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Monstera “Swiss Cheese Plant”

Latin name

Monstera deliciosa


(“mon-STIR-rah del-liss-EE-oh-sah”)

Common name

split-leaf philodendron Swiss cheese plant


Costa Rica, Guatemala, Honduras, Southern Mexico, Nicaragua and Panama

How easy am I to care for?

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The Swiss Cheese Plant, or Monstera deliciosa, has deeply indented, shiny leaves, which may reach 50 cm or more in length when mature. The lobes are perforated with large holes, hence the nickname “Swiss Cheese Plant” and are either deep green or variegated with patches of cream and white depending on variety. Young plants have entire leaves without perforations.

The holes and incisions in the leaves allow strong winds to pas through the foliage, without risking too much damage – an ideal adaptation to its natural habitat in the hurricane belt of Central America (and the reason for one of its common names: the Hurricane Plant).

Monstera deliciosa will climb vigorously up a supporting moss pole with the aerial roots providing anchorage. Those aerial roots also act like miniature sponges and are able to absorb a small amount of water from mist. During the 19th Century, Monstera deliciosa was grown for both its ornamental foliage and its fruit.

Under glasshouse conditions the arum-like flowers develop into white, banana-shaped fruits called cerimans, which taste like a cross between pineapples and bananas. These are very rarely produced indoors, but if they are, beware that some people can be sensitive to the tiny irritating spiny hairs on the fruit.

Caring for your plant



Medium to medium-high light. Avoid low light and also direct sunlight in the summer


The soil should be kept moist, but not wet, and should be allowed to dry out a little. Despite its size and jungle origins, it is not a heavy water user


Long, leggy plants can be cut back to encourage branching


A weak solution of fertilizer added to the water at each watering will be sufficient

Pest & Diseases

Generally pest free, but mealybugs and two-spotted spider mites can be an occasional problem. Keep the plant misted to deter spider mites, and remove mealybugs when you see them by wiping off with a damp cloth or paper towel.

Mill Pond Nurseries,
Mill Road,
CM22 6AA

T: 0345 505 3333
E: enquiries@planteriagroup.com

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