Monstera Adansonii aka Swiss Cheese Plant
The Swiss Cheese Plant (Monstera Adansonii) gets its name from its large leaves with holes that resemble Swiss cheese. The Swiss Cheese Plant is part of the Araceae family and is found across South America and Central America. Super easy to grow, this plant is a great one to add to your collection.
This Monstera is a plant that loves to climb. Give it a trellis or stake for it to start climbing upwards or leave it to hang down over a dresser. Your Swiss Cheese Plant will love being positioned in a spot with bright indirect light and high humidity. Not only does this plant look unique, it’s fast growing and super easy to propagate.
Monstera Adansonii Quick Overview
|Full Size||10-20 metres|
This plants are fast growing and in the wild they can grow quite large. The mature size of a Monstera Adansonii can be upwards of 10-20 metres in length. A mature leaf can grow as large as 20-30 inches. This plant is a vining plant that loves to grow up poles or trees. Proving your Monstera Adansonii with a pole to climb up will help to encourage those larger leaves. When grown indoors, you can expect your Monstera Adansonii to reach about 3-8 feet in length.
Monstera Adansonii will grow best when in bright indirect lighting. You should avoid any direct sunlight as the harsh rays can burn the foliage. The leaves will become scorched and/or turn yellow as a sign of too much direct sunlight. The best spot to place your plant is near an East or West facing window that will receive at least 6 hours of light. Monstera Adansonii will become leggy and have slow growth as a sign of low light. The new foliage can also grow without fenestration as a sign of low light. Moving your plant to a spot where it will receive brighter light will help keep your Swiss Cheese Plant happy and healthy.
If your plant is housed in a spot where it receives direct sunlight, adding a blind or curtain to your window will help to defuse the harsh sunlight to avoid burning the plants foliage. Alternatively, if you can’t seem to find that perfect spot in your home, you can always use grow lights. Just like direct sunlight, if your plant is sitting too close to the grow lights, they will burn the foliage. Keeping a safe distance of at least 60cm between your plant and the light will avoid any trouble.
The ideal temperature for growing Monstera Adansonii is between 60 to 80˚F (15 to 26˚C). This plant prefers warmer temperatures and doesn’t really tolerate the cold. If the temperature drops below 55ºF (12ºC), you should move your plant to a warmer spot. Prolonged exposure to cold temperatures can cause plant death. During the cooler months, you should move your Swiss Cheese Plant to a warmer spot in your home.
Since this plant originates from deep in the jungle, it loves warmth and humid environments. Monstera Adansonii will thrive when kept in a high (60%-70%) humidity environment. However, as long as the humidity is kept above 50%, it will be enough to keep your plant happy. Keeping this plant in a spot in your home where there is naturally more humidity like in a kitchen or bathroom will help keep your Swiss Cheese Plant happy.
Providing a high humidity for your plants will encourage bigger and healthier growth. There are a few thing you can do that can help bump up the humidity in your home. The things you can try are:
- Misting your plants
- Pebble trays
- Grouping plants together
You can read more about increasing humidity in your home here.
Monstera Adansonii likes to be moderately watered. This plant likes to have a slightly moist soil. You can expect your Swiss Cheese Plant to require water at least once a week. Before watering, you should check the top 1-2 inches of soil with your finger to feel if it’s still moist. If the soil is dry, you can give your plant a drink. A sign your Monstera Adansonii needs water is drooping leaves and/or folding or shrivelling leaves.
Since this plant likes to be kept in a slightly moist soil, you need to be cautious of over-watering. Excess water to the soil can cause it to become waterlogged and cause the roots to start rotting. Rotting roots can’t take in any water or nutrients for the plant. This can cause fungus issues, pest problems and root-rot. A sign that you may have over-watered your Monstera Adansonii are yellow and wilting leaves.
You should fertilise your Monstera Adansonii monthly during Spring and Summer. You can cut back on fertilising during Winter and Autumn when the plant isn’t actively growing. Applying fertiliser while your plant aren’t actively using all the nutrients in the soil can cause salt build up and root burn. Fertilising your plants gives them the essential nutrients they need for promoting and maintaining new and healthy growth.
The best fertiliser to use for your Monstera Adansonii would be a balanced all purpose fertiliser diluted to half strength. You can also use a slow release fertiliser. You could also create an organic fertiliser by adding things like leaf and bark matter, compost, peat and organic manure to the soil. This acts as a natural slow release fertiliser and can also help to lessen the chance of over-fertilising. Yellowing leaves can be a sign that your Monstera Adansonii is lacking nutrients.
When it comes to fertilising houseplants, you need to be cautious of over-fertilising. A sign that you may have over-fertilised your Monstera Adansonii are yellow and/or brown leaves. If you think you may have over-fertilised your plant you can either change the soil or rinse the fertiliser out. The water colour will change to clear when the fertiliser has been rinsed out.
For more information on fertilising houseplant click here.
Monstera Adansonii like to be in a peat-based well draining soil that is rich in organic matter. This plant likes to be in a slightly moist soil, not a wet soil. To achieve a well draining soil, you can use orchid bark potting mix with perlite, peat and charcoal mixed into it to help create drainage and aeration. It’s also important that you use a pot that has drainage holes. Air flow is important in potting soil as it allows the plants roots to breath. Not having enough oxygen can cause the roots to start rotting.
Adding other organic materials like mulch chunks, coco coir and coconut husk to the soil will also help restrain moisture. Monstera Adansonii like to be kept in a moist soil so it’s important to use ingredients that will help hold moisture without keeping the soil wet and soggy. Adding garden compost and mulch will add more richness to the soil.
Diseases & Pests
The common pests you may encounter on your Monstera Adansonii are Spider Mites, Thrips, Aphids, Scale and Mealybugs. The common diseases you may encounter are root-rot, Powdery Mildew, Rust and Leaf Spot. For more information on identifying and treating common houseplant pests click here.
The best thing you can do when it comes to pests on houseplants is to try and avoid any pest infestations from starting. There are a few things you can do that will assist in preventing any pest infestations and these things are:
- Checking new plants for pests or isolating new plants for up to a week.
- Check your plants every few days for pests.
- Trim off any dead or dying leaves.
- Wipe down leaves if you notice them getting dusty.
- Keeping your plants healthy. A healthy plant will be able to handle an infestation better than those that aren’t as happy.
- Isolate any plants that have pests.
Following this will assist in keeping pests away as well as catch them early on before any severe infestations are able to start. Keeping plants healthy and in the correct living environments can help to deter any pests from invading your plants.
Monstera Adansonii contains Calcium Oxalate Crystals which is toxic to both humans and pets if ingested. If any part of the plant is ingested, symptoms may include swelling of the oesophagus, GI tract and mouth. When ingested by pets, the symptoms may include vomiting, lack of appetite, drooling and pawing at the mouth.