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How to Care For a Variegated Monstera Deliciosa

Last Updated on October 13, 2022 by Plant Mom Care

Variegated Monstera Deliciosa cultivars are striking plants and rather expensive too. Once considered rare and earmarked only for serious plant collectors. They have been growing popular recently and are now in high demand as indoor plants. The regular Monstera deliciosa is found growing naturally in various Central American rainforests.

Variegated Monsteras rarely exist outdoors in nature, although it’s possible since the variegation is a chance mutation. The unique colors caused by their variegation also make them less efficient in photosynthesis than their regular green counterparts. 

This variegation can vary in color from cream to yellow, pure white, and light green. By careful propagation and cultivation variegated Monsteras have survived and spread. They also need extra care with their lighting needs. 

monstera deliciosa variegata leaf

In variegated cultivars, the fruit is also mottled in color like the plant. While it doesn’t grow as quickly because of its reduced chlorophyll, it can reach around 10 feet indoors.


Variegated Monstera Deliciosa Light Requirements

It is very important to get the right light balance for this plant if you want to maintain its variegation. It prefers bright indirect light as low lighting conditions will make the plant start to grow more green foliage and less mottling. Conversely, too much direct light will severely burn variegated leaves more easily. 

If the plant produces green foliage due to low light, it might resume producing variegated leaves again after it’s moved to a brighter spot however, if variegated leaves don’t resume growing you might have to cut the plant down to above the last variegated leaf and hope for the best.

Preventing this from happening is the better solution because of the time and trouble it will involve, not to mention the expense of buying or sourcing a replacement.


Variegated Monstera Deliciosa Watering

Watering depends on factors like the season, soil, and light levels among others. Often watering the plant on a fixed schedule will do more harm. It’s better to learn how to estimate when the plant needs watering.

The easiest way to gauge whether the plant is thirsty is by feeling the soil. If the soil feels moist it’s not time to water. Wait until the topsoil has dried before watering.


Variegated Monstera Deliciosa Humidity

As for humidity, this plant’s slightly more fragile character is something to monitor. If humidity levels fall below 50%, you might consider keeping a humidifier nearby to keep the plant happy.


Variegated Monstera Deliciosa Temperature

As for temperature, remember that this plant originally comes from the tropics and is fragile. It doesn’t like the cold and thrives in temperatures between 65-80°F. It may stop growing and suffer damage if exposed to temperatures under 50°F. Higher temperatures won’t be a problem.


Variegated Monstera Deliciosa Soil

This plant appreciates loose soil that lets its roots breathe. There are several different mixes you can make with different soil media. A simple option that the plant will like is 2 parts high-quality potting soil and 1 part each of orchid bark and perlite.


Variegated Monstera Deliciosa Repotting

This plant should be repotted when it gets too big or once in 2 years. Pick a slightly heavy well-draining container that’s about 1 or 2 inches larger – a terracotta pot will do as besides being heavy, it will promote air circulation and water evaporation.

monstera deliciosa variegata care indoors

And be careful handling the roots as the root ball has to be loosened up a bit to encourage them to spread out in the fresh new soil.


Variegated Monstera Deliciosa Propagation

Variegated Monsteras can’t be propagated from seed since the variegation will not be passed on, all you will get is a regular green offspring. Established variegated plants are expensive to buy, so most gardeners propagate from cuttings. 

Take a cutting with 1 or 2 leaves, attached to a short stem having at least 1 node, this can be rooted in water or moss. 

Propagating in water: 

Keep the cutting under bright indirect light in a container of water and a warm location until the roots grow a couple of inches long, then transplant it to well-draining soil. This method can be hit or miss since the change in soil could be hard for the plant to adjust to.

Propagating in moss: 

Works best for cuttings and you can also supplement the moss with some perlite. Place the cutting in a well-lit area and keep the moss damp but not soggy, transplanting it in soil when it develops sufficient roots.

Cover the cutting with a plastic bag to keep the humidity high around the cutting. This can be removed when the cutting has rooted well. You can also use rooting hormones to help the process.

Additional Care

This plant is a slower grower than the regular Monstera, meaning it doesn’t need much fertilizer. Yet it still needs feeding once monthly or so in spring and summer. Use a diluted aroid fertilizer and apply it when you water the plant.

Don’t feed the plant in winter when it is inactive as the extra nutrients will burn the roots.

Pruning isn’t necessary apart from removing dead leaves however, full moon or fully white leaves must be removed as they cannot photosynthesize, only drain energy, and will die soon anyway.

Provide the plant with a sturdy trellis or moss pole to help the plant climb and also promotes quicker growth. This plant becomes very top-heavy as it matures and needs support otherwise it will fall over and break.

Variegated Monstera Deliciosa Common Problems

Mealybugs, spider mites, thrips, scale, and fungus gnats are some of the pests that can attack this plant.

Mealybugs are white fuzzy and sticky dots that are found under leaves or where leaves grow from the stem. They suck sap and are very hard to fully eliminate. Strong sprays of water and regular application of insecticidal soap or neem oil will help you deal with them.

Spider mites appear as specks and are usually detected by the webs they leave. They usually appear when the air around the plant is dry. Treat as with mealybugs and make sure to keep humidity levels high to prevent them from coming back.

Thrips are small, tan-colored and have tiny wings. They attack the veins on leaves, often leaving spots behind. Use insecticidal soap and neem oil to control them.

Scales are pests that have a hard shell and attack the stems and drain sap from the plant. Swab them off with alcohol and regularly apply neem oil or insecticidal soap.

Fungus gnats are like little flies and infest the soil. Their larvae do most of the damage by attacking the roots. Remove any dead vegetation from the topsoil to prevent them from hiding there. If the infestation is bad you might have to resort to propagating new plants from cuttings after disposing of the soil.

Yellowing leaves could be due to overwatering, soggy soil, and insufficient light. Make sure you wait for the topsoil to become dry before watering. Inspect the soil and change it if it is soggy. While this plant can survive under low light for a while,  it will eventually start losing its variegation and the leaves might turn yellow. It is also natural for old leaves to turn yellow and drop off.

Types of Monstera Plants

Can I make my Monstera variegated?

Variegation is not easy to induce with regular green Monsteras. It is better to propagate cuttings of variegated plants. Some can be found online but they can be expensive as well.

What causes plants to Variegate?

Variegation is induced by a mutation that affects chlorophyll production. Some viruses, like the mosaic virus, can also induce variegation.

Is Monstera Variegata rare?

These plants rarely exist naturally and are expensive since they have to be propagated from other variegated plants. Growing them is a slow process that requires some skill. They are also more delicate than regular Monsteras and need more care and maintenance.

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