These two unusual plants have become extremely popular among houseplants. Their monstrous appearance obviously influenced the name of the genus. Indeed, what could be more unusual than large leaves with large openings?
Today we will compare two species of the genus Monstera. Both Monstera acuminata and Monstera adansonii are heat-loving plants and can only be grown indoors in the USA. Only in the summer, you can place them outside for a short period of time.
|Monstera acuminata||Monstera adansonii|
|USDA Hardiness zone||11-12||11-12|
|Mature height||7′ (2 m)||7′ (2 m)|
|Mature width||2′ (0.6 m)||2′ (0.6 m)|
|Light exposure||indirect, bright||indirect, bright|
|Watering||1-time per week||1-time per week|
|Pests||insects, mites||insects, mites|
Foliage is the main difference
The most noticeable difference between these two plants is the leaves. They differ in shape, size, pattern, and other characteristics which will be discussed in this chapter.
The leaves of Monstera adansonii are larger
Monstera acuminata has smaller leaves than its competitor. Their length varies from 4 to 10 inches. And they are 4 to 5 inches wide. The size depends on the age of the plant.
At the same time, the leaves of Monstera adansonii are larger. They can reach almost 14 inches in length. In young plants, the leaf length is usually no more than 8 inches. Also, the leaf petioles are a little longer, making the plant slightly larger in appearance.
It follows that Monstera adansonii is more distinctive and noticeable because of its large leaves. But for lovers of smaller plants, Monstera acuminata is fine.
Shape is different
Because the leaf blade is proportionately wider Monstera acuminata has an oval leaf shape. Also, the tips are less distinct and not sharp.
Another difference is that the leaf is pressed slightly inwards along its length. This certainly gives more interest to this plant.
And at last, the number of holes, for which Monstera is so appreciated, is more, but they are smaller. They are arranged not symmetrically but more chaotically.
Monstera adansonii has flat leaves, which noticeably distinguishes it from its competitor. But due to the larger size, they also look beautiful.
The number of holes is smaller than in Monstera acuminata. But their size is noticeably larger and they are placed in pairs.
As to the form, here is not all so unequivocal as Monstera adansonii has two different species forms.
The first is Monstera adansonii Narrow. As the name suggests it has a narrower and more elongated shape. The length of the leaf is much longer than its width. The leaf tips are sharp and point to the right or left. The holes are elongated and look very unusual.
The second is Monstera Adansonii Round Form. It has more oval or heart-shaped leaves. It is quite difficult to distinguish from Monstera acuminata. The holes are more round compared to the narrow form.
Monstera acuminata darker
The color of the two plants is also different.
Monstera adansonii has the usual green leaves. The veins are a little darker, but in general, the color is not different from most other plants.
Monstera acuminata on the other side has darker leaves, and the veins in turn are even darker. This makes it more interesting compared to its competitor in terms of color.
Of course, the color of the foliage will vary depending on the growing conditions. But in the same growing environment, Monstera acuminata will be noticeably darker.
Monstera acuminata smoother
It is also worth mentioning that the surface of the leaves of Monstera acuminata is smooth. This makes the plant shinier because the smooth surface will reflect the light better.
On the other hand, Monstera adansonii has irregularities and convexities. It is these features that give it considerable value because such monstrosity is highly valued among collectors.
The highlight of Monstera adansonii is the variegated variety. Its name is Archipelago. It has partially white leaves. The contrast of white and green colors makes this plant unique.
Because of its appearance Archipelago is valued extremely highly. The price of such a plant can reach over a thousand dollars. It is also not easy to find such a plant on sale.
Last but not least in the high cost of this plant is that it is very difficult to propagate it. The only method is cuttings, all others are not suitable. Besides, the slow growth rate (due to less chlorophyll in the leaves) greatly increases the price.
Monstera acuminata also have a variegated form, but it is not as bright and contrasting as Archipelago. Also, it is almost impossible to find it on sale. To get one is a real challenge.
Similarities between Monstera acuminata and Monstera adansonii
Both of these plants have a lot in common. The first is the need for a warm climate. They are mainly found in tropical latitudes. They absolutely do not tolerate frost, so growing them in the garden is not possible in most of the U.S.
The second is the growth habit. Early in life, the Monstera crawls on the ground until it finds a tall tree. Then all its life climbs up the trunk of the tree. As a result, the plant grows in the shade of its tree.
In the wild, it can reach up to 20 feet in length. But when grown indoors, it rarely exceeds 7 feet.
Also, Monstera Acuminata and Monstera Adansonii have very similar care requirements, which we will talk about next.
Because both of these varieties have large leaves, they need nutritious soil. The next requirement is good soil drainage to avoid stagnant moisture and root rot.
To get a substrate with such properties you need to use good quality compost, you don’t need to make it yourself. There are many quality composts on sale from reputable manufacturers.
Next, you need to add 10-15% peat to the compost. It will make the soil cleaner from fungi. You can also add some crushed ash.
The result will be an excellent potting soil for growing both Monstera acuminata and Monstera adansonii. Or go the easy way and buy a potting mix for aroids.
On average, Monstera needs to be watered once every 7 days. But you should also pay attention to soil moisture and water only when the soil is more than 2 inches dry. In hot summers or southern states, it may need to be watered a little more frequently.
But these recommendations only apply during active growth. During the winter dormancy period, water once every 10 days or even less often.
Do not overwater the Monstera as its roots can easily start to rot. The outward signs of root rot will be yellowed leaves. To avoid overwatering, you should always put these plants in pots with drainage holes.
The lighting requirements of Monstera are slightly different from most plants.
As I have already mentioned they grow in the shade of other trees but their distribution range in southern latitudes where there is a lot of sunlight. So even though they grow in the shade, it is not the same shade in which a hosta, for example, grows.
It is best placed near south-facing windows. But do not put the pots in front of the window – place them at the side. Direct sunlight should not reach the leaves, but the room where Monstera Acuminata or Monstera Adansonii grows should be very bright.
For Monstera to thrive, you need to reproduce its native conditions in your home. Namely air temperature and humidity
As I already mentioned they are heat-loving plants and the room temperature should be at least 65-70 degrees Fahrenheit. Of course, they can tolerate a little lower, but you won’t get normal growth in that case.
The humidity should be at least 45%. In general, this is normal room humidity. But if for some reason you have too dry the leaves can get spots. In this case, you should mist the plant or install a humidifier.
Monstera acuminata and Monstera adansonii are quite energetic plants, so you need to feed them from time to time. Two to three feedings a year would be optimal. Some owners fertilize every month or even more often, but there is a risk of over-feeding the Monstera.
The best solution is to use a slow-release fertilizer. In this case, you only need to apply it once a year and that’s it. The Monstera will get everything it needs all season long in equal portions. The main thing here is to use a balanced fertilizer with equal parts nitrogen, potassium, and phosphorus.
You need to apply a slow-release fertilizer in spring. If you use other types of fertilizer, the deadline is late summer. Otherwise, the plant can start growing in the winter and will be very depleted as a result.