5 Reasons Your Swiss Cheese Plant is Drooping and How to Fix It

5 Reasons Your Swiss Cheese Plant is Drooping and How to Fix It

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In general, I find that my Monstera plants are very forgiving and it takes a lot of neglect before they start showing any signs of ill health. However, if you notice that your Swiss cheese plant is drooping or wilting, maybe looking a little sad, the most common reason behind this is that you are actually overwatering or underwatering the plant. If you know that this is not the case then other reasons include the wrong size pot for your plant, meaning it needs repotting, or if you have repotted your plant, you may have used the wrong compost. Alternatively, the stake you are using to support the plant is insufficient.

Read on further and you should be able to identify what your plant’s problem is and, more importantly, what you need to do to bring your plant back to full health. I’ll start with problems with watering because more often than not, this is the most likely cause!

Problems with watering that cause the leaves to droop/wilt

Overwatering your swiss cheese plant actually results in the roots being too saturated to take in oxygen. This reduces their ability to send water and nutrients up to the plant. The leaves stay full of the water they have but begin to turn yellow and on some occasions, they can even look like they are dripping water from their foliage. The leaves will droop and wilt when they start to dry out.

The same with overwatering, underwatering your plant will also cause the leaves to droop and wilt, however, in this case, they also dry up and the leaves become crispy. Alternatively, in overwatered plants, the leaves aren’t crispy, and in worst-case scenarios, they can become soft and mushy.

What can you do?

Adjust your watering schedule to what the plant needs, and only when it needs it. Water your swiss cheese plant only when the top 3cm of the soil is dry. For further information on how to fix symptoms of overwatering, we have a dedicated section for watering in our how to care for a Swiss cheese plant guide. We also highly recommend having a read through the information on root rot in our Swiss cheese plant pests and diseases guide to see if your overwatering has caused this, sometimes fatal, fungal disease.

Wrong size pot

Swiss cheese plant growing in large pot with plenty of drainage holes. Choosing the perfect size pot of the roots is essential, a few inches larger around the sides and bottom is perfect
Choosing the perfect size pot for the roots is essential, a few inches larger around the sides and bottom is perfect

Being in either a pot that is too small or one that’s too large can cause the leaves on your swiss cheese plant to droop. I would actually argue that a pot that is too large is worst because there this too much moisture maintained around the roots, and in turn, it leads to root rot, a condition that is hard to recover from.

Even if you are watering your plant as directed, if the plant pot is too big, all the excess soil holds onto the water and the soil becomes waterlogged. This has the same effect as overwatering the plant because there is too much water for the roots to handle.

If the plant pot is too small, all the roots become squished together and the roots become what is known as root bound. This prevents them from fully absorbing the water they need for the plant. This, in effect, is the same as underwatering the plant because no matter how much water you give the plant, the roots can’t expand enough to send the required amount up to the stems and leaves. The plant, including the stems, starts to droop.

What can you do?

Transplant your swiss cheese plant into the next pot size up from the root ball size. This gives it room to expand without leaving too much space for extra soil. I have given details on how to do this in my how to repot a swiss cheese plant article.

The stake is too small

One of my swiss cheese plants growing up a thick stake

Monstera plants grow upwards, and most owners prefer to allow them to grow happily in this direction by growing them up a stake, and this is exactly how I grow mine. If your swiss cheese plant droops, it could be that it doesn’t have sufficient support. Use a stake (moss-covered for good visual effect) or a trellis for your plant to grow up, twine or twist ties help it to cling to the support at first. But after a while, it grows up the pole by itself by using the aerial roots to attach itself to the pole.

What can you do?

Check that your stake/trellis is tall enough to support your plant. Maybe your plant hasn’t learned how to grow upwards by itself and needs some more support as it grows taller. We also recommend checking whether the stake is in the right place to support all of the plant, and not just part of it. You can get replacement poles from garden centres specifically for this purpose.

Your plant needs pruning

In general, you don’t need to prune Swiss cheese plants and I only prune mine to take cuttings for propagation. However, if you notice that one part of your plant is drooping, or perhaps some particular branches are, consider cutting back some stems in these areas. The pruned branches produce new growth that is stronger.

What can you do?

For instructions on how to prune your plant, see our dedicated pruning section in our how to care for your Swiss cheese plant guide.

Pests and diseases

Some pests and diseases can cause the leaves of your swiss cheese plant to droop. If the stem itself is soft and easy to bend your plant could have stem rot, most probably as a consequence of root rot.

What can you do?

Read our informative Swiss cheese plant pests and diseases article. You will then be able to examine your plant for each of the relevant pests and diseases and apply the appropriate treatment.

Perk your plant up

If the leaves on your swiss cheese plant are drooping you undertake a general health check on your plant and change some conditions to perk it up in general.

What can you do?

Go through all the conditions that your plant likes, found in my general Swiss cheese plant growing guide. Make sure that your plant is in the best environment for its continued health.

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