Exploring the Rare and Enigmatic Monstera obliqua in the World of Houseplants

December 05, 2023

Exploring the Rare and Enigmatic Monstera obliqua in the World of Houseplants

Monstera obliqua, often referred to as the "Swiss Cheese Plant," is a distinctive and popular tropical houseplant known for its unique fenestrated leaves. However, there is some confusion and controversy surrounding Monstera obliqua, as it has been misidentified and confused with another species, Monstera adansonii. The confusion arises because Monstera obliqua is rare in cultivation, and many plants labeled as such are often Monstera adansonii.  Here at Sunshine Horticulture both varieties are grown, and set side by side, the differences can be noticeable. 

Here's a general overview of Monstera obliqua.


Monstera obliqua is native to Central and South American rainforests, where it thrives in warm, humid conditions. It belongs to the Araceae family.


The plant is recognized for its large, deeply cut, and perforated leaves. The fenestrations (holes or splits) in the leaves are a distinctive feature that adds to its aesthetic appeal.

Popularity and Rarity:

Monstera obliqua gained popularity among plant enthusiasts due to its unique appearance. However, it is considered one of the rarest and most challenging Monstera species to find in cultivation.  But you need to look no further than our greenhouses.

Many plants labeled as Monstera obliqua in the market are more likely Monstera adansonii, a species with a similar appearance but different growth habits and leaf structure.

Misidentification and Controversy:

The confusion and controversy surrounding Monstera obliqua stems from difficulties in accurately identifying the species. Many plants sold under this name are actually Monstera adansonii, which is more readily available in the horticultural trade.  The main distinction between these 2 plants is that obliqua leaves are more oval in shape and overall are thicker than the adansonii.


Monstera obliqua, if indeed acquired, requires conditions similar to other Monstera species. It thrives in bright, indirect light and well-draining soil. Regular watering and high humidity are beneficial for its growth.

Conservation Concerns:

Due to its rarity in the wild and challenges in cultivation, there is a conservation concern for the true Monstera obliqua. The plant's popularity has led to unsustainable harvesting in its natural habitat.

If you are interested in cultivating or learning more about Monstera obliqua, it's essential to be aware of the potential misidentification in the market. Verify the authenticity of the plant with reputable sources or consult with experts in the field. Horticultural information can evolve, so checking with the latest botanical references or plant communities and of course Sunshine Horticulture, would provide the most accurate and up-to-date information.