Most of us have heard of Monstera and usually relate it to Monstera Deliciosa, its most common variety. It would, however, surprise you to know that there are over 50 Monstera species, each equally beautiful and unique, for you to choose from.
The Monstera plant originated in South America in its tropical rainforests. The plant is also known as Swiss Cheese Plants not because these make cheese but because of the peculiar holes on its leaves. These make a great houseplant.
Monstera plants need a host tree and get attached to it. These are thus epiphytic. When given a suitable host tree to grow, the plant reaches an incredible height to reach sunlight. This is for the plant varieties that grow wild in the jungles. Keeping them indoors does not let the plant grow to such heights, but these make a great addition to your home aesthetics.
Read through this article to learn about the different types of Monstera, their features, and care tips to pick the one most suited for your garden.
Types of Monstera Varieties
#1. Monstera Deliciosa
Known by many other names like the Cheese plant, Swiss Cheese plant, and Hurricane plant, this species grows to a height of 66 feet or 20 m when it gets support climbing a tree trunk.
The leaves of this plant are usually green, glossy, and big and grow to a length of 3 feet or 90 cm and 30 inches or 75 cm in width. The leaves of the mature plant have holes or splits called fenestrations which are a common trait in all the Monstera varieties. For this variety of Monstera plants, the fenestrations go all the way to the leaves’ edge.
Monstera Deliciosa flowers and produces fruits known as the Mexican breadfruit or Monstera fruit if it grows under the perfect conditions. Its flowers resemble a giant version of Peace Lily with a spike or central spathe covering its cream-colored hood. This is known as the spadix. The flowers grow to 15 cm or 6 inches in height.
The fruit of the plant looks equally weird. It is shaped like the ear of a corn, and its surface is covered with hexagonal and giraffe-like scales. When the fruit ripens, the scales also pop off to reveal its white edible kernels. The taste of the fruit is something like the blend of banana and pineapple.
Monstera Deliciosa, however, when grown at home, will neither grow very large nor will it flower. It prefers bright and indirect light and needs a pot with proper drainage else its roots may rot.
#2. Monstera Borsigiana
Known as Monstera deliciosa f. borsigiana in Latin this Monstera species is a sub form of the Monstera Deliciosa. It has small leaves and thin stems with a long internode. The variety grows much faster than the Monstera Delicosa.
Because of the difference in the manner in which the variety grows, the plant has been given a unique name. The plant is a climber with thin stems that responds perfectly when allowed to grow along a moss pole that offers it proper vertical support.
The plant is a climber and thus needs vertical support to grow. The stem is not as thick as in the case of the other varieties. The water and light requirements for this variety are the same as for any of the other Monstera plants. It may also need some extra bit of pruning so that its variegation is under control.
#3. Monstera Adansonii
Known as Swiss Cheese Plant, Swiss Cheese Vine, Monkey Mask, and Five Holes Plant, the Monstera Adansonii variety has small and narrow leaves, and all its leaf perforations are closed. The plant can climb to a height of 4 meters. However, its small leaves and shortleaf stems make the entire plant look smaller.
It is easy to care for this petite vine. You may choose to let it trail over a moss pole or let it fall down from the pot to get a fuller look. The plant needs proper drainage and grows well when kept in indirect bright light.
#4. Monstera Peru
Also known as Monstera Karstenianum, the Monstera Peru is characterized by its leathery and small puckered leaves, which shine in light. These are unusually rigid and thick. They also do not have any fenestrations on their leaves. The plant grows in the form of a vine and looks for a hanging basket or a moss pole.
The Monstera Peru and Monstera Pinnatipartita look similar when young, but when they mature its leaves grow rounder and wider.
To grow Monstera Peru, give it bright and indirect light and make sure to not overwater it. Vertical support may not be needed for this plant variety.
#5. Monstera Dubia
Also referred to as the Shingle Plant, Monstera Dubia looks like a houseplant when young. It has distinguishable small and heart-shaped leaves, both in dark and light green. The tree climbs up with its aerial roots to get better sunlight. However, when the plant grows, it starts to alternate between its right and left sides of the stem, which gives it a lovely appearance.
Once the plant reaches its mature stage, it reaches high to get sunlight. When the plant is fully mature, it grows large leaves, turns a deep green, and forms intense fenestrations. This does not happen when the plant is raised as a houseplant.
Letting the plant grow on a moss pole lets it accentuate its shingle leaves.
#6. Monstera Pinnatipartita
This is another big variety of the Monstera family. The plant features a compact stem growth with short internode spacing. The plant nodes can’t be seen under its leaf petioles that are stacked tightly. Their distinguishable features are its deep slots that cut through the edge of the leaf to its center rib.
The Pinnatipartita is a slow creeper and does not need the moss pole to grow as its growth pattern is very compact. It, however, has the exact requirements for soil, light, and water.
#7. Monstera Siltepecana
The Monstera Siltepecana is a small variety and is also a rare species. It features green and silvery leaves with dark green on its edges and veins. Its leaves are long and pointy towards the tip. When the plant is young, it does not have any holes. The holes develop when the Monstera starts to grow towards the light, transiting into its mature form.
To grow the plant well with mature and big leaves along with fenestrations, you need to give the plant a moss pole. It takes some years for the plant to reach its mature stage. You may also choose to grow the plant variety as a trailing plant with its vine hanging from the edge of the pot.
#8. Monstera Standleyana
Standleyana is a variegated Monstera vine in its natural form. It has dark and green leaves with small streaks and spots which are white, creamy, or yellow in color. It has narrow long leaves, which are very much different from the heart-shaped leaves of Monstera Delicisosa. Its fenestrations start to form once the plant reaches its mature stage.
The plant grows much slower than the other varieties. Its leaves are unique, pointing upwards instead of hanging down pointing towards the ground. Since the plant possesses variegated leaves, it needs extra light to make up for the chlorophyll loss in the lighter sections of the leaf. The plant can grow as a runner and will also grow with support.
#9. Monstera Acuminata
Known as shingle plant, Monstera karwinskyi, Monstera grandifola, and Monstera viridispatha, the Monstera plant leaves do not reach their edges. Instead, the leaves of the plant have a defined curve on the central rib, with one side wider than the other. The wider side also has more fenestrations.
As a juvenile, the plant grows as a shingle plant. Its mature variety develops large and perforated leaves. The plant grows to a height of one foot only after which it develops holes on its leaves.
In order to accentuate this plant variety, the plant needs support on a moss pole.
#10. Monstera Obliqua
Known also by its other name Unicorn Plant, this is a rare Monstera variety with predominant holes on its leaves. It feels that the plant variety has more holes than leaves. The fenestrations are such that it looks like holes with strings of the leaf. The obliqua leaves are very delicate.
Monstera obliqua is a demanding variety. It needs constant humidity that does not crumble its leaves. In fact, you will have to invest in a humidifier for the plant variety if you do not stay in the tropical regions. Without proper moisture, its leaves shrivel and turn yellow.
The plant likes peaty soil with proper drainage. The plant also grows slowly as it does not have a lot of leafy surface that can produce chlorophyll.
In this article, we have covered some of the best Monstera varieties for your home garden. However, if you have pets at home, then you should reconsider having these plants. Monstera is toxic to animals and, if consumed, may cause illness or discomfort.