Monstera Siltepecana 101: Growth Guide, Care, Pictures & FAQ

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This article will tell you everything you need to know about the Monstera Siltepecana.

Keep reading to discover:

  • How to grow and care for this plant
  • What type of fertilizer to use
  • Its varieties
  • and more!

Genus

Monstera siltepecana plant is a vining plant species belonging to the family Araceae and Monstera genus and is native to Central America. When immature, it shows a distinct silver venation; the leaves develop holes as it matures.

Close up of tropical 'Monstera Siltepecana' houseplant

The Monstera genus consists of forty-nine species of plants and six infraspecific names in the Araceae family and was named as such by the French botanist Michel Adanson. The name is derived from the Latin word that means monstrous, referring to the abnormal leaves with holes in them. The genus Monstera contains plants that are commonly grown as houseplants.

Monstera Plants

The Monstera grow to the average height of twenty meters and are categorized as herbs or evergreen vines.

The leaves of the genus Monstera are leathery and large (25-90 centimeters in length and 15-75 centimeters in width on average).

Monstera consists of hemi-epiphyte species, meaning they grow on trees with their roots growing downwards and reaching the soil.

The Plants of the World Online recognized fifty-five taxa in the genus. The Monstera deliciosa species are particularly famous for their fruit, which tastes like a blend of bananas and pineapple.

Common Name

Tropical 'Monstera Siltepecana' houseplant in flower pot

The Monstera siltepecana is a common household plant with many names accredited to its distinct features.

One of the most common names of the siltepecana is the Silver Monster due to its unique long gray-silver leaves in its juvenile form (the early phase of growth when the flowers can not be produced).

The mature Monstera siltepecana has leaves with holes in them that resemble the holes seen on Swiss cheese. This is why the Monstera siltepecana has another common name: Swiss Cheese Plant. However, this name is commonly used for several plant species in the genus Monstera, such as the M. deliciosa and the M. dubia.

The plant is also referred to as the Silver Queen Philodendron as it resembles the Philodendron genus of the same family.

The plant is called the Seltene Monstera in German, which means unusual monsters.

Varieties of Monstera siltepecana

There aren’t a lot of varieties of Monstera siltepecana, but one of the rarest varieties is the Monstera siltepecana El Salvador. El Salvador is a rare variety with much larger leaves than the common Monstera siltepecana.

A juvenile El Salvador’s leaves are more silver than the original Monstera siltepecana leaves and have dark veins that give them a leathery look. It is most commonly found in South America and develops fenestrations as it matures.

Read Next: Types of Monstera

Origin Of Monstera siltepecana

The Monstera genus is native to Central America and Mexico, and Monstera siltepecana was first scientifically observed in 1950.

The Monstera siltepecana has been seen in:

  • Chiapa
  • Mexico
  • Belize
  • Costa Rica
  • Guatemala
  • Nicaragua
  • Panama
  • Guatemala

Care Guidelines

The Monstera siltepecana is a highly adaptable plant that can grow in many different ways. However, you must provide specific conditions for the siltepecana to grow to the best of its ability. The care guidelines for Monstera siltepecana are listed below:

Light

Table side the window and plants pot

Light is a necessary requirement for plant growth. It is used for photosynthesis which the plants use to make their food. However, too much light can harm the plant. So it is essential to know how much light the plant requires.

The Monstera siltepecana requires bright indirect light. Direct sunlight is acceptable in the early mornings since it isn’t too strong. You could ensure that the plant gets bright indirect light by placing the plant in North and East facing windows to allow short periods of sunlight.

The amount of light required by the plant can be verified by the natural location of the Monstera siltepecana, growing at the base of the trees. This means they are accustomed to receiving filtered sunlight.

Watering

Monstera siltepecana are tropical species that require regular watering and high moisture levels. However, since the Monstera is a Hemi-epiphytic and needs a stronghold to attach, too much water will make the soil soggy.

Consider using drainage holes in your pots to avoid water pooling and remove excess water. The requirement of water for the Monstera siltepecana varies according to its growth.

It is also essential for you to know when to water. A general rule is to wait until the top layer of the soil is dry (you can use your finger to touch and feel the soil) before adding more water.

A good way of knowing that your plant is not getting enough water is to see if the leaves are turning yellow and if their tips are browning.

Humidity

As mentioned before, the Monstera siltepecana is a tropical plant accustomed to high humidity levels. A fifty to sixty percent humidity level is optimum for plant growth – too much humidity will make your house uncomfortable.

If you are using a terrarium to grow the plant, you can increase the humidity, but the Monstera siltepecana will not form fenestration, a vital feature of the Monstera.

One way of increasing humidity is to use humidifiers. Another easy way is to use a pebble tray. Fill a tray with pebbles, pour water, and place the plant on the pebbles.

Temperature

For the Monstera siltepecana, exposure to around fifty-five to sixty degrees Fahrenheit is optimum for growth. The plant can also grow well at room temperature.

However, keep the plant away from direct heating like a heater or direct cooling like an air-conditioner.

Fertilizer

Fertilizers give the plants the necessary nutrients to grow to look their best. Liquid fertilizers are the easiest to add.

Add the fertilizer to the soil in the first few months and then again six months later. Potting soil mixtures often have fertilizer mixed in them, so you do not need to add extra.

Soil Mix Recommendations

The Monstera siltepecana will grow best in nutrient-rich, well-aerated,  slightly acidic (pH of 5 to 6), and chunkier soil. The roots need something to hold on to without sacrificing room to breathe and not allow the water to drain. A well-draining soil is essential for good growth.

A nutrient substrate can be created using orchid bark and coco coir, allowing the soil to retain moisture and allow substantial aeration and drainage. Due to their hemi-epiphytic characteristics, you can use an orchid mix as the mature Monstera siltepecana makes home on trees, much like orchids.

Another soil mix option is to use bark with pumice and perlite, which can keep the soil well-aerated. You can also add some sphagnum moss to the mix as well. The sphagnum moss will help the soil retain moisture.

It is essential to note that not all Monstera species require the same type of soil mixture. So you can not use the same soil mix for Monstera siltepecana that you use for M. deliciosa.

Pot Types and Pot Sizes

Rare tropical 'Monstera Siltepecana' house plant in small black flower pot isolated on white background

Immature Monstera usually comes in small pots. These pots are best for allowing the plant to root down, but soon they become too small to hold the plant. When choosing a pot for the Monstera siltepecana, you must consider various factors, including the pot’s climate and its drainage features.

Pot size

Suppose the Monstera is still in its early phases. A smaller pot of around twenty centimeters in diameter will do. If it is a mature plant, a pot size of about ninety centimeters is a must.

If the pot is too big, it will not hold onto moisture and can lead to diseases. If the pot is too small, the plant may overgrow, and the roots will become droopy because the soil will dry out too quickly.

When repotting, try choosing a pot with a 5 centimeters larger diameter than the current pot. This will allow the roots to grow without compromising water retention and soil drainage.

Pot Type

There are many pots you could choose for your Monstera, depending on the type of climate you will place your plant in.

Clay pots are best if you want your pot to retain lots of water and if you overwater your plants or put in in an area that gets regular rainfall, as it doesn’t dry out quickly.

Plastic is an excellent choice if you do not want to spend much on the pot and want your pot to retain moisture. It is also the way to go if you live in a dry area and don’t water your planta lot.

Ceramic pots look great and come in different designs. However, they are a bit expensive and do not have drainage holes. Also, you will continuously be changing pots for your Monstera.

You can choose a concrete pot if you have a fully matured Monstera. They will prevent the plant from toppling over.

Repotting

A problem with the Monstera siltepecana plant is that it needs to be repotted regularly as it grows fast. One indication of when repotting is required is when you see roots coming out from the drainage holes at the bottom.

In this case, carefully remove the plat from the pot. If you feel like you will damage the roots when taking them out, you can cut your plastic pot or break it by tapping it with a small hammer. Once removed, loosen the root ball by rubbing it lightly and place it in a larger pot.

Add the soil mix accordingly.

Propagation

Monstera siltepecana, like other plants of its genus, is easy to propagate. They can be propagated in both soil and water, and while both methods are suitable, water propagation is the best and easiest choice.

The stem of the Monstera siltepecana plant has little knobs that will be visible if you look closely. These knobs are called nodes, the region where the leaf joins the vine. The nodes are highly pluripotent and can grow new branches.

Cut a branch from the node using sterilized pruners or scissors (you can sterilize them by using rubbing alcohol). You need to get a branch with at least one leaf close to the node, and if there is a root already growing out of the node, great.

Water Propagation

Drop the cutting into distilled water for the water propagation method, ensuring the leaves are not submerged. Change the water every three to four days; within two to four weeks, you will see roots forming. Once the roots are two to three inches long, place the plant in the soil mix.

Soil Propagation

For the soil propagation method, let the cutting sit for a few hours until a callus is formed at the cut, place the node in the soil, and water it. After about 2 to 3 weeks, the cutting will develop roots and new leaves.

Growing From Seed

Growing Monstera siltepecana from seed is more complicated than propagating it from cuttings, but it’s doable. Once you have flowering plants with ripened fruit, you can extract and use the seed. You can also use store-bought seeds, but they aren’t as appropriately grown since Monstera seeds have a short shelf life.

Soak the seed in lukewarm water for around twelve hours and plant it in a bit of soil once the seed has swelled up a little. Make sure to keep the soil moist. You do not need to place the plant in sunlight as a young Monstera starts growing in darkness even in its natural habitat.

A small sapling will emerge in ten days to three weeks.

Pests

The Monstera siltepecana, like any other Monstera plant, is not pest resistant. Many types of pests can kill the plant. The most common Monstera plants pests include:

Mealybugs

Mealybug infestation growth of plant. Macro of mealybug. Mealybugs on the okra plant.

Mealybugs are common household pests with a white oval body and a tail. They feed on the plant sap and can cause browning of Monstera and stunted growth, eventually leading to the death of the plant. To kill them, isolate the infected plan and apply insecticide.

Spider Mites

Spider Mites

Spider mites are a bane of the existence of many household plants. They are difficult to see and feed on the chlorophyll in the plant, causing white spots on the leaf. They can be washed off using water or insecticides.

Fungus Gnat

Adult of Dark-winged fungus gnat, Sciaridae on the soil. These are common pests that damage plant roots, are common pests of ornamental potted plants in homes

Fungus Gnats are small flies that infect and lay eggs in the potting soil and feed on plant roots. The best way of dealing with Fungus Gnat is to remove the plant from the pot and wash its roots before repotting it.

Root Rot

Root rot is a bacterial infection common in the Monstera species and grows because of high moisture. Some indications of Root Rot are wilting, soft stems, black roots, and a foul smell. The infection can reach the stem and cause stem rot, after which there is no way of saving the plant. However, before that stage, you can remove the diseased roots and wash the remaining ones before repotting the plant.

Foliage & Leaf Shapes

Leaf of Monstera Siltepecana houseplant

The Monstera siltepecana Foliage changes during its life. A juvenile Monstera siltepecana has silver leaves with dark veins and is bluish-green. The leaves are elongated, three to four inches long, and two inches wide. As the plant grows older, the color darkens, and holes are developed on the surface of the leave.

A mature siltepecana looks completely different from a juvenile siltepecana, with a dark green color, lance-shaped leaves, glossy look, and dark green veins. The underside of a mature siltepecana leaf has multiple colors. The silver markings are gone, and fenestrations begin to appear. The Monstera fenestrations are a trademark for the species, also seen in Monstera adansonii and deliciosa.

Growth and Maturation

With optimum conditions, Monstera siltepecana can grow quickly and fully mature within two to three years. Monstera siltepecana are climbing plants and will continue to grow bigger and newer leaves. It can grow up to eight feet tall and three feet wide.

Fenestration starts appearing near the central vein when mature Monstera siltepecana reaches one to three years of age. Juvenile Monstera siltepecana have heart-shaped leaves without any holes in them.

However, cold conditions can cause slower growth of the Monstera siltepecana plant.

Common Problems and How to Fix Them

Monstera siltepecana are easy to grow and care for, but it is just as easy for things to go wrong. Some common problems and how to fix them are mentioned below:

Leaves Start Curling

The curling of leaves indicates that not enough moisture is provided to the plant. This could be because of under-watering the plant or using too much fertilizer as an excess amount of fertilizer can dry the soil.

Water the plant and drain out excess fertilizer. If the fertilizer is not draining out, repot the plant.

Leaves Turn Brown or White

Brown leaves indicate the plant is not getting enough water due to under-watering or too much direct sunlight. White patches on the leaf indicate dehydration due to excessive amounts of salts in the soil.

Use rainwater for plants to decrease the risk of this happening. Water your plants regularly and ensure not to put them in direct sunlight for too long.

Yellow Leaves

If you notice that your plant has yellow leaves, then tan, and then finally dark brown, it might be caused by an Anthracnose disease caused by a fungal infection by the fungus Gloeosporium.

Yellow leaves are treatable, but as the disease progresses, the leaves turn black. The best way to prevent the disease is to prune the dead and diseased leaves. Isolate the infected plants to avoid spreading the disease.

Care Tips

Monstera plant care is easy and does not require complex procedures and instructions. Below are some tips to ensure that your Monstera siltepecana grows in the best way possible:

  • Place the plant in a warm and humid environment
  • Use a moss pole or sticks to guide the Monstera to grow vertically
  • Use fertilizers once a month during summer months to speed up growing
  • Prune some branches off to prevent excessive growth
  • Wash leaves with insecticide soap

Where to Buy & Price

Monstera siltepecana stem cuttings are not very expensive and can cost anywhere from ten dollars to fifty dollars. More rare plants such as the Monstera siltepecana El Salvador can cost more. Small stem cuttings of the plant are less costly than fully grown Monstera siltepecana plants.

Monstera siltepecana are not commonly found at most plant and gardening shops but can be purchased online from Etsy and Steve’s Leaves Inc.

Toxicity to People and Pets

Like other Monstera plants, Monstera siltepecana plants are toxic to pets. According to the ASPCA, The Aracea plant family (Aroid plant family) is known to contain insoluble calcium oxalate that is toxic to cats and dogs. If ingested, it can cause mouth irritation and digestive problems.

It is best to keep them away from pets away from the plant. You can hang them or place them above most pets’ reach, ensuring that cats can’t jump onto them. Also, keep the plant away from children, especially those in their teething stages. If ingested, refer to a doctor immediately.

Similar Plants

Potted tropical 'Epipremnum Pinnatum Cebu Blue' houseplant

Monstera siltepecana is often confused with other plants of its genus. Within the same genus, siltepecana shares many similarities with Monstera dubia and Monstera peru.

In the case of Monstera peru, the species does not have broad silver leaves but instead has puckered emerald leaves.

Monstera adansonni and deliciosa are the most common species that people confuse for Monstera siltepecana as they also have split leaves.

Outside of its genus, the Monstera siltepecana shares feature with Philodendron and the Epipremnum genus. Philodendron plants have spadix and spathe flowers like Monstera siltepecana and share similar growing conditions.

The Epipremnum genus, especially the Epipremnum pinnatum (Cebu Blue Pothos), is confused with Monstera siltepecana due to the resembling color. However, Cebu Blue has a hard ridge through the stem, contrary to the smoothness of Monstera siltepecana.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I Grow Monstera Deliciosa at Home?

Monstera Deliciosa is similar to Monstera siltepecana and can be grown at home under the same conditions.

When Will the Siltepecana Develop Fenestrations?

Monstera siltepecana mature leaf

Fenestrations develop when the siltepecana has matured, usually when it is one year or older. The fenestrations begin as small holes near the mid-rib of the leaf and eventually become big holes and split leaves.

Is Monstera Siltepecana Fast Growing?

They are considered fast-growing vine-type plants and can climb vertically to great sizes in two to three years.

What is Sphagnum Moss?

Sphagnum Moss

Sphagnum moss is a genus of mosses and is also called peat moss. It is good for water retention and is widely used as a potting soil amendment.

Is Monstera Siltepecana Rare?

Monstera siltepecana is rare enough not to be available at most gardening centers but is available for purchase online. However, it is one of the most uncommon Monstera species in a home.

Is Monstera Siltepecana Toxic?

Yes, Monstera siltepecana is toxic to animals and humans and cause causes mouth irritation and digestive problems.

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