Swiss Cheese Plant Monstera deliciosa

How to Take Care of Your Swiss Cheese Plant (Monstera deliciosa)- Infograph

Swiss Cheese Plant (Monstera deliciosa) is a popular houseplant known for its tropical jungle look with distinct holes and slits on its lustrous green leaves. It’s a fairly easy houseplant to take care of with occasional watering and misting. It’s happiest if located in a bright spot with indirect sunlight.

Give Swiss Cheese Plant space since it can grow large to around 6 to 8 feet tall (in the wild it grows to 60 feet tall!) As it grows taller, you will need to provide some support like a trellis for it to climb on.

Be aware that the leaves of your Monstera Plant are toxic to humans and pets. Keep it away from little humans and pets. Here are tips and advice on how to take care of your Swiss Cheese Plant.

Swiss Cheese Plant Infograph

Swiss Cheese Plant Infograph
Swiss Cheese Plant Infograph

Swiss Cheese Plant Characteristics

NameSwiss Cheese Plant, Monstera Plant, Split-leaf philodendron
Scientific NameMonstera deliciosa
LightBright Indirect Light (no direct sun)
Daytime Temperature70 to 80 F (21-26C)
Night Time Temperature60 to 70 F (15-21C)
WaterMedium Water
HumidityMedium Humidity
PottingWell-draining, organic, all-purpose potting soil 
FertilizerEvery 2 weeks when actively growing. Once a month in the Winter

What are Other Names of Swiss Cheese Plant?

Swiss Cheese Plant is also called Monstera Plant, Fruit Salad Plant, Split-leaf philodendron, Ceriman, Cheese Plant, Mexican breadfruit or Windowleaf.

Does Swiss Cheese Plant Prefer Sun or Shade?

Swiss Cheese Plant will thrive in a bright area without direct sunlight. In the wild, it thrives in shaded areas under tree canopies. The best spot for your Swiss Cheese Plant is to place it in front of a north facing window.

If you don’t have that you need to make sure there is something to filter the sunlight so your Swiss Cheese Plant does not get direct sunlight. You can use a white curtain or a sheer curtain to filter the direct sunlight. 

Swiss Cheese Plant Monstera deliciosa
Swiss Cheese Plant

How Often Should You Water Your Monstera Plant?

Monstera Plant prefers soil that are not overly wet and not overly dry. It has average humidity requirements. Depending on the type of pot and how dry your home is, Monstera plants will probably need to be watered once every 2 weeks.

How Do You Know When to Water Your Swiss Cheese Plant?

Swiss Cheese Plant water your Swiss Cheese Plant when the soil feels dry. The best way to tell when it’s time to water is by sticking your finger into the soil 1 inch deep. If the soil feels dry, then it’s time to water your Swiss Cheese Plant.

You will probably need to water your Swiss Cheese Plant once every 2 weeks. However, frequency of watering will be dependent on the type of pot you have your Swiss Cheese Plant in. Unglazed pots like terracotta are porous and will dry up more quickly than if you have your Swiss Cheese Plant planted in plastic, metal or glazed ceramic pot. These pots don’t breathe so will retain moisture much longer.

The environment will also affect how often you water your Monstera Plant. Hot summer days will require more watering (even if your Swiss Cheese Plant is indoors) while cold, winter days will require less watering.

What Type of Water Should You Use When Watering Your Swiss Cheese Plant?

Swiss Cheese Plant can be watered with tap water but be mindful of the water temperature that you are using to water your Monstera Plant. Don’t use straight cold water from the tap to water your Swiss Cheese Plant.

Monstera Plant prefers cool water that is not hot and not cold. When you turn on the cold water from the faucet add a little bit of warm water. You can also get to this ideal temperature by filling a watering can or pitcher with water and leaving it out overnight until the water is at room temperature. 

How Do You Make Sure There is Proper Drainage for Your Swiss Cheese Plant?

Swiss Cheese Plant needs proper drainage otherwise it might suffer from stem rot. To ensure proper drainage, make sure the pot has drainage holes at the bottom. After watering your plant, don’t let it sit in the puddle of water that has accumulated in the saucer. Empty out the water from the saucer. 

Do You Need to Mist Your Swiss Cheese Plant?

Swiss Cheese Plant prefers medium humidity so you should mist your Swiss Cheese Plant’s leaves with water occasionally. Alternatively, you can place your Swiss Cheese Plant’s pot in a saucer filled with water. Make sure your Swiss Cheese Plant is propped up with pebbles or pot feet.

Swiss Cheese Plant Monstera deliciosa
Mist Monstera Plant

What Type of Potting Mix is Best for Your Swiss Cheese Plant?

Swiss Cheese Plant needs a well-draining, organic potting mix. You can buy premixed potting soil with organic fertilizers and beneficial microbes and mycorrhizal fungi. Get soil with orchid bark or perlite.

It’s best to buy organic soil mixtures because non-organic soil mixtures often contain a higher concentration of fertilizer which can burn the roots of your plant. Non-organic soil mixtures are not generally suitable for houseplants.

Do You Need to Fertilize Your Swiss Cheese Plant?

Swiss Cheese Plant will benefit from a once every 2 weeks application of fertilizer. Apply fertilizer when it’s actively growing. Don’t feed in the Winter months when it’s dormant and not growing. 

What Fertilizer Should You Use on Your Swiss Cheese Plant?

Use organic fertilizers with a higher ratio of nitrogen content. 

How Do You Know When To Repot Your Swiss Cheese Plant?

You will need to repot your Swiss Cheese Plant every 1-2 years. Buy a larger pot, around 2 inches larger in diameter than the current pot. Make sure you buy a pot that has drainage holes at the bottom so water doesn’t accumulate and cause root rot and stem rot.

Your Swiss Cheese Plant can grow really big, stop repotting if you have reached optimal size. Repot Swiss Cheese Plant in a heavy pot so it doesn’t topple over. When repotting Swiss Cheese Plant, wear gloves because Swiss Cheese Plant are toxic to humans. 

How Big Does Swiss Cheese Plant Get?

Swiss Cheese Plant are large plants that can grow to 6-8 feet tall. You will need a heavy pot for your Swiss Cheese Plant so it doesn’t topple over. 

How Do You Propagate Your Monstera Plant?

Monstera Plant is easy to propagate. Your Monstera Plant is easily propagated via stem cuttings. Below are steps on how to propagate Monstera plant.

1. Pick a stem with a node (the place where a leaf was, this will grow into roots). Cut below the node.

Swiss Cheese Plant Monstera deliciosa
Picture of Node of Monstera Plant

2. Place the stem cutting into a jar of water and wait for it to grow roots.

Once you place the Monstera plant cutting into a jar, you will start to see new roots growing. Wait for roots to grow before you plant your stem cutting in soil.

Your Monstera plant stem cutting should not have more than 2 leaves, if there are more, simply cut off the extra leaves. You can also dip your stem cutting in root hormone and plant in moist sand. I prefer to put it in a jar so you can see the roots grow. Not all stem cutting of Monstera Plant will grow roots, some will be duds.

Swiss Cheese Plant Monstera deliciosa
Picture of Roots Growing from Stem Cutting of Monstera Plant

3. Plant Monstera Stem Cutting in New Pot

Once the roots grow, plant these stem cuttings into a new pot. Water after planting. Water every 2-3 days until the roots are established. Place your new Monstera Plant plant in a spot with bright indirect sunlight.

Swiss Cheese Plant Monstera deliciosa
Picture of Stem Cutting Planted in New Pot

Are Swiss Cheese Plants Toxic to Pets?

Swiss Cheese Plants are toxic to humans and pets. Tissues of your Swiss Cheese Plant has calcium oxalate crystals which are toxic to humans and pet if chewed on. These toxic crystals will cause lips, tongue and mouth to swell, vomiting, uncontrolled drooling and even difficulty breathing. Call poison control or your vet immediately if you see your pet or child developing these symptoms as a result of ingestion.

swiss cheese plant toxic
Picture of Cat with Swiss Cheese Plant

What are Common Problems that Affects Your Swiss Cheese Plant?

The common problems that affect Swiss Cheese Plant are mealybugs, root rot and brown tips on leaves.

Why are There Fluffy White Growth In Between the Leaves and Stems of Your Swiss Cheese Plant? 

These fluffy white growth in between the leaves and stems of your Swiss Cheese Plant are probably a result of mealybugs. These pests are common in houseplants. They are caused by insects. Once you know there is a mealybug infestation, immediately wash off the mealybugs from your Swiss Cheese Plant with water or soapy water.

You can also spray your Monstera plant with rubbing alcohol. Another effective option is to spray your monstera plant with horticultural oil or insecticidal soap. These are effective ways to get rid of mealybugs on Swiss Cheese Plants.

Check out our article on how to make your own homemade pesticides using baby shampoo: How to Make Horticultural Oil and How to Make Insecticidal Soap

Picture of Mealybugs

Why Does Your Swiss Cheese Plant Look Wilted Even if the Soil is Wet?

If your Swiss Cheese Plant looks wilted even if the soil is wet, there is a chance your Swiss Cheese Plant is suffering from root rot. The way to tell if its root rot is to pull the plant out and examine the roots. If the roots of your Swiss Cheese Plant plant look mushy and are gray to black in color, these are telltale signs of root rot. The cause of root rot is a result of wet soil due to overwatering or poor drainage.

Root rot is caused by fungus and is a serious problem for your Swiss Cheese Plant. When your Swiss Cheese Plant is afflicted with root rot the chance of survival is slim. Prevention is key, don’t overwater your Swiss Cheese Plant in the first place and make sure there is good drainage in the pot.

root rot
Picture of Root Rot

Why Did the Tips of Leaves of Your Monstera Plant Turn Brown?

The tips of the leaves of your Monstera Plant turning brown are a result of low humidity or not enough watering. Check the soil moisture level by sticking your finger in a few inches to see if it is dry. If the soil is dry, then water your plant.

It’s also possible the pot is too small for your Monstera Plant that is why it is not getting enough water. It may be time to repot your plant to a bigger pot. If low humidity is the problem, you can mist the plant leaves. The room may also be dry, you can run a humidifier in the room.

Also make sure your Monstera plant is not right next to hot air from the HVAC vent, that can overtime kill your Monstera Plant. Once your Monstera Plant receives adequate humidity and water, the leaves will start to look healthy and green again. Cut off the leaf tips that have already turned brown since the brown tips will not turn green again.

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