Last Updated on November 9, 2022 by Plant Mom Care
Monstera was first described in 1763, by Michel Adanson, a French botanist; since then many other varieties have been discovered and cultivated, generally indigenous to Central and South American rainforests.
They typically thrive in warm and humid conditions similar to their natural habitats and are largely intolerant to cold temperatures. They tend to grow well in average temperatures between 55 – 90°F and average humidity levels above 50%.
Most are fast growers and can grow tall and wide outdoors but their growth is limited indoors or can be controlled by pruning and potting. They are mostly propagated from cuttings or air layering. Here are some notable varieties that are popular with gardeners today:
This big vining evergreen is also called the “split-leaf philodendron”. It is relatively easy to grow and is a moderate grower indoors and grows 1 – 2 feet every year.
The large glossy cordate leaves can grow about 3 feet long and elaborate aerial roots emerge along the stem to support the stems and leaves. They can grow 10 – 15 feet high indoors and 8 feet wide.
If planted outdoors in appropriate conditions, it can grow rapidly and also produces cream-white inflorescences and edible fruits; however flowers and fruits are rarely found on indoor plants. Read our full Monstera Deliciosa care guide
This tropical perennial monstera variety is commonly known as the Swiss Cheese plant due to its cordate leaves with holes (or fenestration) that form as the plant becomes mature. It’s typically cultivated as an indoor houseplant.
Like M. deliciosa, Monstera adansonii has a fast growth rate and a vining habit outdoors and produces cream-colored flowers that rarely appear on indoor plants. Indoor plants can grow 3 – 5 feet tall and up to 13 feet high outdoors.
Variegated Monstera Deliciosa
Variegated Monstera requires the same care as the green monstera deliciosa. The difference between the two is the white portions of the variegated leaves can’t photosynthesize light, so the plant has to work doubly hard to produce energy.
Consequently, it can’t grow under low light and should be kept under indirect bright light otherwise the leaves will revert to plain green.
This plant doesn’t exist in the wild since the variegation is random. It is mainly grown and propagated as an indoor plant and can grow 10 feet tall and 5 feet wide.
If your Monstera deliciosa has grown to a gigantic size, well done with caring for it properly. In its native environs, this plant grows to 50 feet or more and can also become quite large indoors.
Caring for a giant monstera involves continuing to care for and maintain it even with its large size. It likes rich, well-draining soil, plenty of indirect bright light, proper watering, and an appropriately-sized pot. It should also be provided with a strong trellis or several poles to help it climb and support its weight.
That said, if the plant seems to be too large for your room, growth can be slowed down by controlling the growing conditions that made it grow large. Pruning, reducing light exposure and fertilizer will help slow growth down and help it stay smaller.
Monstera Pinnatipartita, an attractive rare evergreen climbing plant originating from South America, looks a lot like Monstera Deliciosa. The large glossy leaves divide when it is mature and has white waxy flowers and aerial roots.
Prolonged exposure to direct sun will burn the leaves. It can grow 4 – 6 feet indoors and 60 feet or more when grown outdoors. Use supports or totems to maximize its growth indoors.
This is another variegated version of Monstera deliciosa. It has the same striking holey foliage, but the bright green leaves have speckles, stripes, or streaks of yellow. This plant is rare as not many people cultivate this particular variety.
It can reach 10 – 15 feet tall and 8 feet wide when cultivated indoors. It needs some form of support to help its large leaves and keep the plant growing tall. It can also grow in hanging baskets instead of floor pots.
It thrives under indirect bright light, direct sun can make them lose variegation and scorch the leaves. Conversely, insufficient light will limit growth.
Monstera Standleyana Albo
This variety has small oval unfenestrated leaves with specks or bands of cream/white variegation, with each leaf growing 5 – 9 inches in length and 4 inches in width.
It is an upright fast-growing climber and grows about 3 – 5 feet and about 3 feet wide indoors and can reach more than 20 feet high outdoors. Provide it with a trellis to support upward growth, particularly if it is producing long stems without leaves.
It needs well-draining soil, warm temperature, high levels of humidity, indirect bright light, enough water, and moderate feeding to keep it growing well. Pruning is also necessary to trim unwanted long stems and keep them from growing too tall.
This variety is prized by plant collectors and enthusiasts the world over. This smaller Monstera variety has severe fenestration on light green enormous leaves that are almost like empty spaces than leaves, although not the same as the expensive and rare Monstera obliqua.
Its name itself, Esqueleto, is a skeleton in Spanish and perfectly describes the leaves.
This fast-growing vine can grow 30 feet outdoors and 6 feet indoors and the leaves can be just about 3 feet long when mature. It is hardy and with proper care will grow quickly.
All it needs is good-quality well-draining soil, warm temperature, high levels of humidity, medium or indirect bright light, enough water, regular pruning, and moderate feeding to keep it growing well.
This variety has large glossy green leaves almost 2 feet long and 1 foot wide, with several oval holes that add to its dramatic appearance. While it rarely flowers indoors, it produces creamy white flowers outdoors with each flower almost a foot tall.
It reaches a height of 8 feet when grown indoors and about 15 feet outdoors. Caring for it is straightforward – it enjoys medium to indirect bright light, enough water, occasional feeding, high levels of humidity, and good-quality well-draining soil. Support it with a climbing pole and regular pruning is recommended to keep its size in check.
Monstera acacoyaguensis is an unusual and rare tropical climbing plant with lovely glossy green oval, semi-leathery juvenile leaves. As the leaves mature, they develop round perforations within the leaf margins. While it rarely flowers indoors, it produces yellow flowers outdoors. It grows about 20 feet high outdoors and 4 – 6 feet indoors.
It might be a little picky regarding its growing conditions but will grow well if provided with good-quality well-draining soil, the right levels of humidity and temperature, enough water, and indirect bright lighting. Make sure it doesn’t get exposed to direct sun, as its leaves can get burned.
Monstera subpinnata has gorgeous bright green pinnate leaves that can reach about 12 inches long. It rarely flowers indoors but can produce yellow flowers in the wild. It can grow over 30 feet high outdoors and 4 – 6 feet high indoors.
In its natural habitat, this plant grows on other trees or along forest floors. Provide it with good support if you want it to climb and highlight its elegant foliage. It grows well when provided with well-draining soil, appropriate levels of humidity and temperature, enough water, and indirect bright lighting. Insufficient light can result in leggy growth.
Monstera obliqua is extremely rare and expensive, with cuttings costing prices of four figures. This plant is considerably smaller than its cousins, particularly its leaves, and rarely reaches 4 feet high indoors. Each leaf in adult plants looks different and many won’t have holes.
The leaves are very thin and delicate and the plant needs extra care and good growing conditions – particularly adequate humidity and enough indirect bright light. Well-drained soil, proper watering, and feeding are essential. Under- or over-watering has an almost immediate impact on the leaves.
In its natural habitat, it grows very slowly and takes many years to grow just a few feet. It can flower in any month (rarely indoors), producing 8 inflorescences (spadices) in clusters, unlike its cousins that only produce 2.
Monstera Sierrana (M. deliciosa var. sierrana)
There is a mix-up regarding this variety – people confuse it with two other varieties, monstera deliciosa var. brazil, and M. ‘Burle Marx Flame’. The only way to differentiate between them is that the lobes of the leaves are narrower than the other varieties and closer to the midrib.
This plant grows slower than M. deliciosa, although its care and needs are similar to monstera deliciosa. It can tolerate lower temperatures but will stop growing at 50°F. Humidity levels should be above 50%. It favors indirect bright light but can handle medium or low light.
Avoid exposing it to direct sun and if there’s too little light indoors, use artificial grow lights. Well-drained soil and proper watering are a must, as under or over-watering will cause problems. Feed it once every month except in winter.
Mint monstera is an expensive and rare variegated variety with attractive and unique mint colors, unlike other variegated monsteras which habitually have white or yellow colors. This plant doesn’t have a stable variegation, meaning that the variegation can revert to green or entirely mint under insufficient light exposure.
It thrives on indirect bright light like other variegated cousins. Generally, it requires more light than species with solid green colors. Its light green variegation does not absorb sunlight or contribute to photosynthesis so it needs more light to thrive and maintain its beautiful foliage.
Direct sun can burn the leaves while low light will turn the leaves green or entirely mint and also result in sparse, slow growth and smaller leaves.
This fast-growing plant can grow 6 feet tall and around 4 feet wide indoors. It grows well in well-draining soil, appropriate levels of humidity and temperature, enough water, and plenty of indirect bright lighting.
Monstera Thai Constellation
Monstera Thai Constellation, another striking variegated monstera variety, has leaves marked with yellow or white spotted patterns resembling star constellations. This rare and expensive plant was first grown in Thailand by tissue culture, therefore part of its name. The fenestration (holes) can be almost 3 inches, making the leaves even more eye-catching and striking. It can grow almost 20 feet tall but only 8 feet tall indoors.
An important part of caring for this plant is to ensure it has enough light. This is because the variegated portions of the leaves cannot photosynthesize. If the light isn’t sufficient consider using grow lights to supplement light as they don’t emit heat.
Regular watering, well-draining soil, occasional feeding, high levels of humidity, and appropriate temperatures are all needed to keep the plant happy. A bonus is this plant is stable and the only variety of Monstera that won’t lose its variegation when propagated.
Half Moon Monstera
Half moon monstera plant is another rare and expensive variegated variety of Monstera Deliciosa, getting its name from the stunning divided leaves where one side is traditionally green and the other side is white.
This pattern is caused by a mutation of the plant DNA which is quite rare. This mutation is random, so patterns might change as the plant matures. Overall, whiter areas of the leaves are more sensitive and show more distress under overexposure to the sun or drought.
This variety’s variegation is unstable and can revert under low light. It also won’t grow well under direct light. This fast-growing plant can grow to 6 feet tall and around 5 feet wide.
It does best in well-draining soil, occasional feeding, appropriate levels of humidity and temperature, enough water, and plenty of indirect bright lighting. Another thing to avoid is under or over-watering and sudden temperature changes, be careful when handling delicate leaves, as they can easily get damaged.