Adanson’s monstera (Monstera adansonii) is a popular house plant which is native to the rainforests of Central and South America. Common names include Swiss cheese plant or five holes plant due to the large holes in its leaves called fenestrations.
Below we cover all the details you need to know about growing Monstera adansonii.
Monstera adansonii Care
Swiss cheese plants are low maintenance house plants which grow quickly and can be easily propagated. It’s a vining plant which will cascade down from a hanging basket or can grow up a moss-covered pole. If you provide well-draining soil, don’t overwater, and provide plenty of indirect sunlight, this plant thrives indoors.
Being native to the tropics, Monstera adansonii prefers humid environments and won’t tolerate freezing temperatures. It needs fertilizer a few times a year and pruning if you want to keep it smaller than 8 feet tall. Here are the details about caring for Monstera adansonii.
Swiss cheese plants grow best in well drained soils because it allows their roots to slightly dry out between waterings. Orchid mixes work well since they are composed of perlite, vermiculite, bark, and lava rocks, allowing for aeration of the roots between waterings.
Water your Swiss cheese plant whenever the soil is dry. Take care not to leave the pot sitting in a saucer with water for long periods or your plant could develop root rot.
Adansonii Monstera don’t tolerate full sun well. Keep them in bright rooms with indirect sunlight or dappled shade. Place your Swiss cheese plant near east or west facing windows for optimal lighting.
Monstera adansonii are native to the rainforest and require humidity. If the air is dry, you can periodically mist your plant. You can also add pebbles to a saucer under the pot and add water which increases humidity as it evaporates.
Monstera adansonii won’t tolerate freezing temperatures. Keep plants above 55 degrees fahrenheit to thrive.
Use a 1:1 mix of liquid fertilizer and water to fertilize your Swiss cheese plant monthly. If you replant in a potting mix containing fertilizer, don’t fertilize for at least 4 months.
To propagate Monstera adansonii with stem cuttings, cut off 4 to 6 inches of the vine right below a leaf node. Remove the leaves on the bottom half and apply a rooting hormone at the base. Plant in a moist, soilless potting mix. Keep the potting mix moist and roots will establish after several months.
To propagate in water, prepare a cutting as described above and place it in a vase with 2 inches of water. Change the water weekly and roots will begin to grow in six weeks. Wait 2 to 3 months before planting.
Disease and Pests
Swiss cheese plants are generally disease and pest resistant but may be impacted by common houseplant pests. While mealy bugs, scale insects, spider mites, and whiteflies can feed on Monstera adansonii, they typically won’t kill the plant and can be treated with insecticides. To prevent root rot issues, avoid overwatering.
Monstera plants are toxic to dogs and cats, and mildly toxic to humans. It is best to keep your Adanson’s monstera away from both children and pets.
Monstera adansonii Variegated
While Monstera adansonii are already aesthetically unique, variegated forms (which have variable white patterns on the leaves) are available.
Variegated varieties require more sunlight because white areas on the leaves lack chlorophyll and won’t photosynthesize.
Benefits of Monstera adansonii
Swiss cheese plants benefit your home by improving indoor air quality. They can remove pollution and increase oxygen in the air.
Frequently Asked Questions
Monstera adansonii can have a lifespan of more than 40 years. Since it can be propagated by cuttings, producing a new plant which can live just as long, the lifespan can theoretically be extended indefinitely from a single parent plant.
Monstera adansonii grow 1 to 2 feet per year, ultimately growing to 8 feet tall and 3 feet wide when grown indoors. Outdoors they reach a height of up to 13 feet. You can keep Monstera adansonii smaller by pruning.
A lack of sunlight causes Monstera adansonii to become leggy as it tries to reach out for more sunlight. While it doesn’t like direct sunlight, Monstera adansonii does need ample indirect light to grow correctly. If your plant becomes leggy, prune it back to encourage new growth and move it to a brighter room.
Since Monstera adansonii are native to the tropics, they do prefer humid air which can be simulated in dry areas with misting. According to the University of Florida, only mist your Monstera adansonii occasionally and not on a daily basis. If humidity is below 50 percent, you should be misting your plant.