Monstera is a flowering plant that belongs to the Araceae family. Over the years, it’s become popular with gardeners due to its unique physical appearance.
Plus, Monsteras are relatively low-maintenance, making them an excellent choice for beginners.
However, choosing a suitable Monstera can be a bit overwhelming because of how diverse this species is.
So, keep reading if you’re curious about Monstera varieties!
According to the Royal Botanic Gardens, Monstera has 59 recognized species.
Even though there’s a plethora of Monstera species, not all can pass as indoor plants. The most obvious reason is that the plant itself is toxic to our furry friends because the sap contains high levels of calcium oxalate crystals.
Additionally, the number of these species is likely to increase over time, considering that new variations are constantly being discovered.
With that said, the following are some of the most common indoor types of Monstera:
Monstera deliciosa, or the Swiss cheese plant, is native to Mexico and Panama. It can grow up to 20 meters and has glossy, leathery, yet broad heart-shaped leaves with slits on either side.
Furthermore, the plant has the epithet deliciosa, which means delicious, because of the fruit it bears. It resembles corn because of its hexagonal scales, but many people describe the taste as more like bananas and pineapples.
Monstera siltepecana, also known as Silver Monstera, is native to Southern Mexico and Central America. It’s a vining plant whose appearance changes drastically as it matures.
As a juvenile, Monstera siltepecana grows small dark-green leaves with silver venation. During this phase, it lives off of the roots in the soil, which is also known as a terrestrial grower.
When it matures, the plant will begin to fenestrate, making it look like a standard Monstera plant. Plus, it’ll start developing aerial roots and soon expand to any surface it reaches.
Monstera adansonii, or the Monkey Mask plant, hails from Puerto Rico.
It’s a flowering plant that produces a humongous white or yellow hood-shaped spathe with a vertical spadix. Moreover, Monstera adansonii also grows edible fruits.
Aside from its flower, a key feature of this plant is its leaves. As the Monstera adansonii matures, its foliage will develop fenestrations that mimic the appearance of Swiss cheese.
Monstera standleyana is a climbing plant that has shiny dark green leaves. Unlike other Monsteras, this plant rarely develops fenestrations.
However, it has variegations or the phenomenon when the leaves don’t have enough chlorophyll. As a result, it produces white spots that may come in different sizes and shapes.
For Monstera standleyana, leaf variegations can come in white or yellow spots, splashes, or streaks.
Monstera laniata is a subspecies of Monstera adansonii. Unlike its predecessor, this plant undergoes distinct phases as it matures.
As a young plant, it produces narrow green leaves. Then, as it matures, it fenestrates, or starts to grow gaps, typically starting at the midrib of the leaves.
These holes can also become larger compared to a regular Monstera adansonii.
Monstera borsigiana is a subspecies of Monstera deliciosa. People often confuse the two because of their extreme similarity, but there are a few distinct differences between them.
The leaves of Monstera borsigiana have smaller leaves and have less fenestration. Plus, this plant doesn’t have ruffles or a white streak present on the stem.
Lastly, Monstera borsigiana has large stems that become visible when you look closely between the individual leaves.
Now that we’ve covered the common species of Monstera, it’s time to learn about some of the rare types.
In fact, there are more rare Monstera species than you think! These plants are more difficult to come by because some are demanding and hard to grow.
So, below are some of the rare types of Monstera:
Monstera subpinnata is a rare plant native to Bolivia, Ecuador, and Peru. It’s a tropical climbing plant that thrives on the moisture and nutrients in the air.
Unlike a standard Monstera, whose leaves have fenestration, this plant has finger-like or deeply split pinnate leaves. The slits start from the midrib to the edge of the leaves.
It also has flowers that have a yellow spadix enclosed in a cream spathe. However, it doesn’t produce edible fruit.
Monstera pinnatipartita is also a rare climbing plant similar to a deliciosa. Just like the others, this one is native to South America.
This Monstera plant also goes through distinct changes as it matures. As a juvenile, it produces solid dark-green leaves with no holes.
Eventually, it’ll develop dramatic fenestration as it matures. Although instead of producing holes, it has slits starting at the leaf’s midrib and running up to the edges.
Monstera pinnatipartita also grows in a unique manner. While other Monstera types clump together as they mature, the stems on this plant almost look like they’re spreading apart.
Monstera dubia, or the shingle plant, is a creeping plant originating from South America. It has thin, heart-shaped leaves that lay flat on the surface of the host.
It also lacks fenestration. However, it has a stunning color pattern ranging from pale green to almost a silver-like color.
Well, if you think this is just another normal Monstera with stems, you’d be wrong! Monstera dubia has vines that cling to any surface.
It’s hard to obtain a Monstera dubia because it’s not easy to transport. Plus, since it’s a climbing vine that needs a host, it requires loads of care and effort so it won’t die during shipment.
Monstera epipremnoides also go by Monstera esqueletos. It’s a tropical plant that produces flowers and edible aromatic fruits.
From its epithet esqueletos, which means skeletons, this plant has leaves with high levels of fenestration. As a result, the foliage becomes delicate due to its huge holes.
Plus, some Monstera esqueletos have double fenestration. It means there are two sets of holes in the midrib and leaf edges.
On top of that, the leaves are larger than other Monstera variants, such as the adansonii. Its foliage also has a leathery texture with a light green tinge.
Additionally, it’s an extremely delicate plant because of its immense fenestration. Similar to the Monstera epipremnoides, its foliage has more gaps and splits than the leaf itself.
Aside from its unique physical features, the plant has a slow growth rate. It takes months before a Monstera obliqua produces new leaves.
Furthermore, a Monstera obliqua develops flowers with a yellow spathe and a yellow spadix. After maturing, the spadix turns into a deep orange color, becoming the plant’s fruit.
Monstera karstenianum is the scientific name of Monstera Peru. Hence, it’s easy to deduce that it also comes from South America.
It’s a hemiepiphyte that can either grow on a host or along the ground. Others say that this plant is a Monstera but acts like a succulent because it requires minimal care.
Moreover, its leaves are unique because they don’t develop fenestrations. Instead, its glossy, yet leathery, foliage gets bombarded with ridges, giving it an amazing texture.
However, this variety still needs to be scientifically classified. Still, people consider the Monstera karstenianum as a part of the genus.
Monstera lechleriana is native to South America. It’s a plant that also undergoes drastic changes as it matures.
A young Monstera lechleriana can be tricky to identify because its foliage is small and has no fenestrations. Plus, the leaves are narrow and arrow-shaped.
Eventually, its leaves will increase in size and develop oval-shaped fenestrations as it matures. It typically starts at the midrib of the leaves.
Monstera acacoyaguensis is a tropical climbing plant from Central America. People often confuse this with Monstera lechleriana, but the two have several distinct differences.
The main difference between the two is their foliage. A Monstera acacoyaguensis has more prominent oval fenestration, and the leaves roll as the plant matures.
In addition, the leaves tend to droop over time. This is completely normal as long as the foliage is still glossy and has pale undersides.
It can also produce flowers with a pale yellow or green spathe and a thick spadix.
The Monstera acuminata is another plant endemic to Central America. It starts germinating on the ground but proceeds to mature horizontally on a host.
The epithet acuminata means pointed or sharp, which refers to the plant’s leaf apex.
A juvenile Monstera acuminata has small, asymmetrical, heart-shaped leaves that are often waxy when touched. The foliage will also overlap, especially when clinging to a host.
As it ages, the foliage becomes larger and starts to develop oval-shaped fenestrations. The color will also change from bright green to a darker shade.
Monstera punctulata, or the Schott plant, originates from the tropical areas of Central America and South America. It’s a tall plant that produces humongous leaves.
The plant’s stems are flat as a juvenile but tuberculate as it grows. Furthermore, the leaves have a bright green color with a pale green venation.
Fenestration occurs when the plant matures. The gaps in the leaves are usually elongated oval shapes that start at the midrib and extend to the edge of the leaves.
In addition to having numerous rare species, Monstera plants also have special variegations. Since these kinds of plants are difficult to cultivate, they’re considered rare and hard to come by.
People are always trying to create a unique variation of the plant, so they crossbreed different species, which results in genetic mutations. Hence, new variegations are born!
This is usually done with common Monstera plants, such as the Monstera deliciosa. The following are a few examples of special variegations of a Monstera:
The Monstera deliciosa Thai Constellation is one of the most popular varieties of the plant. Its main difference is its color pattern.
The Thai Constellation variegation has white or cream-colored spots scattered throughout its leaves. In some cases, there could also be streaks or huge splotches at the tip.
The Aurea sports large fenestrated leaves with lime variegations on dark green foliage.
The variegation can be in the form of streaks, spots, or patterns. There’s also a possibility that the plant will produce a half-dark green and half-lime leaf as well.
The Albo Variegata is one of the most stunning variants of Monstera deliciosa. Most people confuse this with the Thai Constellation due to their similarities.
However, the Albo Variegata has stark white variegations accompanying its luscious green leaves. On top of that, there’s also a chance that the plant will produce foliage that’s half-white and half-green.
Additionally, the plant also has stunning oval-shaped fenestrations.
Sport variegata is one of the most uncommon variants of Monstera deliciosa. Sport variegation isn’t a human-controlled occurrence but rather a natural phenomenon that happens through hybridization.
With that said, people aren’t confident they’ll get a plant with sport variegation whenever they perform hybridization with their Monsteras.
Furthermore, Monstera deliciosa Sport Variegata may come in white and green colors.
Their leaves have gorgeous white or green speckles that look like they were painted on the foliage.
The Monstera obliqua variegata is probably the plant that best mimics the appearance of Swiss cheese.
This plant sports glossy foliage with cream or white variegation. Of course, it has intense fenestrations that usually start at the midrib and extend to the edges of the leaves.
After reading this article, you can now take your pick from the abundant Monstera varieties available.
Being such a lively plant, Monsteras are known for their exotic, tropical feel that adds beauty to any space. All they need is a bit of TLC, and they’ll dazzle you with their vibrance and charm.
Growing up with a mom who filled her home (inside and out) with all sorts of plants, Lisa got her start in gardening at a young age. Living now on her own with a home and yard full of plants (including an indoor greenhouse), she shares all the gardening tips she’s gained over the years.