What Type of Monstera Do I Have? Don’t Guess (Use This Guide)

To identify your Monstera type, observe the leaf characteristics: Monstera deliciosa features large, heart-shaped leaves with holes, while Monstera adansonii has smaller, elongated leaves with oval holes.

As a seasoned plant enthusiast with a special fondness for the Monstera genus, I’ve had the pleasure of nurturing various species within my green sanctuary. One question that often arises among my fellow plant lovers is, “What type of Monstera do I have?”

With the Monstera’s rising popularity, it’s essential to distinguish between species for proper care and appreciation of these tropical beauties.

Identifying Your Monstera Species

The first step in determining what type of Monstera you have is to observe the leaf characteristics. Monstera deliciosa, often known as the Swiss cheese plant, is renowned for its large, heart-shaped leaves with natural holes, called fenestrations.

what type of monstera do i have
Mature Green Leaf of Monstera Esqueleto

These iconic leaves can grow up to 3 feet long in mature plants. If your Monstera has smaller, more elongated leaves with oval holes that don’t reach the edge, you might be looking at a Monstera adansonii, commonly referred to as the Swiss cheese vine.

Another popular variety is the Monstera obliqua, which is often confused with the adansonii. However, the obliqua has more holes than leaves, making it an extremely rare find.

If your plant’s leaves are heavily fenestrated, almost like a delicate lace, it’s worth investigating if you have this elusive species.

what type of monstera do i have
Beautiful Big Leaves of the Variegated Monstera Thai Constellation

For those who come across a Monstera with no fenestrations, you might have a juvenile Monstera deliciosa or even a Monstera borsigiana, a variety that closely resembles the deliciosa but grows more rapidly and has a different stem structure.

The borsigiana’s stem lacks the ruffles or ‘genetic’ inclusions that are typical of the deliciosa.

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Examining Growth Patterns and Other Features

When trying to figure out what type of Monstera do I have, it’s crucial to look beyond the leaves. The growth pattern can be a telling sign.

Monstera deliciosa, for instance, tends to have a more upright growth habit, while the Monstera adansonii will trail or climb, making it ideal for hanging baskets or trellises.

what type of monstera do i have
Monstera Friedrichsthalii Plant at the Botanical Garden

The Monstera’s aerial roots also provide clues. The deliciosa develops thick, robust aerial roots that it uses to climb trees in the wild. If your plant has these prominent roots, it’s likely a deliciosa or borsigiana.

On the other hand, a Monstera with finer aerial roots might indicate a different species like the adansonii.

Flowers can also be a differentiator, although Monsteras rarely bloom indoors. If you’re lucky enough to witness a Monstera flower, the deliciosa produces a large, white spathe, similar to a calla lily, while other species have smaller, less conspicuous flowers.

Special Varieties and Variegation

A hot topic in the Monstera world is variegation. Variegated Monsteras, such as the Monstera deliciosa ‘Albo-Variegata’ or ‘Thai Constellation’, exhibit patches or streaks of white on their leaves.

Special Varieties and Variegation
Monstera Adansonii (Monstera Obliqua Miq)

If your Monstera has such variegation, it’s likely one of these specially cultivated varieties. It’s important to note that variegation is a genetic mutation and cannot be encouraged in plants that don’t already have it.

what type of monstera do i have
White Green Variegated Plant Philodendron Monstera Alba

In my experience, variegated Monsteras require more light than their green counterparts to maintain their unique coloring. However, they should still be protected from direct sunlight to prevent scorching.

The ‘Albo-Variegata’ has stark white variegation, while the ‘Thai Constellation’ boasts a more marbled look with cream-colored patterns.

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Final Thought

In answering the question, “What type of Monstera do I have?” It’s clear that close observation and a bit of knowledge go a long way.

Whether you’re marveling at the majestic leaves of a Monstera deliciosa or admiring the delicate fenestrations of a Monstera adansonii, understanding your plant’s identity is the first step in providing the care it deserves.

Remember to consider the leaf shape and size, growth habit, and any unique features like variegation or flowers. With these tips, you’ll not only be able to identify your Monstera but also connect with a community of enthusiasts who share your passion for these tropical treasures.

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