With beautiful cream-colored variegation evenly splashed across dark green leaves, the Thai Constellation Monstera is one of the most spectacular plants money can buy!
If you are new to collecting variegated plants, this is a great plant to start with. Why? The Thai Constellation was engineered in a lab to have an incredibly stable and reliable variegation behavior.
This means you won’t have to worry about providing the perfect conditions for your Thai Cons as much as you might with other variegated plants. However, there are still some specific practices you should follow to keep your plant happy, and this care guide exists to help you out!
If you love Monsteras, we have other articles for you to check out! We’ve written care guides for the Monstera Deliciosa Albo, Monstera Peru, Monstera Siltepecana, Monstera Adansonii, and the unrelated “Mini Monstera” Rhaphidophora Tetrasperma.
My Experience With Thai Constellation Monstera
I [Allison, the editor] bought my Thai Constellation Monstera in December as a two-leaf rooted top cut, and it has already put out its first baby leaf!
As was the case with my Monstera Albo, the first new growth on my rooted Thai Con cutting went back to juvenile form (meaning that it lacked fenestrations, despite the previous leaves being fairly fenestrated).
However, my Monstera Albo has quickly put out another leaf with plenty of fenestrations, and I imagine a similar thing will occur with my Thai Con! At least, I am hoping.
As expected with a Thai Constellation, the variegation on the new leaf appears to be fairly stable. Also, I find that my Albo grows faster than my Thai Con, but that’s just one small data point!
Where Can I Find Thai Constellation Monstera for Sale?
Currently, the Monstera Thai Constellation is not easily available in big box stores. However, this is expected to change in the near future with Costa Farms getting involved in mass-reproducing Thai Cons.
Monstera Thai Constellations are quite hard to find even in fancy plant nurseries. Your best bet is to find one in a rare plants FB group in your city (this is how I found mine!) or buy online on Etsy.
Thai Constellation Monstera Cuttings
Cuttings are the most affordable way to dip your toes into collecting rare plants… but they will still be rather pricy! The biggest factor in price will be if you are buying an imported plant (typically from Thailand) or from your local area.
Typically, imports from Thailand are cheaper but they can struggle in shipping, especially if there are delays! Thai Constellations are particularly susceptible to root rot so be cautious of this when choosing where to buy your Thai Constellation.
This US seller has some beautiful Thai Constellation cuttings for sale but the price is rather high.
Thai Constellation Monstera Plants
Buying a fully-rooted and established Thai Constellation Monstera is less risky but it is expensive. For a large-sized plant, think a minimum of $500 and possibly up to the quadruple digits!
Here is one seller on Etsy selling a fairly large Thai constellation.
Thai Constellation Monstera Overview & Origin
The Monstera Thai Constellation is the latest addition to the many faces of Variegated Monsteras that have taken the plant industry by storm.
In fact, in 2020, it was named as the Favorite New Foliage Plant at the TPIE (which is arguably the biggest exhibition of tropical plants in the USA.)
The Thai Constellation is highly coveted by plant collectors for the stunning splashes of cream across its big, green fenestrated leaves. It has an evenly speckled pattern of variegation which looks like a constellation of stars in the night sky, as it is cleverly named.
What makes the Thai Cons so unique is its genetically-engineered origin from a laboratory in Thailand (hence the Thai in its name). The identity of the creator and his “recipe” for this plant are heavily guarded secrets. No one else can mass-produce this variegation pattern at the same speed that they do!
Check out this fully matured specimen as shared in the International Aroid Society Facebook group. The Monstera Thai Constellation is truly a glorious sight to behold when allowed to grow to its full potential!
4 Types of Variegated Monstera Deliciosa
Monsteras, especially their variegated forms, are all the craze in the plant world right now. With prices that go up to quadruple digits for a decent-sized plant, people are practically paying a limb to get one of these!
If you’re looking to buy one for yourself, you might be wondering which one is right for you. Monstera Deliciosa alone has many different variegated forms, all of which are beautiful in their own right. Here are some of them:
1. Monstera Deliciosa Variegata
In its most basic form, the Monstera Deliciosa naturally mutated to have variegated leaves. Although variegation is technically a “sickness” that will lead to a plant’s death in the wild, humans found the trait beautiful, then collected and cultivated these plants to encourage further variegation.
Because chimeric variegation is a randomly occurring mutation, it is extremely unstable. This means it can either completely go away (called reversion) or possibly take over the plant.
A variegated Deliciosa can have large sections, small splashes, half-surfaced (also called “half-moon”), or full-surfaced patterns of variegation.
Monstera Deliciosa Variegata is also further subcategorized into three colors of variegation: Albo for stark white, Mint for shades of green, and Aurea for yellow.
2. Monstera Borsigiana Variegata
There is currently a wide debate on whether the Monstera Deliciosa Albo Variegata and the Monstera Borsigiana Variegata are two distinct varieties or if they are actually the same thing.
According to the late Steve Lucas (a distinct member of the International Aroid Society and the owner of a private botanical garden in Arkansas): Some specimens of the Deliciosa which were found to have smaller leaves in the wild were named as Monstera deliciosa var. borsigiana (Engl.).
The IPNI also lists this plant as Monstera deliciosa var. Borsigiana [Note: var. is short for “variety”].
On the other hand, the Royal Botanic Gardens Kew and the University of Florida currently list the Borsigiana as a mere synonym of the Deliciosa. A synonym means that it’s no longer considered a separate variety, so there’s no real distinction between the two plants.
Whichever is the case, there is a negligible difference between the two varieties so don’t waste your time arguing about taxonomy!
To demonstrate, the Borsigiana is thought to have smaller leaves but is said to grow at a faster rate than the Deliciosa. In this Youtube video (at timestamp 3:45), you can see the vlogger comparing her Deliciosa and her Borsigiana (side by side with her Thai Constellation)!
3. Monstera Thai Constellation
The Thai Constellation Monstera is yet another subspecies of the Deliciosa! In one laboratory in Thailand, researchers harvested the cells of a variegated Monstera Deliciosa then manipulated its DNA to create a more stable and more even pattern of variegation.
The result is a new form of Monstera with beautiful splotches of cream colors against dark green, leathery foliage. Of course, we wrote this whole article to talk about the Thai Cons in deep detail!
4. Monstera Deliciosa with “Sport” variegation
Occasionally, Mother Nature will randomly decide to give her creatures a mutated form. For plants, this mutation comes in the form of variegation, which means that some of the cells are unable to produce chlorophyll.
Sometimes, this mutation can occur in a negligible quantity of cells. There will be some regular plants that will randomly develop variegation in a single leaf or two. This is what is known as “Sport” variegation.
A few people have reported that they found some Monstera Deliciosas with minimal streaks of variegation displayed in plant stores for regular prices!
How lucky they must be, right? Unfortunately, sport variegation is extremely unstable and often barely noticeable. In most cases, no amount of pruning or propagation can induce the variegation to come out in future leaves.
Thai Constellation Monstera Care Guide
The parent plant of the Thai Constellation, which is the Monstera Deliciosa, comes from the rainforests of Mexico, Ecuador, and Peru. While these two plants are not completely alike, knowing the needs of one gives some helpful insight in caring for the other.
As a tropical plant, your M. Thai Constellation will love a proper balance of high humidity, relatively moist soil, and consistently warm temperatures.
Because this plant comes with an eye-watering price tag (for now), it is extremely important to know the proper practices and conditions needed to keep your Monstera Thai Cons happy. Luckily for you, we’re making the endeavor simpler with this detailed care guide!
Thai Constellation Monstera Light Needs
Because the non-green parts of a leaf are unable to process light into energy, variegated plants have higher light requirements than their regular counterparts. Give your Thai Constellation Monstera up to 2 hours of direct morning sun and bright, indirect light for the rest of the day.
Be careful! Direct sun exposure (or being too close to grow lights) can scorch the beautiful variegated leaves of your plant. If you notice a faded “bleached” appearance and some browning on the leaves, move your plant away from the window or filter the sunlight using curtains.
In low-light conditions, your M. Thai Constellation will grow longer, lanky stems in an attempt to reach for more light. It might also choose to grow greener leaves and lose chunks of its variegation.
Make it a habit to wipe your plant leaves at least once a month to remove the layer of dust that can interfere with absorbing light for photosynthesis.
You’d also want to occasionally rotate your pot for even growth towards a light source.
Thai Constellation Monstera Watering Needs
Let this serve as a warning: Thai Constellation Monstera is highly susceptible to root rot! To err on the side of caution, it is always better to underwater than overwater your houseplants. Water your plant only when the top 3 inches of the soil is completely dry.
You can usually feel out the soil with your fingers to check for moisture but because this plant is so sensitive and expensive, it might be smart to invest in a soil moisture meter device (not the cheap ones which can be inaccurate).
Soil moisture meters are readily available in regular gardening centers. When you stick the needle into the pot, the device will display a reading out of 10, with levels 1-3 telling you that your soil is dry and ready for watering.
When watering your Thai Constellation, we recommend using distilled water or anything that does not have heavy traces of chlorine like tap water does. Browning leaf edges are common for this plant, and one reason could be the residue build-up from chemically-treated water.
Thai Constellation Monstera Soil Needs
Excess moisture in the soil can drown the roots and even invite fungal diseases for your plant. Make sure that you use a well-aerated, fast-draining growing medium for your M. Thai Constellation.
Aroids grow in rainforests with leaf litter, decaying wood, animal droppings, and charcoal left behind by forest fires. All these components make up a nutrient-rich and airy medium for the roots of tropical plants to grow into.
To replicate this soil mixture for your houseplants, you can use organic components such as compost, worm castings, horticultural coal, coconut chunks, orchid bark, and others.
You can also follow our DIY Aroid Soil Mix recipe to make things easier for you!
Many owners of this plant have shared that they had excellent results moving their Thai Cons in LECA, LECHUZA-PON, or any similar media. If you don’t already know, LECA is a semi-hydroponic clay substrate which is excellent for root growth.
Thai Constellation Monstera Temperature & Humidity Needs
As a tropical plant, Thai Constellation Monstera will appreciate warm temperatures between 64-80°F (18-27°C), and humidity at 60% or higher.
There are many ways to provide the high air moisture requirement of the Thai Constellation, but the most efficient one is to invest in a humidifier. This device will constantly release steam and keep the humidity levels high inside a room.
In excessively dry conditions, leaves might feel crispy and their edges will start to turn brown. Keep your plant away from direct sources of heat such as vents, furnaces, hair blowers, hand dryers, and any appliances in your home that can cause the leaves to dry up.
Another thing to note is that M. Thai Cons is not a frost-hardy plant, so remember to keep it away from air-conditioning units or from open windows during colder months.
Thai Constellation Monstera Fertilization Needs
Although it grows slower than a non-variegated Monstera Deliciosa, the Thai Constellation is still a pretty fast grower when exposed to ideal conditions.
As long as you see evidence of active growth, it is okay to fertilize your plant once a month. It is preferable to use a water-soluble fertilizer so you can easily control the quantity and dilution ratio. After all, too much plant food can burn the leaves and roots of your M. Thai Cons.
In the winter, plants will naturally slow down their growth. In this case, cut back on fertilizer use.
Pruning Thai Constellation Monstera
As your Monstera Thai Constellation ages, it can grow monstrous leaves that take up a lot of both vertical and horizontal space. Prune back your plant to 1) regulate its growth, 2) balance the posture and weight distribution, and 3) remove damaged foliage.
Before cutting any plant, don’t forget to disinfect your tools with Isopropyl alcohol to avoid infections. The last thing you want is to find that your expensive plant has rotted at the sections where you last gave it a chop.
To keep your plant from tipping over, trim off some leaves when the weight is leaning towards one side. Also, cut back any browning edges or yellowing sections from the leaves to stop the spread.
Propagating Thai Constellation Monstera
To propagate your Thai Constellation Monstera, you can choose among the following methods:
1. Cut and plant. Make a cutting with at least one node and dip it in rooting powder. Most rooting products not only speed up root growth, they also double as a disinfectant to clean and seal the wound. Plant the cutting directly in a chunky mix and keep the soil moist at all times. Place the pot in a bright shaded area.
2. Water-propagate. Take a cutting and let it sit in a glass of water, refilling it every 3-5 days. Once the roots are long enough and there is evidence of new growth, plant the cutting into your desired growing medium.
3. Propagate in Perlite. Plant parents are discovering that it is faster to root cuttings when you put them in perlite. Perlite has the perfect balance between holding water and providing grit for the roots to cling onto. Simply take a cutting and bury its nodes in damp perlite. Use any plastic container to hold the base and trap moisture for faster root growth.
Repotting Thai Constellation Monstera
M. Thai Constellation tends to have a compact root system that can quickly outgrow its pot. On average, you may need to repot your plant once a year.
When your plant is always thirsty and the soil quickly dries up despite frequent watering, that means the roots have formed a tight ball. In that case, it is time to move your plant into a bigger container.
When repotting, choose a tall, deep pot to accommodate the downward expansion of the roots. Replenish the supply of nutrients by adding a fresh batch of soil.
You can go for a terracotta pot if you’re worried about drainage, but be aware that the porous material will pull moisture away from the soil. Consequently, you will need to water more frequently. Don’t let the roots fully dry out, or else you might come home to a wilting plant.
If you’re growing your Thai Constellation in LECA, it is inevitable that you’ll have to cut back some of the entangled roots that will grow through the net pot. Be careful not to disturb the main, inner root ball.
Thai Constellation Monstera FAQ
Now that you know how to care for your Thai Constellation Monstera, you might still have some questions about its rarity, availability, growth potential, and certain aspects of its variegation. Read on for some interesting FAQs!
Monstera Albo vs. Thai Constellation: what’s the difference?
The leaves of a Monstera Deliciosa Albo will have a random pattern of variegation that is usually stark white in color. On the other hand, the leaves of a Monstera Thai Constellation will have even splashes of variegation, usually cream in color.
While these two types of variegated Monsteras may look similar to the untrained eye especially when both are in their juvenile stages, you can take a closer look and see that their overall silhouette and growth behavior are quite different!
More specifically, the stem of the Thai Constellation will be compact and will tend to branch out horizontally. Meanwhile, the Monstera Albo will have longer gaps (called the internodes) in between the leaves as the plant climbs vertically.
If you’re still confused, you can check out this blog post we wrote to help you distinguish between the two!
Is Thai Constellation Monstera rare?
The stable, star-like variegation pattern of the Thai Constellation was genetically produced in a laboratory in Thailand. That same lab clones these plants and releases them in small batches to distributors in the USA, Australia, Canada and Europe.
Because this plant can be traced to one exclusive source and only started to emerge in recent years, the Thai Constellation cannot yet be reproduced faster than the mainstream demand for it.
In the meantime, regular plant hobbyists are propagating their Thai Constellation from cuttings. Because this variegated plant takes so long to reach full maturity before it’s ready to be sold, it remains as an extremely rare variety to acquire.
Why are Thai Constellation Monsteras so expensive?
Unfortunately, the original growers of the Thai Constellation have regulated the supply to maintain the exorbitant market prices that they are profiting from.
As long as they keep the process of genomically altering this plant as a secret, no one else will be able to clone the Thai Constellation in labs. A Facebook post from one of their reputable distributors in Australia confirms this.
But there is some good news!
Costa Farms, the main supplier of big box plant stores across America, is currently mass-reproducing the Thai Constellation through cuttings from a huge number of stock plants. On their website, they have announced a release in 2023.
In this Youtube video, Costa Farms revealed that they are using approximately 100 acres of land to grow enough Monstera Thai Constellation plants. They plan to flood the market and drive the crazy prices down.
How fast does a Thai Constellation Monstera grow?
Interestingly, there are conflicting reports from owners of this plant whether it grows slower or faster compared to the Monstera Albo Variegata. Nonetheless, the Thai Constellation can quickly grow up to 20 feet tall when given proper lighting, watering, and nutrients in the soil.
The Thai Constellation lives up to its genus name, Monstera, which is Latin for “monstrous.” Each leaf can grow to an impressive size of 3 feet when allowed to mature in the wild.
Indoors, this plant will barely grow up to 8 feet tall, but you can support its stem with a moss pole, a bamboo stick, a wooden stake, a trellis, or a coco pole to climb on. This will help your plant produce bigger, more fenestrated leaves.
Can a Thai Constellation Monstera become more variegated?
The genetically-engineered variegation of a Thai Constellation is more stable than the naturally-occurring variegation of Monstera Albo. You don’t need to worry that the variegated colors might completely take over your plant and potentially kill it.
Having said that, it is still possible for your Thai Constellation to occasionally produce big sectoral chunks of cream-colored variegation. But don’t worry! The plant will find a way to balance out the variegation in even splashes of color across the leaves.
There has been no reported case of a Monstera Thai Constellation producing full-surfaced variegated leaves (or irreversibly reverting to green, for that matter).
Can the Thai Constellation Monstera revert to green?
Well, no and yes. No, you don’t need to be scared that the plant will suddenly revert to green like most variegated plants easily do. But also, yes, it will choose to push out greener leaves if you fail to meet its light requirement!
Unlike naturally variegated plants that contain a random number of mutated cells, every cell in your Thai Constellation Monstera carries the gene with the instruction to either produce variegated colors or the regular green pigment.
With a stable variegation, you won’t have to hold your breath and see if the next leaf that unfurls might lose the cream-colored splashes.
However, that doesn’t mean you can just neglect your plant in low light and expect it to give you vibrantly variegated leaves.
Chlorophyll, as we all know, is the green pigment of leaves which absorbs light and processes it into food that plants use for growing. Because variegated plants have fewer green surfaces to capture light, they need to work twice harder to synthesize their food.
If they are not getting the minimum amount of light that they need, they will push out dominantly green leaves to make things easier for them. Give your plant plenty of bright, indirect light to maintain its lovely variegated colors that you (probably) so expensively paid for!
It is also possible that some specimens of the Thai Cons are just not heavily variegated in the first place. Check out this post from Facebook as an example!
Eliza is a writer and a plant hobbyist from the tropical country of the Philippines. She views gardening as an art, but she has made it her mission to learn the scientific aspect of anything that grows on Earth.