Take care of your Monstera plant by imagining doing so. You suddenly become aware of a leaf’s one distinctively coloured area. What’s up with my Monstera Deliciosa’s tiny white line? It might have variegation.
The marble-like textures on the leaves, stems, and vines of a variegated Monstera can be used to identify it. The colour of this variegation frequently shifts between cream white (albo), yellow (aurea), and green (sport). Unfortunately, a mosaic virus can be mistaken for variegation quite easily.
How do you identify a variegated plant?
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 colour 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 colour change is hereditary, it is persistent, thus it will return if you propagate a green stem from a plant with coloured 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 colour 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 coloured 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 discoloured 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 can Monstera variegation be promoted?
Place your indoor plants in a location with greater light to encourage additional variegation in already variegated plants. More green leaves are produced the darker the stain. Your variegated plant will produce more variegation if it is placed close to a window or an artificial light source.
It is known that pruning striped plants to make them more striped may aid in boosting striped development in subsequent growth. For instance, if the variegated leaf your Monstera plant produces is entirely green, you can prune it back to the last variegated leaf in the hopes that the next growth will become even more variegated.
Even while variegation is typically desired, it is possible to have too much of it. Leaves that are completely white have very little to no chlorophyll.
If you don’t remove these leaves, your plant may keep growing in this pattern and eventually lose the ability to support itself because chlorophyll-containing green cells aren’t properly photosynthesising. As a result, you can remove all of the pure white leaves save for the final variegated leaf with green portions, hoping that the next growth will be different.
They do, indeed. Variegated plants have less chlorophyll, which reduces the amount of photosynthesis-capable surface area. They consequently require a lot more light than typical plants and develop much more slowly. The white sections of the leaves are more sensitive to the sun than the green ones, therefore be aware that they are also more likely to get sunburned.
Yes, forcing variation is conceivable in some circumstances. A nice illustration is the now-disfavored Philodendron Pink Congo. It is thought that chemicals were used to induce the growth of this plant.
It is claimed to only last for 12 to 24 months before completely turning green, however during fresh growth, it is said to generate bubble gum pink leaves. Additionally, it is often possible to duplicate the now-desired variegation if a specific virus is known to produce a particular type of variegation.
eBay is the best place to look for Monstera Deliciosa Variegata. There is a solid reason why many vendors from all over the world put their variegated plants there. They frequently go for fairly high prices. Facebook Groups, plant websites, and Instagram plant accounts are further resources.
Discover a beautiful indoor plant that looks amazing even without variegation. Its name is Begonia maculata, and it features red backs and white dots on the upper side of the leaf.
How can variegated Monstera be distinguished from Constellation?
The Thai Constellation and Albo Borsigiana are the two primary varieties of variegated monsteras. If you want to purchase a variegated monstera online, you should be aware of the variations in what you’ll receive.
The Thai Constellation has off-white (nearly cream coloured) speckles throughout, typically has larger leaves, and becomes a much fuller-looking plant as it ages, making it easy to distinguish it from the other common variegated Monstera.
The Albo’s variegated areas are larger and more reminiscent of pure white, and it also features some speckles. Due to the taller stems and smaller leaves, the plant also has a slightly more sparse appearance. More information on taking care of a monstera albo can be found here.
You’re probably getting an Albo if you’re getting a cutting. The young plant you receive will probably be a Thai Constellation.
It’s crucial to note that the variegation in each of these plants differs significantly, and knowing what causes it will enable you to better recognise the variations and select the one that is best for you.
You must think about whether one is more likely to revert, as well as simplicity of care, size, and cost.
You should be able to distinguish the variations among variegated Monsteras using the information in this page to assist you make that choice.
This article contains affiliate links, which means that if you click over and buy something, I might receive a small compensation.
Can a plant quickly develop different colours?
I definitely collect variegated plants and am infatuated with them. Because of the pearl string’s variety, it is currently my favourite. 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 colour. Typically, a cell mutation causes it.
A. Plants can have genetic (inherited) or random variegation (chimeric). If the colour 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 coloured 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 vigour than the variegated foliage, may really take over the plant.
A. Variegation cannot be artificially created 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.
Why is Monstera variegata so expensive?
Because they are so rare and well-liked, variegated Monsteras are very expensive. Because the leaves lack chlorophyll, it requires more light and develops more slowly. Slower growth results in fewer new plants and slower propagation.
Variegated Monsteras are frequently sold out on online marketplaces, putting new prospective buyers on a waiting list for when the parent Monstera is large enough to generate fresh cuttings.
Demand also drives up prices. Growers have found that consumers are willing to pay a high price for a variegated Monstera. People will buy even a baby cutting with just two leaves for $100 USD! Variegated Monsteras are becoming more and more in demand, and as a result, prices are also going up.
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.
Does light lead to more variation?
A: I purchased a houseplant with multicoloured or variegated leaves last year. All of the fresh leaves that it has produced are gradually solid green. Why? Does it require special fertiliser or has it undergone a mutation?
A: Plant forms with variegated leaves are a mutation of those with plain green leaves, and they occasionally revert.
It is doubtful that fertiliser or a lack of fertiliser led to the situation you are experiencing.
Whether or not a plant is receiving the right amount of light directly affects how well it performs. A plant may grow poorly, not blossom, and be more vulnerable to pest and disease attacks due to inadequate light. Additionally, it can make plants with patterned leaves produce only plain green leaves. It’s crucial to pick houseplants that are suitable for the environment in which they will live.
The foliage plants with green leaves need the least amount of light. Most of the time, ambient light levels will be adequate. Because two-toned leaves contain less chlorophyll, which is necessary for growth, foliage plants with variegated leaves need stronger light. The plant will produce all-green leaves to produce more chlorophyll if it does not receive enough light. Variegated plants should be put next to a window or an artificial light source.
Even more light is needed for indoor flowers. They should not be in direct sunlight, but they should be placed close to a sunny window.
The most demanding plants in terms of light are the cactus and succulents, which may even need direct sunshine to thrive.
If a lack of light is the issue, moving your plant to a position with more light will probably cause it to start generating variegated leaves once more.
Try cutting the non-variegated parts of the plant if that doesn’t work and only a portion of it has returned to solid green leaves. Ideally, the plant’s remaining variegated areas will produce new variegated leaves.
If neither of these methods is successful, you should presume that the plant has returned to its previous state, which was one with green leaves, and that it is unlikely to change again.
Even common outdoor shrubs with variegated leaves, such California privet (Ligustrum ovalifolium) and evergreen euonymus (Euonymus japinicus), can generate non-variegated shoots. To keep the desired variegated leaf appearance of the shrub, these non-variegated branches should be removed through pruning.
The optimal conditions for Bermuda grass seed germination are nights with temperatures over 65 degrees.
The ideal nighttime temperatures could not come until May for homeowners in coastal or inland valleys, compared to the desert, where that is typically in April.
Can a Monstera variegata revert?
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 synthesise 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 chimaera. One example of this chimaera 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 chimaera 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 chimaera 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 favourite indoor plants with variegation have this pattern, and fortunately, unlike chimaera, 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 emphasise 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 favourite indoor plants. In this kind of plant, the lowest layers of the leaves, which are coloured, 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 favourable 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 colours.
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 multicoloured 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 italicised 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” capitalised.
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.