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Monstera Vs. Philodendron (Confusion Solved!)

Are you often confused between Monstera and Philodendron while searching for both of them online?

Generally, mature Monstera has holes in leaves, but Philodendron does not. Besides, Monstera has giant leaves that grow above 3 feet, while Philodendron’s leaves can only reach the maximum length of 2 feet.

The leaf is not the only factor that helps you identify the differences between the two plants.

So, if you can’t differentiate between Monstera and Philodendron, this article will clear your confusion. 

Are Philodendron and Monstera the Same?

Besides their names, Philodendron and Monstera differ in plant features and growth habits.

Take a quick look at fundamental differences through the table below.

HeightCan grow up to 8 ft. indoors.Can grow just up to 3 feet.
Leaf SizeReach a length of up to 3 ft.Reach a length of up to 2 ft, leaves are much narrower.
Leaf splitSplit continues to the edges.Leaves don't have deep dissection.

Besides, here are the differences based on the plant varieties. 

Monstera Deliciosa Vs. Philodendron Split Leaf

Monstera deliciosa leaves dissect less deeply and develop perforations as they grow older.

In contrast, the leaves of Philodendron Split Leaf split deeply and include no holes.

Monstera Standleyena Vs. Philodendron Cobra

The leaves of Monstera standleyena are narrow and crowded near the apex, 26-79 cm long and 10-40 cm wide. 

Philodendron Cobra has elongated oval-shaped leaves with creamy-white variegated foliage.

Monstera standeleyana (Left) has narrow leaves crowded near the apex. Philodendron cobra (Right) has elongated oval leaves with creamy-white variegated foliage. 

Monstera Adansonii Vs. Philodendron Broken Heart

The leaves of Monstera adansonii are long and heart-shaped with a thick and waxy texture. The holes are large and oval-shaped.

In contrast, Philodendron Broken Heart is the scaled-down version of Monstera adansonii with smaller feather-shaped leaves.

Monstera Adansonii Vs. Philodendron Swiss Cheese

Leaves of Monstera adansonii do not have splits, whereas Philodendron Swiss Cheese has splits in the leaves.

The growth of Philodendron Sweet Cheese extends outwards. In contrast, the Monstera adansonii has a vertical growth pattern.

What is the Difference Between a Philodendron And a Monstera?

Monstera is often larger than the Philodendron, and the leaves bear holes, unlike Philodendron.

Let’s know more about how the two plants are different with striking features. 

1. Leaf color, Shape, and Texture

Monstera deliciosa (Sweet Cheese Plant) and Philodendron bippinatifidum (Split-leaf Philodendron) appear similar initially.

However, looking closely, Monstera deliciosa leaves have dark green leathery leaves with dissected leaf blades containing perforations.

The leaves of the Philodendron bipinnatifidum split very deeply into several marginated lobes and rarely have perforations.

The leaf has a shiny and dark green upper surface, while the underneath is lighter green.

The image represents leaves of Monstera and Philodendron Heart Leaf
Monstera (Left) and Philodendron Heart Leaf (Right) leaves are heart-shaped.

In addition, the leaves of Monstera are heart-shaped, while that of most Philodendrons are rounder.

However, some species of Philodendron, like Philodendron hederaceum, have heart-shaped foliage. 

Generally, the leaves of Monstera have a glossy texture, while that of Philodendron is velvety. 

2. Leaf Size 

The leaf of Monstera can grow an average length of 36 inches.

The leaf of Monstera adansonii can grow 30 inches long and 18 inches wide.

The leaf of  Monstera standleyena is 6-9 inches long and five inches wide. However, the leaves of Philodendron species rarely reach this size.

For example, the leaf of Philodendron bipinnatifidum is 3 inches long. Similarly, the leaf of Philodendron bipennifolium is 18 inches long, and so on.

Besides, the leaves of Monstera are initially round and heart-shaped and slowly begin to split and develop holes as they mature.

Furthermore, the leaves of Baby Philodendron are more miniature than Baby Monstera.

3. Stem Length

Heart leaf Philodendron produces a stem over 30 m long, whereas most types of Philodendron have a stem that rarely grows above 2m.

The stem of Philodendron is unbranched and smooth most of the time. The stem is dark green when young and turns brown on aging.

Similarly, Monstera has thick stems that can climb up to 70 inches in their natural habitat.

4. Flowering Feature

Unlike Philodendrons, Monstera produces fruits for reproduction.

Monstera deliciosa is often called the Fruit Salad Plant because of the delicious food it produces.

The image shows fruit of Monstera deliciosa.
The fruit of Monstera deliciosa

Talking about the flower, the spathe of Philodendron encloses the white or yellowish spadix, which is waxy, often in two colors: yellow mixed with cream or crimson red with green.

In contrast, the flower of Monstera deliciosa has a whitish-green spadix and white spathe.

However, it is rare for Monstera and Philodendron to produce flowers indoors.

The Philodendron takes 5-16 years to flower, while most Monsteras reach maturity and flower within 2-3 years.

5. Height and Structure 

Monstera deliciosa grows to the height of 10-15 feet indoors and spread 8 feet wide.

They can be bushy if you provide good care and let them grow without pruning.

Similarly, Monstera adansonii can reach 10-15 feet tall outdoors, 3-8 feet tall indoors, and spread up to 3 feet wide.

On average, most Monstera species grow taller than 8 ft. 

In contrast to Monstera, most species of Philodendron are shorter, reaching an average height of 3 feet.

6. Number of Varieties 

A Philodendron is an extensive group of plants compared to a Monstera.

Monstera has 160 species and 14 varieties, while Philodendron is a large species group with recorded 911 species and 51 varieties.

Philodendron hederaceum, Philodendron bipinnatifidum, and Philodendron bipennifolium are some popular species of Philodendron.

Philodendron Ginny (Rhaphidophora tetrasperma) resembles Monstera deliciosa but belongs to a different genus.

Similarly, Monstera adansonii and Monstera deliciosa are common species of Monstera.

7. The Rarity of the Plants

The Monstera deliciosa is distributed to the regions of Bangladesh, Comoros, and Korea.

Whereas, Philodendron bipennifolium is only distributed in Brazil.  

Talking about rarity, Philodendron balaonum, Philodendron hoover, and Philodendron musifolium are some rare species of Philodendron. 

Leaf of Monstera Splits as it grows older.
Leaf of Monstera a)Before Split b)After Split

Similarly, Monstera obliqua, Monstera siltepecana, Monstera standleyana, and Monstera dubia are rare species of Monstera.   

8. Age (Lifespan) 

Philodendrons can live for 20 years or more as houseplants.

In contrast, Monstera is a long-lived plant that can live for over 40 years.

Because of their long lifespan, Monstera is considered heirloom plants.

Heirloom plants are grown from seeds handed down from generation to generation and are often the symbol of heritage and history.

You can also identify Monstera by the attachment between the leaf blade and the petiole. This joint, the geniculum, is rarely present in Philodendrons.
Additionally, the cataphyll of Monstera is intact for a lifetime, while that of Philodendron drops off over time.

Cataphyll is a leaf-like modified structure that protects the newly forming leaves.

8. Plant Pricing 

Are you thinking of bringing these beauties home? They can be great assets to your home decor!

The image represents leaves of Monstera and Philodendron Heart Leaf
Monstera (Left) and Philodendron Heart Leaf (Right) leaves are heart-shaped.

The varieties of Monstera are available in the range of $19-$500 on Etsy, depending on their availability and rarity.

Similarly, the varieties of Philodendrons are available in the range of $15-$450 on Etsy.

9. Meaning and Symbolism

Philodendron is popularly used in Feng Sui to spread positive energy and prosper an owner’s life.

They are unique plants for developing relationships and symbolize health and abundance. 

Similarly, Monstera brings bliss to your home and nurtures big dreams when used correctly.

The plant’s long life often symbolizes long life and honor to the elderly.

According to Feng Sui, East, Southeast, and Southern areas are excellent places for plants. 

10. Care Requirements

Though most requirements are similar for Monstera and Philodendron, you can practically experience the difference when growing the plants. 

Let’s have a look at the table to learn a quick overview!

Care Requirement Philodendron Monstera
Once every 1 to 2 weeks. When the dryness exceeds upto 2.5 cm below the surfaceOnce every 1 to 2 weeks
Sunlight ExposureBright, indirect sunlight Bright, indirect sunlight
Temperature Between 18 to 25 °CBetween 18 to 25 °C
Humidity 60 to 70%60 to 70%
FertilizingFertilize from early spring to late summer, every 15 to 30 daysFertilize once at the beginning of both Spring and Fall-once per month
PruningPrune in Spring or FallPrune in Spring
SoilLoose, well-drained soilDense, well-drained soil
RepottingRepot in Late Spring or Early SummerRepot in Early Spring

Similarities Between Monstera and Philodendron 

Though Monstera and Philodendron have different features, they can be in the same boat when providing the benefits. 

Here are the crucial benefits of these gorgeous houseplants. 

1. Medical Benefits 

The fruit of Monstera deliciosa is a nutrient-packed plant that contains vital Vitamins like Vitamin C and Vitamin B, minerals like phosphorous and potassium, and some proteins.

Traditionally, Mexicans use root infusion to treat arthritis, and Martinique people use the roots of Monstera to relieve snakebites. 

Besides, The traditional Chinese people used Monstera as a remedy for cough, fever, and infections. 

The extract of Monstera deliciosa works as an antioxidant.

The extract of Philodendron megalophyllum shows a promising antioxidant and antimicrobial potential.

Interaction with indoor plants like Philodendron also reduces psychological and physiological stress.

Recent research has brought forward Philodendrons as plants seeking therapeutic validation.

2. Aesthetic Benefits

The incredible look is enough reason to have Monstera and Philodendron in your home space.

Hearleaf Philodendron growing indoors
Heartleaf Philodendron adds aesthetic pleasure to a space.

These exciting plants can adorn your home and garden and add life even to your dull office space.

3. Environmental Benefits 

Philodendron is a natural air purifier that removes formaldehyde, an air pollutant.

Furthermore, Monstera also eliminates toxins from the air by absorbing them. 

By removing toxins and controlling humidity, these plants help to remove odor from your home.

Therefore, adding Monstera and Philodendron to your space will please your eyes and lungs.

Are Monstera and Philodendron Toxic? 

According to ASPCA, Philodendron bipennifolium and Monstera deliciosa are toxic to pets such as dogs and cats due to Insoluble Calcium Oxalate.

How Do Overwatered Monstera and Philodendron Look? 

Leaves turning yellow, drooping, and brown spots are the signs of overwatered Monstera and Philodendron.

From Editorial Team

Monstera and Philodendrons are easy to care for, fast-growing, visually appealing houseplants.

However, differentiating between these plants is necessary to pay the right price, know the distinctive nature, and properly care for the plant.

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