Monstera deliciosa | 'Swiss Cheese Plant'
Monstera is a genus of plant belonging to the family Araceae. Native to tropical Central America, the Monstera genus houses over 40 species of plants. The most well-known varieties ‘Deliciosa’ and ‘Adansonii’ are also referred to as ‘Swiss Cheese Plant’ or ‘Swiss Cheese Vine’ because of the holes which naturally form in their leaves. Monstera Deliciosa may also be referred to as ‘split leaf philodendron’, although these plants are not in fact part of the philodendron family. As these Monstera age and mature, their new growth will feature more and more holes. These holes are referred to as “fenestration.”
(Including Nursery Pot)
4" Nursery Pot: 10" H x 8" W
6" Nursery Pot: 14" H x 12" W
Monstera appreciate medium to bright indirect light. They are speedy growers, and brighter light will encourage faster growth. Direct light should be avoided, as it can burn the leaves, causing yellowing and discoloration.
Low light should also be avoided, as it can cause a reaction in Monstera called ‘negative phototropism’, where the plant grows towards darkness rather than light. In Monstera’s natural tropical environment, darkness is a sign that a larger tree is present, and the plant will grow towards this darkness, in search of a larger, stronger tree on which it might be able to attach its roots and climb up to find more sunlight.
Water and Soil
Monstera have moderate water needs, and should be allowed to dry out a bit between waterings. This plant is susceptible to overwatering, so care should be taken to ensure the plant is not watered when the soil is already moist. A loose soil blend with plenty of peat for absorbency and perlite or bark for drainage will work well.
Temperature and Humidity
Monstera are tropical plants which prefer temperatures between 65 and 85 degrees Fahrenheit. Cold temperatures and drafty exposures should be avoided. The humidity found in an average home will normally be sufficient for these plants, but they would love the benefit of some added humidity.
The purpose which the holes in these plants leaves serve in nature is widely debated. Some say the holes serve to allow light to reach lower leaves, while others say these holes help high wind or heavy rain to pass through the leaves without damage.
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