Caring For Your Monstera - Swiss Cheese Plant
Swiss Cheese Plant; Monstera deliciosa is a native to the jungles of Southern Mexico and Guatemala, and is one very easy houseplant! Yet it needs space to grow giving your home that instant jungle feels. Possessing all the qualities that are required of a good houseplant this plant is making a comeback.
The Monstera’s leaves are a rich green in colour and have a natural gloss to them which is heightened when plants are cleaned with a damp cloth, unless the leaves a new, lime green in colour and soft. Cleaning the leaves will also help keep pests under control as they are prone to mealybugs on the undersides of the leaves. It’s also ideal to give them the occasional misting of water to help increase humidity levels if located in climate controlled conditions such as a office.
They grow well shaded from the sun and in reasonably warm environments but need to be kept out of direct sunlight to prevent leaves scorching.
Watering? Let the top 4cm of soil dry out between watering as over watering may lead to root rot, signs of this are yellowing or wilting leaves. For best results Monsteras should enjoy conditions that are fairly moist so avoid artificial heating and cooling, they will require quarterly feeding in spring and summer when planted in containers.
In ideal conditions the monstera will produce quite enormous leaves that, as well as being deeply serrated along their margins, will also become naturally perforated. The leaves on a young plant are not serrated, as it grows the leaves become larger and their shape will form so don’t be alarmed when you bring home your new plant and notice un-serrated heart shaped leaves, it’s a matter of patience.
Occasionally the Monstera produces aerial roots, plants will do better if the aerial roots that grow from the main stem can be directed into a container of water from which supplies will be drawn for the plant, thus reducing the need for too frequent watering of the mixture in the pot, these roots can be also directed into the potting mixture when re-potting.
When potting plants on into larger pots, a mix comprised of equal parts potting mixture and sphagnum moss will do the job, also once the plant reaches heights of 80cm tall it will need the support of a moss pole or bamboo cane as its naturally tendency is to grow up.
Mature Monstera deliciosa plants grown outdoors produce flowers that only last a few days, but they develop into a rich-tasting fruit, which can be picked for eating once it’s ripe.