30+ How to Grow and Care for Swiss Cheese Plant (Monstera Adansonii)

Updated: 15 Jun, 2023


The Monstera adansonii plant has gained significant popularity as a low-maintenance and visually appealing houseplant, renowned for its elegantly trailing split leaves. This plant, alternatively referred to as the Swiss cheese plant, Swiss cheese monstera, Adanson’s monstera, or Monstera monkey mask, offers a delightful addition to any indoor space.

While often mistaken for its larger relative, the Monstera deliciosa, commonly known as the Swiss cheese plant, the Monstera adansonii is a smaller variety. It should not be confused with the rare Monstera obliqua, which bears little resemblance to its adansonii counterpart.

Provided with proper care, the Monstera adansonii thrives as an exceptional indoor houseplant. Its resilience and ease of maintenance make it an ideal choice for both experienced plant enthusiasts and beginners alike. This species is known for its ability to tolerate a wide range of lighting conditions, making it adaptable to various indoor environments. However, it typically flourishes best in bright, indirect light.

When it comes to watering, it is crucial to strike a balance for optimal growth. Over-watering can lead to root rot, while under-watering can cause dehydration and stunted growth. Aim to keep the soil slightly moist but avoid excessive dampness. Regularly check the soil’s moisture level by inserting your finger into it, and water accordingly.

Moreover, the Monstera adansonii appreciates higher humidity levels. Misting the leaves or placing the plant near a humidifier can help create a suitable environment. Additionally, occasional gentle wiping of the leaves with a damp cloth prevents dust accumulation, promoting healthy foliage.

Propagation is another exciting aspect of Monstera adansonii care. This plant can be propagated through stem cuttings, which can develop roots when placed in water or a suitable potting mix. Once rooted, these cuttings can be transplanted into separate containers, giving rise to new plants.

What is Monstera Adansonii?

Monstera adansonii, also known as the Swiss cheese plant, Swiss cheese monstera, Adanson’s monstera, or Monstera monkey mask, is a species of flowering plant in the Araceae family. It is native to the tropical rainforests of Central and South America, including regions such as Mexico, Brazil, and Panama.

Monstera adansonii is a vining plant that typically grows as an epiphyte, meaning it attaches itself to other plants or surfaces in its natural habitat. The plant features heart-shaped leaves that are deeply lobed and perforated, giving them a distinctive “Swiss cheese” appearance. The splits and holes in the leaves serve a purpose in the wild by allowing light to pass through the dense forest canopy and reducing wind resistance.

As a houseplant, Monstera adansonii is highly sought after for its unique and attractive foliage. Its trailing vines make it suitable for hanging baskets or training on a trellis or moss pole. It can also be grown as a compact potted plant with regular pruning.

In terms of care, Monstera adansonii is generally considered to be a relatively easy plant to maintain. It thrives in bright, indirect light but can tolerate lower light conditions. It prefers well-draining soil and should be watered when the top inch of soil feels dry, avoiding over-watering that can lead to root rot.

Swiss Cheese Plant Care

If you’re drawn to the aesthetic of a Monstera deliciosa but lack the room to accommodate its substantial size, the Monstera adansonii is an excellent alternative. With a similar appearance but a slower growth rate and more compact nature, it is ideally suited for smaller spaces.

Caring for your Monstera adansonii, also known as the Swiss cheese plant or Swiss cheese monstera, involves several key factors to ensure its health and growth. By paying attention to light, water, soil, temperature and humidity, and fertilizer, you can provide optimal conditions for your Monstera adansonii to thrive.

Monstera adansonii prefers bright, indirect sunlight. Direct sunlight, especially during the mid-afternoon when it is the harshest, can lead to leaf burn. It is best to place your plant where it will receive at least six hours of bright sunlight, but it’s important to filter the light with a curtain or provide relatively indirect sunlight. This will protect the leaves from scorching and maintain their health.

When it comes to watering your Monstera adansonii, it’s important to keep the soil consistently moist but not soaking wet. To determine if it’s time to water, insert your finger about an inch into the soil. If the soil feels nearly dry at that depth, it’s a good indication that your plant needs water. Initially, water your Monstera adansonii once a week and then adjust the watering frequency based on how the plant responds. If you find it challenging to determine the right watering schedule, consider using a moisture meter to monitor the moisture levels in the soil.

A well-draining potting mix is essential for the Monstera adansonii. Look for peat-based potting mixes specifically formulated for houseplants, or you can modify a traditional houseplant potting mix by adding extra peat or perlite to improve drainage. It’s also important to monitor the pH level of the soil, as the Monstera adansonii prefers slightly acidic soil. You can increase the soil’s acidity by incorporating some peat or compost into the soil mix.

Temperature and Humidity:
Being a tropical plant, the Monstera adansonii thrives in warm temperatures and high humidity. Maintain a temperature range of around 65 to 85 degrees Fahrenheit (18 to 29 degrees Celsius) for optimal growth. It’s crucial to protect the plant from cold drafts and avoid placing it near heating or cooling vents. High humidity is beneficial for the Monstera adansonii, so consider investing in a humidifier to create a humid environment. Placing the plant near the humidifier and turning it on during dry weather will help maintain the desired humidity levels.

Unlike succulents, the Monstera adansonii benefits from regular fertilization. At the beginning of the growing season, which is typically spring, apply a controlled-release fertilizer directly to the soil according to the package instructions. This slow-release fertilizer will provide nutrients to the plant over an extended period. Alternatively, you can use compost once every few weeks as a natural and organic fertilizer option. Ensure that you follow the recommended dosage and avoid over-fertilizing, as it can lead to nutrient burn or other issues.

Monstera adansonii Care Takeaways

SpeciesMonstera adansonii
SynonymsAdanson’s monstera, Swiss cheese vine, Five holes plant
GrowthClimbing, vining
Height8 feet
Width2 feet
SoilChunky aroid soil
WateringWater every 5 to 7 days
LightBright indirect
Temperature64 to 81°F
FertilizerFertilize 2 times per month
PropagationStem cuttings, seeds

Potting and Repotting

When it comes to selecting a pot for your Monstera adansonii, you have a wide range of options to choose from. As this plant requires well-draining soil while still needing to maintain moisture, pots made of glass or metal can be excellent choices, as long as they have drainage holes at the bottom. However, when considering any plant that requires well-draining soil, it is generally best to opt for pots made from porous materials like concrete, terracotta, or ceramic.

When the time comes to repot your Monstera adansonii, it’s advisable to do so during its springtime growing season to minimize transplant shock. This plant is particularly sensitive to sudden changes in its environment, especially concerning soil and humidity. Therefore, repotting it during the growing season, when it has an abundance of nutrients and energy to recover from the transplant, is the optimal approach. Plan to repot the plant approximately every two years, ensuring that you select a pot that is at least 10% larger than its previous container.

By choosing a suitable pot and timing the repotting process correctly, you can provide your Monstera adansonii with a conducive environment for continued growth and vitality.

Monstera Adansonii Pruning

Pruning is an essential practice for maintaining a Monstera adansonii, as it helps control its growth within the designated space and prevents it from becoming excessively large. Additionally, pruning can address issues such as lopsided or leggy growth. The optimal time to prune your Monstera adansonii is at the beginning of the growing season, as it allows the plant to recover quickly and promote new growth.

To ensure effective and safe pruning, it is important to use clean and sharp pruning shears or a knife. This helps minimize the risk of introducing infections or damaging the plant. Wearing gloves during the pruning process is recommended to protect your skin from potential irritations. Moreover, it is crucial to keep the pruned parts away from pets or children, as some plant species can be toxic if ingested.

Begin the pruning process by removing any dead or dying leaves at the base of the stem. These leaves no longer contribute to the plant’s health and vitality. Next, identify the leaves or stems that you wish to remove to create more space or achieve a desired shape. These pruned parts can be saved for propagation purposes, allowing you to grow new Monstera adansonii plants from them in the future.

Monstera Adansonii Common Complications

While Monstera plants are generally resilient, they can still face a few common issues and pests. Two pests that frequently affect Monstera plants are spider mites and scale insects. To treat these pests, you can prepare a solution by diluting hydrogen peroxide and use a cotton swab to apply it to areas where you see clusters of eggs or scale growth. This method helps control and eliminate the pests effectively.

Yellowing leaves are another complication that may occur with Monstera plants. If you notice yellowing leaves, it is essential to check the moisture, humidity, and light levels. Yellowing leaves can be a sign of underfeeding, so ensure that your plant is receiving adequate nutrients. Adjust the watering schedule and consider fertilizing the plant to provide the necessary nutrients.

On the other hand, blackening or browning leaves usually indicate overwatering. If you suspect overwatering, it is recommended to repot your Monstera in fresh, well-draining soil that is dry. This allows for improved drainage and prevents waterlogged roots. If your Monstera is suffering from root rot, it can be helpful to let the roots dry for a day or so before repotting to encourage recovery.

Monstera Adansonii Toxicity

The ASPCA advises that all Monstera plants are toxic, making it crucial to keep them out of the reach of children and pets. When incorporating a Monstera plant, also known as the Swiss cheese plant, into your home, it’s important to prioritize safety.

To ensure the well-being of your household, take precautionary measures when placing the plant. Keep it in an area that is inaccessible to children and pets, such as on high shelves or in hanging planters. By doing so, you can minimize the risk of accidental ingestion and potential harm.

In the event of ingestion, Monstera plants can cause various adverse effects. These may include irritation, excessive drooling, swelling of the mouth, vomiting, and difficulty swallowing. If you suspect that a child or pet has consumed any part of the plant, it is essential to seek immediate medical attention and consult a veterinarian if necessary.

Frequently Asked Question

What is the ideal light conditions for a Swiss Cheese Plant (Monstera adansonii)?

Swiss Cheese Plants thrive in bright, indirect sunlight. Avoid placing them in direct sunlight as it can cause leaf burn. Filtered light or a few feet away from a window with a sheer curtain is ideal.

How often should I water my Monstera adansonii?

Water your Swiss Cheese Plant when the top inch of soil feels dry. Ensure proper drainage and avoid overwatering, as it can lead to root rot. In general, watering once a week or when needed is sufficient, but adjust based on the specific needs of your plant and environmental conditions.

What type of soil is best for Monstera adansonii?

Use a well-draining potting mix for your Swiss Cheese Plant. A mixture of peat moss, perlite, and regular potting soil works well. Good drainage is essential to prevent waterlogged soil.

How do I propagate a Monstera adansonii?

Propagation of Monstera adansonii can be done through stem cuttings. Take a cutting with at least one node, place it in water or moist soil until roots develop, and then transfer it to a pot. Ensure the cutting receives indirect light and proper humidity during the propagation process.

What temperature and humidity levels are best for Monstera adansonii?

Swiss Cheese Plants prefer temperatures between 65-85°F (18-29°C). They can tolerate slightly cooler temperatures but are sensitive to frost. Regarding humidity, they thrive in higher humidity levels but can adapt to average household humidity. You can increase humidity by using a humidifier, pebble trays, or grouping plants together.

Does Monstera adansonii require fertilization?

Yes, fertilizing your Swiss Cheese Plant can promote growth and vitality. Use a balanced liquid fertilizer or a slow-release fertilizer during the growing season (spring and summer). Follow the package instructions for proper dosage and frequency.

How often should I repot my Monstera adansonii?

Repotting is necessary when the plant outgrows its current pot. Generally, repot every 1-2 years or when the roots become crowded. Choose a pot that is slightly larger than the current one to allow for growth.


Growing and caring for the Swiss Cheese Plant (Monstera adansonii) can be a rewarding experience. By following some key guidelines, you can ensure the health and vitality of your plant.

Provide your Monstera adansonii with bright, indirect sunlight to prevent leaf burn. Keep the plant somewhere it will receive at least six hours of filtered sunlight each day. Water your plant regularly, keeping the soil consistently moist but not soaking wet. Check the soil moisture levels and adjust your watering schedule accordingly.

Choose a well-draining potting mix and use pots made from porous materials like terracotta or ceramic. Repot your Monstera adansonii every two years during the growing season, using a pot that is at least 10% larger than the previous one.

Maintain a temperature range of 65 to 85 degrees Fahrenheit (18 to 29 degrees Celsius) and provide high humidity for your Monstera adansonii. Consider using a humidifier or misting the leaves regularly to create a suitable environment for the plant.

Mary Lloyster

Mary Lloyster

Mary, the ultimate oracle of indoor gardening! With years of experience and a flourishing indoor expo, Mary has become our go-to expert for all things related to house plants and indoor gardening. Despite her background in Political Science, Mary has discovered a delightful way to blend her full-time job with a touch of relaxation through indoor gardening. Now, she eagerly shares her wisdom and experiences with our readers on a daily basis. If you have any inquiries about house plants, indoor gardening techniques, or caring tips, don't hesitate to leave a comment for Mary in the designated section below!

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