The large, heart-shaped leaves of the Swiss cheese plant (otherwise known as Monstera adansonii) are recognizable worldwide.
As this plant ages, the heart-shaped leaves develop holes through a process called fenestration, hence the Swiss cheese common name.
Because of its tropical, Central, and South American nature, the Monstera adansonii is usually grown indoors as a house plant.
Why are Monsteras so popular?
Who doesn't love a touch of South America in their home? Its unique, Swiss cheese vine style leaves are just one of the reasons the Monstera adansonii is such a common house plant.
People also love the Monstera adansonii for its easy-going nature. The Monstera adansonii will stay at a manageable size when grown as an indoor plant in planters, despite its fast-growing rate and vining/propagation habit.
What's more, Swiss cheese plants can be potted. But they are generally produced from young nursery plants.
So to ensure your Swiss cheese plant thrives, make sure to follow the below care tips.
Is Monstera Adansonii easy to care for?
Why else would the Swiss cheese plant be so popular if it wasn't so easy to care for? The Swiss cheese plant care is notorious for its low maintenance.
This popular South American house plant is a climber and has aerial roots which grow downwards from the stem. So, the Monstera adansonii can quickly brace against the ground or any other available support such as a moss pole.
When growing the Monstera Swiss cheese plant indoors as a house plant, placing a stake in the center of the pot will stimulate these roots. But when grown in the wild, the Swiss cheese plant uses its roots to push itself up onto adjoining trees or woody vines.
The only real task you'll have with the Monstera adansonii is providing enough food and water, with some possible maintenance pruning.
How to care for a Monstera adansonii plant: 5 key tips
If you follow a few basic principles, you shouldn't have any issues with your Monstera adansonii care.
Some of which include:
Always put your Swiss cheese plant in good, medium light. However, the Monstera adansonii will also efficiently deal with light shade to bright indirect light.
Monstera adansonii isn't a hugely thirsty plant. All you need to do is check your plant weekly to see if the top two inches of soil feel dry. If so, give it a top-up.
Swiss cheese plants are happiest with moist leaves, so high humidity above 60% is best. Mist this houseplant every few days or pop the plant in a bright bathroom to maintain optimum humidity levels.
4. Potting & Repotting
Make sure to repot your Swiss cheese plant every two years to give it the best chance of success. You'll also want to size up to a larger pot every two years for a healthy Monstera adansonii.
5. Potting Soil/Potting Mix
You're going to want to use an aerated, well-draining Aroid mixture of perlite, pear moss, bark, and charcoal. The Swiss cheese plant will grow well this way.
You'll probably want to know more about Monstera adansonii care, so we'll cover the primary Swiss cheese plant care aspects below.
How often do you water a Monstera adansonii?
The trick with the swiss cheese plant is to keep it always moist but not soaking. Overwatering is never good. As a guide, watering about once a week should be enough for your plant to thrive.
But always stick your finger into the first inch or two of soil to see how moist or dry it is. If the soil is dry or nearly dry, give it some water.
You'll want to irrigate your Swiss cheese plant until a small amount of water dribbles from the container's drainage holes. Oh, don't forget to mist the Monstera adansonii variegated leaves so they stay moist.
Can Monstera adansonii take full sun?
Remember the Monstera Adansonii's natural, tropical home when thinking about lighting.
The Swiss cheese plant can quickly burn with too much direct sunlight. In their natural habitat, these tropical plants are protected from the harsh direct sun under the cover of large jungle trees.
Because its wild growing habitat is the sparsely lit jungles of Central and South America, you want to keep this house plant in bright but indirect sunlight.
What does this mean? Simply put, place your Swiss cheese plant away from a well-lit facing window, preferably east or west facing. If you can't avoid direct sunlight, make sure your Monstera Swiss cheese plant only gets two or three hours of direct morning sunlight.
If your Monstera Adansonii struggles to grow in the winter or at any time of year due to low light, you can supplement the light with a grow light. A grow light is a common way to accelerate the growth rate of plants like the Swiss cheese plant.
How fast does Adansonii grow?
In proper conditions, the Monstera adansonii growly quickly. Once it's been newly propagated, you'll only need to wait two to three weeks before you can place your Swiss cheese plant in a pot of its own.
You might also be asking how to propagate a Swiss cheese plant? Good question.
If you already have a well-established Monstera adansonii, it's easy to propagate your Monstera Swiss-cheese plant. First, cut off a vine with two nodes (the knobbly bits where the leaves form), then place the vine in a glass of water.
Wait until new roots have formed, then place the Swiss cheese plant in fresh soil.
How great is it that you can give the new plant as a gift or sell it at a trade plant swap once it's correctly propagated?
If you're not sure if your Swiss cheese plant is growing well enough, you can check with the below steps;
- Check the physical appearance of the leaves
- The newer leaves will always have fewer holes than older, more developed leaves
- Don't worry if the new leaves look smaller than the older ones; it's common for the cutting to revert to the immature growth stage with few holes per leaf; however, the leaves will eventually darken and develop holes as they mature