Monstera, Swiss Cheese Plant

Photo © Bulleen Art & Garden

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Monstera deliciosa

How to keep them thriving indoors in Melbourne!

Please Note: The information below is specific to this particular variety. For more detailed notes on the general growing conditions required for all Indoor Plants, check out our ‘Growing Indoor Plants Successfully’ factsheet.

The fruit salad or swiss cheese plant is an incredibly hardy plant with amazingly large swiss cheese like leaves. The roots also have the fun habit of growing up the trunk of the plant.


Allow the top 2cm to dry out in between watering. Adjust watering to suit the season. If it is too dry the leaves will tell you by drooping. In the warmer months it tends to put on growth and needs more water. In winter allow to dry out a bit more between watering, it will need less water. Never let it sit in water – good drainage is essential.


Bright indirect or filtered light all year round. Can take a bit of direct morning light but avoid afternoon direct sunlight – it can scorch the leaves. Will not tolerate deep shade.

Temperature and humidity

Normal house temperatures suit Monstera. Avoid cold drafts or pressing leaves against cold windows in winter. They do appreciate humidity so misting is beneficial or alternatively, you can put the pot on small stones or blocks to keep it raised, and fill the saucer or slip pot beneath with water. The water evaporates increasing humidity, but keeping the pot raised allows the free drainage essential to a happy indoor plant.


Monsteras put on growth once temperatures exceed 18C, under these conditions fertilise fortnightly with half strength liquid indoor plant fertiliser. Fertilise only every second month in winter and autumn when not growing. Once a year, flush out any salts that may have accumulated by watering thoroughly and deeply with clean water.


General maintenance can be done anytime. Old or tatty leaves should be cut back to the base. Polish or dust the leaves for best aesthetics. Any major trimming, rejuvenation pruning or repotting is best done in spring.


• The bigger pot you use the bigger the plant will grow, so if trying to limit the eventual size, keep pot size as small as possible.
• Use a good quality potting mix and a pot with good drainage.
• Pat down firmly (removes air-pockets) and water in well.
• Do not feed newly repotted Monstera for 3 months.


Leaf tips turning brown

• Overwatering – reduce watering – allow to dry out more in-between watering
• Chemical burn from fertiliser accumulation – flush out the potting mix thoroughly
• Chemical burn from poor tap water – not a big problem in Melbourne.
• Root rot – commonly from overwatering.
• Dry stagnant air

Yellow leaves

• Old leaves naturally turn yellow as they age, before turning brown and dying.
• Too much sun
• Lack of fertiliser.
• Overwatering can lead to yellowing
• Lack of humidity

Mealy bug

Spray with white oil or pest oil.