Monstera Siltepecana is a small and less common variant of the Monstera genus, but non the less magnificent and intriguing. This plant is a perfect addition to any home as a trailing plant or as a climber.
If you’re looking for an unusual talking point that will turn heads and doesn’t take up too much space, then this is the Monstera for you.
It’s rare tropical beauty with the same transforming leaf characteristics as Monstera Dubia.
Interestingly, both Monstera Siltepecana (or Silver Monstera as it is also known) and Monstera Dubia are devoid of the typical lobed, holey leaves that are synonymous with Monstera plants. Until they mature that is!
Juvenile Monstera Siltepecana plants exhibit exquisite arrow-shaped, blue-green foliage with silver markings and bold, forest green veins. Upon reaching maturity the markings disappear entirely and leaves are transformed into something much more closely resembling a Monstera plant. Indeed, its fenestrations look very similar to Monstera Adansonii.
Position Bright but away from direct sunlight
Watering Allow soil to almost dry between waterings
Climate Not cold hardy. Zone 9b, 10, 11, 12 (Min 55-90 °F)
Propagate Stem cuttings
Seasonality Evergreen, winter dormant
Monstera Siltepecana Care
Rare plants are all too often difficult to care for and a major financial investment for most people but that’s not the case with Monstera Siltepecana. It’s possible to pick up a young plant for less than $50 and they have relatively simple care requirements. Read on to find out all you need to know about caring for a Monstera Siltepecana from watering schedules and the right type of soil to where to position it and how ways to propagate.
Monstera Siltepecana grows naturally in the rainforests of Central America where it is accustomed to dappled shade and high levels of humidity. It thrives by attaching itself to nearby trees and branches so that it can climb skywards toward the light.
For best results, allow your Monstera Siltepecana to climb against bamboo, a moss pole, a trellis, or a wall. This will help to produce larger leaves both as a juvenile and mature plant.
Make sure to position your Monstera Siltepecana in a bright spot but away from any prolonged periods of direct and intense sunlight. An east-facing position is fine and will allow your plant to soak up some of the less intense warmth of the morning sun.
Since the rainforests of Central America offer high levels of humidity, your Monstera Siltepecana will thank you for a humid environment. That being said, this plant is not as needy as some other Monstera varieties when it comes to notching up the humidifier. Humidity levels of 50% or more will be adequate for successful growth albeit your plant may not grow as tall or as fast.
If you do need to increase the humidity for the Monstera you can, of course, invest in a humidifier, or alternatively, there are a few other quick and easy ways. These include:
- Regularly misting the leaves of your plant
- Grouping all of your humidity-loving plants together
- Placing a tray of stones or pebbles underneath the pot of your plant
Height And Spread
In nature, Monstera Siltepecana is a spectacle to behold. A juvenile plant tends to mimic the characteristics of a terrestrial plant by growing near the base of nearby trees and vegetation. It is only as the plant matures that its epiphytic vines begin to creep and climb and can be near the rainforest canopy.
As a cultivated plant, however, Monstera Siltepecana tends to remain relatively small with leaf size unlikely to grow to anywhere near 5 inches in length.
Like all Monstera plants, Monstera Siltepecana needs adequate watering but can withstand short periods of underwatering. Get into the habit of watering frequently rather than watering regularly.
What I mean by that is rather than watering your Monstera on a set day or days each week, be guided by the moisture levels in the soil. You can do this either with a soil moisture measure or by placing your finger a few inches into the soil.
When the soil is dry on the surface and slightly damp when your finger is fully immersed in the soil, then it is time to water your plant. If the soil is damp or bordering on soggy or below the surface, wait a few days before checking the moisture levels again. The simple rule here is to only water your plant when the top layer of soil is dry and only slightly damp below the surface.
When you do water your Monstera, always remove your plant from its ornate planter and place the plastic pot in a sink. Use a watering can to direct water towards the soil of your plant. Keep pouring water until it seeps through the drainage holes freely.
Wait for the water to stop running through the drainage holes before returning your plant to its ornate planter. You want to avoid water build-up in the decorative pot as this will encourage your Monstera to soak up the excess water and will create a soggy soil situation. One thing’s for sure, Monstera dislikes soggy soil with a passion.
In addition to getting the watering frequency just right, you also need to get the soil conditions right. Getting both of these important elements right will mean the roots of your Monstera will get the oxygen it needs to thrive. Here’s all you need to know about the right type of soil for your Monstera Siltepecana.
Monstera plants need soil that is adequately well-draining and one that is rich in nutrients and Monstera Siltepecana is no different. Both of these conditions will help to replicate this plant’s natural habit of the rainforests of Central America.
Avoid any soil that retains moisture for any length of time as these plants need air to circulate their roots and will not tolerate damp conditions. Put simply, long periods exposed to damp soil will just lead to root rot.
Use peat-based potting soil mixed with perlite or charcoal, bark, and composted animal matter.
I use purpose-made potting soil from the Monstera Plant Resource Center for all of my monstera plants and they seem to love it. It does a great job of preventing the roots from getting soggy so they have more chances to soak up some all-important oxygen. It is available to buy from Amazon.com by clicking this link.
You can of course make your own or select a good quality, well-draining potting mix from one of the many options that are readily available to purchase online.
How to fertilize Monstera Siltepecana
Nutrients in the soil of the rainforest will provide an endless supply of food for a wild Monstera Siltepecana. Think windfall berries, nuts, and fruit, composted foliage from nearby trees, not to mention animal droppings and remains. Feeding a cultivated Monstera Siltepecana therefore will provide a beneficial boost of nutrients when the goodness in your plant’s potting mix has depleted.
I recommend using a half-strength liquid fertilizer once per month or a slow-release granular fertilizer that will get to work straight away and will keep on working for up to six months. Both options have advantages and disadvantages and the option you choose will inevitably come down to personal preference.
Monstera plants are notoriously delicate though and so I always opt for a slow-release option such as Osmocote Smart-Release Plant Food Plus. Using this granular formula is a good way to avoid a build-up of fertilizer in the soil that can sometimes lead to root or leaf burn.
In the wild Monstera Siltepecana is a quick grower that only takes between 2-3 years to mature. As a cultivated plant, however, don’t expect to come home one day to find your space has been transformed into a jungle.
Monstera Siltepecana will really only need to be pruned from time to time. Go easy and allow foliage to develop is my advice. At best, you will only need to trim away any damaged, yellow or dead foliage.
When you do need to tidy things up always use a sterile and sharp pruning knife or pair of scissors and cut as close to the main stem as possible.
Try to keep repotting your Monstera Siltepecana to a minimum. Monstera plants are super sensitive when it comes to being transplanted and it often causes stress if their roots become damaged.
If you notice your Monstera getting a little too big for its pot or roots begin to appear from drainage holes then you’ll need to tackle repotting but do try to be as gentle as possible when doing so.
Here are my top tips for re-potting your Monstera Siltepecana:
- Repot when you know your plant is actively growing. This is when your Monstera is in its prime and will stand the best chances of recovering from any stress caused by repotting.
- Make sure the roots of your Monstera are damp before you remove it from its pot. The best way to do this is to water your plant and then wait for two days. It’s easier to gently tease damp roots from the edge of the pot without causing damage.
- Avoid pulling upwards on the stem of your Monstera to remove it from the pot. Instead, lay the pot on its side and loosen the soil around the edges of the pot with your finger. This will make it easier to slide the plant from the pot or container.
- Use a soft brush or your fingers to brush away as much soil as possible from the roots. This will help to avoid unnecessary damage to roots.
- Now that the roots are exposed, give them a thorough inspection for any signs of damage or disease. Look for roots that are firm to the touch and cream or white in color rather than brown and mushy. If you do notice any brown or mushy roots they will need to be trimmed away immediately with sterile scissors or a sharp knife.
- Choose a pot or container that is slighter larger than the last and also has good-sized drainage holes when you repot your Monstera. Clay or terracotta are great at helping to draw moisture away from the soil and will help further with drainage.
- Roots should be buried below the line of the soil along with just enough of the stem in order for the plant to be stable enough to stand upright. Press the soil up and around the stem to help with support.
- Avoid using old soil. Always replace it with fresh, well-draining potting soil, and do not fertilize your Monstera for at least 4 months once you have re-planted it. Fresh soil will already contain a healthy dose of nutrients and any more may be too much for your plant to absorb.
- Return your Monstera to its bright spot in a decorative pot or container. Expect it to take a few weeks to recover and settle back into a slightly larger environment. The stress of being disrupted will subside and Your plant should bounce back once the stress of being disrupted has subsided and you’ll begin to see new growth within a month or so.
How to Propagate Monstera Siltepecana
Considering Monstera Siltepecana is a rare plant, propagation is relatively straightforward in soil or in water from just a stem cutting. You’ll need to use a stem cutting that has 2 or 3 nodes and at least one leaf and make sure it is healthy and free from any damage or discoloration.
To propagate your stem cutting in water use either a propagation station or jar. Fill it with water and place your cutting inside. Remember to change the water frequently. You’ll need to position it in a bright spot but not in direct sunlight.
When propagating in the soil dip the stem cutting into some good quality rooting hormone and then place it into a small pot of well-draining potting mix.
Whatever method you choose, be patient. It can take between 6-8 weeks for the beginning of new roots and shoots to appear. Once they do appear, you can transfer your cutting into a well-draining potting mix and water only when the soil is almost dry.
Common problems with Monstera Siltepecana
Like many Monstera houseplants, Monstera Siltepecana can be susceptible to overwatering. If you notice yellowing or dropping leaves ask yourself the following questions:
- What is my watering schedule for this plant? Am I watering too often by not allowing the soil to dry sufficiently before watering again?
- What type of soil is my Monstera planted in? Is it sufficiently well-draining or does it remain soggy for prolonged periods of time?
- Is my Monstera planted in a pot or container with good-sized drainage holes?
- Am I allowing my plant to sit in water for too long?
- Am I allowing excess water to run off before replacing it in its ornamental planter?
If the answer to any of these questions is yes then you’ll need to take corrective action immediately. You’ll find all the solutions to these questions within the article so getting your Monstera Siltepecana back to its former glory will be a breeze.
If the yellow or drooping leaf symptoms persist then, you’ll need to investigate further by examining the roots. Have a look at my section above about repotting your plant to find some top tips on how to prevent stress when removing your Monstera from its pot or container.
Once you’ve carefully removed your Monstera from its pot and the roots are fully exposed you can have a good look at their condition. Roots that appear brown or black and are soft and mushy are diseased and all traces will need to be trimmed away using a sterile and sharp knife or pair of scissors.
I like to wash and re-sterilize my scissors after every cut. This is the best way to avoid transferring any disease to other parts of the roots. It’s a little fiddly, but well worth the effort if you have to restore your Monstera to the best possible health.
Once you have removed all areas of the root that are diseased and you are left with just white or cream and firm roots, you are ready to repot. Make sure you have thoroughly cleaned the pot and are using fresh, well-draining potting soil. This will ensure that any wayward diseased roots are not transferred back into the vicinity of your plant.
Your Monstera Siltepecana will thank you for resuming a less frequent watering schedule from now on!