You have seen a photo of your dream Variegated Monstera Albo and now you want one identical. Is it possible? What to look for? Blocky, Marble, Half Moon, Reverting – What does it all mean?
Monstera Albo OR Variegated Monstera deliciosa or Variegated Monstera deliciosa or Vareigated Monstera deliciosa variety borsigiana or Variegated Monstera borsigiana – no matter what you want to call it – this information holds true.
All OUR Variegated Monstera deliciosa borsigiana comes from the one “mother” that we found that had been growing in a garden for over 20 years – so we knew it was a stable variegation. And we have propagated them all by cutting so they are all genetically identical.
So why is everyone plant different?
Bascially it’s green and white cells fighting it out at a dna level. (It’s called chimeral variegation and that’s another essay to its self.) Whilst no one can predict what the next leaf will be like; our experience has shown that the colours and pattern on the stem is the best indicator of what the leaves will be like. The leaf pattern of the Mother plant only plays a small role in the outcome of the new plant (I will write another post on this).
As such, we only sell plants with stems that we feel will continue to produce variegation – whilst not 100% perfect, it’s as good as we (anyone) can do.
So bascially, the theory is…
- if the stem is half green and half white you will get big blocky patches of colour and possibly the “half moon” where half the leaf is green and half the leaf is white. Flip side you are likely to also get all green and all white leaves.
- if the stem has thick lines of white and green then you could expect “blocky patches”
- if the stem is patchy with splotches and lines then you could expect a “marble”, the more dense the splotching the stronger the variegation
- often a stem will display a variety of patterns
AND the stem can CHANGE!!! As it comes down to the “white” and “green” cells fighting it out at a dna level.
So, what do you do if you get a pure white leaf?
Firstly, don’t panic. A pure white leaf has no chlorophyll. Chlorophyll is what gives leaves the green colour and allows the plant to turn sunlight into sugars to sustain growth. So, a white leaf can’t survive on it’s own BUT if the rest of the plant has heaps of green – it will support a white leaf. My general rule of thumb with a Variegated Albo is to see what the next leaf comes out like and what the stem looks like. IF, the stem is pure white and the second leaf is white – then it’s propbably time to cut it back to a node and let it re-shoot. IF, the stem still has a good amount of green then just let it have another leaf before deciding.
Because a pure white leaf is delicate, it does tend to brown more easily. So, if your plant just gives you a random white one and it does brown, you can just cut the leaf off.
So, what do you to if you get a pure green leaf? (Reverting)
Again – don’t panic. A pure green leaf is going to give your plant a lot of energy, so just enjoy it. If you get a second and the stem is really looking green – then it might be time to cut it back and let it re-shoot. If there is still a good amount of white on the stem, it might be worth letting it have a third before deciding to cut.
But I want one that looks like… (my dream photo)
Yes, the age of Social Media makes us want lots of things.
Firstly, remember that in the land of photography just like Hollywood, not everything is what it appears.
Secondly, every variegate plant is like humans – unique.
Thirdly, what a variegated Monstera starts off like does not mean it will stay the same for all its life.
So if I buy a Cutting will it be the same as the Mother?
Well, if you have read the above – then you now know that the answer is – “no”.The node may not even contain both green and white – so just because you have a cutting off a variegated plant does not mean it will display. And if you do get a variegted shoot, there is no guarantee it will be anything like the Mother due to the green and white fighting it out at the dna level.
Finding Your Dream Variegated Monstera Albo
Now, hopefully you have a little more idea of what to look for when on the search for your “DREAM” Monstera. Keep looking and I’m sure you will find the ONE.