One of the most popular plants for the last 5 years in terms of interior design has to be the Monstera (or the Swiss Cheese Plant as my Mum would call it). This very structural plant grows natively in Central American rainforests from Mexico to Panama and is from the Arum plant family which also includes popular houseplants like the peace lily.
As you’ve probably guessed, you can’t grow them outside the UK – it’s far too cold. Given the right care and space, they will thrive indoors. As a climbing plant, they will work their way up a moss stick and grow to whatever size their environment can handle.
Lots of indirect light
They like a reasonable amount of indirect light, but don’t like to be in direct sunlight. Think about the rainforest – they grow on the floor below huge trees with thick canopies. They climb to reach some light but they don’t like it directly on their leaves for too long.
Keep them moist but not wet
Monstera is used to lots of water in the rainforest but doesn’t like to sit in it. Check the soil regularly to check that it still holds moisture. When repotting, choose a fast-draining soil to prevent the roots from sitting in water and potentially rotting.
What to do with aerial roots
After time your Monstera might grow some air roots – funny thick stems that don’t have leaves and grow from the base of the plant. Direct these down towards to compost and if necessary, cover them in soil or moss and water them regularly.
How to help them get big, fast
Re-pot them regularly as they grow into space they are allowed. All plants need food to grow, so if yours doesn’t grow quickly you may need to give it some plant food for a boost. A sign that a plant is malnourished is yellowing and brown leaves. Providing a moss stick will also encourage them to grow up as well as out.