Monstera Siltepecana: Plant Care & Propagation

By Jennifer Schutter | Updated: May 18, 2023

Scientific name

Monstera siltepecana

Common name

Monstera Siltepecana


Central America

Checked by Jennifer Schutter, Certified Master Gardener

Monstera Siltepecana


When first two inches of soil is dry


Bright indirect


Loose, well-draining


A few feet from window




Monthly during growing season


Bright indirect




Monthly during growing season

Yes, there are a lot of Monsteras out in the world, but none quite like this one. Monstera siltepecana is distinctly remarkable due to its leaves – their silver markings and glossy dark green veins draw you right in immediately.

One of the neatest things about this plant, in my opinion, is how different it looks when it’s young as opposed to when it matures. Total 180°. Plus, it grows in cloud forests at high elevations in its native habitat. How cool is that?

Maybe best of all, Monstera siltepecana care isn’t difficult—it simply requires patience and attention to find the ideal environment for your plant. Speaking of, let’s figure out just where this species originated from for caretaking clues!

Monstera Siltepecana Care Guide

History, habitat, and characteristics

An aroid species of the Araceae family, Monstera siltepecana is apparently a nickname magnet. This plant also goes by seltene Monstera, silver Monstera, Swiss cheese plant, hurricane plant, Mexican breadfruit, and, incorrectly, silver monster (yikes!). Note that some of its nicknames also apply to others in the Monstera genus, so always search or ask for it by its scientific name just to be sure.

John Donnell Smith first collected the Siltepecana in Guatemala in 1889, and it went through some complicated name changes before botanists finally settled on the standardized version. Named after the south Mexican town of Siltepec in Chiapas, Monstera Siltepecana also grows there and in other countries in Central America like El Salvador and Honduras.

Mature monstera siltepecana is an evergreen vining or trailing epiphyte, which means it needs to grow on something for support. (It starts out as a terrestrial plant when it’s in juvenile form—more on this later!) This plant calls cloud forests at 1200-2500 meters home in its native habitat. Since flora in those types of environments are usually small, it often tries to grow on trees that aren’t strong or tall enough to support it to maturity.

Enter stolons and droppers. Say what?! Stolons are plant stems that grow horizontally and form roots at certain areas. Droppers are like stolons, except they grow down to form a new bulb. Although your plant now lives inside, it’s adapted to survive its time in the clouds and will still put out stolons and droppers if grown as a climber.

The Monstera Siltepecana has two forms, juvenile and adult. Starting with a silvery light bluish shade and ending up at a glossy dark green with fenestrations, or holes, juvenile Siltepecanas look nothing like their older selves.

Adult leaves become larger and darker, with alternating patterns of holes that look like Swiss cheese, just like Monstera adansonii, Monstera deliciosa, and other plants it’s closely related to — Monstera pinnatipartita and Monstera epipremnoides, for starters. Its leaves evolve into a deep green with silver-gray speckles.

Mature leaves can get up to 5″ long, and their undersides have white veins. The presence of mature leaves with perforations means your Siltepecana plant is in fantastic health.

Did you know: If you want its leaves to stay in their juvenile form, grow your Silver Monstera in a hanging basket or terrarium. They only develop mature leaves if they have a moss pole or other sturdy support. It’s totally okay if you want to keep them as trailers!

If you don’t, though, its aerial roots can be trained to climb. In fact, the plant can reach heights between 3-6 feet indoors when mature.

Flowers and Fruit

Although it rarely flowers indoors, a mature Monstera siltepecana can bloom after four to six years, sporting creamy white clustered spathes. It can also produce fruit that resembles that of Monstera obliqua under optimal conditions, but this is rare indoors as well.

While the fruit grown outdoors is edible, it’s unclear whether the indoor variety is, so I personally wouldn’t suggest trying it.

Ready for the light, water, temperature, humidity, and soil conditions your silver Monstera needs to thrive? Let’s get to it!


One of the most important aspects of caring for Monstera Siltepecana is providing the appropriate amount and type of light—and these guys like a lot of it. They’re tropical plants, after all.

In its natural cloud forest environment, the Siltepecana begins in lower light conditions and then ascends to brighter light. To keep your plant happy, mimic its original habitat by providing it with plenty of indirect bright light.

Keep an eye on your Monstera Siltepecana’s leaves to gauge if it is receiving the right amount of light. If the plant doesn’t get enough light, it will not be able to grow and its leaves may look pale and yellow-green. On the flip side, if it receives too much light, your Siltepecana’s leaves may become brown or yellow, dry and brittle.

If you have your plant near a window that gets direct light, be sure to place it four to six feet back and consider hanging a sheer curtains or shades to diffuse the sun’s rays. This will protect your Monstera Siltepecana from leaf burn.

Tip: Rotate your plant every time you water it to ensure equal light coverage and evenly-sized leaves. Nobody likes a lopsided Monstera!


Taking care of your Monstera siltepecana plant is like a dance—the trick is to get your rhythm just right. When it comes to watering, you want to aim for the right balance between too often and not enough.

To avoid overwatering, you should only water your monstera when the top two inches of soil is dry (you can use your finger to check). If the soil is completely dry, it’s time to water it thoroughly until water flows out of the pot’s drainage holes.

You’ll have to water it more frequently in the spring and summer months, at least once a week, since this is when it will be most actively growing. During the winter months when the plant is dormant, you should reduce watering to once every two weeks.

Temperature and humidity

When it comes to temperature, your Monstera siltepecana can tolerate a wide range, all the way from 50 degrees to 95 degrees Fahrenheit! Whoa, is this some kind of super plant?

That being said, it prefers to live between 65-85 degrees Fahrenheit. If the temperature gets too cold or too hot, it can grow more slowly and develop wilting leaves.

During the cooler months, keep your monstera indoors, since temperatures below 65 degrees Fahrenheit can cause it distress. In the warmer seasons when temperatures are above 50 degrees Fahrenheit, you can bring your Monstera outside for some fresh air if you have the space—just make sure to monitor its environment.

Humidity also plays a major role in your Monstera’s health. In its native rainforest environment, this plant loves to live in a balmy 90% humidity. But don’t worry if that’s not possible in your home—it certainly isn’t in mine! A humidity level of above 50% will do the trick, although 60% would be even better.

To increase the amount of humidity in your Siltepecana’s environment and keep your plant happy, you can:

  • Set up a pebble tray filled with rocks and water beneath it. This will raise the humidity around your plant by 4-5% without affecting the rest of your house.
  • Put plants together in close proximity to increase humidity via a process called transpiration.
  • Use a humidifier, greenhouse cabinet, or LECA and water cups to increase humidity.

Soil and planting

It’s important to find the right soil mixture that will provide your plant with the optimal environment to grow. Monstera siltepecana needs relatively acidic soil with a pH of 5-6. Its extensive root system requires a loose and well-draining soil mix to prevent waterlogging and root rot.

You can buy perfectly adequate potting mix from any garden store, as long as it consists of a combination of high-quality potting soil, perlite, and fine orchid bark or coco coir (which most do). If you want to make your own mix, this is an example of a tried and true combination:

  • 60% potting soil
  • 20% perlite
  • 20% fine orchid bark

To further improve soil aeration, consider adding other optional ingredients like expanded clay aggregate (LECA), pumice, sphagnum moss, vermicast, and horticultural charcoal.


Fertilize your Monstera siltepecana with a diluted (50%) balanced houseplant liquid fertilizer once a month during spring and summer. Monitor the soil’s pH and nutrient levels and adjust as necessary.

Avoid over-fertilizing, as this can cause damage to the foliage and wilting. Stop fertilizing entirely in winter, as the plant will be dormant and unable to take up the nutrients.


These Monsteras don’t require much pruning other than routine snipping off of dead and dying leaves. Use a sharp implement and cut near the node for best results.


Monstera siltepecana is a fast grower, so check every once in a while to see if it’s rootbound or has roots coming out of the bottom of its container. If so, time to repot! When repotting your Monstera, make sure to choose a pot that’s only a size or two bigger than its previous one. It should have a drainage hole and if you want to grow a climber make sure there’s enough room in the middle for a moss pole or stake.

If you’re keeping your Siltepecana as a trailer, use a large rectangular container that is wider than it is long. This will help prevent frequent repotting, since the plant’s stem grows horizontally in its natural environment.

You know all about how to mimic the Monstera siltepecana’s natural habitat. Now let’s learn how easy it is to propagate for yourself and lucky pals.

Propagation guide

Propagating your plant through stem cuttings is an excellent way to create a larger indoor garden. There are three main ways to propagate Monstera siltepecana: by stem cutting through water, soil, or sphagnum moss.

  • Choose water propagation if: you want a familiar route that’s fast and easy.
  • Choose soil propagation if: you want less of a root transition shock between water and soil, and you have more time for maintenance.
  • Choose sphagnum moss propagation if: you want to try something new and are looking for a fuller plant more quickly.

To propagate Monstera siltepecana by stem cutting in water:

  1. Select a healthy and mature stem from the monstera Siltepecana plant.
  2. Sterilize a cutting tool and cut 4-6 inches from the stem at a 45-degree angle about halfway between two nodes. Make sure the cutting contains at least 3 leaves.
  3. Cut off the bottom leaves so that a few remain on the top of the stem cuttings to expose stem nodes.
  4. Place stem cuttings in the water, making sure the exposed nodes are submerged and that the leaves aren’t. Keep the container in a spot with indirect light.
  5. Change the water of the cutting every few days, monitoring for root growth.
  6. When roots are several inches long, carefully transfer the stem cutting to a prepared potting soil blend. Place the new plant near an indirect light source while the new roots continue to establish themselves.

To propagate Monstera siltepecana by stem cutting in soil:

Follow the steps above, but instead of putting the cutting in water, plant it directly into soil. Make sure the soil is kept consistently moist so roots can form. Once the roots have been established, the cutting can stay in its original pot or be transplanted into a larger container.

To propagate Monstera siltepecana by stem cutting in sphagnum moss:

Follow the steps above, but plant the cutting in a plastic cup filled with damp sphagnum moss and perlite. Cover it with a plastic bag or clear box to trap humidity. Keep the mixture damp as roots grow, and plant it in soil when they’re two or three inches long.

Propagating is a breeze. But what about yellow leaves or pests? We’ll cover the most common issues which come up next.

Common issues

Yellow leaves: If only the oldest, lowest leaves are turning yellow, you can assume this is just a natural part of your Siltepecana’s fast growth process, and you can let your plant do its thing. If not, yellowing leaves are often a result of a watering schedule that is too inconsistent or too much direct sunlight.

To avoid this, only place your plant in bright indirect sunlight, and only water when its soil is dry two inches down. To ensure that the soil doesn’t hold onto excess moisture, use terracotta pots with drainage holes.

Brown leaves: An atmosphere that’s too hot or dry can put excessive stress on your plant, causing its leaves to become brown. If the soil is moist, raise the temperature and/or humidity! If not, break out the watering can.

Wilting leaves: Monstera Siltepecana leaves are particularly susceptible to issues with mineral/essential nutrient deficiencies. Wilting can also be a watering or sunlight issue, so check those levels first. If your plant also has yellowing leaves, stunted growth, and slow leaf production, it’s most likely nutrient-related.

To fix the problem, make sure your plant’s soil has plenty of organic matter to provide nutrients. Fertilize once a month in the growing season.

Diseases and pests

As any dedicated plant owner knows, sometimes the most fascinating ones need a little bit of extra care and attention to ensure that annoying pests and diseases don’t take hold. Here’s a quick guide on what to look for and how to manage common issues with Monstera siltepecana.

Root rot. Rotting roots are caused by pathogens in the soil stemming from excess water and poor drainage. They’re identifiable as white, mushy, and soft to the touch; they fall off easily when pulled or squeezed and might even look a bit slimy. Yeah, not great.

Treating is possible, however. Cut of any affected roots with sterilized scissors (before and after) and give the rest a rinse. You’ll want to place the plant in a fresh pot with new potting soil, leave the last one out in the sun to help disinfect it.

Fungus. Fungal issues such as powdery mildew and botrytis can be an issue for Monstera siltepecana plants. Treat them by isolating the plant, increasing air circulation, and pruning off any infected sections. To help prevent further fungal infections, add a bit of hydrogen peroxide to the soil and treat with a fungicide.

Bugs. Look out for pests like spider mites, aphids, fungus gnats, and mealybugs, as these can damage your plant’s gorgeous foliage. Your darling Siltepecana can even attract ants. The key to tackling any critter invasion is to be vigilant and act quickly!

Mix a few teaspoons of neem oil and a teaspoon of dish soap in a quart spray bottle and use it to coat your plant every 5-7 days until the problem subsides. Be sure to get the underside of the leaves, as this is where these buggers like to hide.


Monstera siltepecana needs: well-drained soil, high humidity, bright indirect light, and regular watering. And keep in mind that while young Monstera plants of this species don’t usually have perforations, mature ones show off that hot “Swiss cheese” look. If you’re aiming for a mature climber, support its growth with a moss pole.

Keeping your Siltepecana in its juvenile form as a silvery green-leafed trailer? Supporting its extraordinary climbing abilities as a solid dark green-leafed mature plant? Either way, this Monstera is a showstopper at heart.

If this article was useful to you, share it with a friend! Hit us up any time on Facebook or Twitter—we’re happy to answer any and all questions.


Is Monstera Siltepecana rare?

While it isn’t the most common Monstera in the nursery or plant store, Siltepecana isn’t exactly a rare plant. You can buy it online pretty easily.

Is Monstera Siltepecana fast-growing?

Very. Like other Monsteras, Siltepecana grows quite quickly. Use a moss pole to train its upward growth and help it thrive.

Does Monstera Siltepecana get fenestrations?

Yes! Monstera Siltepecana fenestration occurs when the plant reaches maturity. As its leaves grow, they develop ever-widening holes known as fenestrations. Juvenile plants most likely won’t have these, however.

Are there any other Monstera siltepecana varieties?

As of this writing, just one—Monstera siltepecana ‘El Salvador’ is more compact as a whole, with lighter, bigger silvery green leaves bisected by dark veins.

Is Monstera siltepecana toxic?

According to the ASPCA, this Monstera plant is toxic, like all Monsteras, because of the fact that their stems and leaves contain calcium oxalate crystals. Keep your plant in another room or a taller spot away from small children and pets.


Our Expert
Jennifer Schutter

Jennifer Schutter is a certified master gardener with over 14 years of gardening experience. Her expertise is in indoor plant propagation and home ecology.