This article, “Monstera Deliciosa vs. Borsigiana,” will cover some similarities and the key difference between these two types of Monstera plants.
Read on to discover:
- An overview of each plant
- The similarities that both plant types share
- The differences between the two
Introduction to Monstera Deliciosa & Monstera Borsigiana
The term Monstera Deliciosa translates to “monster fruit.”
This name perfectly suits the dangerous yet delicious nature of its fruit. But what’s so dangerous about the Mexican breadfruit (another name for the fruit of the deliciosa)?
It can cause throat and skin irritation or allergies when people eat it unripe. However, once it fully ripens, you get a delicious fusion of fruity flavors like pineapple, coconut, and banana.
Remember that Monstera Deliciosa will only bear fruit when grown in a tropical climate outdoors. The plants grown indoors can also thrive well but not well enough to produce fruit.
Here are some interesting facts about this plant.
- Monstera deliciosa is the most common of all Monstera species.
- The natural perforations in its leaves resemble the holes in deli cheese, giving it the nickname ‘Swiss Cheese Plant.’
- The perforations go up to the edges of the leaves and form striking slits.
- It has an aerial root structure.
- The Monstera Deliciosa plant has spiffy heart-shaped foliage and dark green leaves, but it can start losing these traits as the plant matures.
- It is native to Mexico.
- Monstera Deliciosa can grow up to 10 to 15 feet, sometimes even 30 feet tall. In fact, a fully mature plant growing in the wild can reach up to 70 feet tall, justifying the monstrous in its name.
Now let’s move on to Monstera Borsigiana!
Monstera Borsigiana is one of the sub-species of Monstera deliciosa. Belonging to the family of Araceae and the genus Monstera, this monstrous climber makes a beautiful hanging plant when it has a pole for support.
It can ideally grow up to 7 feet when mature, depending upon the conditions.
Monstera Deliciosa vs. Borsigiana: Key Similarities
This section will discuss the similarities between the Monstera Deliciosa and Monstera Borsigiana. These similarities are what make it difficult to distinguish between the two plants.
Both Monstera plants discussed here have a similar root system because they belong to the same plant species. Basically, they have aerial roots that grow below the stem or above the main roots.
These aerial roots help the plants absorb enough moisture, nutrients, and oxygen from the atmosphere, ensuring faster and better growth.
They attach these roots to nearby trees or walls easily as a means of growing.
Wild Monstera deliciosa and Borsigiana hanging onto other trees to reach the upper ends of the rainforest canopy is a truly stunning sight!
These common Monstera varieties rarely produce flowers and fruits, especially those grown indoors. They only bloom in their native environment, including Costa Rica, Guatemala, and Panama.
Any place that mimics the conditions prevalent in its native regions can make flowering possible for both species; otherwise, as mentioned above, this is nearly impossible to achieve.
Hence, investing in a climate control greenhouse featuring medium to high humidity and nutrient-filled soil is better if you want a flowering Monstera plant.
These two plants have leathery, glossy, heart-shaped leaves with wide foliage. Monstera deliciosa leaves have natural slits that develop at the midrib of the leaves as they mature.
These slits look like someone has sliced out the leaves with a pair of scissors.
These leaves also develop holes that are a natural adaptation to withstand heavy downpours and hurricanes, a common occurrence in the natural habitats of these plants.
This is why they are sometimes known as hurricane plants, too.
Monstera plants usually love to grow in dark places. They are not a fan of direct sunlight, mainly because the holes in their leaves make them more fragile compared to other large-leaved plants.
A lot of direct sunlight can cause their leaves to scorch, which causes them to lose their color.
These plants best grow in bright, indirect light. Hence, you can place them behind a curtain to shield your plant from the unfiltered bright sunlight from your window while providing the right amount of light to thrive.
Most Monstera species are toxic to people and animals. While most Monstera species are typically safe for humans, they can pose a threat to the well-being of dogs and cats because of their toxic properties. If pets come into contact with these plants, they may exhibit a range of symptoms such as mouth irritation, swelling, and discomfort in the lips, tongue, and mouth. Additionally, affected animals may suffer from excessive drooling, vomiting, and difficulties with swallowing.
The fruit of the Monstera deliciosa can only be eaten once it is fully ripe. The unripe version of their fruit contains insoluble calcium oxalates that can cause throat and skin problems for those who ingest them.
Both the Monstera deliciosa and Monstera borsigiana have similar care tips with a few exceptions. Here’s how it goes:
- Both plants need the soil pH to be maintained in the slightly acidic to a neutral range (5.0 to 7.0) in well-drained soil. The plants are best grown in a glazed terracotta pot.
- Water your plant when the top few inches of the soil feel dry. To determine how dry the soil is, stick your finger into it. Since excessive moisture might cause root rot, monsteras like peaty, well-draining soil. Over time, these plants can develop aerial roots. You can either cover these roots with wet sphagnum moss or move them toward the soil to ensure they receive plenty of water.
- Monstera deliciosa and Monstera borsigiana are tropical plants that thrive in temperatures of 68–86 °F. Do not allow the ambient temperature to dip below 60 °F.
- Use a humidifier to maintain the relative humidity above or near 40%. You may increase the humidity of the plant with the help of a water-filled pebble tray. You can spray your Monstera deliciosa leaves as well as the borsigiana leaves to improve the humidity.
- Both Monstera deliciosa and borsigiana are vulnerable to pest infestations. You can deal with pests by spraying the leaves with a hydrogen peroxide solution. Mix 3% hydrogen peroxide with water in a spray bottle.
- Monstera plants have leafy foliage that responds best to a 3-1-2 NPK ratio. This number represents the macronutrient ratio of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium. The ratio is vital for the sprawling growth characteristic of Monstera leaves, stem, and root health. Not providing the correct macronutrients could lead to root rot.
Monstera Deliciosa vs. Borsigiana: Key Differences
These differences may not seem too major at first glance, but for people who are adamant about keeping one type of Monstera plant over the other, they still matter.
Monstera deliciosa plants are often difficult to grow and require extreme patience because of the time it takes for them to mature.
The deliciosa is more of a sprawling plant that grows horizontally. On the other hand, Borsigiana plants have a more favorable growth rate because of their vining growth habits.
The wider internode of borsigiana plants allows them to grow on the surface of the ground.
Borsigiana seedlings have a vining growth habit and can scale walls and trees to reach higher levels at an early stage. Deliciosa plants often grow on walls when they mature.
Although both plants differ in their growth rates, they will reach maturity after a total of three years.
Monstera Deliciosa has Larger Leaves
Although the leaf structure and shapes of both the plants are alike, larger leaves are associated with Monstera deliciosa.
The leaves of Monstera deliciosa grow larger in length, width, and height than the leaves of Monstera borsigiana. In fact, the leaf size of Monstera borsigiana is often less than half the size of deliciosa.
Please note that the difference in the size of the leaves is not a clear differentiator. Why? Because leaf size also depends upon the growing conditions and climate.
Plants that get better growing conditions (especially light and water) can develop large leaves than plants that have to make do with less favorable conditions.
Examining the geniculum is another way to distinguish between the Deliciosa and Borsigiana.
The term “geniculum” describes the stem joints that connect to the leaf.
The geniculum of a Monstera deliciosa is wrinkled, giving the leaves a wavy look that resembles ruffles.
The deliciosa is particularly adaptable because of this special quality.
Monstera borsigiana plants have a rather straight geniculum that joins the stem to the base of the leaf. When the plant is still developing, these distinctions won’t be readily apparent. They must reach maturity for you to distinguish between them on the basis of geniculum.
The stem structure of Monstera deliciosa and borsigiana plants can also help you distinguish them from one another.
Monstera plants have different levels of nodes and internodes. Nodes refer to the areas of the plant where the stem and leaf connect.
The internodes are the microscopic gaps between the nodes. We can identify the species of the Monstera plant by examining the internodes.
Monstera deliciosa plants have narrower internodes when compared to Monstera borsigiana plants, which have broader internodes.
This is a major factor in why Monstera borsigiana grows more quickly than Monstera deliciosa.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why Are Monstera Plants so Expensive?
Monstera plants are often difficult to source because they are not geographically distributed worldwide.
Moreover, they grow in specific areas of the globe, usually rainforests. This is why procuring these plants is expensive and difficult.
In some cases, high demand for the already rare and unique Monstera plant will naturally drive up its price. This is especially true for juvenile plants.
The price tag changes considerably depending on the variegation mutation. Rare mutations dictate the color of the leaves and may produce a wide range of colors, such as cream, yellow, white, and others.
How Often Should You Water a Monstera?
Regardless of the Monstera species, the watering requirements depend on other growth factors.
If the plant is kept in a well-lit room, it will need to be watered once every two weeks. Increase the watering frequency to once every week if the plant is kept in a dimly lit room.
How Often Should We Repot Monstera Houseplants?
Monstera plants should be repotted once every year or two, depending on their overall health. Make sure the new planter has a drainage hole at the bottom.
Make sure to select an organic potting mix for the best results. The best time to repot Monstera plants is in early spring, before new leaves grow.
Is it Possible to Grow Monstera Flowers Indoor?
It is certainly possible for Monstera flowers to bloom indoors, but it is a rare occurrence. You will need to mimic the exact conditions of their natural habitat.
The flower often develops into an edible fruit that tastes like a fruit salad, which explains why Monstera plants have so many nicknames.
As an added tidbit of information, the common nicknames of Monstera plants include the “Fruit Salad Plant,” “Cheese Plant,” and “Mexican Breadfruit.”
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.