Variegated Monstera plants, with their stunning combination of green and white, have quickly become a coveted item among plant lovers. This variant of the popular Monstera plant displays a unique pattern of variegation, making it a striking addition to any indoor plant collection. Not only are they visually appealing, but they also add a fascinating complexity to plant care, appealing to enthusiasts who enjoy a bit of a challenge.

variegated monstera
variegated monstera

About Variegated Monstera Plants

Variegated Monsteras are characterized by their stunning leaves, which feature a mix of green and white pigments. This pattern isn’t just a decorative perk; it’s a result of a mutation that causes the plant to produce chlorophyll in some cells but not others.

The term “variegation” refers to the appearance of differently colored zones in the leaves, and stems of plants. In Monsteras, this variegation usually appears as white or cream-colored areas against the usual green. Two types of variegated Monstera are predominantly seen: Monstera Deliciosa Albo Variegata, with large sections of white, and Monstera Deliciosa Thai Constellation, known for its speckled variegation.

The rarity and unique appearance of these variegated Monsteras have led them to be highly sought after, often commanding high prices in the market.

Caring for Your Variegated Monstera

While variegated Monsteras are stunning, they also require specific care conditions to thrive and maintain their variegation.

Light Requirements: Variegated Monsteras require bright, indirect light. Direct sunlight can scorch their leaves, while insufficient light can lead to the loss of variegation. Striking a balance here is key.

Watering, Humidity, and Temperature: Like their non-variegated counterparts, variegated Monsteras prefer a humid environment and temperatures between 65°F and 85°F. Water your variegated Monstera when the top inch or two of soil is dry, but be careful to avoid overwatering, which can lead to root rot.

Soil and Potting Requirements: Variegated Monsteras do best in well-draining soil to prevent waterlogging and root rot. A common mix used is a blend of regular potting soil, perlite, and orchid bark. When choosing a pot, opt for one with drainage holes and enough space to accommodate the plant’s robust root system.

Fertilizing Variegated Monstera Plants

Fertilizing a variegated Monstera involves a slightly different approach than for its fully green counterparts. Since variegated leaves contain less chlorophyll, the plant’s overall capacity for photosynthesis is reduced, which translates to a slower growth rate and reduced nutrient needs.

Choosing the Right Fertilizer: You’ll want to choose a balanced, water-soluble fertilizer for your variegated Monstera. This ensures that your plant gets a little bit of everything it needs, from macronutrients like Nitrogen, Phosphorous, and Potassium (N-P-K), to micronutrients like iron and magnesium.

When and How to Fertilize: As a general rule, fertilize your variegated Monstera during the growing season (spring and summer), and reduce or stop fertilization during the dormant period (fall and winter). Dilute the fertilizer to half the strength recommended on the package to avoid over-fertilization, and apply it to the soil every 4-6 weeks.

Common Issues with Variegated Monsteras

Variegated Monsteras can face several problems, ranging from common plant pests to specific variegation issues.

Pests and Diseases: Like any other plants, variegated Monsteras can be prone to pests like spider mites, mealybugs, and aphids. Regularly inspect your plant for any signs of these pests, and treat them using appropriate methods, such as insecticidal soap or neem oil.

Variegation Issues: One concern unique to variegated Monsteras is the loss of variegation or browning of white sections. This can happen due to insufficient light or an overly vigorous pruning routine that favors the fully green parts of the plant. Brown or crispy patches on the white parts of the leaves usually indicate sunburn or lack of humidity.

Leaf Fenestration: Variegated Monsteras might not develop the iconic splits or fenestrations as quickly or as much as their green counterparts. This is because fenestrations require a lot of energy to form, and variegated plants have a reduced capacity for photosynthesis.

Propagation of Variegated Monstera

Propagating variegated Monsteras is possible, but maintaining the variegation in the new plant can be a challenge.

When making a cutting for propagation, ensure that it includes part of a stem with a node (the swollen area from where leaves and roots grow). Ensure that the cutting you take has both green and white sections. This helps ensure that the propagated plant will carry the variegation.

Bear in mind that even with careful propagation, the variegation might not always carry over to the same degree in the new plant. This is part of what makes variegated Monsteras so unique and sought-after!

Let’s Review

Caring for a variegated Monstera is a rewarding journey that involves understanding its specific care requirements and being attentive to its unique needs. Remember, the main elements for successful growth include providing bright, indirect light, ensuring the right watering and fertilization schedules, and promptly addressing any health issues.

From light and watering requirements to understanding the plant’s nutritional needs and tackling potential problems, there’s a lot to consider. But with patience and a little practice, you can maintain a healthy variegated Monstera that will be a stunning centerpiece in your collection for years to come.

Whether you’re considering adding a variegated Monstera to your plant family or you’re already the proud owner of one, embrace the journey with this beautiful plant. It might be a bit challenging at times, but the reward of seeing those stunning variegated leaves unfurl is well worth the effort.

Happy planting!