Complete guide to Swiss cheese plant care
If you're looking for a spectacular plant that can survive without much effort, a Swiss cheese plant is ideal for both beginner and experienced plant parents.
If you want an impressive but low-maintenance houseplant that also makes waves on Instagram, Swiss cheese plants are perfect. Here's a quick checklist for keeping your Swiss cheese plant looking fabulous:
- Bright, indirect light is ideal, but avoid direct sunlight
- Water when the top the soil is almost completely dry
- Aim for temperatures between 15 and 30°C
- Mist leaves occasionally and keep them free of dust
- Use a moss pole for physical (and emotional) support
About Swiss cheese plants
Swiss cheese plants are gorgeous vines named for the distinctive holes on their broad, green leaves. They’re native to the shadowy jungle floors of South America, where the openings in their leaves allow light to filter down to their lower shoots. They’re also known as custard plants, indian ivy, or fruit salad plants.
With these relatively fast growers, you could end up with leaves that grow up to three feet wide. In the wild, some plants can routinely tower up to 20 metres high. They’re definitely deserving of their Latin name; 'monstera deliciosa', or 'delicious monster'.
Swiss cheese plants come in several eclectic varieties. Chaz's lush leaves boast the classic cheese plant charm, while Wallace the monstera adansonii is smaller but equally dashing. Ziggy the variegated monstera is a rare beauty thanks to the bold, pale splashes on his variegated leaves.
Are Swiss cheese plants easy to care for?
Swiss cheese plants are pretty hardy and easy to care for. Chaz and his siblings like things a little on the dry side, so aren't super fussy about watering. Their glossy leaves and calm vibes make them the ideal feature plant for any room.
Despite their laidback appearance, Swiss cheese plants can be mildly toxic to curious cats, nosy dogs, and tiny humans. Keep them away from inquisitive hands and mouths to be on the safe side.
How often should I water my Swiss cheese plant?
Swiss cheese plants are happiest when allowed to dry out a bit. When Chaz does need a drink, let him sip some water until the excess dribbles out.
Make sure his nursery pot has plenty of drainage holes in the bottom. He won't thank you if he ends up with soggy, rotting roots.
How much light does my Swiss cheese plant need?
Being used to the dim jungle floor, Swiss cheese plants can thrive in a range of light conditions. Chaz's ideal spot is somewhere with plenty of medium light, but avoid direct sunlight as it could burn his leaves.
If it's too dark, the distinctive cut-outs on his leaves won’t develop. Aurora likes to sunbathe a bit more, but she still doesn't like direct sunlight.
What's the best temperature for my Swiss cheese plant?
As they usually live in tropical regions, Chaz and friends prefer moderate to high temperatures. Anywhere between 15 and 30°C is fine. Swiss cheese plants aren't fans of dry air or cold breezes, so avoid areas near draughty windows or radiators. They do, however, love humidity. Mist their leaves every few days to keep them perky.
Should I repot my Swiss cheese plant?
If you keep them happy, these vines can grow quite quickly. They'll also grow little white roots from their stems that help them grip trees. You can lop these off without harming them. You'll need a sturdy pot to keep up with growth spurts.
When his roots start to jut out from the nursery pot, Chaz needs a bigger home. Repot him in the spring with multi-purpose compost. Check out our repotting guide for some useful tips.
Does my Swiss cheese plant need any extra love?
Swiss cheese plants are happiest with some easy regular maintenance. Keep their leaves free of dust using a clean, damp cloth occasionally. If they start to spread so much that they droop, use a moss pole to keep them sober.
You can give them a growing boost in the spring and summer with some liquid fertiliser. Apply this once a month to get some seriously sprawling shoots.
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