One of the rarest houseplants, the variegated Monstera is an absolute show-stopper!
This houseplant is known for its classic fenestrations and distinctive green leaves speckled or sectioned with white.
This variegated Monstera is highly sought-after and a must for any serious plant collector!
|Quick Monstera Albo Plant Care Guide|
Light: Bright indirect light. Be extra careful not to let the white parts of the Albo leaves burn in direct sunlight.
Humidity: Monsteras are tropical plants and love humidity! You can place it near other plants to create a humidity bubble, create your own DIY greenhouse, or use a humidifier to increase humidity. Misting will not sufficiently raise humidity.
Soil Type: Monsteras do best in well draining soil like a chunky aroid mix. Do not plant in just plain potting soil. Monstera Albo also does well in LECA.
Watering Needs: Water when the soil dries out 1-2 inches down. It likes moist soil but not wet. You’ll need to water more frequently in the growing season.
Variegated Monstera Albo: FAQs & Tips
What Causes Variegation on Monstera Deliciosa Albo?
Variegation is the result of a beautiful and natural genetic mutation affecting chlorophyll production.
Basically, it stops some of the plant’s cells naturally from producing chlorophyll, which is what makes a plant’s leaves green.
Each leaf of a variegated Monstera will unfurl with a new and delightful pattern that can’t quite be predicted just from looking at other leaves on the plant.
This can be anything from a highly variegated leaf with tons of speckles, a slight snow-like dusting of white, dramatic sectional variegation or even the coveted ‘half-moon’ variegation!
In fact, that’s largely the fun of having your very own Monstera Albo — the constant guessing of what the next leaf to unfurl will look like!
Is Monstera Albo Variegation Stable?
Unfortunately, the variegation of a Monstera Albo is not necessarily stable, since it is a genetic mutation.
Some Monstera Albos can revert back to a stable green color — but don’t panic!
This happening to one leaf is relatively normal, and the next leaf may come out properly variegated (this happened on my Syngonium Albo).
If that happens for more than two leaves in a row, it’s recommended to chop your plant back.
Cut it at the last node that offered a leaf with excellent variegation to try to get the classic Albo look back!
Hopefully, the new leaf that emerges will regain some of the variegation. Such is the nature of dealing with variegated plants, but that’s part of what makes it so fun!
How Do You Make Monstera Albo Grow Faster?
There is one downside of the beautiful variegation you’ll find on a Monstera Albo, though.
The white variegation will cause slower growth of new Monstera leaves. Why is that?
Let’s bring it back to high school biology!
Less chlorophyll = slower photosynthesis process = less energy available for growth.
It will still grow, the process is just slower than you are likely used to with a typical Monstera Deliciosa, which grow like wildfire!
To make your Monstera Albo grow faster, you’ll want to be sure you give it all the light it needs (read below for more on that).
You might also want to supplement with grow lights, particularly in the winter and outside the growing season.
What Light Does Monstera Albo Need?
Monstera Albo requires about six hours of indirect bright light a day. Be very careful not to have it be bright direct light, as this can burn the fragile white leaves!
I always was confused by the difference in light conditions, particularly between bright direct light and bright indirect light, until this was explained to me this way.
Bright direct light will feel warm on your skin and would be something a cat would nap in, whereas bright indirect light is less intense, though there you can still cast a clear shadow.
Personally, I place my Monstera in a south-facing window but behind a few other plants so that its light is filtered by some of the other plant’s leaves.
I also place the greenest part of the plant closest to the light and the whiter part of the plant further from the light source.
Monstera Albo will not do well in low light, because they won’t get the chlorophyll they need to grow.
Why Are Variegated Monsteras So Expensive?
Variegated Monstera (Monstera Borsigiana Albo) are so expensive because they cannot be produced from seeds the way most plants in nurseries typically are.
Rather, they must be chopped and propagated from an existing variegated Monstera, which carries the genetic mutation that prevents full chlorophyll production.
This creates a natural bottleneck in the production of new variegated Monstera plants, as every new Monstera Albo requires a mother plant.
Combine that with the high demand for these beautiful houseplants and you can see why a typical Monstera Albo single stem cutting can go for $300+!
A node cutting — which will take longer to grow a leaf, and frankly may not even succeed — is a cheaper option, typically around $90 for a small tiny node that will take months and months to see new plant growth.
Keep in mind that this will produce smaller leaves without fenestrations while the plant matures.
Here’s an example of a variegated Monstera node you can buy on Etsy.
For reference, I paid $300 for a fully rooted variegated Monstera cutting with a new growth point. I was a bit hesitant about shipping, so I bought it from someone in my local houseplant Facebook group.
If you’re looking for a fully mature plant, be prepared for eye-watering prices. Monstera albos at my local plant nursery cost $700+ for a two-leaf mature plant!
What is the Difference between Monstera Albo Borsigiana and Monstera Thai Constellation?
There are two main types of variegated Monstera plants that you’ll find: Monstera Albo Borsigiana and Monstera Thai Constellation.
This post is focusing on the Monstera Albo Borsigiana, which is the plant I have, as it’s the most common.
Why more common? It grows quicker than Thai Constellations and while it’s not cheap, it’s the more affordable of the two.
There are some other key differences besides just rarity and price.
Monstera Thai Constellation is grown from tissue culture from a lab in — you guessed it — Thailand, and as a result the variegation is a lot more stable.
It’s more speckled and night-sky-like (hence the name ‘constellation’).
With a Thai Constellation, you won’t get the same diversity of variegation as you will with an Albo, such as half-moons, large sectional variegation, etc.
Additionally, Thai Constellation has a pale yellow variegation pattern as opposed to the bright white splashes of variegation you’ll find on a Monstera Albo.
Monstera Albo Variegata Propagation
Propagating a Monstera Albo is similar to propagating a regular Monstera Deliciosa.
Monstera Albo Variegata can be propagated in many different ways. Interesting, a leaf is not a prerequisite for propagating!
You can even propagate from a chunk of the stem, though that will be more difficult.
The stem of a Monstera plant acts similarly to a leaf in that it absorbs light and converts it to energy through photosynthesis.
Repotting Variegated Monstera Albo
Repotting a variegated Monstera is no different than repotting other types of Monsteras!
Monsteras tend to enjoy being slightly rootbound, so you can let the roots grow for quite a bit before repotting.
Be sure to repot in a pot about 2″ wider in diameter so that there is plenty of room for new growth.
It’s generally recommended not to repot in winter. However, I’ve also heard convincing arguments to the contrary.
There’s a school of thought that repotting in winter may be a good idea so that when the spring season and more direct sunlight comes, the plant is ready to take full advantage from the get-go.
I would say go based on what your plant needs and repot based on necessity.
If its winter but your Monstera is getting too rootbound, to the point where water cannot drain and you are risking root rot, go for it. That’s more important!
I recently repotted my non-variegated Monstera Deliciosa in the dead of winter (literally on the Solstice) and it’s going great.
What Is the Best Soil for Monstera Albo?
Like their non-variegated Monstera Deliciosa cousins, Monsteras enjoy chunky soil like an aroid mix.
You can mix your own chunky potting mix (using a blend of potting soil, orchid bark, perlite, charcoal, peat moss, coco coir, sphagnum moss, etc.).
Alternately, you can buy an aroid-specific mix if you don’t feel like buying all the different types separately.
Chunky soil is great for aroid-type plants because it lessens the chance of issues caused by overwatering such as root rot.
Make sure that you use a pot with drainage holes and that you fully let the water drain after watering. Soak the plant in water and let the water run free before placing it back in a cache pot.
What Are Other Ways of Growing Monstera Albo?
Personally, when I bought my Monstera Albo, I received the cutting fully rooted in LECA.
LECA is a semi-hydroponic way of growing plants using clay balls called LECA, which stands for lightweight expanded clay aggregate.
One important note about LECA: itself, the LECA balls do not have any nutrients the same way soil does.
As a result, you need to supplement it by adding special hydroponic growth nutrients to the water, otherwise it will not grow nearly as fast.
That’s the method I’m keeping for it since it is thriving and I don’t want to rock the boat or send it into shock!
LECA is also better at avoiding pests (goodbye, fungus gnats) since it’s semi-hydroponic and doesn’t use any soil.
What Other Types of Monstera Are There?
There are several other kinds of Monstera, but only a few are variegated.
Monstera Deliciosa is the most common kind, with Albo and Thai Constellation being two of the most common variegation types.
There are is also the “Aurea” pattern of variegation which is similar to the Albo but with a yellowish green color instead of bright white. This is rarer and more expensive!
Monstera Deliciosa are known for their vining qualities and aerial root systems that allow them to climb or vine easily up a moss pole.
Another common Monstera variety is the Monstera Adansonii (aka the Swiss Cheese Plant). This also has a variegated version, called Monstera Adansonii Variegata.
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.