Monstera Adansonii 101: Care Guide, FAQ, and Pictures of Swiss Cheese Plant

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In this article, we’ll tell you everything there is to know about the Monstera adansonii plant.

Keep on reading to learn:

  • Monstera adansonii care tips
  • Why it’s an easy-to-grow houseplant
  • Its natural environment and origins

And more!


The Monstera adansonii plant species belong to the Monstera genus. Monstera plants are among the most popular plants, and there are more than 30 accepted species in their respective genus.

The Monstera adansonii plant is one such species. In addition to the scientifically accepted Monstera species, the plants also show variation in leaf shape, color, and plant size, which increases their number of types to more than 100!

Common Names

Monstera Adansonii

Like its sister plant, the Monstera deliciosa, the Monstera adansonii plant has several common names, owing to its unique physical features.

The Swiss cheese plant is arguably the most common name people call the adansonii plant. Monstera adansonii leaves have natural oval-shaped holes resembling Swiss cheese, hence the name.

Similarly, they’re also called the five holes plant since typical Monstera adansonii leaves have five holes, which can increase in number as the leaves begin to mature.

Another common name for the Monstera adansonii plant is the Monstera monkey mask.

It would help if you also remembered that its close relative, the Monstera deliciosa, is also called the Swiss cheese plant, which should not be confused with the Monstera adansonii.

Lastly, Monstera adansonii plants are also called love plants due to their distinctive, heart-shaped leaves.

Botanical Names

monstera adansonii

The botanical name for the Monstera monkey mask is Monstera adansonii. The word Monstera denotes the genus of the Swiss cheese plant, while the word adansonii refers to the species.

The Monstera adansonii plant belongs to the family Araceae. A plant belonging to the Araceae is commonly called an aroid.

There are many genera in the Araceae family, some resembling the Monstera plant, like the popular Split Leaf Philodendron.

Varieties of Monstera Adansonii Plant

Like its cousins Monstera deliciosa, the Monstera adansonii has several varieties, which differ in terms of variegation, leaf size, fenestration pattern, and plant growth.

The lovely hanging plant has eight popular varieties.

See Also: Monstera Types

Monstera Adansonii Variegata

Monstera adansonii albo variegated giant

Variegation refers to members of the same plant species with a difference in color patterns, pigmentation, and distribution.

Consequently, this variegated variety boasts an attractive white patch on the otherwise green leaves due to a complete lack of chlorophyll production.

The vast, broad leaves with the white-colored patch are genetic anomalies and highly prized in the horticulturist world.

Monstera Adansonii Archipelago

Monstera Adansonii Archipelago

The Monstera adansonii archipelago is one of the most popular indoor plants and boasts more variegation than the true Variegata mentioned above.

Unlike other plants of the Adansonii variety, these have beautiful leaves with a natural color combination of green, yellow, and white hues.

These shades can even give rise to vibrant yellow leaves, although these should not be confused with the dull yellow leaves undergoing chlorosis, a plant care issue.

Monstera Adansonii Laniata

Monstera Adansonii Laniata

The Laniata is a subspecies of the Monstera adansonii plant. For the average houseplant owner, they can pass as a normal Monstera adansonii because these indoor plants are nearly the same in shape and size.

However, there’s one key difference if you pay close attention. The Monstera adansonii leaves are a darker shade of green and with a leathery texture.

On the other hand, the Laniata plant has glossy green leaves. You can even see a white sheen in the right lighting.

Monstera Lechleriana Schott

The Lechleriana Schott has considerably bigger foliage than the Monstera adansonii.

Although both plants have similarly shaped leaves, they are more elongated in the Lechleriana Schott.

Furthermore, this variety spreads out laterally more than its Adansonii variant and occupies more space.

Monstera Obliqua

Monstera Obliqua

Monstera obliqua plants are markedly different from other plants of the Adansonii variety.

The leaves of the Monstera obliqua plants have the largest and most fenestrations out of all other varieties.

In fact, the larger holes are held together by extremely thin “string-like” leaves, giving the plants an attractive look!

Monstera Adansonii Friedrichsthalii

Monstera Adansonii Friedrichsthalii

The Friedrichsthalii is not much different from the Monstera adansonii plants. Typically, its leaves are a smidge bigger and longer while having a lighter shade of green.

Monstera Acuminata

Monstera Acuminata

Acuminata plants are quite rare, even among the rare Monstera plants. Monstera acuminata leaves have fewer fenestrations, and the leaf shape also tapers to a narrow point, giving them a more ovate than heart-shaped look.

Additionally, the foliage is neither glossy nor leathery. Instead, it has a smooth, velvety feel to it.

Monstera Epipremnoides

The epipremnoides are similar to obliqua plants due to their large and frequent fenestrations.

However, the plant is also several shades lighter in color, which sets it apart from all other varieties!

Origin Of Monstera Adansonii

Monstera adansonii plants originate in Central and South America and are found as far north as Mexico.

These plants love humid conditions, which dominate the climate of Central and South America.

These jungle plants are perennials that grow deep in tropical rainforests, relying on bright indirect light penetrating the forest’s thick canopy.

As a result, the Swiss cheese plants have evolved to adapt to their natural habitat.

For starters, the Monstera adansonii plant loves to climb. The vining habit is retained through the development of aerial roots, which help the plant attach to trees.

The Swiss cheese vine grows vertically to compete for more indirect light.

Second, the fenestrations in the Swiss cheese plant aren’t just for show. These result from natural selection, having evolved to serve an important purpose – withstanding high winds.

Tropical rainforests can experience high winds and heavy rainfall, damaging these fragile flowering plants.

As such, the holes are designed to help the plant survive these weather conditions without getting damaged.

Lastly, the heart shape of the leaves is also a unique adaptation. All plants need sunlight for photosynthesis. Unlike other plants, the Monstera adansonii has many holes in its leaves, which prevent efficient food production.

Therefore, the plant evolved to develop broad heart-shaped leaves to maximize sunlight absorption, even in indirect light.

Care Guidelines

Like its cousins, the Monstera deliciosa plants, the Monstera adansonii plant care tips revolve around light, watering, humidity, and fertilizing requirements.

Swiss cheese plant care is very easy, and these plants thrive with just a little love and attention. They’re particularly fond of humid environments.


Monstera monkey mask houseplant in ceramic flower pots on window.

Since the Monstera adansonii grows in jungles, it doesn’t demand any excessive light requirements.

In fact, the Monstera adansonii only requires bright indirect light. It will grow quite well with indirect sunlight, so you can place it by a north or south-facing window.

Using a hanging basket is ideal since the Swiss cheese vine loves vertical growth. Hanging baskets also make it easier to adjust the amount of light.

On the other hand, direct sunlight can be detrimental to your Monstera adansonii. While you can grow it outdoors and a little direct sunlight won’t harm the plant, prolonged exposure will quickly burn the foliage, causing a condition known as sun-scald.

Therefore, place them at least six feet away from a sunny window indoors and in a shady spot away from the direct sun outdoors.


Like other plants growing in tropical habitats, the Swiss cheese plants love moist soil more than thorough watering.

It can be tricky gauging the difference, and this is where most fail in Monstera adansonii care.

You can gauge watering needs by testing the top two inches of the soil. If it is cool and moist, you won’t need to water it for another day or two.

However, if the soil is dry, it will require watering. Typically, the Swiss cheese plant requires a thorough watering once every week., although an arid climate will require it twice a week.

Similarly, plants in the growing season will also require frequent watering, whether growing under indirect sunlight or direct sunlight.


Monstera adansonii water droplets

Monstera adansonii loves warm, humid environments. You can mimic these conditions in your home without turning it into a greenhouse.

You can start by placing your pots in the early morning sun for maximum light. As the day proceeds, you can shift your plant to a well-lit room that receives indirect sunlight so as not to scorch it.

The Monstera adansonii thrives in high humidity and loves moisture. You can mimic these conditions by frequently misting the plant, keeping it near a humidifier, or placing it above a pebble water tray.

As a rule of thumb, you should remember that the Swiss cheese plant requires between 60%-90% humidity for ideal growth.


Fertiliers are crucial for Monstera adansonii care. The plant only requires extra nutrition during the growing season, so you should fertilize it during spring and summer.

Fertilizing is not required during the winter and fall months since there’s no promising growth to facilitate.

However, not fertilizing your Swiss cheese vine during summers can be detrimental to plant health and might result in yellow leaves.

You can use a standard NPK fertilizer with a 20:20:20 ratio. Always use it at half strength, or purchase a slow-release fertilizer to prevent the roots from burning.

Gardeners typically prefer liquid formulations since they’re easy to dilute and safer for the plant.

Soil Mix Recommendations

Monstera adansonii plant
Monstera adansonii plant in flower pot

The Monstera adansonii is not fussy about soil health, although it does have certain needs.

The primary requirement is that the soil is well draining because soggy soil can cause root rot.

However, you must also ensure that it retains moisture since the plant requires adequate moisture for optimal growth. You can do this by adding coco coir or moss to your potting mix.

Alternatively, you can also use a peat-based potting mix to trap moisture without making the soil soggy from excess water.

Unlike the deliciosa plant, the Monstera adansonii thrives in slightly acidic soil, with a pH range between 5.5 and 7.0.

Pot Types and Pot Sizes

Any pot or container with adequate drainage holes will do well for your Monster plant.

The Swiss cheese vine is a climber, so you can use hanging baskets. When planning to pot a nursery plant, use a slightly larger pot than the root ball.

It would help if you planted the youngling at the same depth as it was in the nursery pot.

Potting should always be done in spring, and all containers should have well-draining holes and a well-draining pot mix as well.


Full tropical 'Monstera Adansonii' or Swiss cheese vine house plant isolated on white background

The Monstera adansonii loves a cramped environment, so don’t worry too much about container size.

In fact, it can be detrimental for plant growth to use oversized containers. Typically, repotting should be done every two years, and not sooner.

You’ll know it’s time for repotting once the roots start to become visible out of the bottom of the pot. The container size should only be slightly larger than your current one.

Again, you must ensure all new pots have adequate drainage holes. Always use a new potting mix when repotting and even for new plants. The soil should be able to retain moisture, although you can increase humidity by using a mist fan.

Repotting is a good time to examine root health. You can easily clip all areas showing signs of root rot conveniently.

Finally, you should repot your plant at the same depth as in the old pot. Adding moss poles is also not bad since the Swiss cheese vine is an excellent climber and supports vertical growth with aerial roots.

Ideal Growing Zones

While indoor plants can be grown almost anywhere in the world when provided with the right conditions, outdoor growth is a whole other ballpark.

Growing zones are often overlooked in Monstera adansonii care, but they are extremely important. These are classified based on the routine weather changes and general climates of geographical regions.

The Monstera adansonii can grow outdoors all year in USDA zones 10 to 11. These regions have high humidity, which the plant loves.


Close up of a single exotic tropical Monstera Adansonii, also sold as Obliqua or Acuminata, small windowleaf cheese plant leaf

Propagating the Monstera adansonii is easiest when done using stem cuttings.

Planting stem cuttings is an inexpensive way to acquire more plants in a few weeks.

Furthermore, it also allows you to prune your plant in the process without wasting the cuttings.

Spring is the growing season for Monstera adansonii, and you should always propagate during this time unless you are planning for indoor plants.

Conditions can be artificially changed for houseplants, so it’s easy growing them in most seasons.

Follow these steps to learn how to propagate your Monstera adansonii:

  1. Locate a leaf node, and cut off a 4-6 inch piece of stem after it.
  2. Remove the bottom leaves from your cutting.
  3. (Optional) Apply a rooting hormone, a specific auxin to cytokinin ratio, to the cut end.
  4. Plant your cutting in a high humidity, high moisture potting mix in a grow pot with well-draining holes.
  5. Keep the potting mix moist and humid, and your cuttings will become new plants in a few months.

Growing From Seed

Growing from seeds is the natural way for plant propagation, although it’s not always the most successful outside the plant’s natural habitat.

Once you’ve acquired the Monstera adansonii seeds, plant them in a seed-starting mix on a shallow tray. Seed-starters ensure maximum success.

Lightly cover these with more of the mix, and put a plastic wrap over the tray to retain moisture.

Place the tray in a warm spot that receives bright indirect light, and your seeds should germinate in a few weeks.

Once they germinate, you can remove the wrap while keeping all other conditions constant. You can transplant your younglings in a few months.


There are no destructive pests that target the Monstera adansonii. Its two biggest annoyances are scale insects and spider mites, which are suckling pests.

These can easily be dealt with using non-toxic and harmless materials. Scale insects can easily be removed using a cotton swab dipped in alcohol.

Spider mite populations can be removed using neem oil. You can mix some in a spraying water bottle to create a fine emulsion.

Spraying it on your plant and coating all the leaves can easily fix the issue. However, you can consider using a pyrethrin-based organic pesticide for larger populations, which won’t harm your plant.


Several diseases may affect the Monstera adansonii, most of which are leaf spot diseases. These cause yellow or brown spotting on leaves, spreading across the whole plant slowly.

Leaf spot diseases are typically caused by fungal growth colonizing the leaves.

A copper-based fungicidal spray usually does the trick. It is an organic solution for eliminating a potentially fatal issue. Organic plant solutions are the best for Monstera adansonii care.

Foliage & Leaf Shapes

Leaf of exotic 'Monstera Adansonii' houseplant with holes in leaf isolated on white background

The Monstera adansonii features large, broad, deep-green heart-shaped leaves with several fenestrations or oval perforations.

Moreover, the leaves are thick and leathery in most varieties and glossy in some.

Growth and Maturation

Tropical rain forest jungle plant Monstera Adansonii with holes in the leaves in the greenhouse

It takes roughly two to three years for a Monstera adansonii to mature. Growth and maturation typically depend on conditions, such as light, soil health, watering requirements, and adequate fertilizing.

As the plant grows, it develops aerial roots from its stem. These projections grasp orchid bark or other foliage in the wild and moss poles in pots indoors to climb vertically.

A mature Monstera adansonii can grow up to 10-13 ft. tall outdoors and 3-8 ft. tall indoors. The fully mature plant stands at 1-3 ft. wide and often undergoes flowering in the wild.

It does not bloom indoors, although people can try to mimic the exact outdoor conditions to try.

Common Problems and How to Fix Them

Common problems typically arise when you can’t meet indoor and outdoor plant requirements.

Yellowing Leaves

Leaves commonly turn yellow from overwatering. While the Monstera adansonii thrives in high-moisture conditions, it cannot tolerate overwatering.

Yellowing can quickly be followed by dead or damaged leaves and rotting roots. You can easily avoid this issue by ensuring your plant never sits in soggy soil. Moreover, you should ensure the soil is dry before you water your plant.

Leaves Turning Black

Sunscald is a common condition across all Monstera plants. Black marks on the leaves are a common sign of sun scald and leaf burn.

The condition occurs from prolonged exposure to direct sunlight, which the Monstera adansonii cannot tolerate.

To prevent this, you must ensure the plant is never subjected to direct sunlight for prolonged periods; this is especially important during the afternoon when light intensity is strongest.

Care Tips

Tropical 'Monstera Adansonii' vine houseplant in flower pot on white background

The best Monstera adansonii care tips include providing the plant with adequate indirect light to promote healthy growth.

Remember not to overwater the plant and to use well-draining soil. Your containers should be large but not oversized and have plenty of drainage holes.

Use a mist fan or humidifier to increase humidity, and add vertical support since the Swiss cheese vine loves to climb.

Finally, fertilize your Monstera adansonii during spring and summer every few weeks, and that’s basically it!

Where to Buy & Price

Monstera adansonii can cost several to a few hundred dollars depending on plant type, variegation, maturity, and other factors.

Cuttings cost less than mature plants, and mature plants cost less than mature variegated plants.

The best markets for buying Monstera plants are Etsy and Amazon. Unverified sellers can swindle you out of your money by selling you fake lookalikes, so always ensure you buy your greens from verified growers and sellers.

Toxicity to People & Pets

All parts of this Monstera variety are toxic to animals and can cause adverse health effects.

While Monsteras are generally considered safe for humans, their toxic properties can make them potentially hazardous to the health of dogs and cats. If pets come into contact with these plants, they may develop a variety of symptoms, including mouth irritation, swelling, and discomfort in the lips, tongue, and mouth. Furthermore, affected animals may experience excessive drooling, vomiting, and difficulties with swallowing.

Similar Plants

Although the fenestration on the adansonii is unique and does not cause leaf indents like in the deliciosa, they’re both quite similar.

In fact, both the Monstera deliciosa and adansonii are called Swiss cheese plants, although they’re different species.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. Are Monstera plants toxic?

All parts of the adansonii are toxic and cause serious indigestion, inflammation, burning, and other adverse effects.

Q. Is it easy to care for the adansonii variety?

They’re very easy to maintain as long as you can provide warm, humid conditions for plant growth.

Q. Why are variegated Monstera adansonii so expensive?

Not all variegated adansonii are expensive, especially not as expensive as variegated deliciosa plants. However, the steep price is a consequence of rarity and high demand!

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