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Monstera deliciosa (swiss cheese): How to grow and care for this popular indoor plant


Want to channel your inner green thumb and fill your home with as many monstera deliciosa (or some may call it the swiss cheese plant) as your heart desires? Follow this step-by-step guide for how to propagate and care for the swiss cheese monster plant!

Monstera deliciosa which is otherwise known as the Swiss Cheese plant and not to be confused with its cousin the monstera adansonii, is easy to plant and propagate. While they don’t in any way taste like swiss cheese, the Monstera deliciosa is a great salad plant to have at home – its fruits are tropical flavoured and carries a tart taste similar to a fruit mash-up of bananas, strawberries, guava, and passionfruit. Let’s see what it takes to grow these popular indoor plants at home!

The easy indoor plant to have, monstera deliciosa (swiss cheese) plant.
You can never have enough of these beauties. Picture: LaPorte

Step 1: Locate your monstera deliciosa (swiss cheese) cutting

Propagating a monstera deliciosa (swiss cheese) plant is easy if you already have an existing plant. All you need to do is find a healthy monstera leaf growing out of a stem with a short aerial root below it. Just below that root, cut a small notch about one-third of the stem’s diameter.

Step 2: Wash cutting and remove lower leaves of the monstera deliciosa (swiss cheese)

From step 1, take the leaves of your monstera deliciosa (swiss cheese) plant and wash it under clean running water. If there are any leaves attached to this stem, remove the lower leaves from the cutting.

The unique shape of the monstera deliciosa leaf that gave it its other name – the Swiss Cheese plant.
Healthy monstera leaves grow curled up and then slowly unravel Picture: LaPorte

Step 3: Place the monstera deliciosa (swiss cheese) cutting into a vase with water

Pour fresh water into a vase or vessel (or you can use a moss pole) and place the monstera deliciosa (swiss cheese) cutting in it so that it sits upright. If you are unable to make it stay upright, try leaning the leaf on a small post or stick to keep it upright and centred.

Step 4: Keep your new monstera deliciosa (swiss cheese) cutting near filtered natural light

You will need to keep your monstera deliciosa (swiss cheese) cutting near filtered natural light so that it does not receive too much direct sunlight. You will also need to rinse the root of your swiss cheese plant every few days, and replace the water in the vase. In time, you will start to notice the small nub on the stem growing into another aerial root, and more roots will eventually grow from the stem itself.

Note: Although your swiss cheese plant does not like direct sunlight, the cutting should not be placed in a dark room. If you have problems propagating a swiss cheese plant, you can try your hand at growing many other types of hard-to-kill indoor plants.

Propagating your monstera in jar – it even looks pretty when propagating.
The monstera looks good even when propagating. Picture: Getty

Step 5: Allow 2 months for monstera propagation

Leave your split-leaf philodendron swiss cheese to propagate for at least a couple of months in the vase before you finally plant it in its very own pot. Buy some good-quality soil from your local nursery and plant the newly rooted monstera leaf into the soil, you will be able to get some good soil from any of Klang Valley’s top plant nurseries. With much tender loving care, you will see your monstera deliciosa blossom into a big and viney full-grown monstera within a year or two.

Large and dramatic, the monstera deliciosa is a beautiful indoor plant in any home.
Large and dramatic, the monstera deliciosa is a beautiful indoor plant in any home. Picture: Getty

How to air-layer a monstera deliciosa (swiss cheese) plant

There are two ways to propagate your fruit salad plants: propagation is the easy option for anyone who has a bit of a black thumb, while the most reliable method is air-layering. The steps for air-layering are a little different – here’s what you need to do.

Step 1: You’ll need sphagnum, ties and sandwich bags

Get yourself some sphagnum, ties and plastic sandwich bags.

Sphagnum moss up close
Sphagnum moss up close. Picture: Getty

Step 2: Cut the monstera deliciosa (swiss cheese) leaf

Make a small cut in your swiss cheese plant,  about halfway up the stem of your healthy monstera leaf, including the node/nub, which will turn into your aerial root.

Step 3: Wrap the monstera deliciosa (swiss cheese) stem with sphagnum moss

Rather than putting your monstera’s stem into a vase of water – like in the above instructions for propagating your swiss cheese plants from cuttings – wrap the bottom of the stem with some moist sphagnum moss.

Read more: 17 indoor plants you can’t kill (so easily)

Step 4: Place your monstera deliciosa (swiss cheese) into a sandwich bag

Place the stem and moss of your swiss cheese plant into the sandwich bag and secure the bag it with your tie or elastic band to mist your monstera.

Step 5: Keep the roots of the monstera deliciosa (swiss cheese) plant and the moss moist

Every few days, unwrap the bag and check the root and moisten the moss. Keep the moss moist until the root develops, then you can cut the stem at the bottom and plant it into a pot to prevent root rot.

Checking the sphagnum moss to ensure that it stays moist for the monstera plant.
Every few days, check your moss and ensure it stays moist. Picture: Getty

Monstera deliciosa (swiss cheese) plant care indoors

How often should you water a Monstera?

As with other types of indoor plants, your little Monstera does not need much water. You need only water it about once a week, and ensure that the swiss cheese plant is watered evenly all around the plant root and soil.

Where should you place your Monstera deliciosa (swiss cheese) plant?

As mentioned above, while the Monstera plant thrives in warmer climates, it  does not require much sunlight nor does it thrive in direct sunlight. The best spot for your swiss cheese plant is an airy space with filtered sunlight, or if possible in bright and indirect sunlight. Should the leaves of your Monstera start to turn yellow or begin browning, feed your plant with small amounts of houseplant fertiliser to the plant to encourage leaves to flourish.

As unique as the swiss cheese plant is, there are many other types of interesting houseplants to consider propagating. Check out some of the other indoor house plants that may catch your interest:

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