Monstera Deliciosa Large Form vs. Small Form (Key Similarities and Differences)

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This article, “M. Deliciosa Large Form vs. Small Form,” will cover everything you need to know about the key similarities and differences between the two exceptionally beautiful forms.

So, without further ado, read on to discover:

  • An overview of what large and small form Monstera Deliciosa mean.
  • A detailed explanation of key similarities between the two Monstera forms.
  • A detailed description of key differences between the two Monstera forms.
  • Answers to some frequently asked questions about Monstera Deliciosa.

What Do Large Form and Small Form Monstera Deliciosa Mean?

Monstera small form climbing on a wooden wall

Not many houseplant owners know, but in horticulture, “large form” and “small form” are basic terms that refer to different variations or cultivars of a variety of plant species.

In the case of the Monstera Deliciosa, the “large form” refers to the more commonly seen form of the plant species, which can grow to be quite large, with up to 3 ft. long and 2 ft. wide leaves.

On the other hand, “small form” refers to a less commonly seen variation of the plant species that is smaller in size, with leaves typically less than 1 ft. long and 0.5 ft. inches wide.

These forms are different morphological variations of the same plant species, but many growers propagate the large over the small form under cultivation—a reason for its popularity.

Monstera Deliciosa Small Form vs. Large Form — Key Similarities

Young Monstera Deliciosa plant on a small white ceramic pot

While the two Monstera Deliciosa forms have distinct differences, they also share many similarities. Below we’ll explore them so you can better understand this beloved tropical plant.

Leaf Shape

When it comes to the shape, both large and small forms of Monstera Deliciosa have glossy, dark green, heart-shaped leaves attached to the stem via a petiole (the slender stalk).

Not just that, Monstera Deliciosa leaves (both larger leaves and smaller leaves) are capable of photosynthesis, produce aerial roots, and have light-dependent leaf variegation (coloration).

Lastly, both forms are sensitive to light intensity and will adjust their leaf shape as they adapt to the light condition available to them, which is a unique characteristic of Monstera Deliciosa.

Growing Conditions

A climbing vine of Monstera Borsigiana

In terms of growing habits, both the Monstera Deliciosa forms are climbing plants that use aerial roots to cling to surfaces and can be trained to climb a support structure (trellis or pole).

The two plants are also epiphytic, meaning they can grow on other plants, but don’t rely on them for nutrients; instead, they get it from the air, water, and surrounding organic matter.

Lastly, both forms can grow faster in low-light conditions while producing inflorescence, clusters of small white flowers followed by edible fruit during the growing season.


Regarding the preferred type, both Monstera Deliciosa forms prefer soil rich in organic matter. Although they can tolerate various soil types, well-draining is important to prevent root rot.

In terms of fertilization, both benefit from regular fertilization during the growing season, with a balanced fertilizer, followed by slightly acidic soil with a pH between 5.5 and 6.5.

It’s also important to note that both plant forms must be repotted periodically as they outgrow their containers to ensure enough room for the roots to grow and refresh the soil.

Humidity and Temperature

When it comes to preferred humidity levels, both forms are native to tropical regions and therefore prefer high humidity levels, meaning they thrive best in environments with 50-70%.

In terms of temperature, both forms are generally easy to care for and can tolerate a wide range of indoor temperatures but prefer it to be between 60°F and 85°F (15°C to 29°C).

It is important to note that both forms also can be sensitive to sudden changes in temperature or humidity and may react negatively; thus, we advise regular misting around the leaves.


Both forms are native to tropical regions and prefer bright, indirect sunlight. However, they can tolerate low-light conditions but thrive best in environments with bright, indirect light.

When grown in low light conditions, the plants form large leaves with fewer holes (fenestrations), while in high light conditions, the new leaves are smaller with more holes.

It’s also important to note that both forms are light-dependent leaf variegation but should be protected from direct sunlight, as it can cause leaf burn and sun damage to juvenile leaves.


Regarding toxicity, both forms contain insoluble calcium oxalates, which can cause mouth and throat irritation, burning, and difficulty swallowing if ingested by humans and animals.

It’s important to note that the toxicity level of the plant may vary depending on the location and the cultivation method, but in general, Monstera Deliciosa is considered toxic.

It is best to keep the Monstera plant out of reach and wash hands thoroughly after handling it to avoid accidental ingestion. If ingested by mistake, seek medical attention immediately.

Common Pests

Both are susceptible to common pests such as spider mites, mealybugs, and scale insects, causing damage by feeding on the sap, which can lead to discoloration, wilting, or death.

Both forms are also susceptible to fungal and bacterial diseases, such as root rot, leaf spot, and stem rot, which can occur due to over-watering, poor drainage, or high humidity.

To prevent and control pests and diseases, regularly inspect the plant for signs of infestation and practice good cultural care, such as proper watering, fertilization, and sanitation.

Pruning and Propagation

When it comes to pruning, both Monstera plants require regular pruning to remove dead or damaged leaves, encourage bushier growth, and control the size and shape of the same plant.

In terms of propagation, both forms can be propagated through stem cuttings that should be planted in a well-draining potting mix and kept in a warm, humid location with indirect light.

To propagate a Monstera Deliciosa, it is best to take stem cuttings in the spring or summer. The cutting should be 4-6 inches long and have 2-3 stem nodes (small nodes on the stem).

Additionally, know that both forms also can be propagated through air-layering, a method of propagating Monstera plants by rooting a stem while it is still attached to the parent plant.

It’s important to note that propagation can take several weeks or even months for nodes to develop, but with proper care, the cutting will eventually grow into a healthy plant.

Monstera Deliciosa Small Form vs. Large Form — Key Differences

Young Monstera Deliciosa leaves

To help you decide which form is best for your houseplant collection and gardening style, let’s take a closer look at the distinct features of both Monstera Deliciosa plant species forms.

Native Habitat and Taxonomy

Monstera Borsigiana

Monstera Deliciosa is a member of the Araceae family and is native to Central and South America—both forms are not different species or subspecies but rather different cultivars.

The small form is typically referred to as Monstera Borsigiana or Borsigiana Monstera, while the large form is referred to as the Monstera Deliciosa ‘Thai Constellation’ or ‘Albo Variegata.’

These cultivars are propagated for specific characteristics, such as leaf size and shape. Understanding this taxonomy of Monstera species can help comprehend how both are distinct.

Leaf Size and Appearance

Size comparison of a mature Monstera deliciosa leaf and a hand

The small form, also known as Monstera Borsigiana or just Borsigiana, has smaller leaves with fewer holes and slits that typically measure around 6 inches in length and 4 inches in width.

On the other hand, the large form, also known as ‘Thai Constellation’ or ‘Albo Variegata,’ has larger leaves with bigger holes and slits that can reach up to 2 feet in length and 1 ft. in width.

Another difference between the two is in terms of leaf appearance. Some cultivars have variegated leaves (a combination of green and yellow or white colors), while others don’t.

Stems and Petiole

The small form of the Monstera genus (or genus Monstera Deliciosa) has thinner stems and smaller petioles and internodes, while the large form has thicker stems and larger petioles and internodes. This results in a more delicate and compact look for the small form of Monstera Deliciosa and a more open and dramatic appearance for the large form of the same genus.

Fruits and Flowers

The small form of Monstera Deliciosa typically produces smaller and less frequent fruits than the large form. The fruits are typically about an inch long and are green to yellow when ripe.

On the other hand, the large form produces larger and more frequent fruits. The fruits are typically 2-3 inches long, are orange to red when ripe, and are more fragrant and juicy.

In terms of flowers, the small form produces smaller and less frequent inflorescences (a cluster of flowers), while the large form produces larger and more frequent inflorescences.

Growth Rate and Price

A wall of Monstera Borsigiana climbing

The small form of Monstera Deliciosa is a slower-growing plant, and it’s less expensive than the large form. On the other hand, the large form is a faster-growing plant, and it requires more frequent pruning and maintenance and is more expensive than the latter.

Frequently Asked Questions

Monstera small form

Now that you know the key similarities and differences between the two forms, this brings us to the end of this article. As a bonus, we’ve taken the time to answer some FAQs. Read on.

What Is the Difference Between Monstera Deliciosa and Monstera Borsigiana?

Fenestration on a mature Monstera Deliciosa leaf

Monstera Borsigiana is a cultivar of Monstera Deliciosa; it has smaller leaves with fewer holes and slits, while Deliciosa is the regular form and has larger leaves with more holes and slits.

How Do I Know What Kind of Monstera Plant I Have?

To determine what kind of Monstera you have, compare the leaf size/shape, look at the stem and petiole, check for variegation, see the fruits and flowers, and narrow the cultivar name.

What Are the Rarest Monstera Plants?

There are several rare cultivars of the Monstera plant, including: ‘Variegata’ or ‘Albo Variegata,’ ‘Thai Constellation’ or ‘Satellite,’ ‘Fenestralis,’ ‘Borsigiana Albo Variegata,’ and ‘Aurea.’