As a mom of three, you’d think I’d have learned by now that favoritism in wrong. But no, it’s surfaced in my life.
My Swiss cheese vine, Monstera adansonii (friedrichstehlii) is an exotic beauty. A rare find and the apple of my eye.
The Swiss cheese plant is in stiff competition with my Chinese money plants whom I also dearly love. Somebody help me.
Cascading in a hanging pot, my Monstera adansonii (friedrichsthelii) is always in view. And it’s there to stay reigning supreme between the kitchen and den.
As to anyone who comes over and fails to admire said plant….my stern eye is dire. How dare they?
An amazing plant that puts you in the tropics without leaving home. Or pay the exorbitant price for a plane ticket.
Here’s why you simply must get a Monstera adansonii (friedrichstehlii) and how to best care for this plant.
The holes. Aren’t they spectacular? Each mature leaf displays multiple oval holes.
The theory is as follows: the holes resembling Swiss cheese allow sun and water through to the lower leaves in tropical environments and help the leaves stand up to the forceful wind.
I put my first Swiss cheese plant in a hanging planter so it can climb up or trail down. If you want yours to climb, it’s never a bad idea to stake it. Whatever the plant prefers!
Perhaps the most special feature of the Swiss cheese plant is this: truly, no two plants look the same.
Some plants boast leaves that magnificently mimic Swiss cheese with numerous holes while other plants have leaves with fewer holes.
They even vary in color. Some plants sport darker foliage while others as shown above have lighter stems and leaves.
But all are exotic and alluring in their unique way!
Fun Monstera fact!
Top 5 ways not to kill this plant
Much better is all day bright, but indirect light. Fluorescent light is fine, too.
2.) Allow the Swiss cheese plant to dry out between waterings. Swiss cheese plants that are overwatered tend to rot and die.
The Swiss cheese plant never wants to sit or stand in any water. So no collection tray underneath. And if you plant in a pot without drainage holes, you’d better be extra careful not to overwater.
My Swiss cheese plants have gone weeks without watering suffering no ill side effects. They don’t even get droopy or wilt.
When in doubt, don’t water. Poke your finger in the soil, if you feel any moisture, wait a few more days to water.
3.) Re-pot every other year in nutrient dense soil containing peat or perlite to increase drainage.
Failure to keep this plants in nutritious soil could be detrimental to these plants.
I highly suggest using a cactus or succulent potting mix. Add your own perlite to the formula for fantastic results.
My house lacks a conservatory (bummer) but I do have a kitchen with lots of bright, but indirect light.
The kitchen also boasts a fair bit of humidity for this plant. But maybe you have a well- lit bathroom where there’s lots of humidity? Your Swiss cheese plant will likely be happy there.
5.) Don’t fuss. In my experience, the more you fuss over plants, the more they die. Give them tons of light, and don’t trouble yourself by overwatering. Rots those roots every time!
If you really want to spoil your Monstera adansonii, consider buying it a humidifier. Not only will it keep the air moist near the plant, but the extra humidity in your home will do you a ton of good.
Keep this houseplant in a dwelling 60 degrees Fahrenheit or above if possible. Misting is a big, bonus spin!
Propagation of the Monstera adansonii (friedrichsthalii)
Since I’ve had more success rooting in water over soil, that’s my preference.
One stark advantage to rooting in soil, however, is that that new roots don’t need to adjust. They are already acclimated to soil and all the wonderful microbiology within.
Not so with plants rooted in water. They’ll go through an adjustment phrase when you re-plant from the water to the soil.
Even if you are successful with getting lots of roots via water propagation, when you go to re-plant, they may still rot in the new soil. It happens!
The first step to propagating a Monstera adansonii (friedrichsthalii) is to find a node. They are the nubs and ridges on the stem and typically have a few aerial roots protruding out from them.
Although you only “need” one node to root, it’s better to have two or three nodes when attempting propagation. In my experience, one or two of them never grow roots, sometimes rotting altogether.
But when you have 2-3 nodes underwater, usually at least one will sprout some healthy new roots.
You do this so that when the mother plant starts regrowing there’s not going to be a dry stick poking out from the old node when the plants starts putting out new growth.
Cut as close to the mother plant as you can to avoid having this useless and unattractive stem protruding out.
Submerge the node/nodes underwater. Hopefully, your cutting has 2-3 leaves on top as well.
In about a week, two at the most, you should see beautiful roots forming in your clear vase. If not, what do you see?
Has rotting occurred? If so, make a tiny 45 degree cut below the node and stick it back in water. This provides a new surface area to expose to the water to potentially sprout roots. Use fresh water every time.
One last tip is to change your water every few days. It’s not absolutely essential, but I’ve had more success when I’ve changed the water than not.
If your cuttings are still rotting after a week or two with no roots forming, change the type of water that you are using.
Try pure, filtered water for your cuttings. Maybe the cuttings don’t like your tap water and that’s why they are rotting instead of producing new roots.
I’m sorry to say that hasn’t been my experience. I literally do jumping jacks when I notice a new leaf. It’s not that my plant doesn’t look healthy, in fact, it always has looked fantastic.
It just doesn’t grow particularly quick. That could be because I can’t offer the plant idyllic conditions with high humidity and such.
So you can buy a plant off Etsy in the $10-$12 range but you get what you pay for. A tiny plant that won’t come into its own for many years to come.
It will be five years at least before you have anything close resembling the plants you see in the stock photos on the web. I’m not that patient.
Garden Goods Direct sent me a plant that I won’t have to wait until I retire to enjoy. With thirteen leaves already, it’s big enough to take a cutting from if I choose to.
I won’t by the way. I’m just savoring the plant “as is” in all it’s size and glamour.