How bad do you fancy houseplants with heart-shaped leaves that have holes? If you’re planning to grow a plant with such kind of an attribute, then the Swiss Cheese from the Monstera genus would be an ideal fit.
In this guide, we’ll check out the Monstera Adansonii, or also commonly known as Adanson’s monstera, so we can know the essential growing requirements it needs throughout the seasons.
More About the Swiss Cheese Plant
The Monstera Adansonii plant is a tropical variety with remarkable signature characteristics. It features heart-shaped leaves that form holes as they age, hence the name Swiss Cheese because of the staggering resemblance. This out-of-the-ordinary houseplant topped the popularity list back in the 80s, but its stature seems to be creeping back.
It’s native to quite different geographical regions including Peru, Brazil, Ecuador, South, and Central America. The leaves of the Swiss Cheese plant grow fairly large in any indoor setting that has sufficient lighting with age, and the holes begin to show up as they grow older.
How Big Does It Grow?
If you’re growing this Monstera type indoors, it can reach up to 8” feet tall. But since this perennial is naturally a climbing plant, you can grow it in a trellis outdoors and expect it to grow up to 60” feet in height. The leaves also have an astounding potential to hit 2” feet.
As the leaves mature, they tend to form holes which botanists believe help withstand strong winds and allow light to pass through. Same as other genera in the Araceae family, the leaves of Monsteras grow either in Juvenile—without stalks—or Adult form.
A Quick Look at Other Popular Monstera Varieties
- Monstera deliciosa: One peculiar thing about this variety is its leaves are most often not of the same size or shape. And if you want to grow a few of them, you’ll notice some variation in the structure and color code of the leaves.
- Monstera Obliqua: The Monstera Obliqua has leaves with the largest holes. The holes can cover up to 90% of the surface area of the leaves, making the plant quite delicate to take care of. And it’s no wonder why this variety is hard to find in most gardening stores. To date, studies are still being conducted for cross-breeding this type with other notable varieties.
- Monstera Variegata: What’s easily identifiable about this variety is the color variation on its leaves. They have huge whitish patches which you might confuse for paint. Compared to other options, this variety is hard to find, hence why its price tag is quite often on the high end.
- Monstera Dubia: If you’re looking to grow a climbing plant, then this is an ideal variety that’s worth adopting. Although it has smaller leaves and develops more like a vine, it can trail upwards once it gets hold of solid support to help it climb.
Swiss Cheese Plant Caring Tips
Soil & Transplanting
Your Swiss Cheese houseplant, like many other varieties in the Monstera genus, prefers well-draining potting soil that’s mixed with organic matter. You can amend the potting mix with peat moss to make it a bit more aerated. For optimal yield, try to work with soil whose pH lies anywhere between 5.5 to 7.0.
Ideally, this plant needs to be repotted after three years, but that would depend on its growth rate. Most gardeners prefer to put the growing medium in a greenhouse where they can tweak the room humidity and temperature levels.
Replacing the old potting soil while transplanting your Swiss Cheese also helps it grow bigger since it gets to replenish the deficient minerals and nutrients.
Light & Temperature
Same as most of its cousins, the Monstera Adansonii plant develops lush and green foliage when growing under bright indirect light. It needs nothing more than 6 hours of sunlight. Too much of it would scorch the leaves, while low light conditions tend to make the leaves grow smaller and slower.
You also want to keep the medium under room temperatures between 19-25 °C. And when it’s winter, the temperature shouldn’t fall below 10 °C. Considering where it natively comes from, this variety prefers to live under high humidity levels.
So, if you can try to simulate the growing conditions which the Swiss Cheese is naturally accustomed to, you’ll be thrilled by how profusely this houseplant will develop over the years.
Watering & Fertilizer
This houseplant tends to do well under areas where it can absorb lots of moisture, so you’ll need to water it thoroughly and quite frequently—mostly during the warmer months of the year.
You, however, want to space out the watering intervals since too much water getting stuck below the topsoil causes the roots to decay. Even though this plant can survive fairly well under acute neglect, don’t let the soil dry out completely.
Water it until the drainage holes below the pot start leaking. But it’s also worth noting that your Swiss Cheese plant won’t recover from root rot, so you need to try and avoid overwatering at all costs.
Grooming is necessary for this plant since it can grow wildly under the right conditions, hence can easily lose its pattern. You’ll, therefore, need to prune it routinely, especially once it grows beyond three years old. Pluck off any dead leaves or those that appear to have mold on them.
Pests & Diseases
Like other commonly nurtured houseplants, the Swiss Cheese is prone to few pests and diseases. But what would probably cheer you up is these problems aren’t too grievous, only if you can sweep them out early enough.
When the roots of this variety are soaked in water for long, it’s most vulnerable to fungal spots on the leaves, and the stalks will begin to rot due to bacteria. You might also have to deal with scale insects and spider mites.
Allow the first two inches of the topsoil to dry out entirely before watering your houseplant again, so you can prevent the rotting of roots. Anytime the leaves begin to turn brown or have yellow patches, this means you’re using water that has soluble salts or too alkaline on your Swiss Cheese plant.
And if the foliage begins to lose its illuminated green color, that could be a sign to indicate you’re exposing your Swiss Cheese to too much bright light or not giving it enough fertilizer.
How to Propagate Your Swiss Cheese Plant
To propagate your adorable Swiss Cheese, you’ll need to get some stem cuttings from the mother plant. First, you need to:
- Dissect the stem cuttings from the mother plant.
- Make sure they have at least two or more nodes on them.
- Apply rooting hormone on the base part of the cuttings.
- Place them in a jar full of water till the root system begins to emerge
- Prepare the potting soil to plant your cuttings. Use the hints we discussed right in the soil and transplanting section.
- Keep the growing medium somewhere moist and warm.