Monstera Borsigiana (10 Common Questions Answered)


Monstera borsigiana (a type of Monstera deliciosa) will make a nice addition to your houseplant collection.  It is a tropical vining plant with “holes” in the leaves – but there is a lot more you should know about this plant.

So, what do you need to know about Monstera borsigiana?  Monstera borsigiana is a vining perennial plant native to tropical parts of Mexico and Panama. It is an epiphyte, meaning that it climbs up other plants in nature (up to 70 feet high!) The holes in its large, green, glossy leaves give it the nickname “Swiss Cheese Plant”.

Of course, a Monstera borsigiana kept as a houseplant might only grow a few feet tall if it is kept in a small pot and pruned often.

In this article, we’ll talk about Monstera borsigiana, answering common questions about its name and where it grows.  We’ll also talk about

Let’s get started.

What Is Monstera Borsigiana?

Monstera borsigiana (a variety of Monstera deliciosa) is a woody perennial, which produces flowers and fruit, and is native to tropical parts of Mexico and Panama.  The holes (fenestrations) in its leaves give it the nickname “Swiss cheese plant”.

Monstera leaves
The holes in Monstera leaves give it the nickname “Swiss Cheese Plant”.

Monstera borsigiana has aerial roots, which grow above ground instead of in the soil.  It uses these roots to climb on other plants.

The aerial roots grow downward from the plant.  If they encounter soil, they will root into the ground.

Monstera borsigiana is an epiphyte, which means that it grows as a vine on the surface of a plant (at least in nature).  An epiphyte gets nutrients and moisture from air and water.

You can mist Monstera borsigiana plants on occasion (you can learn more about plant misters in my article here).

Monstera borsigiana comes from tropical climates, so it doesn’t like conditions that are too dry.  It needs moderate moisture levels.

Monstera borsigiana prefers bright, direct sunlight year-round.  It prefers slightly acidic to neutral soil (pH of 6.1 to 7.3).

Monstera borsigiana cannot tolerate much cold.  As an outdoor plant, it is hardy to Zone 10a (as cold as 30 degrees Fahrenheit or –1 degrees Celsius).

Monstera Borsigiana Leaf Size

According to the University of Wisconsin, Monstera borsigiana leaves can be as much as 18 inches (1.5 feet) wide.

Monstera plant
Monstera leaves can be up to 18 inches (1.5 feet wide).
Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons: https://commons.
wikimedia.org/wiki/File:
Monstera_deliciosa_
neer_Luochi.JPG

The cylindrical stems can be 2.5 to 3 inches thick, and the vine can grow up to 70 feet tall in nature.

Monstera borsigiana can also produce flowers, although this is rare when it is kept as a houseplant.  The creamy-white flowers are 8 to 12 inches long (up to a foot!)

If pollinated, the flowers eventually mature to form cream, tan, green, or white fruit (up to 9 inches long) covered with hexagon-shaped scales.  The fruit must be ripe to eat, due to the presence of calcium oxalate crystals.

What Is The Difference Between Monstera Deliciosa & Borsigiana?

The two look alike, but Monstera borsigiana is a specific type of Monstera deliciosa. 

According to Garden For Indoors, the geniculum (stem joint) on a Monstera deliciosa distinguishes it from Monstera borsigiana (which has no wrinkle).

You can learn more about the differences between Monstera deliciosa and Monstera borsigiana in this article from Garden For Indoors.

White Variegated Monstera Deliciosa Borsigiana

This is a Monstera deliciosa plant of the borsigiana variety with white coloring on some of the leaves (some of the leaves may be fully white).

Variegation in Monstera is due to a lack of chlorophyll in some of the plant’s cells.  This is what yields the lighter yellowish-white or cream color in Albo Borsigiana and other variegated Monstera varieties.

chlorophyll
Chlorophyll is what makes plants green, and a lack of it can cause variegation (such as white leaves) in Monstera and other plants.

According to Horticulture Magazine, variegation in plants has three main types:

  • Genetic (inherited from a mutated parent plant) – this type is stable.  So, if you propagate a Monstera from any leaf or stem (variegated or not), you will get a new plant that has the variegation in leaf coloring.
  • Chimeric (due to a random mutation) – this type is not stable, and it occurs when there are two types of plant tissue present.  You must propagate from a variegated leaf or stem to get a new plant with the variegation in leaf coloring.  If you propagate from a green leaf on a plant with chimeric variegation, the new plant will not have the variegation.
  • Viral (an infection resulting in discolored spots on leaves) – this type is also stable.  So, you can propagate a plant with variegation in coloring from a virus, and the new plant will also have the variegation in leaf coloring.

Remember that root cuttings from a variegated plant will often not yield a new plant that is variegated.

Variegation of the color in plant leaves is not an adaptation, but rather the result of a mutation.

Monstera Albo Borsigiana Vs Thai Constellation

Monstera Albo Borsigiana has a more white color than Thai Constellation, which can be yellowish or creamy white.

Monstera Albo variegated
Monstera Thai Constellation has more yellowish-white or cream colored leaves than Monstera Albo Borsigiana.
Image Courtesy of user:
Mokkie via: Wikimedia Commons https://commons.
wikimedia.org/wiki/File:
Fruit_Salad_Plant_(Monstera_
deliciosa_%27Albo-Variegata%27).jpg

You can learn more about the differences between Monstera Albo Borsigiana and Monstera Thai Constellation in this article from Potted Pixie.

Reverted Monstera Borsigiana

Monstera Albo Borsigiana can revert, although this seems to be rare.  According to Capra Designs, variegated plants may revert due to extreme temperature (either hot or cold) or as a result of low light.

To preserve the variegation in a plant’s leaves, they suggest pruning away any green leaves that appear.  This is because green leaves are more vigorous and will outgrow the variegated leaves that lack chlorophyll.

How To Propagate Monstera Borsigiana

You can propagate a Monstera plant by two methods:

  • Stem cuttings of a mature plant
  • Air layering

To take a Monstera cutting:

  • First, find a clean knife or scissors.  Use a clean cloth and alcohol to clean the blade if necessary.
  • Next, cut off the tip of the stem of the plant.  Make the cut just below an aerial root.
  • Then, put the cutting into a pot with a soil mix that is rich in organic material.
  • Finally, make sure the aerial root is touching the soil.  It will eventually root to the ground, which will make it easier for the new cutting to get water and nutrients from the soil.
Monstera house plant
A Monstera cutting will soon root if it is in contact with soil.

Monstera cuttings will need light to grow. You can learn more about which plants cuttings need light to grow in my article here.

Where To Buy Monstera Borsigiana

You might be able to find Thai Constellation Monstera at a number of online retailers, including:

How Much Is Monstera Borsigiana?

An ordinary Monstera borsigiana may cost less than $100 per plant.

A variegated Monstera borsigiana with white coloring on the leaves (Monstera Albo Borsigiana) can easily go for $100 or more – just for a cutting!  A more established plant can cost hundreds of dollars, even reaching a price of $1000 or more.

Why Are Monstera Albo Borsigiana So Expensive?

Monstera Albo Borsigiana is expensive because it is rare, and variegation in plants is rare to begin with.  The Albo Borsigiana variegation of Monstera in particular is rare enough to fetch a high price.

Of course, even something rare will not fetch a high price without high demand.  Lots of people love the white coloring and fenestrated leaves of variegated Monstera Albo Borsigiana, and they want to include it in their collections.

Of course, an increase in rare plant collectors and price speculation also causes an increase in prices for Monstera Albo Borsigiana and other rare variegated plant varieties.

Conclusion

Now you know a little more about Monstera borsigiana plants and how to care for them.  You also know about how it compares to some other Monstera plants.

You might also want to learn about Philodendron White Knight (an epiphytic vine with white coloring) in my article here.

I hope you found this article helpful.  If so, please share it with someone who can use the information.

If you want to read some of my most popular posts, check out the “Best of GreenUpSide” page here.  Enjoy!

~Jonathon

jonathon.david.madore

Hi, I'm Jon. Let's solve your gardening problems, spend more time growing, and get the best harvest every year!

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