- 1 WHAT DOES A MONSTERA ADANSONII PLANT LOOK LIKE?
- 2 Forms of Monstera Adansonii
- 3 MONSTERA ADANSONII PLANT CARE BASICS:
- 4 THE ORIGIN OF MONSTERA ADANSONII
- 5 THE VARIOUS NAMES BELONGING TO MONSTERA ADANSONII
- 6 PROPAGATION OF THE SWISS CHEESE VINE PLANT
- 7 6 TIPS AND TRICKS TO KEEPING YOUR MONSTERA ADANSONII HEALTHY
- 8 3 THINGS YOU SHOULD NEVER DO WITH YOUR MONSTERA PLANT
- 9 MONSTERA ADANSONII PLANT POPULARITY BAROMETER
- 10 WHERE CAN YOU BUY A MONSTERA ADANSONII PLANT?
- 11 FINDING MONSTERA ADANSONII ON INSTAGRAM
- 13 MOST COMMONLY ASKED QUESTIONS RELATED TO THE MONKEY MASK AKA MONSTERA ADANSONII
WHAT DOES A MONSTERA ADANSONII PLANT LOOK LIKE?
As mentioned above, this plant is found mainly across South and Central America. In the wild, it tends to habit areas close toe rivers, particularly those found in lower elevations.
The most common name for this plant is the “Swiss Cheese Vine”. This name refers to the iconic leaves that are large, heart-shaped and covered in holes of various sizes.
These appendages are approximately 21 to 42 centimetres in length and 0.5 to 1 centimetre in width.
Forms of Monstera Adansonii
There are many different forms of the Swiss Cheese Vine plant. Depending on the locality where the plant is from, the Monstera Adansonii can differ in size and looks.
Specifically, the way the leaves and the holes in the leaves look like vary from type to type. We have at least 4 different types in cultivation. Some are extremely holey whilst others have only a few holes.
In addition, some grow much larger leaves than others. Some of the variants have rather roundish leaves where others are more slender. There are two forms that are differentiated called the Monstera Adansonii Round Form and the Monstera Adansonii Narrow Form.
Monstera Adansonii Narrow Form
The leaves of the narrow form are as the name suggest narrower than the wide form. Its leaves are usually more elongated and its tips point slightly to one side.
Monstera Adansonii Round Form
The Monstera Adansonii Round Form has the same holes in the leaves as the Narrow Form but is wider and more heart-shaped. Apart from the looks, it does not deviate from the previously described Adansonii in any way. The Round Form is cared for in exactly the same way as the Narrow Form.
Monstera Adansonii Variegated
There is a Variegated form of the Monstera Adansonii plant. This is a chimeric type that is very rare and hard to find. Even cuttings of variegated plants are sold in the thousands of dollars.
Variegated Monkey Mask plants cannot be produced by seeds as these will in almost all cases not pass on the white or yellow variegation of the mother plant.
In addition, variegated Monstera Adansonii cannot be produced by tissue culture. Therefore the only way is propagation through cuttings.
Variegated Monstera Adansonii will also grow slower than their fully green counterparts as the section with white do not contain sufficient chlorophyll to photosynthesize.
Also, purely white leaves will eventually brown and die back. If your plant only produces white leaves you will need to cut below the leaves and hope for less extreme variegation. Only the green parts in the leaves can produce chlorophyll to keep the plants alive.
It is therefore not surprising that these plants are sold for several thousand dollars and only few nurseries in Asia, the USA and aroid collectors are cultivating this beautiful variant of the Monstera Adansonii.
Fun Leafy Fact
[su_quote]Many scientists believe that the leaves are filled with holes due to the fact that they have to compete with other plants to gain sunlight. This adaptation allows the plant to cover more area while not wasting energy on a fully developed leaf blade.[/su_quote]
MONSTERA ADANSONII PLANT CARE BASICS:
One of the most important aspects is the drainage. This type of plant thrives in a pot that has large draining holes located on the bottom. Peat-based soil tends to yield the best results when added to a deep pot. The ideal pH for your Swiss Cheese Vine plant is to be kept at around 5.5 to 7.0 pH for a healthy growth rate.
Considering the natural habitat of a Monstera adansonii, it grows in the sparsely lit jungles of South and Central America. Keeping this in mind, this plant prefers to be near sunlight, but not directly in it. To give your Swiss Cheese Vine species the best chance, place it a few feet away from a well-lit window.
Taking care of Monstera adansonii is quite easy, except when it comes to their water requirements. They can be somewhat picky in this area. Strive to regularly water your plant, making sure that the soil is moist, yet not drowning. Overwatering can be a common issue, so make sure to provide apt drainage through holes on the bottom of your pot.
Keeping this plant’s environment at the correct temperature is not the most important aspect to consider. They tend to prefer rooms kept at a temperature between 64 – 81 °F or 18 to 27 °C.
Anything fewer than 64°F or 18°C will tremendously slow down any plant growth. Below this temperature you risk that your Adansonii is wilting and dying from cold.
It can take short periods of cold temperatures but longer exposures will not just be tolerated by a little dieback but may result in the death of your leafy friend.
The humidity requirement of your Monstera adansonii will be somewhat higher than other commonly used houseplants. They are found in Central and South America, where moisture is constantly abundant.
Keep the room anywhere between an average or high humidity for the happiest plant. You can always mist the leaves to ensure that these needs are met. In general, the Monkey Mask loves humidity and will thank it with bigger and stronger leaves and growth.
A humidity level above 90% generally worked best from our experience. This can only be achieved in greenhouses or terrariums.
But even increased humidity from using a humidifier, spraying the plant regularly or using a pot below the plant with pebbles or stones filled with water can increase humidity.
This is not necessary to keep your Monstera Adansonii plant alive but can increase its health and growth.
Those who choose to grow this plant indoors must use a fair amount of fertilizers. This is imminent due to the fact that Monstera adansonii grows quickly and cannot produce a sufficient amount of chlorophyll without fertilizer.
Without the addition of fertilizers, the leaves tend to become yellow. Yellow leaves can be a sign that your Cheese vine lacks nutrients.
Fertilize in Summer about once a month but refrain from fertilizing in Winter and Autumn. Do not fertilize when you have just repotted your Monkey mask or when your plant has a weak root system.
This is the time where your roots are weak and could be burnt by fertilizer.
Producing new individuals from your existing Swiss Cheese Vine plant is quite simple. This is typically done through snipping or cutting a part of the stem off.
Propagation in Monstera adansonii occurs either through water propagation before it is transferred to a pot. However, you can also propagate the Monstera Adansonii by using Spaghnum Moss or by putting the cutting directly into soil. What you will need is a piece of stem as well as at least one node.
Nodes are these brown or whiteish knubby sections just below where leaves emerge and branch off the stem. Propogation of an Adansonii is not difficult but you may want to try the different methods described and use the propagation method that works best for you.
After being freshly propagated, these plants typically take about 2 to 3 weeks to grow before it can be placed in a pot of its own. You can actually differentiate the new and old growth through the physical appearance of the leaves.
Newer leaves will have fewer holes than those that are more developed.
Young plants often have no holes in the leaves. The leaves will emerge as the Adansonii plant matures. When new leaves emerge, they will be a fresh and bright green and will darken to dark green when maturing.
The Swiss Cheese Plant is a vining plant meaning that it is either climbing or trailing. In its natural habitat, it is climbing the stems and branches of other plants. As an epiphyte, these plants are able to grow on other plants.
This species of plant does best when it is repotted every 2 years, at the very most. To ensure that it remains healthy, botanists recommend that you place your Monstera adansonii in a larger pot every year.
But make sure that the pot to plant or soil to plant ratio is not out of balance as watering will become very difficult. We also suggest a pot with draining holes as these plants do not like to stay in soggy soil for too long. Clay pots or any other pot does work just fine.
After learning how to care for your Monkey Mask let us now have a closer look at the origin of the plant.
THE ORIGIN OF MONSTERA ADANSONII
We’ve mentioned a few times that this plant can be found in South and Central America, but is it anywhere else? It does in fact live outside of South American countries in the West Indies.
Islands such as Antigua, Guadeloupe and Dominica have become common spots to see a wild Monstera plant. Some subspecies of Monstera adansonii are extinct due to deforestation.
In the wild, you will find this plant not on the ground, but along the bark of an understory tree found in the jungle. As the name suggests, these plants do act as vines when given the chance.
It helps them to thrive in sparsely lit areas where competition for light is a challenge.
THE VARIOUS NAMES BELONGING TO MONSTERA ADANSONII
When comparing different species of plants and animals, it can be quite confusing. Especially when an individual goes by a variety of names. The Swiss Cheese Vine is known by a few other phrases, each of which are important when finding the correct plant to purchase.
Monstera adansonii also goes by the names of “Adanson’s Monster”, “Five Holes Plant” as well as “Monkey Mask”.
Fun Growing Fact:
[su_quote cite=”Plantophiles”]This species is capable of growing upward if given the opportunity. Those who want to have a Monstera adansonii with larger leaves and more dynamic perforations can provide a trellis or a stake for the plant to climb. Some homeowners prefer the look of a hanging vine compared to that of a potted plant since it resembles how these organisms would live in the wild.[/su_quote]
PROPAGATION OF THE SWISS CHEESE VINE PLANT
Propagation is the act of growing new individuals from a part of an existing plant, whether that be seeds, cuttings or other various plant parts. When it comes to the propagation of Monstera adansonii, this plant is quite easy to create new individuals.
There are two different ways in which you can go about propagating your “holy plant”.
• Propagation in water
• Propagation in soil
PROPAGATION IN THE WATER
One of the most common ways in which plant owners propagate their Swiss Cheese Vine plants is to root it in water. To begin this process, cut a piece of vine from the mature plant.
Be sure that there are at least one or two nodes included. This is where the leaves begin to develop from the stem.
Once you have finished making the correct cut from the vine, fill a bowl up with water.
Place the cut vine and the filled bowl into a spot where indirect sunlight is present. Replace the water every few days until roots begin to form. This typically takes place within a few weeks.
Continue to monitor the new plant, moving them to a soil once the root is strong enough to support itself.
PROPAGATION IN THE SOIL
Although not the most widely accepted strategy, you can choose to skip the involvement of water rooting. Just as before, cut a piece off of the vine where there are at least one or more nodes present.
This is where the method begins to differ. Instead of placing the cuttings into a bowl of water, simply dip them until they are moist.
Once this is done, fill a small pot with soil that has been properly hydrates and stick the cutting in about a half-inch underneath the top layer of soil.
Set this pot into an area that gets indirect sunlight and wait for the root to grow. As with the first strategy of propagation, this will take a few weeks.
6 TIPS AND TRICKS TO KEEPING YOUR MONSTERA ADANSONII HEALTHY
1. If you must place your plant in direct sunlight, only leave it there for a total of 2 or 3 hours, usually in the morning where the rays are duller.
2. Using peat-based soil with drainage holes will keep your plant moist without becoming too overrun with water.
3. Use the colour of the leaves to determine how much water to add. If the leaves are droopy, check the moisture of the soil and add accordingly.
4. Fertilizing your plant is essential but should not be continued into the winter months.
5. The Swiss Cheese Vine tends to need a fair amount of room in order to thrive. If the roots begin to circle inside the pot, you may want to consider repotting.
6. If you are worried about the humidity requirements, place your plant in a bathroom or kitchen where it is warm, moist and properly lit. Placing a humidifier nearby can also keep your Swiss Cheese Vine happy and healthy.
3 THINGS YOU SHOULD NEVER DO WITH YOUR MONSTERA PLANT
1. Overexposure to light: As you now know, these plants need light, but do poorly when placed in direct sunlight. With such a high sensitivity, your Monstera plant can quickly become dried out. To ensure that this does not happen, put them in a spot that is near a window instead of directly in it.
2. Put off repotting: Most plants do better when they are repotted, but this is especially true for the Swiss Cheese Vine plant. Ideally, you should move it into a slightly larger pot every year.
3. Leave out for pets: Monstera adansonii is considered to be moderately toxic when it comes to your dog or cat. If eaten, they can have a number of adverse reactions such as vomiting, swallowing problems or oral irritation. If your pet tends to chew on leaves around the house, keep your Monstera plant out of their way.
MONSTERA ADANSONII PLANT POPULARITY BAROMETER
Rating: Moderately popular
The Swiss Cheese Vine plant is not among the most popular member of flowering plants. In fact its distant relative, the Monstera deliciosa, usually outshines it.
The common name for this relative is the “Swiss Cheese Plant” which makes it confusing when compared to the “Swiss Cheese Vine Plant”. These two species are quite similar, though M. deliciosa is larger, thus taking the cake.
Do not worry, however, since this plant is well known among most botanists. You can find it sold in a number of stores, many of which are online.
WHERE CAN YOU BUY A MONSTERA ADANSONII PLANT?
This plant is not all that rare, making it easier for you to purchase from a variety of stores. There are still some websites that have outsold their limited stock, so it is always best to call ahead and double check the inventory of the selected store.
Here are a few options in terms of buying your very own Swiss Cheese Vine plant:
Amazon: Although you may not think of this website for your plant supplier, there are a lot of options on Amazon. Depending on the size you want, one can expect to pay between 10 and 30 dollars.
Etsy: Another option for your Monstera shopping needs. Expect to pay around 10 dollars for a cutting, or 10 to 45 dollars for a mature individual.
Ebay: Buying a plant from Ebay can be a bit challenging, as you oftentimes have to compete with other contenders. Do not rule it out, however, as it is possible to make a quick purchase. Most Swiss Cheese Vine plants sell for approximately 30 dollars on this website.
FINDING MONSTERA ADANSONII ON INSTAGRAM
With social media becoming all that more popular, certain plant species have been able to gain followers. The Swiss Cheese Vine plant is no exception. When considering a new plant for your home, it is helpful to look at a few pictures. Instagram offers you with that glimpse into the future.
Commonly used hashtags for Monstera adansonii include:
You may also enjoy following a few people provided below:
Having a plant that adds not only greenery but also an element of character is essential in every household. The Swiss Cheese Vine plant does just that with unique perforations.
And best of all, you can either add it to a large pot or give it a stake to climb up. By using this guide, you can successfully care for your new plant and possibly create new individuals through the process of propagation.
MOST COMMONLY ASKED QUESTIONS RELATED TO THE MONKEY MASK AKA MONSTERA ADANSONII
Is the Monstera Adansonii the same plant as the Monstera Deliciosa?
Both the Monstera Adansonii as well as the Monstera Deliciosa belong to the Araceae family. These are plants that produce an inflorescence or flower called a spadix but they are not the same plant.
The Monstera Adansonii produces smaller leaves and is a vining or trailing plant. The Monstera Deliciosa forms much bigger leaves in its adult form whereas the Monkey Mask produces holey leaves.
What plant is called the Swiss Cheese Plant?
The Monstera Deliciosa is referred to as the Swiss Cheese plant because of the slits and holes in its leaves. The name is derived from the Emmental cheese produces in Switzerland that holes in it.
The leaves are said to resemble this look. The Monstera Adansonii is also referred to as the Swiss Cheese Vine.
Is the Monstera Monkey Mask toxic?
The Monstera Adansonii is slightly toxic and can cause burns and swellings and vomiting in pets such as cats and dogs.
Is the Monstera Adansonii easy to propagate?
The Swiss Cheese Vine is fairly easy to propagate. You can take a cutting from a section of a stem and put it either in water, Spaghnum Moss or soil. Within a couple of 3-4 weeks you will see roots starting to develop.
For a new plant to grow from a cutting you need to have at least one node. Nodes are the little nubby things just below where leaves are branching off the stem.
Cut below a node if you want to propagate a Monstera Adansonii. It is best to have 2-3 nodes and leaves on a cutting as this will increase your chances of a successful propagation.
Where can I buy a Variegated Monstera Adansonii?
Your best chances of buying a Monstera Adansonii Variegata are NSE Tropicals if you are based in the US. Other sources are Facebook plant groups, Instagram and last but not least eBay. But be prepared to shell out at least a four-figure dollar sum (>1000 USD).