Monstera standleyana is one of the most extraordinary-looking climber plants. It is decorative, evergreen, and easy to take care of. If you are a Monstera lover, but still not an experienced horticulturist, this is the plant for you!
Care highlights: Also known as Albo Variegata, Monstera Standleyana can be kept as both outdoor and indoor plant. It prefers regular and thorough watering, and develops the best planted in rich, organic soil. Make sure you keep it in lower light conditions and don’t overfertilize it. You can propagate it via stem cutting or in water. Keep it away from your four-legged friends and kids, as it’s toxic.
If you want to make growing even easier, just follow our guide to preserving the beauty and health of this exotic vine!
What is Monstera Standleyana
Monstera standleyana, or Albo Variegata, lives in Central America, in Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Honduras, and Panama, to be precise.
The first-ever description of this magnificent climber was made in 1967.
It belongs to the family of Araceae, Arums, or Aroids.
They are monocotyledonous flowering plants, unusual for their way of blooming since the flowers are developed on a type of inflorescence called a spadix (it is usually surrounded by a modified leaf known as a spathe).
The family is pretty wildly developed, containing 114 genera and more than 3500 known species.
Some of them are:
- Monstera Dubia
- Monstera Pinnatipartita
- Monstera Siltepecana
- Monstera Deliciosa
- Monstera Borsigiana
- Monstera Epipremnoides
- Monstera Acuminata
- Monstera Adansonii
- Monstera Obliqua
- Monstera Thai Constellation
- Monstera Karstenianum
Monstera standleyana belongs to the Monstera genus, which contains more than fifty species.
The name “monstera” comes from their unusual unique foliage (the leaves have holes or slits in them).
Although all monsteras are fast growers, this one is different and it doesn’t grow as fast, especially if kept in a pot.
Monstera standleyana can be easily grown both outdoor and indoor, provided that all conditions are well-adjusted. Even though it is a tropical plant, if you want to grow it outdoor, the external conditions will play a big part – it can thrive in mild climates only.
Of course, if grown outdoors, it can be planted in the ground or as a tree wrapper.
In that case, the look of your Monstera standleyana may be different from the same plant grown in a pot (it will be significantly bigger and pruned not so often).
If you do decide to keep the plant outdoors, make sure you avoid freezing temperatures and take the pot inside during the cold months.
The Appearance of Monstera Standleyana
Monstera standleyana is a very decorative flowering plant with variegated foliage.
The leaves are dark green, striped with white and silvery variegates.
As I have already mentioned, all monstera plants have unusual leaves, thus the alternative name for monstera standleyana – Five holes plant.
It is also known as Philodendron standleyana and Philodendron Cobra, due to its close resemblance to Philodendron plants.
Still, these two have nothing in common besides the physical similarity.
It can be grown indoors as a runner or a climber, growing up to four to six meters if you let it thrive.
The leaf stem is unusual, having a wide, butterfly-like shape.
The leaves are oval, about 15 cm in length.
Unusually, the leaves stay upright even if the plant is in climbing form.
Each leaf has a unique pattern, making the plant even more extraordinary.
However, there are a few variations of monstera standleyana when it comes to the leaf specks type:
- Monstera standleyana Variegated White has white specks on the foliage and even on stems.
- Monstera standleyana albo Variegata is similar to the previous one, except this one includes portions of the plant in white discoloration.
- Monstera standleyana Variegated Yellow has yellowish or cream specks and stripes, and some leaves are even almost completely yellowish.
Being a Central American plant, it likes moist soil with a high level of organic matter.
If you want it to thrive as a climber, the climbing pole should be mossy or burlap (jute) wrapped.
Of course, good drainage is a must-have!
The soil mustn’t be dry nor too sandy, as it will suffocate the roots.
The ideal PH value of the soil would be around 5 to 7.5.
It is best to try and make your potting mix (it is cheaper and you have the control over the ingredients).
I recommend using a mixture of 2 parts regular soil, 1 part fine orchid bark, and 1 part perlite or coarse sand.
You should always let the topcoat of the soil become dry before you water the plant.
Monstera standleyana likes to be watered thoroughly and generously.
The usual recommendation would be watering it three times a week during the hot months and once during the cold months.
If you miss one watering, you won’t do it much harm as you will if you overwater it.
Any extra water left in the pot will cause root rot and other problems, such as limp leaves.
Never leave the soil soaked in water, as it will eventually lead to root rot.
All monsteras love humidity!
During the dry, hot days it is advised to mist them from time to time (you can do it during every second watering, for example).
Of course, I always recommend placing the pot on a tray filled with wet pebbles, or a humidifier.
You can also bring your plants closer to each other, grouping them that way, and rising the natural humidity level (just pay attention to whether any plants that might have a negative effect onto each other).
Although it is a low-maintenance plant, you should keep an eye on the humidity level since inadequate humidity conditions may cause an ill, unhealthy foliage appearance.
Also, it is advised to mist the leaves for their beauty as well, as the “wash” will give them that glowy, clean look.
Monstera standleyana doesn’t like direct nor strong sunlight.
It actually prefers lower light conditions than the other house plants, so the shady or partially shady places will be perfect for it.
Low indirect sunlight is the best solution for the plant.
Just to make it clear, the room should be bright, but without the direct impact of the sunlight (for example, low-light conditions will cause a growth stop).
A bright room with a lot of shade would be ideal.
Also, keep in mind that variegated plants need a little more brightness than the fully green ones since the white parts are unable to do photosynthesis.
Related: Grow Light for Monstera
The perfect room temperature for your monstera standleyana is between 15 °C-30 °C.
Pruning the plant is good for its health, as you will remove all the dead leaves and let the healthy ones thrive and prosper.
Basically, pruning removes the leaves and stems that are no longer beneficial to the plant, but still exploit the plant’s resources.
Of course, there is an aesthetic aspect as well – pruning lets you control the size and shape of your plant.
Experts recommend pruning monstera plants in general since they grow very fast and need some help controlling all that foliage.
The case is not the same with this particular species, as it grows a bit slower than the other members of the genus.
Also, don’t be afraid you will mess things up – monsteras are hardy plants, so there is not much space for you to ruin the plant.
While pruning, keep three things in mind – first of all, always wear gloves (this particular species is toxic).
Second of all, you must use a sharp, clean tool – a knife or scissors (I prefer scissors, it is easier to manipulate them).
The third thing to remember – plan your pruning.
Always start of the dry or diseased leaves at the stem base.
Both pruning and propagating (from cuttings, for example) should be done during spring.
It is best if you plant it during springtime, in March, to be precise.
Temperatures between 18-27 °C are ideal.
Once you buy your Monstera standleyana, there is no need to plant it right away.
You can just leave it a shady place and put the container in another container with a little bit of water at the bottom and leave it there for a couple of days until you decide where to plant it.
You can add some mulch to the water as well, preserving freshness and health of your plant that way (besides that, it will keep your monstera standleyana standing upright).
It is best if you make your mulch. It won’t take much of your time, and it will do good for your plants and your wallet as well.
Just collect some leaves, branches, and other organic matter from a local park if you don’t own a backyard.
Shred them and voila – you have your own high-quality mulch! You can even add some old shredded paper!
Here are some tips on how to get the best mulch on your own!
The size of the pot
When grown indoors, all monstera plants can be planted in pots or hanging baskets, depending on the look you want to achieve.
Monstera standleyana likes spacious containers so it can spread its roots.
The container should be from 25 cm to 50 cm in diameter, and around 25 cm deep.
The rule when it comes to this plant – the looser the roots, the wider and longer your plant will be!
You will notice the bound roots, thus the plant will grow slower, and you will know it is time for repotting.
Just check the bottom before replanting.
If it looks crowded with roots down there, re-pot it to a larger pot.
The new pot mustn’t be much bigger than the previous one – try and find a container bigger for size only.
Once again, don’t let the drainage slip out of your mind!
You will need containers with enough drainage holes so all the extra water can come out.
You should check the roots every year and see whether the plant is ready for replanting.
It is usually ready for repotting every two years.
I have already stated Monstera standleyana as a low-maintenance plant, so you shouldn’t over-fertilize it, as the heavy salts staying in the soil might dry out and even kill your plant.
Try to find an organic houseplant fertilizer.
It is advised to fertilize it three times a year, as it will grow much faster that way.
Fertilize it moderately, at least 15 cm away from the base of the plant.
Also, never do it during the winter, as most plants don’t need feeding during the cold days.
As all monstera plants, this one can be propagated from stem cuts.
It is ideal to do it during late spring and early summer.
Propagating from the steam cut
First of all, make sure your mother plant is healthy.
Cut the top step at about 20 cm in length.
The cutting should have at least two nodes and aerial roots.
Remove the foliage on the lower side.
The nod and the roots should be at least 7 cm in the soil.
Simply plant the cutting in moist soil or potting mix, and your work here is done!
All you have to do now is position a pot in a place without the direct sunlight and maintain the humidity of the soil.
It will take about a month for the roots to develop.
Propagating in water
Monstera standleyana can be propagated in water as well.
Use the same technique as explained above and after rooting, place the stem in water, giving your plant an even more exotic appearance!
Wind drafts, especially the cold ones, can be lethal to your monstera standleyana and its loose, weak roots.
Thus, keep the pot secured from the wind drafts, especially during autumn and winter.
Also, don’t forget to protect your plant from AC or heating units.
If the leaves are waggling due to the airflow, relocate the pot.
If you notice your monstera standleyana’s leaves becoming curly, it means the plant is over-exposed to the sunlight.
Relocate the pot at once and put it in a shadier place.
The leaves should look better in a couple of days.
Brown and crispy leaves
If you have been watering the plant regularly, and it still shows brown and crispy leaves, a low level of humidity might be the problem.
Start misting your monstera standleyana more often.
Also, the same indications will appear if the plant is hit by over-built salts in the soil.
If you are watering it with tap water, you must leave the water at least 24 hours out under the sunlight before you use it to water your monstera.
Many chemicals and minerals built in tap water will evaporate.
Monstera Standleyana is Turning yellow
There are a couple of causes for this one.
The leaves may be turning yellow because of overwatering.
If it is not the case, the plant might be rootbound and need repotting.
Pick up the container and examine the roots.
If the non-aerial roots are exposed above the topsoil or are swirling around the container, it is time for replanting.
Like most Monstera plants, this one is toxic as well so you should try to keep it away from pets and children.
Frequently Asked Questions
Monstera standleyana is an exotic flowering vine, native to Central America.
The leaves are unique – wide and long, dark green with white and silvery variegation.
It can be grown both indoors and outdoors.
It thrives in bright places without the direct sunlight, a high level of humidity, but never waterlogged soil.
You should let the upper layer of the soil dry out a little before watering it.
It likes often and generous watering, thus requiring a pot with a good drainage system.
It is toxic, so it must be kept away from children and pets.