The unicorn of the plant world is a delicate and leathery plant known as Monstera Obliqua, whose paper-thin leaves and textured foliage make it a unique addition to the indoor plant collection. The fenestrated leaves of Obliqua Monstera are not a usual plant feature; this rare-in-rare plant has more holes than leaves! This complex form of obliqua with heavy fenestration is named Obliqua Peru, as it grows in the forests of Peru.
This crown jewel is one of the most expensive plants that are difficult to buy. This beautiful plant with the exotic pattern of its fenestration-dappled leaves is also known as Swiss Cheese Vine due to its close resemblance to holey Swiss cheese.
The large glossy leaves look like those of Philodendron; this is why this exquisite species is also called Philodendron Obliqua. But, it is not a Philodendron at all.
- Swiss Cheese Vine
- Philodendron obliqua
- Window Leaf Plant
- Monstera obliqua Monkey Leaf
- Mexican Bread Fruit
- Order: Alismatales
- Family: Araceae
- Genus: Monstera
About the Genus Monstera
This genus is a combination of about 48 flowering plant species, all of which are native to central and southern parts of America. The name of this genus, Monstera, has been driven from the Latin word ‘monstrum’ that means unusual or abnormal. This name suits this species, whose perforated leaves are unique in the plant world.
All of these pretty plants are hemi-epiphytes in nature that depend and grow on other trees. These are mostly grown as houseplants due to their beautiful and delicate foliage. Out of all Monstera plants, Monstera deliciosa bears edible fruit.
Origin and Distribution
This species of the Monstera genus was first collected by Monroe Birdsey in Peru in 1975. After this, it was confirmed by Dr. Michael Madison in 1977.
These exotic plants are primarily found in the tropical regions of America. This includes South America and some parts of Central America. It is also native to Panama, Costa Rica, and Amazon. Because these lovely plants are pretty rare, they are not easily accessible to buy unless you pay a large amount for them.
Monstera Adansonii Obliqua
Monstera Adansonii and Monstera Obliqua are two strikingly similar species. They resemble each other to the extent that you won’t even be able to differentiate between them during their initial growing years.
However, there are three secret ways to know if your plant is Adansonii or Obliqua.
- If the leaves of your plant are textured and thick, then you have an Adansonii. But if your plant’s foliage is so soft to touch and its leaves are thin as paper, then you luckily have Obliqua Monstera.
- ‘More holes, less leaf’ is for the unicorn Monstera Obliqua plant; ‘more leaf, fewer holes’ indicate an Adansonii Monstera.
- The best way to know your plant type is the answer to how easily you got it. If your Monstera Obliqua was easy to get, you probably have an Adansonii. For buying a real and rare Monstera Obliqua Monkey Leaf, you will have to pay a 3 to 4 digits price.
Monstera Obliqua Features
Foliage and Stem
Monstera Obliqua is the slim species of the monstera genus. Its stem is just 2mm thick that can grow about 2-5m in a year. This plant also produces stolons; these stolons are runners that grow horizontally to the next nearest tree, where they can thrive epiphytically.
The foliage is pretty much just holes. Its leaves are thin and smooth. These leaves can reach a size of 10-25 cm. The perforations in leaves vary with the form of oblique complexes. For example, Oblique Peru is 90% holes while Oblique Bolivian is no holes at all!
These vines are not generally known for their inflorescence as it is not much showy. The plant blossoms after 1-2 years of germination. There is no specific flowering season. The flowers include a white spadix enclosed in a green spathe.
Monstera Obliqua Variegated
Another feature that makes this plant so rare and unique is that Monstera Obliqua is variegated and dappled. This exotic vine contains a relatively lesser amount of chlorophyll; this variegation gives a unique appearance to Obliqua Monstera. Different patterns of colors appear on the leaves and adorn its foliage.
Monstera Obliqua plant is an evergreen vine that stays fresh and green in all seasons. It only sheds its leaves when new ones have grown out of the stem and taken the upper place of the old, dry leaves.
These rare vines attain a mature height of 15 feet. But it depends a lot on the conditions and environment in which these are placed. If not cared for properly, this plant will only be limited to a shorter height.
Monstera Obliqua plant is a tropical plant that thrives at average room temperature. It is not winter hardy; it cannot bear extreme heat. Bring your gorgeous Obliqua Monstera indoors being the chilly seasons.
Which tropical plant does not like high humidity? Like every other tropical plant, Monstera Obliqua loves a highly humid environment. Misting it often and placing it in a vivarium with other plants will help a lot in regulating the humidity levels around it on a dry day.
Another cool feature of this Monstera is that it is quite resistant to droughts. You need not worry about watering it often; it can live on its own for quite some days.
Apart from being all pretty and all gorgeous, these plants are not robust or tough. Their delicate stems and soft leaves cannot withstand unnecessary external pressure, so let your Monstera Obliqua breath freely and fresh in quite a space.
Disease and Pest Resistance
Monstera Obliqua is a sensitive plant that is susceptible to various diseases, such as root rot, mosaic virus, molds, and leaf scorch.
Your gorgeous plant can also fall prey to spider mites that will destroy the exotic foliage of this pretty plant.
It is better to cut off the infected parts to prevent them from spreading diseases or pests.
If you lack the patience to raise a slow-growing plant, then never choose Monstera Obliqua. This plant grows at a snail’s pace and takes approximately 5 years to reach its mature height. Every month, only a single leaf buds out of the stem. This slow growth rate is why it is often confused with Monstera Adansonii in its juvenile years.
Monstera Obliqua Monkey Leaf has a delicate and loose stem. This pretty vine can grow in any style or direction.
This appealing vine is toxic to pets and humans to some extent. It is better if you keep your toddlers and pets away from your plant. Ingestion of its leaves can trigger an allergic reaction in the esophagus and mouth.
This unique plant from the Monstera genus is quite durable that has a lifespan of more than 5 years. Everything lasts longer if it is correctly taken care of; the same is the case with plants; the more you take care of them, the longer they stay in your indoors and home gardens.
Grow a Monstera Oblique in your home gardens only if you have a green thumb. If you are not much good at growing plants, then never buy this rare beauty. It is a high-maintenance plant that requires proper attention and care.
It should be grown in USDA plant hardiness zones 9b to 11.
This tropical vine goes dormant in winters. So you need not feed it with any fertilizers during this period. Water and humidity requirements also drop down in its dormancy.
Monstera Obliqua Care
This high-maintenance plant is for those plant lovers who have a green thumb. Monstera Obliqua Care includes watering it once a week, misting it frequently, and placing it in dappled shade. The ideal soil pH is 5-7.5. It should be grown in zone 9b to 11.
These plants do not require frequent watering. Water it only when the top-third of its soil dries out. The ideal watering frequency is twice per week in summers and once per two weeks in winters. This frequency fluctuates a little with location and zones. It is also recommended to never pour cold water into your plant.
If the leaves of your Monstera Obliqua start to turn brownish-yellow or start to cripple, it means that your plant is being under-watered.
Yellowed leaves, collapsed stem and stunted growth are symptoms of over-watering.
These plants thrive in slightly acidic soil. Neutral soil will also do the trick if it is mixed with the correct growing mixture. The optimum pH range for the ideal growth of Monstera is 5 to 7.5. Being epiphytic, the roots of these vines require well-aerated and well-drained soil.
Dappled shade or bright indirect sunlight will promote its lush growth. However, protect your planting from direct sunlight as it will burn its foliage.
These tropical vines need a minimum temperature of 15°C. The maximum temperature that this delicate species can bear is 25°C. Do not let your indoor temperature exceed or fall from this range if you are growing a lovely Monstera inside.
Higher humidity levels will make your plant happy. Keep it in a well humid place, such as near a humidifier or among other plants. Mist it often to keep the humidity levels always at 80% or above.
Its feeding frequency is comparatively less than other plants as it is a slow-growing plant. Feed it every month apart of winters. However, during growing weeks, feed your Monstera every two weeks with a houseplant-labeled feed.
Grooming and Pruning
The best time to prune your plant is at the beginning of the growing season, mostly in spring. Remove the leggy growth and dead leaves to allow more vines to grow.
This plant is a slow-dweller, so it does not need to be re-potted during the three weeks after plantation. If some of its roots are coming out of drainage holes, then move your gorgeous plant to a new, bigger pot.
This unicorn vine is so rare and so expensive to buy. If you get your hands on one of these, why not propagate them and increase your collection?
These strikingly beautiful plants can be propagated by their stem cuttings. The propagating medium can be either soil or water. Always take the cuttings during the growing seasons, from spring to the start of summer.
Monstera Obliqua is a unique tropical plant with rare fenestrated foliage. It will be a beautiful addition to your kitchens, living rooms, bathrooms, or patios. But, this high-maintenance plant isn’t for everybody. If you think you are experienced enough for the challenge, then take this beauty home and add it to your indoor collection.