This one’s for the true, hardcore monstera aficionados only! Monstera obliqua is one of the rarest—and most demanding—monstera varieties out there, and it’s an expensive challenge only the most passionate plant lovers attempt.

But if you’re serious about acquiring one of these beauties, here’s a few things you’ll want to know about buying and caring for monstera obliqua

Monstera Obliqua: What You Need to Know

Monstera obliqua is often confused with monstera adansonii.

You may find a plant labeled as monstera obliqua in garden centers, but you can be assured that you’re actually looking at an adansonii.

How to tell the difference:

While adansonii leaves are quite fenestrated, obliqua leaves are extremely fenestrated to the point that there is more hole than leaf. In fact, up to 90% of a mature monstera obliqua leaf is empty space!

Monstera obliqua vs adansonii

Monstera adansonii

Obliqua leaves are also paper thin and delicate, whereas adansonii leaves are slightly sturdier and have a bit of texture.

monstera obliqua

Monstera obliqua

Image from @ourtropicalplants on Instagram

The other major difference is that you won’t find a true monstera obliqua in garden centers or from your typical online plant shops. Adansoniis are fairly easy to find, but to get a true obliqua, you’ll have to do some digging.

True obliqua is extremely rare…and pricey

Monstera Obliqua Rare Plant Care Tips

The only way to get your hands on one of these is to buy it directly from a private grower or collector.

And be prepared to pay a lot. (We’re talking four-figure prices here.) And that will most likely be for a cutting.

That’s another way to tell the difference between adansonii and obliqua: if you aren’t paying a price that makes you a little weak in the knees, it’s not obliqua.

So where can you find one of these super rare plants?

The best places are Etsy, Ebay, and some specialized plant bidding sites. Make sure to read the seller reviews, get photos of the actual plant or cutting being sold, and inquire about insurance and whether they offer a guarantee.

monstera obliqua

Image from @ourtropicalplants on Instagram

If you have your heart set on a monstera obliqua, you may be searching for quite some time and doing a lot of networking to find a legitimate obliqua. (For a lot of plant collectors, this is part of the fun!)

Monstera obliqua has specific heat and humidity requirements

Monstera obliqua needs constant, substantial humidity. These leaves are super delicate and must be kept nice and supple, otherwise, they’ll dry right out and get crumbly.

If you live in a tropical area and have little to no climate control in your home, you may be okay. Maybe. But if you use AC, heat, or if you don’t live in the tropics, you’ll want to get your obliqua its own personal humidifier (preferably warm or room temperature vapor) and keep it on 24/7. Roomy terrariums can also work for containing high humidity.

Shoot for 85% humidity or more!

Obliqua also likes warmer temperatures, from 70-85 degrees Fahrenheit.

Customize your obliqua’s environment

These plants prefer indirect sunlight (NO direct light!) and a peaty potting mix. However, most obliqua growers prefer to mix their own combination of compost, worm casings, bark, pumice, etc. If you find an obliqua you’re interested in, ask the seller about the plant’s current care conditions and what kind of soil it’s planted in (or even their custom recipe). Duplicate that environment as best as you can!

monstera obliqua

Image from @ourtropicalplants on Instagram

Monstera obliqua grows very slowly

Another reason why this plant is so difficult to sell and grow is that it grows extremely slowly. In fact, this is one of the other reasons why monstera adansonii is so often mislabeled as monster obliqua: for the first several years of its life, these two plants look almost exactly alike! Only after several years will an obliqua produce those characteristic, highly fenestrated, barely-there leaves. Until then, they’ll look much like an adansonii.

A Unique Challenge

While it’s a beautiful plant, monstera obliqua definitely isn’t for everybody! But for diehard, highly experienced monstera enthusiasts, this unicorn plant can become the crown jewel of their collections. If you think you’re ready for the challenge, start searching now!