Monstera plant care. How not to kill your Swiss cheese plant

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Essential care for Monstera

Monstera Deliciosa is often called Swiss cheese plant, Split leaf philodendron, or Philodendron monstera. Mature Monstera plant develop rounded slits, or windows, in their leaves that resemble the holes in Swiss cheese. These holes help the plant withstand strong winds

Is Monstera plant easy to grow?

Monstera plant is easy to grow and tolerant of occasional neglect. This handsome foliage plant produces dramatically perforated leaves to 12 inches (30cm) long, or sometimes larger. A climber that attaches itself to a post with aerial roots, monstera makes a bold, vertical accent plant in large spaces. Over 7 years it can grow to 6–8 ft (1.8–2.4 m) tall.

Swiss cheese plant can can grow to 6–8 ft (1.8–2.4 m) tall over 7 years
Swiss cheese plant can can grow to 6–8 ft (1.8–2.4 m) tall over 7 years

What to expect when growing Swiss cheese plants indoor?

When grown outdoors in tropical areas, monstera produces edible fruit but plants seldom flower and fruit when grown indoors.

Healthy plants produce a steady parade of pencil-thick aerial roots, which gather moisture from the air. Secure roots that emerge near the base of the plant into the soil, and train others to cling to the plant’s post.

Monstera plants produce a steady parade of pencil-thick aerial roots
Monstera plants produce a steady parade of pencil-thick aerial roots

Is Monstera Deliciosa fruit edible? And where to buy one?

Actually monstera fruit is edible, but only when it ripes. A lesser-known fact is Swiss cheese plants sometimes called the “fruit salad” plant. The name comes from the fact that when ripped, Swiss cheese plant’s fruit is very delicious and it tastes like a combination of fruits in a fruit sale: banana, strawberry, guava, passion fruit, mango, and pineapple.

However, the fruit takes about 10 months long to ripe. And eating unripped fruit give your mouth and throat a burn because of Calcium Oxalate in unripped fruits. You can order the fruit online from a farm in Miami for 100-150$ a box

Is the Swiss Cheese plant poisonous for my pets?

The leaves of this plant are poisonous and can cause a severe burning sensation in the mouth if eaten by people or pets. If your pets accidentally eat the plant and show signs of distress, you can try to wash their mouth using running water, or take them to the vet.

The leaves of Monstera plant are poisonous for human and pets
The leaves of Monstera plant are poisonous for human and pets

Monstera plant essential care guide

  • Light: This plant prefers moderate to bright light, but no direct sun.
  • Temperature: Average to warm (65–85°F/18–29°C).
  • Fertilizer: From spring through summer, feed your monstera plant every 2 weeks with a balanced houseplant fertilizer. In winter, feed monthly.
  • Water: Allow the soil to dry to within an inch of the surface between waterings. Water less in winter than in summer.
  • Soil: A heavy mix comprised of 2 parts clean, bagged topsoil, 2 parts peat moss, and 1 part sand or perlite. Re-pot monstera every other spring. Keep plants in a large pot that provides room for the planting the aerial roots that emerge near the base of the plant. Mature plants require the support of a stout wood post.

What is better propagation methods for Swiss cheese? Step cutting or Air layering?

When the plant outgrows the space you have for it, propagate a vigorous stem tip by air layering or by rooting it as a stem tip cutting. Air layering is the easiest and most reliable method for monstera

You can also propagate monstera using bottles of water
You can also propagate Swiss cheese plant using bottles of water

Tips to bring out the beauty of Monstera plant

There are many varieties of Monstera. Most plants have glossy, dark green leaves, but variegated forms are available. Over time, these may revert to all-green leaves. Young plants without windows in their leaves are sometimes sold as Philodendron pertusum.

To bring out the beauty of this plant, clean leaves often to keep them vibrantly glossy. This is an ideal floor plant for large spaces. It can fill the corner of a brightly lit room, or you can use it to divide space in large, open corridors.

Swiss cheese plant: Top 5 most common problems

Top 5 most common Swiss cheese plant problems

Monstera leaves has brown tips

CAUSE: Soil too dry.

REMEDY: Water more frequently, using rainwater or distilled water. If your monstera dries out completely, rehydrate pot…

New leaves are small or lack perforations

CAUSE: Too little light; too little fertilizer.

REMEDY: It is normal for young monstera plants to develop leaves without holes or slits, but when new leaves on older plants fail to develop perforations, the plant needs more light and fertilizer.

My monstera has yellow leaves and shrivel to brown

CAUSE: Natural in winter when temperatures and light levels are low. In summer, yellowing leaves are caused by uneven watering, which makes the soil too wet or too dry.

REMEDY: Clip off failing leaves with sharp scissors. Water more frequently to keep soil evenly moist.

My monstera has white cottony on stems and under leaves

CAUSE: Mealybug.

REMEDY: Isolate plant, and remove mealybugs with tweezers or a cotton swab dipped in alcohol. Repeat every few days until mealybugs are gone. The open growth habit of this plant makes it easy to remove mealybugs by hand.

Leaves pale, with faint webbing on leaf undersides

CAUSE: Spider mites.

REMEDY: Isolate plant, and thoroughly clean leaf undersides with a soft cloth or sponge dipped in soapy water. Repeat after a week. Regular cleaning of leaves will prevent this problem, as will keeping plants in a moderately humid place. Monstera is less likely than other houseplants to become infested with spider mites.

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