Swiss Cheese Plant
Cheese Plant, Ceriman, Indian Ivy, Fruit Salad Plant, Mexican Breadfruit, Monstera, Split Leaf Philodendron, Cut-Leaf-Philodendron, Tarovine
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Monstera delicosa is an impressive, 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. These are infrequently seen in cultivation, requiring exacting conditions to achieve flowering. They resemble a green ear of maize and can cause stomach upset if consumed unripe. Foliage is the main reason for growing this lovely plant. The leaves are large, glossy and heart-shaped. They change structure with age, developing characteristic splits over time. 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 rainforests, 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 their immediate surroundings. They also do fine potted in an airy, well-draining soil mix, its advisable to add moss and perlite to achieve this. This species has earnt a Royal Horticultural Society Award of Garden Merit. It has a bushy habit and is frost-tender, keep above freezing temperatures, plant in a position of full sun and well-draining soil for optimal growth. Water when the soil has thoroughly dried out for best results.
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.
Plants grown indoors in temperate regions occasionally produce flowers and fruit.
Provide a large container to allow air roots to tap into the soil.
Attractive foliage plant.
Central and South America, Mexico.
Full Shade, Partial Shade, Partial Sun
Loam, Peat, Sand, Air
Soil PH preference
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.