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Swiss Cheese Plant | Monstera Adansonii | Care Difficulty – Easy

The Swiss cheese plant, also known as Monstera adansonii, gets its name from its large, heart-shaped leaves. As the plant ages, the leaves become covered with holes that resemble Swiss cheese. If you have scanned through the “Plant Variety” category, you will notice a common theme: Care Difficulty – Easy! I don’t have the time or energy to spend on challenging plants. The Swiss cheese plant is very easy to grow, and it loves to climb. If you give it a stake or trellis to grow upward, you’ll enjoy larger leaves with those unique holes.

 

This year for my birthday, my husband surprised me with a Swiss cheese plant, and trust me, that was no easy task, especially when dwelling in a very small community. He called our local florist to see if they could order one in. It just so happened that they were heading into their plant provider warehouse to pick up their order that very next day. Gina was excited to find one for me. Not only did they find one, but they also delivered it the very next day!

Once I was done drooling over the charm of this plant, I noticed that the soil was SOAKED and the plant was “tight.”

 

The Swiss cheese plant is part of the Monstera family. I have several Monstera deliciosa plants, and if you click on the link you will see that these plants share a similar characteristic — oval-shaped holes or fenestrations dappled throughout the leaves. But one of the differences is that the Monstera deliciosa fenestrations create openings on the edges of the leaves, whereas the Monstera adansonii (Swiss cheese) leaves do not. If you notice that the fenestrations are open along the edges on some leaves of a Swiss cheese plant, that can happen with mishandling or transport, or sometimes I have witnessed new spikes of leaf growth that push up into the hole of another leaf, and in time, it gets torn.

Characteristics of the Swiss Cheese Plant

 

Light Requirements

I have found that they grow best in bright, indirect light, or partial shade light. In my observation, I have noticed that if the plant isn’t getting enough life the new leaves are waiting to unfurl end up with brown edges, and don’t fully open. At first, I thought this was a watering issue but I did several tests and found that the Swiss Cheese Plants that I put in brighter lite areas, the leaves unfurled beautifully. Just something to keep tucked away. I currently have a large Swiss Cheese Plant in an east-facing window and it is flourishing.

Temperature Requirements

Like most plants, they prefer rooms kept at a temperature between 64 – 81 degrees (F). That’s a pretty wide range, so find what keeps you both comfortable. Anything below 64 degrees can cause your plant growth to slow down and possibly kill the plant if exposed for too long.

Humidification Requirements

Keep the room anywhere between an average or high humidity for the happiest plant. Cold and hot temperatures can often affect humidity levels in our homes, so if you feel the change in your skin or hair, or you are walking around shocking everyone (and not with just your beauty), you might want to look into a home humidifier. I personally use the LEVOIT Humidifier which can easily handle spaces as large as 753 ft.

Plant Characteristics to Watch For

Diagnosing what is going wrong with your plant is going to take a little detective work, but even more patience! First of all, don’t panic and don’t throw out a plant prematurely. Take a few deep breaths and work down the list of possible issues. Below, I am going to share some typical symptoms that can arise. When I start to spot troubling signs on a plant, I take the plant into a room with good lighting, pull out my magnifiers, and begin by thoroughly inspecting the plant.

The leaves are turning yellow.

The leaves are curling and/or turning brown around the edges.

The leaf tips are browning with yellow halos.

Why are the leaves losing their dark-green color and becoming pale?

I wish my leaves were larger.

The leaves are drooping and/or have dark brown to black spots on the lower leaves.

The leaves on my plant are folded or shriveled.

The new leaves are not unfurling (opening up).

  • The most common reason for delayed leaf unfurling is lack of humidity, but it can also be a lack of patience on your end. I say that from experience.
  • Solution: Supplement with a room humidifier. If there’s still no change, double-check the lighting and the temperatures that the plant is being exposed to. Remember, diagnosing plant symptoms takes time, so don’t expect dramatic changes with a couple of days.

The leaves don’t have holes in them.

I would love a fuller-looking plant.

When I water my plant, the water rushes right through and out the drain holes.

Additional Care

Common Bugs to Watch For

If you want to have healthy houseplants, you MUST inspect them regularly. Every time I water a plant, I give it a quick look-over.  Bugs/insects feeding on your plants reduces the plant sap and redirects nutrients from leaves. Some chew on the leaves, leaving holes in the leaves.  Also watch for wilting or yellowing, distorted, or speckled leaves. Pests can quickly get out of hand and spread to your other plants.
IF you see ONE bug, trust me, there are more. So, take action right away. Some are brave enough to show their “faces” by hanging out on stems in plan sight. Others tend to hide out in the darnedest of places, like the crotch of a plant or in a leaf that has yet to unfurl.
  • Mealybugs look like small balls of cotton. They can travel, slowly, but they have a strong will and determination! Though they are slow-moving, if any plant is touching another, there is a chance the mealybug will hitch a ride on a new leaf and spread. They breed like rabbits of the insect world. Females can deposit around 600 eggs in loose cottony masses, often on the underside of leaves or along stems.
  • Scales are dark-colored bumps that are primarily immobile insects that stick themselves to stems and leaves. They are rather inconspicuous and don’t look like a typical insect. They can range in color but are most often brownish in appearance. They’re called “scales” primarily due to their scale-like appearance on a plant, due to waxy or armored coverings. They are often seen in clumps along a stem, sucking away at the plant’s juices with their spiky mouthpart.
  • Spider mites are more common on houseplants. They are not insects – they are related to spiders. These appear to be tiny black or red moving dots. Spider mites are nearly invisible to the naked eye. You often need a magnifying lens to spot them, or you may just notice a reddish film across the bottom of the leaves, some webbing, or even some leaf damage, which usually results in reddish-brown spots on the leaf.

Toxicity

According to the ASPCA, the Monstera adansonii is considered to be moderately toxic when it comes to your pets. If eaten, they can have a number of adverse reactions such as vomiting, swallowing problems, or oral irritation. If your pet tends to chew on leaves around the house, keep your Monstera out of their way.

6/30/21 – Here is an update photo of the plant shown up top which was from 10/03/20. I up-potted it and added a total of 70″ of moss pole to it. Shew!

2 thoughts on “Swiss Cheese Plant | Monstera Adansonii | Care Difficulty – Easy

  1. Jennifer says:

    hi there. you didn’t explain what lighting is best for this plant. can you add that?

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