Have you ever walked into a nursery and been struck by the beauty of this gorgeous, variegated Monstera deliciosa?
Variegated Monstera has become an incredibly popular plant in recent years due to its bright white and green leaves.
Unfortunately, these beauties come at quite a hefty price for those on a budget. So why are variegated Monstera so expensive?
Let’s explore why this unique houseplant has such a large monetary value attached so you can decide if one is right for your collection.
Understanding What is Variegated Monstera
Variegated Monstera is a beautiful tropical plant from the Araceae family, known for its large and vibrant leaves.
Unlike other plants, the Variegated Monstera has unique markings on its leaves that set it apart from others in the same family.
These markings are called variegation and form beautiful light green, yellow, or white patterns.
The leaves make the variegated plant described as a “Swiss-cheese plant” because of the holes that form in them, which makes the Variegated Monstera so attractive.
Variegation can be caused by two different sources: natural or artificial.
i. Natural variegation- This process usually occurs when a plant inherits its color from one or both parents.
This variation can happen in any monstera plant; when it does, it is known as natural variegation.
ii. Artificial variegation-It involves a process called “tissue culture” where the genetic material of the Variegated Monstera is manipulated so that a certain color pattern is created.
This type of variegation is rare, but it is becoming increasingly popular in the horticultural market due to its uniqueness and exotic look.
The role of chlorophyll
Chlorophyll is a vital pigment in plant cells that plays a significant role in photosynthesis, the process by which plants convert light energy into chemical energy.
Chlorophyll absorbs light in the blue and red regions of the visible spectrum, reflecting green light, which gives plants their characteristic green color.
In variegated Monstera plants, white or green variegation occurs due to a lack of chlorophyll in certain leaf areas.
This makes the non-green portions of the leaf appear white or green, which contrasts beautifully with the green areas.
The variegation in Monstera plants results from a genetic mutation that affects chlorophyll production.
Mutation causes the plant to produce less chlorophyll in certain areas, producing white or yellow variegation.
This mutation can occur spontaneously or through selective breeding, leading to new cultivars with unique variegation patterns.
Chimerism in plants
Chimerism refers to a phenomenon in which a plant has two or more genetically distinct types of tissues that grow together, resulting in a mosaic appearance.
Chimerism plays a significant role in developing their unique variegation patterns in variegated Monstera plants.
The variegation occurs due to different cell types in the plant’s tissues, some of which lack chlorophyll, resulting in white or yellow areas.
This creates a mosaic effect, with the different cell types growing together to form a variegated leaf.
Chimerism can occur spontaneously, making it difficult to predict the variegation pattern of variegated Monstera plants, making each plant unique.
Reasons Variegated Monstera is Expensive
There are several reasons why variegated monstera are among the most expensive plants, including:
Variegated Monstera is a rare plant species, and its variegation pattern makes it even more unique and difficult to find.
This rarity has made it highly sought-after by plant collectors and enthusiasts, which drives up the price for these plants significantly.
2. Prestige and collector appeal
Variegated Monstera has prestige due to its rarity and beauty, making it attractive to collectors and those wishing to own something special.
This plant’s feature makes many people willing to pay top dollar for this plant, as they view it more as an investment than a standard houseplant.
3. Propagate challenges
Variegated Monstera is difficult to propagate due to its unique variegation pattern and genetic makeup.
This process often involves trial and error to ensure that the new plants have the same variegation pattern as the parent plant, and this is a time-consuming endeavour.
4. Slow growth rate
Variegated Monstera grows very slowly compared to other species of plants. This makes it difficult for nurseries and growers to produce enough to meet demand, making them more expensive since they take longer.
5. Fewer leaves and stems for cutting
Variegated Monstera does not have as many leaves or stems for cutting as other species of plants, so it is not as easy to propagate them.
This means that the cost of these plants can be pretty high due to the difficulty in finding enough stems and leaves for cutting.
6. High demand
the high demand for the Variegated Monstera is due to its popularity on social media, celebrity endorsements, and its “it” plant status.
Plant enthusiasts are willing to pay a premium price for these plants, driving up their costs due to limited availability.
The high demand and limited supply make the Variegated Monstera a highly sought-after and expensive houseplant.
Main Varieties of Variegated Monstera
Monstera deliciosa ‘Albo Borsigiana’
This variety of Monstera has stunning white variegation on its leaves, making it one of the most popular variegated Monstera plants.
The variegation of Monstera ‘Albo Borsigiana’ can be in the form of white spots or white streaks on the green leaves.
This plant is also known for its smaller leaf size, making it a great choice for smaller spaces.
Monstera deliciosa ‘Aurea’
Monstera deliciosa ‘Aurea has beautiful golden-yellow variegation on its leaves. As a result, it stands out from other variegated Monstera plants.
The variegated leaves vary from light yellow to more vibrant gold, appearing in different patterns on the leaves.
Interestingly, Monstera deliciosa ‘Aurea is a bit harder to find than other variegated Monstera varieties, but it is well worth the search.
Monstera deliciosa ‘Thai Constellation’
This variegated Monstera variety has green and white variegation on its leaves, but what sets it apart is the occasional appearance of pink or cream-colored variegation.
The variegated monstera thai constellation is known for producing leaves with different variegation patterns, making it a unique and eye-catching plant.
Monstera deliciosa ‘Variegata’
This variety of Monstera has white variegation on its leaves, but it is more random than the ‘Albo Borsigiana’ variety.
The plant develops large sections of white on the leaves or just small spots. Besides, It is a bit less common than the other variegated Monstera varieties, but it is still highly sought after by plant collectors.
Mint monstera is not an official cultivar but is used to describe a variegated Monstera with green and white variegation with a hint of mint green.
This plant is rarer than some variegated Monstera varieties but beautiful and unique.
How to Maintain Variegation
Variegated Monstera can be more challenging to maintain than non-variegated plants. Here are some tips on how to maintain variegation in Monstera:
- Keep your plant in bright, indirect sunlight: Variegated Monstera needs bright but indirect sunlight to maintain its variegation. Direct sunlight can cause the white parts of the leaves to burn, which can damage or even kill the plant.
- Water monstera plants correctly: Variegated Monstera must be watered regularly but not overwatered. Overwatering can cause the roots to rot and damage the plant. Ensure the soil is well-draining, and the plant is not sitting in water.
- Provide medium fertilizer: Variegated Monstera can benefit from fertilization. Use a balanced, water-soluble fertilizer once a month during the growing season.
- Prune your plant: Regular pruning can help your variegated Monstera stay healthy and maintain its variegation. Prune away any yellow or brown leaves, and cut back any stems growing too long.
Where to Find Variegated Monstera
Variegated Monstera is a highly sought-after and rare plant, and it can be challenging to find one for sale.
Here are some places where you might be able to find variegated Monstera:
Check with your local plant nurseries and garden centres to see if they sell variegated Monstera.
You may need to check back frequently or get on a waiting list since these plants sell out quickly.
Online plant stores
Many online plant stores, including variegated Monstera, specialize in rare and exotic plants. Check out online plant stores like Etsy, Plantz, The Sill, and Hirt’s Gardens.
Houseplant enthusiasts and collectors
Join online plant groups and forums, such as Facebook groups and Reddit threads, where plant enthusiasts and collectors share tips and resources for buying rare plants.
You may be able to find someone willing to sell or trade their variegated Monstera.
Some plant sellers and nurseries hold plant auctions where you can bid on rare and unique plants, including variegated Monstera.
Consider attending a plant swap event in your local community. Plant swaps are a great way to meet other enthusiasts and exchange plants, including variegated Monstera.
It is important to ensure that the monstera plants purchased are obtained from legal sources, with all necessary permits in place.
Poaching of wild monsteras should be avoided, as it can hurt the natural environment and its ecosystems; this includes damage to habitats and disruption of food webs.
Consumers should prioritize sustainably-sourced monstera plants and be aware of their environmental impact in terms of harvesting wild monsteras and cultivation practices.
Furthermore, ensuring that the seller is reputable and knows the plant’s needs will help you purchase the healthiest.
Common Issues with Variegated Monsteras
Variegated Monstera can be more challenging to care for than non-variegated plants, and they are more prone to certain issues.
Here are some common issues that you may encounter when caring for variegated Monstera:
As with any houseplant, yellowing leaves can be caused by various issues, including too much or too little water and too much direct sunlight.
Underwatering is the most common cause of yellow leaves on variegated Monsteras.
Check that soil moisture is maintained and adjust your watering schedule. Also, increase humidity levels around the plant by misting it regularly or placing a humidifier nearby.
This can be caused by under and overwatering, so adjust your watering schedule as appropriate.
Brown tips can also result from a lack of nutrients in the soil, so fertilize the plant with a balanced houseplant fertilizer every few months.
Monster sunburn can also cause brown tips, so move the plant to an area with less light if needed.
Leggy legs are caused by little natural light o failure to prune and proper training techniques. A giant monstera plant may have natural leggy plants because of its large size.
Move the plant to an area with more indirect light or give it supplemental lighting. Pruning and training the stems can promote new growth and compact the plant.
Loss of Variegation
This is usually due to too much direct sunlight, so move the plant to an area with less exposure.
Additionally, ensure adequate humidity is maintained by misting the leaves or using a humidifier.
Finally, be sure to fertilize regularly with a balanced houseplant fertilizer to ensure sufficient nutrients for the variegation to remain vibrant.
Variegated Monstera Lookalikes and Affordable Alternatives
If you’re looking for plants similar to variegated Monstera, several options are available that are more affordable and easier to find.
Some variegated plants that have a similar appearance to variegated Monstera include the Marble Queen pothos, variegated rubber plant, and variegated philodendron.
These plants have attractive variegation patterns and are easier to care for than variegated Monstera.
The Marble Queen pothos has white or green leaves, while the variegated rubber plant has creamy white and green variegation.
The variegated philodendron has leaves that are variegated with shades of green and cream.
These plants are great for adding unique and eye-catching foliage to your indoor garden.
Why is variegated Monstera albo so expensive?
Why are Monsteras so expensive?
How can I propagate a variegated Monstera?
What is the difference between Monstera Deliciosa ‘Albo-Variegata’ and ‘Thai Constellation’?
Can I grow a variegated Monstera from seed?
Variegated Monsteras are worth the investment. Not only do they bring a unique and captivating beauty to any space, but their cascading leaves make them an easy choice for anyone looking for decor that can’t be found anywhere else.
Variegated Monsteras also have a long history of celebrating lavish occasions with striking color variations and distinct patterns that capture even the most inexperienced plant lover’s attention.
We can fully understand why these beautiful plants are so expensive for all these reasons.
So if you are in the market for something special that brings a touch of extravagance, look no further than Variegated Monstera — an ideal option for anyone wanting to stand out from the potting shed crowd.