Monstera adansonii

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Monstera adansonii
Group: Angiosperms
Order: Alismatales
Family: Araceae
Genus: Monstera
Species: M. adansonii
Classified: Schott, 1830
Propagation: From From seeds, cutting, layering
Adult size: over 30 m (90 ft); ~ 2 m indoors
Lighting: Medium
Watering: Let the soil dry slightly before watering
Fertilization: Monthly during active growth
Soil: Well drained
Humidity: High humidity preferred, low humidity tolerated
Other information
Toxicity: Toxic sap
Rarity: Common
See more Monstera

Common names:

Adanson's monstera, Mini Swiss cheese plant, Five holes plant, Monkey face plant, Swiss cheese vine

Monstera adansonii is a small epiphytic plant of the Araceae family. Native to the tropical forests of southern Mexico, Panama and South America, it makes an excellent houseplant and will tolerate a wide range of growing conditions.


Monstera from "monstrous", in reference to the large leaves mature plants of this genus will develop, and in nature they can reach over 30m tall.

Adansonii is named after the botanist Michel Adanson.



M. adansonii has small, thin, light green leaves with characteristic holes and splits. The technical term for these holes or clear parts in their leaves is “fenestration”. M. adansonii grow from the forest floor vining up trees and to acquire more light. The only way that understory plants can survive is by capturing the small beams of sunlight that make it through the forest canopy. By modifying the leaf structure to have holes, the same amount of leaf tissue can cover a greater area. So, even though a few sun flecks may go through the holes and be missed, the chance of catching spots of sun increases because there is more area covered.


M. adansonii inflorescence

The M. adansonii inflorescence consists of an erect spadix enclosed in a white, boat-shaped spathe. The corn-like spadix is covered in small flowers.


M. adansonii wants bright, indirect light. It can tolerate some direct light but avoid hot midday sun or the leaves will scorch.

Use a well draining soil mix (see aroid soil) and water thoroughly, allowing excess to drain. A waterlogged soil will lead to yellow leaves.

Common issues

Yellowing/dropping leaves

Yellowing leaves are a sign of too much water. Ensure the pot has good drainage and allow the surface of the soil to dry between watering. Older leaves will naturally yellow and die eventually.

If the soil is staying moist for more than two weeks between watering, or the soil feels soggy or very wet after a week then consider repotting the plant into a smaller container: the roots staying wet for too long will lead to root rot and a quick decline in the plant's health. When repotting use a well drained mix (see aroid soil)

Sun damage

M. adansonii cannot take direct sun, except in the early mornings or late evenings. Make sure it is situated away from parts of the home that get direct, hot midday sun.


M. adansonii is relatively resistant to pests, however it can be affected by spider mites, mealybugs, scale, thrips and whitefly.