Monstera Lechleriana Vs Epipremnoides (Differences and Similarities)

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Monstera plants are excellent options to turn your home and gardens green. Their huge, beautiful leaves feature unique holes and splits, adding a fresh tropical feel to any space.

However, many similar-looking Monstera species and varieties are available, which can make it difficult for you to identify them.

This blog will help you differentiate between two varieties of Monstera Adansonii called Monstera Lechleriana and Epipremnoides. Read on to discover:

  • Definitions of the Monstera lechleriana lechleriana and Monstera Adansonii Epipremnoides.
  • Similarities and differences between the two varieties.
  • Frequently asked questions about both varieties.

What is Monstera Adansonii Lechleriana?

Monstera lechleriana

Monstera Lechleriana is an evergreen, climbing hemi-epiphyte commonly found in the tropical rain forests of Bolivia, Colombia, Panama, and Ecuador.

This variety is also known as Monstera Maxima and Monstera Henry-Pittieri because it’s relatively larger than most Monstera Adansonii varieties.

However, Adansonii Lechleriana might not even look like a Monstera at first glance. This is because their leaves don’t have fenestrations when they are young.

They are medium growers but can grow much bigger than the actual Monstera Adansonii, if given adequate space and high humidity.

Monstera Lechleriana is a rare Adansonii plant; you can get it from a reputable online plant shop or a nursery known for keeping such rare plants.

What is Monstera Adansonii Epipremnoides?

Monster epipremnoides fenestration

Monstera Adansonii Epipremnoides is a stunning Monstera Adansonii variety originating from the tropical forests of Costa Rica. In contrast to Monstera Obliqua and other common Monstera varieties, it has bigger, slender, and double-fenestrated leaves.

This variety is commonly referred to as Monstera Esqueleto (skeleton in Spanish) because its leaf blades resemble a skeleton’s rib cage with a layout of large perforations.

With simple care requirements and a unique appearance that stands out, it is one of the best indoor plants you can grow.

Key Similarities

Monstera Lechleriana and Epipremnoides are two different varieties of Monstera Adansonii –  a species that belongs to the Araceae plant family and the Monstera genus. Hence, they share many similarities in terms of their care requirements.

Light Requirements

small pot of Monstera adansonii next to a window

Lechleriana and Epipremnoides prefer bright, indirect light, but they can still flourish in areas with lower light levels as long as they have sufficient humidity. Please remember to move your plant to a better-lit spot if you notice drooping leaves on your plant.

In the wild, they grow as understory creepers under the shade of taller trees and rely on sunlight passing through the forest canopy.

When grown indoors, they thrive well in bright, indirect light. You can put your plant near a window that receives enough light but not in a spot where the rays directly fall on the leaves. This is because direct sun can scorch the leaves.

Water Requirements

watering a Monstera adansonii

Both Monstera plants prefer soil that is moist but not soggy. You should water them every few days during the spring and summer months and reduce the frequency in winter.

Nevertheless, a more accurate way to determine their watering needs is by checking the soil’s moisture level.

Wait until the top two inches of soil dry, then water the plant accordingly to ensure saturation. Overwatering can lead to problems like root rot and stunted growth.

High Humidity Levels

Monstera Lechleriana and Epipremnoides thrive in environments with higher than 50% humidity.

When grown indoors, increasing the humidity by misting the plant regularly or using a pebble tray is recommended.

You can also use a humidifier or keep the plants in a room with naturally high moisture levels, such as a bathroom or kitchen.

Fertilizing Requirements

Large Monstera plants require considerable nutrients that may not be present in the soil. Therefore, you must regularly feed them with a balanced, slow-release fertilizer during the spring and summer, preferably once or twice a month. This will ensure the plants receive adequate nutrition for healthy growth and development.

Root System

Monstera adansonii roots

Monstera Lechleriana and Epipremnoides are epiphytic plants, meaning they grow on other plants for support. Besides the underground roots, they also feature aerial root growth along the nodes.

Aerial roots hang in the air or attach to other trees or moss poles to help the plant grow upright. Aerial roots also help them absorb nutrients and moisture from the environment.

Soil Requirements

repotting Monstera adansonii

Epipremnoides and the Lechleriana plant grow well in nutrient-rich, airy, and well-draining soil. You can either buy a pre-blended Monstera soil mix from your local nursery or create your own by combining potting soil, perlite, orchid bark, and peat moss /sphagnum moss/coco coir, worm castings, and activated charcoal.


cat sitting next to a Monstera Adansonii

Both plants contain toxic oxalate crystals. Despite having a low level of toxicity to humans, Monsteras can be dangerous for dogs and cats due to their poisonous nature. If exposed, pets may exhibit symptoms such as mouth irritation, swelling, discomfort in the lips, tongue, and mouth, as well as excessive drooling, vomiting, and difficulty in swallowing.

You must keep them out of reach of children and pets to prevent accidental ingestion. In the event of ingestion, seek immediate medical advice.

Growth Habit

The Lechleriana and Esqueleto are both epiphytic plants with similar growth patterns, while Monstera is an understory creeper.

When young, both Lechleriana and Esqueleto initially grow in soil. But as they mature, they use their adventitious roots to climb up trees or moss poles and absorb water and nutrients from the air.

Like Monstera, Lechleriana and Esqueleto grow as vines, with new stems emerging from the nodes of the previous stems, forming one large vine. The plants produce leaves that attach to the tree trunk and spread towards sunlight.

Native Region

Both plants are native to the tropical rainforests of Central and South America.

Key Differences       

Although they share many similarities, there are some notable differences between them.

Leaf Size

Monstera adansonii leaf

In general, Epipremnoides has larger and thicker leaves than Monstera Lechleriana. However, leaf size can vary based on numerous factors, such as the plant’s age, growing conditions, and genetics.

Leaf Color & Texture

Epipremnoides leaves are of a light green hue, while Lechleriana typically have glossy green leaves. Moreover, the leaves of Epipremnoides have a more leathery and solid texture than Lechleriana leaves.


Monstera adansonii leaf perforations

The leaves of Epipremnoides have double fenestrations – a set of small holes along the midrib and another set of larger holes near the leaf edges. Conversely, Monstera Lechleriana has a few large, round holes that stay close to the middle vein and extend towards the leaf’s edges.

Other Monstera Adansonii Plants

  • Monstera Acuminata
  • Monstera Adansonii Archipelago
  • Monstera Adansonii Friedrichsthalii
  • Monstera Adansonii Variegata

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Monstera Lechleriana rare?

Monstera Lechleriana is considered an extremely rare and highly sought-after variety among houseplant lovers. Its unique leaf shape, color, and fenestrations make it a desirable plant for collectors. Plus, it is not as widely cultivated as some other Monstera species, so you may find it quite expensive and difficult to acquire.

What are the differences between Monstera Adansonii and Monstera Laniata?

Laniata is a subspecies of Monstera Adansonii. While the leaves of the two species are similar in size and shape, there are notable differences between both plants.

The most prominent difference is that the leaves of Monstera Adansonii Laniata are typically a deeper shade of green and have a reflective appearance due to their shiny surface.

Laniata also has a higher number of fenestrations than Adansonii, which start from the leaf’s midrib. Additionally, Laniata leaves have a flat texture.

Why is Monstera Adansonii Also Known As the Swiss Cheese Plant?

Monstera adansonii vine

Monstera Adansonii is commonly known as the “Swiss Cheese Vine” because its distinctive leaves feature holes or slits known as “fenestrations.”

These fenestrations create a pattern in the leaves that resembles the holes found in Swiss cheese, hence the common name.

The holes in Monstera Adansonii leaves serve a purpose in its natural habitat, allowing light to pass through to lower levels of the plant and enabling it to thrive in low-light conditions.

How Do You Identify Monstera Epipremnoides?

Epipremnoides are characterized by their leaf size, texture, and distinctive fenestration (holes). Here are some key features to help identify Epipremnoides:

  • Double Fenestrations
  • Huge leaf size
  • Light green leaf color – some Monstera varieties have a darker green color;
  • Slightly leathery leaf texture

If you are unsure whether a particular plant is Monstera Epipremnoides, you can talk to a plant expert or refer to photos online for comparison.