Fast joining the ranks of beautiful and unusual houseplants is the stunning Monstera Acuminata. Endemic to Mexico and parts of Central America, this beauty is well-loved for its fenestrated leaves and dark, glossy green coloring. These days, they’re also a lot easier to come by than they used to be, although Acuminata is still considered quite rare.
In good news, while Acuminata may look high maintenance, they’re a joy to have in the home. Like most Monstera, this species has relatively simple care requirements, provided its core needs are met. A stunning plant to have in any room, the Monstera Acuminata is doubly rewarding in that it’s a fast grower, too.
In this article, I’ll take you through everything there is to know about the Monstera Acuminata, from how to care for it to how to propagate stem cuttings. I’ll also include an in-depth look at identifying Acuminata, as this species is often confused with other members of the Monstera family, particularly adansonii.
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Monstera Acuminata vs adansonii: What’s the difference?
The main difference between the Monstera Acuminata and Monstera adansonii is the size, shape and color of their leaves. While both have heavily fenestrated leaves, Acuminata’s are narrower and smaller and darker green in color. Acuminata’s apertures are also smaller but more abundant per leaf.
Figuring out the difference between a Monstera Acuminata and a Monstera adansonii can be tricky, especially when these plants are still in their juvenile phases. In many ways, they have very similar appearances, but as they mature, the distinctions between them start to become more evident, with key differences most noticeable in their leaves.
While both have highly fenestrated foliage, the shape and size of the windows differ. Acuminata apertures are longer, narrower, and more plentiful than the rounder, more equally spaced holes present on the leaves of adansonii. Acuminata’s leaves themselves are also longer and thinner, especially as they grow larger.
Fenestrations aside, there are also dissimilarities in the color and texture of their leaves. Acuminata leaves are a deeper green than adansonii, with dark veins and a smooth surface. Adansonii have lighter green leaves, with more prominent veins and a coarser texture overall.
How do you care for a Monstera Acuminata?
Monstera Acuminata care is straightforward, and they fare well in almost any indoor environment. They require weekly watering and 6 to 7 hours of medium to bright light per day, good humidity, nutrient-rich soil, and bi-annual fertilization. Occasional pruning is also beneficial.
Don’t let Monstera Acuminata’s exotic good looks throw you off. These beauties are really easy to look after! As long as you follow a good maintenance routine, your plant can be happy and healthy in an indoor environment with minimal effort and upkeep.
For a well-rounded approach to Monstera care, it’s always a good idea to look at the five things they need most, namely, water, light, humidity, quality soil, and nutrients. Once you have these waxed, you’ll find your maintenance regime is simply a case of consistency and regular health checks to make sure its needs are being met.
Fortunately, the Acuminata is not prone to ill health or pests, but there are measures you can and should put in place to prevent common ailments like root rot. Let’s take a look at how to care for Monstera Acuminata, followed by a brief overview of how to check for any signs of ailments or distress.
How often should you water Monstera Acuminata?
It’s always tempting to lavish a lot of hydration on Monstera plants, but the truth is that they don’t need water that often. The best approach you can take is to let the top inch of their soil dry out between watering sessions, which takes, on average, 7 to 10 days (depending on how warm their environment is).
How you water them is of equal importance. Considering their size, their roots are surprisingly delicate, so the last thing you want is to bog them down with heavy, water-logged soil. A good drenching will suffice, until you notice water seeping through to the drip tray.
And on that note, never let them stand in pooled water. This can lead to root rot. Empty your Acuminata’s drip tray if you notice too much run-through. Less is more, and if you’re still unsure, invest in a moisture meter and keep your soil to a steady reading of 1 to 2.
Want to know more? See Exactly How Often to Water Your Monstera.
How much light do Monstera Acuminata need?
As Monstera Acuminata are tropical plants, they require a fair amount of light every day, but not so much that it scorches them. Instead, they prefer indirect sun that emulates the scattered light of their natural environments, which filters through the leaves of the bigger trees that grow around them in the jungle.
In a home environment, you can simulate this kind of space and meet your Monstera’s light requirements by setting them a few feet away from bright windows, preferably East- or South-facing, so they catch the softer morning sun. Turning your Acuminata every week or so is beneficial, too, so that all its leaves have equal access to the energy provided by sunlight.
That being said, don’t worry too much if you can’t provide ideal lighting conditions for an Acuminata. They can do well in lower light settings but may simply not grow quite as fast as usual as a result. At worst, consider investing in some low-cost grow lights (my pick for the best Monstera grow light is here).
Do Monstera Acuminata need a lot of humidity?
Given their jungle origins, it makes sense that Monstera Acuminata are big fans of high humidity levels – which really help them to thrive. Unfortunately, most homes aren’t naturally as warm as Acuminata would like, but there are several routes you can take to supplement this.
For one, you can invest in a simple plug-in humidifier. These affordable devices do a world of good for Monstera (and other houseplants) while simultaneously purifying the air in the room. If you’d prefer a different route, grouping several houseplants together works equally well.
For added benefit, you may want to consider setting your Acuminata atop a damp pebble bed. Over time, the moisture that evaporates turns into humid air for your plants to enjoy. Regular light misting with a spray bottle will also help to keep Monstera moisturized.
Find out more: 12 Proven Tips to Get Your Monstera the Humidity It Needs
What type of soil does Monstera Acuminata need?
Good soil is a great foundation for a happy Monstera Acuminata and provides protection and nutrition for its roots. In particular, they prefer a soil that is well-draining with sufficient minerals and nutrients at a preferred pH level of 5 to 7.
You can either purchase a premixed aroid Monstera blend from your local garden center or mix your own blend at home.
If you’re opting for the latter, the formula is simple. Combine a top-quality potting soil for your Monstera with orchid bark that aerates and provides minerals and nutrients. Add perlite for moisture retention and sphagnum moss for feeding. And for that preferred pH level, sprinkle in a dose of activated charcoal.
Should you fertilize Monstera Acuminata?
I suggest a balanced, slow-release fertilizer applied twice (maximum three times) per year during your Acuminata’s fastest-growing seasons in the spring and summer. They don’t need a lot – following the bottle or leaflet’s dosage instructions will suffice, but the extra boost goes a long way.
A little feeding goes a long way when it comes to Monstera Acuminata. This hardy plant is used to the rich soil of the jungle, which is full of minerals and natural compost. Regular potting soil can’t quite match up, which is why occasional feeding is recommended.
Mind you; it’s best to practice caution when first applying fertilizer to Monstera, as your Acuminata can go into plant shock if you overdose it. Start off with a slightly lower dose and see how it reacts. Any yellowing of your Monstera’s leaves indicates an adverse effect, and you should taper off your application until your Acuminata has had time to adjust.
Do I need to prune my Monstera Acuminata?
The main reasons we prune Monstera are for aesthetic presentation and energy preservation. Over time, older leaves lose their brilliance and should be removed to keep your Monstera looking as good as possible. At the same time, old and damaged leaves unnecessarily use your plant’s energy, so it’s actually quite healthy to keep it trim and shapely.
Always make sure to only prune your Acuminata during its growing months in spring and summer. During winter, Monstera enter a dormant phase and won’t appreciate any kind of change that requires them to use energy to recuperate.
Overall, regularly pruning your Monstera also makes room for new growth.
How do I know if my Monstera Acuminata is healthy?
An unhealthy Acuminata will communicate with yellowing, drooping leaves, and a foul soil odor. Feeling the soil’s moisture level will tell you if it’s too soggy. Should this be the case, either repot your Acuminata and remove its damaged roots, or allow it to dry out completely and see if that does the trick.
Plants are living things that may undergo bouts of ill health from time to time. Generally speaking, the afflictions that commonly affect Monstera Acuminata are easily solved, provided you catch them early on. Chief amongst these ailments is root rot.
As you likely know, root rot in Monstera is a pesky disease that is usually a consequence of overzealous watering practices leading to a decidedly overwatered Monstera. Too-damp soil is a breeding ground for fungi and bacteria that can wreak havoc on an Acuminata’s root system and is fatal if not dealt with as a matter of urgency.
Are Monstera Acuminata prone to pests?
Monstera Acuminata are not particularly prone to pests, but they may suffer an outbreak of mites or thrips from time to time. You can nip this in the proverbial bud by conducting regular inspections to ensure no creepy crawlies have found their way to your plant.
Thrips and mites are pretty easy to identify simply by giving your Monstera a good once-over every two to three weeks. Severe infections are usually followed by damaged, holey leaves, at which point you need to treat your plant with insecticidal soap or neem oil spray.
Prune away infected areas to prevent further spread of the problem and keep your Acuminata away from your other plants while it heals.
Do Monstera Acuminata need climbing poles?
Almost all Monstera have both terrestrial roots and aerial roots, which means they grow both in the ground and along supporting structures (like other trees). In a home environment, you can give your Acuminata room to climb by providing it with a moss or coco coir pole to which it can attach its roots.
This practice is beneficial for several reasons. It gives your Acuminata a place to grow upwards and keeps it shapely. The substrate covering your pole (like if you choose a moss pole for your Monstera) also provides your plant with additional nutrients.
That being said, some Monstera enthusiasts prefer to allow their Acuminata to trail from hanging baskets or vine along trellises. Either option is perfectly suitable and depends on your personal preference.
Want to know how to get started with giving your Monstera a moss pole? See just how to stake a Monstera here.
How do you identify a Monstera Acuminata?
A Monstera Acuminata has tropical foliage characterized by narrow but plentiful fenestrations arranged in a chaotic pattern all over its leaves (up to 75% of their surface area). It is dark green with a smooth texture and can reach heights of up to 7 feet (2 meters) at maturity.
Unless you’re buying directly from a specialist breeder, it’s not always easy to identify which Monstera you’re getting. And when they’re still juveniles, they’re even harder to pinpoint off the bat. Over time, I’ve learned that the best way to identify a Monstera Acuminata is to look out for its most noticeable characteristics, which are the shape and window patterning of its leaves.
On average, Acuminata’s leaves are 4 and 5 inches wide (10 to 12 centimeters) and 4 to 10 inches long (10 to 25 centimeters). They are more narrow than round and are oval in shape. As this plant matures, its leaves get bigger and more fenestrated. They grow in a shingling pattern, usually upward toward a light source.
In terms of color, their foliage is dark green, amplified by darker green veins. They’re quite glossy, given their smooth texture, but are relatively thick to the touch.
Monstera Acuminata vs Esqueleto
The main difference between the Acuminata and Esqueleto is in the size and shape of their fenestrations and the color and texture of their leaves. Esqueleto apertures are larger and more symmetrical, extending from the center of the main vein to each leaf’s edge and often splitting. In mature Esqueleto, you will find smaller windows next to larger ones.
Furthermore, comparatively, the fenestrations on Monstera Esqueleto make up more surface area, leaving more hole than leaf.
Color-wise, where the Acuminata has dark green leaves, the Esqueleto’s foliage is far lighter. Its texture is leathery, as opposed to smooth, and overall, its leaves are larger. They tend to pattern downwards where the Acuminata grows in an upward shingling pattern.
Monstera Acuminata vs Laniata
The main difference between the Monstera Acuminat and Monstera Laniata is in the size and shape of their apertures. The Laniata has round, symmetrical fenestrations all over its leaves, but to a lesser degree than Monstera Acuminata. The latter’s fenestrations are narrower and more randomly spread, making up more of each leaf’s surface area.
Monstera Laniata is a subspecies of adansonii that is probably the closest in looks to the Acuminata because of its dark green, glossy leaves. This is why the only real way to distinguish these two is by closely inspecting the size and shape of the holes in their leaves.
Other than that, these plants look very similar, especially when they are young, and can be well-nigh impossible to distinguish before they reach maturity.
How do you propagate Monstera Acuminata?
Acuminata are best propagated through healthy stem cuttings, either rooted in water or planted directly into a good-quality Monstera soil mix. Both methods are effective provided your stem is healthy and has visible nodes for new growth, and your cutting has access to light and humidity.
Given the low success rate of growing Monstera from seed in the home, most serious plant lovers opt to propagate their Acuminata from stem cuttings. This is a simple process that can be achieved in one of two ways: either by rooting your juvenile plant in water or planting it directly in soil.
In what follows, we’ll look at both methods. But first, let’s investigate how to select and cut a healthy stem – or take a look at our in-depth article on how to propagate Monstera to get the full picture.
Selecting an Acuminata stem for cutting
Rooting a cutting depends greatly on the condition of the stem you select. Successful propagation requires nodes from which new growth can spring, as well as existing leaves that can absorb sun energy and moisture from the air.
Before cutting your Acuminata, make sure to prepare your workspace. Always use clean, sterilized shears or scissors to prevent the potential spread of bacteria or fungi, and make sure your water jar or soil pot is ready to minimize exposure to air.
Take cuttings only from healthy plants with growth to spare. Make sure there are at least two nodes present, as well as two to three leaves (aerial roots on your Monstera cutting are a bonus). Cut at a 45-degree angle to maximize the surface area that will contact your growing medium, and slice cleanly so that your existing plant can wound over with minimal lasting damage.
Propagating Monstera Acuminata in water
In my opinion, propagating Acuminata in water is by far the easiest way to achieve rooting success. And it’s super easy too! To grow a Monstera in water, all you need is a glass jar with fresh water and a healthy stem cutting, and as a backup, a little rooting hormone.
Once you’ve selected your stem, dip the cut end in rooting hormone and pop it into your jar. Place the jar by a window that receives plenty of bright, indirect light daily, and refresh its water once a week to keep it oxygenated.
After four to six weeks, you should see new growth. Once these tiny roots are an inch or two in length, transfer your cutting into a planter with a prepared Monstera soil blend. From here, treat your juvenile plant with the same care you would its parent. It may require staking to keep it upright. Furthermore, ensure plenty of humidity in its environment to help it thrive.
Propagating Monstera Acuminata in soil
Some Monstera enthusiasts prefer to skip water rooting altogether and propagate their Acuminata directly in soil. There is nothing wrong with this, but the trick is ensuring plenty of humidity, which you can supplement by misting its leaves every few days. Cuttings are not yet able to absorb water from soil until they grow roots.
All you need to do is plant your cutting in a Monstera soil mix and set it down in a warm, sunny spot. For extra measure, I advise also utilizing growth or rooting hormone, as this improves the chances of your Monstera seeing fast and healthy new growth.
Covering your cutting with plastic or a dome locks in humidity to keep it moisturized. It should take within four to six weeks, after which you can remove the cover and continue to care for it as usual.
Is Monstera Acuminata pet friendly?
Unfortunately, Monstera Acuminata is not pet-friendly, as the plant contains a sticky white sap that is toxic to both humans and animals. Ingestion can lead to vomiting and gastrointestinal distress, while skin contact may result in rashes or allergic reactions. If ingested, medical attention should be sought.
Curious pets may suffer adverse side effects if they chew on or consume the leaves and stems of Monstera Acuminata. This beautiful plant has one downfall in that its sap is less than easy on the digestive systems of cats and dogs, especially when consumed in relative quantities.
To prevent contact, it is recommended that you place your Monstera plants out of pets’ reach. They don’t taste good, so bites and chews are usually more inquisitive than a craving – but you can never be careful enough with your furry friends.
If you suspect that your animal (or any human, for that matter) has ingested or had contact with Acuminata sap, monitor them closely. If they start to show symptoms of toxicity poisoning, seek medical attention immediately.
Find out more: Is Monstera Toxic to Cats? How to Keep Both Happy
Is Monstera Acuminata rare?
Monstera Acuminata is not so much rare as it is uncommon. You’re unlikely to find one in a local nursery or garden center, but they are quite freely available from specialist suppliers or online stores. Collectors are also prone to exchange cuttings for propagation.
If you’re hoping to get your hands on one of these beautiful specimens these days, you might be in luck. With the increased popularity of the houseplant jungle and the upswing of online purchasing, it’s easier than ever to track down the Monstera of your dreams.
As mentioned, Acuminata are not super easy to find in nurseries, but depending on the area you live in, you may strike gold by looking online. Just make sure your supplier is verified and that they take every care to transport your new addition, as it is most often during this process that Acuminata sustain damage.
It’s also worth your while to contact local Monstera enthusiasts to find out if anyone is selling or trading stem cuttings for propagation.
Where can you buy Monstera Acuminata?
Monstera Acuminata can be purchased from nurseries or suppliers dealing in unique Monstera varieties, from online platforms like Etsy and eBay, or from local collectors. Tracing Acuminata for sale may also depend on the area or country you live in, as they grow best in warmer climates.
As unique Monstera start to fill our Instagram feeds, their availability has grown in line with the demand for them. Previously hard to come by, the Acuminata is becoming ever more frequently seen in online stores, and on occasion, at specialist nurseries.
Generally, a quick Google search should lead you to a supplier, but if you have no luck in this regard, consider visiting forums or sites dedicated to rarer breeds of Monstera. These types of websites are my first port of call when I’m looking for an uncommon species and usually point me in the right direction. Or, at the very least, this tends to land me in contact with a collector that may be willing to part with (or exchange) a cutting.
What’s a standard Monstera Acuminata price?
Monstera Acuminata prices vary greatly depending on the size of the plant and the supplier. For a cutting, you can expect to pay upwards of $20, with mature plants ranging from $80 to $150. The bigger and healthier the plant, the heftier the price tag.
These beauties don’t come cheap, but that is primarily thanks to the fact that, while they’re not super rare, they are still relatively uncommon. A big, healthy, mature plant that is tethered to a climbing pole and in excellent health will cost a pretty penny, but is well worth it, as they’re usually ready to propagate.
Cuttings are much cheaper, but they can also be touch-and-go, as there is no guarantee that they will root, depending on how far they need to travel and the condition of their transport.
Either way, we are set to see this Monstera price decrease as Acuminata start to flood the Monstera market. Since 2018, we have already found that rare Monstera are far more reasonably priced and freely available than they have been in the past.