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Monstera

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ficus-lyrata

Name 

Pronounced MON-ster-a del-EE-see-oh-za. It is also known as Swiss cheese plant because of its beautifully perforated leaves.

Description 

The leaves are dark green, glossy and rounded or heart-shaped when young. The characteristic split edges and holes appear when mature. With proper care it can grow to 60cm/2ft across and 2.4m/8ft tall.

Origin 

Mexico

Family 

Araceae

Care tips 

Bright but not sunny position (thrives also in shade). Maintain in humid conditions (with regular misting), and in warm soil. Wash the leaves occasionally so that the plant can 'breathe'. Feed every two weeks from spring to summer and allow the compost to dry out between waterings. In winter keep the soil just moist. Do not cut off the aerial roots.

Facts

In the wild it grows up the trunks and along the branches of trees, clinging by means of the brown tail-like aerial roots which take up water and nutrients. When growing it as a house plant, support should be given by training these aerial roots on to a moss-covered pole (usually provided) so that they can take in nutrients from the moss.