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    How to Grow and Care For Monstera Adansonii

    Monstera adansonii, commonly known as swiss cheese vine or five holes plant, is a beautiful, vining indoor plant native to the jungles of Central America, South America and the Amazon.
    blog post authorVera Kutsenko
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    You’ve probably seen them in your friend's home or on your favorite plant influencer’s gram, Monsteras are one of the most popular houseplants that have been the rage for the last decade.
    Monsteras, also commonly known as swiss cheese plants, are philodendrons with vining heart-shaped leaves that are commonly grown for their lush, green, and fenestrated foliage. Native to South America, they prefer warm temperatures and humid climates. 
    They are a great starter plant for beginners and experts alike grown in common varieties, Monstera Deliciosa, Monstera Adansonii, to rare and variegated varieties such as the Monstera Thai Constellation, or Mint Monstera Adansonii.

    What is a Monstera Adansonii?

    Monstera adansonii, commonly known as swiss cheese vine or five holes plant, is a beautiful, vining indoor plant native to the jungles of Central America, South America and the Amazon.
    Monstera adansonii, like most other Aroids (Araceae family), thrives in the high humidity and dapples shade of the jungle canopies. Monsteras are epiphytic, meaning, they produce aerial roots as they grow their vines and are able to hook into wood, soil, rocks, and other debris to grow. 
    Epiphytes don’t need soil to grow like other common houseplants and evolved so to survive and get needed nutrition in the dense forests. 
    Their emerald green leaves are smaller than that of the Monstera deliciosa, but both plant’s heart-shaped leaves will produce fenestrations. Monstera adansonii is a flowering plant and can produce blooms once the plant is mature, but indoor monsteras will typically never fruit.
    Unlike Monstera deliciosa, Monstera adansonii has a much smaller growth habit making it a great option for small spaces.
    Monstera adansonii, in particular, can be trained to grow up a moss pole or trailed off of a hanging basket. 


    What’s the difference between Monstera adansonii and Monstera Deliciosa?
    There’s several differences between Monstera adansonii and Monstera Deliciosa. The primary differences are their growth habit and leaf shapes. Monstera adansonii has a much smaller growth habit than the Monstera Deliciosa. Due to its smaller growth habit, Monstera adansonii is a great option for hanging baskets while Monstera Deliciosa is trained to grow up a moss pole. Monstera adansonii’s leaves also produce fenestrations which do not cut through the edges of the leaves making them appear more like swiss cheese than the Monstera deliciosa whose bigger fenestrations tend to protrude through the leaf edges.

    Monstera Adansonii CARE GUIDE

    Monstera adansonii
    Five holes plant, swiss cheese plant, swiss cheese vine
    Araceae
    Beginner
    Fast
    Balanced houseplant fertilizer
    Bright, indirect light for 4-6 hours, but can tolerate lower light conditions.
    Moderate - allow top inch of soil to dry, but Monsteras prefer mois soil (not soggy!).
    Well-draining houseplant soil mix or aroid mix. Supplement regular potting mix with perlite, peat moss.
    5.5 - 7.0
    Stem cuttings
    Anytime the plant is mature
    55-85°F
    A few feet away from south-facing window. Near west or east-facing windows.
    10
    Other tropical plants such as the pothos and other philodendrons
    Toxic to dogs and cats
    Spider Mites, Root Rot, Aphids, Mealybugs, Whiteflies, Fungus gnats
    Botanical Name
    Common Name
    Family
    Difficulty
    Growth Rate
    Fertilizer
    Sun Exposure
    Water
    Soil Type
    Soil Ph
    Propagate
    Bloom Time
    Temperature
    Window Locations (Ideal)
    USDA Hardiness Zones
    Companion Plants
    Toxicity
    Troubleshooting
    Where to Buy

    How to Care For Monstera Adansonii

    Monstera adansonii is a species of flowering plant from family Araceae.
    Image Source:Photo by Riki Budianto on Getty ImagesMonstera adansonii is a species of flowering plant from family Araceae.
    Monstera adansonii is a fantastic tropical plant for beginners due to its easy care nature and vigorous growth habit. The adansonii plant can grow upwards of two feet in a single season making it a great option for hanging baskets, a bookshelf, or a corner office. You can’t really go wrong with this jungle plant!
    In this care guide, we’ll cover plant care for your Monstera Adansonii - where to place your plant, how to water it, and care for it so it lives to its fullest potential.

    💧 Water

    Native to the tropics, Monstera Adansonii prefers moderately moist soil. You’ll want to allow the top inch of soil to dry in between waterings
    Overly soggy soil can lead to fungal diseases such as root rot, which is why we recommend you plant your Monstera in a pot with drainage holes


    How often do you water Monstera Adansonii?
    Monsteras like to have consistently moist soil, so we recommend you water them 1-2x a week depending on how dry and hot your climate is. Once the top soil is dry, you can water your Monstera again.
    Why is my Monstera turning yellow?
    If your Monstera adansonii is turning yellow, this may be a sign of overwatering. As your monstera matures, it’s natural for a few leaves to turn yellow and fade, however, if you’re seeing significant increase in yellowing leaves, then you’ll want to adjust your watering schedule. 
    Can Monstera adansonii live in just water?
    Although you can propagate your Monstera adansonii in water, we don’t recommend growing a mature plant in water. Monsteras need the nutrition that’s available in soil to thrive to their fullest potential, but they will grow for a while in water. If you only grow Monsteras in water, they will hit a growth cap at a certain point and potentially start to die off due to lack of proper nutrition and space for their root systems.

    ☀️ Sunlight

    Like most tropical indoor plants, Monstera adansonii will thrive best in bright indirect light for 4-6 hours a day. In their native environments, they grow under the dappled shade of the canopies and use their aerial roots to climb up trees to get more sunlight. 
    If you’re growing indoors, consider placing your Monstera adansonii a few feet away from a South-facing window (to avoid overexposure to direct sun), or near a west or east-facing window. If you don’t have a great light source in your home, consider investing into a grow light to boost your Monstera’s growth.
    Overexposure to direct sunlight can cause your adansonii plant leaves to burn and start to turn crispy. 


    What window should Monstera adansonii be in?
    We recommend placing your Monstera adansonii a few feet away from a South-facing window or near a west or east-facing window.
    Can Monstera adansonii survive in low light?
    Monstera adansonii can adapt to lower light conditions, but will grow much slower, smaller, and leggier due to lack of nutrition.
    How much light does a Monstera adansonii need?
    To thrive, Monstera adansonii needs at least 6 hours of bright, indirect sunlight a day. Without enough light, Monstera adansonii will grow leggy and slowly.

    🌡️ Temperature and Humidity

    Part of the family of jungle plants, Monstera adansonii grows best in warm climates with high humidity. Most household temperatures will work with the most ideal temperatures being between 55 and 85 degrees Fahrenheit. 
    If you need to increase your humidity, consider investing in a small humidifier, grouping your houseplants together, or placing your Monstera adansonii near a tray filled with pebbles and water. 


    Do Monstera’s like to be misted?
    Monstera adansonii’s prefer humid environments, so an occasional misting if you live in dry/arid regions is recommended. However, we don’t recommend regular misting majority of the time because the build up of moisture on the leaves (without fast evaporation) can create an environment that attracts pests like fungus gnats, spider mites or fungal diseases like leaf spot.

    🌱 Best Soil for Monstera Adansonii

    Like most other Aroids, Monstera Adansonii prefers well-draining soil that’s able to retain moisture. If you’re able to get your hands on a specialty aroid mix containing perlite and peat moss, those always work best. 
    You can also use regular houseplant potting mix amended with perlite and peat moss for better aeration and moisture retention.
    Proper, well-draining soil is critical to your Monstera’s health in preventing soggy soil from improper watering. Soggy soil will lead to fungal diseases like root rot which will kill your plant if not handled quickly.

    🌻 Fertilizer

    Monstera’s don’t need fertilizer to grow well, but you can consider supplementing your plant with slow-release fertilizer every month or two
    The adansonii plant is a flowering plant capable of blooming, but this is a rare occurrence when grown indoors.

    😎 Pruning and Maintenance

    Monstera adansonii is a vigorous grower throughout the year, so we recommend an occasional pruning to maintain its appearance.
    As your plant matures, it’ll likely develop some yellow or brown leaves. We always recommend trimming unhealthy growth so your plant can focus its energy and reserves towards healthy growth. 
    Make sure to never prune more than 70-80% of your plant!

    ☢️ Toxicity

    Unfortunately, Monstera adansonii is toxic to pets (toxic to cats and dogs). 

    🏡 Growing Outdoors

    Although Monstera adansonii are typically grown as indoor houseplants, they can be grown outdoors in containers or in your garden in warmer zones. If you’re growing in USDA hardiness zone 10 or above, you can grow your Monstera adansonii year round.
    If you’re outside of these zones, we recommend growing your monstera plants in containers and moving them indoors when the temperatures start to drop.
    If you’re growing outdoors, you can place your Monstera where it’ll receive bright indirect light for the majority of the day. In hotter regions, plant your Monstera in partial shade to give it respite from direct sunlight. Outdoors, grow you can train your Monstera up a trellis or a fence for a more enchanting feel. 

    How to Propagate Monstera Adansonii From Stem Cuttings

    Monstera adansonii in a pot.
    Image Source:Photo by rukawajung on Getty ImagesMonstera adansonii in a pot.
    The easiest way to propagate your Monstera Adansonii is through stem cuttings. You can propagate your stem cuttings in water, soil, or sphagnum peat moss. Regardless of what medium you use, the process is generally the same.
    To prepare to propagate your Monstera adansonii make sure to prepare sterilized shears, new soil or water, a new container, and gloves. Follow these steps for monstera propagation:
    • Wearing gloves and using sterilized scissors, take a cutting with at least 2-4 nodes (part where the leaf meets the stem) from your mother plant.
    • If you have access to rooting hormone, take the cut tip and dip it in rooting hormone.
    • Place your new cutting in soil, moss, or water.
    • It'll take a couple of weeks for your new plant’s roots to form. We recommend transplanting to a new container or pot when the root system looks bushy.
    • Once your new plant is settled in, make sure to water thoroughly!

    How to Repot Monstera Adansonii

    Monstera Adansonii houseplant cutting with long bare roots.
    Image Source:Photo by Firn on Getty ImagesMonstera Adansonii houseplant cutting with long bare roots.
    Your monstera adansonii will need to be repotted every two to three years. Monstera’s root system needs space to grow, and these plants prefer to not be root bound to get proper nutrition. 
    You’ll know it's time to repot if you start to see roots poking out of your pot’s drainage holes. 
    When you’re ready for a repotting, follow these steps:
    • Prepare a container 1-2” bigger in size, aroid or houseplant soil mix, gloves.
    • Softly remove your plant from its container and shake off any remaining soil off the roots.
    • Now is a great time to inspect the roots for any sign of root rot and disease. If you see any mushy, brown roots, use sterilized shears to trim this unhealthy growth.
    • Prepare your new container and fill ⅓ of the way with soil.
    • Place your plant in the container and backfill with soil.
    • Make sure to water appropriately and place your new plant in a space that gets bright indirect light for 4-6 hours.

    Common Monstera Adansonii Disease

    Monstera Adansonii in golden flower pot on white background.
    Image Source:Photo by Damian Lugowski on Getty ImagesMonstera Adansonii in golden flower pot on white background.
    Monstera adansonii with proper care doesn’t develop many issues, however, the most common problems with Monsteras tend to be around improper watering. Root rot is caused by build up of excess moisture in the soil. If left untreated, your Monstera Adansonii will be left to perish!

    Root Rot

    If this is your first time experiencing root rot, read our full guide on root rot.
    Root rot is a common issue with most houseplants including Monstera adansonii. It’s usually caused by moist or waterlogged soil for prolonged periods of time. Symptoms can include rapidly yellowing leaves, stunted growth, and a rotten brown base. If you’re seeing these symptoms, here’s how to treat root rot.
    • Remove the plant from the pot and gently remove the soil so you can see the root system.
    • If the roots are brown and mushy, you must take action immediately.
    • Clean off the roots with sterile water.
    • Take sterilized scissors and trim any mushy roots.
    • You can use a diluted hydrogen peroxide solution to disinfect the roots.
    Once cleaned up, repot your plant in fresh houseplant soil mix.

    Common Monstera Adansonii Pests

    Closeup of the leaves on a swiss cheese monstera plant.
    Image Source:Photo by Akchamczuk on Getty ImagesCloseup of the leaves on a swiss cheese monstera plant.
    Although Monstera adansonii is a beautiful houseplant, it can be a pest magnet in the right conditions. Monsteras like other tropical plants is susceptible to pests like spider mites, scale, mealybugs, fungus gnats, and whiteflies.

    Fungus Gnats

    Fungus gnats are tiny fruit-fly-sized insects that infest moist soil, potting mix, and other mediums. They are gray to black-gray in appearance and their long legs and antennae can give them a mosquito like appearance.
    Because Monstera Adansonii loves humid environments and moist soil, they can be particularly susceptible to fungus gnat infestations. Although harmless to humans, fungus gnats love to feed on the plants’ thin roots.


    How to spot fungus gnat infestation on my Monstera adansonii?
    You’ll find them primarily on the surface of your potted soil.In an early infestation, fungus gnats are unlikely to do much damage. But because fungus gnats reproduce rapidly, laying up to hundreds of eggs on the soil surface, what was once a small infestation can turn into a severe infestation fairly quickly.

    Spider Mites

    Spider mites are ectoparasitic arthropods that feed on plants. They prefer hot weather along with dry conditions, and they feed on a wide range of plants. Spider mites can be red, yellow or orange, depending on the species. They are tiny, but they can be seen with the naked eye.Spider mites attack plants through their leaves, sucking the nutrients out of them.
    They leave stalks behind as they feed. While feeding, spider mites create webbing, and drain the life from plants causing leaves on infested plants to turn yellow and brown. They can cover and kill an entire plant within a week or two if left uncontrolled in your garden.
    If this is your first time managing spider mites, read our in-depth guide on how to get rid of spider mites on indoor plants.
    How to spot a spider mite infestation on my Monstera Adansonii?
    Spider mite damage is different from that of cutting insects. There won’t be a hole in a leaf, but rather large discolored areas made up of tiny dots or stippling. You may notice that your plant leaves are covered in a web-like substance as previously stated or you may notice small specks on the leaves, or if the infestation has gone further you might see leaves or whole portions of your plant start to curl and wither. To treat spider mites, quarantine your plant to prevent spread. You can wash your plant with water to clear our some of the infestation initially and then use insecticidal soap or neem oil to spray your plant and wipe off spider mites. Repeat this process daily until the infestation is gone.

    Thrips

    Thrips are tiny winged insects that are difficult to see with the naked eye due to their size. They are much smaller than mealybugs coming in brown, white, or yellow colors. You’ll find these tiny insects moving around your plant's leaves - at the top, undersides, or even around the stems of your plant. 
    Thrips are especially important pests to handle early and quickly because of their ability to reproduce vigorously and suck the sap out of your Monstera’s leaves. Female thrips will lay eggs in Monstera’s leaf tissue damaging the beautiful foliage right away. 
    What are symptoms of Thrips?
    Symptoms of thrips include yellow or brown discoloration on your monstera adansonii’s leaves. You may also experience black spots, wilting, drooping, or curling of leaves.
    What to do with a Thrips infestation?
    If you’re starting to see signs of a thrips infestation, immediately quarantine your plant away from other plants and apply insecticide or neem oil every 7 days until infestation disappears. Insecticidal soap: You can use insecticidal soap such as Ivory Liquid, or Safer’s Insecticidal soaps. Mix a soap concentration with water (1 tsp per gallon) and spray on your plants focusing on leaf undersides.

    Mealybugs

    Mealybugs are insects that similar to Aphids cause damage by sucking the juice from their host plants. They love new growth like new leaves and buds. 
    Mealybugs are white-looking insects that are easy to identify on your plant. They often clamp up on stems and leaves. If you see white spots or white, cotton-like spots on your plant, you likely have mealybug infestation.
    A light infestation is easy to treat, but a severe infestation may require you to toss your plant.
    Symptoms of mealybugs include stunted growth, bud drop, yellow leaves, and leaf drop. Mealybugs also produce secretions known as honeydew which can encourage development of sooty mold and other fungal infections.


    Wipe Mealybugs Away
    Use a cotton swab with rubbing alcohol to remove mealybugs. This is good for light infestations.
    Spray Water
    Use a strong blast of water to rid of mealybugs. You can also dip more sensitive plants in water to dislodge the mealybugs. 
    Insecticidal soap
    You can use insecticidal soap such as Ivory Liquid, Safer’s Insecticidal soaps. Mix a soap concentration with water (1 tsp per gallon) and spray on your plants focusing on leaf undersides.
    Neem Oil
    You can use neem oil spray similar to insecticidal soap to spray and wipe away mealybugs. Neem oil has chemicals that act as a repellant to pests like mealybugs.

    📚 Monstera Adansonii Care Tips

    If you’re breaking down a difficult concept or task, some readers may still feel overwhelmed and unsure of their ability to tackle it. Break down a few suggestions on how to best approach the concept, and/or a few reminders about it. This is not a list post, so keep this short list to three to five pieces of advice. 
    • Grow your Monstera adansonii in a place that can receive 4-6 hours of bright, indirect sunlight a day.
    • Plant your Monstera adansonii in well-draining soil amended with perlite and peat moss for best results.
    • Moderate humidity and warm temperatures are important!
    Always check your Monstera adansonii for leaf discolorations which can be a symptom of disease or pest infestations and handle these early.