Swiss Cheese Plant
This beautiful broad-leaved giant is named after the famous Emmental Swiss cheese that its perforated glossy leaves resemble. Keep your plant in a bright position out of sunlight between 10-24 degrees and water whenever the first 5cm of soil is dry to the touch.
Monstera must be kept out of harsh direct sunlight and prefer a partially shaded to bright location.
Monstera will cope with temperatures between 10 to 24 degrees. Optimum conditions are those above 18 degrees and will accelerate growth.
Allow your swiss cheese plant soil to turn dry before each watering. You can judge the frequency of watering by inserting your finger into the first few centimeters of soil to see if it’s dry to the touch.
Monstera is a tropical species and therefore does benefit from its leaves having occasional mistings. You can achieve this by using a mister that can be easily sourced from garden centers.
Monstera is relatively easy to propagate – to do so, cut a segment off from the main plant that has an aerial root, and ideally at least two nodes, and place this root into water. Allow the roots to grow before potting into well-draining soil. Cuttings that include a healthy large leaf often add to the success of propagation.
Use a potting mix that achieves an airy soil that retains some moisture. This should include the potting soil, grit and peat alternative such as coconut husk coir or composted bark that will hold a little moisture.
Caring for your plant:
The swiss cheese plant grows into a large climber and therefore will need a moss pole to support its weight and give it something to grow onto. To help water reach the top of the plant in larger specimens it is recommended to push the aerial roots into the soil so that they have a water source.
My plant doesn’t have perforated cut slits through its leaves!?
Don’t worry! Younger plants will not develop these slits until the plant matures. However, if your adult plant has transitioned from perforated to producing mainly broad leaves then it's likely your Monstera isn’t happy. Check the above to ensure your plant is out of direct light, receiving the correct amount of water and is above 18 degrees. Maintaining a constant temperature is important and large sways and drops will also be a cause of upset to your plant.
The author holding a sought after variegated Monstera deliciosa.
More commonly Monstera deliciosa is seen with large dark green leaves but a variegated plant can be found. Recently this cultivar has been well sought after with buyers paying as high as £100 or more for cuttings that include a variegated leaf with aerial roots.