Beautiful and relatively rare, the Monstera Lechleriana is fast becoming a must-have for collectors across the globe. With leathery, glossy green leaves and strong vining stems, this gorgeous plant is native to Central America, where it thrives as an understory creeper, flourishing in the filtered light bursting through the forest canopy above it.
As a houseplant, the Lechleriana is an absolute pleasure to have in your collection. Sharing many common traits with its Monstera cousins, it is easy to look after and vines and climbs in a gorgeous manner.
When the Lechleriana is young, it has striking oval leaves with pale undersides that taper off at their ends. As it matures, its leaves enlarge exponentially and form the fenestrations typically associated with the Monstera genus.
In this article, we’ll look at everything there is to know about Monstera Lechleriana care, from how to nurture and care for it to its unique appearance. We’ll also take a deep dive into how to differentiate the Lechleriana from other Monstera in its family. Ready? Let’s investigate.
How to care for Monstera Lechleriana
The Monstera Lechleriana is a low-maintenance plant with a simple care regime. It requires quality, well-draining soil and a sturdy planter, somewhere to climb or trail, plenty of water, and sufficient light and humidity. Occasional fertilization is beneficial to help it thrive.
Lechleriana are wonderful houseplants for expert collectors and beginners alike. This is mainly because their care requirements are straightforward, and they can survive well in pretty much any home environment. They prefer warmer climes, having originated in the jungle, but this can be easily supplemented with careful positioning and a little added humidity.
In terms of their care, it’s good to get your fundamentals right when homing a Lechleriana (or any Monstera, for that matter). This begins from the moment you obtain your plant through day-to-day care to regular health inspections.
Later in this article, we’ll take an in-depth look into a Lechleriana’s water, light, soil, feeding, and humidity needs, but for now, let’s discuss how to set up your newly-obtained plant for success.
1. Select a healthy plant
If you’re purchasing your Lechleriana from a nursery or garden center, you’ll want to make sure you find one as happy and healthy-looking as possible. Before buying your plant, give it a quick once-over for any signs of distress (drooping, yellow leaves), pests or diseases on the Monstera.
On the other hand, if you’re buying from an online supplier, ask them to send you a photo before shipping. This seems obvious, but finding a solid specimen to begin with can save you a lot of plant heartache in the long run.
2. Choose the right pot
Finding the right home for your Lechleriana is crucial, as ideally, you should only repot these beauties every two to three years. If your Monstera didn’t come in an appropriate pot, you should invest in one one-third as wide and twice as deep as your Lechleriana’s root ball. This is enough room for it to grow for a few years, but not so much that it gets weighed down with soil (which can be tough on its delicate roots).
If you’re a fervent waterer, buying a terracotta planter is a good idea. This substance is porous and will shed extra moisture. That being said, whatever pot you decide on, drainage holes are crucial, so make sure it has plenty of them.
You may also be interested in: Here’s the Best Pot for Your Monstera
3. Add a climbing pole or totem
While not an absolute necessity, Lechleriana are genetically programmed to climb, so providing them with a structure to attach to is an excellent way to encourage growth. A moss pole, coco coir pole, or trellis is a great support for eager plants looking to flourish upwards.
Initially, you may need to give your Lechleriana a little assistance by attaching its aerial roots with florist’s tape or clips, but once it has a foothold, it will continue to climb and grow. Alternatively, Lechleriana also like to trail horizontally or from hanging baskets.
4. Do regular health inspections
Prevention is the first step to cure, as all houseplant owners know, and part of Monstera Lechleriana care entails checking your plant every two or so weeks for any signs of poor health. This includes assessing its overall appearance (whether it looks healthy, perky, and green) and inspecting it for pests or infections.
Should you notice something is amiss, try to sort it out as a matter of urgency before any irreversible damage occurs – especially if it’s something that could spread to other houseplants in your collection.
5. Prune as needed
Occasional pruning encourages growth and keeps your plants looking as gorgeous as possible. In the spring or early summer, remove any dead or dying leaves from your plant and tidy it up where need be. While it may feel wrong to clip away at your prized Lechleriana, it’s better for your plant in the long-run and is part of Monstera maintenance.
Related: How to Prune Your Monstera to Encourage Growth
Is Monstera Lechleriana easy to care for?
Good news, Monstera enthusiasts! The Lechleriana is very easy to care for, as a low-maintenance plant with basic requirements similar to other Monstera. All you need to do is ensure it’s positioned in a good spot in your home and that it is equipped with quality soil and enough water, light, and humidity.
Overall, once you have your care regime in place, the Lechleriana can pretty much be left to its own devices. Just make sure you check it regularly to make sure it’s happy and healthy.
How fast does Monstera Lechleriana grow?
In ideal growing conditions, the Lechleriana is a moderate to fast-growing plant that can put on a breathtaking 1 to 2 feet per year (30cm to 60cm) indoors. This is, however, directly related to its environment, and should any of its needs be in a deficit, it can maintain the appearance of health but still suffer from stunted growth.
Generally, Lechleriana thrives in moist, humid environments like bathrooms, kitchens, conservatories, and greenhouses. They don’t enjoy drafts, cold temperatures, or very dim light.
How can I make my Monstera Lechleriana grow faster?
Monstera Lechleriana originated in the jungles of South America, in warm, humid countries like Venezuela, Ecuador, Peru, and Bolivia. Thus, they grow fastest in environments emulating their natural habitats. If your Lechleriana isn’t thriving, you may need to position it so that it receives more (or sometimes less) light and consider introducing extra humidity into its environment.
Naturally, it’s not possible to completely imitate this atmosphere in the home, but it is good to keep in mind what they like. Also, make sure you prune it regularly to make room for new growth and give it a boost of fertilizer for added benefit.
How to propagate Monstera Lechleriana
Monstera Lechleriana propagate best from stem cuttings and can be rooted first in water or planted straight into a prepared soil mix. In both cases, a lot depends on the health and viability of the cutting you select and the conditions in which you place it to grow.
Propagating my Monstera is one of my favorite pastimes, simply because they’re such gratifying duplicators. The process is simple, and generally speaking, you’ll find yourself with a new plant in the space of only a few weeks. Of course, I’ve undergone some trial and error in my time, which is why I’m able to compile my best tips for successful propagation.
The Lechleriana, like most Monstera, does best when grown from a healthy stem cutting. It doesn’t make too much of a difference whether you root it in water or soil, but there are a few crucial steps to have in place to give your cutting its best chance of success.
Indeed, this includes the quality of the soil you intend to plant it in, as well as the humidity and light levels of your grow zone. Bigger cuttings do better than smaller ones, but this also depends on the number of nodes on your stem. Let’s look at how to prepare and root a Monstera Lechleriana cutting.
Related: How to Propagate Monstera: The Ultimate Guide
1. Choose the right time of year
In terms of when to propagate Lechleriana, the best time to propagate a Monstera is during the warmer months of the year, in the spring and summer. This is when your plant is growing at its fastest and when it has the most energy, meaning it can cope best with losing a bit of its stem. It’s also when cuttings are more likely to take root.
2. Prepare your tools and workspace
Lechleriana are living things, and taking cuttings is equivalent to surgery. You never know when you may be unintentionally passing a bacteria or fungus between plants. For this reason, you have to make sure your tools are clean and sterilized to reduce the risk of infection.
Furthermore, your workspace should be clean and spacious, as this makes the whole process smoother and saves you time from taking your cutting to getting it into its growing medium.
3. Prepare your water jar or soil planter
Before cutting your Lechleriana, prepare its growing medium. If propagating in water, make sure you have a (preferably) glass jar with fresh water ready. If you’re planting into soil, acquire a suitable planter and fill it with a quality Monstera soil blend. Your pot must have good drainage.
It’s also good to keep in mind where you eventually plan to place your cuttings to do their thing, so identifying a bright, warm, humid spot in your home ahead of propagating is advisable.
4. Select an appropriate cutting
The quality of your cutting will determine how successful your propagation is, so be mindful of the stem you select. A good candidate for rooting has one or two leaves attached and two to three visible nodes.
Leaves should be healthy, not yellowed or wilted, and the stem should be strong overall. When making your cutting, snip below a node at a 45-degree angle and remove any lower leaves so they won’t be submerged in your soil or water.
5. Root it in water (if that’s your growing medium of choice)
If you’re planning to root your Lechleriana cutting in water before transplanting it into soil, all you need to do is pop it in a water jar and place it in a warm, bright spot away from direct sunlight. Dipping the cut end in rooting hormone before submerging it is advantageous.
Refresh the water in the jar every few days to ensure it remains oxygenated. You should see new growth within 4 to 6 weeks. Once your new roots are one to two inches long (2.5 to 5 centimeters), your cutting is ready to be transplanted.
Related: 6 Easy Steps to Grow a Monstera in Water
6. Propagate it in soil (if you prefer)
Growing a Monstera Lechleriana baby can be as simple as popping a cutting into a prepared soil planter. However, the trick here is to make sure the spot you choose to grow it in has loads of humidity.
To propagate in soil, dip your cutting’s end into growth hormone and then insert the stem into your soil. You may need to stake it to give it a little support and keep it upright.
Once secured, place your cutting in a warm, bright area. Mist the leaves and stems with water, as it cannot yet draw in water from its soil (it has no roots). Repeat this every few days. For added measure, you can cover your cutting with a plastic dome or bag to lock in moisture. It should take and develop new growth in just a few weeks.
7. Consider air layering
As an alternative to water or soil propagation, Lechleriana can also be propagated via a method known as air layering, although this doesn’t have the same high levels of success. Air layering entails taking a cutting of a stem or runner and placing it in a bed of sphagnum moss, which is then covered and kept humid.
Ideally, new growth will develop from your runner or stem nodes’ cut areas.
How much light does Monstera Lechleriana need?
Lechleriana like bright, indirect light, but they can also thrive in lower light conditions provided they have access to plenty of humidity. In the wild, Lechleriana grow in the shade of larger trees and depend on sunlight filtering through the forest canopy. Thus, dappled light will also suffice.
I will always sing the praises of Monstera for how unfussy they are. These beauties are perfect houseplants for the very fact that they are so adaptable to different light conditions. While a Lechleriana loves light, it will also do just fine without complete access to it.
An ideal spot for a Lechleriana is close to an East- or South-facing window, set a few feet back so that it does not have direct contact with the sun’s rays. Six to eight hours of bright light per day will leave you with a pleased plant, but a bit less is also okay.
That being said, should you notice your Lechleriana becoming a bit leggy or slow-growing, it may mean that you’re not meeting your Monstera’s light needs, in which case you should either move it or invest in grow lights for your Monstera.
Outdoors, Lechleriana need to be grown in the shade of bigger trees or walls, or alternatively, partially covered with shade cloth. These beauties are susceptible to scorching, and you may notice sunburnt leaves on your Monstera if they are exposed to direct sun for extended periods of time.
How often to water a Monstera Lechleriana
These Monstera enjoy moist but not soggy soil. A Lechleriana should be watered every few days during spring and summer and less often in winter. However, a better way to judge its hydration needs is to feel when the top two inches of soil becomes dry and then to saturate accordingly.
Perhaps the trickiest part of Monstera care is making sure you neither over nor underwater it. Lechleriana can be vulnerable to root rot, so it’s good to be cautious and informed about their H20 needs. In fact, I wouldn’t recommend trying to stick to a weekly schedule, but rather that you feel the soil and establish how often to water your plant from there.
As mentioned, this Monstera likes moist soil, but it shouldn’t be cloggy or dense. The best way to know when to water a Monstera Lechleriana is to allow the top two inches of soil to dry and then to slowly give it water until the first drops start to seep through its pot’s drainage holes.
Empty your planter’s drip tray so that your Monstera isn’t left standing in pooled water, as this is a veritable playground for bacteria and fungal infestations. Safe to say, an overwatered Monstera isn’t a happy Monstera.
In spring and summer, your Lechleriana will consume quite a lot of water, but as the months cool down, it will enter a more dormant phase where it requires less energy, and thus you can taper off watering. It is never advisable to let your Lechleriana dry out completely between waterings, so also be mindful of that.
How do I know if I have overwatered my Monstera Lechleriana?
If your Lechleriana starts to show signs of drooping, wilting, or yellow or brown leaves, or if its leaves are falling off, you may have overwatered your Monstera Lechleriana. Feel and smell your soil. If it is very soggy and compacted and smells unpleasantly damp, allow your plant the opportunity to dry out in a warm, hot area.
In addition, if you can, check your plant’s roots to make sure they are brown and mushy, which indicates the onset of a root rot infection in your Monstera.
What’s the ideal humidity for Monstera Lechleriana?
Monstera Lechleriana do best in environments with an above-average humidity level of over 50%. Indoors, humidity can be supplemented with regular misting, a pebble tray, or a humidifier. You can also consider keeping your Lechleriana in a room with more moisture, like a bathroom or kitchen.
The average home has humidity levels of 30% to 50%, which is perfectly okay for a Monstera Lechleriana. However, if you really want to see it flourish to its full potential, you may need to give your Monstera more humidity than that.
Fortunately, this is easy to achieve through simple processes like misting or adding a pebble tray beneath your plant. Misting has numerous benefits in that it not only provides humidity but also keeps your Monstera’s leaves moisturized, bright, and green. A damp pebble tray evaporates water over time for your plant without turning entire living spaces clammy.
Alternatively, you can invest in a small humidifier and keep it close to your plant. This will keep the air around your Monstera warm and damp, emulating its natural jungle environment.
How to fertilize a Monstera Lechleriana
With their big leaves and strong stems, Monstera Lechleriana require a fair amount of nutrients, which they may not always be able to draw from their soil alone. For this reason, regular feeding with a balanced, slow-release fertilizer during spring and summer is advisable.
One of the reasons plants in the jungle always seem to be thriving is because of their rich diet of nutrients and minerals that they draw from the soil and plants around them. While we cannot provide this kind of ecosystem for houseplants, we can give them a little help with a regular fertilization schedule.
Luckily, learning how to fertilize a Monstera is easy. I advise using a slow-release, balanced (10-10-10) fertilizer once per month during the growing season and abating during the winter. Start slow, giving your Monstera time to adjust to the chemicals embedded in the fertilizer, and keep an eye for any signs of yellowing or distress. Follow the instructions on your product carefully and always use a little less to be cautious.
What’s the best soil for Monstera Lechleriana
Monstera Lechleriana enjoy chunky, well-draining, nutrient-rich, airy soil mixes. You can either purchase a preblended Monstera mix from your local nursery or mix your own using a combination of potting soil, perlite, bark, and moss or coco coir.
Too much pressure on a Lechleriana’s roots can damage them, which is why, when it comes to the ideal soil for Monstera, it’s best to use an aroid mix with plenty of air circulation. In addition, denser soil mixes are more inclined to be poorly-draining, which heightens the risk of root rot.
If you’re opting to mix your own soil for your Monstera Lechleriana, you can combine quality, well-draining potting soil with perlite, pine or orchid bark, and a little moss or coco coir. Perlite retains moisture while keeping your soil aerated, and bark and moss are rich sources of nutrients.
For optimal pH levels of slightly acidic to neutral, consider including a little bit of activated charcoal in the mix. For added nutrients, throw in some compost.
Is Monstera Lechleriana rare?
The Monstera Lechleriana is an uncommon variety of Monstera, so you’re unlikely to find it in a nursery or garden center unless you’re visiting one that specializes in rare plants. To obtain a Lechleriana, you may need to go through a specialist breeder or online supplier.
While it’s true that Monstera are enjoying their moment in the sun, lesser-known Monstera varieties like the Lechleriana are not yet freely available. As they become more prevalent, we may start to see them in nurseries and the like, but for the time being, you’ll probably have more success tracking one down online.
How do you identify a Monstera Lechleriana?
The Lechleriana is a medium to large vining Monstera. As a juvenile, it has bright green oval leaves with pale undersides. As it matures, these leaves enlarge and develop elliptical fenestrations from the center of their leaves to the midrib. The Lechleriana reaches heights of 4 to 6 feet indoors.
With its distinctive split-leaf look, it’s pretty easy to identify the Lechleriana, particularly as it grows larger. The giveaway is in its fenestrations, which generally begin in the center of the leaf and extend inward towards the center vein. The leaves themselves also remain oval with a tapered end well into maturity.
This plant has vine-like stems with visible aerial roots.
Can Monstera Lechleriana be variegated?
The Monstera Lechleriana can indeed be variegated, but it is extremely rare. Variegation occurs from a genetic mutation that leaves areas of plant tissue utterly devoid of chlorophyll. The result is splatters or patches of white or cream coloration on otherwise green leaves.
A Monster Lechleriana variegata is genuinely a once-in-a-lifetime plant. These beauties rarely occur and have only appeared on the market a few times, fetching exorbitant prices. Variegation in these Monsteras cannot be manufactured and thus must occur naturally. Further complicating their obtainability is the lack of guarantee that propagation will produce variegated juveniles.
Monstera Lechleriana vs Monstera adansonii
The main difference between Monstera Lechleriana and Monstera adansonii is their fenestrations. The adansonii has many more apertures that are smaller and rounder in size. The Lechleriana’s fenestrations are more symmetrical and closer to the leaf’s midrib.
Monstera can be a little confusing when they’re juveniles, as generally, I find the best way to tell them apart is by looking at their fenestrations, and this is definitely the case when considering the question of Monstera Lechleriana vs adansonii.
However, with the Lechleriana, a good tip is to look at the color of the undersides of their leaves, which is paler than adansonii. The shape is also more lance-like.
Check out the ultimate guide on Monstera adansonii care here.
Monstera Lechleriana vs Monstera epipremnoides
The main difference between the Monstera Lechleriana and Monstera epipremnoides is the size and placement of their fenestrations. The Lechleriana’s fenestrations tend to run along its central vein to the center of the leaf. The epipremnoides, conversely, has plenty more fenestrations covering almost the entire surface area of each leaf.
In the question of Monstera lechleriana vs epipremnoides, there is little chance that you’ll confuse the Lechleriana with its epipremnoides cousin, as the latter has fenestrations closer in appearance to the Monstera Obliqua.
The Monstera epipremnoides (often referred to by its other name, Monstera Esqueleto) also grows to be a much larger plant.
Monstera Lechleriana vs Monstera Laniata
The main difference between the Monstera Lechleriana and Monstera Laniata is where their fenestrations are and how big they are. The Laniata is a subspecies of adansonii, with numerous small, scattered fenestrations. The Lechleriana’s fenestrations, however, are more uniform and centered.
While the Lechleriana and Laniata are both climbing epiphytes, there are distinct differences in their appearances and, in particular, their fenestrations are a dead giveaway in the question of Monstera Lechleriana vs Laniata.
Even as juveniles, the Laniata may present with a few small apertures, whereas the Lechleriana will not. As they mature, the Laniata develops numerous rounder fenestrations, where the Lechleriana’s will occur along its midrib, moving outwards.
Find out all about how to care for Monstera Laniata here.
Monstera Lechleriana vs Monstera Acuminata
The main difference between the Monstera Lechleriana and Monstera Acuminata is in the size and quantity of their apertures. Where the Lechleriana has more leaf area than fenestration, the Acuminata has almost as many holes as leaf area. The latter’s apertures are also rounder and more spread out.
In general, when considering the question of Monstera Lechleriana vs Acuminata, the best way to identify a Lechleriana is to look for its uniform, lateral fenestrations. This is true when compared to the Monstera Acuminata too, which has many more unequally distributed holes. As juveniles, the shape of the Lechleriana’s leaves is also more oval and paler in color.