How To Variegated Cactus

Variegation is the development of distinct colored zones on the leaves and stems as a result of some plant cells lacking green chlorophyll. Any plant is typically referred to as variegated if it contains different-colored leaves, stalks, blooms, or trunks within the same structure. It may appear in a variety of patterns, including stripes, dots, blotches, spatters, and shadings.

The Variegated String of Buttons is a good example of a variegated succulent; it has fine shading of different colors within each leaf, which becomes more apparent with age and sun exposure.

How do cacti develop their variegation?

What causes some plants to have variegated leaves intrigues me. The characteristics of cacti and the design of flowers to attract pollinators—are these adaptations for survival?

The green pigment chlorophyll is missing from some plant cells, which is why leaf color can vary. It is typically the product of a cell mutation and is not an adaptation to the environment. It can be inherited (genetic) or happen at random (chimeric). If the color change is hereditary, it is persistent, thus it will return if you propagate a green stem from a plant with colored leaves or plant its seed. This holds true for both green leaves with sporadic coloration (variegation), such as white and yellow, and for leaves that are a single solid hue, like gold or purple.

Variation is typically the result of a random mutation. The color will not return if you divide the plant from a green shoot or from seed. The most typical type of variegation, but one that is frequently challenging to stable. Variegated or colored shoots must be used for propagation. As inferior growers due to a lack of chlorophyll, which plants require to produce the food they need for growth, these forms typically disappear in nature.

A viral infection can also cause variegation, which manifests as discolored veins or leaf regions. Although it is a very uncommon type of variegation, it is stable. This sort of variegation can be seen on the leaves of Lonicera japonica ‘Aureoreticulata,’ which has veins of golden yellow netting.

Pictured: The variegated leaves of lungworts (Pulmonaria), a plant, is what people most often notice about it. It’s called Pulmonaria “Spilled Milk.”

How do you make succulents variegate?

Any plant, including a succulent, may become entirely green for a variety of causes, including excessively high or low light, insufficient water, or extremely high or low temperatures. Therefore, remove any of your plant’s solid green growth in order to maintain the variegation of your plant. This is because if one branch or offset changes back to green, it will outperform the other leaves that are missing in pigment, causing the entire plant to finally turn a simple green tint.

Additionally, you should pay closer attention to how much light your plant receives each day, maintain the proper temperature, and manage your watering schedule.

Can you produce diversity?

I definitely collect variegated plants and am infatuated with them. Because of the pearl string’s variety, it is currently my favorite. Given that some kinds, like Variegated Monstera, cost astronomical sums of money, I had a few queries concerning plants with variegation. Here’s where my investigation led me:

A. The green pigment chlorophyll is absent from some plant cells, which causes variation in leaf color. Typically, a cell mutation causes it.

A. Plants can have genetic (inherited) or random variegation (chimeric). If the color change is hereditary, it is stable, which means that it will return to the new plant if you produce a green stem from a plant with colored leaves or plant its seed.

A variety of factors might cause variegated plants to revert or turn green. It could be a response to temperature extremes—hot or cold—or to low light levels. Some claim that since the plant grows stronger when it has more chlorophyll, it might have done so as a means of survival. When this occurs, it is preferable to remove the afflicted leaves because, if you don’t, the plain green foliage, which has more chlorophyll and vigor than the variegated foliage, may really take over the plant.

A. Variegation cannot be artificially induced or done at home. To spread the variegated plant love, it is best to borrow a cutting from a friend or give your own away.

Variegated plants: are they natural?

Understanding the many types and reasons of variegation is essential for both caring for variegated specimens and understanding why many of them are so rare and difficult to find. There are many different varieties of variegated indoor plants.

Types of Variegated Indoor Plants

When you think about variegated indoor plants, you probably picture the sporadic patches, streaks, and dots of white that are distinctive to Variegated Monstera. However, there are other varieties of variegation that seem quite dissimilar and have quite different causes.

The most typical type of variegation is chimeral variegation. This type of variegation, which is brought on by a genetic mutation, manifests as two separate chromosomal make-ups in a single plant, one of which can synthesize chlorophyll while the other cannot. A plant that has white or yellow zones mixed in with its solid green shape is the consequence; this type of plant is known as a chimera. One example of this chimera is variegated Monstera deliciosa.

Chimeral variegation can occasionally be dispersed across the plant at random. This is the case, for instance, with Variegated Monstera, where you may see white or yellow spots and splotches all over the leaves, almost like paint splatters, while some leaves emerge fully green or white. As an alternative, chimeral variegation may occasionally be uniform throughout the entire plant and have symmetrical leaf patterns.

The variegated shape may be stable or unstable, depending on the plant and the reason for the variegation, which is an important point to remember. Variegated plants that are unstable may revert to their pure green form. Additionally, variegated plants may be less robust; for instance, Variegated Monstera leaves that emerge completely white cannot photosynthesize, so they usually don’t persist very long.

Because only specific plants with chimeral variegation can be successfully propagated from stem cuttings and no chimera will result, some variegated cultivars or species are difficult to find “True to type plants come from root cuttings, leaf cuttings, or seeds that display the same phenotype—in this case, variegation. This means that there are few and frequently failed possibilities to propagate this particular variety of variegated plant.

Maybe what makes chimera plants so alluring is their transient existence?

Some variegated plants, also known as pigmented or natural variation, are actually naturally patterned patterns rather than mutants. Some of our favorite indoor plants with variegation have this pattern, and fortunately, unlike chimera, this sort of variegation is encoded in the species’ or cultivar’s DNA and handed down from one generation to the next.

a collection of Marantaceae plants with pattern variegation, including Calathea and Ctenanthe

Consider the pigmented variegation on the lanceolate, green leaves of Calathea lancifolia (Rattlesnake Calathea), which has a consistent patterning of purple dots. Similar Pattern-Gene variegation is present in Ctenanthe burle-marxii (Fishbone Prayer Plant) and other Marantaceae family members.

While a species may naturally exhibit some degree of variegation, producers frequently choose for patterning and develop hybrids to emphasize and manipulate this. The outcome is a plant variation known as a cultivar, which was developed through selective breeding and cultivated.

Blister or reflected variegation is a different type of variegation that is frequently observed in our favorite indoor plants. In this kind of plant, the lowest layers of the leaves, which are colored, and the upper, which are not pigmented, generate tiny air spaces. These transparent spaces reflect light as it strikes them, giving the leaves a silvery look.

One such plant that displays this reflected variegation is watermelon peperomia (Peperomia argyreia, below). The plant’s nickname-giving silvery stripes are really strips of reflective air pockets! However, this kind of variegation doesn’t always appear symmetrically; for instance, blister variegation is also responsible for the sporadic spots on the leaves of Scindapsus pictus (also known as Satin Pothos, above).

We think reflecting variegation to be particularly appealing when it appears along the leaf veins. This is frequently observed in aroid plants like Philodendrons, Alocasias, and Anthuriums. For instance, the leaf veins of Philodendron gloriosum, Alocasia frydek, and Anthurium clarinervium all exhibit reflective/blister variegation. Stunning, no?

Some variegated leaves, like the Mosaic virus, are genuinely brought on by viruses. Even while it’s not very frequent, a virus can occasionally develop a favorable variation that can be passed on to others. One plant with variegation that exhibits this viral variegation, though it is not an indoor plant, is a particular variety of Hosta.

In the world of plants, the term “variegation” is used quite loosely. In the end, any plant with multiple hues might be referred to as variegated. The word “variegated” is derived from the latin word variegatus, which “made up of several kinds or colors.

We hope you are now better equipped to understand why plants look the way they do and why some variegated indoor plants are so difficult to find, whether you use the term in its loose interpretation to describe patterned or multicolored leaves or dive into the more technical causes of variegation described above (and it gets wayyyy more technical and scientific if you want to go down that roadwe’re no botanists, just fascinated!).

One more thing to keep in mind as you negotiate the complex world of plant variation. The italicized word variegata, which appears as the second half of a latin plant name, designates a species that is found in the wild with variegation, such as Aloe variegata. However, variegated plants are cultivated far more frequently. This would be stated in single quote marks with the word “Variegata” capitalized.

There are two cultivars of variegated Monstera that we are aware of. One is called “Albo-Variegata,” which occasionally has leaves that are entirely or partially white and has white paint-like splotches on its leaves. The second variety is called “Thai Constellation” (above), and its leaves often have a creamy-yellow variegation with considerably smaller splotches or dots.

What chemical causes the variation in plants?

The Latin word variegatus, which implies consisting of various hues, is where the word “variegated” originates. The absence of chlorophyll in part of the plant’s cells is what results in this stunning spectrum of hues. Chlorophyll, a green pigment found in plants, works to transform light energy into a form the plant can utilize.

Some plants naturally display variegation. Many of these plants can be found on the forest floor, where hiding from herbivorous animals is more crucial than having chlorophyll. The colors of the variegated plants can make them look to have eggs already deposited on them, to have been eaten, to be sickly, or to be less noticeable. Compared to other totally green foliage, this gives them an edge.

Since this would make them more apparent and less able to photosynthesize, many of the plants we maintain in our homes don’t constantly seem variegated in nature; instead, these variations have been reproduced and/or nurtured by us.

Where can I find pink succulents?

Some succulents may undergo changes or lose the vivid hues they had when they were first purchased. Some plants may gradually turn green in a few months, especially if they are planted in the shade or in locations with poor natural lighting. For succulents to “stress” and show off their vibrant hues, they require intense sunlight all day long or at least six hours every day. To ensure that your succulent plants receive adequate sunlight, thrive indoors, and keep their brilliant red/pink hue, you must have windows that face south. Make sure there are no obstructions to natural sunlight for your succulents, such as trees or structures. &nbsp

Can the variegation return?

Several different plant species experience variegated leaf reversion. The white shading or lighter speckles and borders turn green at this point. Many gardeners find this annoying because variegated plants add interest, lighten dark spaces, and are grown particularly to improve this trait. Plants may lose their color diversity owing to seasonality, sunlight, or other factors. Variegation loss cannot be reversed, although it may typically be stopped from taking over a plant as a whole.

How are deliciosa and Monstera variegated?

Monsteras have a strong capacity for growth. While growing more slowly than other varieties, variegated versions can nevertheless get fairly big.

Using a pair of clean, sharp scissors, you can remove the plant’s leaves. If you prune, the material you remove can be used to grow new plants.

Propagating Variegated Monstera

A Variegated Monstera can be multiplied by taking a clipping from a section of the stem that has a node or aerial roots. The cutting simply has to have a node; a leaf is not necessary.

Once you have your cutting, clip any extra leaves until you just have one or two left. Make sure you don’t remove the node by trimming.

Your cutting is now prepared to root. Put it in a jar with filtered water that is at room temperature, and then put the jar somewhere that gets indirect light. Every week, replace the water. Anywhere between a week and a few months should pass before the cutting starts to develop roots.

You can plant and take care of the cutting once it has developed roots just like any other Variegated Monstera.

Monstera Albo Borsigiana

Despite some claims to the contrary, Monstera Deliciosa and Borsigiana belong to the same species.

One of the most well-known Monstera variegata has grown in popularity as a result of Instagram.

Large white patches will appear on the foliage of M. Albo Borsigiana due to a spontaneous mutation that causes the variegation. These spots are erratic and prone to become green again.

Depending on how many leaves it has, a single Monstera Albo Borsigiana cutting is worth approximately $250, while a rooted plant can range in price from $400 to $1,000.

Monstera Thai Constellation

This common house plant was created using plant tissue culture in a lab in Thailand and has undergone artificial mutation.

It is one of the most desired plants due to its lovely variation in sectoral and marble patterns. As a plant that was grown in tissue culture, the variegation is quite stable and will be passed on to new leaves as they develop.

Although a rooted Monstera Thai Constellation can cost anywhere between $250 and $350, I’ve never seen Thai Constellation advertised as a cutting.

Monstera Deliciosa Aurea

The yellow variegation of Monstera Deliciosa Aurea, also called Monstera Marmorata, gives it the look of a Golden Pothos.

It also needs regular maintenance to keep its sectoral pattern variegation. To maintain the variegation, immediately cut any leaves that have turned green.

Because it is so uncommon, Monstera Deliciosa’s Aurea variant commands a high price. Costs for rooted plants range from $2,000 to $3,000.

Is It Possible for Regular Monstera to Develop Variegation?

Regular Monstera can eventually show variegation, though it is rare. One of my friend’s Monstera Deliciosa cuttings was fortunate enough to begin displaying Albo variegation.

Only one in 100,000 plants will randomly produce a variegated Monstera. This means that in order to obtain a variegated Monstera, you would need to propagate 100,000 cuttings and hope that one of them would show the trait.