As a member of the monstera family, the Monstera adansonii charms with its large heart-shaped leaves and easy-going nature.
The Monstera adansonii stands out even amongst its much-admired cousins, like the Monstera deliciosa, due to the many holes that develop on its leaves as the plant ages. It’s this little quirk which gives it its nickname – the Swiss cheese plant.
Not only are Monstera adansonii beautiful houseplants, they are also low maintenance when it comes to houseplant care.
As a native of Central and South America, the Monstera adansonii is a light-, warmth- and humidity-loving plant. But even if an adansonii’s optimal conditions are not quite met, the forgiving plant will still continue to grow.
It has an impressively speedy growth rate and can grow 1 – 3 feet wide and between 3 – 8 feet tall indoors (and up to 13 feet outdoors). But an indoor container and some simple pruning can help you to manage your adansonii’s size and shape.
This handy care guide runs through all of the essential Monstera adansonii care tips and tricks that you might ever need. After caring for both an adansonii and its cousin the deliciosa, there isn’t a monstera problem that I haven’t dealt with, so sit back and benefit from my experience of Monstera adansonii care.
Table of Contents
- What Light Is Right?
- How Much Water Is Too Much?
- What Temperature and Humidity Are Best?
- Is Well-Balanced Soil Ideal?
- Is Repotting Necessary?
- Do I Need to Fertilize?
- How Does Propagation Work?
- When Should I Prune?
- Should I Expect Flowers?
- What Are Some Common Problems?
- Which Pests and Diseases Are Frequent?
- Types of Monstera Swiss Cheese Plants
Monstera Adansonii Essential Care
What Light Is Right?
A Monstera adansonii requires bright but indirect light when kept indoors.
Partial sun exposure is best as the adansonii is used to growing under the cover of large jungle trees. In fact, if your plant is exposed to too much direct sunlight, the leaves may become scorched.
A bright spot with partial sun exposure is best, such as 4 feet or so away from a bright south-facing window.
The key is bright but indirect light. A few hours of direct weaker morning sun will be fine, but aim to expose your adansonii to a maximum of 2 – 3 hours of direct sunlight per day. Especially ensure your adansonii avoids the stronger light of the afternoon sun.
How Much Water Is Too Much?
Like most monsteras, adansonii like their soil to be moist, but not soggy.
Test the top inch or two of the soil before watering. Only water your plant when the top of the soil has had a chance to dry out. This is usually once per week, increasing to up to twice per week in the summer and less in the winter.
As monstera enjoy moist soil, thoroughly water your plant when it is time for another dowsing. As a rough guide, continue watering until water starts to run out of the pot’s drainage holes.
The discoloration of your adansonii’s leaves is a clear sign that your plant is suffering from over-watering, so reduce your watering frequency and amount until the leaves start to regain their normal color.
For best results, use room temperature water – as a jungle plant, monstera are used to tepid or warm rain and don’t like any kind of temperature shocks.
What Temperature and Humidity Are Best?
Most monsteras, including the adansonii, thrive the most in high humidity and warm temperatures.
Adansonii likes temperatures between 64°f – 81°f (18°c – 27°c). Though they will survive and continue growing below these temperatures, they will not truly thrive in cooler, drier conditions and new growth will be slow.
Keep your adansonii away from drafts and heaters as all monstera prefer constant temperatures and air flows.
As with temperature, adansonii have a preferred humidity level – aim for a relative humidity level of above 50% (most homes are around 40%), but can survive in lower humidity conditions.
In a house, a warm, bright bathroom can usually meet a monstera’s temperature and humidity needs.
Some simple ways of increasing the humidity for your adansonii include: regular misting (around 2 – 3 times a week), keeping the plant above a pebble water tray or using a humidifier. Growing humidity-loving plants next to each other can also raise the humidity naturally.
Is Well-Balanced Soil Ideal?
For optimal results the soil you use for your Monstera adansonii should be both well-draining and moisture-retaining.
Opt for a potting mix that traps moisture but doesn’t easily become waterlogged. A growing medium with chunky pieces usually helps improve drainage.
Coco coir or a moss-based potting soil are good options as they retain moisture and help the drainage of excess water.
In terms of pH levels, a slightly acidic or neutral soil is best for a monstera – aim for somewhere between pH 5.5 and pH 7 to keep your adansonii happy.
Is Repotting Necessary?
Monstera generally do not need super regular repotting. An adansonii will be happy being repotted every 2 years or so. For best results, do the repotting in the spring at the start of the growing period.
Monstera adansonii are not too fussy about their pot homes as long as they have a drainage hole and are not too much larger than the previous pot. Select a new pot that is just a little bigger than the root ball and a similar depth to the previous pot.
Monstera adansonii look especially splendid in hanging pots or on shelves, which allows their beautiful leaves to cascade downwards.
Do I Need to Fertilize?
As a fast grower, adansonii do need regular fertilizing in order to get the nutrients they need to support their speedy growth.
Fertilize your plant every month with a diluted all-purpose liquid fertilizer.
After potting or repotting, hold off on the fertilizing for 4 – 6 months – your plant will thrive on the slow-release fertilizer in the soil.
How Does Propagation Work?
There are a few options when it comes to propagating Monstera adansonii.
The best propagation method for an adansonii is via stem cutting.
- Cut off 4 – 6 inches of stem (make the cut just after a leaf node). Remove any leaves from the lower half of the cutting.
- Add a rooting hormone to the cut end.
- Add a soilless potting mix to a small tray or container (with drainage holes!). Lightly moisten the potting mix with a mister.
- Plant the cutting and place it in a warm spot with plenty of bright (but indirect) light.
- Regularly mist the potting mix to keep it moist, but not soggy. After a few months the roots will have formed and the plant cutting can be moved to a regular pot. Return to regular adansonii care.
It is also possible to grow an adansonii from seed. Simply purchase some seeds online or from your local garden center, then use this easy method to start growing your own adansonii collection:
- Fill a shallow tray with a seed-starting mix. Lightly moisten the mix with a mister.
- Plant the seeds in the tray and lightly cover them with the growing mix.
- Add a plastic wrap over the tray (this will trap the moisture).
- Keep the tray in a warm place that gets bright, indirect light.
- Regularly mist the mix to keep it moist (but not soggy).
- After a few weeks, the seeds should have germinated. At this point, remove the plastic covering, but keep misting the mix.
- After a few months, the seedlings should now be big enough to move to a regular sized pot. Begin regular care after the move.
When Should I Prune?
As the monstera is a keen climber, you may need to occasionally prune your plant to keep it the size and shape that you want.
If your plant is beginning to outgrow your space, simply use sterile shears to cut back the stems in the spring. Don’t trim off more than 25% of the stem and aim to make your cut just above a leaf node.
You can also remove any damaged or dead leaves to help maintain your adansonii’s good looks.
As a tropical climber, adansonii have aerial roots which grow downward from the stem (in its natural habitat these roots would attach to a nearby tree or vine). Adding a stake to your pot can encourage this eager climber to spread and climb.
Should I Expect Flowers?
No matter how hard you try, a Monstera Adansonii will not bloom indoors (in the wild they can develop creamy flowers that look a little like peace lily flowers).
The good news is that their heart-shaped statement leaves offer all the beauty and personality that you could ask for from a houseplant.
What Are Some Common Problems?
Leaves Turning Yellow, Brown or Pale
Overwatering can cause the leaves to turn yellow, develop brown patches or lose their luscious green color and go pale.
To avoid this, simply wait for the top inch of soil to dry out before watering. Also check that your plant is not left sitting in soggy soil. If you have a drainage tray, make sure to empty it regularly.
Yellowing leaves can also be a sign of nutrient-deficiency. Try fertilizing your plant more regularly to encourage the leaves to return to their glorious green color.
Exposure to excessive direct sunlight can cause your adansonii’s leaves to develop black marks or patches.
If you notice the leaves beginning to blacken, move your plant to a spot further away from the direct sunlight. Particularly watch out for afternoon sun which can be much stronger than weaker morning light.
Monstera leaves curl as a way of reducing water loss, so the curling is your monstera’s way of telling you it is thirsty. Give your plant a water and also try improving the humidity by misting or using a pebble water tray or humidifier.
Which Pests and Diseases Are Frequent?
The pests that most commonly affect adansonii are not often fatal, but it is still worth knowing how to get rid of them.
Mealybugs, spider mites, scale and whitefly may make an appearance but can be easily treated with neem oil or a nontoxic insecticide.
Some common diseases that you should watch out for include root rot, fungal rust, powdery mildew and blight.
Most of the diseases to which adansonii are susceptible are caused by or exacerbated by overwatering, so make sure to only water your plant when the top inch of soil has dried out.
Types of Monstera Swiss Cheese Plants
The monsteras, including the Monstera adansonii, are part of the Araceae family.
The adansonii is a close cousin of the popular Monstera deliciosa (which is also referred to as the Swiss cheese plant) and their needs are very similar.
As well as the adansonii and deliciosa, there are actually several (related) plants that are known as Swiss cheese plants, including:
Monstera adansonii: the adansonii is similar to the deliciosa, but has smaller leaves (which usually grow to the size of a hand when kept indoors) and holes that do not reach the leaf edges.
Monstera deliciosa: a close cousin of the adansonii, the deliciosa has larger leaves and is the most popular monstera houseplant. The holes on this plant’s leaves (sometimes called fenestrations) can extend right to the leaf edge.
Monstera borsigiana: A smaller, faster-growing relation of the adansonii. This variety is often mistaken for the deliciosa, but the way to tell them apart is to look at where the leaves attach to the stem – if the join has a ruffle or pucker, it’s a deliciosa, while borsigiana have a smooth join.
Monstera obliqua: A rare species with thinner leaves that can be mistaken for the adansonii. The obliqua has many more swiss cheese-like holes than the adansonii – so many holes that the leaves are more holes than leaf.
There are actually many types of monstera, but the adansonii and deliciosa are two of the most common – and the tips in this guide often apply to all monstera varieties, not just the adansonii.
FAQs About How to Care for a Monstera Adansonii
Is the Monstera adansonii the same plant as the Monstera deliciosa?
The Monstera adansonii is a close cousin of the more well-known Monstera deliciosa. The adansonii has very similar care requirements but its leaves are smaller and have more holes than the deliciosa.
What plant is called the Swiss cheese plant?
There are actually a few different varieties of Monstera that have the nickname Swiss cheese plant.
In my opinion, the Monstera adansonii would win the fight for full ownership of the cute nickname as its enclosed and more numerous leaf holes look the most similar to the yummy cheese.
Why are my plant’s leaves changing color?
If your plant’s leaves are turning yellow or developing brown spots, it is likely that your plant is overwatered. Cut back on the watering. Check for root rot and remove and replace any soggy soil.
If your adansonii’s leaves are developing black patches or marks, your plant is exposed to too much direct sunlight. Move your plant away from direct light (but still in a bright spot).
If the leaves are browning, this could be due to overwatering, low humidity, too dry soil or excessive direct sunlight. Change the conditions to narrow down the suspect.
If your plant’s leaves are losing their deep green color and turning pale, it is mostly likely due to improper moisture levels – either under- or over-watering. If the leaves feel crispy too, it is mostly likely due to under-watering.
How often should I water my Monstera adansonii?
Only water your plant when the top inch or two of soil has dried out. This is probably around once per week, depending on the soil type, pot size and your plant’s location.
Do Monstera adansonii like to be misted?
Like its monstera cousins, the adansonii thoroughly enjoys regular misting. Aim to mist your adansonii every 2 – 3 days (or less often if you keep it in a room with higher humidity like a bathroom, laundry room or kitchen).
Does a Monstera adansonii need full sun?
A Monstera adansonii likes lots of bright sun, but can be scorched by too much direct sunlight. Keep your plant in a bright spot with no direct hot afternoon sun for the best results.
Is the Monstera adansonii toxic?
The adansonii is toxic to pets so be careful where you keep it. A lovely hanging planter is a practical and beautiful way around this problem.
The Monstera Adansonii Will Always Be a Great Choice
Just like its more famous cousin, the deliciosa, the Monstera adansonii will reward your care with beautiful glossy leaves and a charming personality. As an undemanding houseplant, the adansonii is suitable for novice and expert houseplant owners alike.
The key to a happy adansonii is getting the humidity levels right. If your adansonii looks droopy or is experiencing leaf discoloration, try placing him in a bright bathroom or other room with higher humidity levels.
Key Tips to Remember
- Water your Monstera adansonii when the top inch or two of soil has dried out.
- Keep your plant in a room with higher humidity and mist it regularly.
- Fertilize your plant every month – especially in the summer – to ensure it gets enough nutrients to maintain its speedy growth rate.
- Adansonii like being root bound, so you only need to repot them every two years.
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