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  • Green Lady Gardens

Monstera adansonii Care

Monstera adansonii is often called swiss cheese vine or split-leaf philodendron. (That name is also used for Monstera deliciosa.) Monstera and Philodendron are both in the Araceae family but they are different genus and therefore cannot be used interchangeably. Referring to M. adansonii as a Philodendron also implies their care is the same. Most Philodendron sold as houseplants are quite resilient, fuss-proof, and tolerant of low light and underwatering. (There are a few exceptions, such as 'Birkin', which need a ton of light.) M. adansonii is not as resilient and you may have a hard time figuring out why it is getting yellow leaves. That being said, we still rate it a 2 (average care) on our care level scale. But give it the correct light, water, and potting mix and you will be set up for success. This care slideshow will cover all those details, as well as explain why you may be getting yellow leaves.

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Medium - bright indirect is ideal. Lower light = Slow & leggy growth, small leaves. In lower light, soil also won't dry out as quickly, which increases the likelihood of watering related issues. (See Water.) Burns in direct S exposure.


60 - 80℉ is ideal. Minimum temp. of 50℉.


Water when 30% dry. Doesn't tolerate soil staying too dry or too damp for too long. In both cases leaves wilt & yellow. When underwatered (or when root bound) this usually begins at the soil line. These & other leaves also brown & crisp. When overwatered leaf browning of yellow leaves is delayed. If there are persistent yellow leaves despite proper watering, you may need to repot.

Soil & Repotting

Does not tolerate heavy soil. A chunky aroid mix that includes bark, perlite, & peat is ideal. If using a general potting mix, it must be light, fluffy, & aerate & drain well. (Adding bark or perlite may be beneficial.) Based on GLG experience, M. adansonii does poorly in non-draining pots & when root bound. (Yellowing leaves may feel uncontrollable.) M. adansonii is also sensitive to repotting so be gentle.

Pruning & Propagation

Cut back to encourage bushiness. Attach to a moss pole or trellis to mimic its natural upward growth. Plant bloggers say upward growth results in denser growth & larger leaves. GLG questions this theory. (See last slide.) Propagate cuttings in water or sphagnum moss. GLG has had limited success with water propagation compared to other plants.


40% - 60% is ideal. Brown leaf tips may be a sign to increase humidity. Average household is usually fine but higher humidity will aid in better, fuller, and faster growth.

Theory: Mimicking a Plant's Natural, Upward Growth Results in Denser Growth & Larger Leaves

GLG hasn't seen a scientific study or had a first-hand experience that affirms this statement. Is denser & larger growth due to upward growth alone (as the theory/rumor suggests) or better care? Can a plant simply be tied to a trellis or must the aerial roots be attached to the support? Enticing the aerial roots of a houseplant to grow & attach to something requires better care & more ideal conditions. In particular, higher humidity &/or increased moisture. Better care obviously contributes to a healthier, denser, & large-leaved plant. Aerial roots also take in moisture & nutrients, further contributing to overall plant health. What do you think? Is "denser & larger" because the plant has been tricked into thinking it's growing upward or is it the cause & effect of better care?


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