Plant Portrait: Monstera Adansonii

Obsessed with this viney sister to the Deliciosa? Me too. While my Monstera deliciosa post remains the most poplar on my blog, I wanted to do another post on the Monstera adansonii.

Climbing monstera adansonii.
Photo by the lovely Alina Fassakhova, amazing artist and plant wizard.

First off – how do you pronounce Monstera adansonii? Glad you asked – it’s Mon-stair-ah Ah-don-so-nee-eye. It’s not so bad.

Second, there is some confusion on these monstera vines, so let’s clear a few things up:

Is there a difference between monstera adansonii and monstera friedrichsthalii? The short answer is no, they’re the same plant and are also called a swiss cheese plant. But then why do so many adansonii look different? Here’s the kicker: There are two versions of the plant, young and adult.

The difference between monstera adansonii and monstera friedrichsthalii

Aesthetically, young adansonii have less large holes (which are called fenestrations) and slim teadrop leaves with a smoother look. See below.

Climbing monstera friedrichsthalii

Adult adansonii (these are what are typically called friedrichsthalii) have much bigger fenestrations and wrinkly heart shaped leaves that look like reptile skin.

Mature monstera adansonii

How about obliqua? Is there a difference between monstera adansonii an monstera obiqua? Oh lawd there is. This blog post does a great job of going into detail about these two, but the short answer is yes. The obliqua is an extremely rare boy and looks almost skeletal. The leaves are very thin and are 80% holes – it is almost impossible to find one of these anywhere. The adonsonii is more leaf than hole and looks like a slightly different plant. If you see monstera adansonii listed as an obliqua it’s probably not real and it’s just listed as such for views. Don’t fall into the trap.

Monstera obliqua
Picture by Mick Mitty, monstera wrangler with an awesome IG account.

Basic Care

Light: I keep my monsteras, including Monty, in indirect light and they do just peachy. My adonsonii prefer less sun but a warm environment, so I keep these guys amongst other plants, near an east window shielded by peperomia.

Growing pattern: Possibly the best thing about monstera adansonii is that they’re climbers. And trailers. And hangers. They have grabby roots (see below) that stick onto anything, making it easy to train them to grow on a wall or up a moss pole.

Monstera adansonii aerial roots

Temperature: Monsteras don’t particularly like drafts but they will tolerate them begrudgingly. They do best between 60 to 95 degrees Fahrenheit.

Watering: Monsteras aren’t keen on soggy bottoms, so letting them dry out between waterings is key. If watering is not your forte, they tend to do better on the dry side than wet and you should probably definitely get one of these.

Swiss Cheese plant

Are monstera adansonii safe for cats or dogs?

Nope, not technically, as they are part of the Araceae family, home to all philodendrons and aroids. Like Monstera deliciosa, I have never had an issue with my cats interested in eating them at all, but these should be kept out of reach of more curious or spiteful fur children.

Common Monstera Problems

I never had any pests vs monsteras episodes until this summer, which was crazy hot. Monty Jr. got a case of spidermites and my adansonii came in the mail with thrips so now I’m a pest expert when it comes to monsteras. Oy.

If you see yellow leaves: Your monstera adansonii is probably being overwatered or watered inconsistently. Also be sure they are not in super direct sun, these typically grow under larger trees in their native land.

Yellowing leaves on monstera adansonii

There’s a metallic sheen or dulling on the leaves: Probably spidermites or thrips, both of which are the worst. To combat, spray your plant babes with a hose to get all bugs off the leaves. I used this insecticide (I never used to use one but drastic times call for something equivalent to a blowtorch) which has neem oil. Apply as instructed on the bottle and remove any very damaged leaves.

Oh no, there’s gnats in the soil: Probably monstera root rot, which happens when your monstera sits in a wet soil diaper too long. Repot the plant in new soil and check roots, remove anything smelly, soggy or mushy. Replant in fresh soil and water it, place in a warm location.

Ugh, there’s dry tips and edges on the leaves: Monsteras like a bit of humidity, and not harsh direct sun. If you see slight browning on the edges, that’s a sign he needs a bit more moisture. I actually have a humidifier running near my monsteras every fall and winter and have never seen a dry edge.

Leaves are folded or shriveled: Soil is too dry – take a soil moisture test with that moisture meter you bought and water until it flows from the bottom. Drain throughly. Never let any monstera (or plant for that matter) sit in standing water.

Pruning and Repotting

Repotting time can be tricky, but monstera adansonii prefer to be snuggly than swimming in a giant pot. A hint to repot is when roots are coming out of the bottom of the pot or the plant is quite tall.

Monsteras loooovvvveee being pruned. It allows them to be a bit bushier and pops out better growth. My adansonii is still young, but I would think about pruning every 6 months if to keep plants looking full. These guys are rapid growers if they like you, so pruning can be necessary. Plus pruning = propagation! Which is fun for making more baby plants. My basic monstera propagation post will work just fine as propagating monstera adansonii follows the same idea. See one of my new babes below.

Monstera adansonii propagation

Do you have your monstera trailing, climbing or hanging? Have you propagated one? Leave a comment below!

*This post contains affiliate links where L&P does receive a portion of sales. It also contains awesome instagram people who are just awesome and I want you to know about them.

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