Because of the eye-catching variegation that can appear on its leaves, Monstera ‘Albo’ is a sought-after item in the world of house plants.
This variation in the Monstera ‘Albo’ stems from a spontaneous mutation that changes how much chlorophyll (green) is present in the leaves.
Marbling (mixed patterns of the light and green parts), sectoral (huge areas of light), or a combination of the two are all examples of variation.
What makes Monstera ‘Albo’ so costly? Because Monstera ‘Albo’s colour results from a spontaneous mutation that cannot be safely handed down through seeds, it is pricey. Even cuttings don’t always successfully reproduce the same variegation. This plant also grows slowly, is in high demand, and has a little supply.
In houseplants, striking white or yellow variegation is highly sought. The plant is genuinely under stress as a result of its coloring.
Because there is no chlorophyll in particular areas of the leaves, photosynthesis, which is how plants get their energy, cannot occur.
Therefore, part of what makes this plant difficult to grow and manage is also what makes it so coveted.
Monstera Albo is it rare?
The multicolored Monstera is even more well-liked. leaves that are white-green. There are a few different variegated varieties, the most remarkable of which is the Monstera Delisioca ‘Albo-Variegata’. However, they are both pricey and extremely rare. Beginning in 2020, a botanist spent thousands of dollars on a Swiss cheese plant, which triggered an internet bidding war.
Why Are They So Hard To Find?
The white-variegated Monstera Deliciosa Albo Variegata is not an exception to the rule that plants with white variegation are typically more delicate than their green cousins. They photosynthesize far less as a result of producing less chlorophyll. Growing them takes time and expertise, in addition to being slow. A unique plant like this is going to be hard to obtain, and if you do find it, it will cost you because of the extremely high demand!
The Most Expensive House Plant in the World
After a furious online bidding war amongst botanists for the monstera, a Swiss cheese plant went for almost $5,000. By the time the sale for the Monstera Deliciosa Albo Variegata on the New Zealand website Trade Me ended, there had been 182 bids.
The sale brought in $4,930 for Kiwi botanist Jessica, who buys and sells plants as a hobby, making it the highest amount ever paid for a Monstera on the website. Jessica’s writing
“There’s no need to request pictures of the mother plant because THIS IS IT! I’ve never seen one that is so established and well-rooted before.”
Monsteras are Everywhere
It appears as though you cannot open a fashion magazine or visit a fashionable location without seeing Monsteras and, thus, desiring one. Yes, it’s a lovely plant, and nowadays, everyone enjoys having a lush, exotic indoor plant. It is an amazing, spreading, simple-to-grow, and generally low-maintenance plant called Monstera deliciosa ‘Albo Variegata.
Also on Facebook, there are many sellers to be located. For instance, from Peace of Aloha Co.
“One of my personal favorites that I’ve been cultivating for a while and have just finished propagating more than 100 of. I spent $650 on my first plant, and over time, it produced a ton for me. This cultivar yields lovely variegated leaves with white coloring marbling. The artwork on those leaves is never the same.”
What should I expect to pay for a multicolored Monstera?
Swiss cheese plant, sometimes known as variegated Monstera, can get up to $5,000 at auction. On the well-known auction site Trade Me, a rare M. adansonii went for $700 and an M. aurea sold for $3,726.
The Variegated Monstera is currently one of the most popular plants and is adored in New Zealand and other countries. But because of how slowly the plant reproduces, it is quite uncommon.
This plant is known for its sporadic splashes of color in a variety of colors and its irregularly shaped leaves. Numerous plant-related social media influencers adore it because of its distinctiveness. Garden centers only charge $20 for standard green varieties, while the cost of variegated varieties is increasing.
Why do variegated plants cost so much more?
Essentially, variegated plants require more light than completely green plants and often grow much, much slower since they have less surface area to photosynthesise with and make the sugars they need for development and repair. This is the reason they are currently so expensive and in high demand! A plant develops more slowly and takes longer to propagate the stronger the variegation.
When it develops, plants with strong variegation have a major evolutionary disadvantage over fully green plants because they cannot photosynthesise as effectively. Strong variegation is a rare occurrence in nature. The variegated plants you see online fetching exorbitant prices are all cultivated, which means that human beings have developed them using vegetative propagation to preserve the variegated coloring.
Where are the origins of Monstera Albo?
Are you a die-hard admirer of monsteras and eager to expand your collection of plants with the amazing variegated monstera?
If you’re not yet aware with them, Monstera is a genus that includes 22 species and is primarily cultivated for its attractive leaves. The name “Monstera” alludes to its enormous size, which can exceed 30 feet! Not to mention the outrageous costs.
Because of the fenestrations, or holes, in its leaves, it is also sometimes referred to as the Swiss cheese plant. It’s indigenous to the tropical jungles of Southern Mexico and Central America.
How much does Monstera Albo cost?
Albo Borsigiana and Thai Constellation are the two most prevalent varieties of variegated Monstera. While they could appear similar at first glance. Their care, development, accessibility, and cost will all be impacted by some obvious distinctions.
It will be easier for you to choose which one to have in your house if you are aware of the distinctions between Albo and Thai.
Mutationnatural vs. tissue culture
It is a naturally occurring mutation in Monstera Albo Borsigiana that first leads to variegation. There once was a normal, green M. Borsigiana whose cells began to spontaneously mutate in a way that caused those cells to stop producing chlorophyll. In the Monstera’s stem, these mutant cells proliferate and are transferred to the subsequent leaf.
The only cells with this spontaneous mutation are white cells. Monstera Albo seeds won’t develop into variegated progeny. Only a cutting from a mother plant can produce a new variegated Monstera Albo.
The genesis of the Monstera Thai Constellation is distinct. It was produced via tissue culture in a lab in Thailand. In this subspecies, every cell of the plant carries the mutation that results in the variegation.
The forms soldcuttings vs. plant.
Almost typically, Monstera Albo Borsigiana is marketed as a clipping from a mother plant. Because Albos take so long to mature, it is uncommon to see one for sale; instead, nurseries prefer to sell cuttings because they are more profitable. If you do locate an adult Albo for sale, it will probably cost a lot of money.
Normally, immature plants of Monstera Thai Constellation are offered for sale. Due to its production in the lab, it can be grown and sold in this manner. Small plants grown from tissue cultures are then sold after being potted up in soil. Due to their immaturity, these baby plants will initially have smaller leaves and may not have any fenestrations.
The variegation pattern & stability
Beautiful variegation can be seen on Monstera Albo Borsigiana. Its leaves exhibit white marbling and spots of green color. There will be variations between every leaf.
This pattern of variegation is unstable as a result of its natural mutation. Albo Monsteras can switch back to producing either green leaves or completely white, chlorophyll-free leaves. These stunning, all-white leaves are quite stressful for the plant and will be the first to wither.
The mutant cells found in the stem and leaf node are what cause the albo’s leaves to be variegated. Even within the same plant, this might vary significantly. The color of each leaf will depend on the color of the leaf before it. You can anticipate how much white and green will be on the subsequent leaf by observing the growth and variegation of your Albo.
To sustainably balance beauty and photosynthesis, too much white or too much green in new growth on your Monstera Albo will need to be cut back.
The Albo’s variegation pattern is not seen on Monstera Thai Constellation. The surface of all Thai leaves is covered with tiny creamy spots that look like constellations. The light areas are more of a creamy color than a blinding white. Compared to Albo, Thai Monsteras have fewer and smaller sectoral variations (those big, white patches).
Additionally, Thai Monsteras have substantially more consistent variegation. All of the cells in the plant have the mutation because they were created in a lab. You don’t need to be concerned about your Thai Monstera going back to having only green leaves.
The variation is unpredictable even if it is stable. There is neither an advance nor a regression of white or green leaves from one leaf to the next.
The distance between nodes along the stem is referred to as inter-nodal spacing. Thai and Monstera Albo are significantly dissimilar in this regard.
The leaf node on Monstera Albo Borsigiana can grow up to 34 inches long (10 cm). This indicates that the leaves are farther apart.
Due to its more vine-like appearance and growth, Monstera Albo may not appear as lush and verdant as it once did. Using anything like a moss pole will be necessary for this type to climb.
It is also incredibly simple to take cuttings thanks to this longer leaf node. With pruning shears, there is plenty of room to reach inside.
One inch or less is the minimum internodal spacing for Monstera Thai Constellation (23 cm). As a result, the Thai Monstera seems extremely dense, bushy, and luxuriant. However, since there isn’t much place for the scissors, cuttings are more difficult to make as a result.
A slightly smaller subspecies of M. Deliciosa is known as Monstera Borsigiana. The width of its leaves is less than a foot (30 cm).
However, Thai Constellation has considerably larger, more typical Monstera-like leaves.
Thai Constellation is substantially more common than Monstera Albo Borsigiana. It can only be created through cuttings, as opposed to Thai, which is cultivated in a lab for commercial production. Albo also grows more slowly than Thai, which extends the period between cuttings.
Thai Monsteras are still difficult to find. They are only made in one lab, and they can only make a certain number at once.
Monstera Albo Borsigiana is typically more expensive than Thai Constellation due to their scarcity and high demand.
In some locations, a cutting of Monstera Albo can be purchased for $100 USD; some dealers charge more depending on the cutting’s size. A young plant will cost around $800 USD, while a mature plant would cost over $1,000 USD to purchase.
A young Monstera Thai Constellation will cost between $150 to $700 USD at the time of this publication, which is less than a Monstera Albo of the same size. Additionally, mature Thai constellations can fetch over $1,000 USD. Although less frequent, cuttings of this kind are not unheard of.
That is a lot of data to keep in mind! For an easy and quick comparison, see the following graph:
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.
How quickly does a monstera albo plant grow?
The Monstera Albo is one of the species that grows the fastest among the variegated variations. In ideal circumstances, an Albo plant that is strong, developed, and established can grow one to two feet per year and produce new leaves every few months.
Although Albo don’t grow nearly as quickly as ordinary Deliciosa, they are nevertheless pleasing to watch as new leaves unfold and can enlarge significantly in just a year. Of course, this assumes that all of their requirements for light, water, nutrients, and humidity are met.
How often do Monstera Albo grow new leaves?
An Albo generates one leaf per growth node monthly on average (in a prime growing environment). Your plant will sprout more leaves as it gets bigger since it will have more growth points.
This could take longer if all of its demands aren’t being addressed, such as if your Albo could definitely use a little more light or fertilizer. However, it’s not an exact science how quickly your Monstera will produce new leaves, so don’t be alarmed if it seems like things aren’t progressing as quickly as you had hoped.
Similar to that, I implore you not to spend your entire waking day gazing carefully at your brand-new Monstera Albo’s node for growth.