Most plant people are well aware of the beauty of Monstera species due to the ever-popular Swiss Cheese Plant. However, few know of Monstera siltepecana, the Silver Monstera, a lovely and slightly rare Monstera with a stunning growth habit that will have you enchanted. This plant’s versatility is impressive; it is a treasure piece for the houseplant collection! The Silver Monstera requires specific care, but it isn’t a challenging plant at all.
Table of Contents
- History and Naming
- Temperature & Humidity
- Common Pests & Issues
- Tips & Tricks
Monstera Siltepecana Origin and History
A native to Mexico and Central America, the Silver Monstera is a tropical plant that loves sun and moisture. In its native habitat, it is a creeping epiphyte. Monstera siltepecana starts life at the base of a tree and slowly winds its way up the trunk until it reaches the top. During this time, the leaves are an intriguing grayish-green with silver patches and dark green veins.
Once it reaches the top of the canopy, though, the Silver Monstera stretches out and spreads its wings. The leaves get bigger and turn dark green, and then it begins to develop the well-known and beloved Monstera fenestrations (fenestrations are the holes in the leaves like the Swiss Cheese Plant produces).
One of the reasons the Silver Monstera is so special is that it changes quite dramatically while it matures. The juvenile form with gray-green leaves and no fenestration is vastly different from the solid green big-leaved fenestrated mature specimen.
Sometimes Monstera siltepecana is labeled as Philodendron siltepecana; this is simply a confusion in naming. Monstera and Philodendron are related, both being part of the Aroid plant family. However, this plant is a Monstera and not a Philodendron.
Monstera Siltepecana Care
Due to its versatile and shifting growth habits, it’s essential to provide the appropriate care so your Silver Monstera can reach its full glory.
Monstera siltepecana is a creeper and a climber. Its growth method changes as it matures, so you’ll potentially need to adjust its home over time. This flexibility is part of the fun of growing the Silver Monstera; it can be grown in various methods. It will grow in a hanging basket, a pot with a moss pole, and even a terrarium.
Here’s what you need to know about choosing the growing container. If you select a terrarium or hanging basket as its permanent home, the Silver Monstera will remain in its juvenile form. It will grow wonderfully in these containers and will live indefinitely like this, so it’s not a wrong choice. However, if given the option and sturdy support, the Silver Monstera will grow large and develop its mature leaves.
This second option takes some patience, though, as the Silver Monstera is slow to reach full maturity. It is a fast grower, in general, stretching and expanding its vines freely, but to get to maturation takes time and patience.
As a juvenile plant, Silver Monstera foliage is blue-green with silver markings and dark green, clearly defined veins. The leaves are small, around 4-5 inches long, and the vines will grow 20-30 inches on average. This stage lasts indefinitely, entirely dependent on whether the houseplant gets the resources to grow larger.
The leaves transform as the Monstera siltepecana matures. At first, the silver markings fade as the leaves turn rich green to dark green. Sometimes, the silver mottling completely disappears.
The leaves broaden and spread, often reaching 8-12 inches long. Finally, the leaves develop fenestrations, which start as tiny holes in the leaves and expand to elongated perforations. It may even develop some of the more classic Monstera combinations of split leaves and wide gaps.
A full-grown Monstera siltepecana can reach 8-10 feet tall and have leaves the size of dinner plates! The journey from juvenile to mature plant takes around 2-3 years in the proper growing conditions.
Abundant indirect light is a key to Monstera’s growth. It is best placed a little bit away from a window to avoid direct rays but still able to soak up all the sunlight. Or, place it near the window and put up a light or sheer curtain to block the direct sun. This Monstera can handle some direct light, but too much will burn the leaves.
An eastern-facing window works wonderfully, as does a north-facing one. Situations with lower light aren’t a death warrant for this houseplant, but vine growth will be incredibly slow.
Wait until the top 1 inch of soil is mostly dry, then water thoroughly until you see water coming out the drainage holes. Let the water drain, either in the sink or in the saucer under the pot. If using a saucer, empty it after the soil finishes dripping, so the plant doesn’t sit in water.
Always check beforehand just to be sure, as you don’t want to overwater. Overwatering leads to soggy soil, which leads to root rot and plant death. It is also important that whatever container you have your Monstera siltepecana in has drainage holes for this reason, too.
The ideal condition is slightly moist soil that never completely dries out. Usually, watering once a week is sufficient, but you’ll need to figure out the best schedule for your Monstera. Once a week is an excellent place to start, though.
New plants in small containers tend to dry out very fast, so you may need to water more initially and then reduce the frequency as the plant grows. This is why it’s always important to check the soil first before watering.
Consistent, regular watering is essential for optimal growth. In its natural habitat, Monstera siltepecana’s exposed vines get entirely soaked from the rain and then, reasonably quickly, dried by the sun. This means it isn’t left completely dry for an extended period or totally soaked either. It experiences a nice balance and likes the same as a houseplant.
Temperature & Humidity
Being a tropical plant, Silver Monstera likes high temperatures and high humidity. The ideal temperature range is between 55-90F (never below 50F), and the perfect humidity is 60-90%.
During the winter, it is especially critical that you pay attention to humidity levels. If you see your plant suffering, consider buying a humidifier or creating your own. A pebble tray is a simple DIY method for increasing humidity. Fill a baking sheet with pebbles and place your plant on top of it. Pour water into the tray; as the water evaporates, humidity is added to the air.
Another way to increase humidity is to spray the leaves with water. It’s best to do this in the morning so the water has time to dry and your Monstera’s leaves aren’t left wet overnight. That can lead to diseases.
Silver Monstera benefits from a high-quality tropical plant potting mix. It must be well-draining, well-aerated, and be able to hold moisture. Mixing perlite and coco coir into the potting mix increases its ability to drain thoroughly and allows more airflow around the roots.
Compact soil is a precursor to much worse issues and can lead to poor drainage and root rot. As an aroid epiphyte, Monstera siltepecana is not accustomed to being covered in dense soil.
The type of pot you use isn’t as important as ensuring it has drainage holes; this will lessen the chance of root rot.
Fertilize Silver Monstera once a month during the growing season, spring and summer. In the winter, reduce fertilizer applications or stop them altogether so the plant can rest. Use a basic tropical houseplant fertilizer diluted to half strength.
Monstera siltepecana is toxic to people and animals. Keep this houseplant away from small children and pets.
When you first acquire your Silver Monstera, check the bottom of the pot to make sure it doesn’t need repotting. Roots coming out the bottom of the container are a clear indication it needs to be repotted.
Monstera siltepecana grows quickly, so plan on repotting it every year to a larger container. Regular and consistent repotting also help your plant grow bigger and boosts its path to maturity. If you want it to stay the same, don’t increase the container size, but still repot it, so the potting soil and nutrients are refreshed.
When you take the Silver Monstera out of its pot, gently loosen the soil around the roots. Repot it in a container 1 or 2 sizes up, but no larger.
Not much pruning is necessary except to remove dead or dying leaves. Some intermittent dead leaves are typical and can be gently plucked off the plant.
If your Monstera siltepecana is getting too big for its location, you can prune it to keep it smaller. Use sterilized, sharp scissors and cut right above a node.
Monstera Siltepecana Propagation
Note: Below is just a quick recap of the propagation process. For in-depth instructions, check out our step-by-step monstera propagation guide.
This is one of those houseplants that lets you know how to propagate it. As it grows, you’ll see little nub-like roots growing at each node. A node is a junction where the leaf attaches to the stem.
- Sterilize a pair of scissors or gardening shears.
- Carefully cut a piece of the stem behind a node. It should have 1-3 leaves.
- Place the node in a warm, dry location where the cut end can callous over (heal). This may take several hours or days.
- When the end of the cutting is dry, place it in a pot with high-quality potting soil mix.
- Cover the node with soil but make sure the leaves aren’t covered.
- Water lightly.
- Keep the soil moist but not soggy; be sure to check every couple of days to ensure it is.
- In 2-3 weeks, possibly longer, roots will form.
- When a new leaf forms, you know the cutting has successfully rooted, and you have a new baby Monstera siltepecana!
Pests & Common Issues
The Silver Monstera is susceptible to all the common houseplant pests and diseases, including aphids, spider mites, mealy bugs, root rot, and scale. The best way to ensure your Monstera remains healthy and happy is to look it over on a regular basis. Always look under the leaves and along the stem, too, as those are the most popular places for pests to congregate.
Spider Mites, Aphids, Thrips, and Mealy Bugs
These three common houseplant pests are small and easy to miss if you’re not checking regularly. Small infestations aren’t a major issue, but if left unchecked, their populations will explode, and they can cause severe damage.
Signs you have a pest issue include stunted or deformed growth, yellowing leaves, brown-spotted leaves, and curled leaves. If you see these pest indications, the first thing to do is to sequester your Monstera away from any other houseplants, as these bugs love to jump from one plant to another.
The most effective treatment for all of these minuscule pests is a neem oil treatment. In a quart spray bottle, mix 2 teaspoons neem oil with 1 teaspoon dish soap; fill the remainder of the bottle up with water. Shake it well and spray on the plant every 5-7 days until the infestation is gone, being sure to get underneath the leaves, as that is often where the majority of the tiny insects are hiding.
Symptoms of root rot include stunted growth, small pale leaves, wilted leaves, thinned growth, and a quick overall decline in the health of your plant. Root rot is usually caused by overwatering, although it can also result from a fungal infection. Either way, the roots are starved of oxygen, which is often a death sentence for the plant.
If you suspect root rot, gently remove your Monstera from the pot and inspect the roots. Brown, mushy roots are a sure sign you’ve got root rot. The good news is that root rot is treatable if caught promptly. Simply trim away all the rotted mushy sections and treat the roots and pot with an anti-fungal solution. Then, repot the plant in fresh soil.
After you’ve removed the rotted roots, reevaluate your watering schedule and remember, underwatering is better than overwatering. Never let the plant sit in soggy soil, and only use potting containers with drainage holes.
Leaf Spot Disease
As the name suggests, the first sign of this disease is brown spots on the leaves. Leaf spot disease is another affliction caused by overwatering and poorly draining soil. This fungal infection starts as a few small brown dots on the leaves, which grow larger and join together, forming big blotches. Eventually, the entire leaf will turn brown and fall off the plant.
Separate your Monstera from other houseplants to avoid transmitting the disease, and trim off any infected leaves. Next, treat the plant with a fungicide. To prevent this from happening in the future, water in the morning so the soil has time to dry a bit by night. Be mindful about not splashing water on the foliage, and never reuse old potting soil (which can transmit the disease).
If the stems, along with the leaves, are turning brown and look waterlogged, the damage is most likely irreversible.
Common Questions About Monstera Siltepecana
Here are a few common question and answers about keeping Monstera Siltepecana:
Why does my Silver Monstera have brown leaf tips?
This is usually a clear indication of low humidity. Set up a DIY pebble tray to add moisture or invest in a humidifier. With this Monstera, it may also be a sign that the soil has remained dry for too long. Reevaluate your watering schedules to keep the watering consistent and prevent extremes in moisture levels.
What is the cause of yellow leaves on my Monstera siltepecana?
Like with browning leaves, yellow leaves usually are caused by haphazard watering and moisture extremes. Consistency is the key here. Maintain a balanced moisture level, and your Monstera will be happy and healthy.
Does Monstera Siltepecana grow quickly?
Yes, it grows extremely fast in the right conditions. Don’t forget, though, that to reach maturity, it needs to be able to climb. It will remain a fast-growing juvenile plant indefinitely unless provided the means to climb. In this houseplant’s case, growing fast and reaching maturity are two separate things.
Can I grow my Silver Monstera in a terrarium?
Yes. In fact, this Monstera in its juvenile form is an ideal terrarium plant. A terrarium with a suitable substrate and high humidity will be a slice of heaven for Monstera siltepecana. It will remain compact in this setting.
Many people opt for this setup because it’s easier to provide the humidity needed. Otherwise, it may be challenging to give it appropriate humidity without a humidifier. And it will require careful attention to ensure it doesn’t dry out.
What is the best method to provide support for my Monstera siltepecana?
Moss poles work wonderfully. Stakes also perform well if they’re tall and sturdy enough. Remember, this houseplant will reach 8-10 feet under the proper circumstances.
Why is my Silver Monstera leggy?
Legginess, long stretched-out vines with few leaves, is caused by a lack of light. The Monstera is reaching out for more light and is focused on that instead of producing leaves. Move your houseplant to a location where it will receive more bright, indirect sunlight.
Why are the leaves of my Monstera discolored?
Patchy, discolored leaves are an indication of insufficient nutrients. Try adding fertilizer if you haven’t recently. Or, repot the plant (even into the same container) to replace the potting soil and replenish nutrient availability.
The Silver Monstera is a fascinating, versatile houseplant that is fun to watch grow and mature. Look around your space and decide which is the best growth option before setting it up. If you’ve got the room, and the patience, letting Monstera siltepecana grow to full maturity is a captivating and dramatic, albeit slow, spectacle.