Variegated Swiss Cheese Plant
Monstera deliciosa 'Thai Constellation'
Also known as
Variegated Cheese Plant
Photo by littlejo33 (All rights reserved)
This plant has a mild fragrance
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Variegated Swiss Cheese Plant Overview
Monstera deliciosa 'Thai Constellation' is an impressive, spreading, easy-to-grow and generally low maintenance plant. This cultivar produces attractive variegated leaves marbled with splashes of creamy-yellow colouring. It has a bushy habit and is frost-tender, keep above freezing temperatures, plant in a position of partial shade and well-draining soil for optimal growth. Water when the soil has thoroughly dried out for best results. This cultivar has been developed from the species M. deliciosa and it is termed variegated as the leaves are not entirely green. The pattern is in small sections scattered across the leaves, reminiscent of stars in a galaxy, hence the cosmic name. The cultivar Thai Constellation can be kept indoors as a distinctive foliage houseplant, although it will require support for optimal growth. Produces non-showy, cream-white flowers. Providing the conditions are optimal, they later produce fruits, which become edible once their scales lift up. They resemble a green ear of maize and can cause stomach upset if consumed unripe. The dramatic and showy foliage is the main reason for growing this as a houseplant. Its leaves are large, glossy and heart-shaped, and they change structure with age. Developing characteristic splits over time, which is where the common name "Swiss Cheese Plant" comes from. Native to tropical rainforests, the species Monstera deliciosa climbs using aerial roots and is classified as an epiphyte. Monstera deliciosa doesn't require a water or soil substrate to grow, surviving instead by clinging onto other structures and gleaning nutrition and moisture from the air and its immediate surroundings. They also do fine potted in an airy, well-draining soil mix, its advisable to add moss and perlite to achieve this.
Common problems with Variegated Swiss Cheese Plant
Control insects by spraying the plant with a diluted horticultural oil or soap. Avoid overwatering to prevent Root Rot.
How to harvest Variegated Swiss Cheese Plant
The fruit may be ripened by cutting it when the first scales begin to lift up and it begins to smell pungent. Set aside wrapped in a paper bag until the scales begin popping off. Brush scales off to reveal the edible flesh underneath which can be cut from the core and eaten.
How to propagate Variegated Swiss Cheese Plant
A tip cutting, including at least two leaves, will root in spring, if it is planted in a deep pot containing a moistened equal-parts mixture of peat moss and sand. Enclose the cutting in a plastic bag.
Special features of Variegated Swiss Cheese Plant
Provide a large container to allow air roots to tap into the soil.
Plants grown indoors occasionally produce flowers and fruit.
Monstera leaves are large, showy and impressive, developing characteristic splits with age.
Other uses of Variegated Swiss Cheese Plant
The flesh of the fruit underneath the scales can be cut from the core and eaten. The flesh has a fruity taste similar to jackfruit and pineapple.
Suits a conservatory or light indoor room as an architectural feature houseplant.