The monstera albo is a favorite among many gardeners due to its striking pattern and variegation. In this article, we bring all the information that you need to know about the plant.
From its care to propagation, we are going to share expert gardening tips that will ensure you grow a healthy and lush monstera albo. Continue reading to know more.
- What Is a Monstera Albo?
- Monstera Albo Care
- Why Are My Monstera Albo’s Leaves Yellowing?
- Frequently Asked Questions:
What Is a Monstera Albo?
Monstera albo is a tropical plant that comes with large and wide foliage. The most interesting aspect of this plant is its blended pattern of green and white variegations on its leaves. Thus, you will find it commonly referred to as the Swiss cheese plant as well.
Monstera Albo Care
Monstera albo plants are slow growers and prefer tropical conditions to thrive well. Here are a few important care specifications you will need to bear in mind.
– Light Requirements
Give your monstera albo bright yet indirect light for good growth. Keep them away from harsh sunlight as the plant can tolerate moderate light only. Hence, if you notice yellowing curled leaves, it is most likely due to stress conditions under the harsh light.
– Water Requirements
The best thing about this plant is that it isn’t a thirsty one. All you need to do is focus on keeping the soil moist.
Remember it needs to be just moist and not soggy at the roots.
Nonetheless, do not overwater the plant as it can lead to root rot and eventually death of the plant.
The growing season would require more water, otherwise, on average, once a week of watering should keep the plant happy and thriving.
The ideal temperature for the plant is between 65 degrees Fahrenheit to 80 degrees Fahrenheit. It is crucial to remember to keep the plant away from extreme cold and icy winds. They are sensitive and will easily wilt in temperatures under 50 degrees Fahrenheit.
Monstera Albo is a plant that is native to Central America and Mexico, thus, they are adapted to thrive and survive in humid environments. Maintain the plant in moderate to high humid conditions with about forty percent moisture and above.
– Soil Preference
Monstera albo requires loose and well-drained soil. Air out the soil often by poking tiny little holes, without harming the dense roots. Use mulch to keep the soil moist, ensure the pot drains are not clogged and permit the flow of water out.
– Fertilizer Use
The best time to fertilize the plant is during the growing season. Use a well-balanced water-soluble fertilizer not more than once a month during this season. This should keep the nutrients intact and thriving.
– Pruning Frequency
Monstera albo develop large sections of foliage. The plants may be slow in their growth, but when they do grow to a certain stage expect lengthy stems and leaves.
Prune them at regular intervals to prevent the foliage from turning unruly. Pruning gives the plant a neat and pretty look as well.
– Practice Repotting
Monstera albo grows into large foliage and the roots are generally dense, however, when in a smaller pot it can develop roots that get bound into a tight mesh. This will hamper the growth of the plant as they will seldom be able to spread in the soil to absorb water and nutrients.
Thus, move up one size as per the plant’s growth and requirement. Re-pot an actively growing monstera albo into larger pots or spaces once every two years.
– Prevent Diseases and Pests
One of the most common causes of fungal disease in the monstera albo is root rot. You can easily prevent this by avoiding over-watering the plant. Keep the soil moist but ensure there is no water logging at the base of the plant.
Check for common pests such as aphids, spider mites, mealybugs, and gnats regularly. Use an organic spray to prevent and treat any such infestation before they damage the dense foliage of the plant.
– Plant Toxicity
Monstera albo is quite toxic if ingested and can cause vomiting and swelling on the skin. Hence, ensure you keep them away from vulnerable persons such as pets and children.
Monstera albo variegata can be propagated with seeds, stem cuttings, and division. The plant is easy to propagate, all you need is a simple stem cutting from a healthy monstera albo to grow another thriving plant. However note that, as mentioned in the earlier sections, you will not be able to replicate the variegation of the parent plant.
Propagation can also be carried out through plant seeds and division, though these may take a much longer time for the plant to develop thick foliage.
Let us delve deeper into each of these methods.
– Stem Cutting
Using stem cuttings is the easiest and quickest way to propagate a new plant. What makes this an ideal option is that the process will not disturb the mother plant in any way. You can propagate monstera albo from stem cutting by following the below-mentioned steps.
- Pick a healthy stem of length four inches with a minimum of two or three leaves on it. This will ensure it can stand out of the water it will be placed in.
- Place a cut below a leaf node with the help of a clean pruning shear. It is important to include a node as this is where the new plant will begin its growth.
- Root the stem in either water or directly in the soil. Rooting in water is generally faster and has a higher success rate.
- If you are rooting your stem in water, change the water every day. It will take around three to six weeks for proper roots to develop after which you transplant them into potting soil.
- If you are rooting your stem in soil use well-draining potting soil in a pot with good drainage holes. Roots will establish in a month. Tug gently to feel resistance. This will be an indication that the roots have developed.
- Water lightly and place the plant in a partially shaded area away from harsh light and heat. In a month, you will notice fresh leaves sprouting at various nodes.
You can also propagate monstera albo from seeds, though this takes slightly more time in comparison to propagating using stem cuttings. Here is how you can go about it.
- Source seeds from healthy and flowering monstera albo plants or a store. Sourcing from an existing monstera albo plant is easy, though it has a short shelf life. Use them as soon as possible.
- Soak seeds for around twelve hours in warm water to speed up germination. Soaked seeds will swell up and can immediately be sown.
- Begin by sowing them in shallow containers or trays. You can always transplant them into bigger pots once roots have been established.
- Ensure to keep the soil lightly soil and well-drained.
- Place the seedlings in a warm place with indirect sunlight. You can also opt to cover the tray and retain the optimum temperature between 70 degrees Fahrenheit to 75 degrees Fahrenheit. Mist the soil if you notice that it is becoming dry.
- After ten days you will begin to notice tiny saplings sprouting from the soil. The first leaves with venerations can be noticed in a month.
Propagating through division works well if you have large monstera albo plants. The process involves splitting the mother plant and planting the section in another container or soil. Here is how you go about it.
- Propagation through division is best done in spring or early summer. This will give the plant adequate time to grow and establish itself.
- Remove the mother plant gently from its pot and take away all the excess soil around the roots.
- Look for a well-rooted sucker and snip it off the mother plant with a garden pruner.
- Place this sucker in a new pot filled up to 1/3 its level with a well-draining potting mix.
- Repot the mother plant. It may wear a withering look for some time but will pick up health in no time.
Both plants are to be placed in a warm place to help them establish make their roots firmly in the soil.
Why Are My Monstera Albo’s Leaves Yellowing?
Monstera Albo’s leaves can turn yellow if they are infected with a disease or if the plant is under stress conditions. The condition is quite common and fairly easy to fix. Read ahead to know how to tackle it.
– Underwater or Overwatering
Incorrect watering routine is a prime cause for leaves turning yellow. Monstera albo are not thirsty plants so refrain from overwatering them. At the same time, keep the soil moist, especially during its growing season.
The best way to know when to water is by checking the topsoil. The plant needs watering only when the topsoil is completely dry to touch. Push your finger into the soil to measure the moisture levels.
These are tropical plants thus it is normal for them to thrive well in humid weather. Dryness in the air will cause burning of the edges and yellowing at the central section of the leaves. If you notice these indicators, mist the plant regularly.
– Insect Infestation
Spider mites or mealybugs can feast on the leaves and suck out the sap off the stems. This makes the plant weak resulting in unhealthy and yellowing foliage.
Prevent them by doing regular checks. Snip them off early before they manifest all over the plant. Use an organic soapy insecticide to clear them off the host plant.
Growing the monstera albo is not easy and comes with its share of issues. If you love these plants and plan to grow them in your garden and indoor spaces, be aware of the following challenges you may face.
– More Delicate Plants
In comparison to other green leafy plants, the monstera albo is more delicate. One of the main reasons for this is that with its splotches of white, they are much lower in chlorophyll than other plants. Thus, they photosynthesize lesser. Under such conditions, growing the plant requires more effort, time, and skill.
– Hard To Find
Another outcome of the plant’s low levels of chlorophyll is its slow growth. Monstera Albo plants take time to grow. This means propagation and development of a new plant will take time as well.
This makes them quite rare and hard to find. The lack of supply has further repercussions of increased costs as well.
– The Cost
As mentioned in the above section, these slow-growing monstera albo plants have resulted in a lower number of plants available in the market. Going by the basic theory of demand and supply, the fewer available plants higher are the costs. Hence, the next time you spot a pricey monstera albo, you know the reason behind it.
– No Stability in the Variegation Pattern
This is one problem with the monstera albo that is almost impossible to tackle. You will not be able to produce identical variegation patterns in the newly propagated plant. The patterns that make the plant stand out and add to its natural beauty are a result of a natural mutation process.
These mutated cells are not equally distributed in the plant, thus leading to different splotches and patches, moreover, the patterns can vary from leaf to leaf even in the same plant. Thus, not always will you have delightful splotches of white and green.
– White Leaves Die Sooner
White leaves on the monstera albo wither and die much sooner in comparison to the jade-green ones. The low levels of chlorophyll in the leaves are the cause of this.
With these white leaves having a short life span and withering away soon, the section of the stem bearing these white leaves will not be viable for propagation. Propagation through the stem as mentioned above needs to have healthy nodes with two or three leaves intact.
Frequently Asked Questions:
– Why Is Monstera Albo So Expensive?
Monstera Albo is expensive because of its striking beauty coupled with its high demand and limited supply. If we had to sum up the reasons for the monstera albo being so expensive, here they are.
- The patterns and coloration are very unique, as it is caused by natural mutation and not genetically or by seeds. A few plant lovers love this unpredictability.
- The slow growth rate makes their supply limited. With this limited supply, the demand is pushed higher.
- The high demands have in turn increased the cost of the plant.
These tropical plants are indeed highly prized but you cannot deny that they are a delight to any gardening space.
– What Are Some of Monstera Albo’s Attributes?
Other names interchangeably used with the monstera albo are monstera deliciosa albo variegata or monstera borsiagiana albo. The striking beauty of this plant can be attributed to the followings:
- The white variegations look like artwork on the foliage.
- Marbling patterns on the glossy heart-shaped leaves are a delight to see.
- The white and jade-green blocks and splotches are a result of natural mutation. So if you intend to replicate it in a new plant, you will seldom be able to. This makes each monstera albo unique in some way.
- The iconic split leaves weave a charming sight and can grow to a size of 12 to 15 inches, with fenestrations all through.
- Adds the perfect look to all kinds of indoor spaces.
Looking at these beautiful characteristics of the albo plant, you now know why the monstera albo is a favorite among hobbyists and decorators. No wonder the monstera albo, despite its high cost, is sought after by many plant lovers.
You have now read all about growing and caring for the monstera albo plant. Let us recap our learning from this article.
- Monstera albo is a beautiful tropical plant that is much sought after due to its white-green variegations, marbling patterns, and large heart-shaped leaves.
- The plant grows slowly and is limited in its supply, which makes them more expensive than various other green, decorative plants.
- Monstera albo needs to be placed in indirect sunlight at an ideal temperature between 65 degrees Fahrenheit and 80 degrees Fahrenheit
- Ensure its soil is lightly moist and the pot is well-drained. You can propagate the plant by stem cuttings, seeds, and division.
- Incorrect watering routine, dry air, and insect infestation can turn the monstera albo’s leaves yellow.
Having read and understood all about these sought-after plants, you will now be able to easily care for them. You now have good reasons to include these plants and make your garden spaces vibrant and beautiful.
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