How to Tell Wide-Form and Narrow-Form Monstera adansonii Apart

Monstera adansonii

The Monstera adansonii is small in stature compared to some of the other monstera plants out there, but this leafy beauty still makes a big impact. This trailing Monstera also goes by the name Swiss Cheese Vine and is easy to identify because as the plant matures, new leaves develop holes, known as fenestrations. This plant has a tropical vibe and is a must-have for anyone into monsteras or unique foliage.

The adansonii is available in two varieties: narrow or wide (also known as round) form. While they look similar, there are differences. Learn how to tell wide form and narrow form Monstera adansonii apart.

Monstera adansonii

Narrow Form vs. Wide Form Monstera adansonii

Narrow and wide-form Monstera adansonii have similar looks, so it can be hard to tell them apart. Especially if you are not comparing the plants side-by-side. It’s easy to identify a wide form when you can compare it to a narrow-form plant in real-time, but identification can be tricky when you don’t have a base of comparison.

What’s the Same

All monstera adansonii plants have green leaves with fenestrations. The foliage slightly indents at the top and center, where the leaf is attached to the stem, and the bottom comes to a point, creating a heart shape. The adansonii is a vining plant with pronounced aerial roots used in nature to climb nearby plants and structures. Place an adansonii in a hanger, so the vines can trail, or give it a trellis and train the stems to climb. These plants have the same care requirements as most monstera plants.

Foliage Shape and Size

Narrow form monstera adansonii has elongated leaves that are twice as long as wide. The long, narrow leaves come to a point. The size of mature leaves can vary on narrow-form plants. Leaf size is determined by how much sun the plant receives, so if one side receives more sunlight, the leaves will be bigger. Differences in leaf size are more apparent in nature since plants are stationary. If you routinely rotate your narrow-form plant, then each side should receive even sunlight, and the foliage will be a consistent size across the entire plant. Leaves of narrow-form plants have a crinkled texture.

It’s sort of implied, but wide-form monstera adansonii have broad leaves. Wide-form plant leaves have a rounded form that more closely resembles a heart shape. The texture of wide-form adansonii plants is smooth and glossy. 


Fenestrations are holes in the foliage that develop naturally. They are not signs of pests or damage but a natural occurrence. Some researchers believe the holes evolved as a way for wind to pass through the leaves without tearing the vine from the tree or structure it had latched onto. Essentially, the holes prevent the foliage from acting like a sail or a kite when a strong gust of wind blows through.

The holes in narrow-form leaves are oval-shaped or elongated. Wide-form adansonii plants have larger, round fenestrations and more of them per leaf. Also, the fenestrations in the wide-form leaves are more symmetrical. They line up and are evenly spaced.

Monstera adansonii Growth Habit

Narrow-form Monstera adansonii plants have reaching vines that grow upward. These plants can grow very tall if they have something to latch onto and climb. Wide-form plants are wide in every sense possible and grow out more than narrow-form plants. The wide adansonii still grows tall, but not as tall as the narrow form. The conditions impact the growth habit to a degree, so the availability of sunlight will dictate how and where a plant grows.

Monstera adansonii Light Requirements

The smaller size of the narrow-form leaves makes the plant more susceptible to sunburn. Both plants have similar sunlight requirements, but narrow-form plants may need limited amounts of bright indirect light compared to wide-form plants.

Know Your Plants

Being able to tell the two types of Monstera adansonii apart is helpful if you want to identify all of the plants in your collection or if you want to make sure you have a particular specimen. These plants have a lot in common, and while there are some slight differences, they tend to be minor. The narrow and wide form Monstera adansonii are both lovely vining plants that make a stellar addition to a home.