The Monstera deliciosa, commonly known as the Swiss cheese plant, is a unique and eye-catching houseplant. Its name comes from its leaves, which develop natural holes or “fenestrations” that resemble Swiss cheese as the plant matures. These holes allow light to filter through to the lower leaves, helping the plant thrive in the shaded forest floors of its native Central America.
Monstera deliciosa is an ideal choice for offices and other indoor spaces. Its ability to purify indoor air makes it a great addition for improving air quality in enclosed environments like offices. Studies have shown that Monstera and other similar plants can remove harmful pollutants like formaldehyde and benzene from the air.
In addition to its air purifying abilities, Monstera deliciosa brings great aesthetic value with its large, glossy leaves and trailing vines. Its striking leaves never fail to make a statement and liven up any space. The plant also elicits a tropical feel, helping create a relaxing environment.
Common and Scientific Names
The Monstera deliciosa plant goes by several common names including:
- Swiss cheese plant
- Split-leaf philodendron
- Mexican breadfruit
Its scientific name is Monstera deliciosa. This species was first described by Swedish naturalist Daniel Carlsson Tenore in 1812 using this binomial name, which has stayed valid until today.
Detailed Description of Monstera Deliciosa
Monstera deliciosa, also known as the Swiss cheese plant, is a striking tropical plant known for its large, glossy leaves with signature holes and notches. Native to the rainforests of Central America, this climbing evergreen vine can grow over 30 feet tall in its natural habitat.
Appearance and Growth
As a young plant, Monstera deliciosa has solid green leaves without the iconic splits and holes. The leaves are heart-shaped with a smooth, leathery texture. As the plant matures over 3-5 years, the leaves develop dramatic cutouts and fenestrations that give it a lace-like appearance. These holes enable more light to filter through to the lower parts of the plant.
Monstera deliciosa is an epiphyte, meaning it grows on other plants and objects like trees and rocks for support. It has aerial roots that help cling and climb up surfaces. The stems can reach several inches thick as the plant ages.
Some key features that make Monstera deliciosa special include:
- Its huge, iconic leaves that can grow up to 2 feet wide
- The holes and fenestrations in mature leaves
- Its ability to climb up surfaces with aerial roots
- Glossy green leaves with a leather-like texture
- Edible fruit (rarely produced indoors)
The perforations in its leaves allow light and air movement even for lower leaves. This makes Monstera deliciosa uniquely suited for indoor environments. Its striking leaves also make it a popular statement plant in homes and offices.
While Monstera deliciosa doesn’t usually flower or produce fruit indoors, its foliage alone creates an exotic, tropical feel. Caring for this plant is relatively straightforward as long as its basic needs are met.
Optimal Care Guide for Monstera Deliciosa
Providing the right care is key to keeping your Monstera Deliciosa healthy and vibrant. As a tropical plant, it has some specific needs when it comes to light, water, temperature, humidity, soil, and potting.
Monstera Deliciosa thrives in bright, indirect light. Place it near a sunny window where it will receive plenty of brightness but no direct sun, which can scorch its leaves. An east, west, or slightly shaded south-facing window is ideal. Rotate your plant periodically so all sides get even light exposure.
Water your Monstera Deliciosa whenever the top inch or so of soil is dry. Give it a thorough soaking until water runs from the drainage holes at the bottom of the pot. Allow any excess water to drain fully. In winter when growth slows, you may only need to water every 2-3 weeks. Never allow it to sit in soggy soil, which can cause root rot.
Temperature & Humidity
Monstera Deliciosa prefers warm temperatures between16-24°C and appreciates moderate humidity around 50-60%. Keep it away from cold drafts and heating vents to maintain even temperatures. Group plants together, use a humidifier, or place its pot on a pebble tray with water to boost moisture in the air.
Soil & Potting
Use a well-draining potting mix amended with perlite, orchid bark, or coconut coir to provide air pockets for the roots. Re-pot every 2 years in spring, moving it to a slightly larger container. Add fresh potting mix and prune any damaged roots before re-planting.
Choose a pot with drainage holes using a quality potting mix. Add peat moss or perlite to improve drainage. Fertilize monthly in the growing season with a balanced liquid fertilizer diluted by half. Repot every 2 years in the spring.
Benefits of Monstera Deliciosa in the Office
Adding a Monstera Deliciosa, also known as the Swiss Cheese Plant, to an office environment can provide a number of benefits. First and foremost, Monsteras are excellent at purifying indoor air. Their large, perforated leaves absorb harmful pollutants like formaldehyde and benzene. By filtering these toxins from the air, Monsteras create a healthier environment for employees to work in.
Beyond air purification, Monsteras offer aesthetic appeal with their showy foliage. Their leaves feature dramatic natural holes and splits, giving them visual intrigue. The striking leaves can liven up dull office spaces and add a touch of the tropics to an otherwise sterile environment. This infusion of nature has been shown to reduce stress and improve mood and focus.
Having plants like the Monstera Deliciosa in an office can provide psychological lift. Studies have shown that exposure to nature, even in the form of potted plants, can:
- Reduce stress and anxiety
- Boost mood and increase happiness
- Improve concentration and productivity
- Enhance creativity and idea generation
The visual appeal and natural purity of plants like the Monstera tap into our innate biophilia, or love of living things. By bringing elements of the natural world indoors, Monsteras and other plants feed our psychological need to connect with nature.
Beyond health and happiness, Monsteras offer some practical perks as well. They thrive in offices and do not require natural light. Their glossy leaves also help absorb sound and can provide acoustic dampening. Overall, Monstera Deliciosa is an excellent choice for purifying, beautifying, and boosting office environments.
To summarize, key benefits of having Monstera Deliciosa in the office include:
- Air purification
- Aesthetic appeal
- Stress reduction
- Increased productivity
- Creativity boost
- Sound absorption
Troubleshooting Common Issues with Monstera Deliciosa
Monstera deliciosa is generally an easy-going houseplant, but it can develop issues if not cared for properly. Here are some of the most common problems and solutions for keeping your Monstera healthy and thriving.
Monstera are susceptible to common houseplant pests like spider mites, mealybugs, and scale. These sap-sucking insects can cause speckled or yellowing leaves. Check the undersides of leaves and stem joints carefully for small bugs or webbing. Treat infestations immediately by spraying plant safe insecticidal soap or neem oil. You can also wipe leaves with a damp cloth. Be sure to isolate and treat infected plants to prevent spreading.
Overwatering is the most common cause of fungal or bacterial diseases like root rot, leaf spot, and botrytis blight. Improve drainage by repotting in fresh potting mix. Water only when the top inch of soil is dry. Increase air circulation and sunlight exposure. Remove infected leaves and treat with appropriate fungicides if necessary.
Leaf scorching or crispy brown edges often result from too much direct light, low humidity, inconsistent watering, or drafts. Filter bright light with sheer curtains. Group plants to increase humidity. Water regularly and move plant away from heating/AC vents.
The best defense is prevention! Provide proper lighting, humidity, air flow, watering, and well-draining soil suited to Monstera’s needs. Fertilize monthly in spring and summer. Inspect leaves frequently for pests or disease. Act quickly at first signs of trouble. With good care, your Monstera will thrive for years to come!
Fun Facts and Trivia about Monstera Deliciosa
One of the most interesting things about Monstera deliciosa is that in the wild, it produces an edible fruit! This fruit is described as tasting like a combination of pineapple, banana, and mango. The fruit takes about a year to ripen and Monstera plants can live to be over 100 years old, so you’d have to be patient to taste it!
Monstera deliciosa gets its name from its unusual, hole-filled leaves. “Monstera” comes from the Latin word for “monstrous” or “abnormal.” The holes in the leaves are a natural adaptation to allow rainwater and sunlight to pass through more easily in the plant’s native rainforest habitat.
Because of its signature hole-filled leaves, Monstera deliciosa has some funny nicknames including:
- Swiss Cheese Plant
- Split Leaf Philodendron
- Hurricane Plant
The “Swiss Cheese Plant” nickname comes from the resemblance of the leaves to Swiss cheese. “Split Leaf Philodendron” is sometimes used but is a misnomer – Monstera is not actually a type of Philodendron.
After learning all about the unique qualities and optimal care of Monstera deliciosa, you may be inspired to bring one of these striking plants into your own office space.
Consider Getting a Monstera for Your Office
With their lush green foliage and distinctive holes, Monsteras can lend a vibrant, tropical feel to any office. Their ability to purify indoor air while requiring relatively low maintenance makes them an excellent choice for boosting wellness and productivity.
Contact Aztec Plants for Monstera Deliciosa Services
If you’re ready to incorporate a Monstera into your workplace, Aztec Plants can help. We offer Monstera deliciosa hire along with care and maintenance services to ensure your plant thrives.
Get in touch today to learn more about bringing the benefits of this incredible plant into your office!