The Beautiful Monstera Standleyana: Care Guide: Lush Growth

The Monstera standleyana is native to the tropical regions extending from Honduras to Panama Bunting. It usually flourishes as an aroid epiphyte and has the potential to grow to heights of up to 15 feet (5m).

Not to be confused with the similar Philodendron guttiferum, the Monstera standleyana albo-variegata is a much sought-after house plant vine with a thicker stem and flaring petiole.

Regrettably, many unscrupulous sellers try to pass other plants off as Monstera standleyana.

The internet is packed with supposed experts advising on the best way to do this and that. Some of the nonsense some of these blogs confidently purport to be advice is inexcusable.

My continued commitment to you, my subscribers, is to share my experience and to give you ways to simplify gardening.

This Monstera Standleyana Care Guide article will walk you through everything you need to know to grow this plant so it is lush and beautiful.

Monstera Standleyana Care Guide

five holes plant

Buying a Monstera standleyana tropical plant is an investment we all hope will give us years of satisfaction and propagation opportunities. The advice offered in this article is factual, best practice (and a correction of some misinformation found in other popular blogs)

Soil:Good draining soil, rich in organic matter. Details below
Light:Prefers a medium light range for best growth indoors (450-foot candles – 4843 lux)
Watering:Be informed by soil moisture content, not schedules. Details of how to measure soil moisture follow below.
Temperature:Night: 54 to 68⁰ F (12 to 20⁰ C)
Day: 68 to 85 ⁰F (20 to 30 ⁰C)
Humidity:Aim for a relative humidity of above 60%. The most essential is constant humidity.
Fertilizer:Seasonal half-diluted liquid fertilizer – see below.
Propagation:Propagate by cuttings. Full details below
Growth:Rapid grower, as much as 12 inches per season – depending on the environment.
Potting:Be informed by root density, not schedules

Monstera Standleyana Best Practice

At the risk of repeating myself, our success at growing any plant indoors depends on how much we can replicate its natural habitat.

If we know where it came from and its natural habitat environment, we can more easily create a space that will allow our plant to feel at home and flourish.

The essential elements that ensure sustainable life for every indoor plant are:

  • Soil characteristics – water management, aeration, consistency, constitution, pH, and nutritional content.
  • Water needs – availability, need for dry periods, and quantity.
  • The plant’s preferred light levels.
  • The plant’s preferred temperatures.
  • The plant’s preferred humidity levels.
  • The plant’s nutritional needs – macronutrients and micronutrients – total 17 essential nutrients.
  • Propagation means – sexual (pollination) and asexual propagation (cuttings, air-layering, or division).
  • Potting and repotting requirements.
  • Potential diseases.
  • Potential pests.

These essential elements vary according to the plant species and their evolutionary adaptation to the specific conditions of their natural habitat.

While we can acclimatize plants through hardening off, we cannot change their natural requirements.

Monstera Standleyana Ultimate Care Guide

Philodendron cobra plant also known as the monstera standleyana

Best Potting Soil for Monstera Standleyana Variegata

Monstera standleyana needs soil that drains well yet can retain moisture. Our ideal soil will provide our plant with adequate aeration (avoiding anaerobic conditions), maintain the proper pH, and ensure the soil has sufficient cation exchange capacity (CEC). The same as when we make it for monstera deliciosa.

If you’ve had the opportunity to read my Composting Masterclass book, you’d understand why I’m so passionate about using compost, even in potting soil.

A good potting mix for your Monstera Standleyana should include the following ingredients in the given proportions:

Soil Recipe

  • Orchid Bark (25%)
  • One part compost (25%)
  • Two parts coconut coir (12.5%)
  • Half a part of pumice (or perlite) (12.5%)
  • Half a part expanded shale, or LECA (lightweight expanded clay aggregate) (25%)

Each of the above serves a specific purpose in emulating the Monstera standleyana’s natural habitat. Orchid bark is an ideal component as its chunky and can also retain moisture. The secret is to have a very chunky free-draining mix.

Orchid bark should be one of the main ingredients for your soil mix; the chunkier, the better.

Monstera Standleyana Variegated Light Requirements

Most aroids need plenty of dappled light, especially for maintaining variegation. Variegated plants like Monstera standleyana are medium-light plants that need 15 watts per square foot to keep variegated leaves.

In the Northern Hemisphere, medium bright light (100 – 500 FC) indoors will be provided by the sun entering an east or west-facing window.

The sun entering south-facing or west-facing windows will provide high indoor light (500 – 1000 FC).

Most plants require a period of darkness to develop correctly, so illuminate them for no more than 16 hours each day, especially if using artificial light combined with natural light.

Watering Your Standleyana

Overwatering is the main reason why potted plants die. When surrounded by water, roots can’t breathe – as important to roots as to humans.

The general rule is to only water when necessary. To decide when to water, one may utilize the following techniques:

Testing to See If It Needs Water

  • Touch-Test: The most accurate test for soil moisture is to feel how dry the potting soil feels. If the mixture is dry at your fingertip after inserting your finger up to the second digit, it needs water.
  • Tap the Pot: When potting mix in a clay pot starts to dry up, it shrinks away from the pot’s sides. Use a stick or your knuckles to tap the pot’s side. Water is required if the sound is hollow; if the sound is dull, the soil is moist.
  • Estimate weight: It’s easy to see a weight reduction as potting mixtures dry up.
  • Assess soil color: As potting combinations dry, their color will shift from dark to lighter.

Deep watering removes accumulated salts and ensures that most of the roots in the bottom two-thirds of the pot get enough water. Empty the tray, and don’t let the pot sit in the accumulated water.

You must use a pot with plenty of drainage holes on the bottom corners for the best results. The tray often blocks drainage holes only on the bottom – unless you space them off the tray.

Monstera Standleyana Temperature Requirements

The Monstera standleyana is a tropical plant and prefers warmer temperatures. Indoor plants should be exposed to minimum temperatures of between 54 to 68⁰ F (12 to 20⁰ C) and daytime temperatures between 68 to 85 ⁰F (20 to 30 ⁰C).

When propagating Monstera Standleyana, try to maintain a temperature above 74⁰ F (23⁰ C) 

Monstera Standleyana Humidity Needs

The essential part of managing humidity for your Monstera standleyana is keeping it constant. Fluctuating humidity levels will cause your plant to lose leaves. Aim to maintain a humidity level of above 60%.

An ideal indoor humidity level for humans is between 30% and 50%. A 50% humidity level means that the air holds half the total amount of moisture it can contain.

To achieve a 60% relative humidity level, you will need to implement one of the following three solutions:

  • Cluster plants together so that their combined transpiration boost RH
  • Place the pot in a tray of LECA that is kept damp. The evaporation will boost RH
  • Acquire a humidifier, opting for one that provides a reasonable cycle between needing a refill.

What Fertilizer and How Much Does Monstera Standleyana Require

philodendron standleyana fertilizer

When you grow Monstera standleyana, they are not hungry monstera plants. I like to use organic fertilizer (blood meal, bone meal, kelp, guano, etc.) on my indoor plants.

A complete mix includes nitrogen, phosphate, potash, and magnesium. Repeat a quarter-diluted application every two months for the first year, then gradually increase the amount of fertilizer to half-dilution every 4 to 6 months as the vine grows.

Once the plant is established, fertilize in early spring and in October. Don’t fertilize during the winter when the plant is not actively growing and needs to hibernate.

Select from below:

  • Controlled release: These are synthetic fertilizers coated with materials to reduce their immediate solubility and availability to plants.
  • Slow-release: Can be organic or synthetic. The release rate is a product of soil temperature, particle size, and the growing medium’s organic content and microbial life.
  • Liquid fertilizer: This allows you to replace leached nutrients after extended rainfall quickly. Best suited for established plants.

Using Epsom Salts To Lower PH

Epsom salt (magnesium sulfate) lowers the pH and provides magnesium and sulfur, two nutrients often deficient in alkaline soils. Benefits of magnesium for your Monstera standleyana include:

  • Aids photosynthesis by helping your Monstera standleyana create chlorophyll
  • Promotes healthy cell division and protein formation
  • Increases M. standleyana‘s ability to retain water
  • Allows the M. standleyana to take in and use phosphorus

Magnesium has a poor cation exchange capacity (CEC), i.e., it binds poorly to soil particles. The only way your plant can access it is if it remains in situ near the roots.

Propagating your Monstera Standleyana

philodendron standleyana

Monstera plant does well from stem cuttings as variegated plants, and air-layering is both simple method for growing the Monstera standleyana. In 3–4 weeks, cuttings take root in water or vermiculite; in 1-2 weeks, buds will begin to grow under warm conditions. The best practice is to group many rooted cuttings into a single container.

Propagate Monstera In Water

Find a section of your Monstera standleyana vine with a few leaves and a few nodes, then propagate it in water (where the leaves and roots grow out of the stem cutting). Cut at a 45-degree angle, about a quarter-inch below a node, with a clean set of shears.

If you cut below a node, the node will be part of the cutting. Because that is where new roots will grow, adding is crucial. You should keep some plant leaves to speed up the process.

Vessel for cuttings

Place the cutting in a jar with room-temperature water, ensuring that at least one node—preferably more—is submerged. If there are any leaves below the surface, remove them gently because they have a propensity to decay.

Within the first week or two, you should notice little roots forming, but it will be at least a few weeks before the roots are sufficiently long to allow you to pot the cutting. Give the roots room to grow to a few inches.

You can treat your cutting like a typical plant after you’ve placed it in potting soil and given it a good watering!

Propagate Monstera Standleyana in Perlite

To propagate your Monstera standleyana in perlite (or vermiculite, or pumice), start with the same first step to take a cutting.

Monstera standleyana propagation starts with taking the stem cuttings, using a clean, sharp knife or secateurs which have been wiped with isopropanol alcohol to sterilize them, then follow the following for monstera standleyana propagation.

Place the base of your cutting into a small container with moistened perlite. Make sure at least one node, more, if possible, is buried. Don’t bury any of the leaves – instead, remove them.

Keep the perlite moist (but not wet), allowing the roots to develop. Regularly misting the perlite keeps it sufficiently moist for root growth.

How for roots?

Before a new root system forms, at least a few weeks will pass. You may check this by giving the cutting a very light tug after about a month. If there is resistance, a root system has developed, and you can plant it (them) in a potting mix (see above)

Propagating The Stunning Monstera Cobra / Standleyana


The phenomenon of air layering plant propagation frequently happens in nature. An example is when a low branch or stem reaches the ground and establishes roots.

The newly rooted stem cutting receives identical genetic material directly, and this stem cutting can then be severed from the parent plant to begin a new plant.

Air layering is easy.

Air layering is relatively easy to do. Coco coir fiber that has just been wet is wrapped around a damaged stem.

Peel the fine orchid bark off a section of a branch in the middle, then wrap moss over the wound and fasten it with floral ties or plant twine. To keep the moisture in, cover everything with plastic wrap.

Roots will emerge in about three weeks, after which you can cut below the rooted section for Monstera standleyana plant duplication. The plant grows relatively quickly after you plant it up. I think that’s so clever.

Repotting Your Monstera Plants

The Monstera standleyana with variegated leaves prefers slightly rootbound conditions, so don’t rush to repot. Repotting should only be done once you notice roots growing out of the pot’s drainage holes or the pot’s water-holding capacity is noticeably limited.

Size of Pot

Monstera standleyana is simple to repot, but avoid buying a markedly larger pot than the one the plant is already in. Ideally, the new pot should be one size larger than the current one.

When repotting Monstera plants, ensure to allow the soil to dry completely before; it will help you to remove all the soil from around the roots and prevent damaging so many feeder roots helping your Monstera plant recover quicker.

Common Monstera Standleyana Challenges

spider mites love to eat holes plant. The five holes plant is a favorite of spider mites


Monstera plants generally have few pest problems but are occasionally affected by insects or diseases. Root rot, with brown or nonexistent root symptoms, is commonly promoted by overwatering.

Root rot, if not caught in time, can mean the death of your plant. But if you notice the symptoms and take action, the plant grows and will recover quickly.

Blackening of the leaf margins or tips can be caused by overwatering, inadequate watering, or excess fertilizer (because of the buildup of salts in the soil). The discoloration of the soil is often accompanied by leaves becoming yellow.


The most common insect pests infesting Monstera standleyana in homes are mealybugs and scales. Mealybugs appear as white, cottony masses, frequently in the leaf axils, on the lower surfaces of leaves, and even on the roots.

Scales look like bark-colored bumps on the stems and leaves and are sometimes difficult to distinguish from the plant material on which they feed.

These pests may produce copious amounts of honeydew (many, but not all, do), so the leaves and nearby surfaces may be sticky and sooty mold may develop.

Infested plants become stunted, and with severe infestations, plant parts begin to die. Pesticides or insecticidal soap may be used to control these insects, but it is often better to discard the plant and start with clean plants or cuttings.

Spider mites occasionally infest M. standleyana and can easily be controlled with a thorough cleaning and frequent applications of insecticidal soap.

Many folks will dilute hydrogen peroxide, insecticidal soap, or neem oil to kill spider mites and spray the plant and soil. If using neem oil, be prepared, as it smells pretty bad.

Low light can result in loss of variegation. Low temperatures or abrupt changes from very high to moderate temperatures can cause scattered brown patches, usually located in the center of the leaf, especially if plants are thriving. Get everything right, and your monstera standleyana thrives.

Monstera Standleyana FAQs

Why are my Monstera standleyana’s leaves wilting?

Wilting is an indicator of water problems – too much or too little. Check the soil and respond appropriately. Remember that the soil on top can be dry while the roots are drowning, so check the soil to a reasonable depth.

Why are my Monstera standleyana’s leaves yellow?

Yellow leaves are generally an indication that your Monstera standleyana is drowning. Check your plant’s roots for rot, a sign of anaerobic conditions. Rince roots and repot and reduce watering.

What are these brown spots on my Monstera standleyana’s leaves?

Misting the leaves can allow the fungus to infect your plant. Desist from spraying your leaves and invest in a humidifier instead. Also, ensure there is better air movement around the plants. Remove all the fungus-infected leaves and dispose of them.

Is the Monstera standleyana toxic?

The Monstera standleyana is toxic to pets and humans, and you should avoid ingesting it and handle it with care.

How can I strengthen the variegation of my Monstera standleyana?

When given a moss pole to climb, your Monstera standleyana will develop to its full potential. Climbing helps Monstera Standleyana Albo-Variegata  grow stronger and also boosts variegation.

Does Monstera Standleyana get holes or fenestrations in its leaves?

The Monstera Standleyana leaves, unlike Monstera deliciosa, do not get fenestrations or holes in their leaves. The reason is that its leaves are long and narrow and do not require the holes to allow light to lower levels in the canopy, nor does it need to allow wind through its leaves.

Is Monstera standleyana rare?

The monstera standleyana is a rare plant, you can get it from other hobbyists and some specialty stores, but they come with a high price tag.

Other Names the Standleyana is Known By

The Monstera Standleyana is known by a host of other names, such as the Philodendron Cobra, five holes plant, and even Philodendron standleyana

Monstera Standleyana Care Guide Wrap-up

The Monstera standleyana is a true gem in the houseplant collection, with its beautiful variegation making it stand out. You’re in for a fantastic treat if you’re prepared for a possibly wide range of growth and coloring from this monstera.

Monstera standleyana plant care is not complex, and if you look after your standleyana albo-variegata, it will continue to produce beautiful leaves for many years. To learn more about other flowering plants, My other articles on indoor plants may also be interesting: 25 Types Of Philodendrons The Ultimate Houseplants List.

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