This article covers everything you need to know about the Variegated Monstera.
Keep reading to discover:
- How to grow and care for this plant
- What type of fertilizer to use
- Variegated monstera varieties
Monstera plants are popular for their ornamental leaves and belong to the genus Monstera. The Monstera genus contains numerous species, such as the Monstera deliciosa and Monstera adansonii.
Of more than over 100 Monstera species, 37 are accepted species names and include the two mentioned above.
Monstera plants are indigenous to the tropical jungles of Southern Mexico and Central America. Moreover, they get their name because of their large leaves.
Furthermore, they’re prized in the plant world for the unique fenestrations that have earned them the nickname of the Swiss Cheese Plant. Fenestrations refers to the natural holes that develop in their leaves as the plant grows.
Read Next: Different Tyles of Monstera Plants
Variegation and Its Causes
If you’re new to the world of plants, it might be confusing to hear about plant species, sub-species, mutations, and variegation.
Variegated Monstera plants are highly sought after by horticulturists as well as home designers. The term “variegation” refers to the appearance of color variations on the stems and leaves of plants.
This variegation occurs due to a lack of chlorophyll in some plant cells. Green leaves have that color because of this biomolecule. As mutations stack up in plant cells, the lack of chlorophyll gives rise to variegated Monstera plants.
The color variation can be two-toned, tri-colored, or multi-colored, including shades of creamy white, yellow, and green. The variety of patterns in variegated Monstera plants includes stripes, blocks, splotches, and dots, to name a few.
Additionally, variegated leaves are often a result of lab experiments, as opposed to the Monstera plant’s natural genetic variation.
Varieties of Variegated Monstera
There are five commonly recognized types of variegated Monstera deliciosa plants, which also include the true deliciosa or the true variegated Monstera.
Monstera deliciosa ‘Variegata’
Monstera deliciosa variegata is the rarest naturally occurring variegated Monstera plant.
Since it occurs naturally, the Monstera deliciosa variegata is considered a true variegated Monstera plant.
However, it’s not stable variegation and occurs from random genetic mutations, which result in several colors and distribution patterns.
Furthermore, this Monstera deliciosa variety is amongst the most expensive houseplants!
The Mint Monstera plant is a recent variegated subspecies of the Monstera deliciosa and is extremely difficult to source in the houseplant market.
Mint Monsteras have minty green or white patches of variegation, often referred to as the marbled pattern. The color emerges as the second layer of cells beneath the plant surface mutate to stop producing chlorophyll.
However, the mint green variegation is never consistent across the Monstera plants, although it’s common to find the marble color pattern across the plant’s leaves.
Monstera Deliciosa Aurea
The Monstera deliciosa “Aurea” is a variegated Monstera with yellow variegation occurring in a splotchy pattern.
It’s often called the Monstera Borsigiana Aurea or Monstera Aurea. This variegated Monstera has compact leaves, which rarely grow more than two feet in diameter.
Furthermore, the leaf variegation in this variety is less concentrated, and some leaves may mature without any variegation.
Monstera Deliciosa “Albo Borsigiana”
One of the most striking Monstera deliciosa subspecies, the Monstera Albo Borsigiana, is a rapidly mutating plant characterized by compact leaves.
The Monstera Albo Borsigiana flaunts a marbled pattern of brilliant white and green shades. However, it can also develop a splotchy and blocky variegation pattern.
Its pattern does not arise from a genetic mutation. Since the Albo Borsigiana depicts phenotypic variation, it cannot be propagated from seeds, making it one of the most expensive Monstera varieties.
The Thai constellation was named after the Thai lab that created the variegated Monstera.
Being a variety of the Monstera deliciosa, the Thai constellation is not a true species. The variegation pattern in the plant is marbled or speckled, with white, green, and creamy yellow variegation.
The Thai constellation is one of the most popular houseplants and has a stable variegation pattern.
Although not the cheapest, the Thai constellation is priced very reasonably compared to the true deliciosa and Albo Borsigiana varieties.
You will find that a variegated Monstera deliciosa requires the same treatment as non-variegated varieties.
Like all greens, Monstera plant care guidelines typically address light, watering, humidity, and nutritional requirements.
Monstera deliciosa plants typically scale the forest trees and absorb indirect sunlight that escapes the thick forest canopy.
Therefore, they have similar requirements as a houseplant. Monstera plants thrive in indirect sunlight, and prolonged exposure to direct sunlight can scorch the foliage or sometimes affect the plant’s chlorophyll formation and variegation.
The Monstera deliciosa varieties require enough water to maintain humidity. Overwatering can damage the fragile roots of this plant.
You’re only supposed to water your Monstera once the soil is completely dry. This will help prevent root rot and other issues.
Monsteras thrive in a warm, humid environment. They grow well at room temperature, provided they’re kept away from air conditioners and natural drafts.
Since they love a humid environment, you can encourage healthy growth by placing them near a humidifier with 60%-80% humidity.
A balanced indoor plant fertilizer can be used to fertilize deliciosa. Use a diluted quantity of non-organic fertilizer if necessary. You should aim for fertilization once a month, as overdoing it will burn the plant’s roots.
Soil Mix Recommendations
Deliciosa varieties, whether Thai constellation or the Albo Borsigiana, are not typically fussy about soil conditions.
You only need to ensure that it’s well-draining and mixed with an ample amount of perlite or coconut husks to maintain moisture.
Both concrete and ceramic pots can be used for Monstera plants. Medium to large-sized pots are preferred to facilitate these climbing plants.
You must ensure they have plenty of drainage holes for aeration, to protect the plant from root rot, and to maintain soil pH.
We advise repotting bigger floor plants every 18 to 24 months. You should often select a potting vessel with a diameter that is 2″ to 4″ bigger. Repotting should be done in the spring or summer when the plant is at its healthiest.
Propagation is typically done using leaf cuttings for household plants. Commercial mass propagation is done using culturing techniques, which are innovative in plant biotechnology for allowing the rapid growth of our green friends.
Genetic mutation is the primary cause of variegation. Genetic variegation is considered stable if it can be passed on to future progeny.
However, variegation from environmental stress, diseases, and phenotypic variations does not transfer to seeds.
Growing From Seed
Even in true variegated species, which have genetic mutations, the variegation pattern is often recessive.
Recessive inheritance patterns don’t always show up in an organism’s phenotype. Therefore, the best plant propagation method is to clone the variegated plant using its cuttings.
If it is under-watered, Monstera deliciosa does appear to be vulnerable to thrips and spider mites. It may also attract all of the other typical houseplant pests, but they don’t appear to be after it too much, so you probably don’t need to worry too much about a pest infestation.
Growth and Maturation
Monstera deliciosa Variegata may grow 1-2 feet each year when grown in the right conditions, which include strong indirect light and regular watering. Remember that the Monstera deliciosa borsigiana Variegata grows wider indoors than in its native state.
Common Problems and How to Fix Them
The following are some of the most common problems with a Monstera deliciosa Variegata mother plant:
You may need to take it a little easy when it comes to watering if the leaves turn yellow; the soil should always be somewhat damp but never waterlogged. If your plant is not placed in direct sunlight and adequately watered, but it still wilts, chances are your pots have inadequate drainage.
Overwatering occurs when you don’t let the soil dry before watering again. Maintaining moisture is important, but reduce your watering frequency if your plant is wilting or the leaves are starting to fold up. Yellowing of leaves, not yellow variegation, is also a sign of overwatering in Monstera plants.
Like with any other plant, various nasty pests can infest your houseplants. Many of them drain the plant’s sap or gnaw at its roots, causing the leaves to turn yellow.
Where to Buy These Plants
Variegated Monstera plants will set you back anywhere between $4,700 to $5,000, depending on the age, size, and plant type. A cutting will cost you anywhere between $11-$70, but the price can exponentially increase depending upon rarity.
They are expensive because it’s difficult to grow variegated Monstera deliciosa varieties, especially those that do not carry genetic variegation.
Furthermore, always remember that cultivars (plant tissue culture) like the Thai constellation and cuttings of mutated progenitor plants like the variegated monstera albo cannot be grown from seeds.
While it makes them expensive, this also increases the frequency of scams. Never fall for scams where someone tries to sell you a Thai constellation or Albo seeds.
Furthermore, avoid buying completely variegated Monsteras that are completely white. The lack of chlorophyll will stunt plant growth and cause your cutting to die.
You can also get one of these beautiful plants from eBay, NSE Tropicals, and Etsy. Etsy is a particularly good choice if you favor homegrown varieties of variegated Monsteras.
Some of the options when looking for Variegated Monsteras include the following;
- Variegated Monstera deliciosa ‘Thai Constellation’
- Monstera deliciosa ‘Variegata’
- Monstera deliciosa ‘Aurea’ (or ‘Marmorata’)
- Monstera deliciosa ‘Albo Borsigiana’
- Mint Monstera.
Can I Make My Plant Variegated?
Variegation occurs when random mutations affect a plant’s phenotype, so it’s highly unlikely but not impossible. About 1 in every 100,000 plants will become a variegated Monstera deliciosa in its lifetime.
How Much Should I Pay For Variegated Monsteras?
A young plant of the variegated type is typically sold for thousands of dollars. Plant enthusiasts who are fans of those large green leaves and half-moon appearances don’t mind buying a mature plant at that price. There are also some growers who not only deal in regular monstera cutting but also borsigiana Variegata and white variegation, which is the result of its ability to produce chlorophyll in the plant’s cells resulting in a few leaves with a light green color in a variegated plant. Etsy even has Monstera deliciosa varieties that cost well over $8000!
How Do You Get An Albino cutting?
Albo Variegata, which partially exhibits albinism, is sometimes misidentified as albino. A rare hereditary mutation causes this variegation to develop. These plants can also become white or go back to being light green. The plant leaf will perish from the latter. The unique color is the result of less chlorophyll which creates those signature white patches on the true deliciosa leaves.
Why Are Variegated Monsteras So Expensive?
Because they are so rare and well-liked, Monsteras are very costly. The leaves don’t have a lot of chlorophyll, which means they need more light and hence develop slowly. This slower growth means fewer new plants and also results in slower propagation. However, if you search correctly, you may find faster-growing cultivars provided you search at the right place.
How Do You Get Variegated Monsteras?
You can easily purchase one from one of the many online stores that deal in plants, especially the Variegated Monstera plants. You can also go for a true deliciosa tissue culture, which is recognized by its unique large leaf cuttings and green stem.
How Do You Take Care Of A Monstera?
Monsteras prefer a warm, humid environment with plenty of water and soft sunshine. Place it in a location that can get medium to brilliant indirect light and away from vents and draughts where it would be exposed to dry air. Adding a moss pole encourages aerial roots to grow, which helps the plants produce more leaves.
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.