Whether on tablecloths or wallpaper, Monstera window leaves are all the rage. The impressive leaves of the Swiss Cheese Plant will add a homely character to any room or conservatory.
A particularly beautiful type of Monstera Adansonii. It will find a place in any home due to its smaller leaves, adding a modern touch of jungle. We will show you how to properly care for the Swiss Cheese Plant and even propagate it yourself.
Swiss Cheese Plant: origin and characteristics
The window leaf species Swiss Cheese Plant (Monstera adansonii) originates from the tropical forests and riverbanks of Central and South America. In these natural habitats, the climate is humid and the soils tend to be acidic with a distinct humus layer.
You are probably wondering where the name Swiss Cheese Plant comes from. Legend has it that a monkey hid behind a monstera leaf after spotting a botanist. This botanist saw the monkey with the leaf in front of its face and christened the plant Monkey Leaf.
Like all window leaves, the plant leaves have holes in the leaf surface. Unlike most other window leaf species, however, the holes in the Swiss Cheese Plant are retained by a closed leaf margin. In addition, the leaves are much smaller than other species, with a maximum diameter of 11.8 in.
The Swiss Cheese Plant exhibits a liana-like growth habit. With optimal care, the monstera shows vigorous growth and forms flowers. These white inflorescences are enclosed in a large leaf sheath. But the Monkey Leaf is beautiful even without flowers.
Planting and repotting Swiss Cheese Plant
A suitable location for a Swiss Cheese Plant is warm year-round, between 64 and 84 °F, and as bright as possible. However, it does not tolerate direct sunlight well. The Monstera Adansonii can also survive in a darker corner of the room, but growth is significantly inhibited here.
Before you plant your monstera, you should consider what kind of growth you want. As a vine, it requires climbing support for upright growth. Without this support, the Swiss Cheese Plant does very well as a hanging planting, such as in a hanging basket.
The Monstera Adansonii feels very comfortable in a loose planting substrate enriched with expanded clay, for example. We recommend that you use compost-based soil without peat for a good supply of nutrients and to protect the environment.
When the first roots protrude from drainage holes, growth is inhibited or water absorption of the substrate is hindered, we advise you to remove the root ball from the planter.
If you can see a very dense network of white roots, you should repot your monstera. This is usually necessary every three years. We recommend that you plant the window leaf in a pot that is about 2 inches larger in diameter.
The optimal time for repotting is spring. As for the substrate, we recommend compost-based soil, for new planting. Add a 1-inch layer of expanded clay to the bottom of the planter to provide a good drainage layer.
After repotting, simply water vigorously and place in the previous location to avoid further stress. No fertilizer should be given for the next two months.
Care of the Swiss Cheese Plant
The Swiss Cheese Plant is a low-maintenance houseplant. For lush growth, and adapted watering is very important. The Monstera does not tolerate waterlogging or drought.
Therefore we advise waiting between watering until the planting substrate has dried superficially. Up to 80% of the root ball may be dry before you water thoroughly until water emerges from the drainage holes.
You can also place your Monstera outside in the summer. Here you should only note that the Monstera Adansonii does not tolerate direct sun and temperatures below 50 °F.
If the Swiss Cheese Plant feels comfortable at its location, quite vigorous growth can be observed. Accordingly, its nutrient requirements are then also high. Therefore, special fertilizer for houseplants should be used, with which you can provide a continuous supply of nutrients according to need.
With this fertilizer, you are not only doing something good for your plant, but also for the environment, as our organic indoor plant fertilizer is produced in a resource-saving and climate-friendly way.
The Swiss Cheese Plant should be fertilized once a week according to the dosage instructions. In winter, monthly fertilization is sufficient. If you are bothered by one or two shots of Monstera Adansonii, you can easily remove or cut them back. Regular pruning is not necessary, but it can lead to a denser growth.
Also, you can use the cut shoots to propagate the monstera. You should not cut off the aerial roots. If they have reached the ground and are disturbing, you can bury the aerial roots in the planter. Especially in winter, dry air can cause brown tips on the leaves. If you spray the Monstera Adansonii with water at least once a week, you can prevent this.
Also, to increase the humidity, you can put some stones in a saucer and fill it with water so that the pot does not come in contact with the water. You can then simply refill it regularly.
Propagate Swiss Cheese Plant
The Monstera Adansonii can be propagated very well by cuttings. The window leaf can form roots at the leaf nodes. You can take advantage of this by cutting offshoots about 15 to 20 inches long that contain at least one leaf node.
You can stick the freshly cut cuttings into moistened soil. Suitable here is a mixture of a little sand and a sowing soil that promotes root growth. Here, the entire shoot including the leaf node should be covered with soil. Only the leaf should protrude from the soil.
Alternatively, you can also place the cuttings in a glass with some water. You should change the water twice a week. If you see above-ground growth, it is best to wait another three weeks and then plant the cuttings in universal soil.
Propagating plants yourself is not only fun but also provides a very nice opportunity to trade with friends. How to grow houseplants from cuttings, we tell you in our special article.