Variegated Monstera Tips & Tricks
The ever-coveted Variegated Monstera. Imagine one of those old Looney Toon cartoons where the wolf jaw drops when a pretty girl walks by... that was me the first time I saw one of these plants. I had no idea that plants could grow with such incredibly beautiful patterns. The minute I saw it I absolutely knew I needed one, and knew it would most likely cost me a pretty penny.
Today I want to go over the basics for caring for variegated plants, and more specifically the Variegated Monstera Deliciosa.
How to Grow a Healthy Variegated Monstera
Fertilizing is important for indoor plants, but over-fertilizing a Variegated Monstera Fertilizer can cause problems. A regular Monstera plant should be fertilized pretty regularly in the spring and summer months (about monthly), so the Variegated Monstera can be fertilized about half of that. In the winter time, I fertilize my regular Monstera plants once every couple months and again, my Variegated Monstera I fertilize even less. In Portland specifically we don't get a lot of sunlight in the winter time so I try not to feed my plants too often since they do not tend to grow much anyway. Those babies need the sunlight!
Overfertilizing can cause a salt buildup around the roots of the plant and will prevent it from soaking up water as efficiently as it does normally. So be careful not to over-feed! It is good to give your plant a thorough shower and soil rinse every few months anyway to remove any salt/mineral buildup.
I personally use a liquid Miracle Grow indoor plant fertilizer that I dilute with water. There are lots of varieties out there, but I find the liquid fertilizer is easiest for me to use so I always lean that direction.
Variegated plants need a little more sunlight to survive since they have less chlorophyll than regular Monstera varieties. With less chlorophyll, they have to work extra hard to create the energy they need to survive. Keeping your Variegated Monstera in a bright indirect spot will ensure your plant is getting all it needs to stay healthy and grow extra lush and full. Definitely do not take its need for more light as a sign that it will like direct sunlight, though... this is a sure way to scorch their leaves. BRIGHT INDIRECT ALL THE WAY.
The Variegated Monstera is a slow grower! Generally, variegated plants grow slower than other plants of the same variety because they don't produce a ton of chlorophyll so they have a harder time converting sunlight into the food they need to grow. If you don't see a new leaf developing for a while... just keep waiting.
Here are a couple of my newest leaves on my Variegated Monstera. The slow unfurling is painstakingly difficult to wait for, but it’s always so worth it.
Where to Get One
Because these plants are pretty rare, I can guarantee you’ll be spending a small fortune for anything they than a one-leaf cutting. I’ve personally gotten two cuttings from eBay, and one from the Monstera Supply Company online.
My healthiest cutting, which has given me two new leaves since April, was one of the eBay cuttings. It came with a healthy root system and a few leaves already well established so it took little time to get established in soil. The second eBay cutting came with the same kind of setup, ok roots and a few leaves but the leaves were fairly damaged small. They seemed stunted and might have either been scorched by too much sunlight or overwatering. With some diligent care, thay cutting is now prett well established and has given me one new leaf since April. My last cutting from Monstera Supply Company was a total risk. I hadn’t seen the photo of my actual cutting and just trusted with a name brand I’d get a decent cutting. A few weeks ago my shipment came in, and I received one leaf shell (the leaf/stem that had already produced a new leaf and won’t produce another) with one long aerial root. Oi. I currently have the leaf and aerial root in water hoping to sprout a healthy enough root system that it’ll shoot off another stem and then more leaves. I’ll keep you updated!
Again, buying from an online seller is always hit or miss so do your homework:
- Make sure the images of the plant you are buying are the actual images of the plant or cutting you will be receiving and not just stock photos.
- Check out the seller. Check reviews of others who have purchased from them and never be afraid to ask questions! How long will shipping take? What will the packaging look like? How do they ensure the plant or cutting isn’t destroyed in the shipping process.
Do you have a Variegated Monstera? What are your favorite leaf patterns??