Although you might not have realized it before, monstera plants are everywhere! They’re all over Instagram, they’re a popular green accent choice in interior design magazines, and their strikingly perforated leaves turn up in tropical graphic motifs on textiles, wallpapers, and other decorative items. Monstera plants aren’t just popular, they’re also (mostly) easy to grow, making them a perfect choice for beginner to expert indoor gardening enthusiasts. We’ve rounded up some of the most popular types of monstera plants and put together a quick guide on how to grow your own at home.


About Monstera Plants

About Monstera Plants

Native to the tropical regions of the Americas, the Monstera genus comprises about 45 species of flowering plants that grow as creeping, climbing, evergreen vines. They produce both ground roots and aerial roots that help them climb, and they develop fruit in the form of white berries (edible in certain species). Monstera plants are most well-known and recognized for their unique leaves that feature lacy fenestrations and pinnations.

Along with lilies, they’re members of the Araceae (arum) plant family and produce similar-looking blossoms with a striking bract and central spadix. (Seeing an indoor monstera bloom, however, is rare.) Like other members of the Araceae family, monstera plants contain calcium oxalate crystals which are toxic for people and animals.


Monstera Plants Uses & Benefits

Monstera Plants Uses & Benefits

All parts of the monstera plants contain toxic calcium oxalate crystals and should not be consumed or handled roughly with bare hands. However, the Monstera deliciosa has a history of being used to soothe arthritis pain in Mexico.

This same species of monstera also produce a fruit called Mexican breadfruit. This fruit has a flavor that’s described as a combination of banana and pineapple (kind of like a naturally grown piña colada), and it’s edible when fully ripened, cooked, or completely dried.

Although the fruit of the Monstera deliciosa can be highly beneficial, the plant is not likely to produce fruit or fruit that ripens fully when grown indoors. If ingested or handled improperly, it can cause serious burns and digestive upset.

So, for those of us who live significantly north or south of the tropics, we should probably settle for simply enjoying the plant’s ornamental benefits – which are wonderful!


Monstera Plants Meanings & Symbolism

Monstera Plants Meanings & Symbolism

The name monstera is Latin for monster or abnormal, and this genus of plants gets the name from its incredible size. When growing at the base of a tall enough tree or wall, some monstera plants can reach heights of up to 70 feet and produce leaves that a few feet wide.

In western cultures, monstera plants are thought to symbolize suffocation (eek!) because of the way their vines crawl and climb, while their leaves attach and cover whatever happens to be supporting them. However, in eastern cultures, monsteras have been given much nicer symbolic meanings where they symbolize long life in addition to honoring elders and respected individuals.

When it comes to gifting monsteras, take whichever meaning you like. You can gift one to an overly clingy friend as a subtle hint or to your beloved grandmother as a sign of admiration. When in doubt, monstera plants make wonderful gifts for anyone in your circle who likes to be on-trend and have a gorgeous home.


Here you’ll find 12 of our absolute favorite Monstera plants to grow at home. We’ve included a brief overview of light, feeding, watering, and general care requirements for each so you can find the perfect fit for your home.

1. Monstera deliciosa (AKA Swiss Cheese Plant)

Monstera deliciosa (AKA Swiss Cheese Plant)

Native to the tropical forests from Southern Mexico to Panama, the Swiss cheese plant gets its common name from the appearance of its leaves, which are riddled with holes. This plant is also sometimes called the Mexican Breadfruit plant, which refers to the delicious (deliciosa) fruit it produces.

GENERAL CARE:This easy to grow plant requires little maintenance, except the occasional trim to control growth.
SOIL:Choose a well-draining potting mix with peat at a pH ranging from 5.5 to 6.
LIGHT:Bright indirect light to medium light
TEMPERATURE & HUMIDITY:Prefers temperatures between 65°F to 85°F. The plant will tolerate average home humidity, but it prefers more humid conditions.
WATERING:Water once every one to two weeks when the soil has dried.
FEEDING:Fertilize once a month in spring and summer with a basic houseplant fertilizer.
GROWTH:This is a fast-growing plant that can reach up to nearly 10-feet tall indoors and nearly 70-feet tall in the wild.
TOXICITY:Toxic to dogs and cats. Mildly toxic to humans.

2. Monstera adansonii

Monstera adansonii

Like the Monstera deliciosa, the leaves Monstera adansonii also develop holes or eyes that resemble those found in Swiss cheese. As a result, this plant is also commonly referred to as a cheese plant or a cheese vine, as this monstera creeps and develops vines. It grows wild across much of Central and South America.

GENERAL CARE:Low-maintenance and easy
SOIL:Well-draining, high-peat potting mix with a pH ranging from 5.5 to 7
LIGHT:Indirect bright sunlight
TEMPERATURE & HUMIDITY:Performs best between 60°F to 80°F with humidity above 60%. However, the plant can tolerate slightly lower humidity.
WATERING:Water about once a week to keep the soil slightly moist.
FEEDING:Spring and summer, feed monthly with a half-strength, balanced houseplant fertilizer.
GROWTH:Fast-growing plant will reach 3 to 5 feet in height trained as a houseplant and up to 13 feet as a vine.
TOXICITY:Toxic to cats and dogs. Mildly toxic to humans.

3. Monstera dubia

Monstera dubia
Credit: Etsy

Sometimes called the shingle plant, Monstera dubia is a climbing vine whose leaves lie perfectly flat against the tree or trellis they ascend. This monstera plant has heart-shaped leaves with light and dark-green variegations. Although it’s a monstera, the plant’s leaves don’t develop fenestration until the plant has matured. This usually only occurs on plants growing in the wild in Central and South America.

GENERAL CARE:Low-maintenance and easy to grow in the right conditions.
SOIL:Choose a well-draining potting mix with peat.
LIGHT:Place in bright, indirect sunlight
TEMPERATURE & HUMIDITY:Prefer temperatures between 60°F and 85°F and humidity above 50%
WATERING:Water every 7 to 10 days when the top 1 to 2 inches of soil are dry.
FEEDING:Provide a balanced fertilizer once a month in spring and summer only.
GROWTH:Grows upright as a vine and requires a trellis, moss pole, or a flat board for support.
TOXICITY:Toxic to cats, dogs, and humans

4. Monstera epipremnoides

Monstera epipremnoides

Another climbing houseplant, this variety of monstera is native to Costa Rica. It differs from other varieties in that its leaves tend to be a slightly lighter shade of green. In mature plants, the perforations in its leaves grow larger than other species of monstera plants. Sometimes the holes extend through the edges, completely separating the leave segments.

GENERAL CARE:Low-maintenance and easy to grow
SOIL:Prefers a rich, well-draining soil
LIGHT:Does not tolerate direct sunlight, but grows well in indirect sunlight and partial shade.
TEMPERATURE & HUMIDITY:Prefers humidity above 50% and temperatures between 65°F and 80°F.
WATERING:Water once a week to keep the soil moist, but never let the roots sit in standing water.
FEEDING:Spring and summer only, feed a well-balanced fertilizer once a month.
GROWTH:With support, indoor vines can reach up to 13 feet in height.
TOXICITY:Toxic to cats, dogs, and humans

5. Monstera obliqua

Monstera obliqua

Native to Central and South America, the Monstera obliqua is often described as having more holes than leaves. Since the plant’s leaf perforations are so extensive and the leaf matter is paper-thin, this plant is quite delicate. Like other plants from the genus, the Monstera obliqua is a climbing plant that does best potted indoors with support.

GENERAL CARE:Not for the faint of heart, this houseplant is challenging and rare. They’re expensive, difficult to acquire, and tough to keep alive.
SOIL:Plants prefer peaty soil, but it’s best to mimic the growing conditions of the plant grower from whom you obtained your Monstera obliqua.
LIGHT:No direct sunlight. Indirect sun and partial shade only.
TEMPERATURE & HUMIDITY:Requires constant humidity at 85% or higher and stable temperatures of 70°F to 85°F
WATERING:Once a week to maintain slightly moist soil conditions.
FEEDING:Requires infrequent feeding during the growing season only.
GROWTH:Extremely slow-growing – especially compared to other monstera plants.
TOXICITY:Toxic to humans, dogs, and cats

6. Monstera punctulata

Monstera punctulata

The Monstera punctulata is native to Southern Mexico and Central America and is notable for its surprisingly long, perforated leaves. In the wild, the leaves of these plants can just about cover a full-grown man’s torso.

GENERAL CARE:Low maintenance and easy to grow
SOIL:Standard potting soil mixed with peat.
LIGHT:Does best with bright indirect light, but can thrive in a variety of light conditions. Avoid direct sunlight.
TEMPERATURE & HUMIDITY:Prefers average to moderate humidity and temperatures between 65°F to 85°F.
WATERING:Water when the top-half of soil is dry and allow water to drain completely.
FEEDING:Feed once a month during spring and summer.
GROWTH:In the wild, this vine will climb up to 50 feet. Indoors, the plant can grow as tall as whatever is supporting it.
TOXICITY:Mildly toxic to humans, dogs, and cats

7. Monstera karstenianum (Monstera sp. Peru)

Monstera karstenianum (Monstera sp. Peru)

Unlike most of the popular monsteras, the leaves of the Monstera karstenianum have no perforations. Instead, the plant’s sturdy, shiny, spade-shaped leaves feature variegated color patterns in vibrant shades of green. Although it’s a vine and can climb a pole or drape from a hanging basket, this plant will grow to be quite bushy and attractive in a regular container, too.

GENERAL CARE:Low-maintenance and easy to grow
SOIL:Well-draining, rich potting soil mixed with peat
LIGHT:Bright, indirect sunlight
TEMPERATURE & HUMIDITY:Moderate humidity and temperatures between 65°F and 80°F
WATERING:Water every one to two weeks to keep soil constantly moist, but avoid soggy soil.
FEEDING:Fertilize once a month during the growing season with a well-balanced houseplant fertilizer.
GROWTH:Fast-growing, reaches about 1 foot in height unsupported, indoors.
TOXICITY:Toxic to dogs, cats, and humans

8. Monstera standleyana

Monstera standleyana

The Monstera standleyana is native to parts of Central America. Its shiny, green leaves have pretty splashes, speckles, and stripes of white, cream, or yellowish-white that make the plant quite attractive for growing indoors. Thanks to their prettily patterned leaves, this monstera is often confused for a philodendron.

GENERAL CARE:Low-maintenance and easy to grow
SOIL:Well-draining potting soil mixed with peat
LIGHT:Filtered or indirect sunlight
TEMPERATURE & HUMIDITY:Prefers moderate to high humidity and temperatures between 65°F to 80°F
WATERING:Water every one to two times a week, depending on the season, to prevent the soil from drying out, but be sure to allow water to drain completely.
FEEDING:Feed once a month in spring and summer with a well-balanced fertilizer.
GROWTH:Fast-growing. Individual vines can reach up to 20 feet in length when supported. Indoors, expect vines to reach 2 to 5 feet.
TOXICITY:Toxic to humans, cats, and dogs

9. Monstera pinnatipartita

Monstera pinnatipartita

Native to the rainforests of South America, the Monstera pinnatipartita is a fairly rare but highly desired species of monstera. One of the most exciting aspects of raising a Monstera pinnatipartita is watching its leaves change as it matures. The leaves of these plants do not begin separating and developing pinnation until they begin to mature. As the plants grow larger, you can watch as slots, holes, and eventually, full pinnates develop.

GENERAL CARE:Easy to care for and grow in the right conditions.
SOIL:Well-draining potting soil mixed with peat
LIGHT:Moderate to bright indirect sunlight
TEMPERATURE & HUMIDITY:Moderate to high humidity and temperatures from 65°F to 80°F
WATERING:Depending on the season, water once every week or two to maintain evenly moist soil.
FEEDING:Spring and summer only, fertilize once a month with a balanced houseplant fertilizer.
GROWTH:Moderate grower that performs best in a container with a trellis or other vertical support.
TOXICITY:Toxic to humans, dogs, and cats

10. Monstera siltepecana

Monstera siltepecana

Like other monstera plants, the Monstera siltepecana takes on two different forms in juvenile and mature plants. Juveniles have pretty leaves marked with a silvery hue and deep-green venation. Mature plants develop leaves with small fenestration that run along and close to the central vein.

GENERAL CARE:Fairly rare to find and moderately challenging to grow
SOIL:Well-draining potting soil mixed with peat
LIGHT:Bright indirect or filtered sunlight
TEMPERATURE & HUMIDITY:Can tolerate average indoor conditions, but grows best in humidity at or above 60% and temperatures from 65°F to 85°F, which can be more easily achieved in a terrarium.
WATERING:Prefers even moisture but should never sit in standing water. Water once every week or two, depending on the season.
FEEDING:Feed with a balanced houseplant fertilizer once a month during the growing season.
GROWTH:Rarely achieves mature size indoors. Expect plants to remain in juvenile form.
TOXICITY:Toxic to cats, dogs, and humans

11. Monstera variegata

Monstera variegata

The Monstera variegata tends to refer generally to monstera plants with leaves that are variegated with large white splotches. They’ve become something of a sensation on plant-lovers’ Instagram pages. Plus, compared to their non-variegated counterparts Monstera variegata, are slightly more challenging to cultivate. With the combination of low supply and popularity, they’ve become somewhat rare.

GENERAL CARE:Moderately challenging due to lower rate of photosynthesis and more delicate leaves
SOIL:Well-draining potting soil mixed with peat
LIGHT:Bright indirect or filtered sunlight
TEMPERATURE & HUMIDITY:Moderate to high humidity and temperatures from 65°F to 80°F
WATERING:Prefers even moisture, but the soil should never be soggy. Water once every week or two, depending on the season.
FEEDING:Feed once a month in the spring and summer using a balanced houseplant fertilizer.
GROWTH:With large, white patches that lack chlorophyll, these monstera plants don’t photosynthesize as much as their totally green family members. As a result, they’re relatively slow-growing and slightly more delicate.
TOXICITY:Toxic to humans, cats, and dogs

12. Rhaphidophora tetrasperma (Mini Monstera)

Rhaphidophora tetrasperma (Mini Monstera)

Okay, okay, okay. Technically, the Rhaphidophora tetrasperma does not belong to the Monstera genus, meaning it is not actually a monstera plant. Plus, it hails from an entirely different part of the world (Southern Thailand and Malaysia). Although it’s not technically related to monsteras, the Rhaphidophora tetrasperma made this list because it has split leaves and its common name is the mini monstera. Plus, it’s a super popular houseplant.

GENERAL CARE:Low-maintenance and hard to kill
SOIL:Choose a chunk, well-draining substrate soil
LIGHT:Bright indirect or filtered sunlight.
TEMPERATURE & HUMIDITY:Tolerates average household conditions, but prefers humidity above 50% and temperatures from 60°F to 85°F.
WATERING:Prefers evenly moist (never soggy) soil. Water once every week or two depending on the season.
FEEDING:Feed a balanced fertilizer once a month during the growing season only.
GROWTH:Can grow up to 12 feet. Indoor plants usually reach between 2 to 5 feet in height.
TOXICITY:Toxic to humans, cats, and dogs

How to Grow Monstera Plants at Home

How to Grow Monstera Plants at Home

For outdoor growing, monstera plants will only survive in growing zones 10 and 11, but you can grow all the varieties of monstera plants you want inside your house because most monsteras do very well in average indoor conditions.

What to Do Before Planting a Monstera

Before planting a monstera, do a little research about your plant baby’s specific species. Find out whether you’ll need a trellis or some other type of support and the best type of container (well-draining, hanging, tabletop, or self-watering) your plant. Plus, find a suitable and sizeable location for your plant to live. Avoid direct sunlight, drafty windows or doors, and heating or air conditioning vents.

Plus, be sure you have a set of sturdy gardening gloves on-hand since monstera sap can be extremely irritating to the skin.

What’s the Best Soil Mix for Monstera Plants?

What's the Best Soil Mix for Monstera Plants

Most monstera plants prefer an organically rich, well-draining potting soil that’s been mixed with a bit of peat to increase moisture while improving drainage. Depending on the plant’s native environment, some will prefer a chunkier soil mixture that includes bark, sand, or perlite.

For more, see our essential guide to the best soil for Monstera plants


How to Care for Monstera Plants

Other than a couple of particularly delicate species, most monstera plants are hardy and relatively easy to grow in a variety of indoor environments. Their basic care requirements and preferences are as follows:

Watering

Watering

When the top inch or two of soil is dry, soak thoroughly every one to two weeks, depending on the season, with filtered water. Allow water to drain completely. Monstera plants like to have slightly moist soil that’s never soggy.

As epiphytes, monsteras are susceptible to root rot and should never sit in standing water. Be sure to pot yours in a well-draining pot and pour off any excess moisture after watering.

For more, see our essential guide to watering Monstera plants at home

Light

Monsteras prefer bright indirect or filtered sunlight. While they can tolerate low-light and partial shade, they won’t grow as well without more light. Direct sunlight will scorch a monstera plant’s delicate leaves.

For more – see our comprehensive guide to Monstera Plant Light Requirements.

Feeding and Fertilization

Monstera plants will benefit from a monthly application of a balanced, water-soluble houseplant fertilizer during the growing season only in spring and summer.

For more – see our comprehensive guide to Fertilizing Monstera Plants at home.

Pruning

You can prune a monstera to control its growth and shape and to remove dead/unhealthy leaves and stems from the plant. To prune, you’ll need a sharp, sterile pair of pruning shears. This ensures clean snips and protects the plant from infection.

Monsteras are hardy and do not require careful pruning. Cut your plant back to the desired shape/size, remove dead or unhealthy-looking leaves at the base of the stem, and remember that where you cut encourages new growth. So, if you want your plant to grow taller, cut it at the top. If you want it to grow wider, cut it at the sides.

For best results, prune during the growing season, and be sure to wear protective gloves since the plant’s sap can be highly irritating to the skin.

Propagation

Propagation

If you want to fill your house with monsteras or give them away to all of your friends, you can propagate your plant from the healthy cuts you make while pruning.

To propagate, be sure to trim the leaves below a node (a small nub that grows opposite the leaf and develops aerial roots when separated from the main plant). Once trimmed, dip in a growth promoter (for faster results) and pop it into a small pot with soil. For best results, propagate in the spring and summer.

Repotting

Repotting

When the soil’s original level has dropped and/or the soil’s aeration components (perlite or bark) have drifted to the top, it’s time to repot your plant. Most monsteras will be happiest if repotted every 18 to 24 months.

To allow your plant room to grow, choose a container that’s about 2 to 4-inches larger than the current pot. To maintain your plant’s size, repot in the same container with fresh soil after trimming back some roots and pruning some of the plant’s leaves.

For best results, repot during the growing season.


Common Problems and How to Treat Them

Common Problems and How to Treat Them
  • Drooping Foliage and/or Yellowed – Plant is underwatered and thirsty. Increase watering frequency.
  • Brown and Crispy Leaves – Underwatered and thirsty. Sometimes, this indicates a buildup of salts in the soil. If increased watering frequency doesn’t solve the problem, repot and reduce fertilizing schedule.
  • Wilting Foliage – Plant might be root-bound or underwatered.
  • Yellowing Leaves with Black Stems – Plant is overwatered. Remove from the container. Before repotting, trim slimy/rotted roots off the plant.

Common Pests

Common Pests

Monstera plants are quite hardy and resistant to pests. Some varieties, however, are susceptible to:

  • Thrips – Teeny-tiny white insects that draw moisture from plants, creating little brown spots.
  • Mealybugs – This fuzzy-white-looking pest is a species of scale that causes discoloration and leaves behind a gooey trail.
  • Spider Mites – These look like small brownish-red dots on the underside of leaves. They cause discoloration while feeding on the plant’s leaves.
  • Scale – Like mealybugs with shells, these little guys draw moisture from plants while depositing poison.

The best fix for these pests depends on the type of pest, your plant’s health, and the season. It’s best to protect your plants before they contract bugs by inspecting new plants before bringing them into your home and even applying a thin coating of neem oil to prevent bugs from sticking.


Essential Tools for Monstera Plant Care

Essential House Plant Tools
  • Houseplant potting soil
  • Peat and aeration stones
  • Water probe or moisture meter
  • Protective gardening gloves
  • Pruning shears
  • Watering can
  • Spray bottle
  • Drip tray
  • Well-draining container
  • All-purpose, balanced houseplant fertilizer

Wrap Up

Now that you know just about everything there is to know about the most popular types of monstera plants, you can invite a few of these leafy monsters into your home, snap some pics, and become the next big plant-fluencer on Insta.


The Best of Petal Republic

For more exceptional floristry, see our comprehensive guides to online flower delivery, the best plant delivery specialists in the USA.


Monstera Plants FAQ:

Monstera plants are perfectly capable of surviving and thriving indoors. As with any house plant, the key is finding the correct balance of light, heat, water, and feeding cycles suited to your particular variety of Monstera. Every home or office presents unique environmental factors so you’ll need to adapt and adjust to ensure to find the right balance. 

Each Monstera plant will have its own preferred care requirements but as a general rule aim for indirect or filtered light; water approximately every 10 to 14 days (when the top 2 inches of soil feel dry to the touch); feed maximum monthly (only during spring and summer months), and prune in spring to cut back old growth and to limit overcrowding. 

Water fairly liberally around the base of the stem and across the topsoil until you see the water running through to the saucer underneath. At that point stop, leave the plant for 20 minutes, and then collect any excess water that has gathered in the saucer. 

Yes, sunlight is important for the overall health of the plant, though where possible aim for bright indirect light conditions. Extended periods in direct sunlight will burn the leaves and damage the overall health of the plant.

There are many Monstera plants that are capable of thriving indoors. Some of our favorites include the Monstera delicisosa, adansonii, pinnatipartita, obliqua, siltepecana, karstenianum, and dubia.

Misting can help to create some additional humidity around the plant which is beneficial but always be careful not to saturate the leaves as this can lead to stagnant water issues and is the cause of several potential fungal infections. Humidity trays and in-room humidifiers are often a more robust solution.

Generally speaking, indoor Monstera plants grow slower than their outdoor cousins though they can reach upwards of 10 to 12 feet+ so be considerate of the variety you’re looking to grow and also maintain a pruning schedule each year to keep your Monstera plant in check.


Author

I’ve long been fascinated with the world of flowers, plants, and floral design. I come from a family of horticulturists and growers and spent much of my childhood in amongst the fields of flowering blooms and greenhouses filled with tropical plants, cacti, and succulents from all over the world. Today, my passion has led me to further explore the world of horticulture, botany, and floristry and I'm always excited to meet and collaborate with fellow enthusiasts and professionals from across the globe. I hold a BSc degree in Plant Sciences and have trained professionally at leading floristry schools in London and Paris.

Comments are closed.

;