- 1 What is Monstera Adansonii? (Swiss Cheese Plant)
- 2 The Right Soil for your Swiss Cheese Plant
- 3 5 Effective Tips and Tricks for Caring for a Swiss Cheese Plant
- 4 Conclusion
Houseplants are all the rage right now! Everyone wants to get their hands on a houseplant, specifically a Swiss Cheese plant. While the plant’s name may be silly, Swiss Cheese plants are beautiful, and reach heights above six feet tall.
If you are interested in finding out more about this plant, then keep on reading to find out more!
What is Monstera Adansonii? (Swiss Cheese Plant)
Swiss Cheese plants are known by many names, including the Monstera deliciosa and the five spotted plants. This plant has large leaves that continuously grow to large heights. It’s a tropical plant that excels in and loves humidity, but can be grown indoors in just about any environment. Swiss Cheese plants are unique because of their long leaves. After the development, and with some much-needed nutrients, the leaves of a swiss cheese plant grow and acquire a minimum of five holes in each leaf.
These hoes give the plant a swiss cheese-like appearance and are excellent to see. While they may look manmade, these holes are actually produced by the plant itself when it is at its happiest. The leaves are loved not only because of their unique shapes and slices but also because of the vibrant green. The Swiss Cheese Plant is a beauty to look at, and is especially easy to grow and care for. If you are a beginner, don’t be afraid of this gorgeous house plant!
Swiss cheese plants flower and bear fruit, although it is rarely seen outside of the wild. The fruit looks like a long green pine cone, although the outside is not sharp, but instead textured like scales. Interestingly, the fruit is delicious and tastes like various fruits combined. The fruit is ready ten months after it first begins sprouting from the white flower, and is only ready when the outside of the fruit hardens and the scales begin to peel naturally. If you do eat this fruit while it is unripened, there is a potential for burning and cuts to your lip.
The History of Monstera Adansonii – Swiss Cheese Plants
Although Swiss Cheese Plants can be found everywhere in the world now, they first originated in tropical and humid climates. The first sighting of this beautiful plant was actually in Mexico, where it grows naturally and in abundance throughout the country. While this is the case, it is more typically found in Southern parts of Mexico, close to Panama.
The history of this plant is rich and does not end at its origin. Although it is unknown who exactly brought the Swiss Cheese plant to the rest of the world, it most likely occurred between the 16th and 19th centuries. During this type, explorers interested in the miraculous and gorgeous blooming plant brought cuttings and snips to their respective countries. Over time, the plant has been exported to tropical islands and countries like Hawaii, Puerto Rico, and the Dominican Republic, where they are slowly becoming invasive. Although this plant is not native to these islands, they thrive and stretch their vines throughout the trees in the forests.
The Swiss Cheese Plant is not mainly enjoyed as a house plant in the U.S. Although it was primarily used for its medicinal purposes in Mexico and Panama. In some parts of Mexico, people still use the Swiss Cheese plant’s fruit to treat their symptoms of arthritis and pain as it has anti-inflammatory properties.
Where to Grow Your Swiss Cheese Plant
Now that you know a little bit about the Swiss Cheese plant, we can dive into specifics regarding the plant. Swiss Cheese plants are a bit specific. These plants require light, but it has to be indirect. Although this is the truth, Swiss Cheese plants can still grow outside. It is actually common to grow these plants outside in Florida, and they are commonly seen throughout the state.
Although this is the case, not all climates have regular levels of humidity and shade. You can grow your Swiss Cheese plant inside in a container, as opposed to in the ground. If you do grow it outside, do not let your plant get direct sunlight. As described earlier, this plant is very picky and will not hesitate to shrivel up if there is direct sunlight, even if a window is between the sun and the plant. Instead, I recommend buying a curtain that can block or at least limit the harsh rays of the sun while providing warmth.
It is also true that your Swiss Cheese plant excels and requires humid air to thrive. While this is true, it does not mean that you need to live in an overly humid city or create a humid space in your home for your plant. Swiss cheese plants do well inside if you simply mist them a few times each month using a spray and water. They are happy and healthy plants, which do not require extensive care and worry.
What Containers Can You Use?
Since most of us grow our Swiss Cheese plants outside, it is common to wonder what exactly container is best to grow it in. There are various options available; however, all containers should have enough space to grow well, and have drainage holes to not drown the roots of your precious plant.
Plastic containers are an option frequently used by both novice and expert gardeners, as they can be reused to grow and repot different plants. Swiss Cheese plants that are grown outside in a shaded area will do well with this type of container, because it is light. However, it should be an appropriate size. It is recommended to report your Swiss Cheese plant to a new and larger container every two years.
Plastic containers, however, are not recommended for Swiss Cheese plants that require constant movement, as they are not always the most stable. Since the plant grows at an incredible rate, it is likely that the plant will be heavy. For plants that are brought inside and moved around, plastic containers can shatter and cause a mess unless they are thick enough to hold in the large roots of your plant.
Swiss Cheese plants also enjoy and thrive in ceramic containers, regardless of whether they are inside or outdoor plants. Ceramic containers are tougher, thicker, and heavier. They are able to house larger and thicker plants that require a lot of space. While they are nearly indestructible and hold your plant in place, they may be difficult to maneuver around, as the ceramic material does weigh down the container.
However, unlike plastic containers, ceramic containers are better able to withstand weather and wear and tear. While they can still be damaged, it is unlikely and will occur over longer periods of time.
The Right Soil for your Swiss Cheese Plant
Now that you have your container, don’t forget to choose a soil that benefits your Swiss Cheese plant! The soil needed purely depends on the age and development of your plant. If you have just gotten your plant from a nursery, and noticed that they are using a container that is too small and restrictive, it is time to repot it with new soil.
Typically, Swiss Cheese plants are sold in containers filled with a moss-like soil that is light and loose. This soil works well, but does not have the nutrients necessary to help your small and young Swiss Cheese plant grow. If your plant is young, it is recommended to use a potting soil mix that is full of nutrients and plant food. There are special potting soils that are made with fertilizers that are slowly released into the soil over the course of four to six months, accelerating the growth of the leaves.
How to Properly Water a Monstera Adansonii
Swiss Cheese plants can go into shock and die if you overwater them. This is exactly the same thing that happens when you place Swiss Cheese plants into direct sunlight. When you overwater your plant, you may notice that there is a milder scent. When there is too much water sitting at the bottom of your container, the roots can potentially rot as their supply of oxygen is cut off and limited. If you overwater your plant it will become susceptible to drawing, and may die from stress. If you begin to notice that the leaves of your plant are turning yellow or curling from the bottom, then it is overwatered.
The best way to know that you are properly watering your Swiss Cheese plant is if your plant’s soil is wet but not soaked. It should only be dampened. These plants, during months of warm weather, need to be watered at least once a week. Correct watering is essential to the growth and development of happy and shaped Swiss Cheese plants. The lines and holes that develop naturally do so because of proper watering. If you do not provide your plant with the right amount of water or sunlight, their leaves will grow without the iconic holes they are known for.
On the other hand, Swiss Cheese plants undergo an interesting and funny phenomenon when they are healthy and happy. If you notice that your Swiss Cheese plant is ‘crying,’ congratulations! This means that your plant is expelling water because it is happy and filled with the nutrients and hydration necessary. Although I call it crying, the leaves do secrete water droplets almost as if they were excited.
My favorite part about the Swiss Cheese plant is how easy it is to overwinter plants! Unlike peppers and tomatoes that require pruning and a lot of extra steps to keep alive, these plants need little to no care.
If you live in a climate where the temperature drops to below freezing, then you must bring in your Swiss Cheese plant, as the plant is a tropical plant that does not do well in extremely cold temperatures. If left outside, the roots can freeze and die. Some Swiss Cheese plants do well and bounce back after harsh winters, but not all are so lucky.
If you live in a warmer climate that is closer to the tropics, then it is not necessary to bring in your plant. Florida, for example, is warm nearly all year round, and Swiss Cheese plants thrive while being outside. Either way, while overwintering your plants it is necessary to stop fertilizing them as they rest. During the winter season, the Swiss Cheese plant almost slips into a hibernation mode, where they do not grow. Don’t be concerned, though! Your plant is alive, only resting because of the colder temperatures and new environment. By spring, these plants can be brought back outside to continue growing and flourishing.
How to Propagate a Cutting of the Swiss Cheese Plant (Monstera Adansonii)
Another technique that is used during winter is to propagate a cutting of your Swiss Cheese plant. Although it is true that propagating is not only for winter, it is typically done this time of year, as gardeners fear they will lose their wondrous Swiss Cheese plants to the frost and bitter winter.
Propagating a cutting is surprisingly easy! The best way to do this is by cutting a leaf-cutting above the node. The leaf-cutting should be no shorter than 6 inches. The best tools to use are shears, as Swiss Cheese plant leaves, and stems are both thick and long! While it may be possible to simply yank or tear a cutting from your plant, there are also consequences that can occur if you do so improperly.
For example, if you tear a cutting without the use of shear or scissors, you risk harming the plant and its ability to propagate and root into water. Instead, using the proper tools, you should cut the leaf at a 45-degree angle to encourage rooting. Once this is done, you should immediately place it in a jar or cup of water in indirect sunlight. Within two weeks, you should see long strains of white roots dangling in the water. In another two weeks, when it marks a month since propagating, you can root it into soil carefully.
While it may be tempting to take a break in between cutting and placing the cutting into the water, I don’t recommend it! When you leave the cutting without water, there is a possibility that the cutting will dry out and die. Once it dries out, there is no way to root it back in the water. It is simply gone.
How to Plant a Swiss Cheese Seed (Monstera Adansonii)
Not everyone has access to a nursery or a cutting, though! For those of you who cannot take a cutting, you can always grow this plant from seed! It is a bit more time-consuming, and the results are slower, but they are just as enjoyable and satisfactory.
In a seedling starting tray, preferably two months before your last frost, take the seeds and spread them into the tray lightly. The soil should be potting soil which is great for seedlings and new plants because of the additional nutrients. Take plastic wrap and wrap it around your tray to stimulate a greenhouse effect. Place the trays wrapped in plastic near a window with indirect light and water them lightly each day. Within one to two weeks, a seedling should emerge and germinate. In two months, it should be large enough to report in a different container.
5 Effective Tips and Tricks for Caring for a Swiss Cheese Plant
As easy as it is to take care of this plant, it can come with stressors and problems! Listed down below are five effective tips and tricks for caring for a Swiss Cheese plant. We vouch for all these methods and use them consistently through our own gardening.
- Always Repot New Plants from the Nursery
If you purchased your Swiss Cheese plant at the nursery, almost immediately repot it into a larger container! There have been many times where I went to repot my Swiss Cheese plant, and the poor plant was rootbound. If your plant is not in a big enough space, it is unlikely to continue growing and developing.
Next time you purchase a plant at a big box store, report it. You will notice that the root system of the plant wraps around the container. If the roots are too tangled, you may also see roots expanded to the size of small pebbles filled with water and nutrients. Although you may be afraid to break apart the roots, don’t be afraid! These plants are resilient and super strong. Their roots will grow back with ease.
- Water with a Water Bottle
The second tip we have for you is to use a water bottle to water your Swiss Cheese plant instead of a large watering can. It is hard to control how much water pours out with a watering can. However, if you use a water bottle and poke holes in the top cap of the water bottle, you can slowly squeeze out the water.
Swiss Cheese plants are especially susceptible to drowning as they require large amounts of oxygen. If you overwater them, they are likely to die. However, if you limit the water that can drip out using a smaller device with pressure, it can save your plant from the stress of uneven quantities of water.
Making this water bottle is easy. Take a recycled plastic water bottle you will no longer use. Rinse and wash it out. With a needle and a flame, warm the pointed end of the needle with the fire. When it is warm enough, poke holes into the top. It should slide through quickly.
- Using Fertilizer Once a Month
Don’t forget to add extra nutrients and fertilizer to your Swiss Cheese plant’s soil! It’s necessary for them to continue growing. Since this plant typically grows outdoors in a completely different climate, it does not get all the necessary nutrients it needs naturally. Instead, it relies on you to add fertilizer directly to its soil or its leaves. This plant is one of the few plants that takes energy and food directly from its leaves.
You should specifically look for a liquid fertilizer that you can spray on the leaves. The fertilizer should be balanced, without too much calcium or zinc, as the plant produces these two nutrients naturally.
- Keep your Pets Away!
Like many houseplants, the Swiss Cheese plant is deadly to consume! Even to us humans, the large green leaves cannot be eaten. If you have a furry friend you live with, be sure to always close the door to the room with your plant. The leaves are toxic, especially to small children and animals that don’t know better, who will try to eat them out of curiosity.
If you can, add cinnamon to the leaves and the soil of your plant if you have a cat. One of the scents that cats don’t like is cinnamon, as it makes them sneeze. While this may help deter them away from your Swiss Cheese plant, they may still try to take a nibble. I recommend placing your plant away and out of reach from any animals you have.
- Take it Easy!
This tip may be silly, but it is necessary! Some of us become obsessed and interested in our plants, so much so that we look for the worse. This plant is super strong and pest resistant! Not only is it pest resistant, but it is easy to grow and hard to kill! Beginners look no further; we have a winner! You do not need to pay close attention to your Swiss Cheese plant as it is pretty independent on its own.
All in all, Swiss Cheese (Monstera Adansonii) plants are a delightful addition to anyone’s houseplants collection. These tropical plants do well in humid and slightly warm areas with indirect light. It is important to not overwater your Swiss Cheese plant, but even if you do, it is resilient and may bounce back! Don’t be afraid to try a new plant. You can purchase Swiss Cheese plants in a plant nursery, plant them through a seed, or propagate them from cuttings.