Monstera deliciosa, the Swiss cheese plant or split-leaf philodendron is a species of flowering plant native to tropical America forests. They are native to southern Mexico, south to Panama. It has been introduced to many tropical areas, and has become a mildly invasive species in Hawaii, Seychelles, Ascension Island and the Society Islands. It is very widely grown in temperate zones as a houseplant.
Several are grown as popular ornamental foliage plants. Monstera plants are generally climbing and can be terrestrial or epiphytic. They have attractive leathery leaves that are often cut into lobes.
The Swiss cheese plant, or Mexican breadfruit (Monstera deliciosa), is a common houseplant with showy, glossy, perforated leaves slashed to the margins; numerous horticultural varieties have been developed. When fully ripe, its sweet scaly fruit is edible and tastes like a combination of pineapple and mango. All other parts of the plant, including the unripe fruit, contain calcium oxalate and are considered mildly toxic if ingested by humans.
Thrives in bright to medium indirect light. Not suited for intense, direct sun but can be acclimated to withstand it.
Water every 1-2 weeks, allowing soil to dry out between waterings. Expect to water more often in brighter light and less often in lower light. Pro tip: Monsteras can benefit from filtered water or water left out overnight before using.
Normal room humidity will do, but prefers humid conditions if possible. Consider incorporating a fine-mist mister or humidifier to boost humidity level indoors.
Most houseplants prefer temps in the 65°F-85°F range (18°C-30°C). It’s best not to let it go below 60°F (15°C).
Use a well-draining potting mix. Mix in ingredients such as perlite or lava rocks to increase soil aeration as need.
The Monstera is an easy-going plant and is generally pest-free. Treat pests as soon as they appear with weekly sprays of a natural pesticide like neem oil and regular wipe-downs of the plant.
SYMPTOM: Leaves turning brown and crispy at the edges
CAUSE: Thirsty plant, underwatered or high salt build up
SYMPTOM: Wilting plant, dry potting mix
CAUSE: Underwatered or pot-bound
SYMPTOM: Yellowing leaves or black stems, wet potting mix
Monsteras can be irritating to cats, dogs, and humans if foliage consumed. Best practice is always to keep houseplants out of reach of small children and pets.