If your office reception or foyer isn’t looking as fresh, modern and welcoming as it should, there’s a simple and inexpensive solution: just add plants. The Swiss Cheese Plant (Monstera deliciosa) is one of the lushest and boldest plants you can buy. Widely available and easy to care for, you can use it to create a stunning focal point.
Cheese Plant Origins
Originally from Central and South America, the Swiss Cheese Plant is a climber that grows in tropical rain forests, anchoring itself with thick roots low down while rising up to meet better light. As the plant matures, its large green leaves develop their characteristic wide slits and holes to help the plant withstand jungle downpours and strong winds.
Looking after your Swiss Cheese Plant
As a container plant, a Cheese Plant is easily able to cope with heated indoor office environments. In fact, it thrives in temperatures of 18-27C, while growth will be arrested if the temperature drops below 10C.
Cheese Plants like a bright room with plenty of shade too to emulate their natural growing environment. Too much direct sunlight can slow growth. Coming from a tropical climate, they need moderate to high humidity to thrive, so regular misting the leaves of the plant may be helpful.
It’s an easy plant to grow and care for and can provide a real focal point for your office, as long as you give it a little bit of elbow room to grow.
Use a well-draining, peat based potting compost and water your Swiss Cheese Plant regularly but don’t overwater it – allow the soil to become dry to the touch before you top up. Monthly fertilising is recommended.
Over several years, the plant can grow to over 3 metres tall and its dramatic leaves can reach up to 45cm in diameter. Repotting every couple of years is recommended and mature plants may need pruning by cutting stems away at the nodes during spring.
Image Source By JH Interior Design
What’s in a name?
Interestingly, the name Monstera deliciosa (‘delicious monster’) refers to the plant’s edible fruit which takes up to a year to fully ripen and has a pineapple-like taste and texture. In its immature stage, the fruit is high in oxalic acid and actually quite dangerous to eat. While flowering indoors is not unheard of, it would be quite unusual for the Swiss Cheese Plant to bear fruit outside of its native rainforest environment found in Central and South America.
Image Source By 99 Roots
Maybe that’s why we’re more familiar with the moniker Swiss Cheese Plant – its leaves are full of holes, just like Swiss cheese!
While Swiss Cheese Plants are not difficult to look after in your office, do look out for these signs to indicate possible problems:
Yellowing leaves: If the leaves on your Swiss Cheese Plant are wilting and turning yellow, you may be overwatering it, or need to feed the soil.
Brown leaves: If the leaf tips and edge start to turn brown, this can be a sign that the air humidity is too low – try spritzing the plant with water to keep the air moist.
Solid leaves: If no holes or slits are forming in fully grown leaves, the plant is not developing properly. Check for adequate, light, water and fertiliser. For tall plants, check that it is rooted in compost or place the roots in soil or on a moist moss pole.
It should be noted that Cheese Plant leaves could be poisonous when chewed or ingested by pets or children, leading to irritation of the mouth, hoarseness, blistering and loss of voice.
For the information in this article www.indoor-plants.co.uk were consulted.