, and this fruit is healthy because it has low calories.
The longer you let the fruit ripe, the better it tastes because the taste keeps developing daily. Just remember that unripe Monstera fruit has an unpleasant taste, so if your fruit does not taste good, there is a chance it’s still unripe.
How to Harvest Seeds from the Monstera Fruit?
The Monstera fruit is not just a delightful tropical fruit, but it also has some seeds that can be used for seed propagation, and you can grow a brand new Monstera plant. The seed collection is a great way to enjoy the Monstera fruit if you are not eating the fruit.
Usually, unripe fruit has been seen, so make sure you pick the fruit at the right time. Look for a fruit that has visible green scales or hexagonal pods. You can also judge the fruit by the smell because the unripe Monstera fruit has no significant scent.
Separate each of the pods from the primary fruit body with your hands. Press the white portion between your fingers for seeds. The tiny seeds are oval-shaped and greenish-white in color.
Each fruit can give you 10-15 seeds on average. You can propagate the seeds right away or store them. Harvesting Monstera seeds from the fruit is time-consuming, but if you find the fruit growing in the wild, free seeds can help you save some bucks.
I have a detailed article about propagating Monsteras using seeds, stem cuttings, leaf cuttings, and air layering. It would be best to read in detail about all these propagation methods before you start growing Monstera from seeds or cuttings.
The Mini Monstera Rhaphidophora Tetrasperma
Care should be taken with Rhaphidophora Tetrasperma, as it is not a true Monstera, and although it does bear fruit, it is not edible.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do all Monstera varieties produce fruit?
It isn’t easy to convince your Monstera plant to flower or fruit unless you have the ideal tropical atmosphere. Monstera Deliciosa is the most common variety to flower and produce edible fruit. Several other varieties can produce fruit, but it’s not edible.
Should you remove the tiny black specks in the Monstera fruit?
These black particles are floral remnants. Eating the fruit without these tiny black particles is best, which can irritate your throat. You should pick the black specks containing calcium oxalate, whether you eat or cook the fruit before eating.
Is the ripe Monstera Deliciosa fruit safe for everyone?
The ripe fruit has less calcium oxalate, but sensitive people should not eat those with oxalic acid or calcium oxalate allergies.
How old should be your Monstera plant to start fruiting?
Your Monstera should be two to three years before you expect any fruits.
Can you remove the top green layer yourself?
Although the safest approach is to let the green layer come off independently, you can still try removing it yourself. If the layer peels off quickly, the fruit underneath is ripe and ready; otherwise, it’s unsafe to eat.
Will my indoor Monstera plant ever grow fruit?
It is rare, but if your indoor Monstera is a few years old and mature, there are slight chances of fruiting. But you must ensure your plant gets lots of sunlight and water.
What should you do if the unripe fruit breaks from the plant?
This fruit will continue to ripen even after separating from the main plant. You can keep the fruit in a paper bag until it’s fully ripe.
You can bring your Monstera from your garden to the kitchen table with the edible fruit. This fruit is the mature version of the flower, so it’s to say that Monstera fruiting starts with blooming.
Only the white fleshy part under the green layer is edible and safe to eat after the fruit has fully ripened. What version of fruit you will get depends on when you harvest the fruit. The ripe fruit is flavorful and has a fruity aroma, making it worth the wait.
To conclude, Monsteras planted outdoors in the ground have higher opportunities for fruiting, provided they receive tropical temperatures and humidity. Even if you do not get fruits on your Monstera plants, you should still try the fruit from a seller or when visiting the native regions. Those who have eaten it describe it as a sweet, delicious, fragrant tropical fruit.