Houseplant of the week: monkey leaf or Swiss cheese plant

·1 min read

Why will I love it?
Monstera adansonii is cute and full of character. The heart-shaped leaves look like Matisse has been using them to create his cutouts – it’s easy to see where one of its common names, Swiss cheese plant, is derived.

Light or shade?
It prefers bright, indirect light.

Where should I put it?
Mine sits on a sideboard in an east-facing room. It has medium-sized leaves (smaller than those of its cousin Monstera deliciosa, the classic Swiss cheese plant) and loves to trail, so an elevated position is ideal. Hailing from the rainforest, Monstera adansonii is used to receiving shade from the tree canopy so can tolerate being some distance from a window.

How do I keep it alive?
As a tropical plant, it appreciates humidity and warmth. Mist frequently, keep temperatures around 18-27C (minimum 12C) and water weekly. The species has aerial roots, so use a bamboo stick to support growth.

Did you know …
Its name, Monstera (Latin for “monster”), alludes to the leaves’ unusual appearance. However, due to the presence of insoluble calcium oxalates, its leaves are mildly toxic to humans and pets and can cause stomach upsets if ingested.

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