Everyone remembers the famous Monstera adansonii and deliciosa. But while these popular houseplants may get all of the attention, their lesser-known cousin Monstera Esqueleto deserves some love too.
Known for its unique leaf structure and splotchy variegation, it’s easy to see why those with a green thumb are drawn to this tropical beauty.
With proper Monstera Esqueleto care and maintenance, you can keep these delicate plants thriving in your home for years to come.
Read on for our guide on how to take care of your Monstera Esqueleto and enjoy every bit of this stunning foliage, from lush vines to vibrant leaves.
|Scientific name||Monstera Esqueleto|
|Other names||Monstera epipremnoides|
|Growth zone||USDA 9b to 11|
|Plant type||Tropical plant|
|Growth size||2 feet long|
|Growth rate||Slow grower|
|Flowering||During the growing season|
|Toxicity||Toxic to humans and pets|
|Common pests||Spider mites, Brown scales, Mealy bugs|
|Diseases||Root rotYellow leaves, Brown leaf edges|
What is Monstera Esqueleto Plant?
Monstera esqueleto is an exceptionally rare variety of the Araceae family, originating from Costa Rica, Central America.
Its large, palm-like leaves are characterized by deep splits or ‘fenestrations’, often creating a latticework or ‘skeleton’ appearance. This has earned it the name Monstera esqueleto rare plant, meaning ‘skeleton monstera.’
This tropical plant is highly sought after for its unique and eye-catching foliage. It is also known for its slow growth rate, making it a prized specie for avid gardeners looking to add an exotic touch to their space.
How do you Identify Monstera Esqueleto
i. Young M. Esqueleto
To identify monstera epipremnoides or esqueleto that is young from other monstera varieties, look for fenestration patterns. This is a unique feature of the plant that sets it apart from other Monstera varieties.
Young Esqueleto leaves are smaller and thinner than those of an adult plant, with white splotches between the veins.
The leaves also tend to be more upright in their growth pattern. They also have a textured feel due to their small bumps or ridges along the surface of each leaf.
ii. Mature M. Esqueleto
Mature Monstera Esqueleto can be identified by their larger leathery texture leaves and more horizontal growth pattern. These plants will also have a light green coloration, but the distinctive fenestration pattern remains present in adult specimens as well.
The texture is also slightly different on mature plant since the bumps and ridges become more pronounced with age.
Mature monstera plant also develops aerial roots which hang down from the stem node and are used for stability and support.
Monstera Esqueleto Plant Care Needs
Monstera Esqueleto plant care is relatively simple and straightforward. Here are the factors to consider when caring for your Monstera esqueleto.
Monstera Esqueleto plants, originating from rainforest climates, can often be confused with their requirement for lighting.
It is important to understand Monstera Esqueleto light requirements are indirect or slightly filtered light. An ideal environment is a warm spot with 8-10 hours of optimal lighting daily, or alternatively, use LED grow lights for 10-12 hours each day.
When planting your esqueleto monstera epipremnoides plant, note that full shade can just be as damaging and should also be avoided – only providing optimal light in a well-circulated environment will grant the best results for growth and maintenance of your Monstera Esqueleto.
Signs Your Monstera Esqueleto Needs More Light
- There are no fenestrations (holes) on the mature leaves.
- The leaves are discolored, having dark brown spots or they have yellowed.
- The soil takes too long to dry.
- The growth rate is slow or stunted.
- Your Monstera Esqueleto looks leggy or stretched out.
How to Maximize Light Exposure?
- Place the plant in a warm and sunny spot such as a patio, balcony, or near a south-facing window.
- Place the pot on a rotating tray or platform to ensure each side of the plant receives adequate sunlight.
- Keep the plant away from drafty windows or vents, as this can cause cold air to come in contact with your Monstera Esqueleto.
- If you have direct sunlight coming in through your windows, consider covering them with light fabric curtains to filter the sun’s rays.
- If you are using artificial lights to supplement the sunlight, position them 4-5 feet away from your Monstera Esqueleto.
- If you keep your Monstera on a garden shelf or any other elevated surface, use a shade cloth to prevent direct sunlight from falling on it
Watering monstera epipremnoides should be done every 1-2 weeks. To check if you need to water it, use the finger test or moisture meter.
Aim to do water your plant about once every 1-2 weeks, with more frequent watering during its active growing period in spring and summer. During the dormant season, you can cut back a bit – but try not to go longer than a week without giving it water.
When you do water, go slow and let it saturate the soil before adding more. Ensure all of the water drains into the tray, then empty any excess from the tray afterwards. Rainwater or filtered water is best for monstera species as it won’t contain chlorine which can be toxic to the plant.
Signs of Underwatering
- Wilting leaves
- Curled leaves
- Yellow and brown leaves
- Crispy leaf edges
- Dry potting soil
Signs of Overwatering
- Yellowing of the leaves and brown, crispy spots on the edges
- Wilting of leaves
- Pest attack
- Roots growing out from the drainage holes of the pot
- Foul smell
- Moldy, soggy soil
To identify what temperature range your Monstera esqueleto thrives, you can use a digital thermometer to check the temperature of your environment. Aim for temperatures between 18-29°C (65-85℉) during the day and night to provide an ideal climate for your plant.
High temperatures above 90 degrees Fahrenheit should be avoided to prevent dehydration, as the plant will begin to lose moisture as the temperature rises.
Similarly, low temperatures near or below freezing should also be avoided as it can inhibit growth and even cause death.
If the plant is in a location that receives full sun, it will be warmer than if it were in a location that only receives partial sun. The type of soil affects temperature such that if the plant is in soil that drains well, it will be cooler than if it were in soil that doesn’t drain well. Also, sandy soil will be cooler than if it were clay soil.
A plastic pot will be warmer than a ceramic pot. If the plant is in a black pot, it will be warmer than if it were in a white pot.
Tips for Maintaining Optimal Temperature
Place your plant in an area of the home that receives indirect sunlight to keep temperatures from becoming too hot, preventing monstera sunburn.
Besides, keep your Monstera esqueleto away from air conditioners and heaters, as these can cause rapid temperature fluctuations, which can be damaging to the plant.
If you live in a more temperate climate, you may need to use a humidifier or dehumidifier to stay within these optimal ranges.
Signs your plant environment maybe be too cold:
- Stagnant growth
- Curled leaves.
- Yellowing leaves
- Black or Brown spots.
- No flowers
- The leaves keep falling off
Signs your plant environment is too high:
- Drying and wilting leaves
- Yellow leaves
- Falling leaves
- Sunburned leaves
Monstera esqueleto plant thrives in most household air – unless, of course, you live in a dry area and have your heaters on full blast during winter.
In this case, your goal should be to maintain 60%-80% relative humidity, ensuring evenly moist soil that is not too little and not too much, or else you’ll soon end up with a crispy monstera.
To gauge your home’s humidity level for monstera, invest in a hygrometer and measure regularly.
You can also use other tips, such as grouping plants together or placing a water-filled pebble tray around the plant.
Whatever you do, though, don’t forget to mist the monstera epipremnoides leaves with a fine-mist mister on occasion, or get yourself a humidifier if needed.
Low Humidity Signs
- Crispy leave tips
- The leaves may also curl up inwards and appear droopy
- the leaves drop leaves
- You’ll also notice brown patches on the leaves
Too High Humidity Signs
- Molds growth
- Wet leaves
- Rotting roots
- Musty odors
- Slow growth
Consider the room’s temperature and humidity levels when positioning a Monstera Esqueleto.
Like other monstera plants, the esqueleto plant prefers temperatures between 65-80°F and humidity levels between 40-60%.
When choosing a spot for your Monstera Esqueleto, make sure there is enough space for the plant to grow. Mature plants can reach up to the ceiling height or taller, and their leaves can measure up to 3 feet.
Overall, the best placement for a Monstera Esqueleto is near an east-facing window with filtered light.
- Where Not to Place (Houseplant name) in the HomE
- Direct sunlight past 9:00 AM.
- Near air conditioners or heating vents
- Trafficked or Crowded areas
- Areas with extreme temperature changes
- Damp or wet areas
This plant requires moderate levels of fertilizer to ensure it stays healthy and grows properly. It’s best to feed Monstera esqueleto every two weeks during its growing season with a balanced liquid fertilizer diluted at half strength.
During the winter months, feeding should be reduced to every month or even completely omitted depending on the light and temperature levels in your growing environment.
To prevent overfertilization, water the monstera esqueleto plant before you fertilize it and make sure that you evenly distribute the feed around the base of the stem.
Finding the best fertilizer for your monstera plant can be a daunting task, but you can add soil amendments such as compost or manure for extra nourishment.
Some of the main reasons you need to fertilize Monstera esqueleto are:
- Most Potting soils are enriched with some nutrients.
- Potting soil nutrients get depleted in 6-12 months
- Help the plant reach its full potential
- Fertilizers function as vitamins for the plant
A complete mix of monstera fertilizer mix should include macro-nutrients (nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium) in high doses and micro-nutrient (iron, copper–boron, zinc, chlorine, nickel) in smaller doses.
Best monstera esqueleto fertilizer
- All indoor and outdoor plants, tree, vegetables and surf
- It feeds both through the roots and the leaves. This formula of nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium provides fast green-up and rapid leaf expansion
- Indoors it is especially effective on foliage plants, keeping leaves green. A proven performer in the vegetable garden for generations
The ideal fertilizer for monstera esqueleto is the balanced liquid NPK fertilizer of 20:20:20 ratio or 10-10-10. This fertilizer will provide adequate levels of nutrients without creating excess.
Other fertilizers like granular fertilizer can burn and damage the roots of your monstera esqueleto plant, so stick to the recommended choice to be safe.
Alternatively, you can use natural compost to fertilize your plant to provide an organic form of nutrients.
Depending on where you are growing your plant, either indoors or outdoors, you’ll need to use different amounts of the manufacturer’s strength.
If you’re growing them indoors, reduce the fertilizer to half the recommended amount. So if the bottle recommends a teaspoon per gallon, only use half.
When planting monstera esqueleto plant outdoors, stick with the manufacturer’s recommended strength.
In the end, fertilizing will improve soil structure, encourage growth, balance the nutrients in the soil, and provide stronger resistance to pests.
Signs of Over-Fertilization
- Yellowing leaves
- Black and brown roots or limps
- Stagnant growth
- A white crust of fertilizer on the soil surface.
Signs of Under-Fertilization
- Yellow spots
- Slow growth
- Wilting leaves
- Smaller than usual fruit/flower size
- Lack of flowers or fruit production
Pruning your Monstera esqueleto is essential to maintain its health and keep it looking its best.
Pruning helps to remove older, dying leaves and stems that may have been infected with fungus or other diseases, preventing the spread of these problems to the rest of the plant.
Regular pruning helps manage the size of the monstera and encourages new growth. Under normal conditions, Monstera Adansonii leaves also grow huge but not as big as Monstera Epipremoides.
Plus, pruning also promotes air circulation to ensure that all parts of the plant are receiving adequate light and nutrients for optimal health.
Prune monstera esqueleto during the high growth period to allow the plant to recover faster. Do not prune in winter during the dormancy period.
Wear gloves, grab a pair of clean scissors or clippers, and get ready to prune your monstera epipremnoides. Cut off any dead leaves that you see and snip any stems that are too long.
Don’t forget to trim away the aerial roots at the top so your plant looks neat. Make sure to use clean scissors or clippers to keep your plant health
Remember not to do the following mistakes if you plant to prune monstera epipremnoides:
- Use blunt pruning shear
- Prune during the plant’s dormancy stage
- Prune a young monstera
- Prune bare hand
8. Propagating Monstera Esqueleto
To propagate monstera epipremnoides or Lechleriana, you can use three different methods: Stem cutting, air layering, and division. If you Now that you own a rare Monstera Esqueleto, I highly recommend you propagate it.
i. Stem Cutting
For stem cuttings, select a healthy stem and cut it just below the node. Make sure to use sterilized pruning shears for this.
Then, dip the cutting into rooting hormone powder. After that, insert the stem into moistened soil medium and cover with plastic wrap to keep it moisturized.
Place in bright, indirect light and be sure to keep the soil moist. You should see roots form within a few weeks.
ii. Air Layering
Air layering is another great way to propagate Monstera esqueleto. Start by making a slanted cut on the stem around 2-3 inches above the node. Then, insert a toothpick into the cut, which will help to keep it open.
Then, apply rooting hormone powder directly on the stem. Next, wrap a damp sphagnum moss around the stem and hold it in place with plastic wrap.
Place this in bright indirect light and check for roots after several weeks.
Begin by gently removing the plant from its container and brushing away the soil so that you can see all of the roots. Then, use a sharp knife to divide the rootball into sections, each with at least one stem node.
Make sure to apply rooting hormone powder to the freshly cut parts before replanting in a new container filled with fresh potting soil.
Keep the soil consistently moist and provide bright indirect light, and you should see roots form within a few weeks.
Regardless of the method you go for, propagating properly will increased the amount of Monstera Epipremnoides you have. The same instructions work for monstera obliqua cuttings alike.
9. Potting & Repotting
Monstera esqueleto needs to be repotted every year if it is young or after 2-3 years if it is mature. Signs that the plant needs to be repotted include yellowing leaves, dry soil or stunted growth.
You should also repot your monstera epipremnoides if the roots are coming out of the drainage holes or your monstera is rootbound. This helps your monstera esqueleto get more nutrients and allows its roots to keep growing.
Be sure to repot monstera epipremnoides in the early spring or summer so that your Monstera can use the refreshed potting mix to keep growing.
How to Pot & Repot Monstera Esqueleto Step by Step
- Pick the best time- Early spring is the ideal time for repotting Monstera Esqueleto; since this is when it starts to grow more actively.
- Select a new plant pot like terracotta pots with proper drainage. Terracotta pots (or clay pots) are preferred as this will allow your plant to breathe and be able to absorb enough water.
- The best monstera planter pot choice should have drainage at the bottom to prevent s this will help prevent root rot.
- Fill your container with potting soil. Use a well draining potting mix that contains peat, perlite, and/or vermiculite for best results.
- Pull the plant out of the old container.
- Trim some roots-It’s important to prune away any damaged or dead roots when repotting.
- Replant and Hydrate. Place your Monstera Esqueleto in the new container and fill it with more soil, then water.
10. Soil Drainage and Aeration
Monstera Esqueleto plants need a well-draining soil mix with perlite, vermiculite and peat moss to provide aeration.
Organic matter like compost, leaf mold, or animal manure should also be added to provide essential nutrients.
Soil pH is an important factor for Monster Esqueleto plants. The ideal soil pH range lies between 5.5 to 7 and can be adjusted by adding sulfur or lime if needed.
Monstera esqueleto needs slightly damp soil that should be checked before additional water is added.
It’s best to use a monstera soil mixture designed for the plant and contains a mix of potting soil, perlite, and compost. This will help create an optimal balance of drainage and aeration.
Proper care should be taken with soil pH, moisture, and aeration to keep your Monster Esqueleto plant healthy. Make sure that the soil pH is within the ideal range and that your plant has just enough water to remain slightly damp.
Also, use a suitable soil mix for aeration and drainage. Taking these steps will ensure that your Monster Esqueleto plant grows strong and healthy.
The best commercial potting mix for Monstera esqueleto to buy are:
Premium Monstera Potting Soil
- PREVENTS BROWN SPOTS, ROOT ROT, AND DROPPING LEAVES Created to provide well-draining soil using organic aged bark, coco coir, and perlite to maintain an optimal balance of water and air for your monsteras.
- SUPPORTS INCREASED GROWTH AND STRONGER HOUSEPLANT HEALTH Specially formulated with nutrients including IBI-certified Biochar, which increases the retention of nitrogen, phosphorus, and other essential plant nutrients so your plant can grow bigger and stronger.
- PROTECTS AGAINST OVER AND UNDER WATERING Developed by The Houseplant Resource Center, our soil mix provides the perfect balance of water retention and drainage so that you can take the guesswork out of watering your monstera.
- CERTIFIED STERILE AND NON-TOXIC Each bag has been sterilized to protect your plant that can lurk in other soils. Enjoy a resealable bag for easy storage.
- PERFECT FOR ALL AROIDS Created for aroids including monstera, our soil mix is perfect for all aroids and monstera including Monstera Deliciosa, Monstera Albo Borsigniana, Monstera Variegata, Monstera Adansonii, Monstera Pinnatipartita, Monstera Dubia, Monstera Siltepecana, Monstera Obliqua.
Sun Gro Horticulture Black Gold 1310102 8-Quart All Purpose Potting Mix
- A slow-release complete fertilizer is added to give plants a strong start
- Made with Canadian sphagnum peat moss with worm castings, forest humus, and pumice
- This product is made in United States
- Now with MultiCote controlled release fertilizer
- A multi purpose, nutrient rich mix that's ideal for all plants
You can also make your own DIY soil mix. Mix 5 parts Orchid bark,2 parts Worm castings, 4 parts Coco Coir, 2 parts activated charcoal and 5 parts perlit. If the soil is too dense, add more pine bark to lighten it up.
Signs the Soil Isn’t Suitable for Monstera Esqueleto
- Stagnant growth
- Mushy roots
- Yellowing of the leaves
- Brown spots
- Drooping leaves
Growth Rate and Requirements
1. Large-sized foliage of this plant can grow 1-2 feet each year if it gets lots of light and humidity. In lower light, the leaves will be smaller and the plant will not grow as quickly.
2. Every 2-3 months there will be a new Monstera esqueleto leaf with beautiful variegated designs. To keep the colors vibrant, make sure it’s not in direct sunlight.
3. It may take 2-3 years before this plant blooms and produces fruits – to help speed things up, give it lots of humidity and warmth.
Toxicity of Monstera Esqueleto
While attractive in appearance, the Monstera esqueleto is highly toxic to both pets and humans. They contain toxic chemicals known as calcium oxalate.
Ingestion of any part of the plant can lead to severe symptoms ranging from vomiting and diarrhea to seizures, coma, and even death in extreme cases.
Contact with the plant can cause skin irritation in both animals and humans. In pets, it is especially dangerous because they lack the ability to differentiate between edible plants and poisonous ones and are more prone to investigate unfamiliar plants due to their curious nature.
If you ever questioned, is Monstera Epipremnoides toxic, the answer is YES.
Common Problems with Monstera Esqueleto
1. Pests Infestation
All Monstera plants are prone to houseplant pests. These can be things like thrips, mealybugs, spider mites, and scale insects.
They feed on the plant’s sap, which can cause discoloration and wilting of the leaves and may even kill your plant if not taken care of.
Two common diseases that attack Monstera Esqueleto are root rot and powdery mildew. This is caused by fungus that lives in overly damp soil, which can cause the plant’s roots to rot away. Powdery mildew is a white powdery substance that forms on leaves due to overwatering.
To avoid these, you should check for signs of infection often and treat it quickly. Also, make sure the plant has good soil drainage, enough lighting and water to stay healthy.
3. Yellow Leaves
If your Monstera esqueleto leaves are changing from a glossy green or lime green to a yellow color, it could be a sign of something wrong.
This is usually caused by overwatering but can also happen because of seasonal changes, not enough light, fertilizer issues, old age, or fungal problems.
To stop this from happening, you should only water your plant when the soil is dry and make sure it has a good drainage system in its pot.
If the leaves are already yellowing, then it’s best to repot it with fresh soil or prune out the discolored leaves.
4. Slow Growth
If your Monstera plant isn’t growing very fast, it could be because it’s not getting the conditions it needs. This plant loves bright and indirect sunlight as well as warm temperatures of between 65°F and 80°F.
You should also give it the right kind of soil and make sure to water it regularly. The soil should be well-draining to absorb moisture without becoming overly wet as too much water can cause the roots to rot and stunt growth.
5. Root Rot
Rotten roots can be a problem for Monstera Esqueleto plants. It is important to watch for signs like yellow leaves and wilting stems, which may indicate monstera root rot.
To avoid this, make sure not to water your Monstera too much, as it will make the roots soggy and cause them to rot. Use soil that has good drainage so your Monstera will stay healthy and free of rot.
6. Leaves Dropping
Monstera esqueleto leaves may droop if it does not get the things it needs. This is usually caused by too little sunlight, wrong watering, or bad soil mix.
If you’re a new plant parent and think this might be happening to your Monstera, don’t worry! You just need to give it the right balance of sunlight, water, and food.
7. Leaves Turning Brown
Brown leaves on Monstera Esqueleto can happen because of too much direct sunlight, over fertilizing, or lack of water. All these things can stress your plant, causing dry and crispy brown leaves.
To prevent this from occurring, make sure to give your Monstera plant the proper care it needs. Avoid direct sunlight, provide moderate watering, and fertilize according to instructions
Uses of Monstera Esqueleto
- Purifying air quality
- Medicinal benefit
Where To Find Monstera Esqueleto
- Ken Philodendrons
- Rare Home Plants
Things to Avoid When Handling Monstera Esqueleto
- Direct sunlight
- Putting the plant next to an air conditioner or heater
- Overwatering or underwatering
- Closed and congested spaces
- Fertilization after repotting
Monstera esqueleto care can be a daunting task for the novice indoor gardener, but with basic knowledge and dedication, anyone can be successful.
The key is to do all your research up front, plan out your watering schedule according to plant needs, and monitor how your plant is doing regularly.
Re-potting may be necessary at some point, as well as monitoring root structures to make sure they stay healthy. It can help to encourage aeration by gently detangling roots and intermittently misting the leaves.
While your monstera won’t stealthily climb up a totem or moss pole like its wild relatives, with proper care, you can achieve exciting visual results.
More Monstera Care Resources: