Monstera Deliciosa Growing Secrets & Caring Tips

In this blog, we are going to study all about Monstera Deliciosa Or Swiss Cheese Plant. We will know the growing secret of this outstanding plant.

After reading this blog, we are so confident you will grow your beautiful plant Monstera Deliciosa (Swiss Cheese Plant) and easily you will take care of the plant.

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Monstera-Deliciosa Swiss Cheese Plant

Introduction

The native place of Monstera deliciosa is Central America, it belongs to the tropical climate.

The common name of the plant is Swiss Cheese Plant. The reason behind this name is natural holes in the leaves. In a young stage of leaves you can’t see these holes, but after the leaves get old (mature) you can easily see the holes in the leaves. According to scientific research in the tropical rainforest, these holes on the leaves’ surface help the plant catch more sun rays coming directly to the canopy of gigantic trees.

The eye-catching look of Monstera deliciosa (Swiss Cheese Plant) is a very attractive, deep green in color with holes and cut marks on leaves which makes it more beautiful.

Because of its wonderful look, the picture of this plant is very famous on different social media. The shape of the leaf is heart shaped with smile shaped cut mark on it.

We know this plant for its unique vegetation and it adds freshness and greenery to our life to make it cheerful.

Due to all these specialities and wonderful looks, the cost of this plant is very expensive, and it is very rare to find this plant.

If we are growing the plant in an indoor environment, the height goes up to 6.5 ft to 10 ft. This is an exceptional size to keep the plant at home. The size of the leaves is 10 to 35 inches long and they can be wide up to 30 inches.

The Swiss Cheese Plant is a slow grower. It needs time to grow fully. Young plant leaves don’t have holes and smile shaped cut on them, so we have to wait for them. We all know patience is the key to success.

The botanical name of the Swiss Cheese Plant is Monstera deliciosa in which “monstrous” means plant’s size and the word “delicious” refers to the edible fruit that grows on a monstera plant.

The root system of the monstera plant is aerial roots, this root system helps the plant to absorb moisture and nutrients from the surroundings.

We are studying the wonderful monstera plant. It is the world’s most expensive indoor plant because of its magnificent look and it is very rare to find this plant, this plant is most expensive because of its leaves.

The Swiss Cheese Plant is a forest plant that grows very well in the forest. In a forest environment conditions, they bear fruits and flowers. Also, it grows so dense in the forest, it can be wide till two feet.

The Shape of the fruit is corn cob-shaped, and it tastes like we mix many fresh fruits like pineapple, mango, etc. It doesn’t taste delicious. We will not suggest anyone to eat any part of the plant leaves, stem, or fruit because it is poisonous.

Monstera Deliciosa Plant Description

Now we will see all important descriptions of the swiss cheese plant. It will help us to understand the plant, by understanding we can maintain the plant and grow it easily.

Height:- The height of the plant depends on the environmental condition and nutrient availability in the soil, but on our growing experience we can say that the growth of plant Monstera deliciosa also depends on a supporting structure that we give to the plant in a pot or in a place where we plant.

Spread:- The growth habit of the plant is the spreading type. When the plants get a proper amount of nutrition and space, it will spread. If you want to stop the spread of the plant, we suggest doing regular pruning. By doing pruning, the plant will go straight and according to our planting experience supporting structure of the plant is also responsible for the more spreading.

The growth rate of the plant Monstera deliciosa is fast, growth rate also depends on the proper amount of sunlight and nutrient availability for the plant.

Leaves:- Leaves of the plant are so attractive. For the proper growth and development of the leaves it requires medium to bright sunlight. At the interval of every four to six weeks new leaves produce, with the proper development of the plant it will generate more growth points from which more leaves will produce.

  • Arrangement of the leaves in the plant are alternate.
  • The type of the leaves in the Swiss Cheese Plant is simple with an ovate shape, and it is evergreen.
  • The character of the happy monestera plant is strong green, with waxy leaves

Flower:- The colour of the flower is white, but we do not know the plant for its flower. We know it for its magnificent presence because of its leaves and plant shape. It is very rare to see the flowering of Monestera deliciosa in indoor conditions; I have only seen it flowering in natural habitats. It is very rare to see flowering in indoor conditions.

Fruits:- The colour of the fruit is green & the shape of the fruit is elongated. The size of the fruit is twelve inches, and it can be more than that as well.

The most common question that is asked is, is the fruit of Monestera deliciosa edible or not and the answer is Yes, it is suitable for the consumption of human beings. But as the flowering and fruit of the plant is also very rare to see in indoor conditions, we have only seen it in the natural habitat of the plant.

Roots:- Understanding the root system of the plant is very important in growing Monstera deliciosa. The healthy root is the base of the healthy and happy plant.

We will understand this in simple way, swiss cheese plants have three types of the root system

  1. Aerial roots
  2. Aerial-subterranean roots
  3. Lateral-subterranean roots

Aerial roots of swiss cheese plants:- The aerial roots come from the stem of the plants. These roots grow above the ground of the plant. The natural habitat of the plant is the tropical rainforest, and these roots are used to get stuck in another plant for proper sunlight. The unique character of this plant doesn’t kill or damage the host plant. This is the only way to grow and reach the sunlight.

Aerial-subterranean roots of swiss cheese plants:- It grows under the soil to observe the nutrient from the soil for proper growth and development of the plant.

Lateral-subterranean roots of swiss cheese plants:- These are the primary roots of the plant, which grow downward movement laterally for nutrients and minerals for growth and development of the plant.

 

Monstera-Deliciosa Swiss Cheese Plant 3

Care and maintenance

The plant Monstera deliciosa requires bright indirect sunlight for proper growth and development.

For proper root, development plant requires well-drained potting soil, and we know that healthy roots are the base of healthy plants.

For promoting the vegetative growth of the plant, we will suggest keeping the plant near south-facing windows behind the thin curtain. The plant will get indirect light and it will promote the growth of the plant.

If in the house there is not any source of natural or bright indirect sunlight, we can also use artificial light to boost variegation.

We suggest protecting Monstera deliciosa plants from direct sunlight. It will burn the leaves, and they can also fade the color of the leaves.

The best growing temperature for the Swiss Cheese Plant is between 65°F to 80°F (18°C–27°C), humidity should be high for the proper growth and development of the plant.

Best Soil for Growing Monstera deliciosa

For the proper vegetative growth and development of the plant, it requires loose soil with good aeration and an excellent drainage system.

Soil should be very rich in organic matter. Loamy (Silt) soil is best for proper growth.

We have to maintain the PH of the soil between 6.0 to 8.0

There is no fixed parameter of soil, as it can grow in sandy light soil, heavy clay soil or also in acidic soil, just need to maintain well-drained soil.

We will suggest adding one part of normal soil, one part of orchid bark and one part of perlite. It will encourage drainage in the soil. This will be the best pot mixture for the proper growth of plants.

Soil should hold a proper amount of soil moisture, but the soil should not be in waterlogged condition.

We should maintain proper aeration in the soil because the waterlogged condition will damage the root and the root of the plant will start rotting. This is the most dangerous condition for our expensive plant and we should protect from it.

Water Requirement Of Monstera deliciosa

The water requirement of the Swiss Cheese Plant is very moderate. Extra watering will damage the plant roots and less water will damage the plant.

We have seen many symptoms that when the Swiss Cheese Plant is over irrigated or in the condition of water-logging leaves of the plant becomes yellow.

Sometimes we have seen spots on the leaves. This is due to water-logging conditions or because of over-irrigation in the plant.

Just like over-watering, less watering also causes many problems like wrinkling in leaves, yellowing of leaves, dropping of leaves, etc.

We have seen problems in both of the scenarios, so we are sharing with you some important methods to check the water requirement of the plant.

The most common method is the finger test:- In this method, we poke our finger in the pot and check the upper layer of the soil and feel the moisture in it. If it is dried, this means the plant requires irrigation. If it is wet, it does not require irrigation.

 The second method we use is the Stick method:- In this method, we prefer to take any white wood stick then we poke that stick in the pot’s soil to keep a little distance from the root zone as it can damage. If the stick comes out completely dry this means it requires irrigation and if the stick comes out with moisture or mud stuck on it means it doesn’t require irrigation.

Third Method Is Moisture Meter:- In this method, just insert the sensor of the meter in the upper layer of the soil and keep an eye on the meter. When it drops from 3 it means it requires irrigation, it can vary from machine and brand. If you have many plants more than 3 then we will suggest you to use this method over the above two given methods.

We conclude that, drainage is the key to the houseplants. So keep the drainage system good in the pots and keep the water tray below the pots to provide proper humidity in the environment.

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Temperature Requirements of Swiss Cheese Plant

The favorable temperature for growing Swiss Cheese Plant is 68-86 degrees Fahrenheit (20-30°C).

The important thing that we have observed while growing the Monstera deliciosa plant is, if the temperature of the surroundings goes below 50 degrees Fahrenheit (i.e below 10°C), it will affect the growth and it will stop growing.

Monstera plants cannot survive in the frost condition, so we will suggest protecting the plant from the frost. The plant can die in this condition.

If you have space, and you are living in a USDA hardiness zone, we will suggest growing your plant in outdoor conditions because outdoors we have observed height till 10 feet of the plant with proper support and environmental conditions.

 

 If you are not living in the USDA hardiness zone, then we will suggest growing your plant in indoor conditions only and providing the proper temperature with humidity for the growth and development of the plant.

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Humidity requirement to grow Monstera deliciosa

As we all know, the Swiss Cheese Plant is a humid loving plant for proper growth and development. It requires high humidity in the surrounding area.

We have observed that if the humidity ratio in the environment is over 40% it is favorable for the proper vegetative growth of the plant.

For the proper vegetative growth, we will suggest to keep normal humidity i.e. it should not be more than 50% and not less than 20%. It is best to keep a plant in a controlled environment.

If the humidity is above 50% then the plant will get infected by a fungus attack and the surface of the pot or root zone will be covered by mould.

If the humidity in the plant’s surroundings is less than 20% it will require frequent irrigation, and we have observed that the vegetative growth of the plant also slows down.

Methods to maintain humidity 

The first common method to maintain humidity is to keep a water tray below the pot. It will increase humidity in the surrounding, water will evaporate slowly and fulfill the requirement of humidity.

The second method to maintain humidity is to group different indoor plants. With this method, the Monstera deliciosa plants fulfil the humidity requirement from another plant and every plant will get the proper amount of humidity for good vegetative growth.

The third easy method that we use and we also suggest our readers is just use a water sprayer and spray the water daily two times during hot days and on snowy days according to requirement. It will easily fulfil the humidity requirements of the plant.

If you have more than 5 plants in your home, you can use an electric humidifier. We have also used it and we got an excellent result. This method is a little costly, but it is useful.

The growth rate of Monstera deliciosa

  • The growth rate of the plant depends on the environmental condition, moisture, humidity and light available in the surrounding.
  • Nutrients availability in the soil is also a very important factor for the growth and development of the plant.
  • We have observed during growing the Swiss Cheese Plant the growth is slow as compared to another indoor plant.
  • By providing proper environmental conditions, Monstera deliciosa plants grow 2 to 2.5 feet per year.
  • In a healthy plant, we can observe one leaf after every 4 to 5 weeks. After some time when the plant matures, we can observe one leaf every month.

Growth of the swiss cheese plant also depends on the support system that we the providing because we have observed that it can grow till 65 to 67 feet height along with a supporting tree in its favorable environmental condition (rainforest), but in-home condition it is difficult to grow till 65 to 67 feet because in tropical forest it grows to chase the sunlight but an in-home condition we can try upto 6 feet to 10 feet.

The leaves of the matured plant can grow 2.5 to 3 feet wide with an attractive hole in them. The holes in the leaf help the sunlight go down to the lower leaves.

The aerial root system of the monstera plant helps to get a proper amount of nutrition for good growth and development of the plant.

Fertilizer Requirement of Monstera deliciosa.

We will suggest to use organic fertilizer for your houseplant.

The question that can come to your mind is- why to use organic fertilizers in indoor plants?

we are going to list why to use organic fertilizer:

  • Organic Fertilizers release nutrients slowly.
  • It improves the texture of the soil.
  • It is very easy to apply.
  • Organic Fertilizers are good for the environment.
  • Best for the growth and development of plants.

How to apply organic fertilizers to your Swiss Cheese Plant?

We have used organic fertilizer in our plants and we got the best result in vegetative growth and development of the Swiss Cheese Plant.

We have added organic fertilizer at the base of the pot. We also suggest you to do this.

Add organic fertilizer in the soil mixture in the ratio of 2:1 in which two portions of soil and one portion of organic fertilizer.

We can use organic fertilizer in the root zone at the proper time gap.

Chemical Fertilizers:

For using chemical fertilizer, we suggest to use liquid fertilizer because its action is fast as compared to traditional solid fertilizer.

We use chemical fertilizer during the month of summer or in warm days because that is the period where the growth of the plant is high and it require more nutrients.

We don’t suggest to use fertilizers in winter because it is the period where growth and development of the plant is very slow or we can say that the plant will be in dormant condition, so nutrition requirement is very less in this period.

House plant requires three main nutrients for proper growth and development, those are Nitrogen, Phosphorus and Potassium.

We can use any chemical fertilizer of a good brand that contains N, P, K (N= nitrogen, P= phosphorus and K= potassium) three in proper amount.

Apply the fertilizer once in the month. It is on you when to apply in the first week of the month or in the last week of the month, but keep the gap of 30 days between two doses of fertilizer application.

Apply fertilizer only in summer and stop during winter.

Pruning of Swiss Cheese Plant:

Pruning is very important for the vegetative growth of the plant, it is also important for the health of the plant.

We should do pruning of Monstera deliciosa before the growing season, we will suggest doing it in the early spring because after that plant will start growing.

We prune the swiss cheese plant to control the irregular growth of the plant and keep it in shape. It also keeps vegetation balanced.

We suggest you to prune old leaves, yellow leaves and dying leaves because it can become a heaven for insects that can damage the health of the plant.

Pests and Diseases Of Monstera deliciosa

We should protect our loved plants from pests and diseases because it damages the plant quickly and it also spreads to the whole plant.

Disease Of Swiss Cheese Plant

There are only two diseases that damage the Swiss Cheese Plant.

  • The first disease is Leaf spot.
  • Another one is Root rot.

Both the diseases are dangerous for the plant and capable of killing the healthy plant.

How to Identify the Leaf spot in Monstera deliciosa.

In the initial stage, we can see the small round brown patches on the leaves. After some time it will become large and the size of the patches will increase slowly and some portion of the leaves will cover with a brown spot, at the end leaf of the plant will start dying.

How to get rid of Leaf spot in Monstera deliciosa.

Firstly, we suggest you isolate the diseased plant from other house plants, as the leaf spot is a fungal disease there is a big chance that it will get spread to other indoor plants too.

The Second important step we should follow is to decrease the irrigation because excess watering can increase the leave spot disease.

The third step we should follow to get rid of leaf spot is to keep the plant in sunlight for some days regularly. It will decrease the fungal infection in the plant.

After doing all three steps given above, if it does not control, we will suggest to use any branded fungicide available in the market to apply at the rate prescribed on the packet of fungicide.

How to Identify the Root rot in Monstera deliciosa.

It is difficult to identify the root rot because we can’t see the roots under the soil. We have to identify this from the plant. Some symptoms are slowly leaf will become yellow and the plant will start wilting.

The main reason behind the root rot disease is over-watering to the plant and the plant not getting proper sunlight.

How to get rid of root rot in Monstera deliciosa.

Keep your eyes on your plant regularly, check the plant’s health regularly.

Stop watering when you see the wilting condition or yellowing in the plant’s leaf.

Keep the plant in the sunlight for some days.

Do the proper drainage hole in the pot’s base and some holes in the pot’s side to drain the extra water from the soil.

If these things do not work, then we suggest you take out the plant from the pot, identify the rotten roots of the plant and cut them down, then clean the roots with fresh water and then plant them into a new pot in fresh soil and do the trimming of the plant.

The question comes to our mind: will the plant survive? We will say that it totally depends on the number of healthy roots remaining in the plant after removing the rotten roots, the more number of healthy leaves reflect high chances of survival.

Pests of Monstera deliciosa.

The pest of the indoor plant depends on the environment and surrounding you are living. If you are living in an area where there is a lot of trees and parks or if you are keeping your plants in an open surrounding, then you have to deal with a number of insects as compared to the area where the number of trees in the surrounding is very less and plant are kept in the closed surrounding.

Common insects in Monstera deliciosa are Spider, Mites, Grasshoppers and Thrips, these are the most damaging insects in the Swiss Cheese Plant. The speed of damage of plants from these insects is very high so we have to control them in time or it will do extreme damage.

For controlling these insects, we will suggest some steps to follow.

  • The first step is to remove the insect. If you can see them from naked eyes, we will suggest wearing rubber thick gloves or removing the insect from the net.
  • Isolate the plant from other indoor plants as the pests can infect other plants as well.
  • Keep the plant in the bright sunlight, with this all the eggs of the insects will get damaged and from the heat of sunlight, insects will go away from the plant.
  • Keep the root zone of the plant clean.
  • At a proper time gap of 6 months or when you see it is important, spray the neem oil on the plant. This is the best organic solution for the insect.

If these methods can’t control the insects, we suggest you use any branded chemical insecticides that are available in your close market and apply at the rate prescribed on the packet of the insecticides. 

Toxicity in Monstera deliciosa
  • The wonderful looking plant Monstera deliciosa is toxic. We suggest you keep your child away from the plant.
  • If you have a pet in your house, keep it away from the plant.
  • The chemical that makes the Swiss Cheese Plant toxic is calcium oxalate crysta.
  • If we consume it directly, or if we chew it, it will cause burning pain and swelling of the lips, mouth, tongue and throat.
  • Swelling of these organs can also cause difficulty in breathing, swallowing or speaking.
  • In some rare cases nausea, abdominal pain also happens.
  • The fruits of the Monstera deliciosa are only edible when it is ripped. In Sometimes, it also caused an itchy rash.

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USDA image source- official website USDA

Suraj Singh