All varieties of Monstera plants are stunning and statement-making, an absolute must-have for any houseplant enthusiast. But, let's not let Monstera deliciosa steal the show - there are many other varieties worthy of the limelight! A less common variety is the Monstera siltepecana plant, otherwise commonly called "Silver Monstera," and "Silver Queen Philodendron" is a beautiful and easy-to-grow houseplant to add to your Monstera collection.
This guide will explain how to best care for this lesser-known member of the Monstera genus: Monstera siltepecana.
What Is Monstera Siltepecana?
Like all Monsteras, the Monstera siltepecana originally comes from the jungles and rainforests of Central America. This particular species starts at the base of a tree.
At the juvenile stage, the leaves will be beautiful grayish-green, silver markings, almost dusty looking, with distinct dark green veins running throughout. It is these juvenile leaves that give their nickname.
The plant will quickly creep up the tree in its natural environment, reaching prolific adulthood much higher up the tree. As the plant matures, it will look completely different from the juvenile stage. The mature leaves are deep green, develop fenestrations, and form holes, like other common Monstera varieties.
Monstera siltepecana is part of the monstera genus, and this genus consists of 45 species of flowering plants. Many refer to this plant as Philodendron siltepecana, and it is incorrect. While Monsteras genus and Philodendron genus are related and belong to the same Araceae family, they are completely different genera.
This plant is also often confused with the swiss cheese plant due to its fenestrated leaf structure. It is also commonly confused with Cebu blue pothos, but their leaves are thinner and don't have the distinctive vines that siltephecana does.
Monstera Siltepecana Care
This epiphytic creeper can fit just about any houseplant niche you want to fill. It can climb, trail, and be placed in a hanging basket - it can even grow in a terrarium! However, it will almost always stay in its juvenile form when kept indoors. The mature leaves will only form if it's given sturdy support for upward climbing and a large amount of patience.
The Monstera siltepecana originally thrives on bright indirect light filtered through the canopy of the tree it is climbing. It is not a shade plant, but too much direct sunlight will absolutely kill it.
A south-facing window offering both direct and indirect sunlight exposure is ideal. An east-facing window works well, as morning sunlight is typically less harsh than midday or afternoon sunlight. If that's not an option, you can always use sheer curtains or blinds to help diffuse direct sunlight. This plant can grow in partial shade to full shade if necessary, although it will grow much slower. You can also add grow lights to keep your Monstera happy.
Watering Monstera Siltepecana
Monsteras can be somewhat tricky to water. Their roots are rarely completely dry in their natural environment, but they are thoroughly soaked when the rain comes.
To mimic its natural environment so that your Monstera siltepecana will thrive, you need to monitor its soil. Check the top inch of the soil with your finger. If it is dry, water the plant thoroughly. Make sure your pot has drainage holes, so that excess water can run out and not lead to root rot!
Also, make sure to use room temperature water - cold water will shock the roots of this tropical plant. You'll be surprised at how quickly this plant will dry out, even with the thorough watering every week. Remember, this plant is used to handle large quantities of rain. You'll find that you'll water about weekly during the growing season and every other week during cold weather. Always check the soil moisture before you water so that you can avoid overwatering.
Monstera siltepecana enjoys warm tropical temperatures. Adjust your thermostat so that it doesn't drop below 60°F.
This plant can be grown as indoor plants or outdoor plants. You can grow this plant outdoors as long as the overnight temperature doesn't dip too low. If kept indoors, make sure it is not too close to air conditioner vents.
The Monstera siltepecana plant does best in a high humidity level of 60%. You'll likely need to increase your air moisture in the space around your plant. Here's how!
- Place plants close together. This will noticeably increase humidity.
- Use a pebble tray. Fill a tray with pebbles, fill it with water to just below the top of the pebbles, and then set your Monstera siltepecana pot on top. This increases air moisture without overwatering the roots.
- Mist the leaves. Use a mister to spray the leaves of your plant daily.
- A bathroom home. If you make a bathroom the home for your Monstera siltepecana, the steam from showers will solve any low humidity issues you have.
- Use a humidifier. A humidifier will help increase your air moisture level instantly.
If your plant came in a small nursery pot, you would want to repot to a larger pot as soon as possible as this plant grows pretty quickly.
Monstera siltepecana needs a well-draining soil mix. The suitable potting medium should contain peat moss perlite, pumice, orchid bark pieces, and charcoal.
You can boost your potting soil mixture further by adding some sphagnum moss into the topsoil. These chunky pieces help create air pockets. Monstera siltepecana requires regular drenchings, but the roots need plenty of oxygen so that they won't rot in all of that water.
Monstera Siltepecana can appreciate and thrive with fertilization during the growing spring and summer seasons. Use a balanced liquid fertilizer mixed with water to dilute to half strength once a month, or you can also use a slow-release fertilizer mixed into the soil.
Propagating Monstera Siltepecana
Monstera siltepecana can be propagated with stem cutting. Monstera stems will have nodes that can be grown into aerial roots. To propagate your plant, cut a stem length with at least one node and place it in water. Once water roots have developed, you can plant them in the soil.
You can also place the cutting directly in the soil. Make sure it has at least one node and at least one leaf. To do this, it's recommended that you dip it in rooting hormone to help jump-start root growth. Then place it in a pot with a drainage hole in an area that gets some indirect light. Avoid direct sun, as it can burn the plant.
There are a few reasons why your Monstera siltepecana leaves may be turning yellow. The most frequent reason is that potting soil is either kept too dry or too wet. Avoid the extreme, maintain a balance in soil moisture, and allow only the top inch to dry out.
Another reason could be that your soil is too dense and retains too much moisture.
Brown tips are often caused by dry air, and the increased humidity level in your indoor space should solve this problem.
There are a number of chemical products available on the market to get rid of these pests, but using insecticide sprays like neem oil can get rid of them before an infestation occurs.
Spider mites can cause damage on the leaves, can be significant enough to cause yellow and brown spots, and can cause your plant to die if the infestation becomes out of control. Be on the lookout for reddish silky color webs and small red insects.
These small plant sap-sucking suckers are very small and come in different colors: yellow, brown, green, brown, and black. Aphid infestation can cause twisted and curled leaves, yellow leaves, stunted or dead shoots.
Scale insect is another sap-sucking sucker that thrives in a warm and dry environment. These bugs are oval, flat, and brown and generally target the leaves' underside and around the leaf joints.
Mealybugs are little white insects that love plant saps and mostly settle for the underside of leaves. They can significantly damage your house plant and, if left untreated, can even kill your plant entirely.
If the soil stays too wet, it can lead to fungus gnats.
Mature leaves will develop fenestrations and holes. If your plant is not producing large new leaves with holes, it is usually due to insufficient light.
Are Monstera Siltepecana Fast Growing?
This plant grows relatively fast if ideal conditions are given. They can quickly climb or trail along with a hanging basket or moss pole.
Is Monstera Siltepecana Toxic To Pets?
Yes. Like the other monstera species that belongs to the Aroid plant family, it contains insoluble calcium oxalate crystals, which are toxic to dogs and cats.