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Why is my swiss cheese plant dying?

Has your swiss cheese plant seen better days? Here’s how to diagnose problems so you can fix them before it’s too late!

I really love my swiss cheese plant (Monstera adansonii). It’s one of my favorites because of the unique holes in the leaves.

When these plants are happy, they grow quickly and make for a really dramatic hanging basket.

So, it can definitely be a bummer if your plant starts dropping leaves or worse.

Let’s talk about potential problems with your swiss cheese plant and how to fix them!

Be sure to check out my Swiss cheese plant care guide!

Why is my swiss cheese plant dying?

Swiss cheese plants are pretty easy care. So, if they are dying, it’s most likely:

  • Not enough light
  • Too much direct light
  • Not enough water
  • Too much water
  • A pest/insect invasion

How to save a dying swiss cheese plant

How you will save your plant depends on what’s wrong with it. You want to determine the problem and then reverse the actions or situation that has caused that problem.

The way you will diagnose problems is based off the symptoms – so let’s get into each one!


Swiss cheese plant leaves turning yellow

Yellowing leaves are the most common problem with swiss cheese plants. Yellow leaves mean either too much water or not enough light.

First, check the soil to see if it’s wet. You need to be sure your pot has plenty of drainage holes.

I actually like to keep my plants in the black plastic nursery pot and just set that in my nice ceramic pot. That lets excess water drain easily.

I actually water my swiss cheese plant in the sink, watering until water runs out of the drainage holes, and then hang it back up once it’s done draining.

Anyways, if your soil feels wet and your leaves are yellow and limp, go ahead and dump the plant out of the pot and pull out that soggy soil. Replant it in fresh soil in a pot with great drainage and resolve to only water it when it feels dry.

If your soil feels ok, your plant might not be getting enough light. Move it to a sunnier spot (not direct sun) and see if that helps!

Should I cut the yellow leaves off my monstera?

The truth is, yellow leaves are not going to turn back green. I personally prefer to cut mine off. However, some people prefer to let theirs fall off naturally. There is no wrong answer.

dead monstera leaf

Swiss cheese plant leaves turning black

If your plant is getting black, mushy spots on it – that is probably rot. Rot usually indicates too much moisture – either in the soil or physically on the leaves.

This is usually on lower leaves that get splashed when watered. This is also known as “leaf blight”.

To avoid this, don’t let water sit on the leaves. You can lightly mist the plant, but not enough that water is pooling and sitting on the leaves, growing bacteria.

Your best bet is to cut off any leaves with this growth on it to keep it from spreading.

Swiss cheese plant leaves turning brown and crispy

Brown and crispy leaves mean too much light or heat. This will happen if you put your indoor plant outdoors in direct sunlight. Stick to covered porches instead!

Sadly, sunburned leaves don’t heal, so you might want to trim those leaves off. However, it’s just an aesthetic problem. Assuming you move your plant out of the sun, it won’t happen again.

brown crunchy dead leaves on a countertop

Swiss cheese plant leaves drooping

Drooping leaves typically indicate an under-watered plant. Water the plant and see if it perks up. This is super fun to watch on time lapse video if your phone can do that!

Another reason that leaves could be drooping is if the stem got broken. This is what I look for if one random strand of leaves goes sad. Check for a break, if you find one, snip it with scissors and set the whole thing in water to re-root!

Why is my Swiss cheese plant leaves curling

Curling leaves also usually mean it needs to be watered or misted for extra humidity.

Swiss cheese plant not growing

Is your swiss cheese plant’s growth stunted? Something must be limiting it!

Check the pot. Is the plant root bound? It will need a bigger pot to grow more!

These plants can also go into dormancy in the cooler months. It’s normal for the growth to really slow down in the winter, so don’t write it off just yet!

Finally, relocation can put your plant into shock. If you’ve recently moved it’s spot, give it a little time to get settled. If it starts dropping leaves, re-assess it’s new spot!

close up of leaves on swiss cheese plant

How to make cheese plant leaves split

If your swiss cheese plant doesn’t have holes, it most likely isn’t getting enough light. The holes are so leaves can get bigger in a sunny area. If there’s not enough light, they won’t split!

Any more questions about swiss cheese plants dying?!

Thanks for reading!

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