How To Tell If Your Monstera Is Variegated

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 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.

Monstera deliciosa ‘Variegata’

This variety, also known as “Albo Variegata,” features white or cream spots on its leaves. Also possible are leaves that are partially white and partially green.

Nurseries sow a large number of Monstera deliciosa seeds in order to produce new “Variegata” plants. After that, they examine the seedlings for genetic changes. Rarely do plants become variegated; only one in every 6,000 plants do so.

Monstera deliciosa ‘Thai Constellation’

The splotches of creamy white on the “Thai Constellation” Monstera are meant to represent stars in the night sky. The plant’s name comes from a lab in Thailand that first created it using tissue culture.

In recent years, this variant has drawn attention and grown in popularity across the internet. It won the title of Favorite New Foliage Plant at the Florida-based Tropical Plant Industry Exhibition in 2020.

Monstera deliciosa ‘Albo Borsigiana’

In reality, the “Borsigana” is a kind of Monstera deliciosa. Plants with the ‘Borsigiana’ genus grow more quickly and have smaller leaves. The variegated variety of the Borsigiana is called “Albo Borsigiana.”

The leaves of the Monstera deliciosa ‘Ablo Borsigiana’ are a little bit smaller than those of other Monstera deliciosa variegated variants. Its leaves have a dark green colour with white spots on them.

Monstera deliciosa ‘Aurea’ (or ‘Marmorata’)

The “Aurea” is for you if you enjoy plants with yellow variegations. This variety is also known as “Marmorata” on occasion.

Whatever name you give it, this plant has a striking dark green and yellow colour scheme. The yellow variegations might appear on little areas of tissue or on half of the leaf, just like the ‘Albo’ variations.

Mint Monstera

Perhaps the most uncommon of them all is the mint monstera. It features light mint green colouring mixed in with the Monstera’s customary dark green colouring rather than white, cream, or yellow variegations.

Find a trusted vendor first before purchasing a Mint Monstera. Albo Monsteras can be made to look like Mint Monsteras with a simple photo editing programme.

How is variegation induced in Monstera?

Inducing variegation in plants is accomplished by subjecting rooted cuttings to high intensity electromagnetic radiation in the form of gamma rays or x-rays, without getting too technical about how radiation affects the growth and development of cellular material.

By upsetting the structure of DNA, this has the consequence of causing chemical changes in the plant tissue.

Irradiation can increase the number of branches, flowers, and leaves in addition to variegation, which manifests as changes in colour. According to a study published in the Journal of Pharmacognosy and Phytochemistry, 100 Grays was the dosage that resulted in the biggest alteration.

Any number over 300 Greys had such a negative impact on the plant’s health that many of the study plants perished.

Naturally, providing gamma rays at this dosage—more than 500 times the levels emitted by common objects—is not something that can readily be accomplished outside of a lab setting, making it of little value to a regular indoor gardener.

Can plants develop variegation on their own?

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.

Is it Albo and my monstera?

Since white cream Monstera variegation is the kind that is most frequently shared on social media, I guarantee you are familiar with it.

However, Monstera truly exhibits three distinct hues of variegation:

For instance, if you had a Monstera Deliciosa that was white with variegation, you would refer to it as a Monstera Deliciosa Albo. However, you’ll know you have a Monstera Deliciosa Aurea if it is yellow-variegated.

Distinguishing Features

One of the rarest forms, Monstera Obliqua, is sometimes confused with Monstera Adansonii. Both of these Monsteras have several holes in their leaves, but there are a few significant variations.

Obliqua appears to be more of a hole than a leaf from a distance. What little leaf there is has such severe fenestrations that it almost resembles lace.

The durability of the leaves is another distinction between Obliqua and Adansonii. While the leaves of Obliqua are far more delicate, those of Adansonii will be thicker and more robust.

Due to the fact that juvenile Obliqua’s leaf holes don’t fully develop until it is a few years old, it will be difficult to tell it apart from Adansonii.

Care Tips

One of the most difficult types is Monstera Obliqua. Not for those with weak hearts!

It requires frequent moisture to keep its delicate leaves from disintegrating. Your Obliqua will require its own personal humidifier to maintain humidity levels above 80% unless you live in a tropical climate. Its leaves will fall off, turn yellow, and shrivel up if there is not enough humidity.

It will catch fire in direct sunlight just like other Monsteras. It prefers a pot with excellent drainage and peaty soil.

Obliqua develops extremely slowly since it doesn’t have a lot of leafy surface area to create chlorophyll, much like variegated plants.

Fun Facts

Obliqua can only ascend a few metres in height, which is not as high as other Monstera species. Additionally, it will develop stolons, which are runners that fall to the ground to take root and grow a new plant. For a Monstera, this is an uncommon trait!

Obliqua can produce up to 8 spadix flowers in a cluster when it blooms. Only one or two spadices are produced at a time by other Monsteras.

Is Rhaphidophora Tetrasperma a Monstera?

Despite not strictly being a Monstera, Rhaphidorphora Tetrasperma is frequently referred to as a “dwarf Monstera.” Its leaves resemble those of a Monstera. Although it belongs to a different genus than Monstera, it is a member of the same Araceae family.

Is there any other varieties of Monstera?

There are more than 50 different Monstera kinds, as I already indicated. To witness a different variety of Monstera that is not as well-known as the one stated above, watch Kaylee Ellen’s video!

Which is more expensive, Thai constellation or Monstera Albo?

Both of these plants are expensive due to their rarity. Although they can change depending on the state of the market, a Monstera Albo is often both more rare and more expensive. This is due to the fact that it is more difficult to maintain and disseminate, and it is simple for the mutation to disappear.

Thai Constellations, however, are very pricey. It is less difficult to grow via cuttings and tissue culture, but it is still uncommon, which makes it expensive. Although it won’t be as expensive as a well-known Monstera Albo, it won’t be cheap either.

Make sure to see the actual cutting you will receive before purchasing an Albo. Albos differ greatly, but Thai Constellation cuttings are very similar to one another.

To ensure that the plant has a good chance of surviving and will have a beautiful variegated appearance, make sure the white is present and there is adequate greens.

If it has chunky white areas, the rest of the plant will have chunky white sections as it grows. The rest of the plant will tend to mimic the white if it is more wavy or swirly.

An Albo’s variegation will largely follow the same pattern no matter where it grows on the plant, in contrast to a Thai Constellation, which can exhibit fairly different variegation. This implies that it’s crucial to have seen the plant in person before buying it so you know exactly what you’re getting and that it’s healthy.

How long does it take for Monstera to variegate?

  • Either insufficient lighting or salt buildup in the water could cause this. This plant’s white leaf undersides cannot assist in photosynthesis since they lack chlorophyll. As a result, a Variegated Monstera needs more light than a Non-Variegated Monstera. This particular cultivar is also susceptible to salt accumulation, so it’s advisable to wait 24 hours before watering the plant with tap water. Many of the minerals and compounds will evaporate, preventing the development of brown tips.
  • Many different causes could be the reason why your leaves are turning yellow. Try to start by making sure your Monstera is getting the right amount of water and light. The first indication of overwatering is frequently yellowing. If these are ruled out, there’s a chance that your Monstera is rootbound and needs to be potted in a bigger container. If the non-aerial roots are exposed above the topsoil and appear to be circling the pot in search of a new home, the plant is rootbound. Every two years or so, the majority of Monsteras need to be repotted up a size.

My Monstera has these strange, brown, leafless growths growing off of it. Is this typical?

  • Yes! These roots are aerial, and they are entirely typical. These aid in supporting the plant in nature and enable it to rise and attain higher levels of light. The roots won’t harm surfaces or walls, and if they start to get out of control, you can always cut them.
  • Your plant’s ability to grow depends on how much light and water it receives. Monsteras can grow 1-2 feet each year under the correct circumstances, which include strong indirect light and regular watering. Remember that the Monstera grows more widely than tallly in its native state. If you want to promote vertical growth, try staking your plant.
  • re-prune it These boys can take a nice trim and are quite tough. Stakes and ties can also be used to direct the growth of your Monstera in whatever direction you like.
  • Tropical plants known as variegated Monsteras prefer a moist habitat. They lose their leaves if the weather is too dry. Although Monsteras will flourish in an air-conditioned apartment, never place them in the direct path of an AC or heating device. It is recommended to move to a different location if their leaves are wagging in the air.
  • Fertilizing indoor plants from spring through fall generally results in their thriving. Use an organic houseplant fertiliser once a month, dilution and application instructions on the container. In order to ensure that your plant doesn’t require fertiliser within the first six months of receiving it, Greenery NYC employs an organic potting mix with a slow release fertiliser in the soil.
  • We advise repotting bigger floor plants every 18 to 24 months. In order to allow for growth, you need often use a potting vessel with a diameter that is 2- 4 bigger. Selecting a pot that is significantly larger than the previous one could drown the plant’s roots. Repot your plant into the same container, add additional soil, and remove some roots and foliage if you’d like to keep it at its current size. Repotting should be done in the spring or summer when the plant is at its healthiest.