Home Houseplants Monstera vs Philodendron

Monstera vs Philodendron – GIY Plants

monstera vs phildendron leaves

The difference between Monstera and philodendron plants is sometimes obscure.

Typically, monstera leaves round themselves, while philodendron leaves split. But some varieties can look similar, and closer observation is necessary.

Unlike most philodendrons, monstera leaves have a “joint” called pulvinus or geniculum.

While they both feature a protective leaf called a cataphyll, it usually only permanently remains on monsteras.

Monstera vs Philodendron Care

The care for Monstera and Philodendron plants is quite similar and easy overall.

The two genera like being watered once every week or two. In addition, they both thrive in humid environments and prefer temperatures of 65 to 85 degrees Fahrenheit.

However, one of the biggest differences in their care is the amount of light they require.

Monstera and Philodendron plants are both naturally found in rainforests. This means that they’re used to getting indirect light as they reside under a lush canopy of trees. However, Philodendron plants are more tolerant of the shade than their Monstera counterparts.

With no lighting, Monsteras will lose their signature split leaves. Meanwhile, Philodendron leaves are prone to burning if they receive too much sunlight.

In addition, Philodendrons are more likely to need regular trimming as many of them are trailers. Due to their climbing nature, people often prefer to keep their Philodendrons in hanging baskets to accommodate their growth patterns.

Generally, Philodendron houseplants are a little easier to grow than Monsteras.

Split Leaf Philodendron vs Monstera

One of the biggest troubles differentiating between Monstera and Philodendron is that some of their varieties look similar.

Some may even believe the two genera are the same. Thus, they might use “Monstera” and “Philodendron” interchangeably.

The Split-Leaf Philodendron is commonly confused with a Monstera. As discussed, Monsteras are known for their split leaves. And with the Split-Leaf Philodendron also exhibiting perforated leaves, it makes sense why some would mistake it for a Monstera.

So, how can one identify whether a plant is a Split-Leaf Philodendron or a variety of Monstera?
Monsteras, such as its Swiss Cheese variety, tend to have more prominent perforation than the Split-Leaf Philodendron.

Additionally, the Split-Leaf Philodendron plant tends to have more heart-shaped leaves. On the flip side, Monstera leaves are rounder and typically larger in diameter.

Philodendron Swiss Cheese vs Monstera Adansonii

Many people accidentally refer to the Monstera deliciosa, which is nicknamed the Swiss Cheese Plant, as Swiss Cheese Philodendron.

The latter confusion is because this Monstera variety resembles the Split-Leaf Philodendron. Their fenestration makes them both look like a piece of Swiss cheese, hence the Swiss cheese name reference.

While Monstera deliciosa is the true Swiss Cheese Plant, sometimes Monstera adansonii is also called by this name. This is because the two Monsteras look quite alike. Again, they both have a Swiss cheese-like appearance.

So, then, what is the difference between the two?

Adansonii plants have smaller leaves, smaller and more narrow leaf fenestration, and smoother edges. Also, Monstera adansonii lacks a ruffled geniculum, unlike Monstera deliciosa. Lastly, the deliciosa variety is less of a crawler than adansonii houseplants. Yet, adansonii’s have shorter vines.

The price of these plants is the last major difference. Monstera deliciosa or Swiss Cheese Plants are much more costly.


Philodendron and monstera plants can seem quite distinctive at first. The more plants you come across, though, the more difficult it can be to determine which of the two it is. The key to identifying which one a plant is all comes down to closer observation. This way, you can provide the best care for your monstera or philodendron houseplant.

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