Monstera Albo is a subspecies of the popular monstera deliciosa. With its white variegation and long striped stems, this plant has become one of the hottest varieties for plant enthusiasts.
It is no wonder why this plant is on everyone’s most wanted list, but before you make the decision to buy one of these plants, take time to understand and learn what you need to know about caring for your monstera albo.
In this article, we’ll cover all you need to know about the monstera albo, from growing conditions to propagation, from its variegation to troubleshooting common problems.
Botanical Name: Monstera Deliciosa ‘Albo Variegata’
Common Name: Monstera albo, variegated monster, Swiss Cheese Plant, Windowleaf
Plant Type: Perennial
Hardiness Zones: 9-11 USDA
Sun Exposure: Partial
Soil Type: Moist but well-draining
Soil pH: Acidic, Neutral
Height: 10 ft. tall, 3 ft. wide (indoors) 30 ft. tall, 5 ft. wide (outdoors)
Bloom Time: Spring, summer
Flower Color: Green and cream
Native Area: Central America
What is a Monstera Albo?
The variegated monstera albo is an elusive and rare plant that many plant lovers collect, adore, and use as an ornamental plant. This tropical plant is native to South and Central America and is recognized by its heart-shaped, variegated leaves.
Unlike most monsteras, such as the monstera adansonii, this plant has large white (or cream) splashes naturally occur on its split leaves. These patches do not contain chlorophyll as typical green leaves because they do not undergo photosynthesis. Although this plant’s leaves do not undergo photosynthesis, they should not be hindered from getting tons of sunlight and love.
This plant’s sections contain mutated cells and do not allow the plant to absorb sunlight as the green parts of the plant do. This variegated monstera plant is different from the Monstera Thai Constellation (which is lab-created) because the Monstera Thai Constellation has a stable variegation, meaning it will always grow with variegation on all its leaves.
Monstera Albo Care
Caring for this tropical plant can be somewhat tricky. This is because they need lots of care and attention.
This plant’s care involves sufficient watering, light, and a humid environment.
Below, you will find practical tips that will help you care for your monstera plant.
To keep this plant’s variegation plentiful and bright, provide it with lots of bright indirect light.
Six to seven hours of filtered light is recommended for this plant.
Keeping monstera plants out of harsh direct sunlight is essential as their variegated white leaves are extra sensitive to sunburn.
Monstera plants generally do not thrive in low light conditions, so if this monstera plant does not receive enough light, it will start to lose its variegation patterns.
Although it may look like a delicate plant, monstera albo does much better in drier than moist soil.
If overwatered, Monstera Albo are susceptible to root rot and fungus gnats. So it’s essential to let the top 2 inches of soil dry between waterings.
You can ensure this by placing your finger in the soil. If it’s dry, you should water thoroughly and allow the excess water to drain from the pot’s drainage holes.
As previously mentioned, the monstera albo is a tropical rainforest plant, meaning that it naturally thrives in humid climates and warm temperatures.
While this plant thrives in moist environments, it does not need high humidity.
Monstera albo should do fine in most homes, where humidity levels can sit around 20%-65% throughout the year. However, the more humid it is, the happier your plant will be.
Grouping humid-loving and aroid plants should help, but a humidifier will always yield the best results.
Monstera albo thrives in warm temperatures (65ºF to 80ºF).
This plant is not a fan of low temperatures, so to attain the ideal temperature for your monstera albo plant, keep it away from drafty windows and air vents.
Monstera albo only thrives at 9b-11 USDA hardiness zone. So, if you want to grow this plant outdoors, you should bring it inside during cold months to avoid damage to its foliage, growth, and development.
A nutritious, rich, well-draining soil mix is essential for this plant.
A soil mix of equal parts of orchid bark, perlite, coco coir, and peat moss will provide sufficient nutrients and proper drainage that this monstera plant requires.
Mixing natural fertilizers such as worm castings is also a good addition, providing an extra boost.
Since monstera albo are not heavy feeders, fertilizer is given at least once a month, but you can increase its application during the active growing season (summer and spring) to twice a month.
A liquid fertilizer with balanced fertilizer radio 20-20-20 is typically used. This fertilizer will keep your plant happy and healthy.
Monstera Albo Propagation
Monstera albo can only be propagated by stem cuttings.
Since its white variegation is naturally occurring, propagating this monstera plant is the only way to produce more unique plants.
Propagation of monstera plants is simple yet time-consuming. Since the process may take a bit longer, practicing patience is best for you and your stem cuttings.
The steam cutting(s) should have at least one or two exposed nodes at the bottom and at least one leaf at the top.
- Pick a medium to root your cutting. You can choose water, sphagnum moss, perlite, or leca.
- Place your chosen medium in a container. Note that any medium should be premoistened and constantly remain damp throughout the rooting process.
- Add your cutting to the container, ensuring that the bottom exposed notes are submerged, and the top leaves lay at the top.
- Place your cutting(s) where it can receive bright indirect light.
- After a couple of weeks, you should notice the roots begin to grow.
- If you’re rooting your cutting in water, change it once a week.
- Once the roots are 2 to 3 inches long, transfer them into a pre-moisten, rich, well-draining potting mix.
- Place your potted cuttings where they can receive adequate lighting.
- Return your potted cuttings to bright, indirect light and keep the soil evenly moist for the first one to two weeks to help the plant acclimate.
Monstera Albo: Common Problems
If you have experience growing other types of monstera plants, caring for a monstera albo should be easy.
Although, as with any houseplant, there are common issues you may run into while growing this tropical plant.
Look for common houseplant pests like mealybugs, spider mites, thrips, and fungus gnats.
Inspect your plant regularly you avoid potential infestations. You can also apply insecticide as a preventive measure.
Brown leaves are a common sign of underwatering, sunburn, and lack of humidity.
This monstera plant is susceptible to brown patches compared to other all-green monstera plants.
Yellow leaves indicate something’s off in your monstera albo’s growing conditions or environment.
This sign could indicate a lack of light, underwatering, overwatering, and improper fertilization.
To fix this problem, you need to keep a close eye on your plant’s environmental conditions.
If your monstera albo is displaying drooping, limp leaves, it could mean a few different things.
First, your tropical plant may be in shock, especially if it’s still acclimating to its new space.
Provide your plant with plenty of humidity and adequate temperatures, which is what it’s accustomed to in its natural habitat.
If your monstera albos is established in your home and it still has droopy leaves, it may be underwatered or has possibly developed root rot.
Monstera Albo Toxicity for Pets and Humans
Monstera Albo is toxic to both humans and animals.
The level of toxicity this plant causes depends on the amount ingested.
This monstera plant (and most monstera plants, for that matter) contain raphides (sharp oxalate crystals) which can cause severe irritation, burning sensation around the mouth area, difficulty breathing, diarrhea, nausea, and vomiting.
Contact poison control if any pet or human has accidentally ingested it.
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Melissa Pino is a biologist, master gardener, and regular contributor for Planet Natural. Melissa's work focuses on promoting environmentally-friendly practices, helping people create healthy gardens and finding ways to achieve overall health and wellness.