Monstera Variegata: What It Is & How to Care For It

Woman holding a pot of Monstera deliciosa variegata

Variegated monstera plants are one of the rarest and most coveted houseplants. Its stunning variegated leaves add interest to your indoor garden but require a bit more care than traditional houseplants. Without the proper care, the plant's health will decline, and the stunning variegation could begin to fade. This variegated monstera albo growing guide helps ensure you give this tropical plant the best chance of survival. 


Introduction

Variegated monstera is also known as the split-leaf philodendron or the Swiss-cheese plant. It is a stunning houseplant native to the tropical rain forests of south Panama and southern Mexico. It is grown for its large, attractive foliage that has a marbled appearance in colors of green, creamy white, and yellow. Variegated monstera requires specific growing conditions to maintain their variegated leaves. Knowing what it needs to thrive is your first step toward success when growing Monstera variegata.


What is Monstera Variegata?

Potted Monstera variegata plants beside a wood

Variegated monstera plants are members of the Monstera genus, consisting of 45 different species. It features large, marbled leaves that can cover entire leaf sections or form in an irregular pattern. While the coloring of variegated monstera plants can vary in hues of white, green, and yellow, the primary variegation color for the Monstera albo is a creamy white. The leaf variegation is due to a genetic mutation, and this mutation is carried over to the plant's seeds and shoots.

Unfortunately, this mutation isn't considered stable, which means the once variegated plant can lose its variegation and only grow green leaves. This is a fear of many variegated Monstera owners. Furthermore, the variegation can also begin to fade with improper care, such as low light and extreme temperatures. While you cannot always stop the leaves of this rare plant from losing their variegation, there are steps you can take to help promote variegation.


Why the Variegated Monstera Albo is Hard to Find

Hand holding a blue pot of Monstera deliciosa variegata

Monstera deliciosa albo variegata is an extremely rare houseplant sought after by many. Add in the fact that the white variegated versions are hard to propagate then you can understand why they are so rare. Monstera deliciosa albo variegata have a slower growth rate since they have less chlorophyll than their non-variegated counterparts. In addition, growing them requires more skill than other types of houseplants.


Why Are Variegated Monsteras So Expensive?

Monstera deliciosa albo variegata leaves

Variegated Monsteras have a high price tag because of their rarity and popularity. In fact, rooted leaf cuttings from this plant can sometimes reach hundreds of dollars, while whole and healthy plants can fetch thousands of dollars. The reasoning goes back to the white variegation being an unstable gene mutation that can only be passed down by stem propagation and seed collecting from an already white monstera deliciosa albo variegata.


How To Find a Variegated Monstera

Green and white leaf of variegated Monstera

One of the easiest methods to find a variegated monstera deliciosa plant is through the internet. Check out plant swap groups on social media and Etsy, where people often offer cuttings and even establish plants for sale.

Please make sure you look for variegated monstera plants that have both green and white on their stem and leaf and avoid purchasing a cutting that is all white. These types of cuttings look pretty but are hard to grow because of their lack of chlorophyll.


Other types of Variegated Monstera

A pink pot of Variegated monstera plant placed on top of a wooden table

There are several different variegated varieties of the swiss cheese plant, including the monstera thai constellation. All of the variegated specimens listed below are considered rare plants that are much desired for their green foliage and yellow or white variegation.


Monstera borsigiana

Closeup picture of variegated Monstera borsigiana

The Monstera borsigiana is a variegated variety that features smaller leaves but faster growth than the Monstera deliciosa.


Monstera deliciosa ‘Thai Constellation

Close-up of Monstera deliciosa variegata leaf

Monstera deliciosa Thai Constellation features leaves with speckled variegation in yellow or white. As the monstera deliciosa ages, the entire leaf of the monstera thai constellation can develop white and/or yellow coloring.


Monstera deliciosa ‘Aurea’

Girl holding a pot of variegated Monstera deliciosa Aurea

Monstera deliciosa Aurea is from the same species as the above variety. Still, instead of speckled leaves like the monstera deliciosa Thai Constellation, it has dark green leaves with yellowish lime variegation.


How to Care for Monstera deliciosa ‘Albo Variegata’

Monstera deliciosa Albo Variegata does have specific growing requirements needed for ideal growth. The good news is that once you learn this information, you can easily implement it in your indoor garden. 


Monstera Albo Light Requirements

Variegated monstera albo getting a direct sunlight

Like other Monstera varieties, the variegated version loves bright, indirect sunlight. Providing the plant with the correct amount of sunlight will help promote the variegation process. The best location for this plant is near a south-facing window that has a sheer curtain. This will allow light to shine through while also being filtered (indirect bright light). Keep in mind that poor lighting conditions could cause the much-loved variegation to fade. In addition, too bright light can burn the white areas of the leaves much quicker. Finding the right balance is key to ensuring the Monstera variegata thrives.


The Best Soil for Growing Variegated Monstera Houseplants

Two hands with red gloves putting soil on garden bed using a shovel

Monstera variegated needs loose and airy well-drained soil. A mixture of equal parts potting soil, perlite, and orchid bark is ideal for this tropical plant. This soil mixture provides the right amount of drainage to hold in enough moisture to keep the Swiss cheese plant hydrated without causing soggy roots. Poor draining soil leads to root rot, which can spell disaster for the Monstera.


How to Water Monstera deliciosa ‘Albo Variegata’

Person hands spraying water to Monstera Deliciosa Leaves

Albo variegata should only be watered when the soil starts to dry. Use your fingers to check the soil for wetness. Insert your finger a few inches into the soil. If it feels wet or moist, wait a few days and check again. If the soil feels dry, water the plant deeply. You may need to water the Albo variegata once a week during its active growing season. Regularly checking the soil dryness will help ensure enough water without overwatering the plant.


Monstera deliciosa 'Albo Variegata' Temperature Requirements

White and green leaf of monstera albo variegata

The Monstera albo needs a constant temperature between 65 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit. Furthermore, make sure the plant stays away from areas with dramatic temperature fluctuations, such as near doors or air vents. These extreme highs and lows can stress the plant, resulting in poor health. Keep in mind that the minimum temperature for this plant is 50 degrees Fahrenheit. Anything below that temperature will kill the plant.


Humidity Needs to Grow White Variegated Monstera Indoors

Close-up sideview of variegated monstera leaf

Monstera albo is native to tropical rain forests, so it needs humidity to thrive. Sixty percent is a good humidity level that you can maintain with a humidifier or a pebble tray. Avoid misting the leaves of these plants as it doesn't create the high humidity levels this plant needs. You can, however, use a damp cloth to gently wipe the leaves once a week to remove dust and dirt.


'Monstera Albo Variegata' Growth Rate

A basket pot of Monstera variegated plant

Monstera variegated plants have a slower growth rate than their non variegated counterparts. The reason is that the white parts of the variegated leaves result in less chlorophyll, which is needed for photosynthesis. An ideal indoor growing conditions, the plant can grow up to 10 feet, though it can take several years for the Monstera albo to reach these heights.


How to Fertilize Monstera deliciosa ‘Albo Variegata’

Woman putting fertilized soil to the garden

Monstera deliciosa Albo Variegata will require fertilization to help keep the plant healthy. You can apply a liquid fertilizer during the plant's growing season, as well as incorporate compost into its potting soil. Compost doesn't require a large bin that takes up too much space. In fact, you can purchase a kitchen composter, such as Lomi, that sits right on your countertop and help you produce organic-rich material from food waste. This rich, nutrient-filled dirt can then be added to your houseplants, such as the Monstera deliciosa Albo Variegata. 

 

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Pruning Monstera Albo Variegata

Pink and Gray Pruning Shears

In order to properly balance the plant's variegation, you will need to prune the leaves occasionally. Examine the plant and remove any pure green or pure white leaves. Make sure to use only clean and sanitized pruning shears, and discard any leaves you remove. Clean and sanitize the shears after each use to ensure you don't transfer any potential problems to your other plants.


How to Propagate Monstera deliciosa ‘Albo Variegata’

Propagation of Monstera deliciosa variegata in a jar glass

You can propagate Monstera deliciosa Albo Variegata using the stem cutting method. By propagating Monstera plants, you will help to increase the numbers of this stunning and rare Swiss-cheese plant.

In order to properly propagate the variegated Monstera, you will need to take a node cutting from the mother plant, making sure it is the entire length of the leaf steam and part of the plant's vine. Place the cutting in a cup filled with distilled water and place the cutting side down so that it is submerged in the water. Place the cup in a location with bright, filtered light. Once the cutting starts to take root, transfer it to a pot filled with the Monstera potting soil mixture. Care for the young plant as you would the mother plant.


How to Repot Variegated Monstera Albo

Woman putting soil on a black garden pot using a shovel

It is not uncommon to repot the variegated monstera Albo and it is often needed when the plant begins to outgrow its pot. The best size is one or two sizes larger than the pot in which the plant is currently growing. When repotting, make sure to take care not to damage any of the plants' roots. With that said, if you notice any roots that are already damaged or dead, carefully snip them off with a pair of pruning shears and discard them.

The best way to remove the plant from the old pot is to loosen the soil around the inside of the old pot and then slowly tip the pot to the side so that the plant and its dirt slide out. Use your fingers to untangle the roots, if needed, and then add some of the old potting soil into the new pot. Make a hole in the middle of the old soil and sit the plant root side down into the hole. Fill the rest of the pot with fresh potting soil mixture and then water thoroughly.


Pests Affecting Monstera Albo Variegata Growth 

Tube-tailed thrip on a leaf

Monstera albo variegata is susceptible to the same pests that affect growth as other houseplants. This includes thrips, spider mites, and mealybugs. The good news is that these pests can be dealt with by creating a non-toxic insecticide containing 1 quart of distilled water, 2 teaspoons of neem oil, and 1 teaspoon of gentle dish soap. Spray the mixture liberally on both the tops and undersides of the leaves. Repeat the process once a week until the pests are gone.


Diseases Affecting Variegated Monstera Houseplants

Variegated monstera leaf placed on a garden pot with soil

The disease that affects the variegated Monstera is root rot caused by overwatering. This is either by you physically adding too much water or the soil not draining properly, so it stays wet. Not only can too much water cause stunted growth, but it prevents the plant from obtaining the vital nutrients it needs to survive. The best way to prevent this problem is to avoid overwatering. Only water when the first few inches of soil feels dry and only grows the plant in soil that drains well is the best defense against root rot.


Conclusion

The monstera deliciosa variegata is a much sought-after houseplant that makes a wonderful addition to your indoor garden. Even though the variegated monsteras plant has particular growing requirements, it is not much different from other tropical houseplants. Making sure the plant has the right amount of water, humidity, indirect bright sunlight, and well-drained soil enriched with compost from your Lomi kitchen compost is the ideal method to ensure it thrives for many years to come. If this white variegated monstera growing guide has helped you, feel free to share with others!