Swiss Cheese plant care or Monstera plant care doesn’t have to be complicated. The plant is one of the popular house plants that doesn’t disappoint. The most common variety is Monstera Deliciosa. This post is a guide on the care for all types of Monstera plants.
Best Pots for Monstera Plants
Growing Monstera plants successfully begins with the kind of pots you choose. One of the most common pots to use is terra cotta. I like to use terra cotta for a lot of plants and especially for Monstera, philodendrons and other plants that like to dry out between watering sessions.
I recommend terra cotta so that you don’t have watering problems. You can also use ceramic pots. However, it needs to have a pretty decent-sized drainage hole at the bottom. You don’t want water sitting at the bottom of the pot. As extra caution when using ceramic pots, I do recommend putting a layer of gravel or broken terracotta to elevate the roots from the potential of sitting in water. In case the drainage hole gets blocked for whatever reason, the plant’s roots will have an extra layer of protection.
Plastic nursery pots are also an option. The pots are a great option because they have lots of drainage holes and the possibility of them getting clogged is next to zero. Always bump the plant up into a bigger sized pot like a one or two-inch size bigger. Plastic pots are also good for large plants because when using ceramic pots they can get heavy making it a challenge to lift and move them around.
Nursery pots are not the most appealing in terms of looks, but you can always put them inside a basket or another bigger pot.
Transplanting Monstera Plants “Swiss Cheese Plants”
In general, you want to transplant the Monstera when the roots start coming out of the
top of the pot or the bottom of the pot. Sometimes I like to wait a little bit longer, it’s necessary to do it right away. If you don’t do it immediately, you stunt the growth of the plant and which can be a good thing if you’re limited in space. However, if you want your plant to get bigger bump it up to a pot that is one or two inches bigger in diameter.
Use a potting soil that’s made up of 60% coco coir or peat moss, 20% perlite, pumice, or coarse sand, and 20% organic matter such as worm castings. If you don’t want to make your old soil mix, you can always use store-bought options. If you decide to use store soils, its advisable to make sure it’s free of water retentive gels.
The best time to transplant The Swiss Cheese Plant is late winter, early spring. This gives your plant a chance to re-establish its roots. It also gives it a whole growing season to grow new foliage and fill out the pot. It just makes for a healthier happier plant. Check out this post on the other 30 low maintenance houseplants.
Fertilizing Monstera Plants
The temptation to fertilize the Monstera is real after you have transplanted the plant. However, hold off if you used some of the compost matter as recommended above. You don’t necessarily have to fertilize right away. If you use a store-potting soil, the same argument still holds because most of the soils have some sort of fertilizer in them.
Wait about three to six months before you potentially fertilize again. If you made your own mixture, you can use a complete liquid fertilizer (equal parts nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium) or you can use a fish fertilizer. I also like to put in some chelated iron in it because it helps green up the plant.
If your plant is in becoming too big and the pot is too heavy, and you don’t want it becoming excessively big, you can just top-dress it. Put some organic compost or worm castings around the base of the plant and try to keep it away from the stems. Till it in a little bit into the soil and just water it in and that should be enough.
You can use a liquid fertilizer throughout the growing season because the organic compost will release to the roots slowly. You can use a foliar spray or a liquid complete fertilizer as well.
Do you cut off Aerial Roots of Monstera Plants?
Monstera plants “Swiss Cheese Plants” produce these crazy aerial roots that are growing from the sides of the plant. I call them crazy because they grow through it up and down and everywhere. Some people like them and some people don’t.
If you don’t like them just cut them off. Cutting them will not affect the growth of the plant. The way you deal with the aerial roots is totally preferential. Some people cut them, others allow them to wind around, and others tuck them back into the pot.
The Swiss Cheese Plant produces aerial roots as a way of attaching. The plant uses them to attach and grow up other trees.
If you decide to keep them and not cut them off, ensure they are healthy. They love humidity, so you should spray them to avoid them from getting dry. If they’re getting thin it’s an indication that they are probably not getting enough light.
Temperature Requirements of Monstera Plant
The Swiss Cheese Plant doesn’t like to go below 50 degrees Fahrenheit because it’s just not going to grow. During winter, try and keep the plant above 50 degrees Fahrenheit. The optimal range during the growing season is between 65 and 85 and they will grow and start pushing out new growth.
The Monstera plant also loves humidity. If you don’t have good humidity in your home you can consider investing in a humidifier. The advantage is that the humidifier gives consistent humidity to your indoor air. That said, some people still find success using humidity trays.
Staking Monstera Plants “Swiss Cheese Plants”
Many people do wonder whether they have to stake their monstera plants? The simple answer is NO. However, you’re probably going to want to because they get really top-heavy. They start falling over as they grow.
I find the best stakes are cedar poles because cedar is not going rot in the soil. You can also use
a moss pole. The Moss pole should be very sturdy. You can DIY your moss pole and strengthen it by putting an iron plumbing pipe inside it and surround it with something like coco coir or sphagnum moss and putting a stocking over it.
You can also buy a moss pole. However, I have noted that the store-bought ones aren’t that sturdy. Cedar stakes are great you can just tie it up to the pole stake and you’re done.
Propagating Monstera Plants Using Soil and Water
The Swiss Cheese Plant can be propagated successfully using both water and soil. Although I have used both ways to propagate the Monstera plant, I prefer the soil method. The results using the soil method is faster.
Monstera Plant Water Propagation
Find a vine with an aerial root or node. Using a clean, sharp knife or pruning scissors make a cut about1 inch just below the node. The node is where the roots will emerge.
Put the cutting in a jar of clean, water. The most important thing is to make sure that the aerial root and node are submerged in the water. Top up the water in case it evaporates; you don’t want the node to ever be above the water level. Change the water as often as needed, when you notice it get dirty or colored, once a week is sufficient.
Position your assembly in an area that gets bright indirect light. The roots appear between 5-14 days, it depends on different factors such as the amount of light the plant is receiving. Wait for the roots to be about 2-4 inches before potting the plant.
Monstera Plant Soil Propagation
The process for soil propagation begins with the same steps as the water propagation. Get a cutting that has an aerial root and cut about an inch below the node.
The soil for propagation is the same soil used for transplanting. Wet the soil and create a hole in it and establish the cutting. Then you just wait. Unlike water propagation, in soil propagation, you cannot see the roots forming. You just have to imagine they are there and resist the urge to pull the plant up and check.
Keep the soil moist and not wet or too dry. If the leaves are getting droopy, it’s an indication that the soil is too dry.
Monstera Plant Lighting Needs
Monstera Plant care also involves providing the plant with sufficient light. In general, the high the amount of light the plants get, the healthier they will be. Also, the faster they’ll grow and they will probably start developing fenestrations sooner. Between low light on the higher spectrum to bright indirect light is where a Monstera plant wants to be. Avoid direct sunlight.
If you see the plant develop small leaves and thin aerial roots, its an indication that it’s not getting enough light. Moving it to a bring spot will allow the plant to resume normal healthy growth.
“Swiss Cheese Plant” Monstera Plant Pests
What are the most common pests found on Monstera? I would say thrips, mealy bugs, and spider mites.
If you notice any of the pests, you can get rid of them easily. First, you can manually remove them. The pests can be noticed when you are cleaning the plant’s leaves. This is the best time to deal with them before a full-blown infestation occurs.
I use neem oil or dormant oil for controlling the spread of the pests. The two types of oil are effective.
If you have a big pest problem that means you haven’t been paying attention to your Monstera. If you have a serious infestation and are okay using a houseplant systemic insecticide you might have to go that route.
However, you don’t have to use it because you can always remove the pests manually and then use neem oil. You can wash the whole plant, in the shower or outside using a hose and then use a neem oil spray and spray dormant oil.
The oil suffocates them and the neem oil will kill them. It’s best to watch your plants so that you can notice the pests before they multiply too much.
Brown Spots on Monstera Plants
Sometimes you can notice brown edges or brown spots on Swiss Cheese plant leaves. They can be caused by a few different things.
One of the causes and the most common one is overwatering. This can be noticed especially when you have the new leaves forming and then all of a sudden you see there’s a big black spot on it. It probably means you might have over-watered it during that point in time when the leaf was developing.
The spots also occur when the plant is under-watered. When you have either extreme, it can result in the spots.
The spots could also result from a nutrient deficiency or not enough light. It’s hard to exactly know why the spot occurred. There is no need to freak out though. If the leaf bothers you, you can just cut it off. If the spot is at the edge, you can just trim the leaf.
However, if you notice the brown section continuing to grow and expand in size, it’s probably a fungus. It’s critical to cut the entire leaf off and get rid of it. Dispose it completely out of the house and garden and don’t put it in the compost pile.
Monstera Plant Cats
The Monstera Plant “Swiss Cheese Plant” is toxic to cats. The plant contains insoluble calcium oxalates which are poisonous to cats. Read more on 15 other houseplants that are poisonous for cats.
When exposed to the plant it can result in burning lips and mouth. It can also cause oral swelling, excessive drooling, and vomiting.
Monstera Plant Dogs
The Monstera plant is mildly toxic to dogs. When exposed to it, dogs can experience pain, swelling, and oral irritation. Swelling of the lips, mouth, difficulty swallowing, as well as swollen tongue. Vomiting and excessive drooling can also be reported.
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