The evergreen Monstera genus of plants is one of the most wanted and most loved house plants out there. But, the genus contains more than 40 species, as part of its broader family Araceae.
In this article, I’ll compare Monstera Lechleriana and Monstera Adansonii. Coming from the same genus, they certainly have similarities. But they also have a few crucial differences.
If you own a Monstera, but you aren’t sure which one is it, then, this article will help you find out. If you don’t own a Monstera, but you do like one, then, stay with me and choose the one that is to your liking.
Differences between Lechleriana and Adansonii include their watering and fertilization needs. They grow with different tempos and thus form different foliage. Furthermore, they have a different structure of leaves and usual height. Last, but not least, they have different types of holes (which is the easiest way to distinguish them).
Similarities include close relation in the plant kingdom because they both are epiphytes and vines. Plus they have similar natural habitats and when cared for as house plants, don’t like direct sunlight and thrive in similar temperatures.
Differences Between Lechleriana and Adansonii
Holes in Leaves
The best thing about Monsteras is the holes in their leaves. But, comparing Monstera Lechleriana and Monstera Adansonii, we can see that they have a few differences in the holes.
For one, Lechleriana might not even have holes on some leaves, while they are young. Even when it does, there are a few, usually more circular compared to those of Adansonii.
On the other hand, Adansonii has lots of smaller holes that are longer compared to those of Lechleriana.
In most cases, the holes start close to the midrib (central vein of the leaf) and spread down towards the blade (the outer line).
The best way to compare it is by seeing the one next to the other. But even if you don’t have that option, you can easily determine which is which.
When you look at the leaf, if you see lots of holes, all through the leaf, then you are looking at Adansonii, for sure.
From the total size of the leaf, at least one third will go into holes. We might say that Adansonii truly deserves how people have been calling it – the swiss cheese plant.
When cared for as house plants, these two types of Monsteras have different needs for water.
Monstera Lechleriana mainly loves water, but you need to water it only after the soil gets dry, usually on a weekly basis.
In winter times or when the weather is colder, they tend to hibernate more and that slows down their growth. So, watering once every two weeks should be enough in winter.
The best way to check if your Monstera Lechleriana is in need of water is to poke your finger deeper into the soil.
If it is dry there too, you should water it. Be careful not to overwater it since you might get yourself into a mess of rotting Monstera roots.
Underwatering, on the other side, may result in fewer holes on the leaves or yellowing of the tips.
In contrast, Monstera Adansonii is a delicate princess when it comes to watering.
They never want to be in very dry soil, but overwatering will damage their roots. The best method to meet its needs is to water the soil once a week.
Some of the hardcore houseplant lovers get a humidifier for their plants and keep it near.
But, if you don’t want to spend money on that, spray water on the leaves and on top of the soil.
Doing that from time to time should be enough for Adansonii and its moisture needs.
Proper pot drainage is the key to healthy Monsteras. Never, I mean never ever, keep your Monstera into a pot without drainage.
Yes, Monstera Adansonii likes rain-forest humidity and moist environments. But it certainly doesn’t want to soak in water or muddy soils for prolonged periods of time.
Growth Habit and Foliage
The next difference we are going to address is their growing habits. Even though they both are vines, they usually grow differently and at different rates.
Monstera Lechleriana leaves can grow up to 10 inches (25 cm) in their natural habitat.
Indoors, this is possible only if they have the perfect conditions to do so. Even if it’s not in its natural habitat, Lechleriana will still grow much bigger than Adansonii.
Adansonii leaves are much smaller than those of Lechleriana. Usually a fully grown leaf can get a little bit bigger than the palm of your hand, but not more.
Compared to Lechleriana, it will have much more leaves and richer foliage, but the leaves will be slimmer.
Lechleriana, with bigger and thicker leaves, should have a smaller overall number of leaves.
Height and Structure
Height is another of their differences. Logically, based on the previous section, Lechleriana grows higher, but Adansonii grows richer.
If provided with a moss pole, both will grow in height, but if not, Adansonii will spread with crawling faster.
Lechleriana on the other hand, because it has more meaty leaves, will grow slower, but bigger.
The last difference on this list will be the fertilization. Why is fertilization important?
Well, if you keep your plant in a pot, no matter how rich or how massive the soil is, with time the plant will consume all the nutrients. After a while, the soil is actually becoming what we can call “dead”.
When it comes to fertilizer, Monstera Adansonii is again, the princess of the story.
Growing quickly, Adansonii cannot take all the nutrients it needs through photosynthesis. So, you need to help it out a little bit, by putting fertilizer in the soil.
You can fertilize only in spring and summer, when it grows more, and leave the winter for hibernation.
Make sure that you don’t fertilize right next to the roots because you’ll stimulate root growth if they need to stretch out to get nutrients. Mind tricks, right?
And don’t make the mistake of fertilizing right after you repotted your Adansonii.
If the roots are weak and still adjusting to the new pot, you might burn them out, and not stimulate them.
Monstera Lechleriana is a warrior, so you can fertilize it once a month (two times, if you like) during summer days, but slow that down once autumn comes.
Similarities of Lechleriana and Adansonii
Since we’re talking about two plants that are coming from the same family, we can expect that they will have much more similarities. Differences aside, let’s dive deep into things that make them similar.
One of the first similarities I can name is their taxonomy. Both Lechleriana and Adansonii come as part of:
- Plantae Kingdom (like plants, in case someone didn’t get the Latin there);
- Phylum Tracheophyta – or so-called Vascular Plants (meaning that they have a special tissue that transports water and products of photosynthesis, all the way through the plant’s body);
- Subphylum Angiospermae – Flowering plants (or seed-producing plants);
- Class Liliopsida – Monocots by number of cotyledons in the seed;
- Family Araceae – Aroids, meaning they have a spadix (meaty part on which the seeds are highly organized). To get a better picture, think of the Peace Lily flower. Yes, Monsteras have the same type of flowering as the Peace Lily. I know, now you love them even more.
- Subfamily Monsteroideae – they have Trichosclereids (needle-like cells that prevent plant-eating animals to go after them);
- Genus Monstera – yes, we previously mentioned 40 types of Monsteras.
If you do want to dig more in-depth info especially about Monstera Adansonii lineage and the variations scientists found, I recommend you read the project done in North-East Brazil.
Phew. That is enough latin, biology and genetics for me, what about you? Let’s get to another of their similarities.
One of the main similarities between Lechleriana and Adansonii is their natural habitat. They can both be found in the tropical climate of Central and South America.
Countries like Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Panama, El Salvador, Honduras, Belize and Venezuela have rain-forests and therefore, Monsteras of the kind.
Columbia, Guyana, Suriname, Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, and Western Brazil can also be proud of having the natural habitat of both Lechleriana and Adansonii, all through their rainforests.
Lechleriana alone can be found in the Southern part of the Gulf of Mexico too. You can see a map of its habitat right here.
Adansonii on the other hand goes much more south into South American countries.
Thus, it can also be found in the rain forests of the Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, throughout Brazil, parts of Bolivia, and Paraguay. (Source: Global Biodiversity Information Facility)
Both Monstera Lechleriana and Monstera Adansonii are epiphytes and that is another of their similarities.
This means that both of them are growing on the surface of other plants, mostly big trees.
They feed on the debris, humidity, water, and air around them while helping a lot to biodiversity.
So, what I’m basically saying is that both of them are not penetrating deep into the soil, but instead develop a big net of roots.
They also have air roots that crawl through the surface and leech on when they find a suitable place.
Other than being epiphytes, all of the Monsteras are vines too. This includes Lechleriana and Adansonii.
Basically, from each stem, a new smaller stem comes up (scientifically called petiole). The harder, brownish middle between them is called a node.
You need to know about it if you want to propagate them from a stem. You have to make sure that your cutting has at least one node since that is where the roots grow from.
As vines, Monstera Lechleriana and Monstera Adansonii both grow attaching their leaves to trunks of trees.
Thus, they test out their environment and naturally spread depending on where they find the best sun conditions.
Even though this is more important for Monsteras when they are in their natural habitat, house plant lovers should also provide a moss pole for their growing Monsteras.
Other than providing some solid support for their stems, you can beautify your space by keeping the Monstera in good visual wholeness.
Another similarity is their need for indirect sunlight. Since they grow in the shade of big trees, they are never exposed to direct sunlight in their natural habitat. The same should go when they are taken care of indoors.
When we compare the two, Monstera Lechleriana is more sensible to sunlight and if it is exposed to it longer, it might get leaf burns.
Monstera Adansonii might do better in direct sunlight, but it will grow slower or it might experience drooping leaves.
So, for both of these types, the best method of lighting is close to a window, but without direct sunlight for prolonged periods of time.
To be clearer, if your Monstera is on the window, but you do have curtains, it should be just fine.
Both Monstera Lechleriana and Monstera Adansonii have the same temperature taste.
Having similar natural habitats, they are most comfortable in temperatures up to 80 °F (25 °C).
Even in super hot summer, if they are not in direct sunlight, you don’t have to stress about them (as long as you water them regularly).
The difference would be that Monstera Lechleriana can be okay at 55 °F (or 12 °C) and Adansonii can only grow at temperatures higher than 64 °F (or 18 °C).
For a short period of time, it just might survive, but leave it longer on cold and that will be the end of your Adansonii.
Monstera Lechleriana and Monstera Adansonii want rich soil that allows air flow and water drainage. Also, the best pH would be somewhere around 5.0 and 7.0.
If you are doing the soil mix by yourself, you can add more Coco Coir (Coconut fiber) and Peat Moss (Sphagnum Moss) for your Monstera Adansonii.
That type likes more humidity and water and these two compounds are great at retaining water and providing anti-bacterial properties.
If you don’t mix the soil on your own, then it’s just better to fertilize it two or three times in one year.
The best medicine, in all cases, is proper drainage. Without it, you’re putting your Monstera, no matter the type, at a higher risk of rotting.
My main goal for this article was to share with you the differences and the similarities that Monstera Lechleriana and Monstera Adansonii have.
The similarities between them can be brought down to the same genetic lineage because they both are epiphytes and vines.
Their similar natural habitats in Middle and South America; and similar needs when it comes to light, temperature, and soil mix.
Differences are the water amount they like, as well as the frequency of fertilization. Regarding structure, Adansonii has smaller and thinner leaves with lots of holes, but grows faster and has bigger foliage because of that.
Lechleriana, on the other hand, is stronger, with meaty leaves, fewer holes, and is more easily adaptable to its environment.
I hope that all of this info was helpful to you. More than that, I hope that it will be helpful for your Monstera.