differences and similarities – ISPUZZLE

Many avid (and novice) gardeners commonly confuse monstera with split-leaf philodendron houseplants. They often use these terms interchangeably.

Also, some local plant stores tend to mislabel monstera with split-leaf philodendron. It has now become an endemic problem and many houseplant enthusiasts are looking for answers.

Some plant care blogs and threads claim that monstera and split philodendron plants are the same thing. But that’s not true at all.

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So what is the main difference between split leaf plants and philodendron monstera plants? A mature monstera plant has leaves with fenestrations, while philodendron leaves have deep cups and no holes.

Note that the leaves of a juvenile monstera have no fenestration. It can be difficult to tell the difference between a monstera and a philodendron houseplant.

Monstera and philodendron plants have similar sets of characteristics which are confusing when identifying them. Great care must be taken to avoid misidentifications.

This article provides a detailed overview on how to tell the difference between philodendron and monstera in tabular form. Take the time to read it and learn how to easily identify these houseplants.

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Comparison table (Monstera vs Philodendron)

Basic conditions monstrous Philodendron
The description It is a houseplant grown for fruit growing in Mexico. It is a vine known for its heart-shaped leaves.
plant size: It grows taller with climbing plants. True philodendrons do not climb. Suitable for a hanging basket.
Sheet size: giant leaves small heart leaves
adaptation of plants It needs more indirect light to brighten the windows. It requires less sun to keep the leaves from burning.
fruit production produce fruit does not produce fruit
holes in the leaves fenestration deep holes
Examples of plant varieties Monstera adasoni. green heart leaf philodendron
FIG leaf Shiny leaf texture. Texture of leather sheets.
Cost super expensive Very approachable.
Scarcity Curiously. Available.

What is Monstera?

It is a climbing tropical plant native to Mexico and Central America. This vine is also known as the Swiss cheese plant due to the holes in the leaves.

Monstera plants are grown to produce edible fruit. The plant grows bigger and bigger to adapt to the condition of the rainforest.

The Swiss cheese plant has aerial roots that attach to the trunks and stems of trees as they climb. The large leaves are fenestrated to help capture the scattered rays of the sun in their natural habitat.

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What is the philodendron?

The split-leaved philodendron is a trailing plant that belongs to the Araceae family. The genus and species of the plant are Thaumatophyllum and bipinnatifidum, respectively.

The genus and species names made naming the plant difficult. This is why it is also known as Philodendron bipinnatifidum, arum pinnatifidum and philodendron pygmaeum.

The philodendron comes from Brazil, Argentina, Bolivia and Paraguay. Philodendron arum plays a crucial role in the culture of these countries.

Arum roots are used for flirting, while white berries are used for food and medicine in Brazil and Paraguay. The plant has a unique appearance.

This bush has long thin leaves with deep cuts. The plant can reach 3.5 m in height and 5 m in width. It is the best choice for hanging baskets.

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Key Differences Between Monstera and Philodendron

Monsteras and philodendrons have closely related characteristics. Identifying these plants in their natural habitat can be difficult for novice gardeners.

Below are crucial characteristics to consider when differentiating between monstera and philodendron before purchasing:

plant size:

Monsteras are large in size compared to philodendron plants. Monstera plants can grow up to 3 meters tall. The length and width of the sheet is about 1 m.

Philodendrons do not exceed one meter in height. The houseplant is super shorter than monstera plants. The plant grows up to 3 feet, but there are taller varieties.

leaf shape

Monsteras have large, very showy evergreen leaves. Mature monstera leaves have gaps that leave the veins intact. The window is the key feature to help identify monstera plants.

Philodendrons have small, heart-shaped leaves with deep cups. Some varieties of philodendron have vibrant leaf colors and unique shapes. The unique color tones make the plant ideal for hanging baskets.

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fruit production

Monsteras produce edible fruits that are often used for medicine and food. These fruits are commonly eaten in Brazil, Argentina, Paraguay and Mexico.

Philodendrons do not produce fruit independently of flower generation. But the plant plays a vital role in the culture of the peoples of Brazil and Paraguay.

adaptation of plants

Monstera and Philodendron have close similarities in their adaptation. They both grow from the ground and from trees.

But monsteras are getting bigger and bigger compared to philodendrons. Note that Monstera produces seasonal flowers and fruits.

Philodendrons have long, vine-like stems that cling to growing surfaces. Additionally, philodendrons prefer to grow horizontally rather than vertically.

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Similarities Between Monstera and Philodendron

  1. Both are tropical plants.
  2. Both are excellent houseplants.
  3. They both belong to the same family.
  4. Both are easy to grow and maintain at home.
  5. They both have leaves with holes.

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frequently asked Questions

Is a Monstera a Philodendron?

Really no. But the monstera and the philodendron belong to the same Araceae family. Note that the monstera and the philodendron belong to different species. Therefore, they cannot pollinate each other.

Is the Monstera Adansonii a Philodendron?

No. Monstera Adansonii belongs to several species. In addition, this variety of monstera has leaves with fenestrations that do not occur in philodendrons.

Are Monstera and Philodendron the same?

No. But these plants belong to a large family. Philodendron is more closely related to pothos than monstera plants.

Philodendrons are easier to grow and transport in containers, unlike monsteras. This is why philodendrons are ideal for hanging baskets.

Is monstera the same as Swiss cheese?

Absolute. Swiss cheese plant is an alternate name for monstera plants. Monstera is a name used because of its large size.

Is Split Leaf Philodendron the same as Monstera?

Really no. Split-leaved philodendrons prefer to grow horizontally and monsteras vertically. Additionally, split-leaf philodendrons have small, heart-shaped leaves with deep cups, and monsteras have large leaves with fenestrations.

Are Swiss cheese plants related to philodendron?

Yes, these indoor plants belong to the same big family. But they are of different types. The different types turn out to be the reason for their differences.

How do you know if a Monstera is a Philodendron?

Monsteras have aerial roots that attach to growing surfaces. These plants also experience vertical growth. Monsteras have large leaves with fenestrations.

Philodendrons have small, heart-shaped leaves and prefer to grow horizontally. Philodendron leaves have deep cuts.

Are these indoor plants toxic to your cats or dogs?

Absolute. When pets or children eat these plants, they can cause stomach problems. The leaves of these plants contain substances that cause stomach problems. But the roots and fruits of the monstera are edible only for humans.

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Monsteras and philodendrons belong to a large family. The species is what distinguishes these plants. But telling the difference based on physical appearance can be tricky.

The main difference between monstera and philodendron is based on the size, shape and fenestration of the leaf. Monsters have fenestrations while philodendrons do not have fenestrations.

Note that juvenile monstera leaves do not have fenestration. Leaf size and height can help differentiate monstera from philodendron.

I recommend using the images in this article to see the differences between split-leaf philodendron and monstera.

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