How to grow and care for Swiss Cheese Vine Indoors

Houseplant, Swiss Cheese Vine, Monstera adansonii

Botanical name: Monstera adansonii
Synonyms Monstera pertusum, Philodendron pertusum
Family: Araceae

Swiss Cheese Vine also called Adanson's Monstera or Monkey Mask Plant bears glossy, long, ovate, green-colored, perforated leaves. In the juvenille stage the stems exhibit a creeping habit, have short internodes while the leaves may be entire or perforated when only 5-10 cm long. As it grows, the plant begins to exhibit climbing habits as the internodes increase in length. The plant can grow to a height of 13 ft. Swiss Cheese Vine is native to the rainforests of South America and Central America where it grows on tree bark. The plant produces aerial roots from the stem which grasp the tree bark and other foliage. Swiss Cheese Vine can be grown as a climber or in a hanging basket. The plant has a variegated variant, Monstera adansonii 'Archipelago'.

How to Grow Swiss Cheese Vine (Monstera adansonii)

Light

Swiss Cheese Vine prefers bright to medium indirect light away from direct sunlight as it can cause sunscorch on the leaves. Place it next to a sunless window or near a bright window. The plant produces small leaves and spindly leaf-stalks if there is not enough light and it stops growing in deep shade. Learn how to ensure your plant receives the correct light in this guide on understanding light for houseplants.

Water

Water Swiss Cheese Vine liberally during the growing season and allow the top 2 in. of soil to dry out between waterings. Reduce watering during the cold season to keep the soil slightly moist. Avoid waterlogging as it can lead to Root-rot Disease which can result in the eventual death of the plant. Learn more on how to water houseplants.

Temperature

Average warmth with a minimum of 150C is ideal for Swiss Cheese Vine. Protect the plant from cold draughts. Learn more on temperature for houseplants.

Humidity

Average room humidity is ideal for Swiss Cheese Vine. When the air is too dry, employ these techniques to raise humidity for the vine. Occasionally clean the leaves by damp-wiping with a soft cloth to get rid of dust and also discourage pest infestation.

Feeding

Feed Swiss Cheese Vine with a balanced water-soluble fertilizer every 4 weeks during the growing period. Withhold feeding during the cold season as growth is minimal and feeding at this time may lead to fertilizer burn. Learn more on how to feed houseplants.

Repotting

Repot Swiss Cheese Vine during the growing season when it becomes root-bound; roots grow through the drainage hole. Use a pot 1 size larger and one that has a drainage hole. The soil should be free-draining and rich in organic matter. Ensure the pot has a drainage hole(s) to prevent waterlogging which can lead to root-rot.

Pruning

Pruning Swiss Cheese Vine is easy. Remove yellow and dead leaves to maintain the plant neat and tidy. When the plant becomes too large and unruly cut back the stems to the desired level to rejuvenate growth. The stems can be used to propagate new plants. Learn more on how to prune houseplants.

How to Propagate Swiss Cheese Vine (Monstera adansonii)

Swiss Cheese Vine can be propagated at the beginning of the growing period by use of stem cuttings or by air layering.

Propagating Swiss Cheese Vine from stem cuttings in soil
Take a stem cutting from a healthy Swiss Cheese Vine by cutting at a point just below an aerial root. Just one leaf node with the leaf is enough to propagate a new plant. Insert the cutting in moist free-draining soil. Place in a shaded well-lit place and maintain the soil moist until new growth emerges. Allow the new Swiss Cheese Vine to be well established before transplanting.

Propagating Swiss Cheese Vine from stem cuttings in water
Take a stem cutting from a healthy Swiss Cheese Vine by cutting at a point just below an aerial root. Just one leaf node with the leaf is enough to propagate a new plant. Place the cutting in a jar containing plain water. Place the set up in a well-lit spot and change the water every 7-10 days. Once adequate roots have developed, plant the cutting in soil and place in a shaded well-lit place. Allow the new Swiss Cheese Vine to be well established before transplanting.

Common Problems in Growing Swiss Cheese Vine (Monstera adansonii)

  • No perforation in leaves
  • Young leaves may not be perforated but in mature leaves the causes are inadequate light, cold air, underwatering and underfeeding. In tall plants, the reason is likely to be failure of water reaching the uppermost leaves; ensure aerial roots are pushed into the compost or allowed to grow into a moist support inorder to supply water and nutrients to the upper leaves.

  • Yellowing leaves
  • Overwatering Swiss Cheese Vine is the reason if many leaves are affected and there are signs of wilting and rotting but if there is no wilting and rotting, underfeeding is the cause. If only lower leaves are affected and have dark spots and new leaves are dark and small; underwatering is the reason. If leaves are pale colored and have straw-colored patches the problem is too much sunlight.

  • Loss of leaves
  • As the lower leaves of Swiss Cheese Vine age they fall but if there is an abnormal loss of leaves the reason is sudden change of growing conditions. If the leaves turn brown and dry before they fall then high temperature is the cause.

  • Rotting stems
  • The reason for rotting stems in Swiss Cheese Vine is the fungal Stem-rot Disease which is promoted by high moisture and too little warmth. You can save the plant by repotting and keeping the soil dry and warm.

  • Leaves with brown papery tips and edges
  • The reason for leaves with brown papery tips and edges in Swiss Cheese Vine is dry air; employ these techniques to raise humidity or the plant may be pot-bound; repot in a larger-sized pot.

  • Leggy growth, small pale leaves
  • Too little light is the cause as Swiss Cheese Vine will not thrive in deep shade; move the plant to a more brighter spot.

  • Leaves weeping at the edges
  • If the soil is too wet, Swiss Cheese Vine will respond with leaves weeping at the edges. Allow the top 2 in. of soil to dry out between waterings and reduce frequency of watering.

  • Diseases
  • The most common disease in Swiss Cheese Vine is Leaf Spot.

  • Pests
  • Common pests in Swiss Cheese Vine are Mealy Bugs, Scale Insects, Aphids, and Spider Mites. Isolate the plant to prevent further spread to other plants.

Toxicity

Swiss Cheese Vine (Monstera adansonii) is mildly toxic to humans and toxic to pets. If ingested it can cause pain and swelling in the mouth, tongue and lips, vomiting, excessive drooling and difficulty in swallowing.

Other Monstera Plants

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