For the past few years, adopting and propagating plants has been the trend du jour. Inspiration photos show rooms full of leafy foliage that have grown from floors to ceilings, every surface home to a flower or a cutting—even hanging stems from shower heads for fragrance. Now, there’s a new iteration of the beloved monstera plant that green thumbs are scouring the internet to find—meet the half moon monstera adansonii plant.
From the fiddle leaf fig to the dracaena, certain types of foliage do the rounds on the trend circuit for their low maintenance and ease of growth. When it comes to aesthetic appeal, that’s where things get interesting. Most plants earn their ‘pretty’ titles from their silhouette as a whole, but for others like the Pink Princess Philodendron plant, their unique leaves earn them brownie points.
So, when it came to the latest iteration of the beloved monstera plant—and its ‘swiss cheese’ style leaves—there’s now a new and very fun version on the market, called the Half Moon Monstera Adansonii.
Essentially, the half moon element of the plant’s unique name comes from the fact that one half of each leaf on the plant is white, and the other half green. But they aren’t just a rough mix of the two, the split lies perfectly in the middle, almost as if it were painted by a professional artist with extreme precision.
But how do half moon leaves grow and why are they so rare? Well, this iteration of a leaf comes from the variegation that takes place in the stem. The way that this transfers to the leaves only occurs if the stem variegation is cut where the node of the new leaf lies, according to Plant Lovers. So, if you’re looking to create an evenly split leaf, a node would need to lie where a perfect white streak appears for 50 per cent of the leaf.
What makes these variations of the plant so rare are the odds of its success. Since leaves have two sides, a half moon would need a perfect colour split going through the nodes on both sides of the leaf to ensure that straight split.
Naturally, there’s a chance that solely green leaves could sprout when growing these, but as long as there’s only one, you should be in the clear. Of course, their difficulty to produce means that they can cost a pretty penny, but they are relatively low-maintenance to keep.
Much like their monstera ancestors, they prefer soil that is lightly moist and enjoy drying out slightly in between waterings. Sensitive to overwatering, leaving a monstera in soggy soil should be avoided, so wait until around an inch of the top soil is dry before you hydrate.
If you’re concerned that your monstera isn’t in a good place, keep an eye out for the finish of each leaf, since they should have a wax-like finish. You might notice that your monstera is “crying” or “sweating”, which is a colloquial term of guttation, a completely natural process where liquid droplets are created on the tips of surface of healthy leaves. Essentially, the moisture is just a combination of excess water and minerals like xylem sap.
It’s also important to remember that monsteras in general—and especially the half moon variation—can be toxic to animals if ingested, so it’s a good idea to keep them up higher where your four-legged friends can’t reach them.