What are the Rarest Monstera Varieties?

A monstera on the article What are the Rarest Monstera Varieties

This is one plant that once you have seen, you will never forget it. That’s because the Monstera variety of plants is simply astounding.

Monsteras, also called Swiss Cheese plants because of the holes in the leaves, are native to tropical forests mainly in south Mexico and Panama.

They were introduced to places like Hawaii and the Seychelles where they have become slightly invasive.

These plants grow quite fast so once you have one, it will not be long before you have that enormous specimen with beautiful leaves adorning your home or garden.

Are they Easy to Care for?

Yes, they are delightfully easy to maintain. Mostly they need the correct light and correct watering.

There may be one or two other factors which make the monstera happier but if these two, namely light and water are correct, then they will flourish.

What may be a bigger issue with avid monstera collectors is actually getting your hands on one of the rarer specimens. These can not only be hard to get hold of but may also set you back quite a bit.

For more on monstera care, check out our full monstera care guide.

What Makes a Monstera Rare?

A monsteraRare plants are rare because they are hard to obtain. There are genetic differences which make each variety unique.

Monsteras can only be propagated by cuttings and never from seeds. For this reason, they are hard to obtain as propagation takes a long time and may not always be successful.

Variegated Monsteras, namely those with bigger or more unusual holes have developed this way because of a mutation in the chloroform formation in the plant.

This mutation does not appear in every Monstera, thus making those that it does appear in quite rare and often hard to obtain.

Monsteras can also be rare because of the slow propagation rate. Additionally, there is no guarantee that two leaves will ever be exactly the same in a rare plant.

In short, Monsteras are rare because there is more demand and less supply. Waiting lists can be long and then plants/cuttings can be expensive.

Interesting note here:

  • Albo stands for white
  • Aurea stands for yellow
  • Sport stands for mint or light green

Top 10 Rarest Monstera Varieties

1) Monstera Deliciosa Obliqua

This is often considered the rarest of all the Monstera varieties and can be confused with the Monstera Adansonii because of the holes in the leaves.

The key difference is that the Monstera Obliqua looks as if the leaves are all hole with a little bit of leaf.

The leaves are paper thin with large round holes and there will be more of the hole than of the leaf. The lack of leaf gives the plant a lacy look that many collectors admire.

Apart from the delicate leave formations, this Monstera is very slow growing so propagation takes a long time so that there may be a long waiting list for these plants.

You can expect to pay:

A mature plant: $23,000

A cutting: $5,000 – $8,000

2) Monstera Deliciosa Albo Variegata

This plant has leaves which are half white and half green. Once you have seen one of them, you will always remember it as it is a stunning plant.

The Albo when it is young and in cutting form resembles the Thai Constellation but later develops the typical Albo white variegation.

What makes the Albo rare is that there is no guarantee that any propagation will have the same the same mutation.

You can expect to pay:

A mature plant: $1,500 – $3,500, sometimes more than this

A cutting: $ 200 – $500

Get Your Monstera Deliciosa Albo Variegata Here!


3) Monstera Adansonii ‘Variegata’

This plant looks as if it could appear on any sci-fi movie. It is very unusual in that it has small oval pointed leaves with plenty of holes.

Because of the size of the holes, it looks as if caterpillars have nibbled their way through the leaves. The leaves also have white patches on them.

Although this plant is cheaper than the Monstera Obliqua, it can still set you back a bit to buy.

You can expect to pay:

A mature plant: $3,000 – $9,000

A cutting: $300 – $2,500

Get Your Monstera Adansonii ‘Variegata’ Here!


4) Monstera Deliciosa Thai Constellation

This is a very interesting plant because it was the very first Monstera to be developed in a laboratory. The parent plant is the Monstera Deliciosa so both plants need the same sort of conditions.

Because of the origin of this plant, it can be traced back to only one place, namely the laboratory in Thailand where it was developed. You can understand now, why this is so rare and can be almost impossible to get your hands on!

These plants have creamy variegations that look similar to stars in the night sky.

What makes this so rare is that this variegation is genetic which means that the leaves will not turn full green again even if the light and humidity is not perfect for the plant.

You can expect to pay:

A mature plant: $350 – $1,000 and more

A cutting: $150 – $300

Get Your Monstera Deliciosa Thai Constellation Here!


5) Monstera Deliciosa f. Borsigniana

In the naturel conditions this plant can easily reach staggering heights of up to 50 feet! It also grows faster than the parent plant, the Monstera Deliciosa.

This plant has the tendency to grow like a vine and to wrap itself trees or moss poles. This plant is also easily confused with the Albo Variegata which produces fruit. The Monstera Deliciosa f. Borsigniana plant does not produce fruit.

You can expect to pay:

A mature plant: $2,000 – $5,000

A cutting: $200 – $500

6) Monstera Deliciosa Aurea

As we can see from the name, this plant develops in coloured variegations. The name ‘aurea’ indicates that there is a colour so you may find this in yellow shades.

Additionally, aurea also means gold in Latin so you can expect the leaves to have bright yellow/gold variegations.

The aurea variegation can be more pronounced in some leaves which can also display specks of cream, yellow and light green.

You can expect to pay:

A mature plant: $1,000 and higher

A cutting: $300 – $600

Get Your Monstera Deliciosa Aurea Here!


7) Monstera Deliciosa Acacoyaguensis

The young leaves of this plant and small and oval in shape, with holes in the mature plant being a little larger than those of the Monstera Adansonii.

This variety is sometimes confused with the Adansonii, but on closer inspection we see that the Acacovaguensis has a longer flower spathe, and the perforations are different.

You can expect to pay:

A mature plant: $100 – $300

A cutting: $20 – $40

8) Monstera Pinnatipartita

The leaves on this plant resemble those of palm more than the typical Monstera which looks like Swiss cheese. The tendency here is for the leaves to split right up to the midrib, rather than remain in slots.

This variety produces white waxy flowers along with many aerial roots, making it look spindly and wild.

One thing about this variety is that if planted indoors it tends to not get very big, compared to when it is planted in a pot outdoors. Here is will happily take over an entire corner of the patio!

You can expect to pay:

A mature plant: $50 – $250

A cutting: $30 – $100

Get Your Monstera Pinnatipartita Here!


9) Monstera Esqueleto

Esqueleto is the Spanish word for ‘skeleton’, and this is where this variety resembles the monstera Adansonii. Both have many holes in the oval pointed leaves.

It is the unusual fenestration pattern of the leaves that makes this Monstera much sought after.

You can expect to pay:

A mature plant: $250 and upwards

A cutting: $75 – $100

Get Your Monstera Esqueleto Here!


10) Monstera Standleyana ‘Albo Variegata’

This variety is sometimes confused with the Philodendron Cobra because the leaves are small and oval and speckled with white/cream.

This is a climbing variety which will happily grow up a trellis. If you find that the stems are leafless it will be due to the plant not having anything to climb onto.

You can expect to pay:

A mature plant: $40 – $100

A cutting: $15 – $30

Get Your Monstera Standleyana ‘Albo Variegata’ Here!


Where to Source your Rare Monstera

If you want to buy the ‘real deal’ as far as rare Monsteras go, you should always go to a reputable dealer. Don’t be tempted to buy them from a bargain website.

Even though they may offer you pictures of your desired Monstera, what you want and what you get may be entirely different things.

You may have to place your name on a waiting list as some rare Monstera’s will need to be imported. However, if you are prepared to wait, a good dealer will locate your plant for you.

Final Thoughts

A monsteraMost avid gardeners simply cannot get enough rare Monstera plants to add to their collections.

This is because these plants are so unconventional in their colourings and shaping. In fact, they look very ‘otherworldly’ and are fascinating to many people.

Since Monsteras are slow to propagate and cannot be grown from seed (don’t be fooled into buying a pack of seeds!) demand is far higher than supply and thus the price is high.

If you are prepared to work through the purchase price, import duty and shipping costs to bring your rare Monstera home, then you will find that once established it taken centre stage.

Your Monstera will be admired and most likely very well photographed.

A word of advice – because Monsteras are so expensive and so difficult to obtain, you should always be aware that your plant may be stolen.

Take precautions with it, just as you would with anything else you value. The last thing you want, after tracking your rare Monstera down, is to have it disappear from your porch!

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