Monstera Deliciosa Vs Monstera Borsigiana: Similarities And Differences Of The Two Monstera Houseplants

It is not uncommon for people to confuse the Monstera Deliciosa with the Monstera Borsigiana plant species. They are often mistaken for one and the other due not only to their highly similar anatomy but also due to their taxonomy too. In this article, let’s take a closer look at the differences and similarities, Monstera deliciosa vs borsigiana.

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Upon close inspection, monstera deliciosa and Monstera borsigiana have different characteristics that make them identifiable from one another. They are differentiated mainly by the geniculum, which is the stalk connecting the leaves to the stem. They are also determined by the way the fenestrations on their leaves. Furthermore, the furrows found where the leaf meets the stem are different between the two Monstera species plants.

In this article, we’ll take a deep dive into how you can differentiate one from the other from their anatomy, taxonomy, and even their physiology and growing conditions!

Let’s take a deep dive into these two wonderful plants without further ado. 

Related: How to Care for Monstera Plants? All the Answers and More!

Monstera Deliciosa Vs. Borsigiana Differences

Monstera deliciosa vs borsigiana

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A more detailed discussion on the differences between your swiss cheese plant or split-leaf philodendron, Monstera deliciosa, and Monstera borsigiana is found below.

Geniculum

This peculiarity in their anatomy is among the well-known differences between the Borsigiana and Deliciosa. The geniculum is the joint found in the stem to which the leaf or leaf stalk is attached to. 

The Deliciosa plant has a wrinkly and wavy geniculum found at the petiole’s end where it connects to the leaf. Some gardeners will even call these wavy geniculums as “ruffles” because of their texture. This imparts flexibility to the leafstalk’s structure, allowing it to sway with the wind. 

In contrast to the Borsigiana, it is more typical like other plants, whose geniculum is smooth and straight without any wavy structures. The base of the plant leaf, which connects to the main stem, is straight, plain, and smooth to the touch. This leads to a more rigid leafstalk structure as well. 

This feature, despite its prominence in the Deliciosa, is still not enough to differentiate the two plants together. The juvenile stages of Borsigiana and Deliciosal have smooth and plain geniculums. The Deliciosa will only develop these ruffles when they mature. 

Leaf Size

Leaf size

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The Deliciosa and Borsigiana can also be differentiated by their leaf anatomy. Firstly, they are differentiated by their leaf size. The Monstera Deliciosa leaves can span up to 1 meter or 3 feet in length and width, especially in their natural environment. On the contrary, the Borsigiana has relatively smaller leaves that grow only up to half a meter or 1.6 feet. 

However, this is still a sizable leaf for a house plant! You also have to take note that plant development will vary depending on the growing conditions they find themselves in. So you may get different sizes of leaves depending on your conditions. In addition, environmental factors like soil, sunlight, water, and humidity will affect how large your plants’ leaves grow. 

The most effective way to compare the growth of these two plants is just to compare them when they’re grown and cultivated at the similar time period and under the same growing conditions. 

Stem Structure

Looking at the structure of the Monstera will also help make you differentiate one plant from the other. For example, the gap between the nodes of the plant will help you differentiate the Deliciosa from the Borsigiana. 

Nodes are the round protuberance where the buds are present and are usually found where a stem attaches to the main trunk. It is the point where the petiole, which holds a leaf, to the main stem. This is where most new stems and leaves sprout. 

If you look closely, the Borsigiana will have longer spaces in between nodes as compared to your Monstera Deliciosa. This is the reason why the Borsigiana tends to vine at a faster rate as in contrast to your Deliciosa. 

So if the Monstera plant looks more chaotic where the leaves occur close to each other, you may possibly have a Deliciosa at hand. If your Monstera has longer distances in between its nodes, there is a high chance that your plant could be a Borsigiana. 

Related: 7 Top Reasons Why Your Monstera Leaves Turn Yellow

Growth Pattern

Growth patterns

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The Monstera Deliciosa plant has a sprawling and horizontal growth pattern, and they develop copiously around the space they occupy. You will usually find them creeping on the ground as they climb slowly. Only when it matures does it turn into a plant with a vining growth habit.

Contrast this to the Monstera Borsigiana, it already has a vining growth pattern even during its juvenile stages. It grows longer stems that sprout along the ground and stack up in a certain way. It already starts out as a vine during its initial growing stage. 

The Deliciosa’s growth can be best described as a little frazzled with nesting leaf stalks and stems. Meanwhile, the Borsigiana has a neater growth pattern. So if it’s looking like a little mess during the early stages, it most likely is a Deliciosa. If it’s a little neater, then it’s probably a Borsigiana.

Growth Rate

When you observe that your plant is growing relatively fast, then what you have in your collection is Monstera Borsigiana. Despite being smaller than its relative Deliciosa, it generally grows faster. With proper care and environmental conditions, the Deliciosa grows to about 1 meter or 2 feet per year on the average, so expect that a Borsigiana will grow faster than your Deliciosa. 

If you have discovered that you have a Deliciosa in your garden or home, you need not worry, as this plant has the ability to grow as tall or more than the Borsigiana. The Deliciosa can grow up to 9 meters or 30 feet, especially when grown under the right conditions. 

As already mentioned, depending on the growing conditions, the growing rates of your plants may vary.

Taxonomy 

Part of the confusion between the two plants is also due to their taxonomy. This area of science refers to the systematic process of identification, classification, organization, and naming of biological entities, which includes plants. 

The Monstera Borsigiana and Monstera Deliciosa are taxonomy synonyms, meaning that they are both under the same genus but are of a different species. The classification below will hopefully elucidate their differences. 

Kingdom: Plantae 

Class: Magnoliopsida

Order: Alismatales

Family: Araceae

Genus: Monstera

Species: Monstera deliciosa Liebm with other name Monstera borsigiana Engl

So as elucidated above, they are practically the same plant when it comes to their taxonomy, but they only differ in their species type. 

Price

Other than all the anatomical and physiologic differences stated above, another difference between the two plants is their price. The Delciosa can sell up to exorbitant prices and is commonly sold between 20$ to as much as 100$. 

On the other hand, the Borsigiana can be much cheaper. You may check with your local plant nursery or even on Amazon for you to compare prices. 

Related: 13 Types of Monstera To Boost Your Surroundings With Extravagant Greenery

Monstera Deliciosa Vs Borsigiana Similarities

Since we have been talking about the differences between the Deliciosa and the Borsigiana, it’s time that we talked about the similarities between the two plants. 

Fenestrations

Both the Borsigiana and Deliciosa have holes in their leathery green foliage that look like they have been cut delicately and meticulously by  surgical shears. These holes are called fenestrations. 

Each plant will vary in the number, appearance, and size of its fenestrations, but they are primarily elliptical and run almost perpendicular to the main vein of the plant leaf. These fenestrations are defining qualities of both the Deliciosa and Borsigiana. 

These fenestrations exist to not only maximize the surface area of sun that each leaf gets but also to increase the nutrient and moisture uptake of the plant. The roots that run along the vine of the Monstera can sometimes have difficulties uptaking water. It is also speculated in the academic field that these fenestrations are an evolutionary response to wind pressure and rainfall

Leaf Shape

Despite the dark green leaves of Monstera Deliciosa being considerably larger than that of the Monstera Borsigiana, their shapes are similar for the most part. Since they are both under the Araceae family of Arums, these Monsteras produce cordate leaves, which are almost heart-shaped. They have deeply cut leaf bases extending to a flat, broad surface that tapers off with an apex. 

The holes may stretch out the shape, but if you take a step back and observe the overall shape, you still will be picturing a heart. These Monsteras generally form cordate leaves, but not all leaves will be a perfect cordate form. 

Root System

Both the Monstera Deliciosa and Borsigiana also develop similar root systems. They both generate a high number of aerial roots apart from the primary soil roots they develop. These are also called adventitious roots in scientific terms. These roots develop starting from the plant stem, apart from the primary plant roots that are in the plant’s growing medium.

These aerial roots do additional functions such as nutrient and moisture absorption, propagation, and air exchange. These roots are usually strong enough to anchor the Monstera along structures like the rocks, trees, walls, and any trellises or moss poles you place near the plant. These structures only develop as your plant grows and matures, so if your plant is still juvenile, you may not find these roots just yet. 

Similarities In Growing Requirements

Monstera deliciosa vs borsigiana

Since Monstera Deliciosa and Monstera Borsigiana belong to the same family, they have similar requirements for their growth for the most part. This includes soil, light, watering, fertilizing, temperature, and container requirements!

Container Requirement

Select a container that has a diameter of two to four inches bigger than that of the root ball. Also, choose a container with drainage holes, so the soil does not retain too much water and moisture. Finally, repot the Monstera plant once its roots grow beyond the drainage hole, not risk the plant being root bound. 

Do not use a larger pot to avoid soaking and waterlogging the plant as this will ultimately lead to root rot. 

Soil Requirement

The Monstera usually needs soil that retains moisture but is also well-draining since these plants are epiphytes. A potting mix that has peat mixed to it will do the job just right. This media also has a high organic volume, resulting in a thriving Monstera. You can add to this medium perlite or pumice so as to loosen up the soil. 

Water Requirement

Watering the Monstera is easy as you will only need to water the plant when the first 2-3 inches of topsoil runs dry. Always take note of your watering habits, as overwatering or underwatering this plant will compromise its health. 

Light Requirement

Your Monstera will grow best under bright but indirect sunlight. It will tolerate bright and direct light only for 3-6 hours, and any longer than this will burn the gorgeous leaves of your Monstera. If your Monstera does not receive adequate natural sunlight, artificial lights will also suffice for the lack thereof. 

Temperature Requirement

The ideal temperature of the Monstera is  60 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit. If you do plan to keep your Monstera outdoors, keep it under a shade or canopy, as soaring heat will damage the plant. Temperatures below 45 degrees Fahrenheit will also result in frost injury, so make sure to bring your plant indoors come winter.

Fertilizer Requirement

When it comes to fertilizing, the Monstera plants do not need much at all. Feeding it with a nitrogen-enriched dry mix during the active growing season from spring to summer will keep it healthy. Repeat this every two months until the colder seasons approach as lower temperatures put the plant in its dormant stages. 

Summary Of Differences Of Deliciosa Vs. Borsigiana

DeliciosaBorsigiana
TaxonomyMonstera deliciosa LiebmMonstera borsigiana Engl.
GeniculumWrinkly and wavySmooth and straight
Leaf SizeUp to 3 feet in length and widthUp to 1.6 feet in length and width
Stem StructureShorter spaces, leaves look more compactLonger spaces between leaf nodes
Growth PatternSprawling and horizontal growth patternVining, neater growth pattern
Growth RateSlowerGenerally faster
Price20$ to 100$Cheaper

Conclusion

As you may read from this article, the Deliciosa is wildly different from that of Borsigiana. They all have anatomical, physiological, taxonomical, and even economic differences! They vary in stem structure, size of leaf, growth rate and habits, and price. 

However, despite their differences, they still have their similarities, owing to the fact that they belong to the Arum family. Therefore, they will have similar growing requirements such as containers, soil, watering, light, temperature, and fertilizers. 

Now you may be thinking about which plant to own. We say there’s no wrong choice with this one as both of these plants, whether deliciosa, borsigiana, or a variegated monstera, will happily thrive in your space if you let them do so. 

So go out there and explore the wonderful world of the Monsteras! 

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Morgan Daniels
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