The Variegated Monstera Deliciosa is a very rare presentation of the Monstera Deliciosa which is why it is very highly sought after.
Very rarely do you see variegations happen to the already unique Monstera Deliciosa. As such, it is not easy to get hold of the plant.
And when you do find it, expect its price to be very expensive as people are not willing to part with it without getting a good price for this rarity.
Most of the time, owners will rather auction the plant to get the best price.
Therefore, be ready to pay anywhere from $500 to $5,000 for the Variegated Monstera Deliciosa.
Why Are Variegated Monsteras So Expensive?
I’m sure you’re wondering by now why the Variegated Monstera Deliciosa and other variegated monsteras so expensive compared to the rest.
The simple answer, lots of demand and very little supply.
Simply put, because the plant is rare and thanks to Instagram they’ve’ become viral sensations, more and more people want this uniquely beautiful plant.
So, the few owners that do have them are now unwilling to sell at normal houseplant prices. Instead, they go higher and higher knowing that there are people out there willing to pay thousands of dollars for one beautiful plant.
Wouldn’t you if you had the opportunity?
The second reason is that they plant it is not easy to grow the plant. Often shops and garden centers will sow lots of seed to grow multitudes of one species. But because variegated plants are genetic mutations (abnormalities) you cannot replicate them through seed.
Instead, you need to get hold of a variegated monstera plant then propagate it by cutting.
Stem propagation works but you cannot scale it as much as seed since it takes a while for the parent plant to grow more stems and leaves.
This is why the plant stays rare as only the owners have access to propagation.
The third reason is that unlike solid green plants, those with variegations are more delicate. As such you want to give variegated monsteras more TLC since they are not as resilient or robust as their solid green leafed counterparts.
Not only does it take more effort to care for them, they are likewise more delicate to ship without sustaining damage.
What is Variegation & How Does It Happen?
As you already know, the reason why the Variegated Monstera Deliciosa is rarer and more expensive that the regular Monstera Deliciosa is due to its unique and lovely white splashed.
These are called variegations.
Variegations are unique in that they happen quite seldomly. Therefore, their distinctive traits often make them more valuable especially if it makes the plant more beautiful.
As such, its rarity makes its price more expensive as collectors wan to get hold of it.
The thing s variegated plants begin life the same way as regular green leafed plants do, from seed.
However, somewhere along the way, one of these 3 things can happen.
- Genetic mutation
This is the most common cause, In short, something goes wrong or the genes do abnormal things which leads to results that are not expected.
In some cases, you get a disformed plant. Of course, nobody ever talks about those plants.
Instead, the ones that are kept are those that come out more beautiful or distinct from the rest. And with the case of the variegated monstera plants, it is the splash patterns of different colors.
In many cases it is white or cream in color. But there is also yellow and light green. In other plants like the philodendron, these can come in pink and other more unique hues.
So each plant is different.
- Lack of Chlorophyll
Again, this is a result of cell mutation. But in this case the effects are different because the affected cells vary from those that cause color change.
To explain, chlorophyll, is the substance that produces the green pigmen in plant’s leaves. Therefore, dark green plants have more chlorophyll ang light green plants produce less.
In the case of white, cream, yellow or mint green variegations, these differently colored sections of the plant have little to no chlorophyll in them. That’s why their colors are not green.
Unfortunately, chlorophyll is also what absorbs light for photosynthesis. So, it does affect how you care for the plant as I’ll explain below in the Variegated Monstera Deliciosa’s care requirements.
- Viral Infection
Some viral infections like mosaic viruses will cause variegations. There are others that will produce different colored spots and mottle.
Other Types of Variegated Monstera
Note that while the Variegated Monstera Deliciosa is the “true” variegated monstera plants. there are other monstera around with variegations as well.
Many of them come with varying degrees and styles of white splashed. However, there are a few with more unique colors as well.
Thus, you do have other options in case you cannot get hold or are not willing to pay the hefty price for the Variegated Monstera Deliciosa.
Here’s a short list:
- Monstera Thai Constellation
- Monstera Albo (Monstera Deliciosa Borsigiana Variegata)
- Monstera Aurea (Monstera Marmorata)
- Monstera Mint
Variegated Monstera Deliciosa Plant Care
Because the Variegated Monstera Deliciosa, if you do get your hands on one, you want to take proper care of it. Below, I’ll go through the different requirements the plant needs to stay healthy and grow magnificent variegated leaves.
Due to tis large white patterns, the Variegated Monstera Deliciosa needs bright, indirect sunlight. in fact, it needs more illumination compared to the standard Monstera Deliciosa which has solid green foliage.
That’s because the white sections of the leaves do not absorb sunlight.
Therefore, it is important to compensate for this by providing it with more light.
Additionally, the more light it receives, the faster it will grow. At the minimum, give the plant at least 6 hours of light daily.
However, avoid very intense light and direct sun which can burn its leaves and cause its variegations to become dull.
On the other hand, be careful of placing it somewhere with insufficient light. Here, it will survive. But in order to do so, it will adapt to the low light and turn its white patterns more green by producing more chlorophyll.
Chlorophyll is the substance that makes leaves green. And it is also what absorbs light to be used for photosynthesis.
The best climate conditions for your Variegated Monstera Deliciosa is between 60 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit. It is a topical plant, therefore, it enjoys warm temperature all year round.
It also likes consistent weather. So, try to keep it away from places where the temperature can jump up or down on any given day.
However, because tropical regions don’t experience snow and freezing conditions, keep the plant away from the cold. Avoid temperatures below 50 degrees.
The ideal humidity for the Variegated Monstera Deliciosa is 60% to 80%. This makes it perfect for greenhouses and grow cabinets if you have them.
However, the latter will eventually become an issue as the plant gets bigger.
That said, it you can give it the high humidity it desires, it will reward you with faster growth.
The good news is that the plant can tolerate humidity of 40%. So, try to keep it at this level or higher.
You can mist the plant, use a pebble tray or invest in a humidifier.
How Often to Water Variegated Monstera Deliciosa
In general, water your Variegated Monstera Deliciosa once a week during the warm months and once every 2-3 weeds during the winter.
If you live in the tropics, you can water the plant daily or every other day because the abundance of sunlight and warm weather will dry the soil much faster.
However, if you live farther from the equator, it is better to let part of the soil dry before adding more water. That’s because the plant is sensitive to overwatering.
Therefore, it is best to wait until the soil is dry 50% to 75% of the way down before adding more water.
If you like watering your plant, you can do so after the top 1-2 inches of soil have dried. This way you can avoid overwatering and root rot.
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Potting Soil for Variegated Monstera Deliciosa
The best potting soil for Variegated Monstera Deliciosa is a well-draining mix that is loose and airy. This will give the roots a lot of air circulation that the plant enjoys.
It is also important to use this kind of soil (and avoid water-retentive ones) because of the plant’s sensitivity to overwatering.
This makes an aroid mix the best option. And you can make your own by combining:
- Potting soil
- Orchid bark
If you prefer fewer ingredients, you can use:
- Potting soil and orchid bark
- Potting soil and perlite or pumice
The important thing is to have good drainage to let the excess moisture get out so the roots don’t stand in water for prolonged periods of time.
Feed your Variegated Monstera Deliciosa once a month during its growing season. You can use a standard houseplant fertilizer, an all-purpose one or balanced formulation.
The plant is not very picky when it comes to what kind.
What’s more important is it gets the nutrients it needs. This will let it grow and stay healthy.
You don’t need to fertilize it during the winter.
The Variegated Monstera Deliciosa is a climbing plant that can grow to between 10 to 15 feet high if you let it. It has a long lifespan and will keep growing taller until maturity.
Therefore, you do need to decide on whether or not you want it to get that large depending on the space you have at home.
If not you can trim the plant regularly to control its size and shape it they way you want.
When pruning, it is a good idea to keep the stems as you can use this to propagate more Variegated Monstera Deliciosa plants. Since they are rare, this is also something good to consider.
How to Propagate Variegated Monstera Deliciosa
There are many ways to propagate the Variegated Monstera Deliciosa. These include:
- Stem cuttings / Stem propagation
- Air layering
I don’t recommend starting from seed since the process is long and takes more effort. It works for commercial operations because they want to produce more plants at the same time.
But for home growers, it is not worth the time or work.
Division likewise works well if you have a big plant whose size you want reduce. The best time to do so is when repotting. And you’ll end up with a few smaller plants in place of the larger mother plant.
The most common way to propagate is through stem cuttings.
Here all you need to do it take a stem cutting. You can then propagate the stem cutting in water or in soil. It will take about 3 to 5 weeks for the roots to grow.
How to Repot or Transplant Variegated Monstera Deliciosa
In addition to growing bigger and taller, its roots will likewise do so. Therefore, once the plant gets root bound, it is a sign that it needs repotting.
In general, the plant will need to be repotted once every 2 years. But the actual time will depend on how fast it grows.
The best time to do so is during early spring so it gets a lot of time to grow before the winter arrives.
Your telltale signs are when roots start growing out of the bottom of the pot. When you see these roots sneaking out, it means the plant is root bound. Therefore, get ready to repot.
Is It Toxic/Poisonous to Humans, Cats & Dogs
Unfortunately, the Variegated Monstera Deliciosa is toxic to people, cats and dogs. But only when ingested. It contains calcium oxalate crystals which are released when the leaves are crushed or chewed.
These can cause pain, irritation, vomiting and other digestive tract issues.
Variegated Monstera Deliciosa Problems & Troubleshooting
Mealybugs, spider mites, thrips and scale are very common with Variegated Monstera Deliciosa. And because there is no guaranteed way to prevent them, the best you can do is early detection and immediate treatment.
Fortunately, when caught early, it is easy to get rid of these bugs.
I like to spray them off with water using the sink, shower head or garden hose depending on how big your plant is at the time.
The most serious disease to watch out for is root rot. Although there are other infections caused by bacterial and fungus at well, root rot is the worst as it is capable of destroying your plant it not diagnosed early enough.
Therefore, avoid overwatering and let the soil dry out a bit fore adding more water.