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Why Does a Swiss Cheese Monstera Have Holes in its Leaves?

The Swiss Cheese Plant is a variety of Monstera plant famous for its beautiful and distinctive leaves that have holes similar to the holes found in Swiss Cheese. The Swiss Cheese plant is wildly popular amongst gardening enthusiasts and commercial-scale interior decorators around the world, but how exactly does the Swiss Cheese Monstera get holes in its leaves?

In this article, we will look at everything you need to know about the Swiss Cheese Monstera, including where it comes from how to care for one, and we'll explain how it gets the namesake holes in its leaves.

What is a Swiss Cheese Monstera?

The Swiss Cheese Monstera is a flowering plant species from the family Araceae. There are several different varieties of Swiss Cheese Monstera, including the Monstera Deliciosa and the Monstera Adansonii. The plant is popular due to its beautiful shape and large ornate leaves, which feature the distinctive holes which give the plant its popular common name. The Swiss Cheese plant is a type of climbing shrub that requires a good amount of space to climb and grow; as such, it's often found in large homes and elegant hotel lobbies.

Where Does the Monstera Come From?

The Swiss Cheese Monstera is native to South and Central America but can also be found in parts of the Caribbean and West Indies, including Antigua, St.Kitts, St.Lucia, Trinidad, and Tobago. That said, the plant is often raised by greenhouse garden enthusiasts worldwide due to its unique shape and the ornate patterning on the plant's leaves.

How To Care for a Swiss Cheese Monstera?

The Swiss Cheese Monstera is a hardy plant. In fact, the distinctive holes in its leaves serve to protect it from heavy winds and rainfall, which would otherwise break the leaves if it didn't have these holes. The number one thing a Swiss Cheese Monstera needs to thrive is space, as the plant can grow to impressive heights, climbing in a way that's reminiscent of English Ivy. Of course, the plant also requires a source of water and warmth, as almost all plants do.

How Does the Swiss Cheese Monstera Get Holes in its Leaves?

There are a few reasons for why the Swiss Cheese Monstera has evolved to have large holes in the leaves. First and foremost, the plant often grows in shaded areas, beneath much taller trees, and as such, the plant has holes in the leaves so that it can grow taller to reach the sunlight. The holes also allow rainwater to trickle down through the leaves reaching the root system far below, which might not otherwise get a drink. Finally, as mentioned, the holes allow the plant to withstand harsh winds that would otherwise break the leaves.


The Swiss Cheese Monstera is a large, climbing species of flowering plant native to Central and South America. The plant is often used to adorn restaurant foyers and hotel lobbies due to its grand height and beautiful leaves, which feature the distinctive holes which give the plant its name. The Swiss Cheese Plant has developed these holes for a few reasons, including to accommodate taller growth, to help the roots collect rainwater, and to withstand strong winds and harsh weather conditions.

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