Swiss Cheese Plant

Swiss Cheese Plant

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The Monstera deliciosa (meaning 'delicious monster') is often called Swiss Cheese plant (like the Monstera adansonii) which can be a bit confusing but it's actually an accepted common name for both of them. The 'deliciosa' part comes from the fact that they can bear sweet fruit, although this fruit is toxic when unripened.

These holes in the leaves form through a process called 'fenestration'. The older the plant, the more holes it is likely to have. There are a few different theories as to why these holes develop, and although more research is needed, it is thought that it may be to help light reach the lower leaves as the monstera vines itself around trees in its native tropical environment.

Monsteras are fast-growing, and it's possible to replicate this vining if you provide it with a stake or trellis that it can cling to. Give it a few months and you'll have a beautiful plant display.

In the wild, they can grow up to 65 feet (20 meters) tall!

Mature Monsteras can be expensive to buy, but if you start out small and put the time and care into nurturing them, they will soon grow.

Monstera watering 2

CARE

Swiss Cheese plants like to be kept in bright indirect light - if you think of their natural jungle environment, they're used to being partially shaded under the canopy of taller trees. Therefore, you should avoid placing them in direct sunlight, as this can lead to the leaves becoming burnt.

Swiss Cheese Plants are also really sensitive to any temperatures below 65 F / 18 C. Make sure to protect them if you need to move them.

Additionally, they like to be kept in high humidity conditions, with their soil consistently moist (but not overly wet). If you have a brightly lit bathroom, then this is the ideal place to keep your Monstera! Otherwise, you can replicate this high humidity by, for example, placing it near a humidifier.

monstera

OTHER

Young Swiss Cheese plants can look very different to their mature counterparts - they have small, heart-shaped leaves often with no holes in them at all. As they grow, the leaves become larger and start to form holes.

The strong roots have sometimes been used to create sturdy ropes and baskets.

Some Monstera varieties show beautiful variegation - these varieties can often be rare to find and also very expensive to buy!