How to Care for Your Thai Constellation Monstera

Thai Constellation Monstera

The Thai Constellation Monstera seems to be all the craze in the world of Monstera and plant lovers and with good reason. This variegated Monstera can't be found in the wild. It was created by Costa Farms in a lab in Thailand from a tissue culture containing a genetic mutation that causes the beautiful white or cream variegated spots on the heart-shaped foliage.

The Monstera Thai Constellation is similar to its parent plant the Monstera Deliciosa, but this variegated plant features heavenly splotches and splatters of white or creamy white against a background of green resembling the night sky filled with stars, earning its name of Thai Constellation Monstera Deliciosa.

Thai Constellation Monstera earned the distinction of Favorite New Foliage Plant in the Tropical Plant Industry Exhibition (TPIE) in 2020, says Greenhouse Grower. Although it is not readily available, yet, Costa Farms released a few Thai Constellation Monstera Deliciosa plants in a few stores in Oregon and Washington in March 2021 and later released a few in Ohio in July.

Costa Farms has now announced that the Thai Constellation Monstera will be released as part of the Trending Tropicals™ collection in 2023. Any retailer who sells the Trending Tropicals™ collection should be able to access the Thai Collection at that time, depending on whether Costa Farms has a crop ready to ship when the retailer's order is shipped, says the Costa Farms website.


How to Care for Your Thai Constellation Monstera

Person watering monstera plants

Even though the Thai Constellation Monstera looks exotic with its dramatic and showy foliage, and may come with a high price tag, it isn't any more difficult to care for than other variegated Monstera plants.


Light Exposure

variegated monstera with sunlight

Like other variegated Monstera plants, the variegated areas on the Thai Constellation Monstera are from a lack of chlorophyll in those areas. This means the variegated areas cannot harvest the energy from the rays of the sun and convert it to usable energy for the plant and must rely on the parts of the green leaves that do have chlorophyll to do all the work. While most leaves on the Thai Constellation Monstera are more than 50 percent green, they still need more light than other solid green Monsteras.

Grow the Thai Constellation Monstera in an area that receives bright, indirect light. In practical terms, this means growing your Thai Constellation plant near a sunny window where the light is filtered by a sheer curtain or shaded on the outside by trees or other structures. Direct sun will scorch the leaves and damage your Monstera Thai Constellation plant.

You could use a light meter to measure the intensity of the light from the window. (A reading between 800- and 2000-foot candles is considered bright, indirect light.) But there is an easier way to determine the amount of light your plant receives.

  1. Hold your hand (with your fingers spread) about a foot above your Monstera Thai Constellation plant at the brightest point in the day.
  2. Observe the shape and density of the shadow. Dense shadows with distinct outlines indicate bright light. Light shadows with fuzzy outlines indicate bright, indirect light. No shadow indicates low, or no light is reaching the plant.
  3. Adjust the position of your Monstera Deliciosa Thai Constellation plant so that it receives bright, indirect light using the shadow test as your guide.

Watch for Signs of Too Little or Too Much Light

You may need to adjust the position of your Monstera Deliciosa Thai Constellation plant as the seasons change and the light in the room changes with it. But you can typically tell from the growth (or lack thereof) of your plant. Watch for these signs your plant's light exposure needs to be changed.


Too Little Sun

  • Slower growth or small Monstera leaves.
  • Smaller leaves or a lack of variegation on the Monstera leaves.
  • Lack of fenestration (splits or holes in the foliage) on a mature plant.
  • Light green leaves with little to no variegation.

Too Much Sun

  • Leaf drop.
  • Brown leaves or brown edges on the leaves.
  • White or pale-colored leaves from scorching.

Watering

Variegated monstera in a bottle

Monsteras are tropical plants, but that doesn't mean they want to sit in soggy soil all day. In fact, the Monstera Thai Constellation plant is susceptible to root rot if the soil is allowed to remain too wet.

Water your Monstera Thai Constellation plants when the top 2 to 3 inches of soil is dry to the touch. During periods of active growth, typically from spring until fall, your Monstera Thai Constellation plant may need to be watered once a week, depending on the size of the pot and how warm it is inside your home. Water your Thai Constellation Monstera less frequently in the winter using the condition of the soil and the health of the plant as your guide.

Opinions differ on whether it is best to water your Monstera plant from the bottom or the top, but whichever you choose, make sure to empty the saucer at the bottom after watering your Monstera. Soggy soil prevents your Monstera plant's roots from getting any oxygen. It also causes root rot.

Use filtered water at room temperature to water your Thai Constellation Monstera. If filtered water isn't an option, allow tap water to sit overnight before watering your plants. This allows the chlorine in the tap water to evaporate.


Watch your Monstera plant closely for signs of over and under-watering. 


Signs of Over Watering Monstera Plants

  • Soil that remains dense and wet to the touch.
  • Leaves perspire and may have drops of water on the tips of the leaf.
  • Dark brown patches on the leaves. This is a sign of root rot.
  • Yellowed leaves.
  • Green or gray mold on the top of the soil.

Signs of Under Watering Monstera Plants

  • Wilting or drooping leaves and stems.
  • Light-brown, crispy spots or edges on the leaves.
  • Curling leaves.
  • Soil pulls away from the sides of the pot.

Soil 

Person using shovel to get soil

Monsteras prefer nutrient-rich, well-draining soil that is slightly acidic. They need soil that drains well while providing adequate aeration for the roots. All-purpose potting soil doesn't fit the bill for this variegated Monstera as it is often too dense which can lead to compacting and the soil does not drain properly for Monsteras. The best solution is to make your own soil for your Monsteras.

Mix equal parts of moist sphagnum moss, all-purpose potting soil and perlite together in a large bowl or bucket. Add one-part acidic compost to the mixture. You can make your own compost blend with Lomi by composting citrus peels and other acidic items to create the ideal fertilizer for Monsteras. The compost will help to lower the pH of the soil while providing a good source of nutrients, too.

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Temperature & humidity

Variegated Swiss Cheese plant

Monsteras, affectionately called the Swiss Cheese plant, are tropical plants and grow best in temperatures between 65- and 90-degrees Fahrenheit with a humidity level between 60 and 80 percent. They will suffer if the temperatures go below 65 or above 90 degrees. Likewise, Thai Constellation's growth and health will suffer if the humidity levels are low.

Normal household temperatures typically stay within a good range for Monsteras but be conscious of either cold or hot drafts. Keep your Thai Constellation Monstera Deliciosa plant away from heating and air conditioning vents.


How to Raise the Humidity Level for Monsteras

Growing conditions indoors may need some adjustments for this variegated Monstera. Humidity levels in the average home tend to be low in the winter, but you can correct this with a few easy techniques.

  • Use Pebble Trays: Place a tray of pebbles filled with water, so the top of the pebbles rests above the water level under your Monstera plants. It is important that the water is below the bottom of the pot. Refill the pebble tray as it evaporates and change the water if it becomes cloudy or discolored.
  • Group Plants Together: Growing your Monstera (or other houseplants) in a cluster helps to increase the humidity level around the plants but beware of overcrowding. Monstera plants need air circulation, too. Monitor them for any signs of mold or fungus in the soil.
  • Use a Humidifier: A humidifier is a great way to increase the humidity level for your Monsteras and will make you feel more comfortable, too.
  • Mist The Aerial Roots: Monsteras produce aerial roots that absorb moisture from the air and do best if these roots do not dry out excessively. Misting the moss on your totem or trellis will provide the aerial roots with moisture. While some mist the entire plant, it really isn't necessary and does not improve the humidity level for more than a short time.

Repotting

Monstera Thai Constellation in a basket pot

As a rule, Monstera Thai Constellations are not fast growers, but they still need to be repotted when the pot fills with roots. The best time for repotting is in the spring when new growth begins as your Monstera plant is better able to withstand transplant shock and will resume new growth within a few weeks.

  1. Choose a pot that is 1-inch larger than the current pot. Growing your Monstera in a pot that is too large for the roots can result in soggy soil and lead to root rot.
  2. Fill the pot halfway with fresh Monstera potting mix.
  3. Tip the original pot to the side and gently slip the plant out of the pot. You may need to squeeze or tap the pot to remove the plant and the soil. 
  4. Position the Monstera plant in the new plant pot, using care not to damage the tender roots.
  5. Backfill around the roots with fresh Monstera potting mix and firm it down lightly with your hands to secure the young plant in its new pot. 
  6. Water your Monstera plant to moisten the soil and place it back in its original location.

Pests

Pests on leaves

Thrips are a common pest that can affect Monsteras. These tiny, sucking insects can cause discoloration and stunted growth in your Monsteras. The first signs of thrips may be stippling or browning of the leaves or leaf drop.

If you suspect thrips are the cause of your problems but can't see them, hold a light-colored sheet of paper below the damaged leaves and shake the plant gently. This makes the thrips easily visible as they drop to the paper.

Wash the leaves and stems with insecticidal soap or spray them with neem oil to kill the adult thrips. You will also need to treat the soil where thrip nymphs live. Use a systemic insecticide for houseplants (such as disulfoton or imidacloprid) to treat the soil.


Propagation

Green white leaves of Monstera plant

Monstera plants can be propagated with stem cuttings and can be rooted in soil or in water. Because they are vining plants, you must make the cutting just below a node. A node is an area on the stem where new growth (leaves or aerial roots) emerges. This section of the stem contains the cells needed to produce new growth. Sections of Monstera stems without nodes will not root.


Propagating Monstera Plants in Water

  1. Locate a node on the Monstera plant.
  2. Cut the stem an inch or two below the node using a sharp knife or clippers. Make sure you leave at least one leaf on the stem.
  3. Place the cutting in a glass or vase of water so that the node and any aerial roots are below the surface of the water, but leaves remain above the water.
  4. Place the vase in an area that receives bright, indirect light.
  5. Change the water in the vase once a week, or any time it appears cloudy or discolored.
  6. Observe for new roots. They should emerge within a few weeks.
  7. Transplant the cutting to a pot once the roots are 2 to 3 inches long.

Propagating Monstera Plants in Soil

variegated monstera plant beside a chair

  1. Fill a small florist pot or another container with a mixture or half peat moss and half perlite.
  2. Dip the bottom inch of the cut end of the Monstera cutting in rooting hormone and shake it gently to remove the excess rooting powder.
  3. Position the cutting into the moist potting mix and firm it down with your hands to secure the cutting. Make sure the node and any aerial roots are under the soil.
  4. Cover the cutting with a large plastic bag with holes for ventilation, using care that the plastic does not touch the leaves. You can use a pencil or small dowel to hold the plastic above the foliage.
  5. Place it in a warm area that receives bright, indirect light.
  6. Check the soil frequently and keep it moist. 
  7. Remove the plastic bag when new roots form, and you see signs of new growth.

How to Tell If Your Monstera Is Variegated

variegated Monstera

The Thai Constellation Monstera is a variegated Monstera, but like other variegated varieties, the variegation may be less visible if your Monstera does not receive enough light. Other variegated varieties of Monsteras include Monstera Deliciosa Variegata, Monstera Albo and Monstera Albo Borsigiana. You may also find variegated Monstera plants labeled as variegated Swiss Cheese plants.


How to Keep Your Monstera Variegated

If your Thai Constellation Monstera lacks the dramatic coloration you expected, move it to a location with more light. Bear in mind that Thai Constellation Monsteras, like many other variegated plants, do not have stable variegation. No two leaves are alike, and each variegated leaf may have a different pattern of variegation. Some may appear with brighter or bolder variegation than others.

The Thai Constellation Monstera promises dramatic foliage with striking variegation, but it is not readily available quite yet. Watch for this amazing variegated Monstera to appear in stores near you in 2023. Look for vendors who sell Trending Tropicals™ as Costa Farm reports they will be shipped to those vendors when they are available. This rare plant is likely to be in high demand when it is finally released to the public.