If you’re looking for your first variegated Monstera, you may find yourself confused about the differences between the Monstera Albo and the Thai Constellation Monstera — and also enraptured by their beauty.
But these plants can be rather expensive, and while you may find yourself wanting both, you may have to end up picking between an Albo vs. a Thai constellation monstera.
I actually have both, because I have no self-control, so I’m perfectly primed to help you decide between a Monstera albo or a Monstera Thai con.
While the non-variegated Monstera Deliciosa is an extremely common plant that you can find in big box stores around the world as well as your local nurseries, variegated Monsteras are harder to find.
This is because variegation in Monsteras is not a stable trait and cannot be replicated from seeds.
As a result, the majority of variegated Monsteras (both albo and Thai constellation) are grown from propagations from a mother plant that have a genetic mutation that made it variegated.
In this post, we will discuss the difference between Monstera Albo and Monstera Thai Constellation, how to tell them apart, how you can decide which is the right kind of variegated monstera for you, and where you can find monstera albo and monstera Thai constellation to buy!
Wait? Monstera Deliciosa Albo or Monstera Borsigiana Albo?
Sometimes, you may see Monstera Albo also written as Monstera Borsigiana Albo (or Monstera Albo Borsigiana).
I was wondering if there was a difference — it turns out that is a bit contentious!
According to one article which cites the Kew Royal Botanic Gardens, Monstera Deliciosa and Borsigiana are synonymous.
However, other botanists feel differently, particularly this botanist who is one of the core members of the International Aroid Society.
He states that Monstera Deliciosa is the official species and the Borsigiana is a variation (forma) within that species.
This would be written as Monstera Deliciosa var. Borsigiana.
So, what is the actual difference? Borsigiana is a “dwarf” form and a variation of the Deliciosa.
Similarly, the var. Borsigiana Albo has smaller leaves that grow more slowly than the Deliciosa Albo (check out this Youtube video discussing the difference around timestamp 3:45.)
So yes, it appears there is a very small difference between the Deliciosa and the Deliciosa var. Borsigiana: namely, the size of the leaves overall and the speed at which they grow.
However, they are not different enough to be considered different plants, and you should feel comfortable buying either a Deliciosa Albo or a Borsigiana Albo, as the difference is not that extreme.
Anyway, now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, let’s discuss the difference between Monstera Albo and Monstera Thai Constellation.
What is the Difference Between Albo and Thai Constellation?
Monstera Albo and Monstera Thai Constellation are two variegated subtypes of the Monstera Deliciosa plant.
Monstera Albo has leaves that are a mix of green and white. Typically, there will be more green than white, and the white will appear either in specks (marbling) or sectoral (in sections)… or perhaps even, if you’re lucky, in half-moons!
Keep in mind that while all-white leaves of an albo look beautiful, they are not great for the overall health of the plant. Entirely white leaves lack chlorophyll, which is what allows the plant to collect energy and grow.
Additionally, white leaves of a Monstera Albo can easily brown or burn in the sun, so you’ll have to take extra care with these.
Monstera Albo is a naturally occurring genetic mutation and can only be grown as propagations from a mother plant with this specific genetic mutation (similar to albinism in humans and mammals!).
On the other hand, Monstera Thai Constellation was originally genetically produced in a Thailand lab (hence the Thai in its name) and can be reproduced through tissue culture.
It has a more consistent variegation pattern that is more speckled in nature (hence the Constellation appellation!), with occasional larger streaks of cream color.
The color of the variegation in Monstera Thai Cons is also more cream-colored as opposed to the stark white of a Monstera Albo.
How to Tell Between Monstera Albo and Monstera Thai Constellation?
A Monstera Albo will have more irregular variegation patterns, more white color on its leaves, a stem with streaks of white on it, and possible sectoral or half-moon white variegation on the plant.
A Monstera Thai Constellation will have a more stable speckled variegation pattern, a stem that has some white or cream coloration on it, and more of a cream color to its variegation.
Both plants will start off without fenestrations (holes in the leaf) and eventually grow fenestrations on the outside edges of the plant when mature.
When fully mature, both Monsteras will grow interior fenestrations as well as exterior fenestrations.
Pick Monstera Albo if…
… You want brilliant and irregular white coloration.
One of the great things about Monstera Deliciosa Albo is that its variegation is so unique and unpredictable.
While you can sometimes assume some type of variegation based off of the mother plant it was propagated from, each leaf will bring a new subtle variation on the previous leaf.
It is very rare to have several identical leaves in a row, and this is part of the fun of collecting variegated plants!
Additionally, I find the contrast between lush green and stark bright white on a Monstera Albo to be extremely pleasing to the eye.
… You don’t mind that some leaves won’t be able to propagate.
Occasionally, your Monstera Albo will give you a very very white leaf, which will be difficult, if not impossible, to propagate independently.
If you plan to offset the cost of your Monstera Albo through selling cuttings or rooted propagations, just be aware that not every leaf of the Monstera Albo is created equally and some will be beautiful but not suited for propagation.
For propagation to be successful, a leaf face with plenty of green (aka chlorophyll) needs to be able to soak in the sunlight in order to create a root system that will sustain a new plant.
This is not possible if your Monstera Albo is giving you entirely white or almost-entirely white leaves!
Pick Thai Constellation if…
… You want stable, creamy coloration.
While I see the unique and unpredictable variegation patterns of Monstera Albo as a positive, other people prefer more stable variegation so that they are not disappointed by the new leaves their plant puts out.
This is understandable, as both Albos and Thai Constellations are extremely expensive plants, and it would suck to feel disappointed upon a new leaf unfurling!
Thai Constellation are a lot more predictable and very unlikely to revert. It’s rare for Monstera Albo to fully revert to non-variegated, but it is possible.
… You want to continually be able to propagate.
Because of the regular pattern of variegation in Monstera Thai Constellation plants, it’s virtually a guarantee that every new leaf that your Monstera Thai Con puts out is suitable to be chopped and propped.
If you want to offset the cost of your Monstera Thai Con through selling cuttings, this is more easily and readily done.
Where to Find Monstera Albo Online
You can find Monstera Albo from reputable sellers on Etsy.
Whenever possible I suggest buying a rooted cutting. Buying unrooted cuttings is risky as not all Monstera Albos will root.
Buying nodes is also risky and it will take a long time to have the plant you want!
I ended up buying my Monstera Albo from a fellow plant collector in person, but I had been planning to buy on Etsy and had decided on this international seller as they have incredibly positive reviews and ship their plants with Phytosanitary Certificates.
A friend of mine recently bought from this seller and it arrived in beautiful shape!
Where to Find Monstera Thai Constellation Online
Monstera Thai Constellations are also fairly easy to find on Etsy, but they often come from abroad which can result in delays or issues with importing.
Make sure your seller is able to provide you with a Phytosanitary Certificate if required for import.
Allison is a recovering brown thumb turned helicopter plant mom. She lives in California and is currently working on turning her one-bedroom Oakland apartment into an indoor jungle.