Although having an odd name, monstera plants are very popular, and you might have noticed they are all over social media for being unique and aesthetically pleasing. You can find them in almost every home, restaurant or office space.
They have become a popular green accent choice for interior designing, and their perforated leaves are among the favorite graphic motifs on wallpapers, textiles, and other decorative items. And they’re not just popular for their look, but also very easy to grow which makes them a perfect choice for any gardening enthusiast.
What is Monstera?
Monstera is a species of the araceae plant family, native to tropical regions of America. They are named from the Latin word for abnormal or monstrous, referring to the unusual leaves with holes, which is a reason why people refer to them as swiss cheese plants. In the jungle, they can grow to be enormous with leaves that spread nearly 2 feet wide.
Most commonly, monstera plants are grown indoors as houseplants and have many different species. One of the most popular is monstera minima, also known as philodendron piccolo, which is often mistaken for other species and families. It is also sometimes called the dwarf monstera because of its tiny leaves. Other popular species include monstera deliciosa and monstera adansonii.
There are many different monstera plant types that you can grow at home, but here are some of the most famous:
Rhaphidophora tetrasperma, better known as monstera minima or philodendron piccolo is a species of the plant family araceae, native to Malaysia and Thailand. It is one of the fastest-growing varieties of aroid, desired for its fenestrated leaves. Also, it is often called monstera ginny or dwarf monstera as it resembles monstera deliciosa.
The leaves of monstera minima grow from 6 to 12 feet in a season, and it’s a popular choice for many people because it takes up less interior space. Not only that, it is easy to take care of and loves to climb up a moss pole. This type of monstera thrives in bright indirect light, and its leaves color will vary depending on sunlight, soil types, temperature, and other factors.
Monstera deliciosa, or better known as the swiss cheese plant, is a species native to southern Mexico. This type of monstera is often confused with thaumatophyllum bipinnatifidum (split-leaf philodendron; tree philodendron) as they have similar leaves and growing habits. The epithet deliciosa, meaning delicious, refers to the edible fruit which tastes like a combination of pineapple and banana.
The name swiss cheese plant is due to its leaves with holes that resemble the holes in Swiss-type cheeses. This type of monstera can grow up to 66 feet (20m) in the wild, with large, leathery, and heart-shaped leaves. It usually lives in humid tropical forests, in the middle mountains and lowlands, in the south of Mexico, and also in other parts including Panama. Its tolerance to a wide range of conditions makes it an ideal plant for indoors, and they prefer bright indirect light and temperatures of 20 to 30°C.
Monstera adansonii, or simply known as Adanson’s monstera is a species of the same family as monstera deliciosa and monstera minima and is widespread across much of Central and South America. This type of monstera is common near river valleys at lower elevations, grows like a vine, and has smaller leaves. It is easy to take care of and loves to climb which leads to some beautiful displays, as it is aesthetically mesmerizing.
It grows quickly and can reach expansive heights in under 6 months. Monstera adansonii has aerial roots that grow downwards from the stem, and because they have tropical origins they grow in bright indirect light or partial shade. Unfortunately, this type of monstera can be toxic to small animals such as cats and dogs.
Monsteras are easygoing and unique houseplants whose dramatic leaves with holes bring out a great aesthetic look that matches any home décor style. Although there are plenty of other monstera plant types, these 3 mentioned above are some of the most popular ones when it comes to growing them as houseplants. They are easy to love because of their impressive forms and leaves, and since there are many varieties, there’s a plant for everyone to choose and love.