Monstera Adansonii, a.k.a. the “Swiss cheese plant,” is a fun and quirky plant to add to your plant family. The Swiss Cheese Plant is famous for the holes in its leaves (technically called "leave fenestration") and it's heart shaped leaves. In its natural habitat, this vining plant loves to grow along with rainforest trees and gets bigger the higher it climbs. If you're looking to grow a large plant, you can mimic this with a moss pole. Swiss Cheese Plants are pretty accessible and can be purchased at nursery's and plant stores all throughout the U.S. You'll notice that Swiss Cheese Plants are smaller and more delicate compared to Monstera Deliciosas. The swiss cheese vine plant ages well, you can tell the plant is healthy when you see aerial roots (which make for great swiss cheese plant propagation.) Although the swiss cheese plant is most commonly grown in fresh soil, we love how the plant grows in water, it's one of our favorite indoor plants.
Native to tropical forests of Central America (S. Mexico, South of Panama)
Monstera adansonii is the official botanical name for this plant. Besides the iconic "Swiss cheese plant" name, Monstera adansonii are also called Adanson's monstera, Swiss cheese vine, and the Five holes plant.
Swiss Cheese Plants come in different shapes and sizes depending on where it's from. The different forms are: narrow form, narrow form, and variegated form (pretty rare).
In general, there are over 100 classified Monstera varieties. Some popular monstera types include Monstera Deliciosa, Monstera Borsigniana, Swiss Cheese plant, Monstera Variegata, Monstera Pinnatipartita, Monstera Dubia, Monstera Siltepecana, Monstera Obliqua, and Rhaphidophora Tetrasperma or “Mini Monstera."
Despite its delicious name, the Swiss Cheese Plant is mildly toxic to pets and humans if consumed.
Some Swiss Cheese Plants are known to bare fruit that cause allergies but are edible. But, this is extremely rare when growing this plant in water.
For healthy Swiss Cheese Plants plants, we recommend that you add water to the glass every 1-2 weeks (or if you see that water levels have lowered) to replenish the water that evaporated or absorbed from the plants. Then, replace the water every 2-4 weeks.
Most tap water works great but distilled or filtered waters are recommended if available.
We recommend feeding 2 drops of liquid nutrients to your Swiss Cheese Plant every month.
It may be helpful to add an additional drop when you see your monstera shooting a new leaf because it will support the plant's growth!
Swiss Cheese Plants love bright indirect light. Find your sunniest room and place your monstera across from the windows and it's sure to be happy and grow! Direct sunlight may dry out the leaves and aerial roots.
Swiss cheese plants ideally prefer temperatures from 65 - 75 degrees Fahrenheit.
Swiss Cheese Plants prefer moderate to high humidity, but do will in most home settings regardless of humidity level.
When propagating a Monstera Adansonii in water, we've had success with the division method and submerging a node in water. The division method is just gently remove soil of a young plant to break up the mother plant (original swiss cheese plant in dirt) into two or more smaller parts, where both the crown and roots are left in tact. Some roots are more acclimated to growing in soil than water. If you're propagating using the division method, we recommend cutting off the dirt roots off because the new root system comes in looking cleaner and less messy (overall, more aesthetically pleasing). But, it's totally optional if you decide to leave the roots on your swiss cheese plant.
Then you have our favorite propagation method, which is submerging a node in water. You want to first cut right below a node, closest to the stem. A proper cutting would have about 2-4 leaves still attached. With the proper care and attention, you should see new growth in about 4-8 weeks!
It's so fun to get free plants, try swiss cheese plant propagation. If you're looking to propagate a Swiss Cheese Plant, one of the easiest ways to do so is by taking cuttings from an existing plant. Find a friend that has this plant, find a cutting with a leaf node and get to work.
To do this, you'll need a sharp, sterile knife to cut a piece of the swiss cheese plant.
First, cut off a healthy stem from the plant that has at least 2-4 leaves still attached. Make sure to cut right below a leaf node, which is the point where the leaves meet the stem.
Then, place the cutting in water and wait for new growth to emerge. It can take 4-8 weeks for new growth to appear, but with proper care and attention, your swiss cheese plant will flourish.
Identification: leaves discoloring to yellow then eventually brown and die. In some cases, the leaves may also begin to curl.
Cause: not enough exposure to sunlight, lack oxygen in the water, or the monstera has yet to show roots. There also could be nothing wrong with your swiss cheese plant, but simply the leaf's time to go.
How to treat: First, start by removing the dead or damaged leaves using a sterile knife or scissors. We recommend that you replace your plant's water, especially if it hasn't been changed within the last few weeks. One thing to keep in mind is that swiss cheese plants love bright indirect light, so try also moving your plant a bit closer to a window or light source.
Identification: Brown or black spots on leaves, leaves having papery edges
Cause: Overexposure to direct sunlight
How to treat: Begin with moving your swiss cheese plant out of direct contact with the sun. Try experimenting with different places around your home. We suggest areas close to bright indirect light sources, like across from a sunny window.
One of the best parts of growing the swiss cheese plant in water, is you don't have to deal with spider mites. This issue is much more common growing in potting soil. If growing in potting soil, make sure you have drainage holes in your pots. As the swiss cheese plant matures, growing in potting soil these issues can be common. Sticky pads work well, but our recommendation is just to grow in water or lecca.