Monstera adansonii, also called Adanson’s monstera, and evenSwiss cheese plant, or five holes plant, is the cheesiest of all the Monstera Swiss cheese plants from the monstera family.
Although not as big or popular as its relative Monstera deliciosa, this humble vining plant offers more delicate and exquisite foliage. Taking care of it may seem difficult at first, but after you figure out what it requires, it will be a breeze.
What Is Monstera Adansonii?
Monstera adansonii is famously known as a plant with holes on its leaves that resemble Swiss cheese. Apart from its signature heart-shaped leaves that develop holes as they grow in a process called fenestration, it is also a flowering plant that originates from Central and South America.
Monstera Adansonii Care
Despite the delicate appearance of Monstera adansonii, taking care of it is rather simple. With the right knowledge and comprehension of its basic needs and addressing the root cause of any problems it may have, anyone can have an elegant thriving houseplant with the unique Swiss cheese leaf.
Although monstera plants are simple to care for, determining when to water them is the most difficult aspect. Overwatering Monstera adansonii can cause a variety of problems, including plant death, so make sure to give it enough water when needed but never too much.
Given that Monstera adansonii enjoys moist but not wet soil, it’s best to verify the soil’s condition before watering. To do so, use your finger to examine the top inch of soil; if it seems dry to the touch, you can water it. However, be careful how much water you give it; the top layer should not be kept moist more than a couple of days at a time.
The optimal light for this plant is bright indirect light. Monstera adansonii is a tropical rainforest native and tends to grow on tree trunks and branches, where it receives only indirect light due to the foliage cover.
The notable holes of the leaves are the result of this dappled light scenario. They have evolved to optimize the amount of sunlight they can receive. These holes allow light to penetrate through the top leaves and onto the leaves below, which would otherwise be in the dark.
A difference in the brightness a Monstera adansonii receives directly affects its growth rate, so it is fundamental to know the right amount of sunlight it needs. Too much light can burn the thin foliage, while placing it in an area that is too dark will make its growth very slow and cause it to produce smaller-sized foliage.
With the latter in mind, it is recommended to place them at about two meters from a window facing west and a couple of meters away from a window facing south. If there is no such spot in the house, it is ideal to use a grow light.
The Monstera adansonii plant requires soil that can hold moisture, but it also prefers a type of soil that drains well. Peat-based potting soil and aroid mix soil, which comprises perlite, charcoal, bark, and peat moss, are ideal examples of this. A soil pH of 5.5 to 7 is ideal for healthy growth.
Given that Monstera adansonii is a tropical plant, it prefers humid conditions and does not grow well in temperatures below 55 degrees Fahrenheit. The temperatures should be ranging from 60 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit are the most ideal for this plant to continue thriving.
It is also recommended to keep them away from direct airflow from heaters or cold drafts because they can’t handle sudden temperature changes well.
Monstera adansonii thrives in areas where the relative humidity is between 50 percent and 60 percent. The humidity will most likely be low if they are kept indoors, but there is no need to be concerned because there are various ways to increase the humidity in the home.
The simplest method is to place the plant in your home’s most humid area: your bathroom. Just make sure it’s not near any open windows. If there are no other humid spots available, a humidifier, a pebble tray, or just misting it from time to time is recommended.
It is preferable to give the newly potted or repotted plant at least four to six months before fertilizing it, as potting mix often contains slow-release fertilizer. After that, fertilize your Swiss cheese plant once a month with half-diluted all-purpose liquid fertilizer.
Fertilize the plant every once a month with a regular houseplant fertilizer diluted to half the recommended dosage from spring until the end of summer.
Given that Monstera adansonii is a climber plant, it needs to be pruned once it outgrows its container. Same as propagation, it is advisable to prune your plant during spring.
Using sterile pruning shears, cut down the stems, making sure not to reduce them by more than 25 percent. Cut down just before a leaf node, and remove any leaves that are dead or damaged as well. This will foster the growth of new vines and improve the appearance of your plant.
Propagate Monstera Adansonii
There are many ways to propagate this beautiful vine plant. The most common methods are using water, soil, and moss. Another option that is not very common is air layering. Whatever method you plan to use, keep in mind that spring is the greatest time to propagate Monstera adansonii.
Propagation in Water
The simplest and cheapest way to propagate a Monstera adansonii is rooting stem cuttings in water. It is an excellent method to reuse the stems you cut during trimming. Take at least quarter of an inch of the stem with leaves on it when cutting a section of the vine, and make sure there are at least one to two nodes.
A node would be the section of the plant where leaf sprouts and roots emerge. To optimize surface area, cut at a 45-degree angle, allowing for more water intake and faster root growth.
Detach the leaves from the bottom of the vine cutting before placing it in a small vase with water. Make sure the node is submerged as well. Place it in a bright area with indirect light, and replace the water on a regular basis until the roots appear, which should take one to three weeks.
It’s time to put the cuttings in the soil after the roots are strong enough, generally when they’re a few centimeters long, which usually takes four weeks. When the plant has been transferred to the soil, it may take some time for it to adjust to the change from water to potting mix, so a lot of patience is needed.
Propagation in Soil
There are two ways of propagating Monstera adansonii in soil: one is by root cuttings and the other is directly from seed. Root cuttings in soil, the procedure is the same as for rooting stem cuttings in water, except that you can skip the stage of waiting for roots to grow in water.
Use sharp gardening scissors or shears to get stem cuttings. Trim quarter of an inch deep incision below the node. Make sure that it includes at least one node, as this is where the roots will develop. If there are leaves at the bottom part of the stem, remove them so there will be enough to plant the cutting in the soil.
If you have a rooting hormone powder, you can dip the cutting in the water and put the powder at the bottom quarter of an inch inch before planting. Prepare a small pot or a nursery pot that has good drainage holes at the bottom.
Fill it halfway with well-draining soil that is slightly damp. You can then plant the cutting half an inch deep, and make sure that the node is completely covered with soil. Put the plant in a place that it will receive bright yet indirect sunlight. Keep the soil moist by watering the plant as needed. Usually, the roots will begin to grow in two to four weeks.
Propagation by Seed
Germinated seeds can also be used to propagate Monstera adansonii. However, when compared to stem cuttings, these seedlings normally take a long period to grow.
In a shallow tray, place the seeds in a damp seed-starting mix of soil. Cover the seeds with the soil, and wrap the tray with plastic to keep the moisture in. Place it in a spot with bright yet indirect light. Mist it lightly to keep it moist.
Remove the plastic wrap after a few weeks, once the seeds have germinated, but keep the growing seeds moist. The seedlings will be large enough to transfer after a few months.
Propagation in Sphagnum Moss
Using sphagnum moss is another excellent way to propagate Monstera adansonii. The first step is to wet the moss and mix it with perlite. The perlite lightens the moss while also assisting with drainage. You can then add the stem cuttings and cover them with a plastic bag to help maintain a high level of humidity.
Once a week, remove the bag to allow the plant to breathe, and spray the moss before re-covering it with the bag. The latter will help in the retention of moisture within your little greenhouse.
Once the roots have grown long enough – around four to six inches long, and now you can transfer it to well-aerated soil. The plant may not thrive after the transplant, but don’t panic; switching from moss to soil is far easier than switching from water to soil.
This is because soil-grown roots are larger, and the sphagnum moss mixture closely matches that habitat. Given that they grew in water, water roots are thinner and more sensitive, and they are not good at regulating water intake until they are transplanted to soil.
Propagation by Air Layering
Air layering is a method of forcing a plant to establish roots before taking a cutting, resulting in a rooted cutting when planted. Simply put, it’s the process of rooting in moss while the stem and node are still attached to the mother plant.
Using sharp and clean shears, cut the stem below a node to stimulate root growth. Prepare a plastic bag with damp sphagnum moss, and wrap it around the wounded stem with garden ties. Ensure that the holes in the plastic bag to enable proper ventilation and prevent the moss from becoming too wet, thereby rotting the new root.
To keep the moisture in the moss, spray it with distilled water every two to three days. Check for fresh root growth after a month, and if there are any rotting roots, cut them out. Cut the stem from the mother plant with a clean pair of scissors, making sure to include the node and roots. Simply put the cuttings into the soil like you would with water or soil propagation.
Common Monstera Adansonii Problems
When given the right growing conditions, this Swiss cheese plant rarely has any serious issues. However, problems may arise if their environment indoors differs from their natural habitat. Here, we will learn the common problems encountered by the Monstera adansonii plant, their possible causes, and what to do about them.
Yellowing of the Leaves
The explanation for the yellowing of your Monstera adansonii’s foliage can be due to several factors such as not meeting its water requirements, stress from temperatures and repotting, poor light and fertilizer conditions, and even the possibility of an insect infestation.
Due to the sensitivity of Monstera adansonii relative to its water requirements, overwatering or underwatering might result in problems like these as the plant prefers moist but not wet soil.
After all, they came from the rainforest, so they are very picky when it comes to water. However, if you let your plant sit on water, it might develop root rot. If you notice your Monstera adansonii’s leaves turning yellow, it is best to check the soil with your finger in order to identify what could be the reason for the yellowing leaves.
If the soil is wet, feels soggy, or smells rotten, it is most likely that your plant is suffering from root rot as a result of overwatering. A Monstera adansonii that has been overwatered may droop, develop brown spots on its leaves, and eventually show yellowing leaves. As its soil will take longer to dry up, it may become infected with a fungus, which can result in rotten roots.
Overwatering can be caused not only by how much you water your plant but how frequently you do it. Another cause is that your soil and pot are not well-draining, retaining the water that serves as the main culprit of rotten roots. The best solution to this is to repot the plant.
On the other hand, under watering can also cause yellowing leaves. If your finger comes out dry when you check the soil, it only means that your plant could use some water.
As your plant has been parched, shower it until water runs out of its pot’s drain holes. This is because when the soil dries up for an extended period, it might become hydrophobic, which means it won’t absorb water as efficiently.
Keep an eye on the yellow leaves and the soil moisture after this vigorous watering. You may need to increase the frequency of your Monstera’s watering to make up. If more leaves turn yellow after you’ve given enough water, you may have another problem, like bugs, that has to be addressed.
Stress from Temperatures
Monstera adansonii, being native of the tropical rainforest, is not used to winter and the cold. As the temperature drops below 50 degrees Fahrenheit, these plants stop growing, and their leaves begin to turn yellow. On the contrary, they also hate exposure to severe heat or burning sunlight.
A damaged Monstera adansonii leaf will turn yellow, crispy, or brown as a result of temperature stress. It generally begins with older or younger leaves as they are more susceptible.
Here’s how to keep your Monstera adansonii from suffering from temperature stress: Check the plant’s location; it shouldn’t be near a southwest-facing window in the afternoon because it becomes hot. It should also be kept away from a hot radiator or a cold window in the winter. Moving your Monstera adansonii from an aggravating source to a cooler spot is ideal.
Stress from Repotting
When propagating Monstera adansonii, the newly transplanted stem cuttings are known to be sensitive. As their roots have been exposed for too long, a change in their environment or even repotting at the incorrect time of year can all create stress. It is best to do propagation and transplanting during spring.
One of the indications that your Monstera adansonii is suffering from transplant shock is their drooping leaves and stalks, which may appear as if they require watering. If you checked the soil and found that it is okay (moist and not wet), then it is most probably due to transplant shock.
As your plant is trying to conserve nutrients and water after the stressful event of transplanting, starting with the oldest leaves, they may turn yellow. However, don’t worry as they will return to normal after a while.
Exposure to Excessive Light
Too much of everything is not good, even for plants. For Monstera adansonii, being exposed to too much direct light can quickly burn their delicate foliage. The leaf’s scorched part will turn brown or black and crisp.
Exposure to Insufficient Light
However, when they are exposed to insufficient light, their growth rate slows. The common misconception is that it is deficient in water, which can result in overwatering and yellowing foliage.
Monstera adansonii may exhibit other signs and symptoms due to insufficient lighting. These signs include smaller leaves with less or no fenestration (holes), stems leaning in or out of the window, etiolation (prolonged stem reaching for the light which appears lanky or spindly), and the soil taking a long time to dry up between watering.
If your Monstera adansonii has these signs and is beginning to have yellow leaves, it is most convinient to remove it from the pot and inspect its roots to see if there are rotten parts. If indeed there are rotten roots, remove them before they spread out, and completely repot your plant with fresh soil.
Fortunately, yellowing leaves due to improper lighting conditions is easy to fix (provided that there are no complications leading to overwatering that resulted in rotten roots). Given that this plant thrives in bright, indirect light, it is best to put them in locations where light is abundant, or invest in a grow light.
Too Much Fertilizer
Fertilizers are your plants’ vitamins and are essential for them to thrive. However, an imbalance in fertilizer can also cause problems, one of which is yellowing leaves. Overfertilization happens when the soil accumulates too many nutrient salts, which can change the pH of the soil and cause chemical dehydration called salt burn.
However, you can tell that the plant is over fertilized by looking out for these signs: a white crust will be on top of the soil, edges of the leaves are becoming brown, oldest and lowest leaves are turning yellow, and growth is still slow.
Once you ensure that this is the reason for the yellowing leaves, water down your plant till water spikes out of the drainage holes. This is to flush out all the nutrient salts that are present in the soil.
After this, you may want to reduce the amount and frequency of fertilizer applications for your Monstera adansonii to avoid future overfertilization. It is also a great idea to check and consider an organic fertilizer that is gentle on your plants. These have a lower macronutrient concentration and are less prone to produce a salt burn.
The primary macronutrients of nitrogen, phosphorous, and potassium must be present in the soil for a plant to thrive. Each of these nutrients would have an impact on your plant, and a deficiency in any of them will have various effects on your plant.
Your plant’s leaves will lighten or show chlorosis as a result of insufficient nitrogen, with the oldest leaves at the bottom turning yellow. Though phosphorus shortage does not cause leaves to become yellow, it does cause them to take on a purple tinge and exhibit stunted growth as the condition advances.
Meanwhile, a plant with low potassium will have browning or burning at the leaf edges and chlorosis between the leaf veins. As the plant continues to redistribute its low potassium to the younger leaves, the oldest leaves will turn yellow first.
As you can see, your Monstera adansonii’s yellow leaves could be because of a nitrogen or potassium deficit. Further causes should be ruled out first, as this is the least common and least likely to kill your plant.
If you suspect your Monstera adansonii is lacking in nutrients, feed the plant with a proper balanced organic fertilizer, and consider top-dressing with fresh soil or worm castings.
If your monstera adansonii still has yellow leaves after checking everything above and making sure everything is addressed, there are three diseases to consider: anthracnose, fungal leaf spots, and powdery mildew. Each of them has specific symptoms that can aid in proper diagnosis.
Anthracnose is a fungus that causes yellow or brown patches on the leaves to appear. The yellow patches will slowly turn brown as the condition worsens, and the splotches will spread. The discoloration has the potential to extend throughout the leaf while it can also cause brown and cankerous lesions on the stems.
Mealybugs, spider mites, scale, and whitefly are just a few of the common houseplant pests that may affect the Swiss cheese plant. Fortunately, these pests are rarely harmful and can be treated with an insecticide. You can also use neem oil as it is known to be effective in getting rid of these pests.
A fungal leaf spot occurs when a fungus attacks the leaf from the outside. A cluster of yellowing dots on the leaf can be caused by the fungus, along with a black or brown fungal dot at the center of a yellow ring.
When you hold the leaf with fungal spots up to the light, the plant tissue surrounding the spot’s margin may appear damp; this is because the fungus has already begun to devour that area of the leaf.
In order to prevent additional infection, the affected leaves must be removed. To make sure that there won’t be any remaining fungi, it is best to use a copper-based fungicide to kill them all.
However, what can you do to keep your plant from becoming infected? Simply increase the airflow around your plant, especially if you have a humidifier. Be careful not to let your plant sit in water overnight, as this can invite more fungal diseases. It is not recommended to mist your plant later in the day.
This plant disease is easily identified as the fungus leaves a white, powdery coating on the leaf. It will also cause the leaves to dry out and become yellow if left untreated.
The condition is treated similarly to other fungal infections of a plant. Affected parts of the plants must be removed and discarded. Use a fungicide to ensure that there will be no fungus left. Reduce moisture while increasing airflow.
If you have several houseplants, isolate the one that is infected to prevent the fungal illness from spreading. Sometimes, a yellow leaf is just a yellow leaf that did not photosynthesize properly.
Therefore, a yellow leaf at the bottom of your plant while the rest of the plant appears to be healthy should not be a cause of concern. A leaf that turned yellow will not return to its original color, but as your plant grows, it will produce bigger leaves so it is pointless to spend your time and effort on one yellow leaf.
Is Monstera Adansonii Toxic?
Sadly, Monstera adansonii is moderately toxic for humans and pets. It can cause swelling, vomiting, and burning. According to the ASPCA, monstera plants are poisonous to animals. So, it is best to keep our furry friends from eating the leaves of Monstera adansonii as it can cause irritation, mouth swelling, vomiting, excessive drooling, and difficulties swallowing.
How Do You Repot a Monstera Adansonii Plant?
This Swiss cheese plant will thrive in any container with adequate drainage holes. As this variety is smaller than the well-known Monstera deliciosa, it is ideal for hanging baskets.
When planting in a nursery plant, use a pot that is only slightly larger than the root ball. It’s also critical to utilize a peat-based potting mix and to apply the same depth as in the nursery.
Check the roots of the Monstera adansonii to see if it needs to be repotted to a larger pot to ensure healthy growth with all of the water and nutrients it requires to attain its full potential. It’s time to repot the roots if the plant has already become root-bound.
Young plants should be repotted once a year, and older plants should be repotted every two to three years, as a general rule. Remove the plant from the pot carefully, and tap the pot to loosen the soil and roots if necessary while repotting. Make sure the new pot has a sufficient number of drainage holes.
Monstera adansonii is an ideal alternative plant if you want the look of a Monstera deliciosa but don’t have enough space to accommodate its enormous foliage. Monstera adansonii has a similar appearance but grows slower and is smaller, making it ideal for smaller places.
- Monstera adansonii is a native of tropical rainforests; thus, they thrive in humid conditions, require moist but not wet soil, and are sensitive to direct light exposure.
- You can propagate Monstera adansonii through rooting stem cuttings in water, directly planting stem cuttings in soil, germinating seeds, rooting stem cuttings in sphagnum moss, and by air layering.
- Remember to consider the season in taking care of your Monstera adansonii. Propagation is best done during spring and summer, whereas you must reduce watering and fertilizing during winter.
- Common problems include yellowing leaves, which can be addressed by ensuring that the plant’s light, water, and nutrient needs are met.
- Pests and diseases can easily be addressed by isolating the plant, removing the affected parts, and treating with an insecticide, fungicide, or neem oil.
Given that the Monstera adansonii can climb and trail, it’s ideal for keeping as an indoor hanging plant or on a plant shelf where it may develop and cascade down.
This Swiss-cheese vine plant will make any indoor space more alive. With proper care and maintenance, you’ll have a thriving Monstera adansonii in no time!
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