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Monstera adansonii are one of those plants that can STILL command ridiculously high prices, because people consider it to be rare.
Monstera adansonii is NOT rare. At least, not in, er, captivity.
They sell them in my local supermarket (Tesco, fellow Brits). So don’t spend a fortune on one. If you can’t find a cheap one near you, order a cheap cutting off Etsy and hope it travels ok (they do in my experience). They can take a while to acclimatise, but once they start growing, they grow pretty quickly.
What is a Monstera Adansonii?
Monstera Adansonii is also known as a swiss cheese vine, and it looks like this:
So, if you’re after that holey look, it’s the plant for you. The fenestrations don’t seem as dependent on light as deliciosa. It definitely won’t survive in as low light as a deliciosa would, but if you really up the light, you won’t see a noticable difference in the fenestrations.
(Again, that I’ve noticed).
You might notice that more light does mean bigger leaves, but they probs won’t get, like, face-sized. There are rumours of the leaves growing to two feet long, but that’s unlikely to happen unless you’re growing your plant in perfect conditions.
There are various forms of Monstera adansonii including:
- Narrow form (the leaves are, er, narrower)
- Wide form (the leaves are, er, wider)
- Laniata (honestly, there’s a raging debate over whether this is even a thing, similar to the whole Monstera borsigiana, but from what I can tell, the holes run close to the central vein of the leaf)
Are Monstera Adansonii rare?
I’ve also noticed that sellers tend to get in larger specimens of plants growing up moss poles or trailing on hanging pots, and they’ll be more expensive than a cutting in a pot.
There’s just a lot of demand which keeps prices higher in some areas.
Still. It ain’t rare.
NB They actually ARE rare in the wild, because they’re small and if they don’t find a tree to climb in time, they’ll get trodden on or end up rotting in a puddle. But they’re still not ACTUALLY rare. And because there’s no difference genetically between a wild one and domestic one, they can’t be described as rare. It would be like describing humans or cats as rare. Adansonii have basically been domesticated.
So why are Monstera Adansonii always described as being rare?
For starters, there are a TONNE of plants that are described as rare that just…aren’t.
There are house plants that are less regularly seen in traditional garden centres though, which gives sellers the opportunity to label them as rare and either jack up the price or convince the customer that paying an average price for a plant was a great deal.
As far as I’m aware, the word ‘rare’ doesn’t have to actually reflect the scarcity of a plant. You can slap it on any old plant and call it rare.
How much should I pay for a Monstera Adansonii?
I wouldn’t pay any more than $30. You can get a decent specimen for that, a plant rather than just a cutting.
Check out these Etsy shops for Monstera adansonii:
Why do people think Monstera Adansonii is rare?
So we’ve ascertained that Monstera adansonii aren’t rare, despite being labelled as such, but the reason that the myth continues is freaking Monstera obliqua (specifically Monstera obliqua Peru – there are other types of Obliqua, but it’s the Peru that looks the most like an adansonii.
Obliqua is adansonii’s weaker, more delicate cousin. They look fairly similar in that they have, you know, leaves with holes in them, but they’re NOT the same.
I’ll go through the differences thoroughly in the next section, and will take the rest of this section to explain that NEVER IN THE HISTORY OF THE WORLD (ok, it may have happened, but the hashtag #itsneverobliqua exists for a reason) has anyone been missold an obliqua labelled as an adansonii.
You do, however, regularly see adansonii labelled as obliqua. Some growers seem to treat it as an alternative name for the same plant, which it isn’t. They’re two distinct plants that look similar.
What are the differences between Monsteras Adansonii and Obliqua?
- The price
As I said, you can easily get a decent-sized adansonii for about $30. I’ve never even SEEN a decent-sized obliqua, but a couple of leaves will set you back hundreds. Possibly even a couple of grand.
- The leaf shape
Obliqua is more hole that leave. The leaves are barely more than strands. 90% of the leave isn’t leaf. And you have to pay MORE? Madness.
- The leaf texture
Adansonii are much firmer than obliqua leaves, which are paper thin.
- The growth rate
One of the reasons that Obliqua are so much rarer and more expensive than adansonii is that it grows far more slowly than an adansonii, which will grow like a weed if given the correct care. I have a care guide here.
- The flowers
I mean, you’re unlikely to find either in bloom, but there are subtle differences in the inflorescences of adansonii and obliqua.
- The runners
I find this a bit confusing, but I’m going to mention it anyway.
Obliqua send out runners which will vine along the ground, find a tree to climb, and eventually produce new leaves/plants. Adansonii don’t do this.
Now, you might think ‘how is this confusing? Is Caroline not very clever?’ BUT adansonii WILL produce vines if you don’t give them enough light.
Rather than wasting time growing leaves in the dark, they send out a vine towards the window and grow the leaf closer to the light.
Also, if you have thrips, all the leaves might drop off, leaving you with what might look like a runner.
The proper name for runners is ‘stolons’. A hybrid, it would seem, of the words ‘stolen’ and ‘colon’.
- The shape of the leaves
Monstera adansonii have pretty straight edges, obliqua leaves have a bit of wavy edge to them, probs due to the fact the leaves are so much thinner than adansonii.
- The care
Obliqua like light, warmth, and high humidity BUT because the leaves are super delicate, they can burn and develop root rot really easily.
I like a challenge, but I prefer my challenge plants to come in around the $10 dollar mark NOT the $2000 mark. The idea of spending that amount of money on a plant that requires a heck of a lot of care is alien to me.
I wrote a whole article why I don’t like spending too much money on one plant. I’m absolutely not bashing anyone who likes rare plants, but for me personally, I like having plants that don’t stress me out.
Is my Adansonii actually an Obliqua?
I mean, probably not. Especially if you’re keeping it in regular household conditions and it’s doing well.
Are variegated Monstera adansonii rare?
They sure used to be!
It wasn’t that long ago (like, 2021) that variegated adansonii were THOUSANDS of pounds.
They’re ‘only’ £250.
Now, I’m not saying that that’s cheap.
I certainly wouldn’t pay that for a plant (read why here).
But these things were like five grand last year.
This hobby is WILD.
Monstera adansonii aren’t rare, so don’t pay a fortune for them. If you really don’t want to buy plants online but they’re expensive in your area, it’s worth asking on house plant Facebook groups if anyone knows of any adansonii in store local to you OR if they have a cutting you could have.