Swiss Cheese Plant - Plant of the Month
Although they've been a bit tricky to get hold of over the past few months, the Monstera (or swiss cheese plant) has remained one of our favourite indoor plants. It's luscious, waxy, green leaves shoot up fairly quickly, rewarding you with a beautiful plant that's perfect for filling a blank corner. They require very little attention and are very resilient, but make sure you have the space it will require as it matures.
You may need to use a bamboo or moss pole to support your Swiss Cheese plant as it grows and matures as they naturally sprawl outwards. You can tie the inner stems to this with string or garden twine. Alternatively you can just tie the innermost stems to one another for support.
Monstera like a position with bright, indirect light. Too much light will cause their leaves to yellow whilst not enough will stop their signature holes from forming on the leaves. Water once the top of the soil is dry and mist if in a dry room. You may notice areal roots developing - mist these too if they appear!
To propagate from a stem cutting:
Propagation should take place in early Spring. Make sure to water your plant the day before you take the cuttings to ensure the stems aren't too dry when cut.
Prepare a rooting container using a multipurpose compost that has a good rooting medium (shallow plastic or metal base with drainage holes but sealed at the top - you can improvise and use plastic bottles or buy these from a DIY store). Spray with water to dampen the soil slightly and place somewhere with bright but indirect light.
Take a cutting from your plant by choosing a mature stem and cutting at least 5cm away from the leaf. The stem can then be stuck into your rooting container, deep enough to support it's weight but with enough room underneath for it to root. Water the cuttings and seal the container, misting only enough so the soil is moist but not soggy.
You can start checking your cuttings after about 3 weeks by gently tugging them to feel for resistance. If there is some, your plant will have formed roots and should be about 4cm long before transplanting into a new pot. Make sure to let your new plant acclimatise for a few days before exposing it to it's new environment in your home!