The Variegated Monstera Peru is also called the Monstera Peru Variegated plant. It also goes by its other name the Variegated Monstera Karstenianum or the Monstera Karstenianum Variegata.
All of these names refer to the same plant.
And it looks just about the same of its all-green counterpart the Monstera Peru except for its white, yellow and light green variegations.
The Variegated Monstera Peru is very rare and hard to find. As such, don’t be surprised to see it come with an expensive price.
How do you care for Variegated Monstera Peru? Give the plant medium to bright indirect light to maintain its colorful leaves. Be careful about low light as the plant may revert and lose its variegations.
It is a tropical plant from the rainforests of South America. As such, it enjoys warm, humid conditions and moist soil. Be careful not to overwater the plant.
Variegated Monstera Peru Plant Care
Variegated Monstera Karstenianum Light Requirements
The Variegated Monstera Peru enjoys medium to bright indirect light indoors. This is where it thrives. And giving it this kind of light will allow it to maintain its lovely green and yellow colors.
The plant can also tolerate low light to a surprisingly good extent.
I say surprising because of its variegations. As you probably already know, variegated plants need more light than their solid green or all-green leafed counterparts.
As such, while the plant can do well in low light, I don’t suggest it.
I’ve actually seen quite a few Variegated Monstera Peru living near north facing windows without any problems. As long as they get several hours of sunlight, they’ll be happy.
However, always keep in mind that this is one that can revert.
As such, it can lose its yellow, cream and light green variegations and return to having all green leaves. When this happens, it ceases to be a Variegated Monstera Peru and instead becomes a Monstera Peru.
This is why good lighting is very important.
Low light is the most common reason for variegated plants to revert especially the chimeras, which the Monstera Peru Variegated plant is.
As a side tip, if you notice one or two leaves reverting, quickly prune them off. This usually stops the rest from following suit.
If you let it keep going, the rest can follow.
Of course, any time the plant starts to show signs of reverting, check lighting again and move it to somewhere brighter if needed.
However, be careful about too much light as well.
The plant grows in the forest understory below the canopy of leaves and trees. As such, it is not used to very strong or intense sun exposure.
Therefore, keep it under indirect, filtered or dappled light. Avoid direct sunlight especially during mid-day which is the hottest times of the day.
Too much direct sun exposure will scorch its leaves and cause sunburn.
Variegated Monstera Karstenianum Temperature
The Variegated Monstera Karstenianum is native to the tropical rainforests of South America. As such, it prefers temperatures between 60 and 85 degrees Fahrenheit.
Ideally, keep the plant somewhere with consistently warm temperature as well. It does not like fluctuations. And its leaves can turn yellow or brown due to sudden temperature changes.
So, while the Variegated Monstera Karstenianum is easy to care for inside homes because of its light and temperature preferences, you do want to avoid a few potential problem areas.
Air conditioners, cold drafts and areas that can get suddenly cold at night.
Similarly, heaters, stoves, fireplaces, radiators can cause temperature fluctuations as well.
Outdoors, the Monstera Karstenianum Variegata loves USDA Hardiness Zones 10 to 12 because these locales have warm, sunny climates all year round.
If you live within these areas, you can keep the plant outdoors all year round.
For optimal growth, the Variegated Monstera Peru thrives in high humidity, ideally between 60% and 70%.
However, it will tolerate 40% humidity with no problems or harm.
The reason the plant enjoys humidity is because it is native to tropical South America which in on and around the equator.
Additionally, the plant is often found in the rainforests there.
Due to the regular rainfall, the Variegated Monstera Peru is used to damp conditions. This keeps humidity high.
And by giving the plant good humidity, it will reward you by growing faster and bigger. It will also produce larger and more vibrant colored leaves.
That said, depending on where you live, humidity may or may not be an issue.
But in case the air gets dry in your home, it is a good idea to increase humidity around the plant. Otherwise, you may notice its leaf tips and edges turn brown and crispy.
This is due to the lack of moisture in the air.
If this happens, you can set up a humidifier, mist the plant or make your own DIY pebble tray.
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How Often to Water Variegated Monstera Peru
Watering is the most important part of caring for your Variegated Monstera Peru. That’s because of two things.
- This plant is more tolerant than many other monstera varieties.
- It is susceptible to overwatering and root rot.
This combination means you’re better off allowing the plant to dry out a bit more.
As such, the best way to water the plant is to wait until the top half of the soil (50% from the top) is dry. If you want to be conservative, let the soil dry out completely between watering.
However, be careful not to leave it completely dry for long periods of time. The plant will eventually gee dehydrated if you leave the soil dry for 3 or more weeks.
If you’re an aggressive waterer, you can water the plant when the top quarter (25%) of the soil has dried.
This gives you enough of a leeway to avoid adding more water when the soil is still wet or moist.
Doing so ensures that you don’t end up with overwatering.
Variegated Monstera Peru Potting Soil
The best soil for he Variegated Monstera Peru is light, well-draining soil that is rich in organic matter. The plant also prefers slightly acidic to neutral pH soil.
Good drainage and aeration are both important because the plant is an epiphyte.
Therefore, in the tropical jungles of South America, it grows on trees climbing and clinging onto them. This keeps its roots exposed to the air.
As such, it is used to getting a lot of oxygen to breathe.
Additionally, because its roots are not in soil, when they get wet, the roots tend to dry fairly quickly due to light and air circulation.
So, while it does rain a lot in the rainforest, the plant’s roots don’t stay wet for very long.
As such, while it does enjoy moisture, the soil you plant your Variegated Monstera Peru must be able to drain excess water quickly.
To do this, a well-draining soil is necessary.
You can use a combination of:
- 1 part coco coir
- 1 part perlite
- 1 part orchid bark
Together, the potting mix is able to provide enough water retention to keep the roots hydrated. At the same time, it gives you sufficient drainage so the roots don’t end up sitting in water for long periods of time.
The mix also provides nutrients needed by the plant for optimal growth.
Does the Variegated Monstera Peru Climb?
Yes, the Variegated Monstera Peru is a climber. And it will appreciate it if you give it a vertical support to climb.
You can use a moss pole, cedar stake or trellis. Any vertical structure will pretty much work.
The Variegated Monstera Peru will not only grow faster but also bigger if allowed to climb. Additionally, it will produce larger leaves as well.
The Variegated Monstera Karstenianum will appreciate fertilizer. But avoid low quality, cheap fertilizers.
That’s because these tend to contain and leave a lot of excess salt.
More importantly, salt is toxic to plants, especially if you allow it to build up in the soil. When this happens, the roots and leaves can sustain damage over time.
Instead, I suggest going with a high quality balanced fertilizer diluted to half strength.
Only apply the fertilizer when the plant is actively growing. This tends to be in spring and summer. Don’t feed the plant in the fall and winter as the cold weather will keep it from growing much.
Once a month feeding during its growing season is all the plant needs.
Avoid over fertilizing as this will result not only it you giving the plant more nutrients but also more salts.
To help prevent this, you can skip the synthetic fertilizer (although it is what’s most commonly used since it is much more economical).
Instead, you can go with slow-release fertilizer pellets.
Another more affordable, organic option is fish emulsion. But be warned about the strong fish odor.
If you don’t want to use fertilizer altogether, you can use compost or worm castings instead. Just add it as topdressing each spring.
You can do so by adding a quarter or half inch layer of compost or worm castings on top of the potting mix. This will slowly release nutrients into the soil over time.
The Variegated Monstera Karstenianum is a perennial vine that will grow to between 6 to 8 feet tall.
As mentioned, it will grow faster and bigger if you give it something to climb. Thus, this is one way to make the plant more impressive.
Note that the Variegated Monstera Peru is a slow grower.
Thus, don’t expect it to grow as fast as some other monstera varieties.
This also makes it a good choice for your home, patio or garden if you don’t want the plant to quickly take over the space. That’s something I’ve noticed my Monstera Deliciosa tends to do due to its faster growth.
As such, pruning is low maintenance for the Variegated Monstera Peru.
It can get bushy which makes it look beautiful. And you can prune it if you want to encourage it to grow more.
In most cases, home gardeners will trim the plant if it gets too big. Thus, size and shape are usually the main reasons for pruning.
Additionally, remove any yellow, brown, damaged or diseases leaves as soon as you see them.
How to Propagate Variegated Monstera Peru
The Variegated Monstera Peru is easy to propagate. And the most effective way to do so is through stem cuttings.
This will allow you to grow a clone of the mother plant along with its variegations.
Here’s how to propagate the Variegated Monstera Peru from stem cuttings step by step.
Choose a stem or stems as potential cuttings. The most important thing is that each cutting should have at least one node and 2-3 leaves on it.
Once you’ve selected which stems to cut, use a sterile pair or scissors or pruning shears to cut just below the node.
From here, it is time to decide whether you want to propagate in water or propagate in soil. Both methods work so it is really up to your preference.
Propagating Variegated Monstera Peru in Water
To propagate the Variegated Monstera Peru in water,
- Place the cuttings into a glass container filled with water. Remove the lower leaves that end up in the water. Make sure the nodes are submerged in the water.
- Keep the glass in bright, indirect light.
- You’ll also need to replace the water every 1-2 weeks to keep it from getting cloudy.
- In about 3-4 weeks, you should see enough roots growing from the cuttings.
Once the roots reach about 2 inches or longer, move the cuttings into a pot with well-draining soil.
Propagating Variegated Monstera Peru in Soil
To propagate the Variegated Monstera Peru in soil,
- Prepare a pot and fill it with well-draining potting mix.
- Dip the cut end of the stem into rooting hormone. This step is optional so skip if you don’t have rooting hormone at home.
- Plant the cutting into the soil, making sure the node is buried in the potting mix.
- Water the soil. And keep doing so to keep the soil moist once it dried. But don’t overwater it.
- Place the pot in bright indirect light.
In about 4 weeks, the roots will be establishing themselves onto the soil.
Since the plant is already in potting mix, you don’t need to move it until it is time to repot the plant.
How to Repot or Transplant Variegated Monstera Peru
The Variegated Monstera Peru will need to be repotted at some point as it grows.
Although, this does take a little bit of a while since the plant is a slow grower. On average it takes around 2 to 3 years before repotting is required.
That said, I prefer to check the plant and see what it is telling me.
To do so, check the bottom of the pot once every 6 months or annually during spring. If you see roots coming out from the bottom of the pot, that’s your sign that it is time to repot.
Before then, there’s no reason to repot.
And don’t just move the plant to a new pot because you want to. It does not like being disturbed.
When repotting, choose a container that is 2 inches wider than the current pot. Also, replace the potting mix with a fresh, well-draining one.
Is It Toxic/Poisonous to Humans, Cats & Dogs
Yes, the Variegated Monstera Peru is toxic. It contains insoluble calcium oxalate crystals that are toxic to people and animals when ingested.
As such, keep the plant out of the reach of young children, cats and dogs.
In case they accidentally ingest its leaves or stems, make sure to immediately call your pediatrician or veterinarian. Tell them what happened and they will advise you on what to do.
Variegated Monstera Peru Problems & Troubleshooting
The Variegated Monstera Peru can experience pest. So, you do need to watch out for common houseplant pests.
These include spider mites, mealybugs, whiteflies, scale, aphids and fungus gnats.
Unfortunately, there’s not fool-proof way to prevent these bugs from coming around plants.
Therefore, your best defense is regular inspection. Doing so will prevent an infestation from happening.
These pests are much easier to get rid of when there are only a few of them. Additionally, they fewer they are the less damage they inflict.
Pests become dangerous when they develop into an infestation.
The most serious problem to look out for is root rot. Ideally, you want to prevent it.
That’s because root rot develops while it is hidden from sight. Therefore, it can become serious before you notice any symptoms occurring in the leaves.
As such, any overwatering issues warrants a check of the roots under the soil.
While it can be a hassle, it is always better to be safe than sorry.
To avoid root rot, don’t overwater the plant. Additionally, use well-draining soil and a pot with drainage holes at the bottom.