Let’s identify Philodendron swiss cheese vs monstera adansonii

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Do you need clarification on philodendron swiss cheese vs monstera adansonii? Do you ever think of knowing the differences between these two houseplants?

The noticeable differences between Philodendron swiss cheese and monstera adansoni are,  swiss cheese is comparatively larger and doesn’t produce any flowers, unlike monstera adansonii. Again, the flower of adansonii covers the fruit. But swiss cheese fruit is not covered as it doesn’t produce any flowers. Further, the leaves of swiss cheese are like a split-leaf shape, whereas the monstera adansonii leaves are with holes.

As both of these plants are much preferable to people as houseplants, philodendron swiss cheese vs monstera adansonii is often a point of argument. So, we are introducing this article to give you a detailed comparison of both plants. Let’s go through the comprehensive guide below.

Comparison chart of Philodendron swiss cheese and monstera adansonii

There are differences between philodendron swiss cheese and monstera adansonii in their origin, growth, type and nature of leaves. Before getting into the detailed discussion, here is a quick view of a comparison table between philodendron swiss cheese and monstera adansonii.

Basis of Comparison Philodendron swiss cheese Monstera adansonii
Common nameSwiss cheese vine, five holes plant.Adansonii.
GenusPhilodendronMonstera
Plant typePerennial.Perennial.
Growth habit Vine.Vines or creeping.
Average length3-8 feet tall (indoor),10-13 feet tall (outdoor).2-7 feet tall (indoor),9-12 feet tall (outdoor).
Average width1.5  to 2.5 feet wide (slightly narrow than monstera adansonii)2 to 3 feet wide
Humidity percentage65 to 80 percent. 50 to 60 percent.
Ideal temperature75°F to 85°F during the day time,67° F to 70°F at night.60°F to 80° F during both day and night.
Potting mediumbest when the soil is loamy with lots of sand.Best if the soil can retain the moisture.
Soil typeBest with a rapid drainage system. With good drainage but a moisture retention system
Soil pHGrows only in acidic soil.Grows in neutral to mildly acidic soil.
Flower bloomingDoesn’t produce flowers.Produce white-colored flowers in early to late spring.
Native areaCentral America, South America (US hardiness zone 9 to 10)Central America, South America (US hardiness zone 10 to 12)
ToxicityMore toxic and produces Severe symptoms in pets.Less toxic and produces mild symptoms in pets.

How to identify philodendron swiss cheese and the monstera adansonii separately?

As we know the philodendron swiss cheese and monstera adansonii are from the same genera, sometimes people get confused between these plants. But some basic differences are noticed between them. We can individualize them easily by observing these factors.

Dissimilarities between philodendron swiss cheese and monstera adansonii

Though philodendron swiss cheese and monstera adansonii are related plants, they have some important differences. They are-

i) Scientific information: Philodendron swiss cheese plants are part of the genus philodendron, containing almost 480 species. Whereas, monstera adansonii plants are a member of the genus monstera, containing almost 45 species.

ii) Growth habit: Philodendron swiss cheese can grow only as vines, while monstera adansonii can grow as creeping as well as vines. And philodendron swiss cheese is larger than monstera adansonii.

Again, philodendron swiss cheese can grow healthily in water for their whole lives. But monstera adansonii cannot.

iii) Flowers: Philodendron swiss cheese doesn’t produce any flower, while monstera adansonii produces the white-colored flower.

Flower of monstera adansonii
Flower of monstera adansonii

iv) Fruits: The fruits of these plants are also different from each other. The fruits of the philodendron swiss cheese plant are smaller compared to monstera adansonii.

Monstera adansonii fruit
Monstera adansonii fruit
Philodendron swiss cheese fruit
Philodendron swiss cheese fruit

Again, we can see that the fruits of the monstera adansonii are covered with its flower, but philodendron swiss cheese plants are not covered with flowers as they don’t produce flowers.

v) Shape of Leaves: Philodendron swiss cheese plants vary significantly in having a split-leaf shape. On the contrary, monstera adansonii is characterized by leaves containing unique, lacy holes as they become mature.

Philo swiss cheese leaf shape
Philo swiss cheese leaf shape
Monstera adansonii leaf shape
Monstera adansonii leaf shape

vi) Nature of leaves: The easiest way to determine the differences is that the leaves of the split-leaf philodendron swiss cheese will often have a slightly wavy texture around the splits.

However, the leaves of the monstera adansonii can be quite smooth and flat, even the edges of the splits and holes.

Nature of philo swiss cheese leaf
Nature of philo swiss cheese leaf
Nature of monstera adansonii leaf
Nature of monstera adansonii leaf

vii) Fenestration in holes of the leaves: Another way to differentiate the plants is the fenestrations. Fenestration means tiny capillaries or, pores in the leaves. As both the plants have split-leaf, only monstera adansonii can develop the fenestrations and philodendron swiss cheese can not.

viii) Growing of new leaves: The final difference that might be easy to notice is by looking at the new leaves forming. The new leaves of philodendron swiss cheese are typically surrounded by a protective leaf called cataphylls.

This cataphyll is unique to a philodendron swiss cheese and will not appear on a monstera adansonii.

Why does confusion arise between philodendron swiss cheese and monstera adansonii?

The confusion between philodendron swiss cheese and monstera adansonii usually happens because of some similarities in their origins, outlook and characteristics. So, the name is also interchangeable and people consider them as the same plant.

For example, both the swiss cheese and adansonii plants have heart-shaped leaves. Again, both plants can grow as vines. The split-leaf philodendron swiss cheese also creates misunderstandings as they also have leaves with splits that resemble the holes of the monstera adansonii.

 As a result, it is common to see the split-leaf applied to both philodendron swiss plants and monstera adansonii plants and one becomes confused between them.

Similarities between philodendron swiss cheese and monstera adansonii

As we know that philodendron swiss cheese and monstera adansonii share a common ancestry, they have some similarities in their appearance and structure indeed. They are-

i) Taxonomy: Scientifically both plants are from almost the same categories used in taxonomy (kingdom, phylum, class, order, Family). Here kingdom- Plantae, phylum- Spermatophyta, class- monocotyledons, order-water plantains, Family- Araceae.

ii) Plant types: Both plants are perennials and tropical types.

iii) Native area: Both plants are mostly found in different places in Central America, and South America, in the forests of Mexico and Panama.

iv) Sun exposure: Partial sunlight is needed for better growth. Direct sunlight is avoidable for both plants.

v) Toxicity: Both plants are toxic to pets.

Which one is better in philodendron swiss cheese and monstera adansonii?

 Between the philodendron swiss cheese plant and monstera adansonii, the philodendron swiss cheese is undoubtedly better if anyone wants to grow only one. Several factors make the philodendron swiss cheese better than monstera adansonii. The reasons are-

i) These philodendron swiss cheese plants are best as indoor ornamental plants as they have a very eye-catching appearance. It demands very little time, care and extremely low maintenance than monstera adansonii.

ii) They can be propagated and grown in water also. If you put them in a transparent glass pot, the trailing vines look stunning floating around in the pot. It will increase the beauty of your house.

The trailing vine of philodendron swiss cheese looks stunning
The trailing vine of philodendron swiss cheese looks stunning

iii) This philodendron swiss cheese plant is also best for improving the level of air moisture in your house.

iv) These plants have large-sized leaves and larger surface areas. So these plants are more effective for improving air quality by sucking carbon-di-oxide from the air and releasing oxygen into the air. These plants can also purify the air by filtering other harmful toxins like formaldehyde, xylene and toluene, etc. from the air.

v) Philodendron swiss cheese plant has a high level of transportation system. So, it adds humidity to the surroundings and makes the environment healthy. Because dry air inside the house is harmful to overall health, especially if anyone has skin or respiratory issues.

vi) The aerial roots of this plant help to absorb excess moisture from the air and make the environment comfortable.

vii) These plants are extremely easy to grow and maintain as they need very basic care. If someone has little time for fussy plants, then this plant is very useful to decorate the house.

viii) Again these plants will surely catch everyone’s attention, whether it is placed in the corner of the room or, the center of it.

Final thoughts

Finally, we can see that philodendron swiss cheese and monstera adansonii plants are confusing as they are from the same family order. They are similar, but not the same. As they are from different species, they have different needs and characteristics.

Now, let’s make recap what we get from this article-

  • People often get confused between these plants as they both have wide leaves with holes.
  • Philodendron swiss cheese plants are larger and in slightly narrow form than monstera adansonii plants.
  • There are some differences in their caring guidelines. Like monstera adansonii is easier to look after.
  • Both plants have different adaptability. Like philodendron swiss cheese can live healthily in water, but monstera adansonii can not.
  • Both are toxic. But philodendron swiss cheese is more toxic than monstera adansonii. 

Understanding all these comparisons can help to differentiate both plants and help to care for and propagate them successfully accordingly.