Monstera deliciosa & other species
Swiss Cheese Plant
Origin and Habitat of Monstera Deliciosa
Monstera deliciosa is a member of the Araceae family and is native to the rainforests of Central and South America. It is commonly found in Mexico, Panama, and Costa Rica. The plant grows on the forest floor and climbs trees using its aerial roots. In the wild, Monstera deliciosa can grow up to 70 feet tall, but as a houseplant, it generally reaches a height of around 6 to 8 feet.
Monstera deliciosa has several popular cultivars that are loved by plant enthusiasts. One of the most popular cultivars is the Variegated Monstera, which has leaves with white or cream-colored variegation. Another popular cultivar is the Monstera Adansonii, also known as the Swiss Cheese Vine, which has smaller and more perforated leaves than the Monstera deliciosa.
Habit: Large climbing plant with stout thick stems producing medium to large glossy leaves with various lobes and holes (fenestration) and sometimes bearing white aroid flowers. Plants do need to be provided with a trellis or some means of climbing upwards.
Temperature: Plants grow best between 15 to 25ᐤ C and temperatures below 4ᐤ C may result in the death of the plant. Avoid placing plants in windy or drafty locations which can lead to less attractive plants.
Light Exposure: Indoors, plants will grow well in bright, indirect light to some exposure to direct light. If placed in too dark of a location, leaves will yellow and the plant will start to grow towards brighter areas.
Watering: Swiss Cheese plant like a moist growing medium but not soggy; water only when the top 5 to 10 cm of soil feels dry to the touch. Always check the soil moisture first but as a rule of thumb watering once or twice a week in the rainy season, once every four weeks in the cold dry season and once a week in the hot dry season.
Fertilising: Give plants a well balanced fertiliser once a month during the hot dry season and rainy season but not during the cold dry season when plants are resting (semi-dormant).
Pruning/Repotting: Remove yellowing or damaged leaves as necessary; repotting of Swiss Cheese Plant can be difficult if it has grown tall and climbed beyond its trellis, due to such difficulty, topdressing the plant every three or four years is a good alternative.
Pests/Diseases: Mealybugs, aphids, whitefly, thrips, spider mite and scale are all pests that affect Swiss Cheese plants. While a few fungal pathogens can cause leaf spot issues, the biggest problem affecting Swiss Cheese plants is root rot due to overwatering issues.
In conclusion, Monstera deliciosa is a beautiful and easy-to-care-for houseplant that can add a tropical touch to any indoor space. By providing the plant with the right amount of light, fertiliser, and care, you can enjoy its lush foliage for many years to come.