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Indoor houseplants are now filling the homes of many, with their beautiful and glossy green foliage creating an inviting atmosphere. One of the most recent phenomenons is the monstera plant.
As a species, Monstera is recognized as an abnormal and unique plant that oozes beauty and appeal.
If you are a Monstera lover, then you will want to know all about your favorite plant and its varieties. With the Monstera, you may have noticed that there are a multitude of different varieties of this plant, and we love all of them!
There are 45 different species of Monstera, each differing in size, color, and appearance. However, despite such an expansive species, some are much more common than others.
Below we have identified the most common species of the monstera variety.
What is the Monstera?
As you may know, the Monstera deliciosa is one of the most popular indoor house plants currently available on the market. You can find countless images of the Monstera on Instagram and Pinterest, as these are much loved for their beautiful split leaves and unique patterns.
The Monstera deliciosa is a type of flowering plant that is native to tropical regions such as Mexico. The term deliciosa literally means delicious which refers to their edible, beautiful fruit that these plants grow.
The Monstera is also considered the Swiss cheese plant as it often develops splits and holes in the patterns of the leaves, which is what makes the Monstera deliciosa so distinctive.
The Monstera is very unique, and easily recognizable for its incredible leaves, you can actually get Monsteras that are variegated, too.
What is variegation?
Variegation is the term to describe the appearance of different colored parts of plant leaves. Although stunning to behold, variegation does not take place often in nature, and is caused by genetic mutation. This genetic mutation will often create a variation in color on the leaves of a plant.
Variegation in its basic sense is the process of plant leaves and stems containing more than one color. A plant with variegation may have splashes of lighter colors such as white, cream, yellow, or lighter green on the leaves. These colors can be stripes, spots or splats of differentiation.
However, almost every variegated plant you see will have been genetically modified or created in a lab through selective breeding to get that unique look, and the Monstera is no different.
Variegated plants such as the Monstera are rare in nature because having those lighter patches are not an evolutionary good trait for them. This is because plants will basically require chlorophyll to thrive, and this is what gives them their bright green color so that they can use the sun to carry out photosynthesis.
With those white and lighter areas of the leaves, the plant will have to work so much harder to create chlorophyll in the process of photosynthesis. That being said, even variegated Monstera plants can survive well as houseplants if they are given enough sunlight.
So if you are up for the challenge, then you will love to hear all about the different Monstera Deliciosa variegated plants, as one of these may be the next purchase for you plant collection!
The Monstera Obliqua is one of the rarer species that are more difficult to come by. As an epiphytic climbing plant, it grows quickly and can reach quite a height.
With a unique appearance, the Obliqua is a very fenestrated plant that has more holes in the leaves than leaf itself.
Although the Oblique is often confused with the Monstera Adansonii there are minute but noticeable differences in the appearance of their leaves.
The Andansonnii is much easier to source than the Obliqua which has only been discovered in its natural habitat 17 times. The Monstera Obliqua is one of the slower-growing varieties that prefer indirect sunlight.
Too much exposure to sunlight can damage the leaves and cause the plant to dry out.
Although the Monstera Dubia is one of the lesser-known varieties and quite different in appearance from the others, it remains to be a beautiful plant that will be a great addition to any plant lover’s collection.
Unlike the other varieties, the Monstera Dubia has smaller, heart-shaped leaves that are light and dark green. In the wild, this plant is known to climb and will spread to whatever is near.
Impressively, when this plant reaches maturity in the wild it undergoes quite a transformation with the leaves forming huge fenestrations.
However, this process can take years to occur and is unlikely to happen to an indoor Monstera Dubia because it doesn’t receive the same amount of sunlight.
The Monstera Siltepecana is also known as the Silver Monstera. When young the plant has rather unique foliage with silver markings. This plant hugs the host tree and will then proceed to grow as a climbing vine.
When matured, the appearance of this plant begins to transform as it develops large tear-shaped fenestrated leaves with smaller holes that appear near the central vein.
When compared to other monstera varieties, the Siltepecana tends to be more lightly colored. Just like most other monstera varieties, it requires bright, indirect sunlight and it is recommended that you position it within a meter of a window.
Again, this is a beautiful plant but one that is very rare so if you manage to find one you should definitely invest in it.
The Monstera Pinnatipartite grows large glossy leaves that develop slits rather than holes. When the plant is young, the leaves will appear lobed, however, when it reaches maturity these leaves will begin to divide.
The leaves have a leathery texture with emerald green stems. The plant is known to climb when growing outdoors, however, due to the distinct foliage, the Monstera Pinnatipartite is often sought after for indoor decorative purposes.
Just like most other Monstera varieties, the Pinnatipartita is quite hard to come by so you may need to browse the internet to find one.
Mini Monstera – Rhaphidophora Tetrasperma
Although the mini monstera isn’t technically a monstera plant as its scientific name is Rhaphidophora Tetrasperma, the appearance of the leaves share many similarities to the species. It is a smaller plant that has fenestrated dark green leaves.
As a climbing plant, it grows best when secured to a moss pole and it can grow to quite a height in the correct conditions.
Despite being a different species, many would suggest that the appearance of the mini monstera is rather similar to the appearance of the monstera deliciosa.
The term Monstera Deliciosa Variegata is basically the name for a naturally variegated Monstera deliciosa plant. This means that the variation has happened completely naturally and not on purpose through the natural process of mutation rather than the type performed in a lab.
Therefore, this is incredibly rare to find, but the results are beautiful. These types of Monstera will naturally develop large blocks of white marks, stripes or splashes of light colors.
Unlike most varieties of Monstera, the Variegata doesn’t just have green leaves but rather a mixture of green and white and this is caused by a mutation that prevents the leaves from turning completely green.
As another rare species, they are difficult to find and the rarity and uniqueness of this plant is often reflected by a more expensive price.
Monstera Deliciosa Borsigiana (Monstera Albo)
The Monstera Deliciosa Borsigiana, or the Monstera Albo is a subspecies of monstera that will tend to mutate more often. This is the monstera variation that most people die for! The leaves tend to be a little smaller than a regular Monstera deliciosa, but this type of plant can grow much faster.
As a variation of the Monstera Deliciosa, you will often find that the Monstera Borsigiana is referred to by the same name due to the striking similarities in appearance.
The main difference between the Monstera Deliciosa Borsigiana and the regular monstera plant is the stem. A real monstera deliciosa will have sort of ruffles on the sides of the stem, which is not present in the Borsigiana variation. Although the Borsignia doesn’t grow to the height of a Deliciosa, the aforementioned is known to grow faster. Both plants have similar growing requirements, requiring exposure to filtered sunlight and shade on occasions.
These types of variegated monsteras are also some of the most common, and will be much easier to come across, as they are much easier to propagate.
Monstera Deliciosa Thai Constellation
The Monstera Deliciosa Thai Constellation is a version of the Monstera deliciosa that is modified, yet the leaves are quite similar to a traditional monstera deliciosa.
The Thai name comes from the fact that this Monstera was developed in a lab in Thailand, and is a popular plant that is purchased all over the world.
This is the Monstera plant that you will see on blogs, in pictures and online for its beautiful, full, green leaves with unique, striking white stripes and speckles of cream.
It is for this reason that these types of Monstera deliciosas have a hefty price tag, but this plant will command a focal space in any home!
Monstera Adansonii Variegated
The Monstera Adansonii is another version of the Monstera deliciosa, and is often dubbed the Monstera Monkey Mask. As mentioned, the Monstera Adansonii is very similar to the Monstera Obliqua. However, unlike the Monstera Obliqua, the Adansonii is much easier to find. As a fast-growing plant, it grows thick leaves with a rougher texture.
Although the Monstera Adansonii tends to be smaller than the Deliciosa it grows leaves with large holes and it is also known as a climbing plant just like many of the Monstera varieties.
This plant requires exposure to bright but indirect sunlight in an environment where humidity exceeds 60% and it grows best during the spring. Because this is a slow-growing plant, it is ideal for decorative purposes.
The Monstera Deliciosa is the most common variety and one that you are most likely to find in supermarkets. Nicknamed the Swiss Cheese plant, the Monstera Deliciosa has big green leaves with the holy appearance that they are recognized for.
This plant can grow rather large and produces sweet fruits with a tropical taste that many would consider a delicacy. Besides their sweet taste, the fruits have a pleasing fragrance too.
Bright but indirect sunlight is preferential with a temperature ranging between 13 to 15 degrees celsius.
Exposure to too much sunlight can harm this plant, it also doesn’t fare well in an environment with a temperature lower than 13 degrees or higher than 12 degrees.
This species will struggle to grow fruit indoors because it will not be exposed to the tropical conditions that it requires to do so. Although the fruit of this plant is edible, it should only be consumed when ripe otherwise it can be toxic.
The Rarest Monstera
As we have identified, many varieties of Monstera are particularly hard to find due to their rarity. Because of this, it is unlikely that you will discover them on a trip to your local nursery.
In fact, you may have to look online to try and find some of the rarer species.
There are many variegated varieties of the Monstera Deliciosa and the ‘Albo Variegata’ is considered to be the rarest. This is another easy-to-maintain plant that grows green leaves marbled with white.
Due to the unique but striking appearance of this plant, it is sought after by many but remains to be rather rare because it grows slower and doesn’t propagate as well.
Growing different Varieties of Monstera
All varieties require similar growing conditions. They all prefer exposure to bright but indirect light. If they are kept in direct sunlight the quality of the leaves will deteriorate as they get burnt and damaged.
If kept as an indoor plant they will thrive when positioned around a meter away from the window. As tropical plants, they enjoy a humid environment. You should avoid overwatering any species of monstera as too much moisture can cause root rot.
Instead, the plant should only be watered when the soil has been allowed to dry out. Monstera plants that are kept outdoors or in the wild will flower and some species will grow fruit too.
Many outdoor monsteras experience a transformation in their appearance when they reach maturity. They can also be propagated by taking the cuttings and placing them in soil or water before allowing them to root.
How do you know which species of monstera you own?
Many varieties are similar in appearance and because of this, it can be difficult to know which variety you own. Should you have any queries, the internet will prove to be a helpful resource.
Some monsteras will be sold by the same names even though they are different varieties due to their similar appearance as young plants. If visiting a local nursery you may ask a member of staff for help.
It is clear to see why monstera varieties are sought after by so many. Their decorative appearance makes them a beautiful addition to the homes of many.
While there are noticeable differences in the appearances of each, it is also clear to see that they share many similarities, the most prominent being their uniqueness, something which makes them appeal to many.
How to care for Variegated Monstera Varieties
If you are lucky enough to find a variegated monstera variety for your home, then you will need to know how to care for it. You will want to care for the varieties of the monster just as you would for traditional monstera deliciosa plants.
This means providing a lot of sunlight for them, and keeping them in a bright room with lots of indirect sunlight, or utilize a growth light to keep them thriving: EZORKAS 9 Dimmable Levels Grow Light
You will also want to use a fast draining soil such as: Professional Grower Mix Soil Fast Draining Pre-Mixed Coarse Blend
Along with a Monstera specific fertilizer: Houseplant Resource Center Monstera Plant Food with NPK 5-2-3 Ratio
You will want to water the top 3 inches of soil when they become dry, and remember to provide your monstera with a moss pole that it can grow and climb on!
However, you will have to remember that variegated monstera varieties are a lot harder than their traditional counterparts to find, and to care for.
That being said, when you do it right, and see your monstera variety truly thriving, it can be incredibly rewarding, so if you find one, give it your best shot.