How to Grow and Care for Variegated Monstera Adansonii

<p>Nora Carol Photography / Getty Images</p>

Nora Carol Photography / Getty Images

The variegated Monstera adansonii (Swiss cheese plant) is a cultivar that has striking creamy white markings on the deep green leaves. These white markings can be small spots, streaky stripes, or large patches. Part of the appeal is the sense of anticipation of not knowing precisely what new variegation growth will look like.

This variety has grown very popular due to its gorgeous appearance and striking difference from its non-variegated sibling. The care regimen for this plant is very similar to its non-variegated version, but there are a few tips to help keep it thriving.

Key Monstera Adansonii Variegated Care Tips

  • Give your Monstera Adansonii indirect sunlight.

  • Plant in a loose, airy potting soil mix with added peat moss to retain acidity.

  • Water regularly but avoid overwatering (wait until top inch of soil is dry before watering).

  • The variegated Swiss cheese plant likes plenty of humidity and warm temperatures; a well-lit bathroom with some indirect sunlight and good ventilation is a good spot.

  • This plant tends to outgrow its containers fairly quickly, so plan to repot it every two years.


Variegated monstera adansonii does best with dappled or indirect light that mimics its natural habitat beneath larger tree canopies. Avoid too much bright sun exposure, which can burn the leaves.

Water & Humidity

Proper watering is key to helping this plant thrive. Variegated monstera adansonii craves moisture, but too much water can cause root rot. Feel the top inch of soil in the container before watering; wait until it's dry to the touch then water thoroughly.

Humidity is also important. Add a pebble tray or a humidifier if the inside of your house gets dry from heat. Keeping this plant in a bathroom helps maintain a consistently humid environment.


Variegated monstera adansonii needs well-draining soil. Adding some amendments, like peat moss, rice hulls, or shredded bark, can help improve texture and drainage.


Wait until your variegated monstera adansonii is well established in its new container (at least six months) before beginning any fertilizer regimen. You can fertilize monthly from March to September with a balanced NPK fertilizer (ratio 5-2-3 is good); be sure to dilute well according to package directions to avoid harming the plant or roots.

Is Variegated Monstera Adansonii Rare?

<p>Nora Carol Photography / Getty Images</p>

Nora Carol Photography / Getty Images

The variegated monstera adansonii is definitely harder to find than the regular monstera adansonii, or other monstera varieties. But you can usually find it for sale from online vendors if you do a bit of searching.

Monstera Adansonii Variegated Growth Rate

Like other Monstera varieties, this one has a fairly fast growth rate. Expect monstera adansonii to grow around one foot per year.

How to Encourage Variegation on a Monstera Adansonii

The best way to encourage more variegation on monster adansonii is to give it good light and prune it frequently. Pruning encourages new growth, which means leaves that are more likely to have variegation. Also, pruning the solid green leaves from the plant allows the plant to concentrate its energy on already-existing variegated leaves, making those leaves increase in size (don't remove too many leaves though, or the plant will struggle).

You can also try gradually increasing sunlight exposure to increase variegation, especially if the plant can be placed in a window that gets east-to-west sunlight during the day.

Potting and Repotting

This fast-growing plant needs repotting roughly every two years to keep its root system healthy. Choose a new pot that is an inch wider in diameter than the current one. If you notice the root system poking out through the top surface of the soil or along the edges of the container, it is time to repot. When repotting, gently loosen the old soil from the roots and add fresh soil to the container. After replacing the plant, water lightly and add enough soil to fill the pot.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why is a variegated Monstera Adansonii so expensive?

Variegated monstera adansonii is expensive they are rarer plants that are harder to find, which drives up their desirability and price.

What is the difference between monstera deliciosa and monstera adansonii?

Monstera deliciosa has bigger, deeply cut leaves and larger fenestrations (holes) than monstera adansonii, which has much smaller leaves with more plentiful holes.

Can variegated monstera adansonii revert back to no variegation?

Variegation is believed to be genetic, so it is unlikely a plant would revert entirely to being unvariegated, but it's possible for the variegation to lessen. If your variegated Swiss cheese plant starts to grow solid green leaves, prune these off to encourage more of the variegated leaves to grow and consider giving it more light.

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Read the original article on The Spruce.