Swiss Cheese Plant (Monstera deliciosa) is also known as Split Leaf Philodendron, Hurricane Plant, Ceriman or Mexican Breadfruit. It is a popular evergreen climber that originates from the tropical Central American regions including South Mexico, Panama and Columbia. The plant flowers in its native habitat but rarely elsewhere.
In Europe, the Swiss Cheese Plant is primarily grown indoors for its lush green glossy foliage and commanding presence once matured. The holes and perforations in the leaves that are characteristic of the monstera help the plant survive in the rainforest, allowing strong winds and downpours to pass through the leaves without damage.
A Cheese Plant can look imposing in large rooms, foyers, hallways and offices – any large indoor spaces that can accommodate the plant’s growing size and caring needs.
How to Care for Your Cheese Plant
While looking after a Cheese Plant is not difficult, the right conditions and care instructions should be observed for the best results.
Monstera loves a warm climate, ideally between 18-27C (65-80F). Too cold and plant growth will slow down or stop altogether (<10C / 50F).
A bright room with some shade is best. Avoid positioning your Swiss Cheese Plant in full sun as this will damage the leaves, while too much shade leads to slower growth.
Allow the soil to become touch dry between watering, and water once every two weeks or so.
Average to high room humidity is required for a monstera to thrive. It’s a good idea to mist the moss pole stem and leaves to keep them moist.
A well-draining soil is needed, such as a non-peat-based potting soil mixed with sand or perlite. Repot the plant every 1-2 years in the spring.
For best results, apply a liquid feed in a diluted solution once a month between April and September.
Once your Cheese Plant has been growing for 3 years, it will need pruning. Simply remove as many stems as needed during the spring.
A Swiss Cheese Plant is typically disease-free, but if grown under glass it is vulnerable to attack by glasshouse red spider mites, mealybugs, thrips and scale insects.
Monstera leaves contain insoluble calcium oxalates which are likely to cause severe gastrointestinal discomfort if ingested. The plant is toxic to humans, cats and dogs.