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Plant-o-Pedia: Swiss Cheese Vine


Monsteras have certainly had a moment over the last few years- and deservedly so, a plant that makes a graphic statement all on its own is hard to resist! It’s vine-ier cousin, the Monstera adansonii, or Swiss Cheese Vine, however has really grabbed our attention now. More delicate than the larger ‘Split Leaf’ Monstera, the Swiss Cheese Vine doesn’t need quite as much light, and can be trained to climb pretty much anywhere- perfect if you’re short on floor space, but want a little plant drama in a room. Its leaves are a bit tender, and it is a bit particular about water, so we wouldn’t call it an easy-care plant, but once you get the hang of keeping it happy, the pay off in showy vines is worth the effort.


GET THE GREEN: Swiss Cheese Vine (Monstera adansonii, sometimes mistaken for the rarer Monstera obliqua)

WATER: Water regularly, keeping the soil moist, but not soggy. Depending on how much light it receives, temperatures, size, etc, once a week is usually a good rhythm. Yellowing leaves may indicate overwatering, or poor drainage- a pot with a drainage hole is best. Pay extra attention to humidity in the winter if you have heat running regularly- a humidifier will help.

SUNLIGHT: Bright to medium indirect light. Avoid direct sun.

PLACEMENT: This plant is a great ‘spiller’ and looks best in a hanging planter or on a shelf where there’s room for the vines to wander. If vines get too straggly looking, regular trimming will help encourage new growth. Leaves will grow to be larger if the plant is trained to climb a moss pole- the way it would grow in the wild!

EXTRA CREDIT: Swiss Cheese Vine can be fairly easy to propagate by taking a cutting that includes at least 2 leaf nodes (little dark knobby looking thing on the vines), and allowing to root in either water, or just sticking directly into potting soil.  If you have trouble finding this plant, try joining a plant group either locally or online- most members are happy to trade cuttings and it’s an easy way to try out new-to-you plants, and share your favorites too!

WORD OF CAUTION: According to the ASPCA Monsteras are toxic to most animals if consumed. Use caution or consult your vet whenever bringing new plants into a home with pets.

Have a houseplant you’d like to learn more about? Leave a comment and you might see it in a future Plant-o-Pedia post!

Photography: Danae Horst for The Jungalow

Alternative Text Danae Horst

Total Plant Geek. Check out my botanical shop and design firm, Folia Collective.

67 responses to “Plant-o-Pedia: Swiss Cheese Vine”

  1. Zoe says:

    Danae, do you have any recommendations on a plant group in Seattle? I have this vague sense that maybe you are from Seattle originally! I’ve been looking for one of these for a long time!

    • Danae Horst says:

      Hi Zoe! I did live in Seattle for 10 years, before coming to LA- good sense! You know, I didn’t have one when I lived there, but try looking on FB- a lot of the plant clubs use FB for their home bases. Also- attending plant sales can be a great way to network with other ‘citizen botanists’. The Volunteer Park Conservatory holds a few a year, as does UW, and I think the Arboretum. Hope that helps!

    • Evelyn Robinson says:

      Hello! I came across this post while searching for the best care on my new little monsters obliqua! I had a friend pick one up while in Portland! But I just recently have seen them pop up randomly at the Plant shop in central district and he one down town Capitol Hill! Good luck!

    • Kayla says:

      Hello. If you are on FB there are great and knowledgeable plant groups. Very goid people. From all over the world. You get to see amazing gardens from all countries.

    • Deb says:

      Want to join a plant group in New Jersey

  2. Suma says:

    So glad to read this post with helpful tips. I have been looking for this plant for a long time (in Houston), but have not found any luck yet!

    • Danae Horst says:

      If you can’t find one locally, you can also often find plant starts for sale on Ebay or Etsy- having a plant mailed to you might sound weird, but it’s a great way to get your hands on species not common to your area! :)

    • Amy says:

      Just scored a nice full basket of this at JRN Nursery for $7.50.

    • Anonymous says:

      I’m in spring & I can’t find them either. I looked on amazon eBay & etsy & they were $50-$60. I just ordered one from nsetropicals.com for $29. + $8. For S&H. Good luck w getting one!

    • Emma Agosto says:

      Just got mine yesterday on the mail. Bought it from Walmart.com. is pretty big and beautiful

    • Anonymous says:

      I’ve had my plant for four years and I love it! I moved my plant from Iowa to Lubbock 2 yrs ago and my plant is growing like a weed. I’ve even cut 8 runners off and rooted them, now I have two planters with this gorgeous beast :)

      • Lauren M. says:

        I live in Spring, TX (outside of Houston) as well, and purchased the Monstera Swiss Cheese Vine online from a site called Pistils Nursery (great site). It arrived beautiful and ready to continue growing. It was $28 total, $20 + $8 S+H….. Hope this helps! :)

  3. Emily says:

    I love this segment. Always a must read and it makes me want to run out and buy new plants! Future suggestion: pitcher plant

    • Danae Horst says:

      Ooh- good one, Emily! My husband and I have recently jumped into carnivorous plants with a Venus Fly Trap, but haven’t gotten a pitcher plant yet. Maybe we’ll have to invite a ‘guest’ with Pitcher Plant tips!

  4. Kristy says:

    Yay, I was just looking at my one with only two very long vines and thinking about wether I could trim and replant to make it look fuller. Thanks so much

    • Danae Horst says:

      Trimming can feel scary, but it really is a great way to fill a plant out! I have once that’s gotten WAY too long and am about to give it a big haircut this weekend! :)

      • Anonymous says:

        Do not hold back on trimming! I’ve had mybplant for four years and everytime I trim a runner, I root it and plant it.

  5. Stephanie Newton says:

    Finally someone tells me how to trim my plant! Ive been looking all over the web on whether i could trim it or not and found no response! Thank you so much….now for a much needed trim to my baby! ?

    • Hannah says:

      Would you share your cuttings with me?

    • Danae Horst says:

      Glad it was helpful! If pruning aroids is new for you, just be careful not to cut off aerial roots, and always prune below leaf nodes, not right at them. If you want to propagate your cuttings, new growth tip cuttings often root more quickly, just ensure there are a few nodes still intact. :)

  6. Brittany T. goddess says:

    Love this! I’d like to know more about Echeverias and how to keep a Hyacinth alive!

  7. […] on a plant mission. That is I’m on a mission to put plants in our house that (a.) we aren’t […]

  8. M says:

    a post on jungalow favorite, pet safe plants would be great!!

    Great blog – I really like the plant o pedia posts.

  9. […] Sources:1/2/3/4/5/6/7/8/9/10 […]

  10. Liz says:

    Love this series! This plant is so beautiful and unique. I’d love to see a feature on bromeliads. I keep picking them up at Costco, but I’m having trouble keeping them alive. Any tips would be greatly appreciated!

  11. Blasome says:

    I glad you posted information on the Swiss Cheese. I recently got one myself she’s pretty big I repotted her when I got her 4 weeks ago. She is turning yellow I though she need water so I have her some but some how she is still turning yellow. I have her in the window to get Morning Sun. I wondering if they drink a lot of water because it’s like once a week she needs watering. Do you think I’m over watering. Thank You in advance for responding back

    • Danae Horst says:

      Sorry to have missed your comment originally, Blasome! Yellow leaves generally indicate either too much water, or not enough light. Some of the lower leaves of this Monstera may turn yellow since they’re kind of crowded out from the larger, upper leaves and don’t get enough sun, but if a lot of the leaves turn yellow, make sure it’s getting enough bright, indirect light and that the soil isn’t soggy- it should be moist, but not squishy. Also ensure the plant isn’t sitting in standing water (like in a pot without drainage or in a saucer or cache pot that has water sitting in it. Hope that helps!

  12. Julia says:

    How often do you feed it during growing season? Also, love love the hanger. Where did you get it?

    • Danae Horst says:

      Sorry for the delayed response to your comment, Julia! Frequency of feeding will depend on what type of fertilizer you’re using- follow the instructions on the package- different kinds of plant food are formulated to be applied in different strengths and frequencies. The hanger is vintage, but Justina just came out with a new plant hanger that has a similar vibe- available in the online store!

  13. Erika says:

    You have 2 other plants in your picture. What are they?

    • Danae Horst says:

      Hi Erika! Sorry I missed your comment initially! The one on the hutch is an Aglaonema ‘Silver Bay’ and the one with the pink leaves is an Aglaonema ‘Lady Valentine’.

  14. Mary Donnelly says:

    Erika, The plants in the background are aglaonemas.

  15. Adriana says:


    Where did you get that terracotta pot with the face on it in the green shelving unit next to the gold hand?


    • Danae Horst says:

      Hi Adriana! That planter was a find on Etsy, made by Ruth Easterbrook, who unfortunately has taken a hiatus from selling ceramics while she gets her Masters degree! Sorry. :(

      • Liz O says:

        I went to Syracuse undergrad with Ruth Easterbrook!! What a small world!! I LOVE the hanging wooden holder for the Swiss cheese plant. Where did you get it? I was going to try to make one but not sure I can get those gorgeous bends in the wood without splitting the wood. Love your blog!!

        • Mary says:

          I second the question about the wooden plant hanger, it’s gorgeous!

          • Danae Horst says:

            Hi Mary! The wooden plant hanger is vintage- try checking eBay or Etsy for ‘vintage wood plant hanger’. Justina also has one in a similar style that she designed for MFEO that’s available at West Elm. Hope that helps!

        • Danae Horst says:

          Hi Liz! The wooden plant hanger is vintage- try checking eBay or Etsy for ‘vintage wood plant hanger’. Justina also has one in a similar style that she designed for Selamat that looks like it’s out of stock right now, and another one she designed for MFEO that’s available at West Elm. Hope that helps!

  16. Bee says:

    Glad to find this post. Over the past month or so, the leaves closer to the base have begun to yellow and get crispy brown on the edges, the veins are still deep green. I thought it may be over-watering (the pot has good drainage, I don’t water enough that it drips out the bottom), I’ve been watering them once a week, but the soil gets really dry. Healthy new leaves are growing, I’m not sure what it could be. I’m moving the vines further from the window in case it’s getting too much direct light. Any suggestions?

    • Andrea says:

      Mine it’s doing the same I wish I knew…

    • Price says:

      Hey, did you ever find a solution to this? Mine’s doing exactly what yours was.

    • Danae Horst says:

      Hi Bee! I apologize for missing your comment initially. Brown edges on the leaves can indicate a few issues: inconsistent watering, where the plant gets a lot of water at once and then maybe goes too long in between (best watering practice is to water until the soil is evenly saturated all the way through, then wait until the top 1/8 of the soil feels dry to the touch to water again); lack of humidity (adansonii tend to need a little extra humidity, so if you can run a humidifier near it, place it on a humidity tray, or keep it in a humid room like a bathroom, that usually helps); or sun burn from either too much direct sun, or contact with a window that’s been heated by the sun (sounds like you’ve already tried moving it, so that might have solved it?). I hope this helps!

  17. Sarah says:

    Hi :) do you have any recommendations for which type of soil is best for a monstera?

    • Danae Horst says:

      Hi Sarah! For this Monstera, a well draining, but slightly absorbent soil is best- where moisture is retained, which helps add humidity, but the roots can breathe. At our plant shop, we love a soil called ‘Good Dirt’ that’s formulated for indoor plants- it has a sustainable peat bog byproduct that holds on to moisture, but allows the plants roots to breathe. It’s available in our online store, but any chunky peat or coco coir heavy potting mix will work well. Hope that helps!

  18. RebeccaJay says:

    Hi Sarah, I read in an article about a month ago that Adansonii Swiss Cheese does well in ‘Orchid’ like planting medium, because it stays moist but not wet. I water mine about every 7-10 days. The humidity from my humidifier keeps my East facing sunroom at around 55- 62% It gets medium to bright indirect morning sun and artificial light the rest of the day for 12hrs. I used to mist her of a morning, but noticed her leaves here and there turning yellowing. I stopped misting her because of the humidity levels in the room and it’s doing awesome! Its huge. I live in West Texas, 30 mins northeast of Lubbock on the Panhandle. Hope that helps.

  19. With the Monstera deliciosa, nature displays a wonderful example, which is all the more generally known as “Swiss Cheese Plant”. Its striking leaf structures and the white to sensitive yellow blooms spread a tropical energy. It is said to be fairly simple care.

  20. Christine says:

    Hi! I was wondering where you purchase the wooden hanger for your plant? Absolutely love it!!

    • Danae Horst says:

      The wooden plant hanger is vintage- try checking eBay or Etsy for ‘vintage wood plant hanger’. Justina also has one in a similar style that she designed for MFEO that’s available at West Elm. Hope that helps!

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  22. beautiful bonsai. I like to plant a tree like that

  23. Sophie says:

    I bought this plant a little while back and it has grown out of control! The vines have grown upwards (an out wide) rather than down so I was looking for some more information on the type of plant as I never knew what it was. I’m going to pop it in a hanging basket and see how it fares there. Thanks for the info!

  24. Mia says:

    What are your thoughts on putting these in water beads, or has anyone tried it?

    • Danae Horst says:

      I’ve never tried that myself, but I have seen a few people growing them that way, or even just in water- it shouldn’t hurt to try it! You may find the plant will eventually want something to climb, which may mean you need to alter the growing medium, but it could be a fun experiment. :)

  25. color switch says:

    I have an article for you must read it here to set

  26. Thea says:

    Hi! So I got my Monstera vine in June and since then, all the leaves that grow have gotten small? One vine has gone from a leaf about the length of my hand with many holes, to now a leaf the size of my finger with 2 or 3 holes. Is it not getting enough light? I could use some help…

    • Danae Horst says:

      Hi Thea! It does sound like your plant needs either more light, or something to climb on. Small leaves are pretty typical for a plant that’s getting enough light to survive, but not enough to really thrive. With plants that climb in nature, smaller leaves can also be a result of not having anything to climb, so you could try giving it a moss pole or wood totem, gently affix some of the vines to that, it will learn to climb, and with enough light and good care, eventually you should see larger leaves. Hope that helps!

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