Philodendron Vs Monstera: If you’ve landed here, you’re likely trying to find the answer to one of those frequently asked questions by plant enthusiasts such as Philodendron vs Monstera, what is the world is the difference?
Do not worry there is no need to worry. You aren’t the only one pondering this. The similarities between these two plants outweigh the differences and the differences that exist need an experienced (or extremely focused) eye to recognize.
Today we’ll deep look at the similarities and differences, identifying the key factors that define the various plants, as well as addressing the question “Aren’t Monstera Deliciosas and Split Leaf Philodendrons the same plant?” Spoiler warning: no, they’re not however we’ll address the subject later.
If you’re looking to dispel all the confusion surrounding these two subjects, while also gaining plenty of practical information to incorporate into your life as a plant-loving person We’ve got you covered Read more!
What is a Philodendron?
With a remarkable 500+ varieties of species, Philodendrons belong to part of the Araceae family and belong to areas such as the West Indies and tropical forests of Central and South America.
If you trace the meaning of its name back into its Greek roots, which are “philo” (lover) and “dendron” (tree), you’ll have a great idea of the best way for these plants to grow in the wild through vine-like structures that wrap them around and then climbing up trees towards the sun.
Also, you get an insight into the traditional Heart leaf form that a lot of Philodendrons have in common.
What is a Monstera?
Additionally, a member of the Araceae family and belonging to the Araceae family, the Monstera forms part of a smaller species with just 45 varieties in all. In Latin rather than Greek roots, Monsteras were named because of their typical “monster” sized leaves
As with the Philodendrons, Monsteras also hail from the tropical regions of both Central and South America, and they’re well-known for their delicious fruit. It’s a pity for indoor growers, as the likelihood that you’ll find fruits within your Monstera is very low. Outdoor growers living in tropical climates are likely to observe the production of fruit.
Philodendron Vs Monstera – What Do They Have in Common?
The two Monstera along with Philodendron are members of the Araceae family, a category that is commonly referred to by the name of ‘aroids’, or ‘arums’. The Araceae family is comprised of nearly 3,750 species, such as Caladiums Alocasia and ZZ, ZZ plants, and edible plants such as Taro.
One thing that all aroids have is that they share in the form of their flower. It is called “spadix,” which resembles an elongated spear-like, fleshy stem. This flower is surrounded by a modified leaf, called “spathe,” which is available in a variety of forms and shades.
Monstera as well as Philodendron is a tropical plant indigenous to the Americas along with the West Indies. They generally have an epiphyte growth pattern that utilizes aerial roots to develop on trees and absorb the nutrients and water they require of the plant they are growing on.
In some instances, they may also be found in soil and it’s not unusual to see them in swamps, along the edges of roads, gardens or on urban lawns.
Another thing the Monsteras and Philodendrons share in common is their diversity. Few other plant genera offer such a wide range of leaf sizes and shapes, as well as patterns and colours. They are also able to hybridize easily and horticulturists are careful to choose and promote desirable features of the leaves like variegation or Fenestration. In the end, new cultivars and varieties are continually being introduced to the market.
Botanists in the past typically classified Monstera plants as belonging to the Philodendron species, but it wasn’t until the past few years that more thorough examination has revealed distinctions between a few of them. The term ‘philodendron is still used today for a few Monstera varieties and this is the reason gardeners and retailers of house plants frequently employ these plants as interchangeable.
How To Identify a Philodendron
There are more than 500 species of Philodendron, each having its distinctive appearance. This is the reason it can be difficult to locate an ‘all-purpose in finding a Philodendron plant. One clue is the name.
– What’s in a Name?
The term ‘philodendron’ is from Greek. It’s a blend of the words ‘philo’, meaning ‘love and ‘dendron’ meaning ‘tree. They love climbing trees and utilize the aerial roots of their species to get into the top of the canopy, which gives them more sunlight. Even the varieties that do not look like climbers, like Philodendron Prince of Orange will develop these aerial roots.
– Falling Cataphylls
Philodendron leaves can be found in various dimensions and shapes, but the one thing they all have that they share is the cataphyll. It’s a small modified leaf that shields the young leaves as they develop.
For vining Philodendrons like Philodendron micans and the heartleaf, Philodendron cataphyll is likely to fall off once the leaves are mature. For other varieties, particularly epiphytic Philodendrons the cataphyll will dry, but be a part of the plant similar to the case with a Monstera.
– Philodendron Varieties That Look Like Monstera
With the variety of species, It’s only natural that certain species exhibit characteristics that are typically connected with Monsteras.
Here are some of the most common offenders:
- Split-leaf Philodendron ( Philodendron bipinnatifidum): often sold under the name Monstera Deliciosa, it can be quite easy to confuse these two plants with each other. The main difference between them is the size and shape of their leaves. The philodendron’s leaves are shorter that are split rather than fenestrated. The leaves also sport a feathery shape and Monstera leaves are heart-shaped and round.
- Philodendron minimal This plant isn’t easy to identify. It’s oval-shaped and split leaves that resemble the leaves of the Monstera and, as the result, it’s frequently sold in the plant market under the name mini monstera’. It’s not a Philodendron with holes or a Monstera. It’s a distinct species with the name Rhaphidophora Tetrasperma, which is part of the Rhaphidophora Genus.
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How To Identify a Monstera
Comparatively, with Philodendron, Monstera is a less genus with just 45 species. Monstera’s name originates from Latin which was used by botanists to describe the massive leaves of the plants. There are however many species that are similar to Monstera.
The Monstera and Philodendron genera share lots of things in common. Their habitat and how they grow to the appearance of their flowers can be a challenge. Genetic analysis is usually the most effective method to distinguish from species that look similar.
Naturally, those who are interested in houseplants do not have the resources to have a close encounter with the DNA of a plant, however, there are more efficient methods to identify the difference between the one.
– Moving Parts
Monstera leaves typically have a knee-like joint, known as “geniculum” or “pulvinus. It lets the leaves move when they follow the sun’s light as well as in the leaf of prayer-plants. This is extremely rare for Philodendrons and is one of the most effective methods to distinguish the two species distinctly.
– Stubborn Cataphylls
Like Philodendrons Monstera species also possess the protective leaf known as cataphyll that is utilized to shield the leaves as they grow. Although the cataphyll typically dries and disappears when it comes to the Philodendrons Monstera typically keeps the cataphyll throughout its existence.
It’s not recommended to attempt to remove the cataphylls from mature leaves as it could damage the stem.
– A Question of Fenestration
What’s the deal with leaf Fenestration? A few of the most well-known varieties, like Monstera Deliciciosa and Monstera Dansonii, are recognized for their perforated or split leaves. However, some varieties of Philodendrons feature leaves with holes. Here’s where we’ll need to be a little nerdy and clarify the differences between fenestrations and a similar phenomenon called “pinnation.”.
In discussing leaves in botanical terms the term fenestration is usually used to mean perforation or circular holes. In contrast, pinnation is described as how leaf lobes, or leaflets, are placed on the stem in a feathery pattern.
When it comes to the fenestration leaves, they can split completely until the original circular form of the perforation is not visible. This is evident in those leaves from Monstera Deliciosa as well as borsigiana When they are young, the fenestrations appear small and round and have well-defined boundaries surrounding the perforations. As the plant grows the borders are becoming smaller and smaller until they break off to the edges.
Fenestration is a typical characteristic of Monstera plants. For Philodendrons The leaves are pinnated. This means that they don’t show the appearance of a circular hole. They are divided from the beginning.
– Monstera Varieties That Look Like Philodendron
So who are the Monsteras are disguised as Philodendrons?
Here are some possible theories:
- Monstera Deliciosaand Monstera borsigiana These plants are often sold under the names split-leaf philodendron, Philodendron selloum, or Philodendron bipinnatifidum.
- Monstera dubia is among the rarest varieties of Monstera The plant develops very close to the trees’ surface with fenestrations gradually appearing as it grows. In its early stages its small, heart-shaped leaves look very similar to the ones of vining Philodendrons as well as varieties of the Scindapsus.
- Monstera standleyana is also known as the ‘five-hole plants’. It features oval leaves, dark green that tend to be speckled, but in some instances, they are variegated. Sellers have also listed this plant as Philodendron cobra.
Philodendron vs Monstera: Where the Confusion Arises
In general, Monsteras bring to mind bright green as well as Fenestrated (will be discussing this in-depth when you’re not familiar with it) leaves and Philodendrons cause us to imagine smaller, heart-shaped leaves that hang from a trailing vine (though certain philodendrons climb, not trail! ).
What happens the case when both have characteristics? What happens if they’re (often) wrongly labelled? Confusion!
Below are some of the most common culprits who cause confusion between the two subjects. And then look further for suggestions for how to be sure to identify them and aid them in their growth.
- It is believed that the Split-Leaf Philodendron shares an extremely similar look to Monstera Deliciosa. We have already mentioned that however, they aren’t identical plants!
- The most fundamental thing is that they are different in a scientific sense. While they’re members of the same family of plants, they’re distinct species and genus and species, but your naked eye doesn’t always determine that.
- One of the main differences you will notice is that they have Fenestrations (holes within the leaves). Mature Monsteras are fenestrated, but Philodendrons aren’t.
- Monstera Deliciosa Monstera Deliciosa also produces fruit (hence the “delicious” second part of the name) unlike Philodendrons, which do not. As mentioned above indoor growers won’t witness Monstera fruit production, however, this is a major difference between the two.
- Its Split Leaf Philodendron’s leaves aren’t as smooth, heart-shaped or rounded as the Monstera but instead, the leaves are shaped with an almost jagged edge as well as rough surface texture.
- The leaves of the young Monstera (pre-fenestration) usually look like the heart-shaped leaves of the Philodendron.
- Even fully-grown Monstera varieties (like the Dubia and Siltepecana) occasionally retain an elongated leaf that is more frequently observed within the family of Philodendron.
Common (incorrect) Naming / Labeling:
- As we’ve previously discussed, Monstera Deliciosa is often called the Split Leaf Philodendron, or reverse. This is often seen on plant blogs as well as in nursery stores! There is no reason to be confused about the magnitude it is.
- Monstera Deliciosa’s original scientific name was Philodendron Pertusum, and sometimes people call it such…so it’s not very helpful.
- There are times when people mistakenly describe the broken heart of Philodendron as Monstera Adanonsii.
- A lot of times, the phrase “Swiss Cheese Plant” is mentioned when discussing these plants, but in reality, it only applies to Monsteras due to their Fenestrated (holy) leaf.
Philodendron vs Monstera: How to Tell the Two Apart
Plant Dimensions: If given proper care Indoor Philodendrons can only grow to about 3 feet in height however, they will grow and move outwards, whereas indoor Monsteras can grow to nearly 10 feet tall, and produce leaves of 3 by 3 feet.
In the end, the sizes of plants vary between the two varieties, however, when trying to distinguish the size of the leaves are also different.
- Monstera leaves are…well huge, and Philodendron leaves typically will only reach around 2 feet (max).
- Monstera leaves always show an attractive, vibrant evergreen. Philodendrons might produce pink, brown or red leaves that have markings and shading.
- One of the best methods to tell the difference in these plants’ leaves is to search for the presence of fenestrations (holes inside the leaf). Monsteras’ leaves have fenestrations, while Philodendrons don’t.
Tips: Fenestration versus pinnation In the world of botany, “fenestration” almost always refers to a circular hole. Pinnated leaves on the contrary side do not have a circular form but are separated between the edges of the leaf to the spine.
- In general terms and for indoor use, Monsteras prefer vertical growth because Philodendrons are inclined to horizontal growth.
- Monsteras produce flowers and fruit that aid in reproduction, while Philodendrons are not.
- Monsteras are referred to as climbing plants, while Philodendrons may be climbing or trailing plants.
Additional Physical Differences:
- Another way to distinguish them apart is searching for joints (technical name, geniculum, or pulvinus) that aids the plant in its movement. These joints permit the leaves to follow the sun throughout the day. They are very uncommon in Philodendrons, which makes it an extremely strong and distinct marker for Monstera. Monstera.
- Another reliable (longer-term) method to be capable of discerning the differences in these two is watching the changes that occur with the cataphyll (protective leaves that shield the new growth). Monsteras will keep them intact for the rest of their lives. Cataphylls on the Philodendron are drained and then fall off with time.
We hope that the information above will give you a bit of clarity, and also the confidence to shop or take care of the plants of your Monstera, Philodendron (or both!) with the highest quality possible.
Thank you for your support and happy growth. Thanks for visiting!
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