Houseplants have become increasingly popular in recent years, as people seek to bring a little bit of nature into their homes. Among the most popular houseplants are the philodendron and the monstera, two plants that are often mistaken for one another due to their similar appearance. However, there are several key differences between the two plants that can help you tell them apart.
Size and Growth Habit
One of the most obvious differences between philodendrons and monsteras is their size and growth habit. Philodendrons are typically smaller, more compact plants that grow in an upright habit, with leaves that are heart-shaped or arrow-shaped. In contrast, monsteras are much larger, with leaves that can grow up to two feet long and one foot wide. Monsteras also grow in a more vine-like manner, with stems that can climb and wrap around supports.
Leaf Shape and Texture
Another key difference between philodendrons and monsteras is the shape and texture of their leaves. Philodendron leaves are usually smooth and glossy, with a waxy texture that can make them feel slightly slippery to the touch. The leaves are often heart-shaped or arrow-shaped, with deep green coloration. In contrast, monstera leaves are more textured, with deep veins that run through the leaf and give it a more rugged appearance (sometimes making them more hardy like the well known Monstera Deliciosa). The leaves are also typically larger and have a more irregular shape, with distinct cuts or perforations that give them a unique, almost artistic appearance.
Light and Water Requirements
Both philodendrons and monsteras are relatively easy to care for, but they do have different light and water requirements. Philodendrons prefer bright, indirect light and can tolerate periods of dryness between watering. They are also more tolerant of low humidity, making them a good choice for homes with dry air. Monsteras, on the other hand, prefer bright, indirect light but can also tolerate some direct sunlight. They also require more water than philodendrons and should be kept evenly moist, with frequent misting to maintain high humidity levels.
Finally, the way in which philodendrons and monsteras propagate is another key difference between the two plants. Philodendrons can be easily propagated through stem cuttings, which can be rooted in water or soil. They can also be propagated through division, which involves separating a mature plant into smaller sections and potting them individually. Monsteras, on the other hand, are typically propagated through stem cuttings or air layering, which involves wrapping a section of stem in moss and allowing roots to form before separating the new plant from the parent.
In conclusion, while philodendrons and monsteras share some similarities in appearance, there are several key differences between the two plants that can help you distinguish them. By understanding these differences, you can choose the right plant for your home and ensure that it receives the care it needs to thrive.