Monstera hangplant, also known as the sweet cheese vine or monkey leaf monstera, is a popular vining tropical variety not only for those with limited space but also for those who love adorning their rooms with eye-catching accents. With the proper care, monstera hangplant can bring a touch of natural beauty that thrives all year long.
Common Name(s): Sweet cheese vine, monkey leaf monstera, Swiss cheese hanging plant, Mexican breadfruit, split-leaf philodendron
Scientific Name: Monstera deliciosa
Family: Arums (Araceae)
Country of Origin: Central and Southern America
Natural Habitat: Warm and humid temperate of tropical rainforests
Size: Approximately 11 to 19 inches (30 to 50 centimeters) indoors, 9 feet (300 centimeters) or more outdoors
Toxicity Level: This plant is toxic for both humans and pets
Color(s): Dark green, lime green, bright green
Flower Shape: This plant rarely produces flowers as an indoor houseplant
Basic Plant Requirements
Zones: 10 to12
Light: Bright, indirect
Watering: Keep regular watering with well-draining, moist soil
Soil pH: Slightly acidic to neutral (5.5 to 7.0)
Humidity: High, about 60% to 90%
Temperature: 65 to 80 Fahrenheit (18 to 26 Celsius)
Fertilizing: Once to twice a month during the growing phase
Recommended Propagation Method(s): Stem cutting
Repotting: About once or twice a year
Pruning: As needed
What’s Special About Monstera Hangplant?
Similar to any other aroid, monstera hangplant is favored for its foliage, which provides such a unique and striking view, and its ease to grow. This alluring foliage plant is also known for its air-purifying property which helps improve indoor air quality. Research has found that monstera hangplant, along with its aroid cousins, has a high absorption ability against formaldehyde–which is a harmful carcinogenic for humans.
Foliage and Blooms Appearance
The monstera ‘monkey leaf’ hangplant produces small to medium lush, glossy, oblong-shaped foliage about 5 to 8 inches (12 to 20 centimeters) each or more. This plant is perforated with holes, giving it the nickname vining sweet cheese plant as its resemblance to a block of cheese. When grown indoors, monstera hangplant seldom bloom, but once they do, they produce anthurium-like small to medium-sized flowers, with white, yellow, or greenish-yellow spathe and a yellow spadix.
Size and Growth
The size and growth of monstera hangplant vary depending on its environment. In general, monstera hangplant is a rapid-grower vining that can grow from numerous inches to several feet long if given more space to thrive. If you are concerned about the plant growing too rapidly, you can decrease its size by doing occasional pruning and limiting the amount of light, water, and fertilizer it gets.
Do Monstera Hangplant Have Fragrance?
Although monstera hangplant has a fresh and earthy scent, which is a typical aroma for numerous tropical plants, they don’t have any other significant fragrance. Monstera hangplant is mostly grown for its foliage and not for its scent.
Do Monstera Hangplant the Same as the Regular Monsteras?
The Swiss cheese hanging plant is a variety of the regular monstera or Monstera Deliciosa, they’re similar in appearance but not the same. Regular monsteras produce much larger and more upright foliage that is usually grown as ground plant, while monstera hangplant produce much smaller to medium-sized foliage and are mainly grown as hanging or climbing plants that need support.
How To Avoid the Toxicity of the Swiss Cheese Hanging Plant?
All aroids, including monstera hangplant, contain insoluble calcium oxalate crystals that are toxic for humans and pets if ingested. In the wild, this irritating chemical compound helps the plant to protect itself against herbivores. To avoid toxicity, the first thing you have to do is to always use protective gloves when in contact with the plant. Make sure to spare an extra pair of protective gloves in case of emergency.
Next, wash your hands right after handling the plant to remove any traces of sap–which is the most toxic part of the plant. Keep the monstera hangplant out of reach of children, the elderly, and pets, and get help from the professional medic as soon as possible if accidents occur. Before bringing the plant home, it’s also recommended to educate yourself and your family about the potential risk. Be cautious about getting monstera hangplant if you or your family member(s) have any allergies or sensitivities to plants.
What Can You Do With Monstera Hangplant?
Monstera hangplant is a perfect choice for those who love tropical-themed indoor gardens. They don’t take up so much space, adaptable to be grown in hanging baskets, pots, trellis, or moss poles. The Swiss cheese hanging plant also makes a great gift for any plant lovers or for any significant others who are looking to add some lush greenery to their home or office. If you’re a fan of photography and any other visual arts, monstera hangplant also makes a distinctive appearance that can add more aesthetic value.
Monstera Hangplant Care Guide
As an epiphyte native to tropical rainforests, monstera hangplant prefers bright but indirect light to thrive. They can tolerate direct light, but only in the early morning or afternoon as too much direct light can burn their delicate foliage. The best area to place monstera hangplant is near windows and in any shady areas that receive the most indirect light. However, monstera hangplant can survive in areas with lower light conditions, but it can result in slow, leggy growth, which is not recommended.
The key to watering the monstera ‘monkey leaf’ hangplant is to keep the soil moist and well-drained. Avoid overwatering or underwatering the plant at all costs. Check the first 2 inches (5 centimeters) of the topsoil to know whether to give the plant water or not. If the soil feels dry, then it’s the proper time to give the water they need. Water thoroughly and make sure any excess water drains out well.
Temperature and Humidity
To mimic their natural habitat, monstera hangplant needs a warm environment with high humidity. As stated before, the ideal temperature of this plant is between 65 to 80 Fahrenheit (18 to 26 Celsius). Below the minimum, the plant may go completely dormant, while above the maximum it may be too hot and cause foliage damage. Adjust the humidity level between 60% to 90%. To help increase humidity, you can do regular misting (only at the foliage part), use a humidifier, or simply move the plant to an area with higher humidity.
Monstera hangplant will thank you if you grow them in moist and well-draining soil. Use a high-quality aroid potting mix with an equal addition of peat moss, perlites, and compost to provide additional nutrients and improve the drainage system. Make sure to pick the best plant planters with enough drainage holes. The ideal soil pH for monstera hangplant is 5.5 to 7.0 (slightly acidic to neutral).
Monstera hangplant benefits from fertilizing to promote new, healthy, and bushy growth. The best time to feed them fertilizer is during the growing season, which falls during spring and summer. Avoid over-fertilizing and use well-balanced fertilizers that consist of the main nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium. During fall and winter, reduce the fertilizer intake to about once every two or three months.
The recommended propagation procedure for monstera hangplant is through stem cutting. Pick a healthy stem at least 6 inches (15 centimeters) long, and cut the stem with sterile gardening shears. Make sure to wear protective gloves during this process to avoid the sap. Dip the stem’s cut end into its new home, and once the new roots are established, move the newly propagated monstera hangplant to a bigger planter.
Repotting and Pruning
The general rule if repotting monstera hangplant is once or twice every year to avoid the plant becoming root-bound. Pick a new planter with a bigger size than the old one. Pruning, on the other hand, helps to promote new growth as well as keep the plant neat and in shape. Avoid over-pruning and it’s best to do the process during the growing phase.
Common Pests and Diseases
Common pests that affect monstera hangplant include spider mites, mealybugs, and scale insects. To prevent control and avoid these pests, make sure you fulfill all the requirements to grow the plant, keep the plant clean, and check for any signs of pets regularly, as well as use natural or chemical insecticides if needed.
The most common diseases include root rot, leggy growth, stunted growth, and browning or yellowing leaves. To avoid these problems, make sure to avoid over-watering and over-fertilizing, and give the plant the bright, indirect sunlight it needs.
Overall, the monstera hangplant, also known as the Swiss cheese hanging plant, is a flawless tropical plant for those with limited space. They can be grown by any gardener or plant enthusiast at any level, and only requires bright indirect light, well-draining and moist soil, along with warm and humid temperature.
New author in the hood. Loves gardening and flowers are my spirit animals (yes I know they are not animals but I insist). I will be covering most of the flowers’ topics here and occasionally random though as well.