Ever since the pandemic started in 2020, almost every corner of every home has been filled with a houseplant, from the common types to rare plants. Plants have somehow been considered as an escape from our troubled world.
The attractiveness of plants, undoubtedly, creates a fascinating ambiance. One plant that really stood out and has made a lot of plant lovers berserk is the Monstera. Even though considered peculiar, Monstera continues to gain popularity because of its uniqueness and rarity.
If you’re a fan of Monstera, then you might be interested in knowing what its varieties are. As you may already know, each Monstera plant has different characteristics and they all have individual interpretations of beauty.
Did you know that Monstera has 45 varieties? That’s such a lot! However, not all of them enjoy the same level of popularity. There are really Monstera species that exude a higher level of exquisiteness, which you’ll find out later in this article.
What is a Monstera Plant?
The most well-liked variety of Monstera is the Monstera Deliciosa. Because of its popularity, more and more plant lovers are eager to own this variegated houseplant. It can be availed over the internet, and most often in trusted auction sites, Pinterest and Instagram. You might find it difficult to get one from your local community.
What makes the Monstera Deliciosa unique is that it features split green leaves and exclusive patterns. It is a flowering indoor plant that is able to grow in tropical countries like the Philippines and Mexico. “Deliciosa”, by the way, means delicious, which is literally referring to the attractive and beautiful fruit that Monstera deliciosa bears.
This Monstera plant is likewise called the Swiss cheese plant because its leaves often develop holes and split patterns, which makes it very unique.
There’s also what we call the variegated Monstera, a rare houseplant, which makes this topic about Monstera even more exciting. The unique leaf features of Monstera deems it easy to recognize.
What Does Variegation Mean?
Variegation refers to the manifestation of multi-colored areas on leaves. This phenomenon on plants is brought about by genetic mutation that does not often occur in nature.
So, in simple terms, it basically talks about the appearance of the stems and leaves having more than a single color.
You’ll likely see splatters of colors of green, white, yellow, or cream on the leaves of a variegated plant. The patterns can either be spots, splats, or streaks.
Variegation may seem very natural, isn’t it? But are you aware that some variegated Monstera plants actually have undergone genetic modification, or, in other words, formulated in a laboratory?
This is done by way of careful breeding to achieve a distinct look, which every Monstera plant is known for.
Most variegated plants, like the Monstera plant, are rare because of the light patches on their leaves. Though it sounds impressive, it is actually a characteristic that’s not entirely good simply because all plants naturally demand chlorophyll in order to thrive.
Chlorophyll is an important factor in the development of plants since it is responsible for giving them their green color and in carrying out the process of photosynthesis.
For the variegated Monstera varieties, which have speckled leaves that are lightly colored, they need to double their time in creating chlorophyll so they can grow healthy. Giving them a sufficient amount of sunlight will do the trick.
Monstera Obliqua is one of the rarest among the variegated Monstera varieties. It is an epiphyte houseplant that grows rapidly, and normally has a height of 4 feet to 10 feet. Its height completely depends on the soil condition and humidity level.
The Monstera obliqua is a fenestrated plant. This means that its leaves have natural holes or transparent areas. The number of holes found on the leaves usually outnumbers the number of leaves on one entire plant.
At first, you might think that this variegated Monstera plant is a Monstera Adansonii because they look closely alike. They can be differentiated through their leaves.
Another difference is that the Monstera Adansonii can be sourced a lot easier than the Monstera Obliqua, which, in fact, has only been located 17 times in its natural environment.
Obliqua is one of the varieties that has a slow growth rate and chooses to be positioned in an area where there’s indirect sunlight. Overexposing it to the sun can lead to damaged leaves.
Monstera Siltepecana, also called Silver Monstera, has leaves that display silver marks or colorations. Just like the Monstera Obliqua, it is also an epiphyte houseplant that likes to cling on its host tree and then eventually becomes a vine.
Once the Monstera Siltepecana reaches maturity, its leaves begin to go through the process of fenestration. It starts to exhibit tear-shaped holes that are bigger on the outer part and smaller near the center.
The Siltepecana variegated Monstera is lighter in color as compared to other varieties. It also necessitates bright yet indirect sunlight, and this is why experts recommend that you position it near a window.
The Monstera Dubia belongs to the least popular variegated Monstera varieties and is not closely similar to the appearance of other Monstera plants. Although it doesn’t look like some of the popular Monstera plants, its beauty can still manage to stand out and add to the attractiveness of your home.
The leaves of Monstera Dubia have the shape of a heart and are light green and dark green in color. This is also an epiphyte plant that climbs on surfaces near it.
Upon maturity, this Monstera plant creates enormous fenestrations if left to grow in the wild. But this is somewhat impossible to happen to a Dubia in an indoor setting.
It will probably take a number of years before this happens simply because it is not able to obtain a similar amount of sunlight.
Monstera Variegata, otherwise known as Monstera Deliciosa Variegata, develops specks or spots naturally. Meaning, the markings on the leaves undergo the natural mutation process and are not fabricated in a laboratory.
The Monstera Variegata is another rare plant that boasts exquisiteness. Its spots come in large white or light-colored patterns, splashes or marks.
As compared to other Monstera varieties, the Variegata doesn’t possess green leaves. Instead, they come in white and green brought about by the mutation that’s preventing the leaves to turn entirely green.
This is another rare and natural variegated Monstera plant that often catches the attention of plant lovers because it features individuality, making it one of the most luxurious plants.
Monstera Pinnatipartita develops slits on its leaves instead of holes. When still young, its leaves appear to have partitions, but once it matures, the leaves start to split apart.
The leaves of the Monstera Pinnatipartita have a rubbery texture and its stems are emerald green in color. If placed outdoors, this Monstera plant variation climbs surfaces, but because of its uniqueness and beauty, many prefer to use it as a decoration inside their homes.
Due to its rarity, the Monstera Pinnatipartita can mostly be found on online stores or auction sites.
Monstera Deliciosa Borsigiana or Monstera Albo
The Monstera Deliciosa Borsigiana, or also known as Monstera Albo, is one variety of Monstera that tends to mutate frequently. This is mostly one of the favorite Monstera plants of plant lovers and collectors. A lot of people say that this plant is worth investing in.
The leaves of the Monstera Albo are a bit smaller as compared to the usual Monstera Deliciosa, but it grows more rapidly.
The Monstera Borsigiana and the Monstera Deliciosa look almost the same. But you can differentiate these two varieties of Monstera through their stems.
The stem of the Monstera Deliciosa has some kind of ripples on its sides, which is not evident on the Monstera Borsigiana. They also vary in height – Deliciosa is usually taller.
What’s common about these Monstera variations is their demand for sunlight. They both have to be placed in a shaded area.
Both of these variegated Monstera plants are common and they’re very easy to propagate.
Monstera Deliciosa Thai Constellation
The Monstera Deliciosa Thai Constellation is one of the most popular types of Monstera. This is the modified version of the Monstera Deliciosa. It has the word “Thai” attached to its name because it was developed in a laboratory in Thailand.
Monstera Deliciosa Thai Constellation is the most photographed variegated Monstera because it’s just so extraordinary and attractive. You’ve probably seen a lot of them circulating on different social media sites and even on several websites.
Its lush green leaves, its remarkable white steaks, and its cream speckles are the main reasons why it’s popular worldwide. These features of the Monstera Thai Constellation deserve to have a space in your home.
Just make sure that you’re ready to spend a big amount for this rare plant.
Frequently Asked Questions About the Variegated Monstera
What is needed to successfully grow a variegated Monstera?
Each variety of variegated Monstera demands a good exposure to indirect sunlight. If left directly under the sun, their leaves will suffer damages and burns. As much as possible, keep them indoors and just place them near your windows.
All Monstera variations love a humid environment, which is why they are considered as tropical plants. Do not overwater them as it may lead to root rot.
Why are most variegated Monstera plants rare?
Since most variegated Monstera plants produce smaller amounts of chlorophyll, they entail enormous effort and skills to grow such delicate plants.
How can I keep the variegated Monstera attractive?
Always make sure that your variegated Monstera gets adequate but indirect sunlight. Be mindful of the humidity level of the area where it’s positioned. Also, it is important that you make use of well-draining soil to prevent root rot.