This article will tell you everything there is to know about the Monstera Delicosa Albo.
Read on to discover:
- Genus and Origin
- Common and Botanical Names
- Varieties of Variegated Monsteras
- Care Guidelines, Common Problems (w/Solutions)
- Where to Buy and Price Ranges
- Plant’s Toxicity to People and Pets
- Plants Similar to Monstera Albo
- Frequently Asked Questions
Monstera deliciosa, often known as split-leaf philodendron or the Swiss cheese plant, is a genus consisting of 49 flowering plants endemic to tropical parts of the Americas—members of the arum family, Araceae. This genus comes from a Latin word that means “monstrous” or “abnormal,” relating to the peculiar leaves with natural holes that members of this genus have.
When it comes to proper identification, the plant is often marketed and sold by many common names, including Monstera, split-leaf philodendron, hurricane plant, Swiss cheese plant, and Mexican breadfruit.
When it comes to Monstera Albo, some of the common names this plant goes by include Monstera Deliciosa ‘Albo-Variegata’ or the Swiss Cheese Plant; however, its official name remains the same: Monstera Delicious. On the other hand, many individuals also refer to this plant as the Split-leaf Philodendron, Monstera deliciosa borsigiana ‘Albo’ or ‘Variegata.’
The official scientific name for a specific plant species is its botanical name, which adheres to the rules of the botanical nomenclature system outlined in the International Code of Nomenclature for fungi, algae, and plants (ICN). When it comes to the botanical name of Monstera Albo, it is mainly referred to as Monstera Deliciosa’ Albo Borsigiana.’
Origin of Monstera Albo
Monstera’ Albo-Variegata’ or Monstera Deliciosa’ Albo Borsigiana has been produced from the species M. Deliciosa, native to the tropical areas of Central America and Southern Mexico. This variety—an Araceae member of the arum family, was first discovered by renowned French botanist Charles Plumier in 1693. This cultivar with beautiful variegated leaves marbled with white coloration has even earned a Garden Merit Award from the Royal Horticultural Society.
Varieties of Variegated Monsteras
Variegated varieties of Monstera were formerly the exclusive domain of professional plant collectors; however, their popularity is rising, and they are quickly becoming a standard in the interior design of many houses. So, read on if you want to learn about these expensive, distinctive, colored, and somewhat hard-to-find variegated varieties.
What is Variegation?
The term “Variegation” is often referred to as the emergence of varied colored zones in the plant leaves and stem, caused by the absence of chlorophyll in cells, primarily due to cell mutations. Mostly, variegation in the foliage can be two-toned, tri-colored, or even quadri-colored, appearing in several patterns such as stripes, splotches, dots, blocks, and more.
Monsteras always manage to create a striking impact with their ample foliage, which is not only large but also perforated, serrated, and stylishly cut. However, every species needs bright yet indirect light, well-drained but relatively wet soil, and a high relative humidity level for optimal growth. Without further ado, let’s jump into the varieties of Variegated Monsteras.
- Monstera Deliciosa Thai Constellation: A variety of Variegated Monstera with mottled, galaxy-like, variegated patterns in tones of creamy white on the dark green foliage.
- Monstera Deliciosa Albo Borsigiana: A variety of Variegated Monstera similar to Thai Constellation but unique for its pure white variegation on the dark green foliage.
- Monstera Deliciosa Aurea: A less commonly-found cultivar of variegated Monstera, identified by the presence of slightly lime variegation on the dark green leaves.
- Monstera Deliciosa Variegata: A fast-growing Monstera that stands out due to the distinctive yet dramatic splashes of white-cream color scattered over the black leaves.
- Monstera Adansonii Albo Variegata: This plant with glossy two-tone green and cream leaves offers a multicolored twist and is guaranteed to transform any home’s interior.
- Monstera Var. Borsigiana Albo Variegata: Famous for being one of the most expensive Monsteras out there, it has striking variegation of green and white with cream speckles.
- Monstera Deliciosa Sport Variegata: Famous for the cream and white speckles found on the leaves, finding it may be quite a challenge; nonetheless, the effort is well worth it.
- Monstera Obliqua Variegata: With the appearance of having large holes punched out of them, the glossy foliage of this plant, variegated with creamy color, is a sight to see.
- Monstera Deliciosa Var. Borsigiana Mint Variegata: Deeply serrated foliage with shaped leaves similar to Monstera Albo. The only exception here is the unique white variegations.
- Monstera Deliciosa Variegata Half Moon: Variegated Monstera with leaves that are white on one side and green on the other; they are quite rare but absolute beauty.
- Monstera Deliciosa Variegata Full Moon: Similar to the Half Moon, the leaves of this variety are more on the white side of the spectrum, while some are fully white-hued.
Monstera Albo Care Guidelines
Native to the tropical rainforests of Central America and Southern Mexico, Monstera Albo are parented by Monstera Deliciosa, and both share similar care needs. If you’re a proud plant parent of Monstera Deliciosa, you already have a head start. However, since Albo plants are notorious for requiring a fair amount of care, a few critical care distinctions should be kept in mind.
Read Next: Different Types of Monstera
If you want the variegation on the leaves to remain vibrant and abundant, ensure your Monstera Albo gets at least six to seven hours of bright, indirect, and filtered light.
Considering the variegated areas of the leaves on these plants are prone to sunburn, it is essential to keep them out of the direct glare of the sun, especially the all-white sections.
On the other hand, remember that Albos are unsuitable for growing in low-light maintenance, which means that they will begin to lose their variegation if they don’t get enough light.
Simply put, pick a spot (a foot or two away from a window) where your Albo can receive 6-8 hours of filtered sunlight each day. Remember not to keep the plant in direct sunlight as the leaves might get scorched and ultimately die.
Since Monstera Albo is prone to developing root rot if overwatered, allowing the soil to dry slightly in between waterings is essential. Initially, the whole process of watering may seem a bit complicated, but once you get into a rhythm, it’s not hard at all.
Constantly checking the soil’s moisture content before watering is an excellent way to track and manage the plant’s complex moisture requirements. One tip: never assume it needs water.
For example, when you stick your finger in the soil and find the top inch of soil damp, wait another day or two before trying it again. However, if the top inch of soil is dry, thoroughly water the area.
Additionally, check to see that the roots are not sitting in any water. If the saucer is below the pot, you should empty it immediately after adding water to the plant.
On the other hand, after letting the top 1–2 inches of soil dry out, you may also water the soil well while allowing any surplus water to drain through the drainage holes in the container.
Since young plants in smaller pots dry out more quickly than mature ones, the first watering requirements will likely be more complicated than those for fully-grown, matured Albos.
Temperature and Humidity
Since Albo is a tropical plant, it thrives best in high humidity and warm temperatures; therefore, you must pay attention, particularly during winters when the air tends to dry.
Temperatures in the warm range, preferably between 55-90F, are optimal, while humidity between 60-90% is ideal, just as they are for other plants in the genus Monstera.
This is the reason most Albos are best suited for indoor cultivation; however, it is also possible to cultivate it outside during the summer or all year round in USDA zones 9-11.
To raise the humidity levels for the growth of indoor Albos, you can try making a do-it-yourself humidity pebble tray. However, this strategy is only practical to a limited degree.
If DIY is not your thing, you should consider investing in a humidifier. After all, nobody wants to risk the loss of a costly plant only because the humidity wasn’t high enough.
To create distinctive variegated leaves, Albo Monstera needs more attentive feeding than other variegated varieties. Having said that, Monstera deliciosa Albo Variegata is prone to being over-fertilized. Thus, achieving the optimal fertilization level is essential.
In addition to using a high-quality potting mix fortified with organic fertilizers, you should also water your Albos once a month with a liquid fertilizer, following the proper nutrient ratio.
Fertilize your Albo monthly in spring and summer; however, when it is no longer actively developing, which occurs in the autumn and winter months, stop feeding it altogether.
Simply put, refrain from fertilizing Albos during winter to let them rest. We recommend using a standard tropical houseplant fertilizer diluted to one-half strength for the best results.
Soil Mix Recommendations
Most variegated varieties grow well in a good-drained, aerated, and rich soil—mixed with some natural, organic fertilizers like Liqui-Dirt and worm castings for an extra boost.
However, the ideal soil may be made by combining fresh garden soil with equal parts of peat moss for organic matter, coco coir and orchid bark for extra texture, and perlite for drainage.
Most garden centers and nurseries in the United States and worldwide provide customers with ready-to-use potting soil, often combined with the essential substrates described above.
Research shows that all these substrates are suitable for use with common houseplants, although the texture may be altered by incorporating more perlite to improve drainage.
Finally, when it comes to the pH level for growing Monstera Deliciosa Albo Variegata, the range is between 5.5 and 7.0, slightly on the acidic side.
Pot Types and Sizes
When it comes to pot types, it’s best to grow Albo Monstera in a container with good drainage. To be more specific, a large-sized plastic, terracotta, or clay basket is all you need.
This plant is also a climber, so if you want to stimulate its development, you can provide it with support in the form of a moss pole, wet stick, plant supporters, or bamboo stakes.
The appropriate Monstera pot size selection is the second essential factor to consider. Start with a 6 inches pot if you are transplanting seedlings or have recently propagated them.
However, when repotting Albo, it is generally recommended that you only go up one size (for example, from a pot that is 6 inches in diameter to one that is 8 inches in diameter).
If you see the roots of Albo growing through the drainage holes, repot it immediately. Due to the sluggish growth rate, you should repot Albo into a one-size bigger pot every 2-3 years.
To ensure sufficient room for the root ball, choose a pot at least a couple of inches deeper and broader than the one it is currently housed in (not more than the sizes mentioned above).
The lack of a well-draining system, which may result in root rot, is one of the most common reasons Albos die. Therefore, always look for pots with bottom holes to drain excess water.
Additionally, to give your Albo a nutrient boost while repotting, combine parts of perlite, fresh garden soil, peat moss, coco coir, and organic materials (OM), and you’re good to go.
Ideal Growing Zones
Mostly all Variegated Monstera plants, including Monstera Deliciosa Albo Variegata,
can survive in USDA Zones 10b-12 and do best in warm and humid conditions year-round.
These plants cannot resist temperatures below freezing since they are not frost-hardy; therefore, only individuals living in zones 10b-12 can cultivate them outside year-round.
In the United States, Florida, California, and Hawaii are among the selected areas where cultivating Monstera Albo as an outdoor plant is ideal—the rest may grow them indoors.
Albos may also be grown outside of the United States in subtropical and tropical climates, as well as warm temperate zones that do not suffer frost or temperatures below freezing.
When planting outside, choose a spot that gets part shade and has well-draining soil. If the soil in your area is naturally salty, you should transfer it to a patio or bring it indoors.
Did you know what is the best method to grow more of these beautiful Albos? Propagation. This process is quite popular because Albo’s white variegation is a naturally occurring trait.
Propagating Variegated Monstera plants is actually quite similar to breeding standard Monstera Deliciosa; however, the process takes much more time. Thus, you must be patient.
Before you begin, it is essential to remember that the only way to grow Albo is by stem cutting. To succeed at this, the stem of the cutting has to have at least one node, preferably more.
- Begin with stem cutting using a pair of sharp scissors or pruning shears.
- Remove 1-2 leaves from the cutting to expose the nodes at the bottom of the stem.
- Decide a medium to root your cutting (sphagnum moss, leca, or perlite)
- Prepare a small pot (1–2 inches) with your chosen medium to root cutting.
- All mediums should remain consistently damp throughout the whole process.
- Add cutting to the medium, ensuring the exposed nodes at the bottom are submerged.
- Place your final cutting in a location that receives bright light (preferably near a window).
- Change the water once a week to keep your rooting medium consistently moist.
- Once 2-3 inches long, transfer the rooted cutting to a rich, well-draining soil mix.
- Plant the cutting and keep it moist for the first 1-2weeks to help it adapt.
And that’s about it.
Common Problems and How to Fix Them
In general, Monstera Deliciosa Albo Variegata demands little attention, particularly if you already have experience cultivating other varieties of Monstera Deliciosa. However, like any other houseplant, growing these tropical plants indoors might present you with the following challenges. Don’t worry; just like every problem, they have an easy-peasy solution.
Pests and Diseases
Monstera Albo is susceptible to attacks from many pests, the most common being spider mites and scale bugs that feed on the plant’s leaves, causing the plant to lose nutrients.
As soon as you see them, be sure to spray the plant with insecticidal soap or neem oil. Getting rid of pests may take around three to four weeks; therefore, you must be consistent.
In addition to pests, root rot is another issue common to Albos. Common symptoms include wilted leaves, thinned growth, and a quick overall decline in your plant’s health.
The good news is that root rot may be treated, provided it is addressed on time. Remove all the moldy and mushy parts of the plant, and then apply an anti-fungal solution to the roots.
After removing the rotten roots from the plant, reconsider your watering schedule. Never allow the plant to lie in wet soil. Instead, use well-draining pots with holes on the bottom.
Foliage & Leaf Shapes
The most compelling aspect of this cultivar is, without a doubt, its spectacular and distinctive foliage. It has heart-shaped leaves with white or creamy patches caused by spontaneous mutations of its cells. However, the appearance of the leaves changes as the plant ages. They eventually produce the distinctive splits that give the plant its popular name, the Swiss Cheese Plant.
Growth and Maturation
Of the variegated parts of Monstera Deliciosa, Monstera Albo is the one that grows the fastest, expanding its reach by 1-2 feet each year while generating new leaves every few months. To experience maturation, propagate Albo by cutting a healthy stem (with at least one node), then place it in a medium (water or soil) for two to 2-3 weeks in bright light. Voila! Within a short period, your plant will reach maturation and produce huge, cream-patched leaves.
Where to Buy & Price
Ready to add the fantastic Monstera deliciosa Albo Variegata to your home? You can buy it from Steve’s Leaves, Logee’s,The Sill, Bloomscape, Canopy Plant Co., NSE Tropicals, Rare Plant Fairy, and Rooted.
If you prefer homegrown varieties, you can try Etsy for sourcing your Monstera Albo cutting or an entire mother plant. Monstera Albo can cost anywhere from a few dollars to several hundred, depending on whether you’re buying stem cuttings, a small plant, or a mature plant. However, depending on rarity, some varieties can set you back several thousand dollars.
Toxicity to People & Pets
Even though the Monstera Albo or Monstera Deliciosa Albo Variegata is undeniably a visual treat, it is essential to exercise caution around this tropical plant since it is often considered poisonous/toxic to both pets and people. The toxicity experienced is proportional to the quantity consumed, although exposure to it is to be avoided under all circumstances.
- Toxic properties are present in every component of the Monstera Albo plant, including the leaves, roots, and flowers. However, Ingestion of large quantities of most Monsteras’ insoluble sharp oxalate crystals, also known as raphides, can cause severe irritation, a burning sensation in the mouth, diarrhea, difficulty breathing, and nausea in humans.
- Since pets have a habit of chewing on whatever they can get their teeth on, keeping the plant out of their reach is essential. Oral irritation and blisters, trouble swallowing, frequent drooling, and restlessness are some potential symptoms of poisoning. Contact a vet immediately if you see your four-legged companions dealing with these symptoms.
Loved Monstera Deliciosa Albo Variegata? Here are some other similar plants you should get.
- Philodendron Mayoi
- Philodendron Mamei
- Philodendron Pedatum
- Philodendron Pastazanum
Frequently Asked Questions
Can You Grow Variegated Monstera From Seeds?
The answer, unfortunately, is no, you cannot. It is impossible to cultivate Monstera plants from their seeds, and anybody trying to sell you seeds is trying to scam you out of your money.
What is the Difference between Albo and Monstera Thai Constellation?
The distinction between the Thai Constellation and Albo is that the Albo’s variegation is almost always white, while the Thai Constellation is yellow-green or white-green.
Does Monstera Albo Have a Scent?
The Monstera Albo has a mild fragrance mainly attributed to its mature fruit. Some owners of Monstera Albo say that the scent is sweet yet reminiscent of the pineapple fruit.
My name is Daniel Elrod, and I have been houseplant love ever since I was 17. I love how much joy they bring to any room in the home. I’ve always been amazed at how a few pots of flowing leaves can turn a drab and sterile office into an inviting place where people love to work at.