Monstera Deliciosa Vs. Borsigiana (Differences and Similarities)


The image showing Monstera Deliciosa Vs. Borsigiana (Differences and Similarities)

Having confusion between Monstera deliciosa and Monstera borsigiana? It’s often interchanged with borsigiana, and vice versa, due to their very similar appearance. 

To avoid this confusion, you have to identify their differences to discern one from another. This article will help you differentiate a Monstera deliciosa from borsigiana by giving some distinguishing characteristics. 

Monstera deliciosa is different from borsigiana in the growth rate, habit, and taxonomy. There is also a slight difference between their stem structure, leaf size, and even the price. The plants, on the other hand, manifest similarities that can be easily seen in the leaf structure and root system.

Difference Between the Monstera deliciosa Vs borsigiana

Here is a list of the most significant differences between a Monstera deliciosa and borsigiana. Knowing these key factors will help you avoid mistaken one from another. 

Growth Habit

One of the main differences between the Monstera deliciosa and borsigiana is their growth habit. 

Monstera deliciosa has a horizontal and sprawling growth characteristic. This means that they tend to profusely develop and spread along with their place.

Moreover, you will find them creeping down the ground most of the time as they are slow climbers. But as the deliciosa grows older, it will eventually turn into a vine. 

On the other hand, borsigiana has a vining growth habit. It has a longer stem that grows along the ground or up a certain stack.

Compared to the deliciosa, borsigiana already starts to climb and twine as a vine during its initial growth. 

If your Monstera looks a little mess, with nesting leafstalk and stem, it is more likely a deliciosa. Meanwhile, if your Monstera depicts a neater growth, it seems that you have a borsigiana.

Size of the Leaf

The size of their leaves is another feature that contrasts the Monstera deliciosa from borsigiana.

Monstera deliciosa has leathery and beautiful leaves that are pretty huge. Its leaves can grow up to 3 feet (1 meter) in width and length at its natural habitat.  (Source: University of FloridaOpens in a new tab.)

Monstera borsigiana, on the other hand, has comparably smaller leaves. Its leaves can only reach a less noticeable size of 1.6 feet (0.5 meters), reportedly. But it is still a pretty leaf size plant for your home. 

You have to remember that the development of the plants varies under certain conditions. Factors like water, light, and a growing environment can make each leaf bigger or smaller.

The best way to determine the Monstera variety is by comparing two plants grown under the same time and condition. 

Growth Rate

If the plant sitting in your home grows quite fast, you may have the Monstera borsigiana.

Though the borsigiana tends to be always smaller than the deliciosa, its growth rate is much faster.

In general, a deliciosa grows about 2 feet (1 meter) a year on average. So, you can expect that your borsigiana may grow a bit faster than this. 

If you end up having deliciosa in your home, instead of borsigiana, do not worry. Deliciosa can grow just tall or even more, up to 30 feet (9 meters) in its natural home.

Also, you have to remember that the growth rate of the plant can vary depending on certain circumstances.

Geniculum

One of the most known dissimilarities between the Monstera deliciosa and borsigiana is the geniculum. For plants, geniculum refers to the joint of the stem that connects it to a leaf or leafstalk. 

Monstera deliciosa has a wavy or wrinkly geniculum at the end of each petiole where it meets a leaf. Some people call it “ruffles” due to its appearance and curvy texture. This distinct structure of the plant allows movement or flexibility. 

In contrast to deliciosa, borsigiana is like the other plants with the typical geniculum.

The leaf base that connects it to the stem is only plain and straight, which feels smooth once you touch it. 

While looking at the plant geniculum greatly helps in confirming whether your plant is deliciosa or borsigiana, you should not do it during their juvenile stage.

Deliciosa only develops these ruffles on its semi- to full maturity as it continually grows. 

Taxonomy

Many people confuse a Monstera borsigiana and deliciosa as one plant. Your confusion will be gone when you get to know that they have a little difference in taxonomy.

Taxonomy refers to the branch of science that deals with the process of identifying, classifying, as well as naming the plants. 

Monstera borisigiana and deliciosa have a taxonomic synonym. This means that they are under the same taxon but have a different type. (Source: Global Biodiversity Information FacilityOpens in a new tab.)

Check the table below that shows the taxonomic hierarchy of the Monstera deliosa and borsigiana. 

RanksGroup
KingdomPlantae
ClassMagnoliopsida
OrderAlismatales
FamilyAraceae
GenusMonstera
SpeciesMonstera deliciosa Liebm with the other name of Monstera borsigiana Engl.

Stem Structure

Looking at a specific structure of the Monstera stems will make it easier for you to know what that plant is. 

The unlikeness that separates a Monstera borsigiana from deliciosa is the gap between their nodes. Nodes are the round-like parts or spots that exist between the stem of a plant.

It is where the buds, branching twigs, or leaves occur. For the Monstera, it is the point that attaches the petiole, which holds a leaf, to the main stem.

A close look will help you find that there are quite longer spaces between a node to the nearest one of the borsigiana compare to the deliciosa.

This is the reason why borsigiana tends to vine at a faster rate as it pushes new growth. 

So, if your Monstera looks a little chaotic with the leaves occurring close to each other, you may be growing a borsigiana.

But your plant might be the other type if its petioles seem spaced and a bit distant from each other. 

Price

Aside from the discerning physical characteristics between the Monstera deliciosa and borsigiana, their prize can easily tell the difference too. 

Monstera deliciosa is quite an expensive plant with a price ranging from $20 to $100. The cost can even soar up higher depending on the location, store, and seller. Borsigiana is otherwise cheaper. 

You can see it yourself on Amazon to check and confirm. 

Similarities of the Monstera deliciosa and borsigiana

Now, we are going to discuss some of the common aspects of Monstera deliciosa and borsigiana that are identical. 

Perforated Leaf Structure

Both the Monstera deliciosa and borsigiana are widely known due to its dark green leaves that almost appear to have been delicately cut with scissors.

These cuts between a leaf can vary in number, size, and appearance. But they are mostly semi-round or oblong in shape. 

These natural leaf holes have been technically named “leaf fenestration”. These circle incisions existing along with the primary veins of the leaf are basically to increase moisture and nutrient uptake of the Monstera.

This is for the reason that the roots along with the Monstera vine struggle in getting water. 

Moreover, Monstera develops these perforated leaf structures as an adaptive response to the rainfall and wind pressure.

The holes allow the rain to drop in between them and directly to the roots. They also give a sort of relief to the plant from wind damage. 

Both the Monstera deliciosa and borsigiana have the defining quality of the holey leaves.

But remember that these changes go with the age of the plant. So, leaves of the younger Monstera may appear smaller and almost uncut for some time. 

Leaf Shape

Though the leaves of the Monstera deliciosa are always comparably larger than those of the borsigiana, their leaf shape is similar. 

Being under the same genus as the flowering plants in the Arum family, these Monstera form cordate leaves.

The leaves mimic the shape of a heart, with a deeply cut base extending to the broad and flat surface that ends with a tapering apex.

Despite the holes stretching to the leaf edges from the center, you will still picture it out like a heart.

Generally, Monstera deliciosa and borsigiana have heart-shaped leaves though some may not be in perfect cordiform. 

Root System

Apart from the similar attributes in the leaves of Monstera deliciosa and borsigiana, they also have the same root system. They both develop numerous aerial roots or sometimes refer to as adventitious roots. 

Aerial roots are the type that grows down from the stem or up the primary roots above the growing medium or ground.

Aerial roots perform several functions that include moisture absorption, nutrient uptake, air exchange, and propagation.

Usually, people plant the Monstera in the ground and it just gradually moves up, exposing its aerial roots. 

Have you ever seen an orchid? Monstera, either borsigiana or deliciosa, uses its roots like those of the orchids to mobile up the ground.

The roots are strong and flexible enough to affix themselves to the supporting structures such as trees, rocks, or walls.

Remember that either Monstera deliciosa or borsigiana develops aerial roots with time. So, you may only find the roots growing up a considerable distance in the air to the ground as the plant matures.

Growth Requirements

Being under the same family, the growing requirements for the Monstera deliciosa and borsigiana are quite similar for most of the time. Keep on reading to know more about these plant care tips. 

Soil

Monstera needs a well-draining, can be a peat soil-based, potting mix to thrive beautifully and healthy.

Both the Monstera deliciosa and borsigiana prefer soil that does not infiltrate too fast or slow, just at a medium rate. Besides, a growing media with high organic content will result in a flourishing Monstera. 

Container

Choose a container with a diameter that is 2 or 4 inches larger than the plant root ball. Repot the Monstera once its roots extend around the sides and below the bottom of the pot, to reduce the risks of root bounding.

Likewise, do not use overly large pots to avoid waterlogging that can greatly compromise plant health. 

Light

Monstera grows well under dappled sunlight. While it can tolerate 3 to 6 hours of direct sunlight, too much sun exposure can burn and scorch its leaves.

It will also love to receive artificial light during the periods when there is not enough source of natural sunlight. 

Temperature

You can put your Monstera deliciosa or borsigiana outdoors but make sure that it is under a canopy or shade.

The heat that is soaring above the Monstera preferred average warm temperature of 60ºF to 80ºF (16ºC to 27ºC) is not good for them.

Similarly, a temperature that is dropping below 45ºF (7ºC) will result in cold damage or frost injury. 

Watering

Monstera has only a medium water requirement. So, you can water the plant when the soil is dry in the depth of about 2 or 3 inches from the surface.

Be vigilant not to either underwater or overwater the plant through a consistent watering practice. 

Fertilizer

Monstera does not need a high amount of fertilizer. Feed it with a dry mix fertilizer rich in nitrogen during its active period and repeat it every eight weeks in a year.

Gradually increase the amount of the fertilizer and reduce the frequency of application, eventually. 

Key Take Away

Here are some of the most important information about Monstera deliciosa and borsigiana. These will help you differentiate one from another despite looking very similar in many aspects.

  • Contrary to what others are mistakenly saying, deliciosa is different from borsigiana. They are different in the growth rate, steam structure, leaf size, taxonomy, growing habit, and even price. 
  • Coming from the same family that is Arum, Monstera deliciosa and borsigiana have similar features. These include their root system, leaf structure, and shape. 
  • Care and management for the Monstera deliciosa and borsigiana are quite the same. Some of the proper care tips are the use of well-draining soil and right-sized containers. Giving an adequate amount of light, water, fertilizer, and temperature will also help the plant thrive.

Arifur Rahman

I'm the owner of gardenforindoor.com. After completing my bachelor of science in agriculture, I'm serving as a civil service officer at the Department of Agricultural Extension, Bangladesh. I started Garden For Indoor to make your indoor gardening journey easy and enjoyable.

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