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The Monstera Siltepecana is, without a doubt, one of the most breathtaking members of the Araceae family and is recognizable by its distinctive, silvery leaves. While there are over fifty known species of Monstera in the world today, this one, in particular, is immensely popular as a houseplant, as it is relatively low-maintenance and a vigorous, gratifying grower.

Also called the Silver Monstera, this beauty is an evergreen vining plant that undergoes two distinct phases throughout its lifetime. As a juvenile plant, it has small, silver leaves with well-defined dark green veins. As it grows bigger and matures, its leaves become dark green and fenestrated, giving away its Monstera heritage.

The way in which it grows and trails also changes somewhat as it ages. As young plants, Siltepecana are terrestrial growers, dwelling and rooting in soil. As they mature, they develop strong aerial roots and become epiphytic, gripping onto other plants and surfaces as a means to vine and expand, always aiming for the sun.

In this article, we’ll investigate everything there is to know about the gorgeous Monstera Siltepecana, including how to care for them, how to propagate them, how to transplant them, where to find them, and so much more.

monstera siltepecana
Source: Dan Jones – CC BY 2.0

How do you care for a Monstera Siltepecana?

Monstera Siltepecana are generally easy to care for. They require an aroid, well-draining soil mix, plenty of bright, indirect light, and medium to high humidity. In terms of their watering schedules, they’re thirsty plants and require lots of moisture. Occasional fertilization will benefit them.

While there are some really fussy houseplants out there (here’s looking at you, fiddle leaf fig!), I’m pleased to report that the Monstera Siltepecana is not one of them. With its very reasonable care requirements and boisterous, rewarding growth, it’s easy to see why this plant is so popular.

To keep your Monstera Siltepecana happy, all you need to do is ensure that it is living in an optimal growing environment. Well-draining, aroid soil mixed with a dash of pumice and perlite enhances airflow and reduces the risk of root rot. For energy, your Monstera should be placed in a spot where it receives plenty of bright, indirect sunlight daily. If you’re exposing it to direct light, make sure it’s the morning sun rather than the harsh rays of the afternoon.

In warmer areas, you will need to water your Monstera Siltepecana every five to seven days, but this ultimately depends on how much moisture is retained in its soil. A better way to measure its hydration needs is to allow the top layer of the soil to dry out before watering. Furthermore, never let your Monstera stand in pooled water or let the soil become cloggy and dense, as this will distress it and cause health issues like rot. Is your Monstera drooping and you’re not sure if it’s because of this? Consider investing in a moisture meter.

Finally, as these beauties hail from the tropical regions of Mexico and Central America, they do have a penchant for hotter temperatures and humidity. While the temperature range they can endure is vast, err on the side of keeping them warm when possible. To boost their growth, you can feed Monstera Siltepecana with a balanced fertilizer three or four times per year.

Are Monstera Siltepecana fast growing?

In optimal conditions, Monstera Siltepecana grow extremely quickly. They can either vine on other plants or structures or hang and trail from planters and pots. In order to mature and thrive, Siltepecanas need room for their roots to expand and lots of energy from water and the sun.

One of the reasons this plant is so beloved is that it grows so generously. It doesn’t take much to care for these beauties, as outlined in the previous section, yet they are happy to reward their owners with hordes of new leaves on a regular basis, particularly during the warmer months of the year.

At first, when they are young, Monstera Siltepecana grow juvenile, distinctively silver lance-shaped leaves lined with dark green veins. With lots of water, sunlight, humidity, and a little boost of fertilizer now and then, these leaves become larger and transform into a greener, more evenly colored palette. As it grows, your plant will also start developing aerial roots.

Monstera Siltepecana without fenestrations

The presentation of aerial roots on your Monstera is a sign that it’s well and truly settled and ready to move into its mature phase. These roots will seek surfaces or other plants to secure themselves to. Knowing they have a strong support system encourages even more exponential growth, leading to bigger, stronger leaves, inclined to develop fenestrations.

These fenestrations, which are the apertures or windows commonly found in the leaves of the Monstera genus, are a sign that your plant is thriving and maturing. At this stage, there’s no reason why you can’t propagate your Monstera plant, making the most of its gratifying growth to spread the Siltepecana love. If your Monstera is not growing, on the other hand, it may need better care or repotting to prevent it from becoming rootbound.

Does Monstera Siltepecana climb?

Monstera Siltepecana like to climb, provided they have a support structure onto which they can attach their aerial roots. Moss poles, for example, are a great way to encourage growth while also providing nutrients and moisture. Other options include trellises, stakes, or similar structures.

To understand your climbing Monstera Siltepecana’s habits, it’s necessary first to understand how they grow in their natural habitats. Indeed, these silvery beauties are tropical plants endemic to the jungle areas of Mexico and Central America that have adapted to negotiate a very specific environment.

As saplings, they spring forth from the earth, usually in the shade of bigger trees and plants. As they grow larger, they develop roots all over their stems that reach upward and outward toward larger species that can support them. This is because they are trying to access the sun through the canopy above them. With greater exposure to sunlight, they have more energy, becoming larger and stronger.

Indoors, the Monstera Siltepecana houseplant has not forgotten its inherent desire to climb, creep, and vine. It’s happiest in light, bright conditions where it can attach itself to a support structure and continue to reach toward the sun. Ever noticed how your plants tend to face toward your windows? That’s why.

To make the most of your Siltepecana’s climbing prowess, give your Monstera a moss pole, stake, trellis or coco coir pole to latch onto. If you are growing your Monstera outdoors, consider planting it close to a larger tree with accessible branches. If you prefer it not to climb, make provision for draping or trailing with an appropriately placed planter.

Related: 6 Simple Steps to Stake a Monstera

Does Monstera Siltepecana need humidity?

Most Monstera prefer high humidity, and the Siltepecana is no exception. While it can survive in milder conditions, it’s best to keep it in a spot where the air is relatively moist and warm if you really want to see it thrive. The humidity in your environment can be increased in various ways.

Hailing from the tropics, the Silver Monstera likes things warm, even though they’re hardy plants that can withstand various temperatures. Normal indoor living conditions should suffice for vigorous growth, but a little helping hand in terms of your Monstera’s humidity needs can also go a long way.

To emulate this, you can consider adding additional humidity to your plant’s surroundings in one of the following ways. Firstly, group it closely together with other plants, as they will collectively heighten the humidity levels in your home. If you don’t have a bunch of other houseplants, mist your Monstera’s leaves daily, or invest in a small plug-in home humidifier.

Pebble trays filled with water also prove useful when it comes to heightening humidity, so long as they’re not too close to your plant’s roots. Alternatively, consider letting your Monstera live in your bathroom, where the moisture from the shower or bath will provide an extra kick of dampness.

Does Monstera Siltepecana get fenestrations?

Monstera Siltepecana have two very distinct growth phases. When they are young, they have lance-shaped leaves that are whole and silver in color. As they reach full maturity, their leaves darken to rich green, become wider, and develop fenestrations, usually from their center vein outward.

The Monstera genus is known for the beautiful, patterned fenestrations that develop on their leaves as they mature. Usually, they start as small holes close to the leaf’s main vein, although you’ll notice your Monstera leaves splitting later, giving these plants their distinctive jungle look and feel, which has become so popular in contemporary printmaking and design.

dense Monstera Siltepecana
Source: Krzysztof Ziarnek – CC BY-SA 4.0

Silver Monsteras are also inclined to develop fenestrations. However, this is usually only observed in very mature plants that have a structure or support plant to creep on and cling to. They need a certain level of sturdiness to reach the size required for this kind of patterning and will only develop fenestrations once their leaves are relatively large.

To encourage this kind of growth, you can provide your plant with a secure support like a moss pole or trellis. Its aerial roots will attach of their own volition, and with ideal growing conditions, you’re very likely to see fast, vigorous expansion. The bigger your Siltepecana gets, the greater the chance of fenestrations.

Plenty of water, sunlight, and occasional feeding will also aid your plant in reaching maturity. The timeline for developing fenestrations in optimal conditions on a very healthy plant is roughly two to three years.

How do I propagate Monstera Siltepecana?

All Monsteras propagate well, but the Monstera Siltepecana is especially rewarding. Cuttings taken from a healthy, relatively mature plant will root well both in soil and in water. All you need is to ensure that you have at least one leaf and a node per cutting. Aerial roots are a bonus.

Anyone who has propagated a Monstera will attest to the fact that it is a very gratifying process. These low-maintenance plants are extremely giving when it comes to multiplying, and it takes only a little effort for the pay-off. To propagate a Silver Monstera, you can follow a few easy steps:

  1. Start by ensuring your cutting tools are clean and sterilized. Diseases and pests travel easily between plants, so you want to try your best to avoid spreading any potential health risks. 
  2. Once you have your tools and workspace ready, you can identify a portion of your plant for cutting. Ideally, Monstera cuttings will have a few nodes and leaves, but one or two will also suffice. Remember, though, that you can’t propagate Monstera without a node.
  3. Cut your stems at an angle so that there is as much surface area as possible for new growth on your Monstera. If your cuttings have a few aerial roots, too, they’ll settle in their new planters or water baths even faster.
  4. Cuttings can be placed in containers with water or directly into the soil in planters. In both cases, make sure you have your propagation station ready before cutting to avoid having your future plants dry out. 

In just a few weeks, healthy Monstera Siltepecana cuttings should develop robust root systems, preparing them for their future homes.

How do I root Monstera Siltepecana?

Rooting is a propagation process that refers specifically to growing cuttings in water. When it comes to rooting Monstera Siltepecana, the process is straightforward. All you need to do is identify suitable cuttings in possession of a node and a leaf and set them in a water container to grow roots.

And if you’re thinking this sounds simple, that’s because it is. To grow a Monstera in water, start by finding a strong stem that the parent plant can safely sacrifice. In other words, it’s best to propagate from more mature plants that have excess foliage to spare.

Once you have your cut stem, you can portion it into one-leaf one-node sections or keep it as a bigger cutting with multiple leaves and nodes. Prepare a container with fresh water to pop your cuttings into so they aren’t exposed to the air for too long. When submerging your plants, make sure the node and any aerial roots are covered by water so that they don’t dry out and perish.

From here on out, it’s just a waiting game. Try to change your water every week so that it remains rich in oxygen and doesn’t start developing algae. Also, try not to overcrowd the water dish. Keep your container close to bright indirect light, turning it occasionally so that your plant receives sun energy from all angles.

Within two or so months, you should have enough root growth to be able to plant your new Siltepecana!

How do I repot Monstera Siltepecana?

Repotting is an important part of Siltepecana care, particularly as they grow fast and develop a plentitude of roots in a short space of time. To repot your Monstera, remove it carefully from its planter, loosen its root ball, and transplant it into a larger container with a prepared soil mix.

When it comes to transplanting the Monstera Siltepecana, the good news is that they don’t become distressed easily and usually take well to new environments. While it’s best to practice care and patience when repotting them, including keeping an eye on when to repot your Monstera, you’re unlikely to do any lasting damage. Instead, repotting gives your plant a greater chance to thrive.

Monstera Siltepecana

A sure sign that your plant requires a new pot is evidence that your Monstera is becoming root bound. If its roots become visible, particularly through its pot’s drainage holes, it’s time for a bigger home. As a general rule of thumb when it comes to the best pot for your Monstera, look for a planter that offers one to two inches of space between the roots and the edges of the pot.

Next, prepare your soil. A top-quality potting mix turned with some perlite will ensure that your soil retains moisture while allowing for adequate air circulation between the roots. For added nutrients, add a little compost. Once your soil and pot are ready, it’s time to move your plant. Burrow a hole in the ground large enough to receive your Monstera Siltepecana.

Gently lift your plant out from its present container. Sliding it out sideways works best. Shake off excess soil and very carefully loosen the roots. Then, place your plant in its new container, spreading out the roots as much as possible. Firmly press down soil around it, water it thoroughly, and put it in a sunny spot to recover.

How often should I water Monstera Siltepecana?

Because of their fast growth rates, Monstera Siltepecana require quite a lot of water. Watering once per week is considered a good measure. Still, it’s best to check your plant’s soil with a fingertip or moisture meter before hydrating, as overwatering can be extremely detrimental.

There are definitely two camps when it comes to how often to water a Monstera Siltepecana. Many green thumbs agree that their soil should be allowed to dry out completely before watering, whereas others feel that a regular weekly schedule is the right way to go.

watering can

Either way, you want to ensure that you don’t overwater your Monstera, as this can easily lead to root rot which can be extremely difficult to eradicate once it sets in. Signs that your Siltepecana is sitting in soggy soil include drooping, wilting, and yellowing leaves.

If you’re unsure if you’re watering your plant too much, check the soil regularly to see how dry or humid it is. A moisture meter helps and can be easily purchased from your local garden center or nursery. Lacking that, you can insert your fingertip into the soil and feel how dry or wet it is. If the top inch or two of soil is dried out, it’s time for a drink.

When you water your Silver Monstera, make sure to give it a thorough soaking. These beauties love water and will convert it into energy quickly, particularly during the hotter months of the year (when they may require more frequent watering too). That being said, don’t allow them to sit in pooled water trays, as these can quickly turn into playgrounds for harmful fungi and bacteria.

What soil does Monstera Siltepecana like?

Monstera Siltepecana need well-draining soil with good air circulation, interspersed with a few chunkier pieces of bark or moss. Pumice and perlite are good for moisture retention, as well as for preventing clumping. Since they grow aerial roots, these plants don’t do well with compact, heavy soil.

Like most low-maintenance houseplants, the best soil for Monstera Siltepecana doesn’t require you to take into consideration anything particularly complicated. For the most part, they fare perfectly well in store-bought potting mixes for tropical indoor species. Should you wish to mix your own soil, there are a few things to bear in mind.

For one, these plants are viners and thus grow external aerial roots as well as soil-dwelling roots. In both cases, they don’t like soggy soil or fine soil that is heavy and compact. Indeed, their roots need plenty of air circulation for optimal growth and health.

A good mixture for a Monstera Siltepecana is a combination of high-grade potting soil and perlite, turned with chunks of nutrient-rich, moisture-retaining matter like bark or moss. The latter stops the ground from becoming cloggy, thereby protecting your Monstera’s delicate roots.

In gardening terms, this kind of mixture is known as an aroid mix, which refers to soil with a good balance of organic matter, thanks to bark or moss, while remaining well-draining, keeping your plants’ roots happy, strong, and healthy.

Why is my Monstera Siltepecana not growing?

There are several reasons why a Monstera Siltepecana may experience difficulty growing, most of which directly result from poor environmental conditions. Without adequate water, light, or nutrients, your plant may experience stunting. A further common cause is the presence of pests or diseases.

It sounds obvious to say, but if your Monstera does not have its basic needs met, it will experience difficulty growing. Most commonly, this happens when it does not receive enough water or light or when there are not enough nutrients present in its soil. Illnesses like root rot can also wreak havoc on your plants. The best way to determine what’s bugging your Siltepecana is to undertake a deductive approach.

First, consider its growing environment. Are you meeting giving your Monstera the light it needs with a minimum of six hours of bright, indirect sunlight each day? Is it receiving regular watering? If that is in order, you may want to consider giving a dose of fertilizer to your Monstera as an added nutrient boost. Also, inspect your plant to make sure it’s not rootbound, in which case it may need to be transplanted into a bigger space.

If you feel the above is in order, it’s time to inspect your soil. Wet, clogged soil may be signs of Monstera root rot developing. In circumstances where you’re dealing with an overwatered Monstera Siltepecana, your best port of call is to repot your plant into fresh, uninfected soil, cutting away damaged roots and providing it with less water and plenty of light until it recovers.

Usually, when a plant stops growing, there are other signs present that something is amiss, like wilting or yellowing leaves. It’s good practice to inspect your houseplants often, at least once every two weeks, to make sure there is no distress developing. Or if there is, so that you can manage it timeously.

Why does my Monstera Siltepecana have yellow leaves?

Yellow leaves on a Monstera Siltepecana usually mean it is underwatered, overwatered, or malnourished. Yellowing of the lower leaves indicates hydration issues, while discoloration of the plant in its entirety is more likely caused by a lack of nutrients or oxygen to the root system.

The cause behind yellow leaves on a Monstera can be difficult to diagnose, particularly if it’s water-related and the damage is still minor. The signs and symptoms of overwatering and underwatering present in much the same way, although slight differences can be observed with close attention. To determine which issue you’re dealing with, you need to be a little hands-on.

The easiest way to check for watering problems is to feel the soil. If it’s very soggy and smells damp, you’ve likely overwatered your plant, and it may be in the throes of developing root rot. If it’s super dry and you notice your Monstera’s leaves curling or wrinkling, the chances are your plant is just thirsty.

In both cases, you’ll need to adjust your watering practices and prune your Monstera’s yellow leaves that are now just effectively wasting your plant’s energy. If you suspect root rot, err on the side of caution by repotting your plant and cutting away any infection. Don’t forget to add some bark or moss to your soil for better airflow.

If watering does not seem to be the issue at hand, your Silver Monstera might be suffering from malnourishment. Get your plant on a feeding schedule of a monthly slow-release, balanced fertilizer to curb this. You should see new growth and a healthier, perkier Monstera overall in no time.

Is Monstera Siltepecana poisonous?

Most plants of the Monstera genus are toxic when ingested, including the Monstera Siltepecana. Symptoms of ingestion include pain, swelling, vomiting, and difficulty breathing. For this reason, it’s not advisable to place this plant in spots where pets or children can easily reach it.

Although only classified as mildly toxic to humans, the Monstera is toxic to cats, dogs and other pets and can be especially dangerous for small children if consumed in large quantities. Fortunately, the taste isn’t very appealing, although that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t practice precaution.

cat next to plant

By all means, have this plant in your house, but situate it somewhere out of reach. These silvery beauties are perfect for draping, hanging, and trailing and look breathtaking on shelves and trellises that are safely out of reach of unknowing plant-munchers.

Pets, in particular, may unwittingly chew on this plant purely because that’s something that domestic animals sometimes like to do. Bite marks on your leaves and a furry friend that seems to be in distress are a cause for concern, and you should seek medical attention for your pet as a matter of urgency.

Symptoms of ingestion (by pets and children alike) may include swelling and irritation of the eyes, lips, and throat and excessive drooling. Vomiting, dizziness, and difficulty breathing are also signs of poisoning and should be treated as extremely serious. For your own peace of mind, observe your pet’s behavior around plants first if you plan to invest in a Silver Monstera at home.

Is Monstera Siltepecana rare?

Among the commonly-found Monstera species, the Siltepecana is certainly lesser-known, although it is not considered rare. That said, certain varieties of the Siltepecana are extremely hard to come by, like the El Salvador variety, and are coveted by collectors for their unique qualities.

For many of us, when we think of types of Monsteras, our heads immediately go to the shiny dark green giant Monstera Deliciosa that is so commonly found in homes and offices. Given that the strange, silvery Siltepecana only develops fenestrations at a very mature age, it’s no surprise that many don’t even realize that it’s part of the Monstera family at all.

Monstera Siltepecana

Irrespective, the standard Monstera Siltepecana is not difficult to come by and can be freely purchased at many a nursery or garden center. In the last few years, it has enjoyed increased popularity and is now found in the collections of many houseplant enthusiasts. This is largely thanks, also, to how easy they are to propagate.

Even so, reading up on the topic can be confusing, as many sources list this species as a rare find. The reason for this is that certain varieties are far less easy to track down than others, including the El Salvador variety, which I’ll talk about in greater detail in the following section.

Furthermore, the Monstera Siltepecana is often confused with plants in the Monstera genus that are considered similar in appearance, like the Peru and Cebu Blue. In the following sections, we’ll take a closer look at how to distinguish between these varieties so as to determine whether you’re in possession of a truly rare find.

Are Monstera Siltepecana and El Salvador the same?

There are different varieties of Monstera Siltepecana that vary in rareness. The hardy El Salvador is among the most difficult to find and the most sought-after. It is recognizable by its much larger leaves and more compact shape. It also grows faster than the commonly-found Silver Monstera.

By appearance alone, there is little to distinguish the Monstera Siltepecana from its rare variety, the El Salvador, although there are marked differences in its growth behaviors. The El Salvador produces bigger leaves more inclined to develop fenestrations and grows in a much more compact form.

Regardless, it is just as much of a creeper as its smaller, more common cousin. In ideal growing conditions, the El Salvador can reach full maturity and begin showing fenestrations from the age of two years. This is, of course, provided it has a support structure to latch onto and plenty of access to bright sunlight.

Monstera Siltepecana vs Peru: What’s the difference?

The main difference between the Monstera Siltepecana and Peru is their leaves. That is, the Siltepecana has silvery variegated leaves that are tear-shaped and fenestrate, whereas the Peru has much darker, more evenly-colored green leaves that tend to be narrower and longer with a thick, leathery texture.

You wouldn’t be the first person to confuse the Monstera Siltepecana vs Peru, although they are different plants that both happen to fall in the Monstera genus. They are often confused due to their similar appearances, although there are, in actual fact, quite distinct differences in the shape, color, and size of their leaves, with the differences becoming more obvious as they mature.

Many a mislabeled Monstera has ended up in an enthusiast’s collection only to leave them with questions of origin. Two such varieties, the Siltepecana and the Monstera Peru, are commonly confused due to their similar appearance as juveniles.

example of the leaves of a Monstera Peru vs Monstera Siltepecana
Example of the leaves of a Monstera Peru vs Monstera Siltepecana

Monstera Siltepecana vs Cebu blue: What’s the difference?

The main difference between the Monstera Siltepecana and the Cebu blue is in their leaves. Specifically, the leaves of the Siltepecana are much larger and variegated, whereas the Cebu blue has small, densely-growing leaves. While they both have a similar, distinct color, the Cebu blue is actually a Pothos while the Siltepecana is a Monstera. 

It seems strange even to draw comparisons between these two plants of a different genus. However, they are often lumped together because of their extremely distinct color. The Siltepecana is famous for its silvery hues, much like the Cebu blue is known for its light, glittery leaves. 

They are also both trailing and vining plants, extremely popular with houseplant collectors, and very easy to care for. Nevertheless, that is where the similarities end.

Where can I buy a Monstera Siltepecana?

The Silver Monstera can be purchased from garden centers and nurseries or specialized online suppliers. Cuttings are also sometimes available through private sellers that advertise online. Given its hardy nature, it is available in most growing zones.

There was a time when the variegated Monstera Siltepecana were hard to come by, but of late, they have become freely available. While still not as common as their more well-known Monstera cousins, they are mostly easy to track down and usually available at garden centers or through online plant stores. 

For rarer varieties like the El Salvador, you may need to find an online specialist breeder.

Is Monstera Siltepecana expensive?

Variegated plants of any kind are usually a little more expensive than their plain-colored counterparts. This is also the case with the Monstera Siltepecana. Depending on the particular variety you are purchasing and its size and age, you can expect to pay anywhere from $50 to $200.

You may find you can purchase cuttings for a lower price, but as this plant is rarer than some Monsteras, they are a little on the expensive side, especially when they’re large and in excellent health.