Monstera varieties have marched into mainstream popularity thanks to their iconic, lush foliage with eye-catching fenestrations in mature plants.
Read here to learn about the different Monstera types and their characteristics.
An Introduction to Monstera
The genus Monstera consists of different types of plants that are found in the tropical regions of Central and South America.
Experts believe there are about 50 Monstera species, but it is rare to find more than a handful at retailers and plant nurseries. Rare Monstera varieties, such as Adansonii, are hard to come by and very expensive.
Although rare variegated Monsteras may have complex care requirements, the average Monstera plant is easygoing and can be looked after by hobbyists new to gardening.
It is worth noting that Monstera plants take their sweet time to develop their dramatic foliage.
Moreover, young Monstera plants are not ideal for you if you’ve got pets due to their toxicity. All Monstera plants contain insoluble calcium oxalates poisonous to dogs and cats.
Monstera plant is known by several names. Due to their fenestrations, the name swiss cheese plant became the most popular for these plants. However, they are also called the swiss cheese vine due to the vining growth of the tropical plant.
If you are ready to introduce Monstera plants in your home, we’ve rounded up a list of the best varieties out there. This list contains both common and rare Monsteras.
The Monstera deliciosa, also called the silver Monstera, is one of the most common Monstera varieties and is relatively easy to acquire by beginners and, consequently, is the most well-known of all species in the Monstera genus. It is also commonly found in most designer homes you see on Instagram.
The large foliage of the Monstera deliciosa features characteristic holes with striking foliage that stands out in any indoor setting.
The Monstera deliciosa can grow up to 3 feet long when grown indoors. The genus uses aerial roots and vines to scale structures and is best paired with a pole or trellis. When provided with the right conditions, the Monstera deliciosa will show off creamy flowers and edible fruit that attract pollinators to your garden. The Monstera fruit resembles grapes and tastes like bananas.
The Monstera deliciosa plant requires a temperature of 65 to 85 degrees Fahrenheit and a more than 60% humidity level. Moreover, the flowering plant requires six to ten hours of bright indirect light.
The Monstera obliqua is one of the most extremely rare types of Monstera and is highly prized by hobbyists because of the highly exaggerated fenestrations.
It is often referred to as the ‘unicorn plant’ because of its rarity. When the plant matures, its fenestrations can take up nearly 90% of the leaf surface. Moreover, its leaves are very thin and delicate.
This explains why the obliqua is so hard to find in the wild. According to experts, the obliqua has only been collected over 700 times in the wild.
Acquiring the Monstera obliqua is only half the battle because you need to be a master of your craft to look after the delicate plant.
The obliqua generally does well in temperatures around 77 degrees Fahrenheit, but the rare plant requires a high humidity level of around 80%. Moreover, keep the plant away from direct sunlight.
Monstera Adansonii (Swiss Cheese Plant)
Monstera adansonii, also known as Monstera friedrichsthalii, is a beautiful vining houseplant that shares many similarities with the Monstera deliciosa but has quirks.
Moreover, the plant lends well to a terrarium environment and propagates readily in water. The Monstera adanosnii is one of the less rare types of monstera varieties.
Other names for the Monstera adansonii include Monkey Mask, Five Holes Plant, and Swiss Cheese plant.
As with many Monstera species, there is slight confusion about its different types. For example, cultivars may refer to the adansonii as friedrichsthalii or Monstera lechleriana, but others argue that they are different.
The difference in terminology doesn’t matter to the average houseplant enthusiast.
The Monstera adansonii prefers medium-high levels of humidity. They are accustomed to warm climates or up to 80 degrees Fahrenheit in their natural environment.
The Monstera acuminata is often confused with adansonii, although there are quite a few differences. The adansonii has larger leaves with bigger fenestrations, while the acuminata has smaller leaves with smaller holes.
Moreover, the acuminata has leaves with dark green hues compared to the light green hues found on the adansonii.
Juvenile monstera acuminata have smaller heart-shaped leaves. Its waxy leaves grow in two stages that overlap the elliptical stem in cross-section. The acuminata is ideal for beginners because its care instructions are easy to follow.
Monstera acuminata prefer warmer climates but can grow well in temperatures between 65 to 86 degrees Fahrenheit and more than 60% humidity levels.
The Monstera Pinnatipartita is a stunning evergreen that is native to the tropical rainforests of Ecuador, Peru, and Colombia.
Many growers add the Monstera Pinnatipartita to their houseplant collection because it is relatively easy to care for. Like most Monstera varieties, the Pinnatipartita has fenestrated leaves, but what’s unique about this plant is that its holes reach the midrib on the leaf.
This unique fenestration is only found in mature Pinnatipartita plants, while the leaves of juvenile plants don’t feature any holes.
Like the Monstera adansonii, the pinnatipartita does well in temperatures between 65 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit and around 80% humidity. Keep the young plant in indirect sunlight for a few hours a day.
The native range for the Monstera Dubia is South America and Mexico. It is a smaller variety of the Monstera genus but is prized after by houseplant enthusiasts because of its stunning dark green leaves.
The Monstera dubia is often referred to as the ‘shingle plant’ because its leaves lie very flat against the trees it climbs, giving an appearance of shingles.
Buying Monstera dubia is problematic because it is relatively rare, and you will not find it in most retailers. You can try visiting your local garden center to see if they have it in stock. Your best bet is to look up online sellers near you. Places like eBay and Etsy may have the Monstera dubia in stock.
The shingle plant requires temperatures of around 70 degrees Fahrenheit and 50% humidity to grow well.
The Monstera Standleyana grows at a very rapid rate if you provide it with the ideal environment. It mainly grows in the spring and summer.
All Monstera Standleyana plants have variegations of white and yellow across their leaf and stem. This unique color base is responsible for giving Standleyana its dark green base.
To correctly identify a Monstera Standleyana, you must inspect its growth pattern and leaf shape.
The plant has ovate-shaped leaves that reach lengths of about 1 inch and grow vertically. Aerial roots and nodes can be found a few inches along their stems, and when allowed to grow without restrictions, they can reach heights of about 20 feet tall.
You may also encounter the Monstera Standleyana Albo, a different species of Standleyana with distinct white splashes across the leaves.
The variegated varieties tend to grow well in partial shade, and giving the plant a moss pole to climb can help it grow well. Moreover, it requires a temperature of 65 degrees Fahrenheit and around 60% humidity.
The Monstera siltepecana is a much stronger vining plant than others in the genus and prefers to climb.
To make this plant properly mature, you must provide it with something to climb. This is because the juvenile Monstera siltepecana are often found growing at the base of trees and climbing up tree trunks to complete their growth cycle.
The Siltepecana is also known as the Silver Monstera because of its lush green foliage with dark green veins and silver patches.
They also undergo fenestration with large holes in the leaves. Fully mature plants can grow up to 8 feet tall and 3 feet wide.
The Monstera siltepecana looks very similar to other plant species, such as the Monstera Peru (also known as Monstera karstenianum). Monstera Peru has rounded foliage with deeply grooved leaves. The siltepecana has silvery leaves (especially in the case of El Salvador).
The rare species loves mild temperatures of around 50 degrees Fahrenheit and a minimum humidity of 50%. However, it is extremely sensitive to bright sunlight.
Monstera Karstenianum (also known as Monstera Peru)
The Monstera Peru does not develop any fenestrations at all. So if you’re looking for a houseplant with the typical ‘holey’ look, Peru may not be for you.
The Monstera Peru is known for being extremely versatile because it can climb, trail, and even survive in terrariums large enough to support it. Their texture is a marvel due to the deep emerald color and exaggerated venation.
The plants were relatively rare to find a few years ago. However, these days you can find Peru cuttings at most nurseries for an affordable price.
The Monstera karstenianum requires high humidity of around 80% and higher temperatures of 85 degrees Fahrenheit for optimal growth.
Also known as the Monstera esqueleto, the Monstera epipremnoides is defined by exaggerated fenestrations with more holes than leaf.
Only the Monstera obliqua has more fenestration than the Monstera epipremnoides (making it rare and more expensive. The epipremnoides is a smaller variety of the Monstera genus and barely reaches 12 to 20 inches.
The term “esqueleto” is Spanish for “skeleton,” and this becomes clear when you look at the plant’s leaves. The epipremnoides’ leaves are characterized by double fenestrations that run along the mid rubs.
It grows in the mountainous rainforests of Costa Rica, where it receives plenty of bright, indirect sunlight in a very humid environment (over 70%).
It can survive rooms with average humidities, but you should try to mimic the plant’s natural habitat as much as possible. Although the fenestrations are exaggerated, caring for the epipremnoides is relatively easy.
Ensure bright indirect light, a well-draining potting mix, and a humid environment.
Monstera esqueleto generally does well in indoor temperatures of around 60 degrees Fahrenheit and does not tolerate frost. Moreover, keep its humidity above 60% for healthy growth.
Monstera Thai Constellation
The Monstera Thai constellation is similar to the Monstera deliciosa but has a few differences. The constellation Monstera is patterned after the night sky itself with splotches of creamy white against dark green leaves. To increase the chances of variegation, you should keep the Monstera Thai constellation in a well-lit spot.
Because the plant lacks chlorophyll, the plant’s leaves struggle to produce enough energy. Failing to provide sunlight will cause more green to take over the leaves. The good news is that the Thai constellation has stable variegation and would not lose its colorings if you provided them with the ideal growing conditions.
The average price for Thai Constellation cuttings is about $800, but you may have to pay more depending on where you live. You can’t go wrong with the Thai Constellation if you’re genuinely looking for a rare plant to spruce up your home.
Like the Monstera esqueleto, the Monstera deliciosa Thai constellation prefers temperatures above 60 degrees Fahrenheit and relatively higher humidity levels than its sister plants.
Monstera Variegata (Albo)
If you’re seeking a Monstera to make an instant statement, obtaining the variegata may be worthwhile. These houseplants are trendy and can be expensive to acquire. The beautiful Swiss cheese plant features striking patterns of green and white, with some owners getting completely white leaves.
Its heart-shaped leaves are known for proliferating with splashes of white. Moreover, the Monstera variegata is very forgiving if you struggle to follow its care instructions. However, failing to provide it with the ideal environment will result in a more green color with fewer patches of white.
If you want the eye-catching fancy foliage with white streaks, then follow the care instructions to the dot.
Growing Requirements: 65°F – 77°F with 60% and 80% humidity
Monstera albo variegata prefers relatively higher temperatures and humidity levels, almost 77 degrees Fahrenheit and 80%.
Monstera borsigiana has several nicknames, such as Wrinkle Monstera and split-leaf philodendron. Its leaves are whiter than the Thai constellation and more of a vine than the Variegated monstera deliciosa. Its leaves are smaller than the deliciosa.
The growth rate for Borsigiana plants is superior to Delicious.
Growing Requirements: 64°F – 80°F with 60% and 80% humidity
Monstera borsigiana can grow indoors if you keep it in a warm area with plenty of bright indirect light, 80 degrees Fahrenheit temperatures and high humidity.
The Monstera subpinnata is one of the most sought-after and rare variegated Monstera plants. It is found in the tropical jungles of Ecuador, Colombia, and Bolivia. The Monstera subpinnata.
In the wild, the Monstera subpinnata can grow up to 12 m tall with 30 cm wide leaves.
Growing Requirements: 60°F – 80°F with 60% and minimum 60% humidity
The mini Monstera looks like a petite version of the Monstera deliciosa. However, it is not a true Monstera and belongs to the Rhaphidophora genus. It is easy for growers to misidentify it with related genera such as Philodendron and Monstera, all of which belong to the arum family.
The tropical plant has deep green foliage with pinnated that appear fernlike. The Mini Monstera is native to Malaysia and Thailand.
This plant may only reach a maximum height of about 5 feet if you provide it with the ideal space.
Mini monstera plants are low maintenance and can easily grow in indoor botanical gardens. If you have experience growing Monsteras and philodendrons, you should have no difficulty growing this vining plant.
Growing Requirements: 65°F – 80°F with minimum 55% humidity
The Monstera minima are one of the warmest temperature-requiring types of Monstera (almost 80 to 90 degrees Fahrenheit).
- Are Monstera Rare?
Monstera are among the rarest plant species as they are few and only found in specific areas.
- How do I identify my Monstera plant?
Each Monstera has its own characteristics that can help you identify them. From light green and silver colored leaves to different fenestrations, these characteristics are unique to each plant.
Wrapping Up – Types of Monstera Plants
So there you have it, an in-depth look at the best types of Monstera plants that are worth adding to your indoor botanical gardens.
Which plant do you plan on adding to your Monstera collection? And let us know if we missed any other Monstera plants, and we might update this space with more information.
My name is Daniel Elrod, and I have been houseplant love ever since I was 17. I love how much joy they bring to any room in the home. I’ve always been amazed at how a few pots of flowing leaves can turn a drab and sterile office into an inviting place where people love to work at.