Monstera Sierrana Care (Monstera deliciosa var. sierrana)

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Monstera deliciosa var. sierrana common referred as to ‘Monstera sierrana’ is one of Monstera deliciosa variety, others being Monstera deliciosa var. borsigiana and Monstera deliciosa var. Brazil (Brazilian Common Form).

This variety came from the Sierra de Juárez mountain range in Oaxaca, Mexico, hence Sierrana. Unfortunately, most vendors often mislabel it as Brazilian Common Form. Some call it Monstera sp. Brazil, but this is an entirely different plant.

We will tell you how to identify M. sierrana and distinguish it from the Brazilian Common Form or M. Burle Marx Flame. Later in the discussion, we will cover care, growth needs, and more.

Is it a Monstera deliciosa var. sierrana? Identification

Like Monstera deliciosa, var. sierrana has heart-shaped glossy green mature leaves with fenestrations (holes) and splits. But the leaves are slightly smaller in size than an ordinary deliciosa.

Secondly, the splits or sinuses ( space between two lobes) extend more into the leaf center, i.e., closer to the midrib. And the pinnae or lobes are comparable in size with the sinuses, gaps, or space between them.

Lastly, the pinnae or lobes are fewer in number. Also, near the leaf apex, the upper part of the leaf doesn’t have ears.

Monstera deliciosa var. sierrana vs. Brazil

Most vendors mislabel Monstera deliciosa var. Brazil or Brazilian Common Form as var. sierrana. Some even use both names. They both have pinnate leaves. But these are two different varieties, and you need the mature form to distinguish the two.

Monstera deliciosa var Brazil - Brazilian Common Form
Large Brazilian Common Form plant: Check the latest prices
Monstera deliciosa Brazilian Common Form - L
Smaller var. Brazil: See latest prices.

Here is how to quickly tell the difference:

FeatureMonstera sierranaBrazil (Brazilian common form)
Leaf sizeSmallerLarger
Pinnae or lobesNarrower lobes and comparable to gaps in-between. Also, they extend near the midribPinnae are broader and larger than the in-between gaps or space. The splits don’t extend close to the leaf center.
FenestrationFewer splits or fenestrations, i.e., fewer splits.More splits and fenestrations, i.e., it has holes.
Leaf apexThey have smaller ears, i.e., shallow in-between pinnae space and shallow lobes.High lobes and deep in-between spaces or sinus, i.e., they have more prominent ears
PriceCosts more, about $700 to $3000Costs less, about $200 to $1000

Sierrana vs. Monstera Burle Marx Flame

Monstera Burle Marx Flame isn’t a sport (plant part showing differences in morphology from the rest of the plant) or a mature version of var. sierrana. Instead, the leaves are very distinctive, and you shouldn’t have trouble distinguishing these two.

Courtesy of philomania.ca.

To begin with, Monstera Burle Marx Flame has smaller leaves than var. sierrana. Also, they have fewer fenestrations and splits, i.e., pinnae are fewer and narrower and have few holes.

Secondly, the leaves are much thicker. And you will notice broader, more visible light green veins, and the in-between space or sinuses are much wider than pinnae or lobes.

That is not all. The splits make a ribcage-like pattern, and they don’t have ear-like lobes at the top of the leaf. Also, they are the most expensive and very rare.

Burle Marx Flame is more expensive with a price range of between $2,000 to $20,000 and rarer. How much you will spend depends on the size you pick, where you are, and other market factors.

Last but not least, Monstera Burle Marx Flame isn’t the same as Monstera dilacerata as many people mislabel it. M. dilacerata is a synonym for Epipremnum pinnatum from Asia, meaning it is an entirely different plant.

M. deliciosa var. Sierrana Care and growth requirements

Monstera deliciosa var. sierrana’s care and growth needs are similar to a deliciosa. We are going to give you a quick summary.

If you want details, see Monstera deliciosa care that will cover everything light, temperature, humidity, best soil, fertilizer, repotting, pruning, etc.

USDA hardiness zone

Monstera sierrana USDA hardiness zone is 10b to 12. Freezing temperatures and frost will kill these plants. Only grow them outdoors if you are in this zone.

Temperature

The ideal temperature is 65 to 85 degrees Fahrenheit (18 to 29°C), but they can tolerate slightly lower temperatures. At 50 °F, they stop growing.

Avoid sudden temperature changes, cold drafts, air conditioning, or heating system vents. Also, don’t place them near heat-emitting appliances.

Humidity

This Monstera loves average to above average humidity, at least 50% or more. If your house has low humidity, mist it a few times a week, have a pebble tray, or buy a humidifier. Also, you can group your plants or move plants to rooms with higher humidity, like the kitchen or bathroom.

Light

Monstera deliciosa var. sierrana requires bright, indirect light, but they can tolerate medium to low light. Avoid direct sunlight and if your house has too little light, get artificial grow lights

Soil

The best should for Monstera sierrana be slightly acid, chunky, well-drained, and high in organic matter. A mixture of potting soil, peat moss, perlite, and worm castings or compost should work.

Watering

Water your var. sierrana when the top 2 to 3 inches of the soil feels dry. It may be about once a week in spring and summer and biweekly in winter and fall. But how often depends on your environmental conditions, pot size, and type, plant size, among other factors.

Don’t follow a watering schedule, and when watering, slowly and evenly saturate the soil until excess water comes from drainage holes. Discard any that collects on the saucer.

a. Overwatered

Watering too often, oversized or pots without drainage holes, low temperature, poor circulation, and other factors may result in overwatered Monstera sierrana. If not contained, it will cause root rot.

Besides soggy soil, your Monstera leaves will turn yellow, starting with the lower ones may droop or wilt, and you may notice brown or black splotches. More signs are a moldy potting mix, mushy stem base, leaf edema, etc.

b. Underwatered

When thirsty, the soil will dry, and your Monstera leaves will curl inwards, wilt and droop. Also, your plant will look limp, lose leaves, have brown tips and edges, among other signs.

Fertilizer

These plants are medium feeders. So, feed them once a month with a balanced all-purpose houseplant liquid fertilizer in spring and summer. Please don’t feed them in winter or when they are not growing.

Pruning

Use sterilized scissors to cut any dead, diseased, or damaged leaves when pruning. You can cut back a few branches in spring or summer to encourage bushy growth and control plant size.

Last but not least, when they are dusty, wipe leaves with a soft piece of cloth or Microfiber Dusting gloves.

Potting and repotting

Repot every 2 to 3 years or when rootbound, i.e., roots will begin growing from drainage holes. The best time to repot is spring or early summer.

Staking

As climbers, these aroids will appreciate a climbing place. Use a burlap wrapped or moss pole, or if large, a cedar pole will give the necessary support.

Propagation

The best way to propagate var. sierrana propagation is by stem cutting either water or soil. But you can also opt for an air layer. Always propagate your plants in spring or early summer. Read more on Monstera deliciosa propagation.

Safety to pets and humans

This Monstera is toxic to cats, dogs, other pets, and humans. It is poisonous because it has insoluble calcium oxalates. Chewing it will cause oral irritation, swelling, redness, swallowing difficulties, drooling, lack of appetite, etc.

Pests

When grown indoors, it is not prone to pests that attack Monstera like thrips, mealybugs, spider mites, scale insects, or whiteflies. But they can occur. Isolate new or infested plants and always check for stationary, moving spots or bumps or flying tiny bugs.

Use insecticidal soaps, neem oil, horticultural spray oil in heavy infestation. For minor, hose the plant.

Diseases

Monstera root rot is the main issue if you overwater your plant. But your plants may end up with bacterial leaf spots, anthracnose, southern blight, rusts, or botrytis. Monstera mosaic virus is rare. Practice proper sanitation and isolate new or diseased plants to help prevent diseases.

Common problems

Besides pests and disease, your Monstera leaves may droop or wilt, curl, turn yellow, have brown tips or edges or spots. Here are common causes.  

ProblemCauses
Leaves turning yellowOverwatering is the most likely cause, followed by low light. Others are underwatering, low humidity, too much light, pests, diseases, repotting shock, and rootbound.
Leaves curlingLeaves curling means your plant doesn’t have water, and it may be due to underwatering, low humidity, too much light, extreme temperatures, or transplant shock. Also, overwatering, pests, and disease may be a cause.
Leaves brown spots, tips, and edgesBrown tips and edges are a sign of leaf scorch due to too much light, underwatering, fertilizer burns, low humidity, or extreme temperatures. Brown spots may occur due to disease or pests, and cold drafts may make entire leaves brown, even overnight.
Leaves droopingDrooping, like curling, is a sign of your plant not having enough water in cells. It may be underwatering, low humidity, too much light, or any other factor that causes water loss or absorption issues.

Where to buy Monstera sierrana

Since it is rare, we recommend buying from only reputed vendors or rare plant collectors, especially on Instagram or Facebook plant pages. You can also try Etsy.com, but there are not many vendors.  But be careful not to end up buying the Brazilian Common Form.

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