One of the most interesting species in the Araceae family is the Monstera Siltepecana plant, which has another rather interesting common name. Its small leaves have holes in them which make the plant resemble Swiss cheese, giving it its popular name, The Swiss Cheese plant. The other feature which makes this particular Monstera plant so interesting is the fact that its leaves look different during different stages of its life. As a juvenile, The plant has long, silver leaves, while a Monstera Siltepecana mature plant has split leaves with holes in them and is more on the greener side. Another difference is that the juvenile plant is terrestrial, but it becomes an epiphytic climber as it grows. These differences come in handy when you lookout for a Monstera Siltepecana for sale.
These plants are trailing in nature and appreciate sturdy support given to them to climb on. It could be a pole, a stalk, or a wall. In the wild, these plants grow at the base of a tree, and then, as they mature, they climb up that tree and “hug” it. This particular growing habit puts it in the category of appressed aroids.
- Family: Araceae
- Subfamily: Mosteroideae
- Genus: Monstera
About the Genus Monstera
The name Monstera comes from the Latin language and means “abnormal”, referring to the unusual leaves that these plants possess. The genus Monstera has over 50 species that fall under its umbrella and these are all tropical plants. These plants are either herbs or vines that can grow up to 20 meters and climb up on trees with the help of their aerial roots. They have green, lush leaves that vary in size and shape but are equally beautiful in all species.
These plants grow flowers on top of the inflorescence, also known as a spadix, and bear fruit in the form of clusters. Most of these Monstera plants are grown indoors as houseplants and displayed to flaunt their stunning foliage. Two of the most popular species of this genus are the Monstera Peru and Monstera Siltepecana.
Monstera Siltepecana Common Name
- Silver monster
- Swiss cheese plant
Origin and Distribution
The Monstera plants are native to the tropical areas of America. However, Monstera Siltepecana was first described in 1950 and originated from Mexico and various areas of Central America.
Structure and Features
Foliage and Stem
These plants have different foliage during different phases of their life, as mentioned before. So, a juvenile Monstera Siltepecana looks very different from a Monstera Siltepecana mature plant. Baby Siltepecana plants have sliver-grayish leaves with dark veins. As they grow older, their leaves turn to a darker shade of green and develop “holes” on their surface. A Monstera Siltepecana mature leaf tends to be glossy, lance-shaped with dark green veins. The underneath surface of these leaves has multiple colors.
The stem is the main support of these plants and is divided into nodes and internodes. The nodes are the points where roots and buds grow out of and internodes are the stem structure between these nodes. These plants also have aerial roots that help them grow in both, soil and tree branches.
Another amazing feature of this plant is that it is evergreen. This means that if given the right Monstera Siltepecana care, it stays green and beautiful throughout its life, all seasons of the year, and is not affected by the change of weather.
This particular species of Monstera can grow from a 30 centimeters baby to as tall as 4 feet and spread from 10 centimeters to 3 to 4 feet. However, its growth depends on the care it is given and the environment it is kept in.
Being tropical climbers, these plants are fairly temperature tolerant. They can thrive well in both warmer and cooler temperatures but it is suggested that you don’t test their abilities and move them a more optimum temperature if it gets frosty outside.
Monstera Siltepecana Humidity
Their tropical origins also make these plants fairly humidity tolerant. They love a bit of moisture in the air, especially during the night. Misting it and keeping it near other water-loving plants is not a bad idea.
All Monstera plants bloom with spathes. Spathes are not exactly flowers but are modified leaves that have a spadix growing in the center. The actual flowers grow on this spadix. Monstera Siltepecana plants grow white spathes with ruffled edges during the growing seasons of spring and summer. If pollinated successfully, these spathes then grow fruits and seeds.
These plants are tropical, as established earlier, and love water. Thus, they cannot be expected to live under drought-like conditions. They need constant watering and will dry and wilt without it.
Because of their thick, leathery leaves, they can be fairly pressure resistant, meaning that they will not immediately die if stepped on. However, it still depends on your individual plant’s health so it is always best not to experiment and keep the plant safe.
Disease and Pest Resistance
Monstera plants are not disease-resistant. Some of the common diseases it encounters are leaf spots, root rot, and Anthracnose, which are later discussed in detail.
If you fulfill all the Monstera Siltepecana care requirements, these plants can grow very quickly. However, they will naturally slow down their growth during the winter season, so don’t panic if your plant suddenly stops developing during the colder months.
As beautiful as these plants are to watch, they are not the best to be ingested. They are toxic and should be kept as far away as possible from pets and children. If accidentally eaten, get medical attention immediately.
These plants are perennials meaning that they have a longer life cycle and can live up to years and decades if given the right care and environment.
One of the many reasons houseplant enthusiasts loves this plant is because not only is it stunning, it is very low-maintenance and easy to grow.
Like most tropical plants, Siltepecana plants go into dormancy every winter and stop growing during this phase. Because these plants tend to live in warm, bright areas, the dark, cold environment stimulates them to conserve water and food until it is bright and sunny again. All you can and should do during this time is to give it attention and only water it as needed. Over-watering and over-feeding are a huge no-no. Thus, make sure you steer clear of it.
Monstera Siltepecana Care
Monstera Siltepecana care requires warmth and humidity in their environment. They thrive in rich, well-drained soil and should be watered once the soil starts to look dry on top. You can fertilize them during the growing seasons and groom them if they look too uneven or untidy.
You can water these plants when the soil looks dry. Water your plant generously and completely soak it in water until you see water escape the drainage holes of the pot. Now, wait for the top 2 to 3 centimeters of the soil to become dry before you water it again. You can use your finger to touch and feel the texture of the soil or use moisture meters to be even more accurate.
The watering needs generally decrease during the winter and autumn seasons and increase when the temperatures are high or the plant is in its growing phase. Just make sure the soil is not soggy or water-clogged.
Rich, moist, and well-drained soils are the best choice for these Monstera plants. Try to stay away from extremely wet or extremely dry, sandy soils.
These climbers love bright lights, but direct sunlight can kill these plants by burning the leaves. Keep them in areas where the natural sunlight hits them indirectly. You can put it indoors behind sheer curtains or shade clothes or just put them in a well-lit room. If you don’t get enough natural light in the house, you can use fluorescent artificial growing lights.
A temperature range of 50 to 95 degrees Fahrenheit is optimum for this species to grow fast and healthy. Even though it can tolerate extreme temperatures pretty well, it is best to change its location to a more suitable spot during frosty nights or scorching heat.
Monstera Siltepecana plants love humidity in the air around them so if you live in a warm, humid area, this plant will thrive on your balcony. However, if your house gets dry and lacks moisture in the air, you can always install an indoor humidifier or opt for misting the plant every once in a while. Just make sure your misting does not leave the plant drenched in water and can dry pretty quickly. Wet foliage and stem can invite a lot of fungal diseases.
To boost its growth, you can fertilize your plant three times a year, preferably when the plant is growing and during the growing seasons of spring and summer. Avoid feeding it while it is dormant. Spread your fertilizer 6 inches away from the plant’s base and avoid using cheap salts as they tend to kill your plant silently over time.
Since these plants can grow fast, they can outgrow their pot too. So make sure you keep an eye on that drainage hole to see if the roots are escaping it. Plant roots coming out of their pot’s draining holes is the biggest sign that it needs a new, bigger pot. You can re-pot the plant every 2 to 3 years.
Grooming and Pruning
You can trim or prune the plant if its vines grow too long or uneven. Grooming your plant can make your Monstera looks neater and healthier. Also, make sure you wipe your plant’s leaves clean regularly since dust and bacteria can build upon their surface.
How to Propagate Monstera Siltepecana
It is rather simple to propagate a Monstera plant. The most ideal time to do this is in spring or late summer, while you re-pot it. Avoid propagating your plant while it is dormant.
- Simply take a stem cutting from below a leaf node. Preferably cut at an angle so that it can absorb more water.
- Place your cutting in a container filled with water. Using a glass container will help you visually notice when roots start to grow from your cutting. Make sure the node is covered with water and is below the waterline.
- Put your plant under warm temperature and away from direct sunlight as that can stimulate algae growth. Also, make sure you change the water regularly every 3 to 4 days.
- Once the roots start growing, you can plant them in a pot with suitable soil. You can also use compost as a soil amendment.
- Press the soil around the plant and make sure it stands upright.
- Put the pot under warm temperature and bright, indirect lights.
- You can now water it as appropriate and even add some liquid fertilizer to it during this growing stage.
Day 1: Place your cutting in a jar of water and keep changing the water regularly.
Week 1-2: Roots will start to appear from the node of the cutting.
Week 3-5: You will now see shoots appearing.
Month 2-4: The shoots will develop and form leaves and, ultimately, become a beautiful Monstera plant.
Monstera Siltepecana Growing Problems
Dry, curled-up leaves indicate a lack of moisture around the plant. This could either be a result of under-watering or over-feeding your plant. Too much fertilizer accumulated in the soil around the plant’s roots can dry it up and make it curl.
Water your plant thoroughly and, at the same time, drain out all the excess fertilizer from the soil. If it’s not happening with water, repot your plant altogether. Try to not fertilize your plant for a couple of months now.
Your mature Siltepecana should have holes and slits in its leaves. If it is not growing normally, it is probably not getting enough light. Re-locate the plant to a brighter spot with better, filtered light.
Root Rots and Stem Rots, however, can be the result of an infection caused by various fungi like Botrytis, Pythium, and Rhizoctonia. With this, the leaves and stem start to wilt. The roots start to change color and turn brown or possibly even black depending on the severity of the disease. If your plant gets this disease, isolate the plant and repot it into a clean, new pot with sanitized equipment. Trim and cut off any disease roots and leaves. You can also use fungicides.
The most probable causes of brown tips and edges are excessively hot or dry air, inadequate irrigation, and accumulation of salts. Inspect your soil. If you see white patches here and there, it is a clear sign of excessive salt being accumulated around the plant. You can decrease the chances of this happening by using rainwater for your plants, flush out your plant’s soil every once in a while by thoroughly watering it, using good quality fertilizer, and not over-feeding your Monstera. If you still see a salt buildup in the soil, you can repot the plant into fresh, clean soil.
There are many reasons why your plant could be wilting. Some of them are improper watering sessions (over-watering or under-watering), improper feeding sessions (over-feeding, under-feeding, or using cheap, low-quality plant food), or being root-bound. Identify the cause and make appropriate changes to the plant and its environment. You can almost always bring your plant back to life by fixing the underlying problem before it dies completely.
Monstera Siltepecana Yellow Leaves
Anthracnose is a fungal disease caused by Colletotrichum and Gloeosporium. It makes the leaves turn yellow and then tan, to dark brown as the case worsens. Leaf spots can be caused by both bacteria and fungi and they look like tiny, brown spots that have yellow margins that may or may not have a particular pattern. Later in the disease, the spots may even turn black.
The easiest way to prevent these diseases or treat them in case your plant gets infected is to prune the dead, diseased leaves, and isolate the plant so that the microbes don’t travel to the other plants nearby. Try not to mist your plants. Spray your plant with an effective fungicide and keep it clean.
Displaying Monstera Siltepecana
Because of their ability to climb up and hang down, these plants are very versatile in terms of display. You can grow them next to a wall or a pole and leave them looking gorgeous in an empty corner. If not, you can hang them in baskets or terrariums. However, the leaves only fully grow when given support to climb on to.
Monstera Siltepecana Vs Cebu Blue
It is very common to mix up these two plants. However, they can be differentiated if keenly observed. A Cebu Blue has a hard ridge alongside its stem, while a Swiss Cheese plant has smooth stems. You must separate the two species when you see a Monstera Siltepecana for sale because they both have different growing habits and needs.
Monstera Siltepecana plant, also known as the Swiss Cheese Plant, gets its popular name by its unique foliage that has holes in it. These are beautiful, low-maintenance plants but are fairly expensive to get your hands on. But as beautiful as they are, they should be kept far away from pets and children as they are very toxic if ingested.