The "Monstera Deliciosa" is a tropical plant originating from the Tropical Americas and is part of the Araceae family. Its name, as one might guess, comes from the Latin meaning “abnormal” because of its odd-looking, perforated leaves. The “deliciosa” part of its name comes from the pineapple-like fruit it bears in the wild.
The Monstera has many names such as Ceriman; Custard plant; Indian ivy; Fruit salad plant and Mexican breadfruit but is perhaps best known under its nickname “Swiss Cheese Plant”.
It gets this nickname from its big, heart-shaped leaves, which as it ages, grows with holes like Swiss cheese.
The Monstera is an “epiphyte”, which means it grows naturally in the crevices of large trees. The gaps in its leaves allow the available light to reach the lowest foliage. As the plant grows larger, these holes develop so if you purchase a small young Monstera, it may arrive without these signature notches.
As it grows, the Monstera Deliciosa also produces long, aerial roots. These roots can hang, giving this plant a vine-like propensity and are often used in Peru to make rope.
So you’ve introduced your brand new Monstera into the family and now you’re probably wondering, “um, how do I keep this thing alive?!”. The good news is that the Monstera is considered a relatively low- maintenance plant, making it the perfect entry plant for plant beginners and pros alike!
Like with all plant care, the power comes with knowledge. The following is an overview of our top care tips to keep your Monstera looking delicious!
Light: The Monstera thrives in bright to medium indirect sunlight. Rotate your cheese plant periodically even growth on all sides.
Water: Aim to water every 1-2 weeks. As an “epiphytes” with aerial roots, they are sensitive to overwatering and cannot tolerate sitting in soggy soil. Once the top 1-2 inches of soil are dry, your plant might use a drink! Increase the frequency of watering with increased light.
Temperature: As a native to tropical climates, the Monstera enjoys a humid environment. Try to keep your in a space with a temperature between 18-30*C and keep away from radiators and drafts. To maintain humidity, place on a tray of gravel or stones and fill the tray with water so that the bottom pebbles rest in the water and the top ones are dry.
Food: Fertilise your Monstera monthly throughout the growing season using fertiliser diluted to half strength. It’s essential to give your Monstera a chance to rest during the cooler months, so no fertiliser is necessary.
Cleaning: Dust can quickly build-up on the Swiss Cheese plant’s large leaves. Dust built-up on the leaves of houseplants blocks sunlight and reduces the plant’s ability to photosynthesize (which is how plants feed themselves) Keeping plants clean will not only aid healthy growth but it will also prevent disease and keep unwanted pests away. Remove dust from both sides of the leaf regularly with a damp cloth.
Repotting: We suggest repotting your Monstera every 18-24 months during the Spring or Summer when it is at its strongest. You should aim to choose a pot around 2-4 inches in larger in diameter to allow for growth. Avoid using too large of a pot as this can drown the plant’s roots. If you would prefer just to maintain the current size of your Monstera, we recommend, repotting into the same container and adding in new soil and trimming away some older roots and foliage.
While the Monstera Deliciosa is a low-maintenance plant, problems can arise from time to time. Here are a few of the most common issues you may encounter along with our top tips to resolve them!
Most often, yellowing occurs due to over or underwatering. A combination of both yellow and brown on the same leaf usually indicates overwatering. If entirely yellow leaves also come with crispy brown spots, this could be caused by underwatering. To help with your diagnosis, we suggest checking the soil.
Yes! These are aerial roots and are entirely normal. In their natural habitat, the Monstera uses these roots for support and to climb trees in search of light. If they become unruly, you can prune these down.
Monsteras are generally hardy plants and respond well to a good prune. Stakes and ties can be used to coax your Monstera into a growing direction of your choice.
Despite its tempting name, the calcium oxalates found in the Monstera sap is toxic to humans and animals if consumed. Fortunately, the purpose of calcium oxalates is to make the plant taste unpleasant to stop people or animals from eating it. However, to be safe, we recommend keeping them out of reach of pets and children.
There is no denying the beauty of a Monstera with its ability to add striking tropical vibes to any indoor space.
This plant works best in homes or workspaces with ample space for them to grow. We would recommend placing them in a statement-making open spot in a living room or bedroom, away from tight corners or windowsills.
In the wild, Monstera’s grow up trees and other plants in the rainforest and benefit significantly from this support. A small trellis or moss pole can help mimic this support indoors.
The good news is that no matter your size or budget, we have a Monstera for you! We stock the Monstera Deliciosa in 4 size varieties on our online plant store.
If you enjoyed this blog, why not check out some of our similar posts:
It’s finally time for that staycation.
The bags are packed.
The emails are set to OOO.
You’ve turned off all electronics (and the immersion!)
….Oh, wait what about the plants?!!
No matter the size or environment of your home, we believe there is a plant for every space.
To help make your plant shopping experience as simple and enjoyable as possible, we have put together a fuss-free guide to choosing the right indoor plant for each space in your home.