The Monstera Epipremnoides strikes the perfect balance between delicate and robust. This beauty, beloved for its impressive fenestrations, falls somewhere between the adansonii and Obliqua in looks but is much easier to care for than the latter. Indeed, its shiny green leaves, almost completely covered in apertures, are what make it such a sought-after plant.
So, if you’re looking for an edgy houseplant that won’t just up and die on you, you might be in the market for an Epipremnoides. Alternatively referred to as a Monstera Esqueleto, this rare jungle queen hails from the tropical regions of Costa Rica. Fortunately, the more popular it becomes, the easier it is to get your hands on one.
In this post, I’ll take you through its care requirements, as well as where to find one and what you can expect to pay. I’ll also draw comparisons between the Monstera Epipremnoides vs adansonii, obliqua and other species in this genus so that you know how to differentiate between them. Ready? Let’s unpack everything there is to know about this stunning plant.
How do you care for Monstera Epipremnoides?
Monstera Epipremnoides require medium to bright light, well-draining soil, plenty of humidity, and a regulated watering schedule. Too much light can harm their delicate leaves, so this is where you need to practice caution. Other than that, you can care for this variety as you would other Monstera.
One of the best things about the Monstera Epipremnoides is that you get all of the beauty with none of the trauma that usually comes with caring for rarer plants. Like its hardy cousin, the Monstera deliciosa, the Epipremnoides has a simple-to-follow care regime that doesn’t require much maintenance, apart from consistency in treatment and the occasional prune.
FYI: Water, soil, light, temperature, and humidity are your chief considerations when it comes to caring for this plant. However, it is also advisable to conduct regular close inspections of its soil, roots, and leaves to ensure it is not suffering from poor health. Warning signs are usually first noticed in Epipremnoides’ leaves, with any drooping or wilting generally indicating that something is amiss.
Fortunately, if you catch this kind of thing on time, most damage can be reversed with a little TLC. Of course, prevention is better than cure, so let’s take an in-depth look at how to set up your Epipremnoides for success by catering to its needs from the get-go.
How much light does Monstera Epipremnoides need?
Monstera Epipremnoides requires medium to bright light for six to eight hours a day. Too much light can be damaging for its highly fenestrated leaves, whereas, conversely, too little light can stunt its growth and slow the development of its signature apertures.
A good balance is to set your Monstera Epipremnoides a few feet back from an East-facing or South-facing window. Morning light is first prize.
Having originated in the cloud forests of Costa Rica, the Monstera Epipremnoides is used to low-lying hazy cover through which it receives dappled light. This means these plants don’t fare too well in direct light conditions, instead preferring to find the sun through the canopy of the trees above them. In a home environment, blinds or shades that scatter sun rays are ideal.
Conversely, if your Epipremnoides is in an area or room that does not get a lot of light, you can supplement its exposure with grow lights suited to your Monstera. They should not shine directly on your Monstera but instead be situated a few feet away, emulating Epipremnoides’ natural habitat.
Find out more: How Much Light Does Your Monstera Need?
How often should you water Monstera Epipremnoides?
As a general rule, you should water your Monstera Epipremnoides every seven to 10 days. However, like most Monstera, the Epipremnoides does best if watered according to its needs rather than per a regulated schedule. This means only hydrating your plant once the top inch of its potting soil has dried out.
While these plants enjoy moisture, they are also quite susceptible to root rot, which means that knowing how often to water a Monstera to avoid overwatering is key so as to not wreak havoc on their root systems. You should also keep in mind that houseplants often require less H20 in winter when they are exposed to less sun. Importantly, never let your Epipremnoides stand in pooled water in its drip tray.
By the same token, it’s also not a good idea to let your Epipremnoides get too dry. Underwatering may result in your Monstera drooping and developing crispy leaves that turn brown and curl. Monstera leaves that curl or dry out cannot recover from this kind of damage, and while it’s not a death sentence for your plant, it can significantly affect its overall aesthetic and, in extreme cases, its growth energy.
Does Monstera Epipremnoides need humidity?
As mentioned, the Monstera Epipremnoides is accustomed to cloudy conditions and, by default, thrives in humidity. For this reason, it grows best in environments with higher than usual air moisture than one would commonly find in a home environment. Most homes have humidity levels of between 30% and 50% indoors. The Epipremnoides prefers levels of 60% and higher.
To supplement this, you can consider introducing a home humidifier into your Epipremnoides’s environment. Alternatively, group your Monstera with a collection of other plants that mutually benefit one another by giving off moisture. If neither of these solutions is viable for you, set your Epipremnoides on a damp pebble tray, making sure not to let any of its roots sit in water.
Inside the home, you can also set your Epipremnoides up in a room that is more humid than others, like, for example, in a bathroom or kitchen. Regularly misting its leaves keeps them moisturized and healthy.
Find out more: 12 Proven Tips to Get Your Monstera the Humidity It Needs
What soil does Monstera Epipremnoides need?
The soil you select for your Epipremnoides has a significant impact on its overall health and ability to thrive. Monstera have particular tastes when it comes to their soil, preferring aroid mixes that are rich in nutrients and minerals. Their soil should be well-aerated and well-draining while retaining enough moisture to keep their leaves and stems healthy and robust.
Most nurseries and garden centers stock Monstera soil blends, which are specifically tailored to meet your plants’ needs. However, if you’re very particular about your soil like me, you can mix your own by combining a few key ingredients.
I always start with good-quality potting soil and add pine or orchid bark to loosen it up. I then add perlite for moisture retention and aeration and a bit of sphagnum moss or coco coir for nutrients. To ensure my pH levels are on point, I also like to add a dash of activated charcoal. The best soil for Monstera involves having neutral to slightly acidic potting mix, with pH levels between 5.5 and 7.
When should you repot Monstera Epipremnoides?
Repotting your Monstera Epipremnoides every two or so years will prevent it from becoming rootbound and give it more growing room. That being said, only repot your Epipremnoides during its most active growing months, in the spring or summer. Otherwise, you risk giving it transplant shock, which causes ill health.
No plant loves to be repotted, but it is necessary to ensure the ongoing health and well-being of your beloved Epipremnoides. It’s also an excellent way to refresh its soil and eliminate any nasties that may be developing under the surface.
To determine if your Epipremnoides needs transplanting, start by giving it a thorough inspection. Firstly, does it look too big for its pot? Secondly, can you see evidence that its roots are starting to show through its drainage holes? Either of these means it’s time for a change.
Make sure you’re replacing its soil with a nutrient-rich blend that will aid it on its road to recovery, and hold off on fertilizing until it has had a chance to settle for a month or two.
Should you prune Monstera Epipremnoides?
Occasional pruning is an integral part of Monstera Epipremnoides care and helps to keep your plant looking as good as possible. As with transplanting, try to only prune your Epipremnoides during its most energetic months, when it is likely to sprout new growth.
That is not to say that you should go wild with your shears, but it is okay to cut away dead or dying leaves to preserve your plant’s energy and neaten it up. One key tip when learning how to prune a Monstera is to make sure you only do this during your plant’s growing months. This ensures it won’t waste resources trying to recover. Instead, your houseplant should welcome the shedding of dead weight to make room for fresh leaves to develop.
Epipremnoides grow far slower in the winter and sometimes even enter a dormant phase, so it’s best to let them be until they’re feeling stronger. Right at the beginning of spring, you might find your Epipremnoides has some dead or dwindling leaves as a remnant of the colder months. This means it’s ripe for pruning and will likely appreciate the gesture.
Monstera Epipremnoides vs Esqueleto
Monstera Epipremnoides and Monstera Esqueleto are different names for the same plant and are often used interchangeably. It is speculated that this happened because a jungle-bred Epipremnoides was cloned for cultivation but, once mature, was found to differ slightly from its wild counterparts.
Therefore, to some Monstera enthusiasts, these plants are the same thing, while for others, the Monstera Esqueleto is considered no more than a cultivar of a wild but unidentified Monstera Epipremnoides. This Monstera’s back story can be confusing, and it is difficult to establish the correct answer with any certainty as the origin plant has long disappeared from botanical records.
Overall, it is generally accepted that this plant simply goes by two names. Esqueleto is the moniker more commonly used, which is quite sweet and logical in its own way. You see, “Esqueleto” is the Spanish word for “skeleton,” which perfectly describes this beauty’s aesthetic.
How do you identify Monstera Epipremnoides?
Monstera Epipremnoides are large plants with dark green leaves recognizable by their distinct fenestrations. They have small, circular apertures along their midribs and large, deep slits extending from close to these smaller holes all the way to each leaf’s edge.
The Epipremnoides is a total showstopper, given its stature and unique appearance. Stems are often one inch (2 to 3 centimeters) thick, indicating their potential size. When Monstera grow in the wild, their leaves are known to reach up to 20 inches (50 centimeters) in length with a width of up to 14 inches (35 centimeters). As Monstera Epipremnoides mature, their leaves get bigger and bigger.
In their natural habitat, they are also known to flower, developing an elegant cream-colored spathe. This is unusual for domestic Epipremnoides unless they are grown in greenhouses or conservatories.
Sadly, they don’t always reach extravagant sizes indoors but can be encouraged to grow large and tall through the use of climbing poles or trellises. Like most Monstera, Epipremnoides are hemi-epiphytes, which means they have both terrestrial and aerial roots. They love to climb and grow best when they have a support to attach themselves to.
Even with their distinct looks, Monstera Epipremnoides are regularly confused with other Monstera varieties. Let’s look at their differences and similarities in greater detail.
Monstera Epipremnoides vs Adansonii
The main differences between Monstera Epipremnoides and adansonii are their coloring, leaf size and texture, and fenestration pattern. The adansonii has darker, shinier leaves to the Epipremnoides’ slightly lighter hues. In addition, the adansonii has many smaller, more scattered holes than the Epipremnoides.
While Epipremnoides and adansonii are similar in appearance, especially when they’re young, there are also clear distinctions between them. In addition to the ones mentioned above, texturally, the adansonii is smoother and more delicate, whereas the Epipremnoides has a leathery feel and relatively thick leaves. The leaves of the Epipremnoides also grow much more prominently, especially the older they get.
Size and color aside, the clearest indication that you have an Epipremnoides lies in its fenestrations. As outlined earlier, the adansonii’s fenestrations can look somewhat inconsistent. The Epipremnoides is also more fenestrated in general, with its apertures covering almost 80% of each mature leaf’s surface area.
FYI: Find out everything there is to know about Monstera adansonii.
Monstera Epipremnoides vs Obliqua
The main difference between the Monstera Epipremnoides and Obliqua is that the Obliqua is much rarer and more difficult to obtain than the increasingly popular Epipremnoides. The Obliqua also has much thinner leaves that are lightly textured, with up to 90% of the surface area of its mature leaves being fenestrated.
Many an Epipremnoides has been palmed off as an Obliqua due to a case of mistaken identity. These beauties look a lot alike, but the Obliqua is a more challenging plant overall, including due to its even larger fenestrations.
In terms of its leaf pattern, the Obliqua does not have a smaller and larger set of apertures like the Epipremnoides. Instead, it has large, oval holes that extend all the way from the midrib to the leaf’s edge, which are close together, causing its overall lacy look.
Want to know more? Check out our ultimate guide to the Monstera Obliqua.
Monstera Epipremnoides vs Monstera NOID
A Monstera NOID is the term used for an unidentified species. Many Monstera enthusiasts, embroiled in the Epipremnoides vs Esqueleto name debate, prefer to refer to Epipremnoides as a NOID as they believe the Esqueleto to be a cultivar and not the real thing found in situ in Costa Rica.
Therefore, there is no real difference between a NOID and an Epipremnoides. The former is a semantical reference to a plant that cannot be identified with certainty, and ultimately this depends on which Esqueleto camp you fall into.
How to propagate Monstera Epipremnoides
You can propagate Epipremnoides from stem cuttings in water or soil. This Monstera reproduces well, provided you select a healthy cutting with more than two nodes and one or two leaves. For successful propagation, you need to ensure optimal growing conditions.
Monstera propagation is always gratifying, but especially so when you’re trying to reproduce rarer plants. You won’t be disappointed with the Monstera Epipremnoides, as it has a high success rate in producing new plants from stem cuttings.
Before we look at how to propagate in water and soil, respectively, a quick note on taking stems from existing plants, as incorrect handling can cause your Epipremnoides great distress.
Firstly, always make sure your plant is in good health and only take cuttings during its vigorous growing seasons. Secondly, make sure your tools are clean and sterilized, so you don’t risk spreading diseases. Finally, make sure your cutting has at least two nodes from which new growth can spring forth.
Ready? Let’s propagate.
How to propagate a Monstera Epipremnoides in water
Propagating an Epipremnoides in water is a straight-forward but rewarding process. Once you have selected your cutting, all you need to do is pop it into a container with water and situate it in a spot that receives plenty of bright but indirect light.
Change your water weekly so that it remains oxygenated. In four to six weeks, you should start to see evidence of root growth. Once these baby roots are about two inches long, transplant your cutting into a prepared soil container and watch your Monstera Epipremnoides juvenile develop.
Find out more: 6 Easy Steps to Grow a Monstera in Water
How to propagate a Monstera Epipremnoides in soil
With Monstera, it doesn’t get much easier than straight soil propagation, although a lot depends on the quality of your soil mix and after-planting care. For this method, all you need to do is pop your cutting into a prepared container with a Monstera soil blend and provide it with plenty of humidity.
To bolster humidity, I recommend covering your new cutting loosely with plastic to lock in moisture while it takes time to develop new roots. Misting its leaves is also helpful, as it cannot yet draw in water from the soil.
Finally, where you situate your cutting is vital, so take care to provide it with plenty of light and warmth. New growth can take a while to develop from a Monstera Epipremnoides node, so the first few weeks of care can be make-or-break.
Is Monstera Epipremnoides rare?
The Monstera Epipremnoides is considered rare, although it is becoming more obtainable and easier to find as it rises in popularity. You’re unlikely to come across one in your local nursery or garden center, but you may get lucky with online suppliers and specialist plant breeders.
As the demand for exotic houseplants grows, so does the availability of previously unobtainable Monstera varieties. And considering how easy this beauty is to propagate, it’s no surprise they’re on the up-and-up in the marketplace.
Let’s look at where you’re most likely to find a Monstera Epipremnoides for sale.
Where can you find Monstera Epipremnoides for sale?
For rare plants, my first port of call is always online suppliers or marketplaces like eBay and Etsy, but this comes with its own challenges. Transport can be tricky, and unfortunately, there are a lot of tricksters out there, so make sure your seller is verified and request photos before shipping.
Occasionally, you may come across specialist breeders who can order plants in for you, but these are harder to find. A good point of departure is to chat with your local nursery owners to see if they can provide you with any leads.
What’s a standard Monstera Epipremnoides price?
A small Monstera Epipremnoides usually goes for around $500, and cuttings for slightly less. This price will decrease as this plant becomes more freely available, but for now, they are still quite difficult to find and thus remain quite pricey.
Why is Monstera Epipremnoides so expensive?
Rare plants always have a higher price tag purely because they are in demand. While not as rare as some Monstera out there, the Epipremnoides is still pretty elusive, particularly in some parts of the world. For this reason, it remains expensive and will be until it is easier to find.
Is Monstera Epipremnoides toxic?
Monstera Epipremnoides stems and leaves contain a sticky sap that is toxic to humans and animals alike. Fortunately, you’re unlikely to ingest it unless you actively chew on your plants. Skin contact can result in skin irritation or rash, so wear gloves when pruning or cutting your Monstera.
Beautiful but mildly dangerous is a good way to describe the Epipremnoides, as this stunner can be harmful to humans and animals when its sap is ingested or makes contact with skin. Symptoms of Monstera ingestion include nausea, vomiting, dizziness, rash or irritation, and in extreme cases, shortness of breath and difficulty breathing.
That being said, this plant doesn’t taste good, so it’s unlikely to be chewed by humans for fun or pleasure. Animals, on the other hand (like my cats tend to do), may take a bite or two out of habit, so it’s best to keep the Epipremnoides out of their reach given that Monstera is toxic to cats.
Should you or a pet show any of the symptoms listed above, seek medical treatment as a matter of urgency. A light skin rash should disappear on its own with a topical skin treatment and a little extra care.