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Ultimate Monstera Guide: Uncovering Rare Species, Eye-Catching Variegations, and Expert Care Tips for Thriving Plants

Monstera plants have taken the world by storm, becoming a staple in modern home décor and a beloved favorite among houseplant enthusiasts. With their large, perforated leaves and dramatic tropical flair, it's no wonder they're so popular. There are several different types of Monstera plants, each with unique characteristics and requirements. In this blog post, we'll explore the most common and rare Monstera varieties, including Monstera peru, Monstera deliciosa, Monstera albo, Monstera siltiplicana, and Monstera adansonii 'Mint.' and so many more!

The Marvelous World of Monstera: A Guide to the Different Types of Monstera Plants

Monstera Deliciosa houseplant leaf with fenestration

Fun Fact 

Monsteras become popular in the United States during the 1950s and 1960s. During this time, the Monstera deliciosa became a staple in many homes and commercial spaces due to its striking appearance and ease of care.

In the 1970s and 1980s, the popularity of Monstera plants began to decline as people gravitated towards other types of houseplants. However, in recent years, Monstera plants have experienced a resurgence in popularity, thanks in part to social media and their ability to thrive in low-light conditions.

Nowadays, Monstera plants are highly sought after and continue to be a popular choice for indoor gardening. With their distinctive leaf patterns and unique growth habits, these tropical plants add a touch of exotic beauty to any living space.

Common Monstera Species:

  1. Monstera deliciosa
    Large, dark green leaves with deep splits and holes. Mature leaves may develop perforations.

  2. Monstera adansonii
    Medium-sized, heart-shaped leaves with numerous holes or fenestrations, giving it a lace-like appearance.

  3. Monstera peru (Monstera karstenianum)
    Glossy, dark green leaves with a unique, ridged texture, and an elongated, triangular shape.

Rare Monstera Varieties

As we explore the world of Monstera plants, it's important to highlight some of the rare and lesser-known varieties. These unique plants can be a challenge to find, but their stunning appearance and rarity make them highly sought-after by collectors.

  1. Monstera albo (Monstera deliciosa 'Albo Variegata')
    The Monstera albo is a variegated variety of the popular Monstera deliciosa. It features large, split leaves with a stunning pattern of white and green marbling. Due to the lack of chlorophyll in the white portions of the leaves, this plant may grow more slowly than its non-variegated counterparts. However, its striking appearance makes it well worth the extra care it requires.

    A detailed photo of a Monstera deliciosa 'Albo Variegata' leaf with striking white variegation.

  2. Monstera siltiplicana
    This rare Monstera variety is native to Central and South America. It features elongated, lance-shaped leaves with distinctive silvery-blue coloration and prominent venation. The leaves of Monstera siltiplicana have a unique, rippled texture that adds to their visual appeal. This plant is often grown as a climbing or trailing vine and makes a stunning addition to any collection.

    A Monstera siltepecana climbing up a stake with heart-shaped leaves and prominent veins in a bright green color.

  3. Monstera adansonii 'Mint'
    A rare cultivar of Monstera adansonii, the 'Mint' variety is characterized by its unique mint-green foliage. The leaves are similar in shape to those of the standard Monstera adansonii, with numerous holes or fenestrations, but the 'Mint' variety has a lighter, more vibrant coloration. This stunning plant is prized for its rarity and distinctive appearance.

    A photo of Monstera adansonii 'Mint' variegata leaves showing off their characteristic fenestration, with the light filtering through the holes in the leaves.

  4. Monstera borsigiana (Monstera deliciosa var. borsigiana)
    Similar to Monstera deliciosa but with smaller leaves, thinner stems, and fewer splits and holes in the leaves.

  5. Monstera borsigiana 'Albo Variegata'
    A variegated version of Monstera borsigiana, featuring white and green marbled leaves.

  6. Monstera dubia
    Juvenile form has small, heart-shaped leaves with silver variegation, which cling to surfaces. Mature form develops larger, fenestrated leaves.

  7. Monstera lechleriana
    Long, narrow leaves with a glossy, dark green surface and numerous holes or fenestrations.

  8. Monstera obliqua
    Delicate, paper-thin leaves with a high concentration of fenestrations, giving it a lace-like appearance. Often confused with Monstera adansonii.

  9. Monstera pinnatipartita
    Large, deeply lobed and segmented leaves that appear to be almost cut into separate sections.

  10. Monstera standleyana (Monstera cobra)
    Long, lanceolate leaves with white or yellow variegation along the edges.

  11. Monstera siltepecana
    Elongated, heart-shaped leaves with silver-blue coloration and a metallic sheen.

  12. Monstera subpinnata
    Narrow, pinnate leaves with deep lobes and an elongated, feather-like appearance.

  13. Monstera spruceana
    Long, lance-shaped leaves with a velvety texture and prominent venation.

  14. Monstera xanthospatha
    Arrowhead-shaped leaves with a glossy, dark green surface and short petioles.

Cultivars of Monstera with distinct characteristics:

  1. Monstera deliciosa 'Thai Constellation'
    Large, split leaves similar to Monstera deliciosa, with a speckled pattern of creamy white and green variegation.

  2. Monstera deliciosa 'Aurea Variegata' (Golden Variegated) 
    Large, split leaves with a striking pattern of yellow and green variegation, similar in shape to Monstera deliciosa.

  3. Monstera adansonii 'Archipelago'
    Medium-sized, heart-shaped leaves with numerous holes or fenestrations, featuring a mix of light green, dark green, and white variegation.

  4. Monstera adansonii 'Variegata'
    Similar in shape to Monstera adansonii, with numerous holes or fenestrations, but characterized by its green and white variegated foliage.

    A close-up photo of Monstera adansonii 'Mint' variegata leaves, showcasing the delicate mint-green variegation.

  5. Monstera standleyana 'Albo Variegata'
    Long, lanceolate leaves with white or cream variegation along the edges and in the center of the leaves.

Hybrid Monsteras

Monstera hybrids are less common compared to other plant genera, but some natural and man-made hybrids do exist. One example of a Monstera hybrid is:

  1. Monstera x 'Kaleidoscope'
    A hybrid between Monstera deliciosa and Monstera borsigiana, featuring large, split leaves with a mix of green and yellow variegation.

List of Monstera Cultivars 

  1. Monstera deliciosa: A popular houseplant with large, glossy, heart-shaped leaves featuring splits and holes, native to Central and South America.
  2. Monstera deliciosa 'Albo Variegata': A stunning cultivar with white and green marbled leaves, highly sought-after for its unique appearance.
  3. Monstera deliciosa 'Aurea Variegata': A rare cultivar with striking golden-yellow and green variegated leaves in large, distinct sections.
  4. Monstera deliciosa 'Thai Constellation': A cultivar featuring creamy white and green speckled variegation, resembling a constellation pattern.
  5. Monstera deliciosa 'Borsigiana': A smaller, faster-growing variety of Monstera deliciosa with slightly smaller leaves and less prominent fenestrations.
  6. Monstera deliciosa 'Borsigiana Albo Variegata': A variegated version of Monstera deliciosa 'Borsigiana' with white and green marbled leaves.
  7. Monstera adansonii: Also known as the Swiss cheese vine, this species has smaller, oval-shaped leaves with numerous holes and a vining growth habit.
  8. Monstera adansonii 'Mint': A rare cultivar with distinctive mint-green foliage and the characteristic holes of Monstera adansonii.
  9. Monstera adansonii 'Archipelago': A variegated cultivar with a mix of dark green, light green, and cream-colored leaves.
  10. Monstera adansonii 'Variegata': A cultivar with white or cream-colored variegation on its leaves, adding a unique touch to the Swiss cheese vine.
  11. Monstera standleyana: Also called the cobra plant, this species features long, lanceolate leaves with white or yellow variegation along the edges.
  12. Monstera standleyana 'Albo Variegata': A cultivar with striking white and green variegation on its lanceolate leaves.
  13. Monstera standleyana 'Aurea Variegata': A cultivar with yellow and green variegated leaves, adding a touch of brightness to its appearance.
  14. Monstera siltiplicana: A less common species with elongated leaves, prominent venation, and a silvery-blue coloration.
  15. Monstera pinnatipartita: A rare species with deeply lobed, segmented leaves that become more pronounced as the plant matures.
  16. Monstera obliqua: A very rare and sought-after species with delicate, paper-thin leaves and numerous fenestrations, giving it a lace-like appearance.
  17. Monstera obliqua 'Peru': A cultivar of Monstera obliqua with thicker leaves, originating from Peru.
  18. Monstera dubia: A fascinating species with juvenile leaves that lie flat against the climbing surface, displaying a silvery pattern on a green background.
  19. Monstera dubia 'Variegata': A variegated version of Monstera dubia with an even more striking silver pattern on its leaves.
  20. Monstera lechleriana: A species featuring elongated, lance-shaped leaves with a dark green color and a glossy surface.
  21. Monstera subpinnata: A lesser-known species with deeply pinnate, dissected leaves that become more pronounced with age.
  22. Monstera karstenianum (synonym for Monstera sp. Peru): This species is also known as the "Peruvian Monstera" and features small, heart-shaped leaves with prominent veins. It's a climbing plant that produces aerial roots and prefers humid environments.
  23. Monstera x 'Kaleidoscope' (hybrid): A hybrid between Monstera deliciosa and Monstera borsigiana, this cultivar has large, split leaves with a mix of green and yellow variegation, creating a unique kaleidoscopic pattern. It requires bright, indirect light and a well-draining soil to thrive.

This is not a complete detailed list of Monstera cultivars as some are not on record and others are still being developed or discovered.

Types of Variegation in Monstera

Variegation in Monsteras can occur due to various factors, such as genetic mutations, chimeric tissues, or viral infections. Here are the different types of variegation and terms to know:

  1. Chimeric Variegation: This occurs when two genetically distinct types of cells are present in the plant, causing a mix of colors. Examples of chimeric variegation in Monstera plants include Monstera deliciosa 'Albo Variegata' and Monstera borsigiana 'Albo Variegata.'

  2. Sectoral Variegation: This type of variegation is characterized by large, distinct sections of different colors on the leaves. Monstera deliciosa 'Aurea Variegata' (Golden Variegated) is an example of sectoral variegation.

  3. Mosaic Variegation: This variegation type appears as a random speckled or marbled pattern on the leaves. Monstera deliciosa 'Thai Constellation' showcases mosaic variegation.

  4. Viral Variegation: Some variegation patterns can be caused by viral infections. These infections may lead to unique leaf patterns, but they can also weaken the plant and make it more susceptible to other issues.

  5. Reversion: This term refers to the process where a variegated plant starts producing non-variegated leaves. Reversion can happen if the plant is not receiving enough light, or if the non-variegated sections are growing more vigorously.

  6. Stabilization: Variegated Monsteras may require stabilization to maintain their variegation. This involves pruning and propagating the plant to select and encourage growth from the variegated portions.

Understanding the different types of variegation and related terms can help you better appreciate the diversity and beauty of Monstera plants. Additionally, this knowledge can assist you in providing the proper care for your variegated plants to ensure they maintain their unique colors and patterns.

Aerial Roots

Aerial roots are a unique feature of Monstera houseplants that can enhance the plant's aesthetic appeal while also serving an important function. These roots grow out from the stem of the plant and are designed to seek out moisture and nutrients in the air. In the wild, Monstera plants use their aerial roots to climb up trees and other structures, allowing them to reach sunlight and escape ground-level predators.

A Monstera deliciosa plant displaying its aerial roots, reaching out from the stem to seek support and nutrients.

When grown as houseplants, aerial roots can be trained to climb up a support, such as a moss pole or trellis, providing stability to the plant and creating an interesting visual display. Aerial roots can also be propagated to create new plants, making them a useful tool for Monstera enthusiasts and collectors. To encourage healthy aerial root growth, it's important to provide a humid environment and regular misting, as well as a suitable support structure for the roots to cling onto.

Moss Poles and Support for Monstera

Using supports to grow Monstera plants to their full potential is essential, as Monsteras are epiphytic plants that naturally grow by climbing or trailing on other structures in their native habitat. Providing support encourages healthy growth, helps the plant develop larger, more mature leaves with fenestrations, and prevents it from becoming unruly or taking up too much space. The most common types of supports for Monsteras are moss poles, coco coir poles, wooden stakes, or trellises.

How to Use Supports for Monstera:

A Monstera adansonii 'Mint' variegata plant growing on a wooden pole, with its aerial roots clinging to the support and its leaves displaying the mint-green variegation.

Here is a simple step-by-step guide to setting up support for your Monstera plant:

Step 1: Choose the right support Select a support that is sturdy, tall enough to accommodate the plant's growth, and suits your aesthetic preferences. Moss poles and coco coir poles are popular choices, as they help retain moisture and provide a good grip for the aerial roots.

Step 2: Prepare the support If you're using a moss or coco coir pole, make sure it's properly hydrated by soaking it in water for a few hours. This will ensure that the material is moist and ready for your plant's roots to cling to it.

Step 3: Position the support Place the support in the pot next to your Monstera, ensuring it's inserted deep enough to be stable. If you're repotting your plant, this is the perfect time to add the support. Otherwise, carefully push the support into the existing pot, avoiding damage to the roots.

Step 4: Attach the plant to the support Using soft plant ties, gently secure the main stem of your Monstera to the support. Be careful not to tie the plant too tightly, as this can damage the stem. As your Monstera grows, you'll need to continue attaching new growth to the support.

Step 5: Encourage climbing Guide your Monstera's aerial roots toward the support, so they can cling to it and provide stability as the plant grows. If the roots are hesitant to attach, you can use plant ties to gently secure them to the support.

Step 6: Maintain and monitor Keep an eye on your Monstera's growth and adjust the ties as needed to prevent damage or constriction. As the plant grows taller, you may need to extend the support by attaching another pole or stake.

By providing your Monstera with proper support, you'll encourage healthy growth and help the plant reach its full potential. As a result, you'll be rewarded with a stunning, mature Monstera that adds a touch of tropical flair to your indoor space.


The world of Monstera plants offers an incredible array of species, captivating variegations, and intriguing growth habits. From the more common varieties to the rare gems, these tropical plants can add a unique touch of beauty to any indoor space. By learning about the different types, understanding variegation, and providing proper support, you can successfully grow and care for these stunning plants. As you delve deeper into the enchanting world of Monstera, you'll discover not only the joy of growing these captivating plants but also the satisfaction of nurturing and appreciating their full potential.

Read more Actual Botanical Houseplant Guides here.

Read more of the Actual Botanical Garden Guide here.

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