Monstera vs Philodendron - Actual Differences and Similarities

Monstera vs Philodendron – Actual Differences and Similarities

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In this article, we will be discussing a comparison of Monstera vs Philodendron. Know their actual Differences and Similarities here. We absolutely understand how confusing some plants’ appearances are.

Beginner gardeners get a lot of confusion. It is important to know the differences and similarities between the plants that look a lot like each other. Such a case is of philodendron and monstera. We will clear all the tangled thoughts regarding both these plants. These plants have a lot of similarities and few differences if you know them and will help you a lot while buying or even taking care of them.

Quick takeaways:

  • Monstera and philodendron are evergreen plants and are perfect houseplants that bring beauty to the corner.
  • The difference lies in the aspect of cuts on leaves, and the type of holes there are on these plants.

We will keep it simple, compiling all the complex information. So stay tuned!

What is Monstera?

Commonly called Swiss cheese plants, monstera plants are known for the holes on the leaves that look a lot like deli cheese, but they are native to Mexico. The leaves (heart-shaped) of the plants will look glossy and seem like plastic. The leaves are super attractive. The plant rarely flowers in the house. These indoor short plants have monster-like leaves but are loved by many growers.

What is a philodendron?

These plants are the first recommendations you get while buying some houseplants in a nursery. The philodendron is a very popular plant and has heart-shaped leaves that are glossy and leathery. The philodendron plants have a climbing nature they love to climb over support whether a plant or a prop. The plants rarely show white flowers in the native outdoors but rarely seem to bloom indoors.

Monstera vs Philodendron

The similarities and differences will help you recognize the plants easily and ultimately in gardening. The monstera and philodendron plants are a lot similar, belonging to the same family Araceae but we will have a deeper view about this!

Differences between the monstera and philodendron 

Plant size

Monstera plants are tall plants that can even get to the height of 10 ft. The plants are best grown in pots that are medium to large in size. Monstera in such cases grow vertically but have a climbing ability due to their aerial roots.

The philodendron plants are small plants that have small leaves and are perfect to be grown in hanging baskets. The plants are about a meter in height. These plants have varieties that are climbing in nature as well but not in true split-leaf philodendron. These plants grow horizontally just the opposite of monstera here.

Leaf size

With about more than 600 varieties you will see the philodendron leaves mostly in small sizes.

Monstera – monstera leaves are large in size having the name monstera due to their monster-like leaves as I told you before they are almost up to a meter in length and width.

To know more about the plant world, you may also read related articles, Narcissus vs. Daffodil vs. Jonquils – Actual Differences and Identification

Leaf traits

Monstera leaves are lush green that stays green for a long time

The philodendron plants yield green to different shaded leaves as well. Also if not taken care of properly the leaves turn curl.

Holes on leaf

Monstera leaves have fenestrations that are holes on the surface of leaves.

Philodendrons have no fenestrations on the surface of their leaves, the leaves are heart-shaped and have deep cuts.

Growing environment

The monstera plants grow and take the help of the aerial roots to climb up the tree, which makes these plants great climbers.

Philodendron plants are not that good at climbing; they grow horizontally and have trailing nature, they are pretty looking vines.


The monstera plants bloom with beautiful white flowers in the middle of the summer heat that starts after two to three months. Even a few species of monstera plants are seen yielding some tangy flavored fruits as well

The philodendron plants are happier with their leaves and don’t produce any fruits or flowers for the whole year at all.


The cataphylls in plants are basically the leaves that are protective in function. They surround the young leaves that are growing.

Monstera has cataphylls that have surrounded the leaves for a very long time.

Philodendron cataphylls don’t stay for long on the length around the young leaves, they fall as they dry and after some time.

Similarities between monstera and philodendron

Same family

Monstera and philodendron

These plants both have the same family as I mentioned before and that is Araceae though their genera are different. Both plants have different varieties of leaf patterns, shapes, and colors.

Aerial roots

Monstera and philodendron

Both of these plants have aerial roots that help them in getting the air better. These plants have epiphytic growths that are aerial roots that even help them to grow by getting nutrition from the host.

Same origins

Both these plants are tropical climate lovers. They both are tropical plants and belong to the areas of the West Indies and American states.

How to identify both of these plants? 

 Identifying monstera Identifying philodendron
Cataphylls- retains on the plants Cataphylls- fall off as they dry 
Leaves-  large size, evergreen Leaves- small size, shaded leaves
Fruits- have fruitsFruit- don’t have fruits
Fenestrations- are present Fenestrations- leaves are split
Growth- tall, grow verticallyGrowth- trailing and growing horizontally
Varieties looking like philodendron Monstera deliciosaMonstera dubia Monstera standleyana Varieties looking like monsteraSplit-leaf philodendron, philodendron minima

Summing up the context

We hope by now you have understood the basic and complex differences between monstera plants and philodendron plants. The similarities indicated above will help you have an idea of what plant you have and accordingly, you will care. We expect that you have found the answers and this article helpful, do let us know. We are happy to help you guys. Enjoy planting! 


What is the rarest Monstera? 

Monstera obliqua are the slowest growing plants and the rarest type of monstera. Their leaves are soft and have so many holes on the surface of leaves. 

Why does my monstera have no holes? 

The monstera plants if they are not getting a good amount of sunlight then the fenestration fails to occur in the growing leaves. The mature leaves also will not show such holes. The other reasons can be dryness of the soil, low temperature, and humidity variations. 

What is the rarest philodendron? 

Philodendron spiritus Sancti is the rarest type of philodendron. 

Becky Decker

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