Cousin of the monstera deliciosa, the Monstera adansonii is a unique, easy-to-care-for vine houseplant. It is nicknamed the “Swiss cheese plant” for its pointed perforated heart-shaped leaves with big holes. This elegant plant adds character and personality to any space while requiring minimal attention to thrive.
Caring for this stunning lacy plant is straightforward! Learn everything you need to know about monstera adansonii care in this guide.
What is Monstera Adansonii?
Native to Central and South America, this vine is a tropical perennial primarily grown as an indoor plant.
Like the Monstera deliciosa, this Swiss cheese vine has a fast growth rate but remains manageable when it’s grown indoors.
When this plant is cultivated as a houseplant, it typically grows from young nursery plants that can be potted anytime.
Botanical Name: Monstera adansonii
Common Name: Swiss cheese vine, Swiss cheese plant, five holes plant
Plant Type: Perennial
Hardiness Zones: 10-12 USDA
Sun Exposure: Partial
Soil Type: Moist, well-drained
Soil pH: Acidic, neutral
Height: 3–8 ft. tall indoors, 10–13 ft. tall outdoors
Flower Color: Green, cream
Native Area: South America, Central America
The Monstera Adansonii Origin
Besides South and Central America, the Monstera adansonii can be found living outside of these countries in the West Indies. Islands such as Dominica, Antigua, and Guadalupe have become common spotting areas to see these wild Monstera plants, although some subspecies of this plant are extinct due to deforestation.
There are two differentiated forms of this plant:
- Monstera adansonii Round Form: same holes and leaves as the narrow form but is more heart-shaped and broader.
- Monstera adansonii Narrow Form: more elongated, and their tips point to one side.
In the wild, you can find Monstera adansonii species along the bark of jungle trees.
As its name suggests, these plants act as vines when given a chance. Working as a vine helps them thrive in sparsely lit areas.
Types of Monstera Adasonii
Several species carry the name of the swiss cheese vine, including:
- Monstera adansonii
- Monstera deliciosa: which features bigger leaves than the Monstera adansonii.
- Monstera borsigiana: is a smaller and fast-growing version of the deliciosa.
- Monstera obliqua: this rare species resembles the adansonii but has more holes and thinner foliage.
Monstera Adasonii Care
This stunning vine loves to climb and has aerial roots that grow downward from the stem, which hold onto the ground or any available support. When growing in the wild, this Swiss cheese plant uses these roots to push itself onto a woody vine or an adjoining tree. When grown as a houseplant, you can mimic this by adding a stake in the pot’s center.
Providing adequate food and water is the key to proper care of this plant. Followed by occasional pruning and other steps, here are your monstera adasonii care requirements.
Indoor Monstera adasonii plants can handle low light conditions, but if you what them to produce lusher leaves and grow faster, provide bright indirect light.
An east or north-facing window can provide better access to the sun.
This plant loves a good soaking after its soil has almost completely dried out.
Water frequently during warmer months while it’s in its active growing season. Reduce water frequency during winter months, letting the soil completely dry out between waterings.
This Monstera needs more water than Monstera deliciosa because its leaves are thinner and hold less moisture.
The Swiss cheese plant grows in most household temperatures, but its ideal temperature ranges between 65-85°F. T
his plant can survive temperatures as low as 50°F, but colder temperatures will stop its growth.
All monstera genus species benefit from high humidity levels. Above 60% is an ideal humidity level.
Adding a humidifier is the best way to increase humidity levels at home. Pebble trays filled with water can also help increase humidity, or you can try grouping your tropical indoor plants closer together.
The best potting soil for this Monstera plant is a loose, nutrient-rich, well-draining soil. The ideal option is an Aroid mix with charcoal, perlite, peat moss, and orchid bark.
Most bagged potting soil mixes are acceptable, but ensure they do not contain moisture-retaining crystals.
Letting the soil dry out completely before thoroughly soaking it is essential.
Monstera adansonii plants love to be fertilized during the active growing season.
Use ¼ diluted complete liquid fertilizer or ¼ diluted fish emulsion twice a month.
Another option is to top the plant with compost (such as worm casting) during spring. This will slowly release nutrients to the roots throughout the active growing season.
This plant is a climber, so it might need to be pruned before it begins to outgrow the space it’s in.
Pruning should be done during spring with sterile pruning shears, and cut-back stems no more than 25%.
Cutting just above the leaf node should be enough to keep it in place; remove any damaged or dead leaves.
Potting and Repotting Monstera Adansonii
Any container or pot with drainage holes will do for a Monster Adansonii. These plants look great in hanging baskets.
When potting a nursery plant, select a slightly larger container than the plant’s root ball. Use a peat or perlite-based potting mix at the same depth as in its nursery container.
Plan to repot in a slightly bigger container with fresh potting mix every two years. The best time to pot and repot is in spring.
Monstera Adansonii Propagation
The easiest way to propagate this jungle plant is by using stem cuttings during spring.
This inexpensive method to grow new plants allows you to salvage damaged stems and put them to good use.
Here’s how to propagate Monstera adansonii by stem cuttings:
- Trim off a 6-inch stem piece, cutting just after a leaf node, so it stays intact
- Remove any bottom leaves, a third to half of the cutting.
- Apply a rooting hormone to the cut end.
- Plant the cutting(s) in moistened soilless potting mixture in a small pot with drainage holes.
- Place it in a warm area where it can receive bright light/indirect sunlight – avoid direct sunlight.
- Keep the growing medium evenly and lightly moistened.
- After a few months, you should have well-formed roots, after which you can transfer the cuttings into a larger pot.
Monstera Adansonii Common Problems
The Monstera adansonii typically has no serious problems when grown in adequate conditions.
However, it can be prone to these common issues if its environmental needs are unmet:
Yellow leaves are typically a result of overwatering.
Ensure your plant is never left sitting in soggy soil, and allow it to dry out slightly between waterings.
Black marks are usually caused by direct sunlight and can signify leaf burn.
Keep a close eye on your plant throughout the day to ensure it is not scorched by direct sunlight, especially from the intense afternoon sun.
Few holes in the leaves
Newer leaves will always have fewer holes than mature leaves.
Young plants often do not have holes in their leaves; these will emerge as the plant matures.
When new leaves grow, they’ll be fresh and bright green. They will darken as they mature.
This jungle plant might have to fight against common houseplant pests such as spider mites, aphids, thrips, whiteflies, mealybugs, and scales.
Luckily, these pests are rarely fatal and can be treated with nontoxic products, insecticides, or neem oil.
Watch for common houseplant diseases such as powdery mildew, root rot, blight, and rust.
Monstera Adansonii Toxicity
According to the ASPCA, all Monstera plants are toxic, so it’s best to keep them out of reach of children and pets.
Take safety measures when placing your Swiss cheese plant at home.
Ingestion can cause irritation, excessive drooling, mouth swelling, vomiting, and difficulty swallowing.
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Melissa Pino is a biologist, master gardener, and regular contributor for Planet Natural. Melissa’s work focuses on promoting environmentally-friendly practices, helping people create healthy gardens and finding ways to achieve overall health and wellness.