Low upkeep is required when caring for monstera plants. The interior of the plant must be at least 65 °F (18 °C) heated, preferably higher. Swiss cheese plants also require a lot of humidity and somewhat moist soil. A wooden or moss-covered pole placed in the center of the pot will offer the additional support that the aerial roots require.
Every year when the plant is young, repotting cheese plants is done to promote development and aerate the soil. Increase the size of your containers until you reach the biggest pot you intend to use. After then, the plant need a fresh top-dress of rich soil every year but can survive being root-bound for a number of years at a time.
Repotting Monstera is best done in the early spring before the plant develops new leaves.
The Swiss Cheese Plant is best suited to indoor cultivation in North America due to its origins in the tropical rainforests of Central and South America as it cannot resist temperatures below 55 degrees Fahrenheit. Choose a deep pot with good drainage and peaty potting soil for planting a Monstera. Since these plants are climbers, place soil in the bottom third of the pot and set a stake in it. Plant ties are used to fasten the stem to the stake and cover the roots with dirt. Place in an area that gets plenty of indirect, bright sunlight.
Watering and nutrients
During the growing season, moderate watering should be done once a week, and less frequently in the fall and winter. Before watering again, you may usually wait until the top inch or two of soil are dry. High humidity does indeed benefit these plants. Keep the foliage lush and green by regularly spraying the leaves with demineralized water or rainfall. Although it is not necessary to fertilize your Monstera, you can boost development by feeding it once a month with a liquid fertilizer in the spring and summer.
Given that Monstera plants grow quickly and can get quite huge, pruning is a crucial component of their maintenance. Regular pruning may be necessary to keep your Swiss Cheese Plant under control, depending on how much space you have. With a sharp, spotless knife or pruning shears, remove any old or unhealthy leaves from the stem to get things started. Additionally, gloves should be worn when pruning a Monstera because the plant’s sap can hurt your skin and is hazardous.
Pests and diseases
Scale insects and spider mites are the two most frequent pests of indoor Swiss cheese plants. A spider mite infestation is indicated by browning or curled leaves, but a scale infestation is indicated by white and yellowish patches on the leaves. Both of these infestations can be treated with insecticidal soap or neem oil. Swiss cheese plants are normally resistant to most illnesses, however they are susceptible to leaf spot, a fungus infection brought on by high humidity, and root rot, which is brought on by excessive watering. Because of this, it’s crucial to grow your Swiss cheese plant in a pot that is the proper size and has adequate drainage holes.
Your Swiss Cheese Plant will feel at ease in your house if you do. The plant needs to be between 65 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit, which is normally where most homes are, for best health. If your Swiss Cheese Plant is exposed to temperatures below 65 degrees Fahrenheit, it will continue to grow but at a slower rate. Any lower than 50 F, and the plant will entirely stop growing. For this reason, strive to keep your home as comfortable as you can to maintain a healthy Swiss Cheese Plant.
Keep the plant in an area of the house that gets a lot of traffic, away from potential cold drafts like an entryway or the back door. Some individuals put their indoor plants in infrequently used guest bedrooms, forgetting that these spaces won’t be heated in the winter, causing the plants to struggle to survive due to the extreme cold. Additionally, you must prevent air conditioners and heaters from being used on the plant because they are detrimental to its general health (University of Oxford).
The Swiss Cheese Plant is blessed with a mix of indirect, bright light and shade. It spends a lot of time protected from direct sunlight by the above canopy of the trees’ foliage in its natural habitat because it climbs up trees. It’s a good idea to try to replicate this habitat as much as possible within a home by positioning the plant in a location where it will get a decent amount of both filtered light and shade. However, it also benefits from some indirect bright light shining through the leaves above.
Although they look lovely on windowsills, young Swiss cheese plants require protection from direct sunlight with a sheer fabric blind. For this plant, the windowsill is typically not a choice as they get older and larger. They are content to reside in a room’s corner that receives bright natural light at least occasionally during the day. In full shade or under artificial light, the plant is known to thrive and grow well, however it may do so more slowly under these circumstances.
For the Swiss Cheese Plant to flourish, there must be moderate to high humidity. It is acclimated to a healthy amount of moisture in the air because its natural habitat in tropical climes would be extremely humid. You must take action to counter any regular high humidity levels or unusually dry air in your home.
Running an electric humidifier is one alternative. The easiest and most expensive choice is this one. Your humidifier can be placed on a timer so that you can essentially forget about it and let it take care of everything. There are many less expensive techniques, one of which being the use of a tray of moist pebbles. You would need to build a pebble bath by setting your potted plant on a tray with pebbles and pouring water over the pebbles. The humidity level around the plant will rise as the water evaporation continues. As long as you periodically top off the water level when it gets low, this alternative requires little care. Keep the water level in the tray lower than the pebbles to prevent water from seeping up into the soil and roots of the plant; otherwise, if it comes into touch with the drainage holes in the plant pot, it could harm the health of the plant by making the soil excessively wet and leading to root rot.
The employment of a misting spray is the alternative method for generating humidity. Applying a misting spray bottle filled with water to the plant’s foliage is a straightforward but efficient technique. As long as you can remember to utilize it, it is a quick and effective strategy to use. It also has the added benefit of lightly cleaning the foliage of your plant, preventing dust from collecting on the leaves.
The Swiss Cheese Plant should never be near anything that could dry it out, such as fans or heating vents, as it enjoys humidity.
When Swiss Cheese Plants reach maturity, they typically have a tall, upright appearance, so you’ll need to give them some support. They climb up the sides of trees in the wild, using their aerial roots to help them as they ascend. When the plant is cultivated outside of its natural environment, you can replicate this support with a moss stick.
Simple steps can be taken to make your own moss sticks. A stake that is buried straight into the ground next to your Swiss cheese plant and roughly the same height as the plant is required. Then, using clips, ties, or staples, completely encircle the stake with a fine mesh wire. Then, cover as much of the stake as you can by soaking some sphagnum moss in water and inserting it into the spaces between the stake and the mesh wire. The Swiss Cheese Plant will use this to climb higher, using the moss pole to support its weight in a manner similar to how it would in the natural use other plants or trees. You can purchase moss poles from garden centers or online if you don’t have the time or desire to create your own (Gardeners World).
The huge, hefty leaves of the Swiss Cheese Plant will begin to bend the stems if they are not supported. When the arching stems finally touch the ground, they will look disheveled and disorganized. The strain imposed on the stems by the weight of the plant may even cause them to snap, resulting in permanent harm. When your plant reaches a height of a few feet, it is necessary to provide it with a moss pole for support.
The plant will initially need to be coaxed to grow upright. To accomplish this, fasten a few of the stems to the moss pole to encourage the plant to climb. The most often you should have to do this is a few times per year. The pole will just require occasional misting with water for maintenance purposes. A more upright plant will result from keeping the sphagnum moss damp, which will encourage the plant’s aerial roots to grasp the pool.
While stem cuttings can be used to propagate Swiss cheese plants, seeds can also be used because of their propensity to root fast and easily. Just remove a stem from your mature plant right after a node, leaving a node intact at the base of the stem. If you desire, you can then immerse the cut end of the stem in rooting hormone after removing any lower leaves off the stem. Although it is not necessary, this step will probably improve your stem’s chances of taking root.
You can now choose whether to plant your stem directly into the ground or in water for further growth. Simply put your stem cutting in a glass or jar that is half full of water and place it in a warm location away from direct light to grow in water. Wait for roots to emerge while changing the water daily to keep it fresh and prevent rot or mold. Normally, this procedure takes two to three weeks. When the new Swiss Cheese Plant has a few roots, you can transfer it into a small pot of soil and continue with normal maintenance. The cutting’s emerging roots should not be left in the water for an extended period of time because developed root systems will be more difficult to transplant successfully into soil.
Simply bury the cut end of the stem into some moist potting soil to make a small hole, pushing the earth up against the stem to support it, and then plant it directly into the ground to propagate. Wait for it to root while keeping it warm, ideally with heat from the bottom. Similar to water propagation, rooting will take two or three weeks. The plant will also begin to produce new leaves, which is how you will know when it has established roots. You can also gently tug on the stem to see if roots have grown. A little resistance indicates that the roots have expanded. Give the stem additional time if it immediately pops out of the ground when you pull on it. Once roots have developed, you can transfer the new plant to a larger, more permanent container and carry on with normal maintenance.
Depending on its growth, this plant will need a new pot about every three years. To repot the plant, carefully pull it out of its current container and set it in a new, larger container with new potting soil in the bottom. The roots will spread out in the new container and continue to grow well if the old soil is gently worked out of them. Make sure the top of the root ball in the new pot is the same height as it was in the old pot by surrounding it with fresh dirt in the new pot.
Give the plant plenty of water to help it adapt to its new surroundings. Repotting is done when the plant is still quite little to make sure the roots have adequate room to expand, to rehydrate the soil, and to provide the plant fresh nutrients. Repotting becomes even more crucial as the plant becomes higher because if it’s in a pot that’s too small, it could collapse over. The top of a fully grown Swiss Cheese Plant will probably be heavier than the rest. To sustain the weight of the plant, the pot it is in needs to be rather substantial and hefty.
Are Swiss Cheese Plants toxic?
Yes, both humans and ordinary domestic pets like cats and dogs are poisoned by Swiss cheese plants. Calcium oxalate, which the plant’s sap contains, is hazardous if consumed. Burning in the mouth, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea are all indications of poisoning. When trimming Monsteras, it’s crucial to use gloves because the plant’s sap can irritate skin. Monsteras can yield fruit when grown outside, but it only becomes edible when it is fully ripe.
How large do Swiss Cheese Plants grow?
The Swiss cheese plant may grow quite enormous, which is one of the reasons it was given the scientific name Monstera. These plants can reach heights of 10 feet and have two-foot-wide leaves in their native rainforest habitat. Swiss Cheese Plants respond well to routine trimming, which can help keep them to a manageable size, although they are typically too huge for most homes.
How do you propagate a Swiss Cheese Plant?
A Swiss cheese plant can be reproduced through air layering or cuttings. Take a stem cutting from just above a leaf node, soak it in water for two to three weeks, and then transplant it into potting soil once roots has sufficiently started. Make a small cut halfway through a branch using a sharp knife for air layering. Spray water on the cut, wrap it in wet moss, then wrap it in plastic. Cut the rooted branch from the parent plant once roots have formed, then pot the new plant.
How much light do Swiss Cheese Plants need?
The conditions with bright, indirect sunshine are the ideal for these plants. Since Swiss Cheese Plants are native to the rainforest floor, they only get filtered sunlight from the other trees and plants that surround them. By burning their leaves, too much direct sunlight can actually be harmful to plants. Additionally, these plants favor humid conditions with regular temperatures of 65 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit.
Are there multiple varieties of Swiss Cheese Plants?
Yes, there are numerous Monstera species that are also referred to as Swiss cheese plants. The most well-known variation is Monstera deliciosa, which is what this article is about. Monstera adansonii, which has heart-shaped leaves with fenestration, is another popular variation found in homes. Rhaphidophora tetrasperma, Monstera variegata, and Monstera borsigiana are a few further common kinds.