Also commonly known as the Silver Monstera, this is a rare and intriguing vine that you can plant in hanging baskets, or let the plant climb a totem or moss pole indoors.
Depending on how you decide to grow it your Silver monstera may produce fascinating holes in their leaves otherwise known as fenestrations. For instance, if you allow your plants to cascade from hanging baskets they’ll rarely fenestrate as opposed to when they climb a pole.
While growing and caring for Monstera siltepecana is quite easy and straightforward, having the right information will give you the best experience. This post will cover everything you need to know from propagation to varieties, growing conditions to care tips and so much more.
Intro to Monstera Siltepecana
Monstera siltepecana, also known as Silver Monstera is a rare species of the Monstera genus that is known for its curious growth pattern and intriguing leaves.
It's a tropical plant that originates from Southern Mexico and Central America.
Like other aroids, the young leaves are distinctly different from the mature ones. The juvenile leaves start off lance-shaped and have an eye-catching silvery-blue glow. However, as the plant matures, the foliage very gradually turns to dark green.
Furthermore, if the plant is let to climb on a pole, the mature leaves will begin to lose their silver patterning and develop rows of fenestrations covering the entire leaf.
The silver monstera plant can grow up to 6 feet tall and 4 feet wide. It's also a fast-growing plant that is easy to care for.
Noteworthy Characteristics (Plant Profile)
Common name(s): Silver Monstera.
Scientific/Botanical name: Monstera siltepecana.
USDA Hardiness zones: 10 through 12.
Mature Height: 5 - 8 feet tall.
Mature Spread: 3 – 5 feet wide.
Growing habit: Trailing and vining.
Native Area: Southern Mexico.
Blooming Time: Flowering not showy - mainly grown for its foliage.
Growth rate: Fast
Monstera Siltepecana Varieties
There are two main varieties of Monstera siltepecana; El Salvador, and the Matuda.
Monstera siltepecana ‘El Salvador’
El Salvador is the more common of the two varieties and is known for its dark green leaves with silver spots. It is a fast-growing plant, an easy to care for, and makes a great houseplant.
Monstera siltepecana ‘Matuda’
The Matuda is the less common of the two varieties and is known for its light green leaves with silver spots. It is a fast-growing plant that can reach up to 6 feet tall and 4 feet wide.
Where to buy Monstera siltepecana Plants or Cuttings
You can purchase silver monstera plants from online retailers or local nurseries near you. Sometimes, if you can get the whole plant, it's better to ask for cuttings from family and friends.
Monstera siltepecana is poisonous to cats, dogs, and horses, and mildly toxic to humans. Luckily, you can always place the plants away from your pets and children by growing them in hanging baskets.
Alternatively, prevent poisoning incidences by spraying the plants with Bodhi Dog Bitter Lemon Spray which is effective in discouraging your pets from chewing on the plants.
Monstera Siltepecana vs Cebu Blue
Monstera siltepecana and Cebu blue are two very different plants. The main difference between the two is that former is a rare species of the Monstera genus while Cebu Blue is a cultivar of pothos.
On the flip side, the two plants have similarities that make that would mislead even the green thumbs into thinking they're the same.
For instance, they all belong to the same family and share a number of growing characteristics such as the shape of the leaves and the trailing nature.
How to Propagate Monstera Siltepecana
The best way to propagate Monstera siltepecana is by using stem cuttings.
To do this, you'll need a sharp knife or pruning shears, a clean pot with well-draining soil, and some water.
First, take your cutting from the mother plant, making sure to get a few inches of stem with at least 2-3 leaves.
Next, remove the bottom leaves and dip the cutting in water. For the best results, first, dip your cuttings in a suitable rooting hormone.
After that, plant the cutting in the pot with well-draining soil and water it thoroughly.
Place the pot in a warm spot with indirect sunlight and wait for the cutting to root, which can take anywhere from 2-8 weeks.
Growing and Caring for Monstera Siltepecana Indoors
If you want to succeed in growing these breathtaking houseplants, you should select your potting mix with utmost care.
Remember, your plants will be staying in the soil for all their lives.
The best potting soil for Monstera siltepecana is a well-draining, organic potting mix. You can make your own by mixing together 1 part peat moss, 1 part perlite, and 1 part compost.
Alternatively, you can purchase a pre-mixed commercial potting soil to save you the trouble of having to do it on your own.
Light Requirements for Monstera siltepecana
Light is necessary for the plants to carry out their photosynthetic processes.
Silver monstera thrives in bright, indirect light but can also tolerate short periods of low-light conditions. If you are growing your plant indoors, place it near a bright window where it will get plenty of indirect sunlight.
However, if you live in a place that doesn’t get a lot of natural light, then you can grow your plants under fluorescent lights.
Besides, you should occasionally wipe the leaves with a damp piece of cloth to get rid of accumulated dust particles. This optimizes the plants' ability to absorb light.
Temperature and Humidity
This plant prefers warm temperatures and high humidity.
If you are growing your plant indoors, place it in a room that is between 65-80 degrees Fahrenheit with high humidity.
You can increase the humidity around your plant by placing it on a pebble tray or using a humidifier.
Watering your Monstera Plants
Water your plants when the topsoil is dry to touch.
To ensure evenly moist soil, water your plant thoroughly until water starts to drain from the bottom of the pot. Allow the plant to drain for a few minutes before returning it to its original spot.
During the growing season (spring and summer), you should water your plants every 1-2 weeks.
In winter, when the plant is dormant, water it less frequently, about every 3-4 weeks.
It’s also important to note that Monstera plants are sensitive to fluoride and other chemicals commonly found in tap water.
To avoid damaging your plants, use distilled or rainwater instead.
During the growing season, fertilize your plants every 2-3 weeks with a balanced liquid fertilizer diluted to half-strength.
In winter, when the plant is dormant, you can reduce the frequency of fertilization to once a month.
Be sure to follow the package directions carefully to avoid overfertilizing, which can damage your plants.
Pruning your Monstera Plants
To keep your plant healthy and encourage new growth, you should prune it on a regular basis.
Remove any dead or damaged leaves as soon as you see them. You can also trim back any overgrown stems to control the plant.
Pruning will also help your plants to become fuller and lush instead of looking leggy and weak.
In its adult stages, the leaves of Silver Monstera vines develop deep incisions from both sides that go very close to the center of the leaf and also develop holes within the leaf, called fenestrations.
These leaf fenestrations, which form by programmed cell death, make Monstera distinguishable and interesting to add to your plant collection.
However, for most indoor monstera planted and left to cascade in hanging baskets, fenestrations will rarely develop.
If you want to have them on your plants, then grow and let them climb on totem poles or moss poles.
How to Control Pests and Diseases in Monstera siltepecana
Monstera siltepecana is generally a very resilient plant that is not susceptible to many pests or diseases.
These pests are attracted to warm, humid conditions and can quickly infest your plant. To prevent infestations, keep your plant healthy and free of stress.
Inspect your plant regularly for signs of pests and treat immediately if any are found.
Common Problems to Anticipate (Physiological Disorders)
Monstera siltepecana Yellowing the Leaves
If the leaves of your plant are turning yellow, it is likely due to too much fertilizer. Fertilize your plant less frequently or dilute the fertilizer to half-strength.
Brown Tips on the Siltepecana Plant Leaves
If the tips of the leaves are turning brown, it is usually due to too little humidity. Increase the humidity around your plant by placing it on a pebble tray or using a humidifier.
Monstera siltepecana is a beautiful, easy-to-care-for plant that makes a great addition to any home. With its distinctive, fenestrated leaves, it adds a touch of the tropics to any room.
With proper care, your silver Monstera will thrive for many years.
Featured image credit: thegingerjungle.com