Swiss Cheese plant; what a unique name for a houseplant. It was a trendy plant for the house during the 1980s and is now making a comeback.
When you look at it, it sort of resembles a piece of Swiss cheese with the shape of the leaves that has holes in it. It is an easy plant to grow and will create a nice focal point no matter where you place the planter.
Swiss Cheese Care & Growing Guide
1. Light Requirement
The Swiss Cheese Plant survives best in bright, indirect light and partial shade. The best way to utilize the bright, indirect light is to let it shine down through the leaves. This sort of mimics their natural habitat.
When you water your Swiss Cheese Plant, make sure that you allow the soil to dry between the times you water them. Water them moderately until it runs out of the pot’s bottom drainage holes. Give the soil a few moments to absorb the water and then you can discard all the excess water.
Always check the soil before watering. The top layer should be dry to the touch but you should put your finger in the soil to see if it is dry farther down. You will not need to water it if you can feel moisture with your finger.
The climate should be warm and slightly humid.
You should use a peat-based potting soil mixed with sand or perlite and drains well.
The ideal temperature is 65-80 degrees Fahrenheit. If the temperature is lower than 65 degrees Fahrenheit, it will still be in good health but it will grow at a slower pace. Do not put your planter in an area where it would have cold drafts. Also, make sure that they are placed free of heating systems or air conditioning units.
The Swiss Cheese Plant thrives in mid to high humidity. It is used to a good level of moisture in the air from where it is grown. If the air in your home is dry, you may need to run an electric humidifier. You can also create humidity using a misting spray on the foliage,
You should repot your Swiss Cheese Plant about every three years but it all depends on its growth. When you repot it, carefully lift it out of the current pot and put it in one another size bigger. You will need to work the old soil out the roots to help them spread and continue to grow.
7. Speed of Growth
When growing a new plant from a stem cutting, it can take two to three weeks for the roots to start growing.
8. Height and Spread
The Swiss Cheese Plant can grow to several feet tall but to make sure that it keeps its height, you need to make sure it is supported.
The Swiss Cheese Plant usually does not flower when you plant it in a planter but naturally, the flowers have a spadix in the center with a whitish colored spathe.
In the right conditions, this plant can grow rapidly. It reaches maturity around three years so to keep it under of control you will need to trim it. It can be done at any time of the year when it gets too full or too large. Do not discard the pruned stems as you can use them to grow more plants. To use them to grow more plants, cut the stems just after a leaf node.
Is Swiss Cheese Plant Poisonous?
Yes, they are mildly toxic to humans and pets. If it is eaten, it could cause mouth and stomach irritation leading to vomiting.
Can Swiss Cheese Plant grow in Water?
When you want to grow new plants, you can start them in water. Just put your stem cutting in a jar or glass that is filled halfway with water. You will need to change the water each day to prevent mold or rot. Put it in a warm environment without any direct light.
How to get Swiss Cheese Plant to Flower?
As mentioned, this is a plant that does not usually have flowers when planted in a planter.
Common Swiss Cheese Plant Diseases
Swiss Cheese Plant is prone to a variety of diseases, including:
- Root rot—this happens when you let the Swiss Cheese Plant sit in water or you have overwatered it. Avoid either of these will help to prevent this disease.
- Spider mites, thrips, mealybugs—to get rid of these, you can manually remove them. To keep them at bay, use dormant or neem oil. For a serious infestation, you can use a houseplant systemic insecticide. You can also take them outside and lightly spray them off with a hose or rinse them in a shower.
- Brown spots—this can be due to over or under watering or a nutrient deficiency. You will have to figure out which it is. It can also be a fungus, which in this case you remove the entire leaf.
- The slits and holes generally do not appear on the plant until it is a bit older. The younger plants start with heart-shaped leaves.
- It is thought that this unusual design helped to protect it from heavy wind damage and downpours in the South American rainforest where it originally is grown.
- It is better for it to have a lack of water than too much water.
- If it develops root rot, many times it cannot recover from this disease.
- The Swiss Cheese Plant will benefit from early spring to late summer, monthly fertilizer treatments. A balanced fertilizer with a higher proportion of nitrogen is recommended.
- In their natural habitat, they climb up the trees. Keep them standing straight in a pot you can use a moss stick. If you do not support it, the stems will start to bend under the weight of their heavy leaves.
- When you get a few roots to grow, you can plant them in a small pot of soil.
- You will need to take a damp cloth and wipe the leaves gently to get rid of the dust because the dust can clog the leaves and slightly suffocate them.
- The best pot in which to grow a Swiss Cheese Plant would be a terra cotta planter.