The monkey plant, scientifically known as Monstera adansonii, originates from South and Central America. Like any great plant, this plant has many names, including Adansos monstera, Swiss cheese plant, and five-hole plant. This plant’s natural habitat is usually by river valleys at lower elevations.
The plant has beautiful rich green, heart-shaped leaves. The leaves are thick and waxy with oval-shaped holes puncturing the leaf skin. The plant can grow 12 feet (3.7 m) tall or even taller in said natural habitat. If grown inside, as a houseplant, expect the plant to grow up to 3 or 5 feet (1-1.5 m) tall.
Like all monsters so does this one bloom. The monkey plant will bloom in the spring or summer; its flower color is usually beige creamy or purple. This plant should be perfect for beginners with its easy care routine.
How To Grow?
Because we are dealing with a tropical plant the absolute minimum temperature this plant can tolerate is 50°F (10°C). The perfect temperatures for this monstera are anywhere between 55-85°F (13-27°C). This plant can be grown outside in the USDA Hardiness zones 10 through 12. The Swiss cheese plant is a jungle plant so it will need humidity to always be around 50%.
Monstera Adansonii is toxic to small animals such as cats and dogs. The plant contains calcium oxalate crystals which can cause stomach aches and a burning sensation. Keep away from small children and house pets.
The Monstera adansonii will need bright but indirect sunlight. Try to make sure the plant gets at least six hours of its needed type of sunlight a day. If you notice your plant turning leggy and skinny you’ll know it’s because the plant isn’t receiving enough sunlight.
On the other hand, too much sun can burn your plant. To notice changes in your plant and adjust its care routine accordingly keep an eye on it, checking its state regularly.
To know when it’s time to water your monstera check the two top inches (5cm) of the soil. If the soil is dry then it is time to water the plant. When watering make sure to water the plant thoroughly until the water runs out of its pots drainage holes.
Usually, you should need to water this Swiss cheese plant once a week. During winter and late fall do not water because during that time the plant is not growing.
Soil and Fertilizer
Most pre-mixed plant soils should suit said monstera. The most important quality this plant’s soil should have is being well-draining. You can add orchid bark or perlite to your soil, this will help air circulate through your soil. Soil should have a pH level between 5.5 and 7, meaning naturally acidic and neutral.
The best fertilizer for this monstera should have equal parts phosphorus, nitrogen, and potassium, and it should be water-soluble. During the plant’s growing season, spring and summer, its recommended to feed the plant with a half-strength fertilizer once every four to six weeks. Do not feed your plant when it goes dormant, this would be during fall and winter.
Pruning with this plant is usually done to control it, as it is a climber. If you choose to prune your plant always do it during spring or autumn. Prune away the top growth and cut close to the stem. Always make sure to remove any diseased or infected leaves as well. Remember to use clean and sharp shears, scissors, or a knife.
The best way to propagate the Monstera adansonii is by using cuttings.
- Use sharp and clean scissors, shears, or a knife;
- Cut away a healthy leaf near the stem;
- Place the cutting in a glass of water;
- Keep the cutting in a worm and humid spot;
- You can add growth hormones if you wish;
Once you can see the new roots have formed plant the newly formed plant into the recommended soil.
The recommended time for repotting is in the spring. Usually, this monstera will need to be repotted once every two years. To check if your plant needs to be repotted, check its roots. If the roots have started to crawl out of the container through its drainage holes it is time to repot.
To repot gently remove the plant from its pot and again gently shake away any old soil and have a slightly bigger pot ready with fresh soil. Place some soil at the bottom of the pot before placing the plant.
Once the plant is in its new pot add more of its recommended soil on top and around the plants’ roots until covered. Make sure to water thoroughly and keep the plant in a warm spot where it can get all its needed daylight.
The most serious disease you will encounter with this plant is root rot. To prevent this make sure not to overwater your monstera. Root rot is not reversible and the affected parts can only be removed and not cured.
To remove infected parts make sure to use clean and sharp tools. Diseases can present themselves by discoloration, weird spots, or the plant appearing droopy.
To help cure your plant from diseases, remove any infected parts, use a mix of neem oil and water to keep away any mold and you can even repot your plant into a new pot with fresh soil.
The Swiss cheese plant is quite strong and mostly you won’t have to deal with any pests. If grown indoors you may come across some insects like spider mites, thrips, and scale.
To rid your plant of these insects use insecticides. You can also change the environment of your plant or use horticultural soap by mixing it with water and sparing your plant with it. Keep an eye on your plant to spot the insects early on for easy removal.
- Monstera Adansonii Archipelago: this variety has elongated leaves with holes in them as well. The leaves however have colors of white, yellow, light green, and deeper green decorating them. This variety is rare and usually quite hard to come by because of its price as well.
- Monstera Lechleriana Schott: this variety spreads out more and has bigger foliage than the original Swiss cheese plant. The colors of the leaf are the same as the original. This plant will need indirect light to thrive.
- Monstera Adansonii Friedrichsthalii: this variety is the same as the original. The only difference between the two is as this one ages the leaves will grow to be longer and overall bigger.
- Monstera Epipremnoides: this variety has much bigger oval-shaped holes in its leaves than the original. The color is also a much lighten version of the usual rich green. This variety is quite rare and produces large leaves with their length reaching 3.3 feet (1m).
This exotic plant is great for beginners and has an easy care routine suitable for anyone with a little extra time left in their day. This plant has an alien-like look with its leaves bringing a fun look to any garden or living space.
The plant can be placed in the corner or the center of living rooms and still have a good impact on the overall look of the space. The many varieties of this plant give you room to choose exactly the type of monstera to suit your overall vibe.