Mark’s swiss cheese leaves are as visually striking as you can get and a great conversation starter. Don’t be fooled though, despite his fancy looks he is a tough plant and isn’t too fussy at all. With just a little bit of know-how, Mark can be very happy in any home.
WHERE’S MY HAPPY PLACE?
Mark likes being almost anywhere, shady or bright light, it doesn’t matter too much to him. He will grow bigger, more hole-y leaves if he’s somewhere bright, though he doesn’t like to sit in direct light because it might burn his leaves.
If you are planning on keeping him in a sunny spot, like a south or west facing window, acclimatise Mark to it by leaving him in the full sun at the cooler parts of the day for an hour or so at a time. Leave him there longer and longer each go until he is used to the bright light. That’s right, the best method is pretty much the same as you might use on a sunny beach holiday.
WATERING & FEEDING
Mark doesn’t mind some time without water, so don’t worry too much. Use the HomePlant finger trick – poke your finger into the soil up to your first knuckle. If it comes out damp at all, Mark does not need any water. If the soil is dry, it’s time to water.
Rain and distilled water is always best for plants because the chemicals in tap water can turn leaves brown, but if you can only get tap water, don’t worry too much. Mark can handle it.
Water directly onto the soil, remembering to water so thoroughly that it begins to drip through the bottom of the plastic pot. When you’re done, leave Mark to stand in a sink or the tub for an hour or so to drain excess water away. Mark, like almost all plants, hates being left sitting in still water because it rots his roots. If in doubt, leave him alone. Mark hates having too much water far more than he hates not having enough.
Give Mark a gentle mist once a week or so and he will love you all the more!
Mark doesn’t need to eat all that much. Feed him once a month in spring and summer and don’t give him anything in autumn and winter.
Mark can grow big. Really, REALLY big. This is great news if you want a plant that takes up an entire corner of your room. Luckily, repotting him is simple enough. Get a plastic pot like the one he came in that is slightly bigger, we recommend a few inches deeper than the one you’re moving him out of. Make sure the new pot has holes in the bottom for drainage. You can put a thin layer of gravel in the bottom to give it extra drainage. Mark will love you for it though it’s not essential.
You might find when you get your Mark from us that his roots are already poking out of his pot. This means that if you want to, you can repot him right away and make him grow even bigger. We don’t repot him here because he can grow very big, so we want to give you the choice!
Get a good soil mix from your local garden store or DIY place and fill in the gaps around the roots when he is firmly in his new home.
We recommend repotting every two years or so.
Being left in water and in bright sunlight will hurt Mark. Keep him somewhere bright but not too sunny and always leave him plenty of time to drain after watering.
The leaves are mildly toxic. Expect an upset tummy if a dog, cat or child eats one.