6 Plants That Look Like Monstera

Monsteras are aptly named. They have huge monstrous leaves, which are an eye-catching feature. This is one house plant that will not be overlooked. Monstera brings a little bit of the jungle into your home or office. The Monstera plant genus has 50 different species.

Related: 4 Monstera Plant Benefits

Several species of Monstera are popular as houseplants. The most well-known is Monstera deliciosa, sometimes called the Mexican Breadfruit plant.

Monsteras belong to the Araceae or Arum family of plants. Monsteras are native to the rainforests of Mexico and Panama. They grow under the forest canopy and adapted to the filtered light by growing large leaves to collect all the available sunlight.

Monstera’s enormous glossy lobed leaves are divided by deep slashes, known as fenestrations. These ‘holes’ in the leaves give it another common name, the Swiss Cheese Plant. It bears a sweet fruit covered by scales similar to a pineapple. Monstera fruit tastes like a mixture of a mango, banana, and pineapple.

Monstera’s fruit is edible, but the rest of the plant contains calcium oxalates, which are mildly toxic to people. Calcium oxalates cause a burning sensation and can cause vomiting and diarrhea. The toxic effects are uncomfortable but not fatal.

Monsteras have thick stems and aerial roots, which may be anchored in the soil or used to attach the plant to a tree.

1. Philodendron bipinnatifidum

Philodendron bipinnatifidum
Forest and Kim Starr Philodendron bipinnatifidum

Philodendron bipinnatifidum is known by the common names Split-leaf Philodendron and Tree Philodendron. Like Monstera, it belongs to the Araceae plant family. It is also native to the tropical jungles of Central and South America. Philodendron bipinnatifidum is commonly confused with Monstera.

It has very large lobed leaves, which gave rise to its common name. The top surface of the leaves is a rich glossy green, while the lower surface is a paler shade. The leaves enlarge, and the fenestrations become deeper as the plant matures.

It is popular as an indoor houseplant but can be planted in frost-free, shaded areas in the garden. It does not tolerate hot, direct sunlight as it quickly dries out. The Tree Philodendron does best in moderate to high humidity, so it should be misted with a water spray several times a week.

All parts of Philodendron contain calcium oxalates which cause intense burning and irritation. This should be considered when small children and pets are in the home.

2. Elephant’s Ear

Colocasia esculenta
Forest and Kim Starr Colocasia esculenta

Elephant’s Ear (Colocasia esculenta) is a plant similar to Monstera. It has several common names – cocoyam, amadumbe, and Taro potato. It originated in Southeast Asia and is found throughout the world, particularly in Southern Africa, where it is a staple food.

Elephant’s Ear plants have large heart-shaped leaves. The leaves have prominent veins, and the overall effect is reminiscent of an elephant’s ears. The leaves can grow up to three feet long and two feet wide. The leaves are situated on the end of a long succulent petiole that grows directly from an underground edible corm.

Elephant’s Ear plants can be grown in shaded areas of the garden or used as indoor plants. They are not tolerant of frost or cold conditions and grow best in filtered light. The leaves are usually green, although new varieties have black, dusty purple, or maroon leaves.

All parts of Colocasia esculenta contain calcium oxalates. The corm and leaves may be eaten after neutralizing the oxalates by boiling them. The leaves may be used as a poultice on infected wounds, and the stem sap removes the pain and inflammation from insect stings.

3. Giant Bird Of Paradise

Strelitzia nicolai
Laurie Avocado Strelitzia nicolai

The Giant Bird Of Paradise Plant is part of the Strelitzia plant family. Its Latin name is Strelitzia nicolai. It is commonly known as the Natal Wild Banana or White Bird Of Paradise. It grows naturally in southern Africa and is a fast-growing plant. It is worth noting that it is toxic, so care should be exercised if there are small children and pets in the home.

Related: 5 Plants That Look Like Bird Of Paradise

Strelitzia nicolai is similar to Monstera as it has outsize leaves. The leaves may be more than five feet long and are greyish-green to dark green. It bears a white flower that attracts sunbirds, monkeys, and pollinating insects. The plant seldom produces flowers when grown indoors.

The White Bird Of Paradise plant may be grown indoors or outdoors. It needs rich, well-draining soil and should be planted in full to partial sun. Strelitzia nicolai prefers moist conditions but is vulnerable to fungal infections and root rot. For this reason, avoid planting it in clay soil or overwatering it. It should be protected from frost and icy conditions.

4. Paper Plant

Fatsia japonica
john s jackson Fatsia japonica

The Paper Plant (Fatsia japonica) is also known as Japanese aralia. It is an evergreen shrub that is popular as an ornamental garden or indoor plant. It can be grown indoors and is popular as a shade plant in outside gardens. Although it is shade tolerant, it can also b grown in full sun, making it a versatile plant.

The large glossy leaves, reminiscent of Monstera, are divided into eight lobes. Japanese gardeners say the leaves resemble hands with eight fingers. The veins are light green to yellow. It bears small white flowers and tiny black fruit. It can grow in chalk, sand, loam, and clay but grows best in well-draining soil.

Fatsia japonica can grow to six feet indoors and taller when planted outdoors. It prefers warm conditions but can survive light to moderate frost. The leaves will die off if the plant is exposed to frost, but the roots will survive, allowing it to regrow in the spring.

5. Fiddle Leaf Fig

Ficus lyrata
Forest and Kim Starr Ficus lyrata

The Fiddle Leaf Fig (Ficus lyrata) is a plant in the Moraceae family. This is the same family as mulberry and regular fig trees. It grows naturally in the tropical forests of western Africa. It is a popular garden plant in tropical and subtropical regions and is grown indoors in temperate climates.

Related: 4 Amazing Fiddle Leaf Fig Tree Benefits

Ficus lyrata has enormous violin or fiddle-shaped leaves. The leaves are glossy dark green with prominent veins resembling Monstera plants. Ficus lyrata is a fast-growing plant that will quickly reach approximately six feet when grown indoors. It grows much larger when planted in outdoor gardens where it can reach up to fifty feet.

Fiddle Leaf Fig trees are evergreen but need the correct light to grow indoors. Care must be taken to rotate the plant to allow the leaves to access the light evenly. Cleaning the leaves regularly to remove dust allows the leaves to use the light maximally to produce nutrients through photosynthesis.

6. Alocasia Frydek

Alocasia frydek
Harry's Greenhouse Alocasia frydek

Alocasia frydek is commonly known as Green Velvet Alocasia or sometimes Elephant’s Ear. It has become a popular indoor plant because of its impressive foliage. It is native to the tropical rainforests in the Philippines. When grown indoors, it should be in a warm environment (65° to 85° F).

Alocasia frydek has dark green heart-shaped leaves with a velvety appearance. The white veins are clearly visible on the leaf. Alocasia frydek plants grow a small insignificant flower in the center. The leaves of Green Velvet Alocasia resemble young Monstera leaves before they have developed their fenestrations.

It grows best in indirect sunlight and moderate to high humidity. Alocasia frydek should be grown in partial shade when situated in the garden. Well-draining soil is essential, and regular watering must be maintained.

These plants do best in humidity levels above fifty percent, but they suffer if the growing medium becomes waterlogged. It is best to only water when the top two inches of growing medium is dry. A watering schedule often results in overwatering.