The Key Difference Between a Monstera and a Split-Leaf Philodendron?

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Two plants that are commonly mistaken for one-another are the monstera plant and the split-leaf philodendron. Interestingly, they are often mislabeled when they are sold as the two are often confused.

However, these are two different plants, and while they might share some characteristics, they do also have a lot of things that make them different from each other. 

In this article, we are going to be looking at some of the similarities between the plants, but focusing more on the differences that can help you to distinguish them from each other.

We will also leave some interesting facts and information about these plants below for you to read about, and gain a better understanding of how they differ.

What’s the Difference Between a Monstera and a Split-Leaf Philodendron?

Something that you might not have already known about these two plants is that they come from completely different plant families.

Monsteras are typically grown for their fruit in certain countries, and they produce large and tasty fruit that many love to enjoy. The leaves on these plants can grow really big, which is one of their most recognizable features.

Philodendrons are trailing vines that are in a different family. Interestingly, the name actually translates to ‘love tree’ and they are known for their heart-shaped leaves.


A big difference between these two plants is the leaves on them. The monstera plant features large and dramatic leaves that can be easily recognized, whereas the philodendron has smaller heart-shaped leaves that don't reach the same size.

They also have more textured colors to them, whereas monsteras are more of a solid green color.

Plant Family

Both of these plants are home to the arum family of plants, which is a much larger category, but they are not closely related.

They are not the same plant, though they often look similar, and they have some distinct differences.


Philodendrons are a lot easier to grow in a way that hangs down from their containers, which makes them perfect for use as hanging plants, but monsteras will not make good hanging plants as they grow much differently. Philodendrons are also much more commonly found and they are much easier to get your hands on. 

If you want your philodendron to grow like a hanging plant, then you should pot it and place it in an area that features less light. Eventually, it will start to grow like a vine and turn into a beautiful hanging plant that you can display in your home. 

Due to the fact that they are more common, they also come at a lower cost, making them a more affordable option. On the other hand, monsteras are much more rare, and they often come at a hefty price if you are looking for a genuine plant.

This is a great way to distinguish the two plants, as one will cost significantly more than the other. Philodendrons are more easily grown in variegated varieties, and it is often their coloring that gives them away when we compare them with monsteras, which are more commonly one color.

Mosteras also need a lot more sunlight than philodendrons, and they need this sunlight in order to develop their popular split-leaf pattern. If the plant isn’t in an area that is able to provide it with enough sunlight, it might not develop the split-leaf effect, and it will often look very similar to a philodendron plant.

As well as needing more sunlight to flourish, monsteras also require lots more maintenance in other areas. You will need to be really careful as to not over-water them, as it can be really easy to do. Always check the soil before you water them just to be sure that they need it. 

Monstera vs. Split-Leaf Philodendron

Now that you know the differences between these two plants, you might be wondering which one that you should get.

Ultimately, it is up to you to decide, but if you are on a stricter budget, then you might want to consider the philodendron as it is typically cheaper.

If you really can’t decide between them and you have the funds available, then why not get both? Decorating your home with a variety of different plants can help brighten the place up.

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