Alocasia vs. Monstera (Key Differences)

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Alocasia and Monstera are two plants with strikingly similar looks, often confusing those who need to become more familiar with their unique differences.

Whether you’re looking for a subtle accent piece in your home or an eye-catching statement piece, it is important to pay attention to the differences between these two tropical beauties so that you can choose the best one for your style and space.

Let’s look at some key differences between split-leaf philodendron vs. Monstera.

What is an Alocasia?

Alocasia on a rattan decorated clay pot

Alocasia, a split-leaf philodendron, is a genus of flowering plants in the Araceae and arum family. It is native to tropical and subtropical regions of Asia, Australia, and Africa and includes over 79 species of plants.

Their large split leaves can identify split-leaf philodendrons with prominent veins and impressive stature. Many varieties are popular as ornamental houseplants due to their easy maintenance and striking appearance.

What is a Monstera?

Monstera Borsigiana leaves

Monstera is a genus of famous climbers native to Central and South America. It is part of the Araceae family and includes over 50 plants.

Monstera deliciosa can be identified by their large heart-shaped leaves with holes punched out of them, earning them the nickname “Swiss Cheese Plant.” The Monstera genus is popular as an ornamental houseplant due to its easy maintenance and striking appearance.

Main Similarities

Shiny Alocasia leaves

While the philodendron and monstera are not the same, they share many of the same characteristics, from their large tropical leaves to their unique growing conditions.

You can learn more about philodendron vs. monstera, what makes these gorgeous plants so similar, and how to distinguish them from each other.

Growing Medium


Alocasia (split-leaf philodendron) and Monstera have many similarities regarding their growing medium. Both plants require robust soil that is well-draining, aerated, and rich in organic materials like compost and peat moss.

Alocasias and Monsteras also prefer slightly acidic soils and must be allowed to dry out between waterings; otherwise, they might get infected with root rot.

Also, Alocasias (split-leaf philodendron) and Monsteras are light-loving tropical plants, so they should be placed in bright, indirect sunlight.

Humidity and Temperature

Leaves of a young Monstera plant Unfolding

Alocasias(split-leaf philodendron) and Monsteras have much in common regarding humidity and temperature.

Both plants thrive in warm climates, ranging from 65-80°F (18-27°C). They also both prefer high humidity levels and should be misted regularly or placed near a humidifier or other source of moisture.

Alocasia (split-leaf philodendron) and Monsteras can provide vibrant splashes of color and greenery to any home!


Monstera adansonii shadows cast on the wall

Alocasias and Monsteras both require lots of sunlight to thrive. Both varieties prefer bright, indirect light for the best results. When placed in an area with limited sunlight, it is recommended to supplement their light with grow lights or other artificial light sources.

With their beautiful deep green leaves and elegant shapes, Alocasias (split-leaf philodendron) and Monsteras are sure to bring a tropical touch to any space when exposed to sunlight.

Toxicity and Common Pests

Alocasias (split-leaf philodendron) and Monsteras have much in common concerning toxicity and pests. These plants are toxic if ingested and can result in pets exhibiting varying symptoms such as mouth irritation, swelling, and discomfort in the lips, tongue, and mouth. Furthermore, affected animals may suffer from excessive drooling, vomiting, and challenges with swallowing, so keep them out of reach for pets and children.

They are also susceptible to the same types of pests, such as mealybugs and spider mites. To keep them healthy, regular inspection of pests is necessary. Proper care allows these beautiful plants to add a lush tropical aesthetic to any home!

Pruning and Propagation

Pruning and propagation are similar for Alocasias and Monsteras, but you must only prune a little. Division, stem cuttings, or leaf cuttings can propagate both varieties.

They both require occasional pruning to stay healthy and manageable in their new location. Pruning should be done carefully and precisely to avoid damaging the plant’s delicate leaves or stems.

Alocasias (split-leaf philodendron) and Monsteras can bring a beautiful look to any space in your home with the right practices!

Main Differences

Leaf detail on Alocasia

Alocasia and Monstera may look similar, but don’t be fooled – they are two completely different plants. You can tell them apart by looking at their distinctive split leaves, stem shapes, and growth rates.

You can learn more about the philodendron vs. monstera – the main differences in this article.


Alocasias and Monsteras may appear similar, but they have taxonomic differences. Monsteras belong to the same family Araceae, while Alocasia belongs to Alocasiacae.

Though both plants are considered aroids, they have different growth habits and bloom differently. Alocasias (split-leaf philodendron) produce many small flowers inside a single spadix sheath, while monstera’s flowers are larger and more open. Knowing these distinctions can help you choose which type of plant is best for your home!

Growing Habits and Growth Rate

Alocasias and Monsteras have different growth rates and habits. Alocasias prefer warm, humid conditions with consistent moisture, while Monstera prefers bright indirect light and only moderate watering.

Alocasias plant grows faster than Monstera, as they can reach the potential of forest trees much quicker, given the right environmental conditions. However, Monstera is a slightly hardier plant, so if you’re looking for lasting beauty or an easy-care plant, it may be the better choice!

Leaf Shape

Alocasia on a decorative plastic pot

When looking at Alocasias and Monstera leaves, you’ll notice significant differences in their appearance.

Alocasia has deeply lobed leaves and is more arrow-shaped with a glossy green surface; their veins cover the entire leaf and create a dramatic split leaf pattern that may look like a net or crisscross.

On the other hand, the Monstera plant generally has larger, heart-shaped leaves with intricately patterned holes throughout their surface.

Both plants require special care to sustain their stunning beauty and leaf shapes- so before purchasing either one, ensure you know how to meet their needs!


Monstera Deliciosa Thai Constellation

Another significant difference is the presence of fenestrations when comparing Alocasia (Philodendron bipinnatifidum) and Monsteras. Alocasias lack fenestrations; they just split and form leafy fingers. The lacy, cut-out holes in Monstera leaves make these plants special.

As a result, Alocasia (split-leaf philodendron) adds a lush tropical feel to your home, while Monstera has an interesting element with its distinctive perforations.

With proper care and attention, these plants can thrive and become statement pieces in any home – it’s just a matter of deciding which best fits your lifestyle!


When looking at the stems of Alocasia and Monstera (Swiss cheese plant), you’ll notice stark differences in their shapes. The stems of Alocasia are typically straight with an arched or bending shape from time to time; these plants can even reach up to 3 feet tall!

On the other hand, Monstera’s stems tend to be more winding and thick, although this mini monstera usually grows less in height. Both require a fair amount of effort in pruning, but each looks short or tall, so you can decide how high your plant gets!


Regarding petioles, Alocasia (split-leaf philodendrons) and Monsteras are very different species. Alocasias have long, pointed petioles that connect the leaf blade to the stem, giving them an interesting and unique look.

On the other hand, Monsteras have short petioles that are broad and flat on the edges, adding a distinct texture to their dark green leaves. As such, these two plants create versatile statement pieces in any home – you need to choose which one speaks to you more!

Fruits and Flowers

Monstera plants and Alocasia are two of the most popular tropical plants in the world, and they share many similarities. However, there are some differences between them that stand out. The main difference between the two is their delicious fruit and flowers.

Alocasia produces white or yellow-and-green flowers, while Monstera produces aerial roots instead of traditional blooms.

The fruits are distinct for both plants; Alocasia (split-leaf philodendron) has bright orange berries hanging from its stems, while Monstera bears a unique pineapple-shaped pod full of edible seeds.

Knowing these differences can help gardeners choose the perfect plant for their indoor or outdoor garden.


When it comes to Alocasia and Monstera (Monstera Dubia), not only are they strikingly different in appearance but also in price. These typical philodendron plants are more affordable, while Monstera can be pricier.

This difference is because Monstera plants require more attention to thrive–they need enough light, humidity, and frequent pruning.

That being said, the price tag of a Monstera plant is worth the effort if you want to show off its unique proliferation of leaves and aerial roots. On the other hand, Alocasia’s heart-shaped leaves offer their beauty without as much maintenance or expense.

Native Habitat

Alocasia (split-leaf philodendron) and Monstera plants have distinct native habitats, adding yet another difference. Alocasia originates from tropical rainforests in Asia, whereas Monstera comes from Central America.

Although both thrive in moist and humid climates, Alocasia (split-leaf philodendron) is more particular about its soil–it requires acidic soil with plenty of organic matter for optimal growth. Monstera, however, can tolerate a wider variety of soils, making growing easier.

Knowing their natural habitats can help gardeners create the perfect environment to bring out the best of each plant.

Frequently Asked Questions

Which questions to ask about Alocasia and Monstera plants? Look no further. This FAQ section will answer a few of your burning questions:

What plants are similar to Monstera Deliciosa?

Monstera Deliciosa is a tropical plant that has become a popular houseplant in recent years due to its unique foliage.

Plants with similar appearance and care requirements include Philodendron scandens oxycardium, Monstera Adansonii, Philodendron selloum, and Syngonium podophyllum.

Is a split-leaf philodendron the same plant as a Monstera?

No, a split-leaf philodendron (Philodendron scandens oxycardium) and a Monstera (Monstera deliciosa) are not the same plants. While they have similar foliage, the split-leaf philodendrons are trailing vines, and the monstera deliciosa is an epiphytic shrub.

Additionally, monstera deliciosa is native to Mexico and Central America, while split-leaf philodendrons originated in tropical rainforests of South America.