Monstera Vs. Philodendron (Confusion Solved!)

The image represents Monstera and Philodenron
Philodendron(Left) and Monstera(Right) are among the most desirable houseplants.

Have you ever searched for Monstera or Philodendron to buy online but found these names for a single plant?

I have experienced the same incident in the past months and nearly got scammed. So, you need to be aware of these two plants with their differences.

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.

If you have a future plan to grow Monstera or Philodendron together or separately, you need to finish this entire article.

Are Philodendron and Monstera the Same?

Besides their names, Philodendron and Monstera are different in plant features and growth habits. Take a quick look at fundamental differences through the table below.

FeatureMonsteraPhilodendron
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

The leaves of Monstera deliciosa 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 to 79 cm long and 10 to 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 that has 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 in size, 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 at first glance.

However, when you look closely, the leaves of Monstera deliciosa 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. Similarly, the leaf of  Monstera standleyenahas a length of six to nine inches and is five inches in width.

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 bipennifoliumis 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 that is 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 Philodendron, Monstera produces fruits for reproduction. 

Monstera deliciosais are often called the Fruit Salad Plant because of the delicious food it produces.

The image shows fruit of Monstera deliciosa.
Monstera deliciosa produces 10 to 12 inches long fruit 12 months after flowering.

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 whitish-green spadix and white spathe. It is rare for Monstera and Philodendron to produce flowers indoors.

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

5. Height and Structure 

Monstera deliciosa grows to the height of 10 to 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 to 15 feet tall outdoors, 3 to 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 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 bipennifoliumare 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, Korea, and Comoros.

Whereas, Philodendron bipennifoliumis only distributed in Brazil. 

Talking about the 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.

You should probably add these to your wishlist because the rarer the plant, the more valuable it is!   

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 more than 40 years.

Because of their long lifespan, Monstera are 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 Philodendron. 

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 Philodendron 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 also the symbol of health and abundance. 

Similarly, Monstera brings bliss to your home and nurtures big dreams when used correctly. Having long life of the plant often symbolizes long life and honor to the elderly.

According to Feng Sui, East, Southeast and Southern areas are excellent to place your plants. 

10. Care Requirements

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

Anyway, you can penetrate the table to learn a quick overview!

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

Similarities Between Monstera and Philodendron 

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

Did you know that the Monstera and Philodendron you planted to decorate your home have much more to offer?

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 anti-oxidant.

In the race of beneficial plants, your Philodendron is not behind.

The extract of Philodendron megalophyllum shows a promising antioxidant and antimicrobial potential. Interaction with indoor plants like Philodendron also reduces psychological and physiological stress.

Stress releiving plants.
Indoor plants are stress-relieving.

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

Moreover, Philodendrons have sleep-inducing and stress-relieving properties, which is obvious.

Who does not get relaxed on witnessing this beauty? Definitely not me!

2. Aesthetic Benefits

The fact that these plants look gorgeous is one but 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.

I assume no need for a further explanation because you have already seen the beauty of a space with Monstera and Philodendron! 

3. Environmental Benefits 

Philodendron is a natural air purifier that removes formaldehyde, which is 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.

Monstera absorbs toxins from air.
Monstera plant helps in air purification.

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

1. 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.

Oral irritation, tongue and lips, intense burning and irritation of the mouth, excessive drooling, vomiting, and difficulty swallowing are some common symptoms of Monstera and Philodendron poisoning in pets. 

2. How Do Overwatered Monstera and Philodendron Look? 

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

For this, you can limit the watering and placing the plant under bright light for some time. This will let the soil dry, so you need to make a hole in the saucer that will drain excess water. 

Conclusion

Both Monstera and Philodendron 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 take care of the plant. 

Now I will leave it upon you to set your preference between Monstera and Philodendron.

If you want to grow Monstera, You may need to read Monstera Seeds.  

But if you wish to have Philodendron,  Philodendron Plowmanii and Philodendron Splendid are some of the varieties you may love. 

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