Swiss Cheese Plant
Also known as
Ceriman, Indian Ivy, Fruit Salad Plant, Mexican Breadfruit, Monstera, Split Leaf Philodendron, Cut-Leaf-Philodendron, Tarovine, Swiss cheese plant, Shingle plant, Cheese plant
5 years to reach maturity
This plant has a mild fragrance
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Swiss Cheese Plant Overview
Monstera deliciosa is an impressive, spreading, easy-to-grow and generally low maintenance plant. It is a popular and distinctive foliage houseplant, requiring support for optimal growth. This houseplant lives happily in full or partial shade; however, it will grow faster in bright light. Monsteras like to dry out between waterings, which means less effort and less stress for you. Allow lots of upward space as it can grow up to 3 meters tall; I hope you have high ceilings! It is frost-tender, so keep above freezing temperatures, position in bright, indirect sunlight, and grow it in well-draining soil for optimal growth for best results. Fun fact: in native tropical rainforests, Monstera deliciosa, climbs using aerial roots and is classified as an epiphyte. This organism doesn't require a water or soil substrate to grow and survives on the branches of trees, gleaning nutrients and moisture from the air and immediate surroundings. So at home, it does well potted in an airy, well-draining soil mix. Moss and perlite can be added to achieve this. Its rare, cream-white flowers are large, if not particularly pretty, and will later produce fruits that resemble a green ear of maize in shape and which can cause stomach upset if consumed unripe. Blooms and fruit are infrequently seen in cultivation, requiring exacting conditions to achieve flowering. Foliage is the main reason for growing Monstera Deliciosa. 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.) This species has earned a Royal Horticultural Society Award of Garden Merit.
Common problems with Swiss Cheese Plant
Susceptible to sap-sucking pests indoors whereas grasshoppers might damage plants kept outside.
How to harvest Swiss Cheese Plant
The fruit of the Delicious monster 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.
How to propagate Swiss Cheese Plant
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.
Special features of Swiss Cheese Plant
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.
Other uses of Swiss Cheese Plant
Grown for their large handsome leaves.
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.
Place in conservatory or light indoor room as an architectural feature houseplant.