Swiss Cheese Plant steals the show with its large and unique foliage. Learn how to grow Swiss Cheese Plant in the pot by going through this post!
Scientific Name: Monstera deliciosa
USDA Zones: 10-12
Looking for a houseplant that piques up the interest instantly? Look no further than Swiss Cheese Plant. The foliage develops holes as it matures that resembles swiss cheese, hence the name. Another interesting feature of this houseplant is its aerial roots that grow out from the stem and grow downwards, giving it a vining appearance. All in all Swiss cheese plant will be an interesting addition both to your home and garden. In this post, we discuss all about how to grow Swiss cheese plants in pot.
NOTE: Monstera deliciosa is referred to as the Swiss cheese plant, but other members of the Monstera genus also go by this common name. Care requirements are similar regardless of which Monstera you grow, so continue reading.
How to Grow Swiss Cheese Plant in Pot
Locate the pot at a spot where it receives bright indirect light. Choose a peat-based potting mix that can retain moisture but does not become waterlogged. Keep the soil consistently moist by watering when the soil turns dry an inch below the surface. Fertilize once a month with an all-purpose liquid fertilizer diluted half to its strength.
Propagating Swiss Cheese Plant
Propagation of the swiss cheese plant is possible through seeds, suckers, and cuttings. As propagation from seeds is not often successful and takes too long, it’s commonly grown from cuttings and suckers. The ideal time to take a cutting is in springs. Here is how you can propagate the swiss cheese plant from cuttings.
- Using a sharp tool, take a cutting from the healthy part of the plant just below the leaf node.
- Remove the leaves from the bottom one-third of the cutting.
- Plant the cutting directly in the soil or place it in water. You can use the rooting hormone to facilitate rooting.
- It takes 2-3 weeks for roots to form in water, and once they do, you can transplant the baby swiss cheese plant in the pot.
This is by far the easiest way to propagate the Swiss Cheese plant.
Choosing the Container
Start in a pot that’s 10-12 inches deep and wide, and don’t fuss over the material of the pot. Make sure that the pot has drainage holes at the bottom; if not, drill some holes. When using an old repurposed pot, you must sterilize the pot before use. It also looks great in hanging baskets because of the somewhat vining nature.
Repotting is needed when the Swiss Cheese Plant outgrows the old pot. Spring is the ideal time to repot as the plant is in the growing phase. It takes a couple of years for the swiss cheese plant to outgrow the old pot, after which it requires repotting. The new pot should be around two sizes large than the old pot and filled with fresh potting mix.
Grow Swiss Cheese Plant in Pot Indoors
Swiss cheese plant enhances the overall beauty of the indoor space and is an easy-to-grow houseplant. As it requires bright indirect light, place the pot near a well-lit window or balcony. Kitchen or bathroom windowsills are some other good spots indoors as humidity is naturally high in these regions. If the outdoor temperature falls below 40 degrees F in your region, it makes sense to grow Monstera deliciosa indoors to protect it from the cold.
Swiss cheese plant thrives in bright indirect light so locate the pot accordingly. South-facing windowsill, well-lit balcony, patio, or any other shaded spot in the backyard will do fine. Afternoon sun can damage the foliage, although a couple of hours of the morning sunlight is beneficial. Relocate the pot to a more shaded spot if leaves start to turn black as it indicates too much direct sunlight.
It does well in slightly acidic to neutral soil with a pH ranging from 5.5 to 7. Go for a peat-based potting mix as it’s well-draining but does remain moist to some extent. Also, ensure that the soil is amended with aged compost. You can make a potting mix on your own or buy a good quality peat-based potting mix.
Swiss cheese plant thrives when the potting medium remains consistently moist but not soggy. The rule of thumb is to water when the soil becomes dry an inch below the surface. Wait till you see water seeping out from the drainage holes, and then stop watering.
TIP: If the leaves start turning yellow, it commonly indicates overwatering, so cut back watering if Swiss Cheese plant leaves start to turn yellow.
As it’s a tropical plant, it won’t tolerate cold drafts of wind and freezing conditions. The temperature should remain above 40 degrees F at all times with an ideal temperature ranging from 65 to 80 degrees F. Move the pot indoors if the temperature falls below 40 degrees F.
Care Requirements for Swiss Cheese Plant
It loves to reside in high humidity, with humidity levels above 50 percent considered ideal. A well-lit bathroom will be an ideal spot because of the humidity. If the surrounding air is dry, misting or placing a pebble tray filled with water near the plant is a natural way to raise humidity.
Remove dead or decaying parts of the leaves to promote healthy new growth. Also, if the plant gets too large, prune it back by no more than 25 percent. Ensure to use a sharp and sterilized pair of shears and cut back below the leaf node.
Store-bought potting mix is already rich in nutrients, so wait for 4-6 months before fertilizing. After that, you can fertilize the plant once a month with an all-purpose liquid fertilizer diluted half to its strength. Adding aged compost or fish emulsion to the potting mix are some natural ways to enrich the soil.
Pests and Diseases
Mealybugs, spider mites, scales, and other such common pests might munch on the foliage. You can handpick these pests or get rid of them by spraying neem oil solution over the foliage. Apart from root rot caused due to overwatering, fungal diseases such as powdery mildew and blight can also affect the plant.
Swiss Cheese Plant Toxicity
As per ASPCA Swiss Cheese Plant is considered toxic for pets, including cats and dogs. So if you own pets, keep this plant out of their reach. If ingested, symptoms include Oral irritation, intense burning, irritation of mouth, tongue, and lips, excessive drooling, vomiting, difficulty swallowing.