Silver Monstera

Monstera siltepecana

Let’s face it, we all love a good Monstera, but M. siltepecana is a real unique beauty. Unlike the more common swiss cheese plants, this species doesn’t develop the characteristic fenestrations (the leaf gaps/holes) until the leaves have fully matured, and even then they’re much smaller and more central to the vein rather than the edges. Instead, the silver monstera develops these lance shaped juvenile leaves with a gorgeous silvery hue and dark green venation.

This plant is related to the Philodendron, and you can really see why. It’s much more of a vining species than others in the family, and it really likes to climb. In fact, to really nurture this plant in a terrarium environment, you’ll need to give it something to climb. That’s because though the juvenile plant is a happy terrestrial plant (usually found growing at the base of a tree), the mature version is more of an epiphyte.

It needs to grow up that tree trunk to complete its growth cycle. So, if you want this plant to develop into its full expression, you’ll need to support it with a large branch or moss pole. Just note, the size of the juvenile version is more suited to terrarium life, and only the largest terrariums can support a fully mature Monstera siltepecana.

At a Glance

Where to Buy Monstera siltepecana

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Terrarium Plant Guide

Monstera siltepecana Care & Growth

Lighting

As with many houseplants and other Monstera species, this plant can handle short periods of direct sunlight, but will do best in a really bright spot out of direct sunlight. It can definitely survive lower lighting conditions, but you probably won’t get much growth out of it.

Watering

Monstera siltepecana is a tropical plant so it definitely appreciates regular moisture, but then it’s also a partially epiphytic vine so it won’t appreciate being sat in a soggy substrate. Depending on its level of maturity it may need slightly different watering requirements, but they’re likely to thrive in most tropical terrarium setups (especially if they have lots of humidity).

Substrate

Being a tropical species native to rainforests in Central America, Monstera siltepecana does best in a nutrient rich substrate mix with excellent drainage. As a potentially epiphytic grower, it’s likely going to do better in a chunkier, well aerated mix too.

Temperature & Humidity

As this plant is often grown as a houseplant, this tells us that it’s not overly sensitive to temperature and humidity. That being said, a warm and humid tropical terrarium is the ideal re-creation of it’s natural environment so it’ll definitely appreciate it.

Growth

Monstera siltepecana lives quite the double life, and is unique in that its juvenile form looks completely different from its mature form. Under most terrarium conditions, this species is likely to stay in its juvenile form and therefore relatively compact. Given enough space to grow epiphytically, it may mature into a larger version with those characteristic swiss cheese leaves up to 5 inches in size.

Propagation

The silver monstera propagates from stem cuttings super easily. Make sure to cut a length of stem with at least one leaf and behind a node to make sure the cutting has a point to root from. They’ll rapidly form roots in water at which point you can put them right back into a substrate.

Varieties & Similar Plants

Monstera dubia shares some similarities to Monstera siltepecana in that it’s a smaller and lesser known climbing species, and it also lacks fenestrations in its juvenile form.  Also,  M. adansonii var Laniata is another vining species with lance shaped leaves and small central fenestrations.

Common Problems

This plant species doesn’t have any unique problems, but as with any other plant, keep an eye out for yellowing or drooping leaves as a sign of (usually) overwatering. If your substrate is consistently saturated, you may have to dry out your terrarium a little to keep this plant happy.