The Monstera Laniata (scientific name: Monstera adansonii ssp. laniata) is a subspecies of the popular Monstera Adansonii. Like the Adansonii, it boasts beautiful, light green oval leaves with fenestrations (holes). It also shares the Adansonii’s climbing habit. 🙂
However, size is the easiest way to tell the difference between the two. When kept as a houseplant, the Laniata towers over the Adansonii, reaching up to 8 feet (2.4 meters) tall! The Laniata also has bigger leaves.
Care-wise, the Monstera Laniata is undemanding, making it a good choice for beginners. It requires a slightly acidic (pH 6.5-6.7) and chunky potting mix, dappled light for most of the day (East-facing windows are great), humidity >60%, and light fertilization.
Common issues are root rot from overwatering and the occasional pest infestation.
Let’s dive into the details!
Caring for your Monstera Laniata
Your Monstera Laniata requires ample bright, indirect light, at least 6-8 hours a day. In nature, it grows under a canopy of trees, receiving light that is filtered through the rainforest canopy.
In your home, place your Monstera Laniata next to a bright window that gets plenty of indirect light. East-facing windows are ideal. Ensure that it doesn’t get harsh afternoon sun for more than 2-3 hours a day.
South or West-facing windows work well too, but use a translucent shade cloth to reduce the light intensity.
Overwatering is a common problem, so how and when you water is an important aspect of care. But some people are so scared of overwatering that they water shallowly, giving rise to another set of issues. That is, that deep roots are never nourished!
To water your plant properly,
- Poke your finger into the plant’s topsoil, checking to see if the top 2 inches (5 cm) is dry.
- If it is dry, give your Monstera a drink. If not, hold off and check back in a few days.
- You can also try lifting the plant — if it’s heavy, there’s probably enough water content that hasn’t yet been absorbed. If you want to be precise, purchase a soil moisture meter to check the moisture content.
- Water slowly and deeply, ensuring the pot is saturated and excess water starts escaping from the drainage hole.
- Empty the saucer.
Keep in mind the effects of over and under watering:
- Over-watering your plant can result in root rot. When the soil is consistently waterlogged, the roots start to decay and eventually lose their ability to function effectively. You may also notice yellowing leaves and, in severe cases, a foul smell coming from the roots.
- On the other hand, too little water can result in dehydration, with limp, curled leaves and brown dry spots.
Hailing from the tropics, your Monstera Laniata does best when moisture levels in the air is high. In the rainforest, the constant cycle of rainfall and evaporation from innumerable trees, plants and vegetation surfaces means that humidity levels often approach 95-100%!
While mimicking these exact conditions may not be realistic, you can increase the humidity level by investing in a humidifier. Aim for at least 60% for a thriving plant.
While your Monstera Laniata can tolerate average room humidity levels, it will grow more quickly and vigorously under >60% humidity. The more, the better!
Warm, stable temperatures are ideal for your Monstera Laniata. Aim to keep temperatures between 65-85 degrees F (18-29 degrees C).
Protect your plant from windy drafts and cold chills… not doing so may result in dropping leaves!
Like many Monsteras, the Laniata is well-loved for its fenestrated leaves, rather than its blooms. Blooming also occurs infrequently outside its native habitat.
But under ideal conditions, the Monstera Laniata forms inflorescences. This consists of i) a cream-colored spathe, shaped like a boat-like protective covering, and ii) a yellow central spike called the spadix.
Along the length of the spadix are small and numerous flowers, the reproductive parts of the plant.
When your Monstera Laniata is young, leaves are small, bright green and whole. However, with time its appearance markedly changes….
As the plant matures, leaves enlarge and start developing fenestrations (holes). The holes grow larger in size and quantity alongside an expanding leaf blade. At the same time, you may find your vining plant growing aerial (above-ground) roots.
Prop your Monstera Laniata up against a moss pole, so that its aerial roots can “grab” onto the pole and climb. This emulates its natural state – starting off as a juvenile plant near the forest floor before latching on to a nearby tree and climbing up its trunk!!
When mature, your Monstera Laniata grows up to 8 feet (2.4 meters) tall. In our experience, they grow quite rapidly when given these 3 conditions:
- ample bright indirect light (at least 6-8 hours a day, if not more),
- high humidity (>60%, ideally 80-100%), and
- mild, stable temperatures between 65-85 degrees F (18-29 degrees C) year-round.
Soil or Growing Medium
A slightly acidic (pH 6.5 – 6.7), well-draining potting mix is key to the health of a Monstera Laniata. We like using this mix:
- 2 parts Miracle Gro indoor potting soil
- 1 part perlite
- 1 part orchid bark
- a handful of horticultural charcoal
The orchid bark and charcoal create a well-draining mix that allows excess water to escape quickly while providing airflow to the roots. Airflow prevents root rot, which is a condition where overwatered roots suffocate and decay.
At the same time, perlite lightens the soil mix and helps retain some moisture for your plant’s nourishment. The peat-based indoor potting soil gives your Monstera Laniata a slightly acidic and nutrient-heavy base for healthy growth. 🙂
Apply a liquid fertilizer to nourish your Monstera Laniata. We like using a fertilizer that has a NPK ratio of 9-3-6 or 7-9-5 to encourage foliage growth.
Apply the liquid fertilizer at half strength in the active growing season (spring and summer months) once every 2 weeks, mixing it in with its water for a diluted solution.
Hold off fertilizing in winter and fall.
Repotting should occur once every 2-3 years. Nutrients in the soil start to deplete over time, so it’s important to refresh the soil even if your plant isn’t root-bound!
Repotting is best done during the spring. Here’s how:
- Choose a pot that is slightly deeper and wider (about 2 inches) than the previous one and has drainage holes.
- Add a few inches of a suitable potting mix to the new pot.
- Lightly water your Monstera Laniata 24 hours prior to repotting.
- Gently unpot your plant, using your fingers to gently loosen the soil and untangle the roots.
- Examine the rootball, pruning off any brown or soft damaged roots. Healthy roots are firm and white.
- Place your plant in the new pot and add more soil to stabilize it, ensuring the roots are completely covered.
FOR more tips on how to repot a root-bound plant, check out our repotting guide.
Unfortunately, your plant is toxic when ingested by pets and humans. The Monstera Laniata contains insoluble oxalate crystals, which pierce skin tissues.
When ingested by humans or pets, they can cause severe mouth irritation, burns, vomiting and nausea, and gastrointestinal discomfort.
Propagation via Stem Cuttings
If you want to propagate your Monstera Laniata, stem cuttings are the way to go! Propagate during spring.
While you can root the plant directly in the soil, we prefer rooting in water first, increasing its chance of successful propagation.
- Identify a 6-inch (15cm) part of the stem with at least 2-3 nodes and at least one leaf.
- Cut below the node using clean garden shears at a downward sloping angle. (This allows any water to run off the wound site, reducing the chances of infection.)
- Remove any leaves from the bottom half of the stem cutting.
- Place the stem cutting into a jar half-filled with room temperature water. Ensure nodes are submerged below the waterline but that no leaves are submerged. (Nodes are where you’ll see roots grow!)
- Place the cutting in a warm location with plenty of indirect light. If you can, place a humidifier next to the jar, and set it at 80% humidity.
- Change out the water every few days to prevent the water from going murky.
- After 4-5 weeks, you’ll see little roots growing from the nodes.
- Once the roots grow 2 inches (5cm) long, plant your rooted cutting into its permanent pot, filled with a well-draining potting mix.
Pruning is good practice for your vining Monstera Laniata, as it helps your plant focus its energy on healthy growth. Plus, without pruning, your plant will get unwieldy. 🙂
If you spot any dead or yellowed foliage, you can use clean garden shears to trim these off. We like sterilizing using 70% isopropyl solution to prevent the spread of bacteria and fungi.
You can also trim off any leggy stems by cutting just ABOVE the node.
Common Pests and Diseases
Pests and diseases are usually not a huge issue for your hardy Monstera Laniata if you catch these early enough. Common problems include the occasional pest infestation or overwatering leading to root rot.
- Spider mites, fungus gnats, mealybugs, aphids and thrips. These are the most common pests that love your Monstera Laniata. Apply a neem oil solution repeatedly to eradicate these pests. (Click here for a step-by-step guide on how to use neem oil as a pesticide).
- Root rot. Overwatering is Enemy #1 for many houseplants. Making sure that you water only when the topsoil is dry and using a well-draining potting soil are among the best things you can do for your plant.
If you have an overwatered plant on your hands, check out our guide on how to save it.
- Yellow leaves. Usually a sign of overwatering. Check your watering practices and ensure your soil mix is well-draining.
- Brown crispy edges. Commonly a sign of too-low humidity, or too much direct sunlight.
- Brown spots. This could be due to Leaf spot disease. Refrain from misting your plant, quickly cut off damaged foliage with sterilized shears and quarantine your plant away from all other healthy plants. Apply a broad-based fungicide to stop the spread.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why is my Monstera leaf not splitting?
Good question. The most common reason is due to inadequate light. Are you giving your plant at least 6-8 hours of BRIGHT indirect light daily?
However, sometimes the answer is less straightforward. Check out our guide to figure out why your fenestrated Monstera is refusing to form holes!
Monstera Adansonii vs. Monstera Laniata
There are a couple of differences between the Adansonii and the Laniata:
- The Laniata is larger in size, growing up to 8 feet (2.4 meters) tall, compared to the Adansonii’s height of 3-5 meters (0.9 – 1.5meters).
- The Laniata’s mature leaf size is also larger, around 2 feet (61cm) long.
- The Laniata tends to be more heavily fenestrated and have holes closer to the midrib.
Where does the Monstera Laniata come from?
The Laniata hails from Mexico and South America.
Where can I buy a Monstera Laniata?
Personally, we haven’t had much luck locating a Monstera Laniata at physical stores. We usually buy our houseplants online through Etsy. A young Laniata should cost ~US$20.
Other Monsteras with Fenestrations
The stunning Esqueleto is a large-leafed Monstera with “double fenestrations”. A set of small holes run along the midribs, and another set of larger holes sit between the small holes and the leaf edges.
They are also easy to grow!
The Lechleriana is a beauty. Compared to the Esqueleto and the Laniata, its fenestrations are smaller and sit close to the midribs… they don’t get quite so large as to expand out to the leaf margins.
In between the fenestrations, uniform veins extend from the midrib to leaf edge in a downward sloping pattern… apparently to “guide” raindrops off the leaf!
There’s so much mystery around the rare and expensive Obliqua. The Obliqua Peru is the most fenestrated of all Monsteras, covering >90% of leaf surface. But the leaf itself is papery thin and fragile, making it the most challenging to grow.
If you’re up to the challenge, check out our guide to growing tips for the Obliqua.
Of course, the Adansonii, also called the Swiss Cheese Plant, rounds up our list. 🙂
Check out our Round up of Unique Monstera Types (w/Photos!)
The Monstera Laniata is a beautiful tropical plant with a vining habit. Easy to care for, it doesn’t require much for it to look its best:
- Bright, indirect light for most of the day. Sufficient light is important for leaves to mature and develop fenestrations.
- A well-draining potting mix.
- >60% humidity, ideally more!
- Avoid overwatering.
- Check regularly for pests.
Deborah is a plant enthusiast and founder of Gardening Collective.