If you want an easy-to-grow exotic plant, the Monstera Deliciosa – aka Swiss Cheese Plant – is the plant for you! This gorgeous plant will transform your space faster than you can say Swiss Cheese! In this post I’m going to teach you how to grow a Monstera Deliciosa.
A bit of History and Characteristics
So let’s start with a little Monstera history. The botanical name of this plant is Monstera Deliciosa and it is native to South America. The Monstera is such a vigorous plant that it is considered invasive in warmer climates. You may know this already but the Swiss Cheese plant is actually a vine which means that it can climb using what’s called aerial roots. In the wild it climbs trees but will definitely climb a building wall or anything else in its way. It’s quite amazing.
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Now let’s dig into the characteristics of this climbing beauty. In its juvenile stage it has very distinct heart shaped foliage. As the plant ages, the new leaves get bigger and bigger. Once the plant hits a certain unknown age, the new foliage will unfurl revealing fenestrations or splits/holes in the leaves.
Another important characteristic about the Swiss Cheese plant is that it produces aerial roots. Many new plant parents get freaked out by these because as the plants age the aerial roots get bigger and longer. You can tuck them into the pot or let them trail along the floor but for goodness sake don’t cut them.
Moving on let’s talk about how to actually care for this plant starting with light.
Because this plant in nature lives in the understory of trees that suggest that it doesn’t require direct sun/ bright light. It is speculated that the fenestrations on the foliage is to allow light to pass through to the rest of the plant. How cool is that?! In your home, give the Monstera plant bright indirect light.
Pots and soil
Monsteras do not require any special pot; only that it has a drainage hole to allow water to flow through. The same with soil the Swiss Cheese plant is not picky. I use PROMIX soil mixed with Orchid Bark and Perlite for all of my non-picky plants. It doesn’t hold water for too long but also isn’t fast draining.
Tropical plants love moist soil. When I say moist I don’t mean wet. Damp maybe a better word. For new plant parents I suggest either using a moisture meter or your finger to determine when to water your plant. The moisture meter will tell you how wet your soil is and from there you can determine if it’s time to water or not. Using your index finger stick it into the soil about an inch down. When you pull your finger out determine if the soil is dry or moist. If it’s dry give the plant a through watering. If it’s moist leave the plant alone and check back in a few days.
If you don’t want to stick your finger in the soil try one of these moisture meters.
I have not found the Swiss Cheese plant to be too picky with fertilizer. They prefer a 20-20-20 fertilizer during the growing season backing off in the winter. I always use fish emulsion for my plants which is a 5-1-1. It’s organic and I don’t have to worry about fertilizer burn on the foliage. No matter what you choose do your research and follow the instructions.
So let’s say you want more Swiss Cheese plants but don’t want to buy another. Propagation is your best friend. This plant is so easy to propagate that a baby could do it. I prefer to make my cut just under an aerial root. Then I stick the cutting in water until it produces a good strong set of new roots. Once it’s well rooted I pot it in soil and boom! New plant!
Growing a Swiss Cheese plant is so rewarding. It is a plant that is beginner friendly and so adaptable. Will you be growing a Swiss Cheese plant?