The Swiss cheese plant is an evergreen tropical plant indigenous to the Suriname region of northern South America. Its botanical name is Monstera deliciosa but it is more commonly known as Swiss cheese plant, Fruit Salad plant, Window leaf plant and Split leaf philodendron plant.
The Swiss cheese plant is most widely recognized by its large leaves with natural holes reminiscent of cut Swiss cheese. It is a vine and requires a moss-pole for support. Its shiny leaves can measure up to 1m across and its ornamental appearance makes this plant a worldwide favorite.
Monstera deliciosa plants grow freely outdoors in the tropics but it is most often grown as a house plant. It is also popular in hotel lobbies and atriums where it can reach up to 20m if left undisturbed. It is an easy plant to grow but to give it a proper chance to excel a few guidelines is always helpful.
The main method of propagating is by stem cuttings and is best done by working with mature plants. A stem cutting must include a portion of the trunk with at least three leaves attached. Remove the lowest leaf. Moisten the severed trunk tip and dip it into rooting powder then insert it into perlite (found in most garden centers).
Another method of propagating is by air-layering. This is done by cutting through the stem and wrapping the cut end in a plastic bag filled with wet moss. Within a few weeks new roots will appear. At this time sever the stem just below the plastic and plant the new root ball in fresh compost.
Swiss cheese plants with their distinctive architectural leaves are always eye-catching standing alone or complimenting Dieffenbachia, Rubber and Dracaena plants. They all enjoy the same growing conditions making them ideal companions.