Swiss cheese vine care

Taming the Monstera

I’ve been frequently asked about how I support my monstera so here are some details along with affiliate links to the products I’m using and enjoying. Purchasing through these links goes to support this blog 🙂

Do I need to train my Monstera deliciosa?

Yes! The growth pattern of the Monstera deliciosa is much like a pothos – vines that just keep getting longer. For pothos, because of its smaller overall size, they can be left to hang off the side of the pot. Since the monstera’s natural size is much larger, a few vines hanging out of the pot would quickly fill an entire room! Therefore, you should affix the vines to a sturdy trellis so they can grow upwards.

What about using a moss pole?

The idea of the moss pole is to provide a medium onto which the aerial roots can grip, just like they do in the wild. The only problem with trying to accomplish this indoors is that you need to keep the moss moist at all times – this is not recommended as the air doesn’t move as much as it does outside or in a nursery. Stale air and constantly moist conditions are breeding grounds for mould/unwanted bacteria.

Even if you manage to keep the air fresh, a monstera’s vine can be quite heavy. A single post will not be as sturdy as a multi-post trellis.

How To Train Your Monstera

Every plant lover loves Monstera deliciosa aka Cheese plant. Their huge ‘lush green, glossy, perforated leaves gives a tropical feel to any room. The cheese plant, can grow very large in the right conditions, up to 20ft.

Monstera deliciosa variegata climbing up wood supports and exposed pipes.

In its natural habitat it ‘climbs’ up tree trunks and branches for support by way of its leathery aerial roots. These aerial roots not only provide a strong anchor but also takes up nutrients and water from the environment. The perforated leaves have been said to help the cheese plant withstand strong winds. Young leaves may be unperforated but as the they mature they develop the split leaf pattern that we all love.

Besides the beautiful lush leaves, the other thing outstanding about this plant are the aerial roots. As an indoor plant these aerial roots can be left as is, trailing on the floor, pushed into the soil, or attached to a stake. Attaching the aerial roots and stem to a pole for support not only allows the plant to climb but also adds to the health of the plant as its native habitat conditions are provided.

My untrained monstera

I tried using small bamboo poles to ‘lift’ my Monstera, 2 years ago. Now it has grown so big, the support poles no longer can hold the weight so it was time to train my monstera (repot and properly stake.) As an indoor plant you have to train it regularly to climb whatever support you provide.

Staking:

Providing support for monstera can be done in a number of ways. You can buy support poles online or your local local garden store (couldn’t find any). You can also attempt to make one – which is what I did. In providing support for the plant whatever you plan to attach it to should have properties that mimics a tree trunk. The popular support are moss poles. I ended up using coir instead as I couldn’t find bulk sphagnum moss to buy and using those small packaged ones would have cost too much to cover the poles.

Materials used:

1.Bamboo sticks from dollar store. You can also using PVC pipes if available to you. The advantage of using a PVC pipe is that it will not rot. Also the best time to stake the plant Is at repotting, as it is difficult to push the poles into soil filled with plant roots. I used 2 bamboo sticks.

2. Coir. I searched everywhere for loose coir for sale – no luck. I ended up getting some coir lying around at a nursery for free. I also bought coir liners in the hopes of using them to wrap around the stakes. The loose coir though ended up being exactly the right amount so I didn’t use the liners.

Making the stake:

Very simple – Cut the coir and wrap it around the stick using twine or whatever strong string you have on hand. Thats it. Make sure to leave the part of the stake that will be in the soil bare (Like in the picture below).

Place the stake in the new pot and place soil around it to keep the stake straight. Then place the plant in the new pot and gently attach the stem to the stake wherever possible.

You have to be careful when removing the monstera plant from its old pot to the new one. I injured a few leaf stalks throughout this whole repotting process. This is because I had difficulty removing the plant root from the pot. I would suggest potting the plant in a plastic pot before putting in a decorative pot. That way if you need to repot in future it would be much easier to remove.

Voila! All done. I cut the aerial roots a little short and pushed some into the soil. Some I tried to wrap around the stake and the rest I just left hanging out. Mist the coir regularly (as it dries out faster than moss). This will encourage the aerial roots to attach to the coir promoting vertical growth.

Monstera can be grown in light shade, or in bright filtered light. Keep out of direct sunlight except perhaps in winter (with caution). Water when the top third of soil dries out. And remember- repotting Monstera means a huge monstera, so if you don’t have the space, limit the frequency of re-potting.

My monster-a now seem to be well contained now and isn’t taking up too much horizontal space. Feel free to share any Monstera staking tips you might have below.

Q: We have recently moved into a house that has a large Mission fig tree in the back yard. How should it be pruned?

A: Mature fig trees should be pruned during the dormant season. Because the first crop of some fig varieties is produced on the previous year’s growth, figs should be pruned by thinning out entire branches and then heading-back (shortening) each of the remaining shoots to one or two buds. This method will insure production of the first crop of figs.

You should prune heavily enough to stimulate approximately one foot of new growth each year. This will vary with the fig variety and the health and growing conditions of the individual tree. Generally speaking, Mission and Adriatic fig trees require less pruning than Brown Turkey and Kadota fig trees, but only experience will determine how severely you need to prune your own tree.

Q: My family enjoys chayote so I would like to grow it in my garden. Can you tell me how to proceed?

A: Chayote, a relative of the squash, is a perennial vine that produces an irregular oval fruit. You can grow the vine successfully from fruit you purchase at the supermarket. Select an area with full sun and fertile, moist soil. Place the whole fruit in the soil with the stem end exposed. To ensure pollination, plant at least two vines. Provide sturdy support for the vines; a trellis or fence works well.

Once growth begins, vine development is rapid. It’s rather late in the growing season now but you can expect the vines to grow 20 to 30 feet the first full year. Flowering begins in the fall after the day length begins to shorten and the fruit will be ready to harvest about one month later. The vines will die down when frost occurs, but will sprout again in the spring.

Q: My outdoor Philodendron monstera has several aerial roots growing from the trunk about 18 inches above the ground and entering the ground about 12 inches from the trunk. Can they be removed without hurting the plant?

A: Many varieties of Philodendron produce aerial roots which they use in the jungle to aid in climbing trees and to provide supplemental nourishment. These functions are unnecessary in a garden setting. If you find the aerial roots unsightly, you can cut them off without fear of damaging the plant.

Swiss Cheese Vine (Monstera adansonii)

Monstera obliqua and Monstera adansonii often get confused, even I needed help identifying them! M. obliqua are very rare and hard to come by, they grow much, much slower than the M. adansonii (which grow incredibly fast) and the M. obliqua’s leaves are 90% holes and as thin as paper.

Again, I still need help telling the difference most of the time in doing some research I found this super helpful article about it and learned a LOT. Read it for yourself. (Just in the way of honesty, I didn’t fact check everything in the article. But it does have some great photos of both the M. obliqua versus the M. adansonii.)

Sunlight

Medium to high indirect sunlight.

These beauties grow long and can eventually get absolutely ginormous! They grow in tropical forests under trees and large foliage and need lots of indirect sunlight as result. I have found that 2-3 hours of direct, morning sunlight is tolerable and in some cases ideal. However, a full days worth of medium to bright indirect sunlight should do the trick!

Water

Medium: Bi-Weekly to weekly.

I never suggest sticking to a hard and fast watering routine, as a rule of thumb the “finger check rule” works great here. Basically just stick your finger in the soil and if it is dry to your first knuckle water well. Never let the soil dry out fully and be wary over improper drainage. Planting in a pot with large drainage hole is a must.

Soil + Pot

General houseplant soil in a high drainage pot.

I use a general potting mix in a terra-cotta pot. A drainage hole is a must!

Humidity

Add additional humidity!

Additional humidity is recommended, but not a deal breaker. Te easiest way to properly increase humidity is simply by placing a humidifier near by. You can also group them close near other plants or place it in your bathroom provided it gets enough sunlight in there.

Fertilizer

Houseplant mix: Twice a week during growing season.

I suggest using at half strength every time you water in the summer and spring. Stop use all together in fall and winter.

It is also important to remember not to fertilize within 4-6 months of repotting if you are using a general houseplant mix. The reason is because most general houseplant soil mixes already has slow release fertilizer in them. So, when in doubt err on the side of less fertilizer to avoid over feeding your plant. You can also use rain water in loo of fertilizer during the colder months, just make sure the water is free of pests and cool to room temperature. If is an especially good option if you aren’t sure if you should add fertilizer or not yet.

Propagation

Rooting in water

Simply cut the stem of the plant about a 1/4-1/2 inch below the leaf nod (that little knobby spot below where the leaf is) and I suggest doing it 1-2 leaves down. If the cutting is longer it will typically take more time to root.

WATER METHOD: Take your stem cutting(s) and place them in a tall vase filled with water. Place in soft, indirect sunlight and wait patiently. You will begin to see roots form within 1-3 weeks. I suggest waiting for a larger, strong root cluster before potting in soil.

SOIL METHOD: If you are opting to use a rooting hormone dip the bottom 1/4 inch in your rooting hormone and stick your cutting, about 1/2 inch deep, in a nursery pot filled with moist soil. Keep soil moist and place in soft, indirect sunlight. Plant will root within 2-3 weeks.

Pruning

Cut Back As Desired

Swiss Cheese Vines grow fast and can get very leggy. Feel free to cut back to achieve a desired shape, this will encourage more growth and make for a fuller plant. I suggest propagating those cuttings and adding them back to the pot you cut them from once the roots are established for a fuller look.

Warning Signs

Brown, Crips edges

Too much water. Stop watering, cut back dead leaves if needed and don’t water until the soil is dry all the way through. I also suggest using a different soil mix that provides more drainage and making sure your plant provides ample drainage.

This can also mean it isn’t getting enough humidity. Inspect soil to identify which problem you are having.

Or it could mean the plant is exposed to too much direct sunlight. Simply move back from the window a couple of feet.

Yellow Leaves

Over watering or under-watering. Usually it’s overwatering. Repot to a terra-cotta pot and water with less water each time, wait for soil to be dry a few inches down before adding more water.

Toxicity

Moderatly Toxic to Pets

Toxic to dogs and cats. Will cause swelling, burning, or vomiting if eaten your cat or dog.

Proper Care Of A Swiss Cheese Plant

The Swiss cheese plant (Monstera) is a tropical ornamental that has aerial roots growing downwards from the stem. These roots easily once reach the ground, giving this plant a vine-like tendency. The Swiss cheese plant gets its name from its large, heart-shaped leaves, which as it ages, becomes covered with holes that resemble Swiss cheese.

Swiss Cheese Vine Plant Info

The Swiss cheese vine plant prefers full sun but will adapt to partial shade. It also enjoys a moist, well-drained soil. This plant grows best in warm conditions and requires high humidity.

The Swiss cheese vine plant does not tolerate frost, so this should be considered before planting. Most often the plant can be grown as a container plant indoors and performs well when grown on poles or in baskets. Allow the soil to dry out some between waterings.

How to Repot and Cut Back a Swiss Cheese Plant

The question of how to repot and cut back a Swiss cheese plant is not too difficult. Repot the Swiss cheese plant, moving it up a size, using a rich potting soil made up of compost and peat to help with aeration and drainage. Also when repotting, make sure you loosen the roots up some before placing it into a new pot. These plants are top heavy and require support.

If desiring to grow the Swiss cheese plant on a moss pole, this is a good time to do so. Place the moss pole into the pot with the plant. Lightly tie the stems to the pole with string or pantyhose. Be sure to mist moss pole regularly. After repotting the Swiss cheese vine plant, water thoroughly.

Since the Swiss cheese vine plant can become uncontrollable, it should be managed by pruning it back. Pruning can be done any time the plant appears too tall or whenever aerial roots become difficult to control, especially when growing Swiss cheese plant on a moss pole.

Swiss Cheese Plant Propagation

The Swiss cheese vine plant can be propagated through seeds, stem cuttings or suckers, with cuttings or suckers more common.

If you are wondering how to take Swiss cheese plant cuttings, it is easy. For this Swiss cheese plant propagation, just take stem cuttings, with a section of the stem remaining, by cutting just after a leaf node. Remove the first leaf near the base of the cutting, and plant the node within the soil. You can use rooting hormone, if desired, but this isn’t necessary. Water well, allowing it to drain out. Ideally, you may want to root the cutting in water beforehand, moving it to a pot once rooting has adequately begun taking place. Root the cutting of Swiss cheese vine plant in water for about two to three weeks, then transfer to a pot filled with rich potting soil.

You can also do Swiss cheese plant propagation by wrapping damp moss around the stem at a small aerial root and leaf axil, holding it in place with string. Enclose this section in a clear bag, tied off at the top (adding a few small air vents).Within a few months, new roots should begin to develop on the Swiss cheese vine plant.

We select from several varieties of Monstera ‘Swiss Cheese Vine’ – see below for more information on variety selection.

Monstera adansonii, also known as the Swiss Cheese Vine, is an easy-to-grow houseplant with show-stopper foliage. Each leaf is full of natural oval-shaped holes called fenestration that earn the plant its nickname. Botanists believe that the holes in its leaves help the plant to stand up to high winds and allow light to pass through to lower parts of the plant in its natural environment. Swiss Cheese Vine loves to climb, and when provided a stake or trellis, will reward you with larger leaves. Alternately, this vine makes a lovely hanging plant as without support, the vines will cascade down the sides of the pot.

Swiss Cheese Vine makes a perfect houseplant for both beginners and experts, since it’s easy to care for and exotic in appearance. Place it where the plant will receive medium-bright indirect, shield from direct sun and water regularly. Mist regularly to promote climbing.

Ships in a plastic nursery pot and includes detailed care instructions. Marbled Clay Cachepot sold separately.

Variation and Species Information

Numerous Monstera species go by the common name “Swiss Cheese Vine,” and many have been renamed or reclassified in recent years. While current consensus lists Monstera adansonii as the species identification of Swiss Cheese Vine, we’ve also seen this plant labeled Monstera obliqua, Monstera pittieri, Monstera friedrichsthalii and Monstera expilata. No two batches look exactly alike!

While a fair amount of variation exists from plant to plant, your specimen will have the classic fenestrated leaves. Check out the product photos for examples of leaf variety. If you have a preference on which variety you receive, please reach out to us directly and we can give you more information on what’s available!

SHIPPING AND DELIVERY INFO

Items in our Rare Flora collection require special pre-shipping preparation, and ship within 3-5 business days. You’ll receive a shipping notification email with tracking when your order ships. Box warmer included at no additional charge as necessary during cold months.

International shipping unavailable due to customs restrictions.

Monstera adansonii also known as Monstera friedrichsthalii is a tropical plant, evergreen, glossy vine native to various regions of Brazil, Ecuador, Peru, South America, and Central America.

This houseplant is part of the Araceae family which includes:

  • Spathiphyllum plant (Peace Lily)
  • Zee Zee Plant (Zamioculcas zamiifolia)
  • Philodendron varieties
  • Pothos plant
  • Alocasia plant (African mask plant)
  • along with many others

… and the Monstera is very easy to grow.

The Swiss cheese vine is the type of plant species that changes the shapes of their larger leaves as they mature.

This unique ability of Monstera plants makes it difficult for botanists to categorize these species.

Its common name is the Swiss cheese plant or five holes plant because of its big heart-shaped leaves which are covered with holes.

These holes make the plant look like Swiss cheese.

Other Monstera plants look similar to this one, such as the Monstera obliqua but are much rarer than the swiss cheese vine.

But here’s more on Monstera Obliqua Care.

Monstera Adansonii Care

Size & Growth

M. adansonii has two leaf forms, like many aroids – juvenile and adult.

This vine has show-stopper foliage; every split leaf gets covered with oval-shaped holes (fenestration).

If given a trellis to grow on you’ll get larger leaves.

It might grow as far as 13′ feet.

When the leaves are mature, they grow as big as 20″ – 30″ inches.

According to botanists, these holes assist the plant in standing up and resisting high winds and allows light to pass through.

It’s great for smaller spaces since it doesn’t grow as big as the Monstera deliciosa.

Flowering and Fragrance

Flowering is not very common if it’s an indoor plant.

The flowers are typically tiny and are situated near the spadix.

The spathe isn’t exactly a flower, but it’s the modified version of a leaf.

Light & Temperature

Monstera Adansonii plant prefers bright indirect light.

It’s best to avoid direct sunlight.

However, if the easy to grow plant doesn’t receive sufficient light, the leaves will be smaller.

Monstera friedrichsthalii’s ideal temperature is between 55° – 75° degrees Fahrenheit (13° C – 24° C).

During winters, the minimum temperature should be 50° degrees Fahrenheit (10° C).

Watering and Feeding

It’s best to thoroughly water this plant during the summers, ensuring the soil surface is dried out between waterings.

During winters, it doesn’t need much water, just occasionally mist.

For properly establishing your Monstera Friedrichsthalii, it’s best to sparingly fertilize about 6″ inches from the base, three times per year.

Cheese plant monstera adansonii responds well to regular liquid fertilizing.

If they’re not fertilized, it will affect their growth.

Keep in mind a high quantity of salts, included in cheap fertilizers, can result in damaging the roots of the plant and might end up destroying it.

Monstera Adansonii Soil & Transplanting

Adansonii prefers an organic-rich, moist but well-drained mix.

It’s ideal to avoid sandy, dry or murky, wet soil.

Go for a peat-based potting soil with large drainage holes.

The peat assists in trapping moisture in the soul without any waterlogging.

To attain stronger growth, opt for a soil pH between 5.5 and 7.0.

Best grown in a greenhouse where humidity, temperature, and light are all maximized.

Grooming and Maintenance

The trickiest part of grooming and maintaining this plant is the watering.

This plant prefers to have consistently moist soil, but it shouldn’t be soggy.

It’s best to place them in high humidity, which can prove to be a challenge during the winter season.

Utilize a humidifier.

The common issue is yellow leaves if you notice the plant sprouting yellow leaves it’s an indication there’s something wrong with your watering schedule.

Whenever you are watering, you should always use your finger to test the soil first.

If the top inch of the soil is dry, only then you should water the plant.

Make sure you are not overwatering.

If you notice the upper layer of the soil is continuously wet for a few days, then it’s an indication you are overwatering.

It’s best to water once every week but experiment a bit as per the humidity and temperature of your environment.

How To Propagate Swiss Cheese Vine

To propagate this plant, it’s best to utilize a root hormone powder with stem cuttings.

  • Cut off a vine section with two nodes.
  • Place the vine in a glass filled with water till roots emerge.
  • Make sure the cutting stays protected and warm until new growth begins to emerge.

Keep in mind it takes some time for the root to emerge from the new cuttings.

Therefore, you should be patient and continuously keep them in a warm and moist area.

Bag the cutting so the moisture is sealed in.

This will enhance their survival chances.

Once the root starts forming, transfer the cutting into the soil and soon you’ll have new plants.

Monstera Adansonii Pests or Diseases

There aren’t any primary disease or pest issues with Monstera Adansonii swiss cheese plant.

However, this plant is vulnerable to attacks from fungal spots, leaf spots, bacterial soft rot, spider mites, and scale insects.

Learn More:

  • Get Rid Of Spider Mites
  • Scale Insect

Monstera species are toxic to animals, especially cats and dogs, as per the ASPCA (American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals).

If you get this plant, ensure you place it in a location your pets can’t consume its leaves.

It will result in swallowing problems, vomiting, excessive drooling, mouth swelling, and irritation.

Suggested Uses for Monstera Adansonii Vines

This plant is a perfect house plant for both experts and beginners.

It’s not just easy to look after but also looks extremely exotic.

It looks great both indoors and outdoors.

Most growers plant Monstera adansonii swiss cheese plant as trailers or in a hanging basket, which allows for less frequent repotting.

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