Monstera plants have been enjoying a surge in popularity. Their vibrant green coloring and sprawling vines help create a lush atmosphere that livens up any space, and the fact that they’re easy to care for makes them a great choice for the busy greenskeeper.
Their long, trailing vines and fenestrated leaves (leaves with holes in them) are exotic-looking and make them unique among house plants.
The monstera siltepecana is a smaller member of the monstera family. It’s less common than its larger cousins and unique in that its juvenile leaves are full-faced and silver-colored. Those trademark monstera fenestrations don’t develop until the plant reaches maturity.
In the hands of a capable gardener, these beautiful and easy-to-care-for plants will thrive. Keep reading to learn all about their care requirements so your monstera can become all it can be.
Overview of Monstera – Origin/Varieties
Like many other members of the monstera family, the siltepecana can be found growing in the wild in the tropical climate of Central and South America. These plants love the high humidity and bright light in those locales.
Biologically, it is a member of the Araceae family and the genus monstera.
The word “monstera” comes from the Latin term for “monstrous” and refers to the large leaves that these plants develop as they reach maturity. Vines and aerial roots are other common characteristics of all monstera plants, and many of them are avid climbers.
There are 48 different types of monstera, but only a few of them are available at local nurseries. Monstera deliciosa is the most common type, and the one that comes to most people’s minds when they hear the word “monstera.” The large, fenestrated leaves they maintain throughout their life cycle are their calling card, and they get their name “deliciosa” because they produce the Mexican breadfruit.
The monstera borsigniana is another common type of monstera, and it’s often confused and mislabeled as the deliciosa due to their similarities as juveniles. The borsigniana is a little bit smaller than the deliciosa, but grows faster and tends to develop uniform fenestrations.
One of the most uncommon monstera is the variegated monstera. Its leaves are colored white, almost as though they’ve been dipped in paint. Finding one of these for sale is a rare occurrence, and they typically go for quite a bit of money.
The siltepecana is a rarer form of monstera, and it is unlikely to be found in stores. It’s one of the smallest monstera plants and is coveted for its uniqueness.
The monstera siltepecana’s defining trait is its unique-colored leaves.
Its leaves are silvery-green with dark green veins. Especially apparent in the juvenile form, their silvery coloring earns it the nickname “the silver monstera.” These juvenile leaves are around 4 inches long and only 2 inches wide.
Some plant-keepers prefer the look of these juvenile leaves and keep their siltepecana in a terrarium, where they won’t reach maturity. This allows the plant to retain its silver coloring.
In nature, it’s common to find these plants growing around the bases of trees. As the plant matures, its strong vines climb the tree trunks and its leaves lose that silver color.
It’s a terrestrial plant that develops into an epiphytic climber, meaning it grows on land and then transitions into living on trees. Their vines are among the strongest of all monstera plants, and providing a way for them to climb is the only way to see it reach its full potential.
A mature siltepecana’s leaves are large, dark green, and have “holes.” Given ideal conditions, a siltepecana will reach maturity in about 2 and a half years.
With ample room to climb, a house-kept siltepecana can grow to a height of 4 feet and can grow very quickly if they’re properly maintained. Colder temperatures, however, will slow their growth and they will go dormant and stop growing during the winter months.
In the wild, however, these monstera can grow to a height of 15 feet while they snake their way up tree trunks.
Siltepecana will, like all other monstera, develop a spathe and spadix bloom during the spring and summer. Although common in the wild, a monstera kept indoors is unlikely to bloom.
Finally, monstera siltepecana is an evergreen plant. They’ll always retain a vibrant green color for their entire life, no matter their stage of growth or the season.
Their evergreen nature makes them an attractive houseplant and is one of the main factors driving their recent popularity.
Overview of Monstera Siltepecana Care Requirements
Siltepecana is relatively simple to care for. They need moist soil and regular watering as well as indirect sunlight. Otherwise, the average house or apartment usually satisfies its temperature and humidity requirements.
While siltepecana are hearty and caring for them is easy for the average indoor plant enthusiast, some caution is required. They’re susceptible to pests like mealy bugs and mites, and they can be toxic to pets and children if ingested.
This monstera plant thrives in indirect sunlight. It’s hearty enough to withstand direct light for a few hours a day, but exposing it to too much direct light risks burning its leaves.
To see it reach its maximum growth potential, place it near a window where it can soak up indirect rays all day but be sure to keep it out of the harsh afternoon sun. They can also survive in conditions with lower light, but they won’t grow up big and lush.
Artificial grow lights are a great option for those who can’t meet the siltepecana’s light requirements. Another way to achieve optimal light conditions is to keep the plant near a window with a sheer shade. The shade will filter out the harsher light, allowing the plant to grow and thrive.
Siltepecana is a tropical plant, so they appreciate a good deal of water. However, they’re susceptible to root rot if they’re watered too frequently or the pot doesn’t drain efficiently. They won’t grow well in soggy soil.
Finding that balance is easy with a simple test. Just check the moisture level of the soil. If the top inch of soil is moist, it doesn’t need to be watered. If that top level is dry, water the plant until it flows out of the drainage hole at the bottom.
Drainage holes are an absolute necessity for these plants. Root rot is a common but entirely preventable problem, so ensure the plant’s pot drains properly.
Plant Soil Requirements
This monstera requires a potting mix with great drainage properties. For best results, use an aroid mix. Soil that’s too dense or too sandy won’t do for siltepecana.
Adding perlite, orchid bark, or sphagnum moss is a great way to improve the soil’s water retention capabilities and will provide sufficient aeration.
It’s important that the plant’s aerial roots are given enough air. These climbing plants don’t appreciate having their roots bound by soil.
Location and Temperature Needs
Siltepecana grows best in warmer temperatures but can endure temperatures ranging from 50° F to 90°. The average household temperature will almost certainly satisfy them.
They can also be grown outside from USDA Hardiness Zone 9b to 11. In these places, freezing temperatures are rare.
Most commonly, these plants are found in the wild in the tropical forests of Mexico and Central and South America.
Siltepecana, being a tropical plant, requires a humidity level of at least 50%. Some homes reach the necessary humidity level, but those who live in drier climates will need to find a way to raise the humidity to satisfy their monstera.
Humidifiers are a great option, but there are many other ways to increase humidity levels without investing in one.
Placing a pebble tray filled with water underneath the monstera is an easy way to raise the humidity, as is packing it close with other plants and misting the plant’s leaves daily.
These plants love to climb, and they won’t reach full maturity without something to climb on. In the wild, they climb tree trunks, so a siltepecana kept in a home will need the help of a branch or moss pole.
An often-overlooked part of monstera care is air pressure. Their leaves don’t like high-pressure environments, so take care to keep them away from fans and air conditioning units to ensure their leaves remain healthy.
Plant Feeding/Fertilizing Requirements
Feed a siltepecana with regular houseplant fertilizer, just dilute to half-strength with water before applying it. It’s best to feed it once a month during its growing season in the spring and summer and stop feeding it while it’s dormant in the winter.
Fertilizers can sometimes be washed away by watering, and monstera plants are especially susceptible to this due to the amount of water they require. Put a few smaller rocks at the bottom of the pot to keep the fertilizer from washing out of the pot’s drainage hole.
Additional Tips For Success with Monstera Siltepecana
Siltepecana isn’t a particularly picky plant. They can grow just fine in almost any kind of pot, provided it has the necessary drainage holes.
Drainage holes are incredibly important for monstera plants. Excess water needs to be filtered out so the plant doesn’t develop root rot, a condition in which the roots are exposed to too much water and die, essentially drowning. The dying roots decay and can infect healthy roots, so preventing it is of the utmost importance.
These monstera need to climb to reach their full maturity, so install a totem pole or moss pole in their pot to give them something to climb. Otherwise, their vines will trail out over the sides of their pot.
Prune any dead or dying leaves of the monstera to ensure that it continues to grow. It’s expending energy keeping those leaves alive, so regular pruning ensures that its living leaves are getting the appropriate nutrients. Dead and dying leaves can typically be removed by hand.
Pruning can also help shape the plant and spur new growth. For this, it’s best to use a pair of sharp shears and clip it at the node, leaving the node on the plant. Pruning helps the plant look more lush and healthy.
Regular pruning also prevents legginess, a common condition for vining plants. Leginess occurs when the plant stretches for sunlight, causing the vine to produce very few leaves. It’s not unhealthy for the plant, it just needs to be closer to the light, and legginess is easily pruned away if the look is undesired.
Monstera plants propagate readily, and doing so is a fairly simple exercise. It’s best to propagate during its growing season. When propagating a monstera, always use sanitized scissors to make the cutting. This ensures that bacteria won’t contaminate the mother plant that’s being propagated.
To propagate a siltepecana, cut off a node and a bit of stem with at least one leaf growing on it. Then, place that node in a clear container of room temperature water. Change the water every 3 days. Once the roots are visible in the water, remove the node from the container and plant it in soil.
This method is called water propagation, and it’s the best way to propagate a monstera plant because it reduces the risk of root rot and allows the propagator to watch the roots develop.
However, monstera can also be propagated directly into soil. The process is similar to water propagation.
First, remove a stem with a node and at least one leaf. Then, instead of placing the node in a container of water, put it in damp soil. Be sure that the node is buried, but don’t bury the leaves.
After that, place a plastic bag over the propagation to lock in the humidity. Remove the bag every couple of days and allow the plant to get some fresh air.
Then, it’s time to check to see if roots have taken hold of the soil. Gently tug on the plant and note if there’s any resistance. If there is, the propagation was successful.
Propagating directly into soil is at a disadvantage when compared to water propagation because the roots aren’t visible. It’s easy to pull too hard and damage the plant, ruining the propagation process. It’s also possible to overwater the propagation, causing root rot.
Siltepecana needs to be repotted when they become root-bound. The tell-tale signs of a root-bound plant are roots growing around the outside of the soil when it’s removed from the pot and out of the bottom of the pot through the drainage hole. The plant also might have stunted growth, which is really the only visible sign of a potted root-bound plant.
Siltepecana is vulnerable to many types of common houseplant pests. These include mealy bugs, aphids, scale, and spider mites.
Prevent the spread of these pests by following a few simple guidelines:
1. Check every new plant for signs of pest activity
2. Isolate new plants for a week before keeping them near other healthy plants
3. Inspect plants weekly
4. Keep plants healthy so they’re strong enough to fight off infestations
5. Always isolate plants that have acquired pests
Signs of Infestation
Mites, aphids, and mealy bugs can be easily spotted during a plant inspection. Mites are tiny red insects that may be difficult to see, but their presence is easily identified by the plant being covered in webs.
Aphids come in a variety of colors and leave behind honeydew, a sticky substance, on the underside of a plant’s leaves. Check the siltepecana’s leaves for honeydew to determine if it has been infested with aphids.
Mealy bugs are the bane of an indoor plant’s existence. These small, white insects suck the sap out of plant stems and thrive in the humid conditions siltepecana enjoys. Like aphids, they prefer to stick to the underside of the plant’s leaves. An untreated mealy bug infestation spells a quick end for a monstera.
Scale is a different kind of pest. Unlike the other insects, scale often stays in one spot on the plant’s stem or leaves. These brown pests also have a thick shell. Of all monstera pests, these are likely the easiest to spot.
Root rot and leaf spot are two diseases that commonly affect siltepecana.
Root rot affects the plant’s roots when it’s been exposed to too much water. It’s identified by dying and discolored leaves and black, mushy roots. It can quickly kill a siltepecana, often doing so in just a week, so act quickly if signs of root-rot are present. To combat root rot, repot the plant in a well-draining pot and fresh soil.
Leaf spots are brown or black circular spots most commonly afflicting a monstera’s lower leaves. The most common cause is bacteria-infected water splashing on the leaves. A healthy monstera can fight off leaf spot, so be sure to keep it in good health.
Most monstera is toxic plants, and the siltepecana is no different.
Calcium oxalate crystals give monstera their toxicity. Ingesting these crystals cause incredibly uncomfortable swelling in the mouth, tongue, and throat. The good news is that this is a seldom fatal condition, and the only danger is the swelling causing an airway blockage.
Still, it’s best to keep curious pets and children away from the siltepecana.
Why are my siltepecana’s leaves turning yellow?
Yellow leaves are a sign of improper watering practices. Over-watering and under-watering both cause leaves to turn yellow, so be sure to check the soil’s moisture level with your finger before you water. If the top inch of soil is dry, the monstera needs water.
Where can I buy a siltepecana?
Siltepecana is a rarer monstera, and as such is seldom available in stores or at plant nurseries. Look online to purchase one from a site like eBay or Etsy or a plant breeder on a social media site.
Can I keep a siltepecana in a terrarium?
Juvenile siltepecana can grow in a terrarium, where they’re prized for their unique silver leaves. However, they won’t reach full maturity in a smaller terrarium environment because they won’t be able to climb.
How tall will a siltepecana grow?
In the wild, these monstera can grow to a whopping 15 feet tall, however house-kept siltepecana rarely gets taller than 4 feet.
Is siltepecana easy to take care of?
These monstera are very easy to care for. They require temperatures between 50° F and 90°, indirect sun, and a well-draining pot. Many homes provide suitable indoor growing conditions.
Are siltepecana rare?
Siltepecana is one of the more rare of the monstera types. They’re prized for their silvery leaves when they’re in their juvenile form and are only native to Latin America. You’re unlikely to find these plants in stores, so you’ll have to look online.
Is siltepecana expensive?
Siltepecana can be purchased for around $20, depending on availability and maturity. Expect to pay more for a large mature siltepecana while juvenile ones can be had for less.