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How To Care For Your Swiss Cheese Plant

The Swiss Cheese Plant has become a trendy house plant, and with good reason. They are super easy to maintain, making them an ideal choice for both beginners and experts.


What on earth does a swiss cheese plant look like? Picture slices of leaf-shaped swiss cheese...but green. The leaves are filled with an array of different lacy holes - fascinating!


Read more for answers to some common Swiss cheese plant care questions.

Green swiss cheese plant leaves

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How To Care For Your Swiss Cheese Plant

 

1. How often should I water my Swiss cheese plant?

Swiss cheese plants aren't super fussy about watering and are happy when they're allowed to dry out a bit. They don't like soggy roots, so make sure the pot has plenty of drainage holes in the bottom.


If their leaves start to droop, it could mean your plant is thirsty. They thrive in a humid climate, and using a spray bottle for regular misting will keep their leaves from drying.

  • Keep soil evenly but lightly moist.

  • Don't allow the soil to get too soggy.

  • Water when the topsoil is almost completely dry.

 

2. Why are my Swiss cheese plant's leaves turning yellow?

I would've killed most of my plants if I hadn't used my trusty moisture meter. Most people kill plants with too much love, i.e., too much water.


If your Swiss cheese plant's leaves turn yellow, you're giving it too much water, and the roots are most likely rotting. Just because the top soil is dry doesn't mean the roots aren't still wet. Check out this list of common indoor plant problems to identify any issues before they kill your plant.


Get a moisture meter, press deep into the soil, and don't water your plant if the roots are still wet. You may also need to repot your plant into dryer soil if too much damage is done.

 

3. How much light does my Swiss cheese plant need?

Misunderstanding a plant's light needs is a common mistake most people make. Luckily the Swiss cheese plant can thrive in a range of light conditions.


The ideal spot is somewhere with plenty of medium light. They do not like dark areas, and direct sunlight will damage your plant.

  • Bright, indirect light to medium light.

 
Green Monstera leaves with holes

4. Why are there no holes in my Swiss cheese plant?

If it's too dark, the distinctive cut-outs on the leaves won't develop. Move your plant to an area that gets more indirect sunlight.


Or, your plant might be too young. It usually takes between 2 - 3 years before the leaves develop holes. Don't let this discourage you. When you buy your plants from the nursery, choose ones with holes in them already, and then easily propagate these at home to make more.

 

5. Why are my Swiss cheese plant's leaves turning brown?

If your leaves are turning brown and crispy - it's getting direct sunlight, and the leaves are burning. Even though the plant needs sunlight, direct sunlight is too strong and will damage the leaves.

  • Move your plant to where it gets cover from direct sun.

 

6. What's the best temperature for my Swiss cheese plant?

Originating in tropical regions, they thrive in moderate to high temperatures. Anywhere between 15 and 30°C is excellent. However, they don't like dry air or cold breezes, so avoid areas near draughty windows or radiators.


They love humidity. A great trick is to add a humidifier to your plant corner for happy leaves all year round; alternatively, use a spray bottle to mist their leaves regularly.

  • High humidity is best.

  • Mist their leaves every few days to keep them perky.

  • Ideal temperatures are between 15 and 30°C.

 

7. How do I repot my Swiss cheese plant?

If you keep them happy, these vines can grow quite quickly. When the roots start to poke out from

the nursery pot, your plant needs a bigger home.


Repot in the spring with multi-purpose compost. They'll also grow little white roots from their stems that help them grip trees.

Pots, soil, clippers, watering can, swiss cheese plant to repot
  • find a pot bigger than the one your plant currently occupies

  • add a layer of pebbles to the bottom of the pot (this will ensure that the soil doesn't clog the drainage holes)

  • mix perlite and potting soil and add a layer on top of the pebbles in the new pot

  • take your Swiss cheese plant and squeeze the sides of the pot to loosen the soil and make it easier to remove the plant

  • gently lift the plant out of the pot

  • place the plant in the new pot as is (no need to shake off the existing soil around the roots) and fill up the rest of the pot with potting soil

  • water the plant to compact the soil, make sure the water drains away, and add more soil if needed

  • be sure to leave a little bit of room between the topsoil and the edge of the pot so that the water doesn't spill over when you water the plant

 

8. Can my Swiss cheese plant grow in water?

While these plants are easy to propagate in water and can live long in the water, they'll never reach their full growth potential unless planted in soil. They also won't be super healthy and strong if you keep them growing in water.


That said, if you don't mind your plant staying on the small side, they'll survive in water for months.

 

9. Does my Swiss cheese plant need any extra love?

Swiss cheese plants are happiest with some simple regular maintenance. First, keep their leaves free of dust using a clean, damp cloth.


If they start to spread so much that they droop, use a moss pole to keep them happy. In the wild, these plants will find a tree to attach to and climb, so giving them something to climb against will ensure that your plant keeps growing.

Hands wiping Monstera leaves with blue cloth

Give them a growing boost in the spring and summer with some liquid fertilizer. If you're not too keen on chemical fertilizers - try a homemade fertilizer.


Tip: there is no need to feed the plant in the Winter months.

  • Mist leaves occasionally.

  • Keep leaves free of dust with a regular wipe.

  • Give your plant a moss pole to climb.

Important: Swiss cheese plants (Monstera) are considered toxic and could cause stomach upset if consumed - keep out of reach of pets and children.

 

The Bottom Line

You can't go wrong with a Swiss cheese plant; it'll bring you years of joy if you take care of it properly. They're easy to grow and maintain, interesting to look at, and look great on the floor, on a shelf, or hanging from a basket. It's an excellent plant for beginners and experts alike, and you're sure to get lots of compliments on them at your next dinner party.

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