Thai Constellation Monstera

The Thai Constellation Monstera or Variegated Swiss Cheese plant is a tropical, climbing houseplant that can absorb moisture through aerial roots. The term variegated refers to the marbled splashes of white and creamy-yellow on its large, glossy leaves. It is an expensive, rare cultivar of Monstera deliciosa.

The Thai Constellation was developed in a Thailand laboratory from the tissue culture of the plant, Monstera deliciosa. All the original specimens came from this one place, adding to the plant’s rarity. Collectors place great value on this plant due to the unique marbling on its leaves.

The star-like constellations on the Thai Monstera’s leaves make it a very decorative and popular house plant. Almost all the leaves of this plant and cuttings made from it will have variegation. Be aware that you need some special knowledge to keep The Thai Monstera healthy.

What Is A Thai Constellation Monstera?

Thai Constellation Monstera leaf

The correct botanical name of our plant is Monstera deliciosa (Thai Constellation). This plant is a cultivated variety of the split-leaf Philodendron, Mexican breadfruit plant, or Monstera deliciosa. The Thai Constellation Monstera was developed in a laboratory and has never grown anywhere on earth in a natural state.

The identifying feature of the Thai is the variegated, buttery-colored splotches and patterns on the leaves. Because this plant was engineered by scientists, every cell contains the genetic mutation that causes the variegation. This is called Stable variegation and means all new growth will have this marbling effect.

Photosynthesis is the process whereby plants transform light into energy for growth. The green pigment in plant cells that helps with photosynthesis is called chlorophyll. In variegated plants, the white areas lack chlorophyll, so the plants need more light to grow. Variegated plants grow slower, which adds to their scarcity.

The mother plant grows in the rainforests of Central America, so the Thai likes a moist, tropical habitat with lots of filtered sunlight and a pole for support.  In warm, humid countries, this plant can grow outside successfully. It is best to keep it indoors under bright but diffused light in colder climates.

Under ideal conditions, the mature Thai Constellation plant will grow up to 8 feet tall with leaves up to 12 inches wide. They sometimes bear large white flowers and edible fruit tasting with a banana-pineapple flavor, hence the ‘deliciosa’ in Monstera deliciosa.

Be aware that all Monstera plants’ leaves, stems, and unripe fruits are toxic. Swallowing parts of this plant can lead to vomiting, diarrhea, and breathing difficulties. Be vigilant and keep pets and children away from your Thai Monstera.

Users Also Read: Types Of Monstera

The Thai Monstera Vs. Other Variegated Monstera

All plants in the Genus Monstera belong to the Arum lily Family Araceae.

They prefer the same growth habitat and have the same big heart-shaped leaves. Only a few species have light-colored blotches on their leaves, like the Thai Constellation Monstera.

Naturally-occurring spotted-leaf monsters like the Monstera deliciosa f. borsigiana and Monstera adansonii have variegated leaves due to a genetic mutation. This means that the variegation is unstable. These plants might not keep growing with speckled leaves.

There is much confusion about which variegated Monstera plants are natural and which are cultivars. Here is a quick summary:

  • Monstera deliciosa (Thai Constellation) is a rare cultivar of Monstera deliciosa.
  • Monstera deliciosa Variegata is a variegated version of Monstera deliciosa, due to natural mutation. This plant is scarce.
  • Monstera deliciosa f. borsigiana (Monstera Albo) is a natural variety of Monstera deliciosa and has whiter markings than the Thai. Sometimes whole leaves are white.
  • Monstera adansonii (Five holes plant) is a naturally variegated valid species.
Thai Constellation Monstera

How To Properly Care For A Thai Constellation Monstera

Helping your Thai Monstera to stay healthy is not difficult. Here are some considerations that are essential for the survival of this plant.

Light Requirements For The Thai Monstera

Enough indirect light is critical for this plant’s growth rate and overall health.

  1. Keep plants in bright light but not in direct sunlight, which will damage the leaves.
  2. Make use of filtered sunlight by using textured glass in the closest window. A curtain that still lets light through can also be used.
  3. You can improve the light quality by utilizing artificial light.
  4. Wash the leaves weekly with mild soap and lukewarm water.

Temperature Requirements For The Thai Monstera

The Thai Monstera is a tropical plant and will die if it is too cold.

  1. Thai constellation monstera likes it hot and humid.
  2. Keep temperatures between 64 and 70 degrees Fahrenheit.
  3. Avoid temperatures colder than 50 degrees Fahrenheit.

Humidity And Watering Requirements For The Thai Monstera

It is easy to overwater your plant, but this is as detrimental as underwatering.

  1. Water once a week in hot months, making sure the upper crust of the soil is dry before the next watering.
  2. Water sparingly in winter.
  3. Spray the foliage with water mist twice a week.
  4. High humidity is essential.
  5. Always keep the humidity above 60 percent. A humidifier can help with this.

Soil Requirements For The Thai Monstera

What the Monstera needs is well-drained soil that retains moisture.

  1. Mix good potting soil with roughage like peat, perlite, and bark.
  2. Keep the soil pH between 5 and 7,5 for a slightly acidic, tending towards neutral balance.

Related: Variegated Monstera

Fertilizer Requirements For The Thai Monstera

The aerial roots of this plant can absorb nutrients from the air, but feeding the soil is still vital for optimal growth.

  1. Good quality fertilizers are essential.
  2. Administer fertilizer consistently but only in spring and summer.
  3. Slow-release fertilizers are excellent for constant feeding but don’t put these next to the main stems to deter mold.
  4. Add worm castings to the soil to boost micro-nutrients.

What Is Wrong With My Thai Constellation Monstera?

Most houseplants are susceptible to pests and health problems.

A sensible strategy to keep your plant happy is to inspect it often for damaging insects or changes in leaf color. Sick plants need to be removed and treated in quarantine. Below is a quick guide to the most common problems.

SymptomsCauses & Suggestions  
Leaves are getting too dark.  More light is needed.
Leaves are not growing.More light and warmth are needed.  
Leaves are drying up and browning.Water more often. Check for tiny white thrips and treat the leaves with a neem oil spray.  
Leaves are yellow and wilting. Leaves are sticky.Scaly sap-suckers could be the problem. Wash with natural soap and spray with Neem oil. Remove infected plants.  
Leave tips are browning.  Indoor humidity is too low.
The leaves are all turning yellow.  Repot your plant. Provide better drainage.
Leaves are falling off.Water more often. Move plant away from windows or drafts.  
Roots and aerial roots are rotting.Change the soil immediately and improve drainage with vermiculite, perlite, moss, or peat. Do not overwater.  
White mushy mealybugs on the leaves and stems.Isolate your plant and wash with a strong spray of water. Spray with natural soap or Neem oil. Rubbing alcohol can help to get rid of the bugs.  
Blotches on the leaves.This could indicate spider mites. Increase the humidity. A good product for leaf health is Leaf Armor.  

How To Propagate Thai Constellation Monstera

The Thai Monstera can be grown from stem cuttings. Try to include a piece of stem with a node and a leaf. The cutting will grow faster if aerial roots are already growing out of the node.  It is preferable to use a rooting hormone and good quality potting soil. New roots will develop within six weeks.

If you already own a special Thai Monstera, you can use separationto make new plants. Separation is best achieved by cutting through the soil and roots. Do not cut the leaves or stems. Now transplant the separate pieces into pots with fresh potting soil.

Air layering is another propagation method that is possible where aerial roots are present. As air layering requires cutting the plant, it is essential to remember that the sap of all Monstera plants can cause skin irritation. Wear gloves when cutting the stems.

Thai Constellation Monstera

Where Can You Buy A Thai Constellation Monstera Plant?

Rare and trendy plants like the Thai Constellation are not always available at local nurseries.

Look online for a private grower that can sell you a cutting or a plant. Etsy has a variety of Thai Constellations on offer. Be careful in your choice, as some plants offered as Thai Constellations are other species of Monsteras. Always ask for several photographs before you buy a plant.

Expect to pay between $150 and $600 for a young plant. More established plants can sell for $1000 or more. The amount of variegation on the leaves also adds to the price. More of those arty speckles makes the price higher.

Conclusion

The Thai Constellation Monstera is a sought-after indoor plant requiring modest care and maintenance. It will enhance any interior with its lush, tropical forest aura and architectural good looks.

References:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Monstera

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

https://www.bybrittanygoldwyn.com/thai-constellation-monstera/

https://candidegardening.com/ZA/stories/how-to-identify-your-monstera

https://www.9news.com.au/national/thai-constellation-indoor-plants-selling-for-one-thousand-dollars/774816d0-ca94-403f-8603-fa99fee9d97d

https://www.evergreenseeds.com/monstera-thai-constellation

https://www.amazon.com/vdp/aaf9831aa220478abe802d8cb859d1f5