Monstera Deliciosa Variegata: The Perfect Addition to Your Plant Collection

Kim Marson
Kim Marson
Gardening Writer

Kim is passionate about helping people create beautiful, healthy indoor spaces that are filled with plants. Kim believes that plants make us happier, healthier human...

Monstera variegata, also known as the "Variegated Monstera deliciosa," or "split-leaf philodendron," is a rare and highly sought-after tropical climbing vine. It is known for its distinct variegation patterns, resulting in leaves with both green and white or yellow coloring. This variation makes the plant particularly unique and visually appealing.

Below, we'll take a closer look at this unique and beautiful plant, from its history/origins to discussing its characteristics and features. We'll also dive into the specifics of how to take care of it, from the type of soil and pot it needs, to how to deal with pests and diseases.

We'll also talk about how to incorporate it into your home or garden design and how to pair it with other plants and decor elements. By the end, you'll know most of the important facts about the Monstera variegata and be ready to bring this tropical beauty into your space.

Characteristics and in Common Culture

In terms of its characteristics, the leaves of Monstera variegata can grow quite large, reaching up to two feet in length and width. They also typically have holes or perforations, earning it the nickname "Swiss Cheese Plant." Additionally, the plant may produce small flowers and fruit, but its variegated leaves are the main attraction.

Regarding care, Monstera variegata prefers bright, indirect light and consistent moisture. As it is a climbing plant, it will also benefit from a moss pole or other structure to climb on.

The recent popularity of Monstera variegata can be attributed to its unique appearance and its social media attention. The leaf has become so famous on social media that it has its own Instagram hashtag and weekday: #MonsteraMonday.Additionally, its rarity has also contributed to its high demand. As a result, it can be challenging to obtain, but for many, it is worth the effort.

History and Origins

Tropical Monstera Deliciosa Variegata

Moving on to the plant history and origins, we should talk about where the plant naturally occurs in the wild. It's native to the rainforests of Central and South America, specifically in Mexico, Panama, and Colombia. As it is a tropical plant, it thrives in warm temperatures, high humidity, as well as a fair amount of rainfall.

As a plant, the Monstera has an interesting history in relation to when and how this unique plant was first discovered and brought into cultivation. According to records, Monstera Adansonii was first found in the late Seventeenth century. Still, it wasn't until 1840 that Danish botanist Frederik Liebmann discovered the popular Monstera Deliciosa, whose cultivation began soon after.

However, the plant's variegated form is considered a natural mutation, and as such, it is regarded as a rare occurrence in the wild and is hard to find. The plant became much more widely available to cultivators and collectors once it was propagated by vegetative means, like cuttings from a variegated plant.

When considering the plant's origins, the picture is incomplete unless we consider the plant's cultural and historical significance. Indigenous people have used the Monstera genus for various purposes, such as food, medicine, and cultural practices, although it is not reported to have any particular cultural or historical significance. Still, its unique variegation patterns and its rareness have made it highly prized among plant enthusiasts and collectors.

Looking at its history and origins gives us a glimpse into the Monstera variegata natural habitat and how it has been brought into cultivation. Undoubtedly, its unique variegation and rarity, as well as its cultural and historical background, make it an exciting and unique addition to any plant collection.


Let's dive deeper into the unique feature of the Monstera variegata: its variegation. But before we do that, let's ensure we're all on the same page about what exactly variegation is. In simple terms, variegation is a natural mutation that causes a plant to have different colors on its leaves, stems or flowers. The variegation itself can happen due to genetic or environmental factors.

What sets variegation apart from other forms of coloration in plants is that it's not just a simple color change but an actual change in the pigmentation of the cells within the leaf. The variegation of Monstera variegata is characterized by the presence of areas of green mixed with white or yellow, giving its leaves a unique marbled appearance.

Monstera Deliciosa Variegata

Monstera Deliciosa Variegata

Now, let's talk about the specific variegation patterns and colors in Monstera variegata. The variegation can vary a bit from plant to plant, but typically, you'll see large, irregular areas of green mixed with white or yellow. The variegation is also likely to vary from leaf to leaf and from time to time. This variability makes each plant unique, which is one reason why this plant is considered so special.

As for the impact of variegation on the growth and care of the plant, there is only a slight difference. Variegated plants tend to be slightly less hardy than their green counterparts and are often more sensitive to environmental changes. Additionally, Variegated plants tend to be more sensitive to sunburn since their lighter-colored cells contain less chlorophyll, making it more difficult for the plant to photosynthesize.

It is, though, worth mentioning that other variegation types of Monstera exist and could be great to compare with Monstera variegata, like the Monstera deliciosa variegata, which have the same unique variegated patterns but are different in size and shape. 

Mutations also cause variegated sports or cultivars. These are different from the natural variegation and can be distinguished by the uniformity of the variegation on the leaves and the lack of the green 'windows' that are present in natural variegation.

All in all, variegation in the Monstera is often spectacular and is a feature that sets Monstera variegata apart from other variegated plants. 

What is undeniable is that the plant's variegation patterns and colors, as well as the impact of variegation on the growth and care of the plant, makes it an exciting addition to any collection.

Basic Care Requirements for a Monstera Variegata

RequirementGeneral Advice
Soil/Dirt-Based MediaWell-draining soil that's high in organic matter, with equal parts of potting soil, perlite, and peat moss.
Alternative Growing MediaNot recommended
Pot SizeSuitable potting container with drainage holes
Pot MaterialAny material that provides drainage
Watering RequirementsKeep soil consistently moist, but not waterlogged. Water when the top inch of soil is dry.
Light RequirementsBright, indirect light
Temperature60-85°F (15-29°C)
PropagationStem cuttings
PruningRegular pruning to promote bushier growth
FertilizerOnce a month during the growing season with a balanced, water-soluble fertilizer.
Growth and SizeClimbing vine, with large leaves that can reach 2 feet in length and width

Having covered the history, origins, and unique variegation of the Monstera variegata, let's talk about how to keep it healthy and happy in our homes.

First up, let's talk about "Light and Temperature Requirements": This tropical plant prefers bright, indirect light and warm temperatures between 60 and 85°F. It can tolerate lower light conditions, but the variegation may become less pronounced. Direct sunlight can cause sunburn, so it's best to keep it out of direct sunlight. It's also important to note that it is a tropical plant, so it does not tolerate frost or freezing temperatures.

Soil and Potting Needs

Next, let's talk about "Soil and Potting Needs": Monstera variegata enjoys well-draining soil that's high in organic matter. A good potting mix for this plant should include equal parts of potting soil, perlite, and peat moss. An excellent potting container should have drainage holes at the bottom to prevent water from getting trapped at the pot's base and provide proper drainage.

Watering and Fertilization Guidelines

When it comes to watering, it's best to keep the soil consistently moist but not soggy. A good rule of thumb is to water when the top inch of soil is dry. As for fertilizing, it's best to fertilize your Monstera variegata once a month during the growing season with a balanced, water-soluble fertilizer.

Propagation Methods for the Monstera Variegata

Last but not least, let's talk about propagation. Propagating Monstera variegata is relatively easy and can be done through stem cuttings. To propagate:

  1. Take a cutting with at least one leaf node and a couple of leaves.
  2. Allow the cutting to callus over for a day or two, and then place it in a well-draining soil mix.
  3. Please keep it in a warm, humid location and keep the soil consistently moist but not soggy.

With proper care, your cutting should begin to root in about 3-4 weeks.

Pests and Diseases

Now that we've covered the basics of care and maintenance for the Monstera variegata, we also need to talk about how to deal with pests and diseases that may arise.

Common Pests

One of the most common pests you may encounter with your Monstera variegata is the spider mite. These tiny, eight-legged creatures spin webs on the undersides of leaves, causing leaf discoloration and, ultimately, leaf drop. To control spider mites, use a mixture of water, dish soap, or neem oil. You can also try introducing predatory mites such as Phytoseiulus persimilis, which feeds on spider mites.

Another common pest is the mealybug. Mealybugs are small, white, and fluffy and tend to congregate in clusters on new growth, flowers, and the undersides of leaves. To control mealybugs, wipe them off with a damp cloth or try rubbing alcohol on a cotton swab.

By keeping an eye out for common pests and diseases and taking steps to prevent them, you can ensure that your Monstera variegata remains healthy and beautiful for many years to come

Disease prevention and management

 Preventing diseases in your Monstera variegata is primarily a matter of proper care, including ensuring that the plant is getting the correct amount of light, water, and fertilizer. However, if you do notice any discoloration or wilting of leaves, or if you see any fungal growth or rot, it's best to remove the affected leaves or stems immediately and take action to improve the overall care and hygiene of your plant.

Tips for Maintaining a Healthy Monstera Variegata

  • Keep an eye out for pests and diseases and take action immediately if you notice anything amiss -
  • Provide the plant with consistent moisture, but don't let the soil get waterlogged -Make sure the plant is getting the right amount of light and fertilization -
  • Provide a suitable potting container with drainage holes -
  • Regularly check and tidy up the leaves from dust and debris to promote good air circulation -
  • Prune regularly to promote bushier growth -Avoid drastic changes in temperature, humidity, or light levels.

You should never forget that the Monstera variegata is a tropical plant requiring more attention and care than other houseplants.

Design and Decor

So far, we've covered the history, care and maintenance, and pests and diseases of the Monstera variegata. But the fun part is how you can incorporate this beautiful plant into your home and garden design.

Popular Ways to Incorporate the Plant Into Home and Garden Design

One of the most popular ways to incorporate the Monstera variegata into your home design is to use it as a climbing plant. It can be trained to climb a moss pole or trellis and will add a unique and tropical touch to any room. The large and unusual leaves of Monstera variegata can also be used as a statement piece, especially in a minimalist or modern interior. A single stem in a simple container can make a bold statement in any room.

How to Pair It with Other Plants and Decor Elements

The Monstera variegata can be paired with other tropical plants such as Philodendron, Pothos, or other Monstera species, complementing its lush, tropical feel. The large, glossy leaves will look great against a neutral background, such as a white wall or beige wallpaper. The unique variegation can also be paired with different textures and materials, such as wood, metal, or macramé, to create an interesting visual contrast.

Indoor and Outdoor Display Options

 The Monstera variegata can be grown indoors or outdoors, depending on the climate conditions. It will do well in a warm and humid environment and appreciate a spot that receives bright indirect light. One of its most interesting features is its trailing nature, which allows you to grow the Monstera on a moss pole or trellis or left to trail out of a hanging basket. As an outdoor plant, it can be grown on a pergola, trellis or fence and can be used as a screen or privacy wall.

As you can see, the Monstera variegata can be a versatile plant that can be used in various ways to add visual interest and tropical touch to any home or garden design. Its large, unique leaves and variegation patterns make it a statement piece that can be paired with other plants and decor elements to create a lush and visually appealing display. 

Whether grown indoors or outdoors, you can train the Monstera variegata to climb or leave it to trail, creating different design options to suit any preference or space. We have found that this flexibility makes it a fabulous addition to any interior or exterior design, making it a perfect plant to play with, experiment with, and use creatively to make your space more beautiful and unique and make you feel closer to nature.

Kim Marson
Kim MarsonGardening Writer

Kim is passionate about helping people create beautiful, healthy indoor spaces that are filled with plants. Kim believes that plants make us happier, healthier human beings, and she loves sharing her knowledge with others so they can experience the joys of plant care for themselves. <a href="">Read more</a>

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