How to care for a Swiss Cheese vine plant – Monstera adansonii

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It’s time to put the spotlight on the Monstera adansonii plant. Maybe you know it as the Swiss cheese vine, trailing splitleaf or five holes plant.

The Monstera adansonii is a smaller relative of the insta-famous Monstera deliciosa and quite often mislabelled as Monstera obliqua, a much rarer family member.

With the right care, the cheese vine plant makes a great evergreen indoor houseplant. Because it doesn’t grow as fast and as big as the Monstera deliciosa, it is perfect for smaller spaces. Smaller size, but still a big impact.

It can climb or trail down, so find it a hanging planter or plant shelf where it can grow and be admired.

Monstera adansonii Swiss Cheese vine plant leaves close up

Monstera adansonii Care Tips

Know the basics on how to best care for your Monstera adansonii and make it thrive. It’s not hard, but it does require a little attention.

How much sun does a Monstera adansonii need

It is good to know where the Monstera adansonii originates from. What is the native habitat? Knowing this you can try and and mimic this for your plant in your home.

The Monstera adansonii comes from the jungles of Central and South America. In the wild, they grow on tree trunks under coverage of the foliage above. This means it is not used to being in the full-blown sun all day.

Therefore, you want to grow it in indirect sunlight. Put your plant near a window, but just out of the direct sun.

Read More: How to take care of indoor plants in the summer.

Watering a Monstera adansonii

This is where it can get tricky. How often should you water your Monstera?

You can’t just set your alarm. Look at your plant. Are the leaves droopy? Before you do anything, stick your finger into the soil to see how wet or dry it is.

If the top inch of the soil feels just dry, water it. This jungle plant likes its soil to be a bit moist.

That being said, do make sure not to give your plant too much water. Don’t overwater. You’re watering too often if the top layer of soil does not get enough time to dry out and stays wet for several days at a time.

Overall, water and fertilize regularly throughout spring and summer. In winter no more fertilizer and reduce watering.

Humidity and a Monstera adansonii

Now we know that the Monstera adansonii comes from deep in the jungle. Therefore it makes sense that it thrives on very high humidity, and high temperatures.

Again, you want to set up the situation. Mimic the plant’s natural conditions. Warm and humid bathrooms or kitchens are a great place to keep your Monstera adansonii plant.

Otherwise, you should mist your plant frequently. Or set it on a humidity tray. You could also get a humidifier and place it near the plant to keep the humidity up.

When to repot a Monstera adansonii

When spring comes along, do a quick root check to see if your Monstera adansonii needs repotting.

Gently remove your plant from the pot, if needed tap the pot to loosen the soil and roots. Support the plant in one hand, and use your other hand to carefully take the pot off.

Look at the roots. Do they have room to grow, or are they circling and really root bound in the pot? If it’s the latter, it is repotting time.

Give your Monstera some well-draining soil mixed with plenty of perlite, and make sure the soil stays moist.

Read More: When and how to repot houseplants.

Swiss cheese vine plant, monstera adansonii, leaves rooting in water
Monstera adansonii Swiss Cheese Vine rooting in water.

Monstera adansonii Propagation Methods

The Monstera adansonii is very easy to propagate. You can propagate vines and put them back in the pot to make the mother plant fuller. Or propagate and have new plants to share with friends and family!

Rooting a Monstera adansonii in Water

Cut a piece of vine, making sure the cutting has at least one or two nodes (part of the stem where the leaves form).

Take your cuttings and place them in a small vase filled with water. Put it is a spot where it gets indirect light, and regularly refresh the water.

Next, wait patiently. Roots will form within one to three weeks. When your cuttings have grown strong roots it is time to pot them in the soil.

Rooting a Monstera adansonii in Soil

Another way to propagate your Monstera adansonii is to bypass the water rooting and go straight to the soil.

Give your plant rooting superpowers by using a rooting hormone on your cuttings. Dip your cuttings in water first, then dip the bottom 1/4 inch in rooting hormone powder. Fill a small pot with slightly moist, well draining soil, and stick your cutting in about 1/2 inch deep.

Place it somewhere with indirect light and wait. It can take a couple of weeks for your plant to root and until you will see new growth happening.

Prune your Monstera or let it Climb

Climbing Monstera adansonii Swiss Cheese plant staked on diamond shape trellis.

How to Prune a Monstera adansonii

When your Monstera adansonii has grown a bit wild and leggy, go right ahead and prune it.

Best time to prune is in spring. Remove leggy growth and any dead or damaged leaves. This will not only make your plant look better, but it will also encourage more new vines to grow.

Of course, don’t throw away the cuttings you prune off. Propagate them!

Climbing or Hanging Monstera adansonii

In the jungle, the Monstera adansonii plant grows, or ‘climbs’ up tree trunks and large branches. Holding on to them with its aerial roots.

If you want to make your plant feel at home and grow large and healthy, you have to give it something to climb on.

Train your Monstera adansonii by tying new growth to a stake. Position it in a way that the new node touches the stake. The node will grow aerial roots, which will stick to the stake. Mist your plants frequently to help them climb!

Or just let it all hang loose. Put your Monstera adansonii in a hanging planter or on a pedestal table and let the vines trail down freely.

Monstera Swiss Cheese Vine leaves misted with water
Mist your Monstera frequently to mimic the humidity of the jungle.

Common Monstera adansonii Problems

Brown, crisp leaf tips and edges

It happens to the best of us. Your plant suddenly has brown leaf tips or crisp edges. There are a few things to check and see what needs fixing.

1 . Brown leaf tips and edges could mean your Monstera adansonii is getting too much direct sunlight.

Easy fix: Move your plant away from the window a bit.

2. The next option is that you are giving your Monstera too much or too little water. Think about it. When was the last time you gave it water? Check the soil. Is it bone dry, or the opposite and isn’t it getting enough time to dry out?

Easy fix: Is the soil completely dry, give your plant a thorough watering. If the soil still feels moist, give it time to dry out a bit more. Make sure your pot has drainage holes and the plant is in well-draining soil. Pace your watering regime going forward.

3. The third possibility is that your plant isn’t getting enough humidity.

Easy fix: Mist more frequently, or put a humidity tray or humidifier near your plant.

Leaves turn yellow

Yellowing leaves is another common issue. Again a sign of over or under watering. Most of the time it is overwatering.

It is not that you give your plant too much water, but how often you do so. Yes, the Monstera adansonii likes its soil to remain slightly moist, but that’s it. Just a little bit moist. Not wet.

Easy fix: Hold off from watering until the top of the soil is dry. And if your plant is in a plastic pot, repot it in a clay terra cotta pot instead.

Toxic to Pets

Unfortunately, the Monstera adansonii is moderately toxic to cats and dogs. It can cause oral irritation, excessive drooling, vomiting, and difficulty swallowing.

Our cat doesn’t bother with most of my houseplants. I need to keep the grass type plants out of reach. She will ravage those. So the Spider plants are hanging way up high, and the Ponytail palm is on the top shelf. She has her own pot full of cat grass at all times. All other plants seem to be of no intersted to her.

BUT not all pets are alike. Some like to eat on your plants, others don’t bother with them. If you do bring in a toxic plant like the Monstera adansonii and you have a cat or dog, make sure you put it somewhere out of reach.

Read More: Toxic plants and Pets. How to keep it safe.

Where to buy Monstera adansonii plants

Always start at your local plant nursery or garden center to look for plants. It’s best (and most fun!) to pick and choose the specific plant you want to take home.

If you don’t live near a nursery that carries the Monstera adansonii, luckily there are a number of plant growers that sell them on Amazon and Etsy.

Read More: Where and How to buy indoor plants.

Indoor windowsill plant Swiss Cheese Vine

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23 Comments

  1. My adansonii is turning yellow even though I haven’t watered it in two and a half weeks, and the soil is dry. Do you think this could be a sign of underwatering or low humidity?

    1. Does your pot have a drainage hole? If not, that could be the reason.
      But two and a half weeks of not watering seems a bit long. It might need a drink by now.

      And also, look at the light situation the plant is in. Is it in full sun all day, or does it get some indirect light most of the day?
      Maybe move it to another spot, see how it likes it.

  2. HI! I recently purchased what I *think* are adansonii seeds, but no instructions for sowing were included! Do you know anything about the best way to sow these seeds? Thank you in advance!

    1. Hi Vivien. I haven’t grown any Monsteras from seed myself, but if I would, I would just put them in a small pot, covered in soil slightly. I have a little indoor greenhouse for seedlings, but you can also put some cling film over your pot. This helps with the humidity which helps the seeds to germinate. Then the waiting game starts. I would say about two weeks, maybe a little shorter or a little longer, be patient. Give them plenty of bright light, but keep them out of direct sun. You don’t want them to burn. When the seeds germinate you can remove the cling film. Hope your seeds will grow into happy and healthy Monstera adansoniis! Or maybe some mystery plants.. 🙂 Keeping my fingers crossed for you!

  3. Great article! Can you recommend a type of stake for the plant to climb? Does it need to be covered in moss?

    Thanks so much!

    1. Hi Tess! You can stake your Monstera with a metal trellis or bamboo stakes. The moss poles have a great look and your plants’ aerial roots can grip onto it very well. The problem is that you have to keep the moss moist all the time. In combination with stale air inside our homes, mould can start to grow on the moist moss. Ewwww… Good luck with your plant!

  4. Hi! My plant is almost a year old now and is not growing properly. Is it a very slow grower? Plus, the few new leaves which have come out are really small in size, about 40% the size of the old leaves. I followed every care instructions written on this page and I don’t know what is going wrong.

    1. Well, I wouldn’t call the Monstera adansonii a slow grower. Maybe when they go dormant in winter. But in spring and summer, it can grow quite quickly.
      Do you fertilize, or is the soil still fresh enough that it still has enough nutrients? Your plant might just need a little extra push.
      Or maybe try and give it a little more light.
      That’s what I would start out with, hope it helps your plant.

  5. Hi,
    I was given a monstera adansonii about a month ago, I have been watering it once a week (using a spray) and I mist the leaves. I keep it away from direct sunlight. The pot I use has holes. I went away for a week and when I returned the vines were droopy and hanging down the edges of the pot =( I watered it on the day I left. A couple of the leaves are now curling. I bought a stick yesterday and twined some of the vines to help it lift, it is only a small monsterra.
    So sad, I don’t know how I can rescue this poor baby. Do you have any advice?

    1. Hi Sophia,
      It’s hard without seeing the plant, but reading your story, it sounds like your Monstera adansonii plant might just be thirsty. If you water your plant, don’t be afraid to give it a good pour. Just spraying a little bit of water isn’t enough. Droopy, curling leaves might well indicate too little water. You might want to read up on how to water houseplants. It might help in determining if your plant needs water.
      My guess is it does and that it will perk right up after a good watering. Good luck with your plant!

  6. Hello I have a M.A. cutting that had one full leaf 2 nodes side by side (this part of the cutting went under water) and it had a another node with a new leaf not yet fully open. For the first week or so the nodes under water appeared to be growing with whiteish roots then when I wasn’t paying attention the small roots turned black. I went to have a look and when touched it the root was mushy and basically disintegrated!

    Rubbing it back the two nodes are still there so I popped it back into water but now it’s been weeks and it hasn’t produced any new roots

    Any idea what caused the black roots and whether it’s foolish of me to think the roots will grow there again?

    The other new leaf died in this process but the two nodes in the air are still there. Can I cut the stem and try to grow it from just a piece of stem? Or turn the cutting upside down?

    Please help me save this cutting!! 🙂 Thank you

    1. Hi Kay, It sounds like you just left the cutting in the water too long and the roots started to rot.
      I am not sure if those nodes will produce new roots or not. I would try if those other nodes on the stem would produce roots, and as soon as those have decent size white roots, I would pot it up immediately. Good luck, hope you can save it!

    1. Hi Brandi, I have bought the diamond trellis in a shop here in the Netherlands. It was sold as a wire shape home decor piece, not as a trellis. I just unscrewed it from a small wood base it was standing on and then used the metal wire shape as a trellis. Hope that helps. Maybe you can check out places like Urban Outfitters if they might sell something similar?

  7. My plant is growing three nice long legs, yay! But about halfway down the legs, the leaves are not coming out. So I have like 2 ft legs with a foot of them having no growth. Is this normal? Are the leaves slow to open up and come out? Thanks for your help!

  8. My plant has white little mold type fungus around the leaves and particularly in the stems. Do you know the cause of this?

    1. Hi Judith, If you see white mold on the soil of the plant, it is usually a sign of overwatering. But you say you see the mold on the leaves and stems. Is it like a powdery white fungus? I have seen that on plants like Jade plants, not on a Monstera before. That’s not saying it couldn’t happen. The powdery fungus is a disease that can spread through your whole plant and it might not survive it if you do nothing. Without seeing your plant it is hard to say exactly what is happening. If it is a fungus disease, it would remove the leaves and stems that are affected. If it is already widespread, I would take the healthy parts of the plant and try to propagate those and start over.
      I hope this helps somewhat and you can save your plant. Good luck, let me know how it goes.

  9. I have my plant on a north facing window so I have been using a grow-light for the plant (about 9-12hrs a day). I know it needs indirect sunlight, but in the absence of that is the direct grow-light advantageous?

    1. Hi Ethel, I would say if you can give your plants a spot to live with real light, I would do so. But if you can’t, providing some additional artificial light from a grow light is always a good idea.

  10. Hello – My Monstera Plant was in the sun too long and the leaves turned black/brown.

    How can I help reverse these effects?

    1. Hi Alex, Unfortunately, you can’t reverse sunburn on a plant’s leaves. If it is just one or two leaves, and they bother you, you can remove them from your plant. If it is most of your plant that is affected, I would look to see if there are any vines that are unharmed and try to propagate those. But that all depends on how bad the state of your plant is in. Good luck and move your plant away from the direct light a bit.

  11. My plant has a brown spot with a yellow outline. What am I doing wrong? Thank you in advance! You’re plant looks beautiful!

    1. Without seeing it, it is hard to tell. There are a few options, brown spots could be sunburn spots, it could be that the plant wants more humidity or yellowing leaves with brown spots could also mean underwatering. I’m hesitant to diagnose without pictures or more information.
      If it’s just one spot on your whole plant, no worries, but keep an eye out if it spreads.

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