Monstera deliciosa | Swiss Cheese Plant

Did you know?

The holes in a cheese plant's leaves are called Fenestrations. There are a few theories explaining them. It is said that split leaves have a better chance to catch a ray of sun in low light conditions like rainforests. Split leaves also have a better chance to resist strong winds without being torn. Finally, the holes may allow the rain to pass through and reach the ground.

(Pronounced mon-STE-ra de-lis-e-O-sa)

Aka the ‘Swiss cheese plant’

Toxic to pets

cheese plant in pot and in natural habitat


Natural habitat: Monstera deliciosa are originally found in the tropical forests of Central America. It was also introduced in various tropical areas, including Hawaii. In their native environment, they use their aerial roots to climb up a tree and reach the light above the canopy. They grow up to dozens feet tall, produce flower and edible fruits.

Varieties:  Monstera deliciosa are part of the Monstera genus that includes 49 plant species. They belong to the family of Araceae.

Light: The Cheese plant thrives in medium to bright indirect light. Morning and evening direct sun is fine but it might scorch the leaves in the warmest months.

Humidity: Monstera Deliciosa will adapt to average house humidity. However, as rainforest plants, they will benefit from a boost of humidity, especially in winter. Keep the plant away from radiators.

Water: Cheese plants like to have the top 2 to 4 inches of soil dry before being watered again. They are sensitive to overwatering so don’t let them sit in water. Water only occasionally in winter.

Soil: Well-draining soil that keeps moisture (that contains perlite)

Temp. : Monstera deliciosa will do fine in normal room temperature (18 to 30℃). They will suffer under 15℃.

Repotting: Cheese plants can be repotted every year when they are young, and every other year when more mature. Always repot into a container no more than one to two inches bigger than the pot it is in. If the plant is in a big pot, it can benefit from a fresh top-dress of rich soil instead of being repotted. 

Propagating: Monstera deliciosa can be propagated by stem cuttings. Use a sharp knife and put on some gloves as Monstera’s sap can be irritating. Start by cutting off a stem that includes a node, an aerial root and at least 2 leaves. Put the cutting in a jar of water and change the water every 4 or 5 days. The new roots will grow within a couple of months. The new plant can be repotted in a small pot with fresh moist soil.

Fertilising: You can feed your Monstera deliciosa with a regular houseplant fertiliser during the growing season (spring/summer) every 2 to 4 weeks.


Good to know:

  • Cheese plants need plenty of bright light to create the nice fenestrations on the leaves as it demands a lot of energy from the plant

  • Monstera deliciosa are vines and need support to climb up. Use a moss pole or a bamboo stick to help them grow upwards, otherwise they will grow wide.


Common problems: 

Monstera deliciosa are prone to thrips and mealy bugs. It is important to check the top and bottom of the leaves regularly, and wipe the dust off the leaves or shower your plant (thrips hate water).

  • yellow leaves= overwatering, lack of light, bugs, or natural evolution (the plant needs to drop older leaves in order to grow new leaves)

  • curling leaves= underwatering, heat, dry air, or root rot

  • drooping leaves= underwatering, bugs, inadequate temperatures

  • leaves turning black=sunburn, root rot, lack of nutrients or on the contrary over-fertilising, fungal disease

  • brown leaves= overwatering, underwatering, low humidity

  • leaves without holes or ridges= lack of light

You can regularly find in the Every Space plant shop Monstera deliciosa of various sizes, along with the rarer variegated Monstera deliciosa. 

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