Monstera Deliciosa, more reputedly known as the “Swiss Cheese Plant,” is a flowering plant species found in Southern Mexico, south to Panama. It is widely grown in temperate regions as a common houseplant.
This tropical plant has become almost invasive, and you can see the leaves in graphic patterns for paintings and fabrics.
With its vast, glossy, dark green leaves, Monstera Deliciosa is an excellent addition to any room. It can grow up to 70 feet or 21 meters tall, with some holes emerging on its eye-catching leaves, which give it its whimsical name.
Is Monstera Deliciosa Easy to Grow?
It is notoriously easy to grow a Monstera Deliciosa plant. With its tropical instinct, it grows rapidly and can grow large, very large under the right conditions in terms of soil, light, water, temperature, and humidity.
Looking After a Monstera Deliciosa Plant
Monstera Deliciosa has aerial roots growing downwards from the stem. Its roots brace against the ground or any given support, enabling it to have a vine-like tendency to climb.
In the wild, it will make use of its air roots to thrust itself onto a nearby tree or woody vine.
When growing Monstera Deliciosa indoors, you can simulate this process by inserting a stick or pole in the center of its pot.
If the appropriate yet simple conditions are maintained, the Monstera Deliciosa is an easy variety to care for. To make it grow adequately, the four basics aspects of plant care must be aligned.
The Monstera Deliciosa grows finest in peat-based potting soil, which helps in trapping moisture in the soil without letting it become waterlogged.
For an even more substantial and ameliorated growth, aim for a soil pH level between 5.5 and 7.0, and select a pot with large drainage holes at its base.
Because of Monstera Deliciosa’s tropical origins, their growth is stimulated in bright, indirect light, or partial shade.
They are adapted to flourishing under the shadow of large trees in the forest and can quickly burn if exposed to too many direct sun rays. If direct sunlight is somewhat unavoidable, then limit their exposure to only two or three hours of sun each morning.
Monstera Deliciosa plants like to remain slightly moist but not soaked. While it may seem difficult to maintain that balance, you can simply test if your plant needs water using an easy trick.
Before watering your plant, stick your finger into the soil about an inch deep; if the soil feels nearly dry-to-the-touch, it’s the right time to water the plant.
Temperature and Humidity
These deep-forest plants grow well on very high humidity levels (60%), lots of moisture, and high temperatures.
Therefore, it makes sense that the most delicate Swiss Cheese plants are often grown in a conservatory or greenhouse environment. The closer you can simulate the plant’s intrinsic conditions, the better.
Choose a spot in a properly lit, warm, and humid bathroom or kitchen, and mist the plant repeatedly. Also, you can also place a humidifier in close proximity to keep the air moist.
Swiss Cheese plants should be kept at over 60 degrees Fahrenheit (15.5 °C), if possible. However, they can survive brief cold spells with some die-back.
Once you are done with potting or repotting the plant, remain patient for at least four to six months so that it fertilizes, as potting soil typically has a slow-release fertilizer mixed in already.
Afterward, fertilize your Swiss Cheese plant every month, using an all-purpose liquid fertilizer that has been diluted by half.
Is Monstera Deliciosa Toxic?
Despite its stunning outlook, the Monstera Deliciosa plant can be toxic to some, especially pet animals, including dogs and cats. The reason for this is the insoluble calcium oxalate crystals found in all portions of the plant, including its leaves, stems, and roots.
Though hardly lethal, it is still wise to get in touch with a vet or other emergency services if your pet experiences symptoms mentioned below after consuming the Monstera Deliciosa or Swiss Cheese plant.
- Problem in Swallowing
- Pawing at mouth
- Excessive slobbering
Look Out for These Pests and Diseases
Like various houseplants, the Swiss Cheese plant may have to cope with various common pests, for instance, mealybugs, spider mites, scale, and whitefly. Fortunately, these pests are seldom fatal and can be treated with a non-toxic insecticide or neem oil.
Additionally, you must keep a strict check on plants for signs of potential diseases, such as root rot, rust, powdery mildew, and blight.
The Monstera Deliciosa is an even-tempered plant and is generally pest-free. However, in case of pests appearance, they must be treated as soon as possible with weekly sprays of horticultural (neem) oil and regular wipe-downs of the plant.
Certain symptoms and their causes are mentioned below:
Symptom: Leaves turning brown and crispy at the edges
Cause: Thirsty plant, not properly watered, or high salt build-up
Symptom: Wilting plant, dry potting mix
Cause: Underwatered or pot-bound
Symptom: Yellowing leaves or black stems, wet potting mix
Frequently Asked Questions About Growing Monsters Deliciosa
Does Monstera Deliciosa need pruning?
The Monstera Deliciosa plant is a climber, so it might need to be pruned if it stands expanding in length abnormally or begins to outgrow your premises. If such a situation develops, then prune your plant in the spring or autumn by eliminating the top growth as well as any lifeless or damaged leaves. Make sure that you cut close to the main stem to avoid forming stubs.
What if the leaves on Monstera Deliciosa are not forming holes?
This is typically due to deficiency of something which can be light, not enough water, or inadequate fertilizer. In case the plant is mature (2-3 years old), then you may want to examine to confirm if the aerial roots are in compost and if they’re not, then place the roots in soil or on a humid moss pole.
Marcel runs the place around here. He has a deep passion for houseplants & gardening and is constantly on the lookout for yet another special plant to add to his arsenal of houseplants, succulents & cacti.
Marcel is also the founder of Iseli International Commerce, a sole proprietorship company that publishes a variety of websites and online magazines.