Monstera (Swiss Cheese Plant) is a unique and gorgeous flowering plant from the Araceae family. The plant hails from Central and South America, and it has large leaves with extensive perforations known as fenestrations. Although monstera is now a popular indoor or outdoor plant, many people may not realize there are different monstera varieties.
There are actually quite a few different varieties that are commonly grown, some that are cheap and easy to find and others that are rare and more expensive. Let’s take a look at the list and find which one is right for you.
1. Monstera deliciosa
Monstera deliciosa is the most familiar monstera variety.
It’s also known as the cheese plant, Swiss cheese plant, Mexican breadfruit, among other names. It’s a climbing plant that can grow to over 20’ (6.10 m) when grown outside and approximately 10’ (3.05 m) when grown indoors.
Monstera deliciosa has small bumps where the leaves attach to the stems. As the plant matures, it develops long and broad leaves that are green and glossy. The leaves are heart-shaped, and they later get splits/holes that extend to their edges.
Incidentally, the word deliciosa means breadfruit.
Monstera deliciosa got this name because, in favorable conditions, it can produce a fruit called Mexican breadfruit. The fruit is edible, and it tastes like a blend of banana and pineapple. You should only eat the fruit when it’s ripe since the unripe fruit can irritate the mouth and throat.
I have a guide on taking care of this plant here.
2. Monstera Variegata
Monstera variegata is a beautiful and unique plant because its leaves are partly yellow or white. The peculiar color of the leaves is due to changes in the chlorophyll formation of the plant. This plant is trendy because of the unique color of the leaves.
Since the leaves aren’t green, monstera variegata has minimal chlorophyll as the leaves can’t absorb light effectively. Due to minimal chlorophyll, the plant is delicate and difficult to cultivate because it has to work extra hard to photosynthesize.
As a result, this variety grows more slowly than other monstera species. This plant is rare to find because of its slow growth.
If you’re interested in getting one, read my post on how to care for them and why they’re so expensive.
3. Monstera obliqua
Monstera obliqua has the characteristic perforations of monstera varieties on the leaves. The unique thing about this variety is that the leaves are very thin thus very delicate.
In addition, the perforations on the leaves are so many that they cover almost the entire leaf.
The leaves of this variety produce little chlorophyll because of the numerous holes. As a result, monstera obliqua grows very slowly and doesn’t grow very tall. Most of these plants can only attain an average of 30” (76.2 cm) in height if grown in ideal conditions.
This variety is popular but one of the rarest monstera varieties. If you’re interested in growing one, check out my care guide here: Monstera Obliqua: Where To Buy & How To Care for Them
4. Monstera Thai Constellation
A lab in Thailand created this monstera variety, which is derived from monstera deliciosa. So, it has large leaves with slits up to the edges. The only difference is that the leaves of the Thai constellation are splashed and speckled with cream and white.
The unusual, splashy color of this variety has made it very popular and as a result, the Thai constellation is quite challenging to find.
5. Monstera adansonii
Monstera adansonii is also known as the five holes plant. This variety doesn’t grow as big as other monstera varieties. For instance, it can grow to approximately 5’ (1.52 m) tall when grown indoors and about 13’ (3.96 m) when grown outside.
The leaves of Adansonii are also narrower, more petite, rougher, and thicker than the leaves of the other monstera varieties. You can easily distinguish monstera adansonii from other monstera species because the leaves are oval-shaped. In addition, the perforations on the leaves cover about half the leaf, and they remain closed until they mature.
If adansonii is grown outside in the right conditions, it can produce edible fruits like monstera deliciosa. This variety is relatively easy to find.
Check out my care guide here: Monstera Adansonii v Laniata: Care Guide
6. Monstera punctulata
Monstera punctulata has unusually long leaves that have perforations like other monstera species, but they’re soft and brilliant green in color. The leaves don’t have trichosclereids and are therefore easily destroyed by pests.
This variety can also produce a green fruit that turns a golden color when it dries. Monstera punctulata isn’t readily available.
7. Monstera lechleriana
Lechleriana resembles Monstera adansonii, but it generally has larger leaves. As the leaves grow, they become big and lush. The leaves will eventually develop holes near the leaves’ central veins.
This variety grows pretty fast, and the leaves spread out as the plant grows taller. The plant can grow tall if you allow it. Although this plant grows fast, it’s also one of the rarest monstera varieties.
8. Monstera pinnatipartita
The color of the leaves of monstera pinnatipartita is emerald green. The leaves tend to grow very large and glossy, and they have slits instead of holes. The slits are enormous as they extend to the edges of the leaves.
The stems of the leaves are solid and stiff. Monstera pinnatipartita is one of the rare monstera varieties.
9. Monstera dubia
This monstera dubia species has an intense scent, and it has smaller leaves than other monstera species, which are either light or dark green. Its stems are also shorter than the stems of the different monstera varieties.
You can distinguish it from other types because of its smaller, heart-shaped leaves with fenestrations. Interestingly, its leaves alternate between the right and left sides of the stem.
This plant’s other name is the shingle plant because the leaves shingle closely as the plant grows. The arrangement of the leaves on monstera dubia is tidy, and it makes the plant unique and gorgeous. It’s an uncommon variety.
I have a guide on how to care for it here: Monstera Dubia: How To Buy & Care for Them
10. Monstera epipremnoides
Monstera epipremnoides doesn’t grow tall, and in fact, it grows to approximately 2’ (0.61 m) tall. The leaves of this variety are oblong, and they have numerous oval perforations that extend to the edges. The leaves look leathery, glossy, and cute.
When the plant matures, the leaves resemble the feather-like shape of palm trees. The shape of the leaves makes this variety very lovely.
11. Monstera Peru
Monstera Peru is a variety that grows quite fast with thick leaves that are unusually rigid. The leaves are green, small, quilted, and leather-like. You can distinguish this monstera variety from others because the leaves don’t have holes or slits.
When the leaves of monstera Peru mature, they acquire a deep green hue and become wide and round. The stem of the plant is long, and it twists around. This variety grows fast, but it’s pretty rare.
12. Monstera subpinnata
Monstera Subpinnata is one of the most elegant monstera varieties and also one of the rarest. It can grow up to 20’ (6.10 m) if you allow it. In suitable conditions, the leaves can grow to approximately 12” (30.48 cm) long and 8” (20.32 cm) wide.
The vine of the plant remains thin and narrow as it grows.
You can distinguish this species from other monstera varieties because the vine has numerous palm-like leaves which develop perforations as the plant matures.
13. Monstera Acuminatum
The leaves of monstera acuminatum are dark green and oval-shaped, while the tips of the leaves aren’t sharp or distinct. The leaves are arranged roughly and symmetrically, and they’re pressed inwards. There are more holes on the leaves of monstera acuminatum than in other varieties, but they’re smaller.
The arrangement of the leaves gives this variety an extraordinary appearance. Acuminatum is also a rare species.
14. Monstera standleyana
Standleyana has small and unique leaves that are long and narrow. The leaves also point upward instead of pointing downward. The Standleyana variety grows slowly compared to other types.
Also, the perforations on the leaves appear only when the plant matures.
You can distinguish this variety from other monstera species because of its dark green leaves with small streaks and spots. The stripes and spots are either yellow, white, or cream. It’s a beautiful variety that’s popular and hard to find.
15. Monstera siltepecana
This variety grows fast with silvery green leaves, thus earning the name silver fox. The leaves have a dark green color along their edges and veins. It’s a stunning plant because its leaves look like teardrops.
Monstera Siltepecana has solid leaves when it’s young, but it develops holes as it matures.
However, the holes on the leaves are smaller than those of other varieties, which are found mainly near the central vein of the leaves. This species is somewhat rare.
16. Monstera Albo-Variegata
This variety was also derived from the Monstera deliciosa. It’s a unique and gorgeous plant because the leaves have white splotches that look like paint. The leaves are heart-shaped and glossy, and they can become quite large with time.
The leaves also develop perforations when the plant matures. Sometimes half the leaf or the whole leaf can be white, making the plant outstanding and popular. This variety can also produce fruits if it’s grown in optimal conditions.
The fruit looks like an ear of corn and can be eaten only when it’s ripe.
The Complete List
Here’s the complete list of Monstera varieties:
- Monstera deliciosa
- Monstera variegata
- Monstera obliqua
- Monstera Thai constellation
- Monstera adansonii
- Monstera pinnatipartita
- Monstera lechleriana
- Monstera punctulata
- Monstera dubia
- Monstera epipremnoides
- Monstera Peru
- Monstera subpinnata
- Monstera acuminatum
- Monstera standleyana
- Monstera siltepecana
- Monstera albo-variegata