Albino Monsteras – All About The Rare and Expensive Variegated Monstera

An Albino Monstera is also known as a Variegated Monstera. There are two types of variegated Monstera, namely the Thai Constellation and Albo Borsigiana, which have distinguishing features that tell them apart. Variegated monsteras are extremely expensive because of their popularity and rarity.

Albino monsteras – also known as Variegated Monsteras – are extremely rare and have garnered interest in the gardening community. We wanted to know why this beautiful and coveted plant is so popular, so we took a closer look. If you want to know a little more about the elusive Albino Monstera, we’ve got you covered.

What Is An Albino Monstera?

An Albino Monstera is a simple term for what is known as a Variegated Monstera.

Variegation refers to the color difference in a plant’s leaves. Color may be varied in spots or patched and can sometimes change the color of the entire leaf. This happens because of a genetic mutation in plants that stops the plant from producing chlorophyll.

Because of its appearance and lack of pigmentation, Variegated Monsteras have also been dubbed Albino Monsteras, even though these Monsteras are not pure white.

Related: Aerial Roots on Monstera: Detailed Care Guide

Types Of Variegated Monsteras

There are two types of Variegated Monsteras, each with its own characteristics and variegation types. They are the Thai Constellation and the Albo Borsigiana.

Thai Constellation

The Thai Constellation variegation is considered a more stable variegation than the Albo. This is because they have been created in labs via tissue cultures and so are genetically produced.

Their stability allows you to keep the color of your plant without having to cut back any of the stems. Because the entire plant carries the mutated gene, you will never know how the variegation pattern will occur.

The color patterns of the Thai Constellation present themselves as small spots or speckles on the plant’s leaves. They are generally a warm cream or light-yellow color. These are the most common types of variegated monsteras that you can buy.

Thai Constellations tend to grow faster than their counterpart, and the leaves of the mature plants can grow between two to three feet wide.

Albo Borsigiana

The Albo Borsigiana variation carries a natural gene for genetic mutation, making it an unstable variegation. Because of this, plant owners will need to cut the stems back if they grow without any color differentiation.

By trimming the stems, you can allow your plant to grow another leaf that may or may not have variegation, which is never guaranteed with this type of Monstera.

The Albo Borsigiana also has larger, more blocky areas of discoloration, which can sometimes lead to your Monstera having a half-green, half-white leaf. The color patterns are beautiful and give the Monstera an incredible visual appeal.

The leaves of this variegated plant are much smaller than the Thai Constellation, though, and only grow to around a foot wide.

How To Care For A Variegated Monstera

Both the Thai and the Albo are relatively easy to care for and require identical growing conditions. But, if you’re a beginner plant parent, you may want to opt for the Thai Constellation at first. The Thai is generally easier to care for because it doesn’t require pruning to keep the variegation.

If you are a more experienced plant keeper, the choice is yours. Although because of the unstable variegation of the Albo, you’ll want to keep in mind that it will require more maintenance to keep the color variation.

Watering Albino Monsteras

In terms of growing conditions, the two types are extremely similar. Both will require a good amount of humidity and will thrive in indirect sunlight. You should be careful not to expose your Monsteras to direct sunlight, though, because it may result in your beautiful white leaves burning in the harsh heat.

You should always check your plant’s watering requirements as soon as you get them. Before you water your new Monstera, check the moisture level in the soil to make sure it isn’t too wet below the surface.

You could also consider aerating your plant’s soil before watering it for the first time. When a plant is shipped, the seller often compacts the soil to prevent it from shifting during transportation. Soil aeration can help it to breathe and release any trapped moisture.

Monsteras prefer a continuous mild moisture level in their soil. They are considered epiphytes with aerial roots and are sensitive to overwatering, so they won’t thrive if they are sitting in wet soil.

When you test the top of the soil for moisture, be sure to assess the top two inches of soil. If it feels dry, your Monstera is probably thirsty! So, go ahead and pour your precious plant a drink. But if you can still feel moisture, give your plant a chance to absorb it all before watering it again.

Another great care tip is to rotate your plant regularly to guarantee even development on all sides. Be sure to dust the leaves frequently to ensure optimal photosynthetic activity.

You can also take advantage of the opportunity when you dust the leaves and inspect the undersides for bugs while you’re at it. Your Monstera will thank you for a pest-free environment.

Finally, keep in mind that each plant is a unique and living organism with distinct needs. You’ll have a long and happy relationship with your Variegated Monstera if you pay attention to its optimal growing conditions and watering requirements.

Also Check: Climbing Monstera

Why Are Variegated Monsteras So Expensive?

The simple answer here is that Variegated Monsteras are expensive because they are rare. On top of this, they are popular! So, sellers can hike up the price quite a bit due to their higher demand.

There is a price difference depending on the type of variegation you are planning on buying, though.

The Thai Constellation is easier and has a higher success rate when it comes to propagation. This is likely due to its stable and consistent variegation. As a result, they are more widely available and consequently less expensive than their counterpart.

The Albo is more difficult to propagate properly. This is because it must be trimmed to ensure that it will produce variegated stems and leaves.

If there is too much variation, the likelihood of the plant surviving is almost zero. Because the white regions lack chlorophyll pigment, it is unable to photosynthesize. Your plant will need a good ratio of green to white pigment to ensure that it can grow and receive the nutrients it needs through photosynthesis.

The price is almost always determined by the availability of the Monstera as well. If you live in a country where it is more difficult to find, it is all but guaranteed that the price tag may end up being a little heftier than usual.

Because the Thai Constellation is produced by tissue culture, there is a technically stable supply of these plants. But, because of their immense popularity, they are nonetheless snapped up as soon as they become available, making them harder to come by.

On the other hand, the Albo can only be replicated through cuttings. They are generally more expensive because they are rarer than the Thai Constellation and more difficult to find.

Albino Monsteras

Buying A Variegated Monstera

The most common place to find a variegated monstera is online. You should make sure that you’re buying your plant from a reputable seller, though, to avoid disappointment.

If you’re looking to buy a variegated monstera, there are a few things to consider. Remember that most cultivars cannot be grown from seed, so be wary of those offering to sell you ‘variegated monstera seeds.’

If you’re buying a cutting, be sure it has at least one node on the stem. The cutting will never establish roots or mature into a viable plant without a node.

Finally, while a high amount of variegation on a cutting or plant may be appealing, avoid buying a variegated monstera cutting that is totally white or variegated. The cutting will not survive due to a lack of chlorophyll, which is essential fuel for the plant.

Conclusion

Monsteras are beautiful and can make an extravagant addition to your home. But, before you shell out for a variegated monstera, you should be well informed on what to expect, how to care for it, and know the risks of purchasing a rare plant like these online.

References

https://pistilsnursery.com/blogs/journal/variegated-indoor-plants-the-science-behind-the-latest-houseplant-trend

https://www.thespruce.com/variegated-monstera-deliciosas-5089401