Monstera Friedrichsthalii vs. Adansonii: Key Differences and Similarities

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This article will discuss the difference and similarities between Monstera adansonii and freidrichsthalii.

Monstera Adansonii

The Genus Monstera consists of 48 different flowering plant species known for their distinct features.

Monstera adansonii are popular houseplants that belong to the Araceae family and the Aroid subfamily.

These plants are native to the tropical rainforests of Central and South America.

Monstera adansonii plant is known for its unique look and has been given many names, such as the Swiss cheese vine plant and the Monstera Monkey Mask.

However, this Monstera species is often confused with Monstera obliqua, Monstera acuminata, Monstera epipremnoides, and other different species of Monstera.

Monstera Adansonii

Monstera Friedrichsthalii

Monstera Friedrichsthalii is native to the Central rainforest of South and Central America, Mexico, and the West Indies.

Monstera friedrichsthalii is the same plant as Monstera adansonii, albeit with a different name. It’s full name is the Monstera adansonii friedrichsthalii

The confusion in naming the two is because they exist as different stages of the swiss cheese vine growth.

While adansonii refers to a juvenile plant with young leaves, Monstera adansonii friedrichsthalii refers to an older plant with mature leaves.

There are many reasons why some choose to get the mature plant, although it is expensive, and why some choose to get the young plant.

The two plants’ specific similarities and differences influence a plant owner’s decision.

Monstera Friedrichsthalii vs Monstera Adansonii — Key Similarities

As they are the same plant, there are many similarities that you will be able to see in both of them. Some key similarities between the two swiss cheese vines are mentioned below.

Monstera Friedrichsthalii

The Root System

Both Monstera plants have adventitious roots that develop into aerial roots.

These aerial roots are responsible for their hemi-epiphytic characteristics, allowing them to grow on the soil and anchoring them to structures like a tree trunk or moss pole.

The trailing roots grow in shallow soil, and once on trees, they can absorb the nutrients and water from the surrounding air.

The Leaf Structure

You might have trouble separating the two based on their leaf structure alone. Both monstera adansonii leaves and Monstera friedrichsthalii leaves are elliptical.

These green leaves possess fenestrations, tiny holes in the leaves, and asymmetrical leaf shape.

Additionally, the leaf base is broad and truncated, almost wedge-shaped. Some leaves might even have an oblique base, with some being heart-shaped.

The petiole of both leaves is vaginated, and the sheath of the petiole dries out and eventually drops.

Lastly, the two leaves can either have a narrow or round form. The narrow leaf is elongated, with the leaf blade being twice as long as the width of the leaf.

Additionally, narrow leaves have fewer holes that look stretched.

The wide leaf is round, with the width of the leaf being twice that of its length, and it possesses more holes that are circular.


Monstera adansonii and Monstera friedrichsthalii have green stems with roots emerging from the nodes (brown obtruding parts on the stem).

These stems elongate like a vine, a characteristic that gave the two Monstera the name Swiss cheese vine.

The Growing Habits

The two same species share similar growth habits, making it difficult to differentiate them. The Monstera genus is known for its hemi-epiphytic nature, crawling on the rainforest floor until it finds a place to climb.

Monstera adansonii and friedrichsthalii grow on tall trees covered by the forest canopy in their natural habitat.

As houseplants, they can grow on different structures, such as the hanging basket, fence posts, mesh walls, etc.

Lastly, both Monsteras are considered fast growers, although the speed of their growth varies; this will be discussed later. The friedrichsthalii also produces much larger leaves, and the adansonii’s much smaller leaves tend to grow on one side.

Temperature Limitations

These species have been accustomed to relatively high humidity and temperatures as tropical plants.

Generally, the adansonii and friedrichsthalii do well in temperatures above 80 degrees Fahrenheit.

That is not to say that below 80 degrees, these plants will not grow at all. They can grow well at temperatures between 60 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit, but if you want them to flourish, you must give them higher temperatures.

Monstera, as a genus, does not tolerate frost and cold temperatures. This is one reason they do not grow much during winter and proliferate in the summer and spring.

Additionally, if you live in USDA hardiness zones 10b to 12, you can grow them as outdoor plants throughout the year. Otherwise, you would need to maintain their temperatures indoors. You can also preserve humidity using a humidifier. A humidity level of above 50% is good for the plant.

Monstera Friedrichsthalii vs Monstera Adansonii — Key Differences

Despite their many similarities, numerous differences between the Monstera adansonii and friedrichsthalii make it easier for plant owners to tell the two apart.

Some of the key differences between the two Monstera are mentioned below.

The Root System

While they grow aerial roots, there is a distinct difference between the roots of the two Monstera.

Monstera friedrichsthalii roots are a dark brown, while Monstera adansonii roots are lighter in color.

Additionally, friedrichsthalii roots grow upwards while adansonii roots spread out horizontally.

This is because friedrichsthalii grows mainly on trees, while adansonii is primarily found on the forest floor.

The Leaf Structure

If you look closely enough, you might see some differences between the leaves of the two Monstera.

Monstera adansonii leaves are elliptical and grow to about four inches long, a feature of the classic adansonii.

On the other hand, Monstera friedrichsthalii has leathery leaves that look glossy, and they have bigger leaves than adansonii, measuring more than 20 inches long and 15 inches wide.

Monstera Adansonii


Monstera adansonii has thinner stems with the internodes placed closer together, while the friedrichsthalii has a thicker stem with the internodes more spaced apart.

Additionally, you might be able to see leaf scars on the friedrichsthalii, the area where the leaf falls, and the mark of the petiole is left behind.

The Growing Habits | Growth, Flowering, and More

While both Monsteras share similar growth habits, specific characteristics in their growth do not allude to the eye of experienced botanists.

The adansonii grows faster than the friedrichsthalii, something you can expect from a classic adansonii plant.

However, the adansonii tends to grow horizontally more than it does upwards. Additionally, there are fewer roots in the stem than in the friedrichsthalii.

The friedrichsthalii tends to grow upwards, elongating the stem towards the sunlight.

Additionally, the number of leaves varies depending on which side of the stem. The leaves are greater in number on the side that receives more sunlight.

Temperature Limitations

While they share optimal growing temperatures, the adansonii plant is more sensitive to temperature changes.

The adansonii is high-maintenance, and temperature changes can adversely affect the plant’s growth.

Regarding temperature, the friedrichsthalii can better adapt and survive a sudden drop in temperature. This makes it easier to take care of the friedrichsthalii than the adansonii plant.

Monstera Friedrichsthalii

Monstera Friedrichsthalii vs Monstera Adansonii — Things to Know

If you are interested in either the Monstera adansonii or Monstera friedrichsthalii, then there are certain things you need to know before you get one.

You might be familiar with these things if you own plants or used to own them. Below are some things you need to look out for when you grow the Monstera.

·       Giving the Monstera the right amount of water is crucial. Overwatering can lead to root rot and yellow leaves with brown spots. Underwatering can lead to wilting and drooping leaves. Water the Monstera once every two weeks and check the top inches of the soil before watering them.

·       Monstera adansonii and friedrichsthalii do well in bright indirect light, as they receive filtered light in the rainforest. Direct sunlight can burn the Monstera and result in brown leaves. Put them in a room with plenty of indirect light and keep away from direct sun.

·       You will need to report the Monstera often. The adansonii Monstera needs to be repotted more frequently, once every few weeks, while the friedrichsthalii only needs repotting once every few years. Use a clay pot with drainage holes for the Monstera as it is cost-effective and suitable for their growth. Monstera prefers soggy soil made of well-draining aroid mix and orchid bark.

·       You can grow them from seeds and use fertilizer for better growth. However, do not expect them to flower or see a spathe or spadix as they rarely do so indoors. The fertilizer does not influence spadix formation or flowering.

·       You can propagate the two Monstera similarly by using stem cuttings from the mother plant. Cut the stem at the node, ensuring that there is at least one leaf attached to the stem. Place the stem cutting in water until new roots emerge and shift it to the soil for a new plant.

Monstera Adansonii Variegata

Sometimes, a genetic mutation occurs naturally in the Monstera adansonii that influences the plant’s ability to produce chlorophyll, resulting in the absence of pigment in certain parts of the leaf. This gives the Monstera adansonii variegata a contrasting color of green, yellow, and cream.

One such popular form of the variegated Monstera plant is the Monstera adansonii archipelago. These variegated Monstera adansonii species are extremely rare as they are difficult to find in local nurseries.

The variegated variety of adansonii is one of the most expensive and rare Monstera adansonii varieties. The variegata can be grown in tissue culture and sold as well.

Monstera Adansonii

Read Next: Monstera Types

Frequently Asked Questions

1.      Is Monkey Mask and Adansonii the same?

Monstera adansonii varieties are often called the Monkey Mask Monstera as it is covered in holes making the plant look like a mask.

The holes in the leaves of the Monstera adansonii varieties represent the monkey’s eyes, nostrils, and mouth. Hence, the name Monkey Mask was given to the species.

2.      Is Adansonii the same as the Swiss Cheese plant?

Adansonii is often called the swiss cheese vine due to its vining growth and holes in the leaves that make it look like swiss cheese.

However, the name “Swiss Cheese Plant” is commonly used for Monstera deliciosa, a sister plant from the same genus.

3.      Is Monstera Adansonii Laniata rare?

Monstera adansonii varieties are the opposite of Monstera deliciosa as they are scarce as they grow slowly and only in some regions of the world.

Monstera adansonii laniata is known for its four elliptical holes in the leaf and is only found in South America, making it one of the rarest adansonii Monstera adansonii varieties.