Monstera Siltepecana Care Guide: How to Grow a Happy & Healthy M. Siltepecana

One of the most beautiful plants in the Monstera genus, the Monstera Siltepecana, is a rare but affordable plant that is sure to delight you if you can get your hands on it!

While not found in many big box stores or garden centers, the Monstera Siltepecana is becoming more available at online nurseries.

It is also enjoying its time in the spotlight on Plantstagram. Many Instagram users are showcasing their Monstera Siltepecanas with beautiful silvery-green iridescent leaves (with even more pronounced silver tones for the rarer form called ‘El Salvador’)!

From a small vining plant in its juvenile stages, the Monstera Siltepecana is capable of massive growth, developing gorgeous fenestrations when given a moss pole to climb against!

This in-depth care guide will help you recreate the perfect environment and practices for your Monstera Siltepecana to thrive. Let’s dive in!

My Experience With Monstera Siltepecana 

I [Allison, the editor] ordered my Monstera Siltepecana online from Gabriella Plants, and it arrived in decent condition with a little yellowing on two of the leaves.

I let it mellow out for about a month before I repotted it into LECA. At first, it didn’t take to the medium very well, and the yellowing on the leaves that occurred during shipping worsened as a result.

It has put out some new growth, but the edges of the newest leaf were a little serrated and unhappy-looking, so I was considering repotting it in aroid mix instead.

Update, May 11: After a few months of settling into LECA, it’s been thriving like crazy and has now put out a vine that is about 4 feet long! I no longer plant to repot this.

Where Can I Find Monstera Siltepecana for Sale? 

Occasionally, Gabriella Plants will have Monstera Siltepecana plants on sale for an affordable price. However, they sell out quickly so you will have to keep an eye on their restocks.

Monstera Siltepecana Cuttings

If you are on a budget, or you simply like the experience of growing a plant from a tiny little cutting, you can find cuttings on Etsy for an affordable price – around $5 for an unrooted cutting or around $15 for a fully rooted cutting.

Honestly, at $15 for a rooted cutting, I’d just go for the full plant – they’re not much more expensive and will be much faster to grow.

This seller on Etsy has bare root Siltepecana cuttings available for sale!

If you want the rarer Monstera Siltepecana ‘El Salvador’, you’ll have to pay more. A cutting of an ‘El Salvador’ will cost you around $50-100, depending on whether it’s a top cut or a mid-cut.

This seller on Etsy has beautiful Monstera Siltepecana ‘El Salvador’ cuttings for sale!

Monstera Siltepecana Plants

You can buy a gorgeous fully-rooted Siltepecana plant for an affordable price, around $20-25 for a 4-inch pot.

This seller on Etsy has great reviews and gorgeous 4-inch Siltepecanas for sale (with free shipping)!

For a more established 6-inch Monstera Siltepecana, check out this seller on Etsy. Also with free shipping!

Monstera Siltepecana Overview

The Monstera Siltepecana is a vigorous-growing aroid with lance-shaped leaves and dark green veins. It is prized by plant collectors for the stunning silvery patches on its juvenile leaves.

There is another form of M. Siltepecana called the ‘El Salvador’ which has brighter and more prominent silver coloring on its leaves. This might be even harder to acquire than your regular Siltepecana which is already a rare find in most plant stores.

Unlike its Monstera cousins which are famous for their large and fenestrated foliage, M. Siltepecana has smaller leaves which will only develop inner holes and outer splits in later years. 

Monstera siltepecana Matuda is the accepted name of this species in the Araceae family. It is native to Belize, Colombia, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico (specifically the Chiapas region), Nicaragua, and Panama.

Monstera Siltepecana Care Guide

Though not a difficult plant to care for, growing the Monstera Siltepecana to its full potential requires certain conditions to be met. 

Dubbed as the easiest Monstera by some plant hobbyists, the Siltepecana can quickly bounce back from any common disease.

Its ease of growth does have a few caveats!

Due to its high moisture requirement, this plant can be prone to fungus gnats. You can get rid of these pests by placing sticky traps nearby and luring them with cider vinegar. 

Fungus gnats like to lay their eggs on wet soil. It might be smart to shift to bottom-watering so you can keep the topsoil dry, at least until you’ve dealt with those bugs!

Monstera Siltepecana Light Needs

In its natural habitat, M. Siltepecana mostly receives filtered sunlight passing through the forest canopy. Periodically, direct light also reaches this plant from certain angles as the sun shifts in the sky.

It is no surprise that the Monstera Siltepecana as a houseplant thrives best in medium to bright indirect light. It can handle a few hours of direct morning sun (which is cooler and less intense)

There is also some benefit in keeping your M. Siltepecana in a partially shaded area. This plant is a prolific climber and may quickly overwhelm indoor spaces. Putting it in a shadier area can help you regulate its growth.

Apparently, the top leaves of this plant will lose their silver colors and turn greener when exposed to too much light.

You can also expect the leaves to grow larger if you decide to increase the lighting.

Monstera Siltepecana Watering Needs

The M. Siltepecana is fairly sensitive when it comes to watering. Wait until the first 3 inches of the topsoil is completely dry before giving your Monstera Siltepecana a thorough drink.

Inconsistent watering schedules can cause the leaves of the M. Siltepecana to turn yellow and drop. Overwatering can cause root rot, while underwatering can cause browning leaf edges.

Your best shot at finding the perfect balance for your plant is to invest in a soil moisture meter. When the reading is at level 2 or 3 (out of 10), that means your M. Siltepecana is ready for a drink.

This plant is a thirsty one! Don’t forget to water generously until water seeps out of the pot’s drainage holes.

If grown indoors, a cache pot or a catch plate under the nursery pot can help you manage the mess.

Many owners of this plant have shared that their Siltepecana typically needs to be watered every 7-10 days.

You may need to adjust this range according to your climate, soil type, and potting material.

Monstera Siltepecana Soil Needs

A well-aerated, fast-draining potting mix is best for your Monstera Siltepecana.

Regular gardening soil which tends to be compact and water-logged can choke and drown the roots of most aroid plants. 

You can add chunky materials such as orchid bark, coco cubes, perlite, pumice rocks, and horticultural coal to your soil to create air pockets for the roots to breathe better.

In another article, we’re sharing with you our DIY aroid soil mix.

For fans of LECA (a clay substrate which you can learn about here), you may find that Monstera Siltepecana doesn’t grow well in this medium based on the experiences of many plant parents (our editor’s plant struggled with it at first too, but later grew to love it!)

If you have a Siltepecana that is still recovering from disease, Sphagnum peat moss is an ideal alternative which helps in faster rooting. Just make sure it’s not soaking wet at all times to avoid rot.

Monstera Siltepecana Temperature & Humidity Needs

The Monstera Siltepecana comes from the warm and damp tropics of Central and South America. To replicate this environment for your houseplant, keep the temperature between 50-95°F (10-35°C) and the humidity between 60-90%. 

Humidity is a really important requirement for the Siltepecana. As a tropical plant, it gets nourishment from the water vapor in the air. 

Here are a few devices and techniques to help you control humidity in your indoor growing space:

  • Humidifiers: These machines are designed to constantly release steam to increase moisture levels in a room. 
  • Hygrometer: Use this device to get an accurate measurement of the humidity in your home, so you’ll know if your plants are getting too little or too much.
  • Humidifying tray: Place a flat tray with pebbles underneath each pot, then fill the tray with water. This will create vapor around your plant.
  • Bowls of water: Allowing water to evaporate near your plants works the same way as the pebble tray above.
  • Humidity bubble: Plants benefit from each other’s transpiration, so it’s better to huddle them together.
  • Misting: Misting only adds moisture for a few hours, but it does not raise humidity in a significant way. Be careful! Misting your plants too often can invite fungal diseases.

As a high humidity-loving plant, Monstera Siltepecana is a fantastic addition to terrariums (which are small, closed environments that replicate a greenhouse.)

[Editor’s Note: My Monstera Siltepecana is doing just fine in ambient humidity clustered with other plants! I live in the Bay Area where my indoor humidity is roughly at 50-60%.]

Monstera Siltepecana Fertilization Needs

As a prolific-grower, Monstera Siltepecana will appreciate small doses of fertilizers throughout the year. 

Unlike other houseplants which typically slow down or completely stop growing in winter,  the Monstera Siltepecana has a tendency to push out new leaves even during colder seasons.

As long as there’s evidence of active growth, it is okay to feed your Siltepecana as often as your chosen product’s label allows. 

There are many types of plant food with different application methods: powdered fertilizers, liquid fertilizers, coated pellet fertilizers, and spray fertilizers.

You can choose any of these as long as you follow the instructions written on their original packaging.

At the other end of the spectrum, you can choose to avoid fertilizers if you want to restrain your plant’s growth. After all, it’s been said that Siltepecanas can grow like a weed! 

Just make sure your soil mix has sufficient nutrients (from components such as worm castings, cow/chicken manure, and humus) so your plant can stay healthy.

Pruning Monstera Siltepecana

This Monstera can either grow as one long vine or push out a thick cluster of stems near the base. Prune your Siltepecana to manage its growth behavior and appearance. 

Sometimes, epiphytic creepers such as the M. Siltepecana can produce “runners”, or really long stalks without leaves in them.

Factors such as lack of light, lack of support, nutrient deficiency, and low humidity can cause this condition.

When this happens, you can simply prune back your plant slightly above the bushiest section to encourage new growth points. You can then apply cloning paste products which contain cytokinin– the hormone responsible for cell division.

You might also want to trim off the long aerial roots which are common to all Monsteras. These mischievous roots will quickly latch onto shelves, walls, or anything that can give them support!

If you have a moss pole, you can instead train the aerial roots to latch onto the pole, which helps in stability and encourages bigger leaf growth.

Propagating Monstera Siltepecana

All types of propagation methods have high success rates for the Monstera Siltepecana. This plant grows roots in a short amount of time and can therefore be reproduced easily!

When taking cuttings, it is crucial to include a node because this is where new leaves will sprout from. Nodes are nubs on the stem which have a slightly different color. 

Here are 4 common propagation methods for you to choose from:

1. Stem cuttings: Cut a section of the stem with new leaves and at least one node. You can apply rooting powder on the wound to stimulate root growth. Directly plant the cutting in soil. Place the pot in bright, indirect light and keep the soil moist.

2. Water propagation: Choose a healthy cutting from the plant and let it sit in a transparent container filled with water. Submerge the nodes but keep the leaves above the surface. Replace the water when it looks dirty. Roots should start to appear as early as 1 week! You can plant your cutting into soil when you’re satisfied with the length of the new roots.

3. Perlite box: Fill a flat container or a plastic bag with damp perlite. Place the cuttings on top of the perlite with the nodes slightly buried. Seal the container and keep it in a warm and well-lit area. When the roots are long enough, transplant the cuttings into soil.

4. Division technique: This method can be used if your plant has clusters of stems or if the roots are constantly shooting out pups. Simply dig up your plant and gently separate the stems where they naturally divide. You may need to chop the entangled roots. Plant each separated section in individual pots. 

Repotting Monstera Siltepecana

The root system of a Monstera Siltepecana develops quickly. It may need to be repotted more frequently than your other houseplants.

If the lower leaves of your Siltepecana are quickly drying out and turning yellow despite frequent watering, it means that the roots have overwhelmed the pot and the soil is no longer able to retain moisture.

When repotting, the new pot should be at least two times wider and deeper than your plant’s main root ball. Drainage holes are also an important consideration to avoid root rot.

You can choose a potting material based on your watering behavior as a plant parent!

If you’re always out and about and have no time to frequently water your plants, you can choose planters that are made of materials which retain water. Examples of these materials are plastic, glazed ceramic, glass, and fiberstone.

You could even go for a self-watering planter which has a water reservoir and a string that wicks up water to the roots!

If you’re a chronic over-waterer, you can choose materials that are high in porosity. This means air can enter and dry the soil, while excess moisture can escape. Porous pots are made of clay (or terracotta), unglazed ceramic, or concrete.

Monstera Siltepecana FAQ

Below, we’ve answered some frequently-asked questions about the Monstera Siltepecana’s rarity, growth potential and behavior, and some common problems that you may be having with this plant. 

Is Monstera Siltepecana rare?

Monstera Siltepecana is extremely hard to come by in plant shops and big box stores within America and Europe, making it a rare variety.

With Monsteras gaining mainstream popularity in recent years, the Siltepecana is one out of only 45 accepted species of Monsteras. 

Despite being uncommon, Monstera Siltepecanas don’t come with a jaw-dropping price tag when ordered from online specialty shops. This is because they are fast growers that are easily reproduced.

How big can Monstera Siltepecana grow?

[Note: In the photo above, the Monstera Siltepecana on the lefthand side is the El Salvador variety!]

The Monstera Siltepecana as a houseplant grows up to 6 feet tall on average. When propped against a wall or given a pole to climb on, its vines can reach even higher. 

If given the proper care indoors, the mature leaves of a Monstera Siltepecana can be as long as 5 inches. You can achieve these large leaves by exposing your plant to brighter light and supporting its climbing stem.

In the wild, M. Siltepecana reaches up to 20 feet in height with oval-shaped leaves that are 24 inches in length!

Does Monstera Siltepecana climb?

In its native environment, Monstera Siltepecana initially crawls along the forest floor, then starts to grow upwards as it hits the base of a tree. This plant develops really long aerial roots so it can hug its host as it climbs.

As soon as its roots latch onto something, it gets the signal that it is allowed to produce bigger leaves. Why? Well, if it has no support, it can’t produce bigger leaves because it might fall and snap off.

Another reason is: as the plant reaches higher towards the forest canopy, it gets more access to sunlight. More light = more energy for photosynthesis = bigger leaves!

So if you want bigger leaves, train your Monstera Siltepecana to climb upwards by giving it a moss pole, coco pole, trellis, or a bamboo stick for support. 

Use hemp twines or twist ties to secure the stem against the support, but don’t tie it too tightly or you might girdle the nodes!

Frequently moisten the coco coir or the peat moss to help the roots cling faster.

Do Monstera Siltepecana plants have fenestrations?

One fun thing about owning a Monstera Siltepecana is that you’ll get to witness its versatile transformation as it ages and grows taller. 

While a young Siltepecana starts off with small, silvery blue, full-surfaced leaves, it will eventually develop large, dark green leaves as it matures.

It may take years, but the M. Siltepecana will eventually show inner “cheese hole” fenestrations.

An even rarer occurrence is the M. Siltepecana developing outer pinnations (as shown on this website)!

At its fully matured form, the Siltepecana finally looks like its cousins in the fun and fenestrated genus of Monsteras.

[Note: Fenestrations are holes in the inner leaf whereas pinnations are splits on the edges. These are commonly misused botanical terms.] 

How do you make a Monstera Siltepecana more bushy?

If your M. Siltepecana is growing as one really long vine, prune it back to encourage the stem to branch out. 

Chop up the stem along its internodes, propagate the cuttings, and then stick them back into the same pot. In time, these cuttings will sprout their own set of leaves and give off a crowded, bushy look.

Of course, you can also increase light exposures and aggressively feed your plant to get that really lush foliage you’re going for.

Why is my Monstera Siltepecana not growing?

In most cases, the Monstera Siltepecana is a fast-grower. If your plant has stopped growing for some time, there is likely an issue with its roots.

Remove your Siltepecana from its pot to see if the root system is still healthy. Rotting roots will look dark brown or black and will feel mushy. You can avoid this by using an aerated soil mix and a porous pot.

If there is already an advanced case of root rot, chop off the affected roots and restart your plant by putting it in sphagnum peat moss.

You can also wait for it to grow roots in plain water before planting it back in soil.

Additionally, extremely low temperatures can force your Siltepecana to go dormant and stop growing. 

Anything lower than 50°F is lethal for most tropical plants. Close windows during colder seasons. Don’t use cold (or even hot) water for your plants because it may shock and kill the roots.

Why is my Monstera Siltepecana turning yellow?

An inconsistent watering schedule is the most common culprit of yellowing leaves on Monstera Siltepecana.

You can avoid this by recording the average number of days it takes for your topsoil to dry, then setting a fixed watering interval based on that.

Just remember that if you’re going to adhere to a strict watering schedule, you also need to control the environment of your plant. Don’t leave it in an open area where there’s rain. Use terracotta pots with drainage holes to get rid of excess moisture.

Yellowing leaves can also be just a natural indication of growth. As a fast-grower, it is common for the Siltepecana to quickly lose its old leaves so it can focus its energy on pushing out new leaves. 

If only the oldest, lowest leaves are turning yellow, it’s usually not a cause for concern. Relax and let your plant do its thing!

Is Monstera Siltepecana poisonous?

Unfortunately, all Monsteras including the Siltepecana are highly toxic and should be kept away from children and pets.

When any part of the plant is ingested, it can cause vomiting, pain and swelling on the mouth, and other serious gastrointestinal problems. Touching the sap can also cause irritation, itchiness, and redness on the skin. 

Please seek immediate medical attention if you, a child, or a pet develop any of these symptoms after contact with the plant.

How can I tell the difference between Monstera Siltepecana and Cebu Blue?

The Monstera Siltepecana is often compared to the Epipremnum Pinnatum ‘Cebu Blue’ because both plants have a similar leaf shape and a striking silver color on their foliage. 

The Cebu Blue is a glaucous variation of the Epipremnum Pinnatum.

To distinguish between the two plants, you need to look closely at their leaves:

The Siltepecana has a more textured appearance, as if the silver patches were embossed near the middle of the leaves. 

The Cebu Blue has a flatter surface, almost like the silver coloring was painted evenly across the leaves. 

It is important to note that these two plants come from two different genera with the former being a Monstera and the latter being a Pothos (from the genus Epipremnum). 

You can see the two plants side by side on this post we found on Reddit.

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