Houseplants forum: Plant identification--monstera deliciosa, MAYBE?

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alice83
Jan 9, 2017 3:58 PM CST
I've had this plant for nearly a decade, bought it unidentified at a dollar store, and I still have no idea what it is! I think it may be monstera deliciosa, but it hasn't really looked like the typical huge split-leaf monstera for ages, and even when it sort of did, I wasn't convinced. It has long-stemmed leaves that grow from the last leaf's stem, kind of like a pothos but much longer stems. The leaves are bright green and vaguely heart-shaped, thin and a little waxy, but it doesn't have the dry cataphyll that a heart-leaf philodendron makes when growing new leaves. It puts out very long, dry brown aerial roots that are not good at climbing/attaching to support. It roots easily and pretty quickly in water, and I've had a few cuttings living in water only for a year or two, they are staying small but they seem quite healthy. I've successfully propagated cuttings several different times (see photos). For a few years after I got it, it didn't get very good light (pix from 2008), but then I moved to a different place and it got quite a lot of light for a while and the leaves grew really big, darker green, and started to split a little. This was when it looked most like a classic monstera (2012). However, I moved once again and the plant again had to survive on lower light. It almost died completely, but I nursed it back to health and it's been thriving for about 3 years, but now just grows much smaller, lighter/brighter green leaves. There's one big leaf & gnarly stem/vine from when it was really huge, but the leaf is solid, not split. I let the soil get slightly dry between waterings. Is this just how monstera grows when it's kept in low light? Or is this a totally different species? Would love any thoughts, thank you in advance!
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Name: Gene Staver
Portage WI 53901 (Zone 5a)
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gasrocks
Jan 9, 2017 4:21 PM CST
I feel sorry for your plant. Needs way MORE light !!

alice83
Jan 9, 2017 4:36 PM CST
gasrocks said:I feel sorry for your plant. Needs way MORE light !!


I know, me too! Sadly that's the most light anywhere in my current apartment gets Sad Any ideas on the species?

Name: Lin
Florida Zone 9b, 10a

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plantladylin
Jan 9, 2017 4:37 PM CST
It is definitely an Aroid but I'm not sure if it's Split-leaf Philodendron (Monstera deliciosa) It looks more like Heart Leaf Vine (Philodendron hederaceum var. oxycardium) to my eyes or possibly a variety of Epipremnum Pothos (Epipremnum aureum)

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Name: Gene Staver
Portage WI 53901 (Zone 5a)
Herbs Annuals Hummingbirder Butterflies Garden Photography Cactus and Succulents
Birds Cat Lover Houseplants Garden Sages
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gasrocks
Jan 9, 2017 4:43 PM CST
Ever thought about adding lights? Then you can grow almost anything you want and they will be happy. Gene

alice83
Jan 9, 2017 5:21 PM CST
gasrocks said:Ever thought about adding lights? Then you can grow almost anything you want and they will be happy. Gene


I hadn't considered it before, but I think I might look into it for this guy. Thank you!

alice83
Jan 9, 2017 5:29 PM CST
plantladylin said:It is definitely an Aroid but I'm not sure if it's Split-leaf Philodendron (Monstera deliciosa) It looks more like Heart Leaf Vine (Philodendron hederaceum var. oxycardium) to my eyes or possibly a variety of Epipremnum Pothos (Epipremnum aureum)



Thanks Lin! I have a few varieties of pothos and they are definitely different from this guy. I also have a "Brasil" heartleaf and the way the leaves grow is very different--branching off long stems for each new leaf, rather than short, thin stems growing in a cataphyll from the end of a vine. It doesn't really seem like a vining plant per se--more like long stalks that fall over when they get too tall. But maybe it's a heartleaf variety, I did find some images that look like they could be similar.
Name: Carter Mayer
Houston, TX (Zone 9b)
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Carter
Jan 9, 2017 5:39 PM CST
I'm thinking it likely *is* a M. deliciosa, just one that needs way more light than it's ever gotten. Plus for it to climb, it needs something more substantial than that little 1"x1" that it looks like you have it tied to. The aerial roots you see will radiate outwards from the stem once attached to something but until they have something wider, they'll just hang down to the ground until they reach soil. For my bigger climbing aroids, I use cedar fence slats cut down to whatever length I need - minimum 3'-4' for something like a Monstera. I stick the support down inside the pot towards the back, fill in some soil, pot the plant in it, then fill in the rest of the soil. Then I use something to tie the plant against the support. Once New aerial roots form and emerge, they'll attach to the support and it'll take off.

alice83
Jan 9, 2017 5:55 PM CST
Carter said:I'm thinking it likely *is* a M. deliciosa, just one that needs way more light than it's ever gotten. Plus for it to climb, it needs something more substantial than that little 1"x1" that it looks like you have it tied to. The aerial roots you see will radiate outwards from the stem once attached to something but until they have something wider, they'll just hang down to the ground until they reach soil. For my bigger climbing aroids, I use cedar fence slats cut down to whatever length I need - minimum 3'-4' for something like a Monstera. I stick the support down inside the pot towards the back, fill in some soil, pot the plant in it, then fill in the rest of the soil. Then I use something to tie the plant against the support. Once New aerial roots form and emerge, they'll attach to the support and it'll take off.


Thank you, this is really helpful! I've been meaning to get a better support system for it anyway, your advice is great. Maybe with something bigger to climb on and some artificial light it will grow into the monstera it truly is (?). Thanks everyone for your help!

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