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It does need to be said that Monstera deliciosa – especially in their mature form, are pretty unique looking – there are only two plants that commonly get mistaken for Monstera that look similar but bear no relation to them at all.
Once you’ve been around plants for as long as I have, you begin to see how different plants are – for example these two plants side by side:
On the left we have Monstera deliciosa, and on the right we have a rhapidophora tetrasperma. If you asked me HOW I know they’re different (and which is which) I’d find it difficult to articulate – I just KNOW.
Monstera leaves are rounder and more heart-shaped, and the fenestrations are more even – and the leaves can have holes in them. You CAN get inner fenestrations on rhapidophora tetrasperma, but they’re much less common.
1. Rhapidophora Tetrasperma
I’ve already mentioned this one, but it’s probably the most similar looking to the uninitiated that (and this bit’s important) you’re likely to come across in a shop.
They’re even called Mini Monstera, which is as good an indicator as any that they’re, you know, pretty similar.
In terms of care, they’re pretty similar, but as indicated by the common name, they’re nowhere near as big as a Monstera. That said, the leaves can get pretty big – commonlu up to eight inches, but you could probably grow them bigger if they had enough light and humidity.
2. Golden Pothos
Golden pothos are the ones that crop up on Reddit ALL THE TIME – people see them growing in the wild and think that they’re variegated Monstera.
…aaand then, as is the nature of Reddit, they get ripped to shreds, or a load of downvotes and messages to the admins about getting these posts removed.
But the posts are extremely common for a reason – mature golden Pothos look a LOT like variegated Monstera to the naked eye.
There is no biological reason why you couldn’t grow a golden pothos to this size indoors, but you would need to give it AWESOME care, and grow it vertically.
If you look closer there are some differences:
- The splits in Pothos are thinner, as though the plant has been sliced, rather than had a chunk cut out of it
- Pothos are more elongated, squarer leaves – Monstera leaves are heart-shaped
- Monstera have thicker stems and petioles
- Monstera have inner fenestrations
- Monstera fenestrations are more symmetrical, and are more evenly spread throughout the leaf
3. Amydrium medium
This is a photo I took at my local garden centre last year – I think they were about £85, but nowadays they only seem to stock the silver ones, which IMO aren’t as pretty.
4. Rhapidophora decursiva
Okay, they don’t look like Monstera if you were comparing them side by side BUT if you’re after a plant with leaf splits, decursivas are the plant for you.
5. Homalomena Rubenscens
On the opposite end of the scale, Homalonema have no fenestrations (and never will, as far as I can tell) BUT could definitely be mistaken for an immature Monstera.
6. Philodendron Bob Cee
Leaf shape is WAY off, but if it’s leaf splits and symmetry you’re after, go for a Bob Cee.
I tried to find out who Bob Cee was, but the only information I could find is that he created this hybrid, and he’s no longer with us. Oh, and that he didn’t tell anyone what this hybrid’s parents are.
7. Monstera Adansonii
If it’s the holes in the leaves look you’re after, Monstera adansonii is the one for you.
Not only do I have a full care guide, but I also wrote an article on the differences between adansonii and deliciosa – everything from leaf shape to care to whether or not you can eat the fruit.
8. Anthurium Clarinerveum
If it’s heart-shaped leaves, you like, then Anthurium clarinerveum is a great one – they also have a bit of silver veining which is VERY nice, and I think they’re pretty easy to care for, as long as you keep them well away from thrips.
I know they don’t exaclt look like Monstera, but they have a similar vibe – big, brash, and an overwhelming aura of being better than everyone else whilst remaining reasonably priced (my clarinerveum was like £25 and you can grow anthurium from seed).
9. Philodendron Gloriosum
Again, not exactly similar, but BIG and heartshaped. They also have very pleasing velvety leaves, and ahem, a not-so-pleasing price (click on the link if you dare – the regular ones are like $100 and there’s variegated one going for TWENTY ONE GRAND.
10. Calathea Orbifolia
Ok ,so this one is a bit of a reach but do you not think the darker ones (they were labelled as orbifolia, but they’re definitely a dark form) have a Monstera-esque…essence?
If you have crappy light but excellent humidity and water quality (and the patience of a literal saint) then consider an orbifolia.
I actually think they’re one of the easier Calathea (though others disagree) though if you have a rabbit they find them absolutely irresistible (they’re non-toxic but an expensive rabbit treat).
11. Philodendron Cinderella
This is like a Bob Cee, but, er, more. Spikier, cooler, cheaper (yay – I think it was like £15 – Bob Cee was about £150), and is like a fat tortum.
When I was looking through my pictures for plants that look like Monstera I kept coming back to this one and I eventually worked out why – whilst the leaf itself doesn’t look like a Monstera, it does kind of look like the veining – stick in on a homalonema and DIY your own Monstera*
*Jokes, Monstera are like £20, just buy one.
I will keep adding other contenders as I find them on my travels, but if anyone can think of any plants that remind you of Monsteras (I don’t care how tenuous the link is, as long as there is one!) leave a comment down below.
Also, if anyone knows anything about (I assume) botanist Bob Cee, let me know!