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A Guide to Monstera adansonii subsp. laniata Plant

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Monstera adansonii subsp. laniata, often referred to as Monstera laniata, is a lovely, rare houseplant with green fenestrated leaves. However, there is also a rarer variegated form.

This tropical houseplant is easy to care for or low-maintenance. Just grow it in a warm, humid area with bright indirect light. Also, its soil should be well-draining, airy, and rich in organic matter, and you should feed it once a month. Other things are repotting, pruning, and giving it a place to climb.

Today, we will look at Monstera laniata care, how to identify it, and tell it from other similar-looking plants like Monstera adansonii, Esqueleto, blanchetii, and lechleriana.

However, before buying it, note that this houseplant is mildly toxic to pets and humans, i.e., it has calcium oxalates. Should you decide to buy it anyway, keep it away from your kids and your dogs or cats, especially if they love chewing greeneries.

Monstera adansonii subsp. laniata plant
Monstera adansonii subsp. laniata plant (green form). Check prices at Etsy.com.
Variegated Monstera laniata
Variegated Monstera adansonii subsp. laniata plant: See price at Etsy.com

About Monstera adansonii subsp. laniata

Monstera adansonii subsp. laniata was first published in 2014 by Feddes. It is native to Oaxaca, Mexico, through to South Tropical America.

Its common homotypic synonym is Monstera adansonii var. laniata, but it has a few others. Also, it has over a dozen heterotypic synonyms, the common being Monstera friedrichsthalii.

1. Growth rate and growing habits

Monstera adansonii spp. laniata is a warm and humid tropical rainforest evergreen hemiepiphyte. It grows as a terrestrial creeper while young until it finds a place to climb – rock, tree trunk, etc.- before reaching maturity.

This lovely houseplant is a relatively fast grower and can reach up to 15 meters in the wild. But at home, it will reach about 6 to 8 feet high.

2. How do you identify a Monstera laniata?

Monstera laniata has vine-like green stems with aerial roots, green, a bit leathery and glossy leaves, and sheathed petiole with quickly falling sheath wings.

Juvenile plants will have smaller, oval leaves, 1.5-2 times longer than wide, with none to about 1-4 holes on either side midrib.

On the other hand, mature Monstera laniata will have large, 8-22 inches long by 6-16 inches wide, oval to broadly oval leaves with none to several elliptical holes in several series.

Ways to distinguish it from similar-looking plants is the primary lateral veins that arise from an angle larger than 60 degrees to the midrib and unequal base. The leaf base is nearly heart-shaped to truncate on one side and the other acute to cuneate. Also, the leaf blade’s length is less than twice the width in mature plants.

Lastly, while subsp. laniata does produce inflorescence and infructescence; you cannot see them under cultivation.

How to tell Monstera laniata from Monstera lechleriana

If you have these two plants, either juvenile or adult, you can easily tell them apart by looking at their leaves and stems.

Compared to Monstera laniata, Monstera lechleriana has thicker stems, larger leaves, and longer petioles. However, this isn’t enough to tell the difference, especially if growing conditions differ.

To be sure, you need to look at the petiole. Both plants have sheathed petioles. However, in Monstera laniata, wings are deciduous, while in lechleriana, they are persistent and only cover ½ to 5/6 the length.

If you have juvenile plants, Monstera laniata has oval leaves with 1-4 elliptical holes on either side, while Monstera lechleriana has entire, oval to lance-shaped exserted and erect leaves.

In mature plants, laniata will have an unequal base (one side subcordate to truncate, the other cuneate to acute). Also, one side of the primary lateral veins arises from more than 60 degrees angle to the midrib and will have none to several series of smaller elliptical holes.

On the contrary, the lechleriana lamina base is oblique, slightly cordate to truncate broadly. Perforations may lack or exist in only one series, and one side of the primary lateral veins doesn’t arise at more than 60 degrees.

How does Monstera adansonii differ from laniata?

Laniata is only a subspecies of adansonii, so you expect a lot of similarities. Nevertheless, there are differences.

Subsp. laniata tends to have slightly smaller and darker, more perforated leaves, some starting from near the midrib and thinner stems than M. adansonii. Also, leaves are usually oval to broadly oval, while Monstera adansonii may have oval to elliptic.

A definitive difference is that one side of the leaf will have primary veins arising at more than 60 degrees to the midrib. In contrast, Monstera adansonii has primary lateral veins arising at angles less than 60 degrees to the midrib.

The other difference is that Monstera adansonii will have broadly truncated to cuneate base. In contrast, the laniata base is unequal, with one side acute to cuneate and the other truncate to subcordate. However, in some cases, Monstera adansonii may have an oblique or an unequal leaf base.

Lastly, while both plants have sheathed petiole, subsp. laniata petiole wings are strictly deciduous, while in Monstera adansonii, they can be deciduous or persistent.

How to tell a Monstera laniata from blanchetii?

Monstera adansonii subsp. blanchetii closely resembles laniata. They both have unequal perforated leaves. However, it shouldn’t be hard to tell the difference.

Subspecies laniata has deciduous petiolar wings and more perforations, while subsp. blanchetii has persistent petiolar wings, lesser perforation, and appears glossier than laniata.

Monstera laniata vs. Esqueleto

Monstera ‘Esqueleto’ is thought to be a cultivar of Monstera epipremnoides, but we highly doubt considering it has perforated entire mature leaves while the latter split. Esqueleto translates to ‘skeleton’ in Spanish. How does this plant differ from subspecies laniata?

Monstera ‘Esqueleto’ has a skeleton-like leaf with huge perforation than laniata but not as much as Monstera obliqua. Also, the leaves are larger than laniata, it has small holes near the midrib, and is more expensive.

How to care for your Monstera adansonii subsp. laniata

Monstera laniata is an easy-to-care-for plant. You must ensure the right growing conditions, i.e., a warm, humid place with bright indirect light. Also, you must water it correctly and feed it. Don’t forget repotting it after about two years and giving it a place to climb like a moss pole.

1. Growing conditions

This plant is a tropical rainforest plant that grows in warm, humid areas with dappled light. It would be best if you replicated the same at home.

I grow my Monstera adansonii subsp. laniata in a warm (60 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit), humid (relative humidity 50% or more) place with bright indirect light. 

Direct sun will burn leaves, i.e., they will look faded and may have dry, crispy brown edges and patches, while too little will result in slow growth, paler leaves, and a leggy plant. If you don’t have enough light, I recommend you invest in grow lights.

As tropical plants, you know these plants love humidity. Otherwise, leaves will turn yellow and edges crispy brown. Run a humidifier if your humidity goes below 40%. Also, misting, having a pebble tray, grouping your plants, or moving to humid rooms may help remedy the low-humidity issue.

Lastly, outdoors, grow these plants under shade. Also, move them indoors when the temperature falls below 50°F. Only people in USDA zones 10 to 11 can grow it outdoors. This plant doesn’t tolerate frost or even freezing conditions for long.

2. Which soil is good for my Monstera laniata?

Monster laniata will grow well in any well-drained, aerated potting mix high in organic matter. It prefers a slightly acidic to neutral pH, i.e., about 6-7. This plant is not picky on growth media, but we recommend an aroid mix.

I use any premium potting mix and add some perlite, peat moss (or coco coir), bark chips, and compost or worm castings for all my Monstera plants. You can add a bit of horticultural charcoal too.

3. How to water Monstera adansonii subsp. laniata

I water this plant when the top 2-3 inches of the potting mix feel dry, i.e., dry up to the first knuckle of my finger. Also, you can use a soil moisture meter and water when it reads dry, usually three or less for most meters. A watering schedule or routing is a no for me as it will vary with conditions and seasons.

When the leaves start curling and drooping, you will know your plant is thirsty. If not fixed, it will grow slowly, wilt, and have yellow leaves. Also, brown tips and edges are likely indications. However, don’t wait until you see these signs.

On the other hand, overwatering, on the other hand, is detrimental. It will result in root rot and kill your plant. Indications include soggy soil even after not watering for a few days and leaves turning yellow. Also, the potting mix may mold, and you may notice black or brown blotches on the leaves.

Lastly, when watering, slowly saturate the soil until excess water flows from drainage holes. Discard any water that collects on the saucer after 15 minutes.

4. Does this Monstera need feed?

Yes. It would be best to feed your Monstera laniata at least once a month with an all-purpose, balanced liquid houseplant fertilizer during the growing months only. An NPK 10-10-10 or 20-20-20 is perfect. But there are unbalanced formulas and slow-growth formulas that are good too.

Finding a good Monstera fertilizer shouldn’t be a daunting task. A brand like Miracle-Gro Indoor Plant Food is perfect.

5. Pruning and repotting

Remove any dead, dry, or damaged leaves whenever you notice them. Use sterilized gardening scissors. Don’t forget to clean any dusty or dirty leaves. Also, you can cut back a bit of the plant during the growing season if it becomes too large.

After every 1-2 years, or if it becomes rootbound, you need to report it. I often slide my plant out of the pot twice a year to see if it is potbound. This practice also helps me know the condition of roots.

Finally, select a pot a few inches wider (2-3) when repotting, not too big. Anytime is ok, but I stick to the growing season.

6. Does it need a moss pole or support?

Some people decide to let this plant dapple or grow sideways on a surface like a cabinet or a desk. I have tried it, but it didn’t produce the large fenestrated leaves. Instead, I prefer training it on a moss pole. A bamboo, burlap-wrapped stake, trellis, etc., will work.

Issues and problems you may encounter

Monstera laniata issues are similar to those that affect all other Monstera plants. These include pests, disease, and root rot. Always check for signs.

Also, issues like yellowing leaves and leaves turning brown, including tips and edges, are possible if under the wrong growing conditions. Also, you may notice leaves curling and having spots, among other issues. 

Where to buy a Monstera adansonii subsp. laniata

If you would like to buy this plant, Etsy.com is the best place. Also, you will find vendors on eBay, Facebook, and Instagram, or you can google for sellers near you.  


Scientific name Monstera adansonii subsp. laniata
SynonymsMonstera adansonii var. laniata and Monstera friedrichsthalii
Native habitatOaxaca, Mexico to South Tropical America
Growing conditionsWarm, humid with bright indirect light
Best soilChunky, well-drained soil rich in organic matter
WateringWater when a few top inches feel dry
FeedingOnce a month with preferably a balance, liquid houseplant fertilizer.
PruningRegularly cut dead, damaged, or diseased leaves and clean leaves. During the growing season, you can cut back no more than 25% of the stems at once.
SupportClimber. So, provide a moss pole, trellis, or any other vertical support
PropagationStem cutting in water or soil
SafetyToxic to pets and humans

Frequently asked questions

Is Monstera adansonii subsp. laniata rare?

Monstera adansonii subsp. laniata is a rare or uncommon lovely houseplant. While not very expensive, only a handful of vendors have it. We guess many people don’t still know it.

What is the price of Monstera laniata?

The average price of the standard (green form) Monstera adansonii laniata ranges from $15 to $40, a small drop from what it was early in the year. However, if you want the variegated one, it is more costly, i.e., above $300.

Is there a variegated Monstera laniata?

Yes. For a price of about $350 to $600, you will get a hold of variegated Monstera laniata. So far, I have seen one with creamy to whitish variegation and another with pale green or minty variegation at Etsy.com. Also, a few other vendors have it. But I must admit this variegated form is very rare.