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October 5, 2020
Monstera Variegation Caring for a Variegated Monstera Deliciosa
Like all houseplants, variegated monsters need special care to thrive in their unnatural environment. The best way to ensure their health is by mimicking their natural surroundings as closely as you can.
In the case of Monstera Deliciosa, this natural habitat comprises dense tropical jungles of South America – a far cry from the semi-arid climate of suburban Australia.
Here’s how to do it:
Monstera Deliciosa plants thrive in the low-light conditions of the forest floor, so they don’t cope well in direct sunlight. In the wild, it’s this constant dappled light that causes the plant to stop producing chlorophyll in some patches of its leaves.
However, variegated plants are lacking in the chlorophyll needed to produce nutrients via photosynthesis. That means they need all the help they can get.
Due to this, it’s vital for variegated monstera plants to receive ample filtered sunlight throughout the day.
Hailing from a tropical climate, monsteras also prefer a lot of water. Since your variegated monstera’s going to be getting extra exposure to the sun, it’ll need extra watering to ensure the soil in its pot stays moist.
Depending on the size of your plant, it should need watering at least once a week. Check the level of moisture in the soil before watering. It should be moist, but you want to avoid flooding the plant.
The best way to do this is to use well-draining potting soil. Adding orchid bark and perlite to your pot can also help increase the drainage.
As you water the plant, keep checking to ensure that the soil isn’t becoming waterlogged. Most monsteras can cope with a dry spell occasionally, but some types, like the Thai Constellations, aren’t drought tolerant at all.
In the wintertime, the albo varieties of monstera need very little water.
Wiping the leaves of your monstera plant with a damp cloth helps to remove any dust and potentially harmful organisms too.
Fertilizing Your Variegated Monstera
Summertime is the growing season for all monstera varieties. At this time, it’s best to apply an organic or commercially-available liquid fertilizer at least once a month during the spring and summer.
Be wary of overfertilizing your plants as this leads to a salt build up around the roots. This can prevent the roots from absorbing water as they should.
To be safe, it’s a good idea to give your plant a soaking shower and root rinse every couple of months to remove any mineral and salt buildup.
Cut your applications of fertilizer to half as often during the wintertime.
Humidity Level and Temperature
You can replicate the native jungle environment of your plant’s natural landscape by misting it regularly with a water bottle. About once every couple of days should do the trick.
Monstera Deliciosa does best in temperatures between 18 and 27° C. They won’t grow in temperatures below 10°C.
Maintaining the Variegations on Your Monstera Plant
As discussed earlier, most of the variegated monsters can occasionally lose their variegated pattern. This means they’ll start to sprout new, un-variegated leaves.
Simply cut off these plain green leaves and stems to help the variegated leaves maintain optimum health. With fewer leaves to feed, the plant is better able to nurture the variegated leaves.
When in doubt, always consult your nurseryman about anything you’re not sure about when caring for your variegated monstera.