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Swiss Cheese Plant

Monstera deliciosa

Cheese plant, Ceriman, Indian Ivy, Fruit Salad Plant, Mexican Breadfruit, Monstera, Split leaf philodendron

Monstera delicosa is an impressive, big, spreading, easy-to-grow and generally low maintenance plant. It may be kept indoors as a distinctive foliage houseplant, requiring support for optimal growth. Their cream-white flowers are large, if not particularly pretty, and will later produce fruit that are inedible until their scales lift up. They resemble a green ear of maize and can cause stomach upset if consumed unripe. Foliage is the main reason for growing, leaves are large, glossy and heart-shaped. They change structure with age, developing into characteristic splits, this is where the common name swiss cheese plant originates from. Foliage is whole in young specimens, developing larger splits with growing maturity. Native to tropical rain-forests, this plant climbs using aerial roots and is classified as an epiphyte, this is an organism that doesn't require a water or soil substrate to grow, surviving on other organisms and gleaning nutrition and moisture from the air and its immediate surroundings.


Flowering time
Spring, Summer
Fruiting time


The fruit may be ripened by cutting it when the first scales begin to lift up and it begins to smell pungent. Set aside wrapped in a paper bag​ until the scales begin popping off. Brush scales off to reveal the edible flesh underneath which can be cut from the core and eaten.


A tip cutting, including at least two leaves, will root in spring, if it is planted in a deep pot containing a moistened equal-parts mixture of peat moss and sand. Enclose the cutting in a plastic bag.
Air layering.

Special features

Indoor plant
Plants grown indoors in temperate regions occasionally produce flowers and fruit.
Pot plant
Provide a large container to allow air roots to tap into the soil.
Attractive leaves
Attractive foliage plant.


Central and South America, Mexico.
Natural climate


Partial Sun, Full Shade
Soil moisture
Soil type
Loam, Peat, Sand, Air
Soil PH preference
Alkaline, Neutral
Frost hardiness


The flesh of the fruit underneath the scales can be cut from the core and eaten. The flesh has a fruity taste similar to jackfruit and pineapple.
Suits a conservatory or light indoor room as an architectural feature houseplant.


Flower colour
Cream to white, White


Indoor plants may attract mites and scale insects and can be controlled by spraying the plant with a diluted horticultural oil or soap. Grasshoppers, leaf spot and root rot can cause serious damage to plants.

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