Variegated Monstera Deliciosa Borsigiana Care

Variegated Monstera Deliciosa Care and Propagation

 

Let’ talk about the care of the Variegated Monstera Deliciosa. This is the variegated version of Monstera Deliciosa. To be exact we are talking about the Variegated Monstera Deliciosa var. Borsigiana.

Borsigiana is a smaller version of the Deliciosa. It is growing quickly but remains smaller than the Monstera Deliciosa. The Deliciosa is developing huge leaves whilst Borsigiana leaves stay rather small.

The Variegated Monstera Deliciosa is a flowering plant producing a fruit and belongs to the Araceae family. It is therefore considered to be an Aroid. Different examples of plants belonging to the Aroid family are the Monstera Obliqua and the Peace Lilly

The name “deliciosa” or delicious in English derives from the fruit of the Monstera which tastes like a mix between banana and pineapple and is considered to be a delicacy. 

Monstera Deliciosa or Swiss cheese plant as it is commonly called is an epiphyte, meaning that it is able to grow on other plants. It inhabits rainforests in South America.

The foliage is stunning as the split leaves are often spotted in home decor magazine as well as Instagram posts in the last couple of years. 

 

Variegated Monstera Deliciosa Borsigiana split leaves
Variegated Monstera Deliciosa Borsigiana with split leaves.

 

The most common explanation for the split leaves and holes is that the plants need to withstand heavy rain and wind in nature.

The gaps and slits are thought to enable the plants to endure these conditions better as there is space for wind and water to pass through without ripping the leaves apart. It is only a theory at the current stage and not proven.

 

Difference between Variegated Monstera Deliciosa and Borsigiana

In addition, an important differentiator between the two plants is the ruffled stems where the stem meets the leaf on the Monstera Deliciosa once they are more mature.

Borsigiana does not develop ruffles on the stems. Borisigana is vining and has the petioles and leaves wider apart than the Deliciosa. The Deliciosa has a much shorter distance between petioles, the parts or stems that hold the leaves.

 

The Variegated Monstera Deliciosa Borsigiana is vining and has a bigger distance between the leave compared to a true true Deliciosa
The Variegated Monstera Deliciosa Borsigiana is vining and has a bigger distance between the leave compared to a true Deliciosa

 

Variegation 

After differentiating between these two plants lets talk about variegation quickly. Variegation is a lack of chlorophyll. The most common form of the Variegated Monstera Deliciosa is the white form called albo variegated. There also is a yellow variegated form called Monstera Deliciosa Borsigiana Aurea.

 

Monstera Deliciosa Borsigiana Variegated leaf
Monstera Deliciosa Borsigiana Variegated leaf. Each leaf will look different and it is so much fun to see how they are turning out.

 

The care of the Variegated Monstera Deliciosa is not difficult at all as long as you are following some general rules and are not overwatering or underwatering too much. Let’s now look into the Monstera Deliciosa Variegata (Borsigiana) care:

 

VARIEGATED MONSTERA PLANT CARE SHEET

 

Soil

Use a well-draining potting soil. Adding perlite and orchid bark is a great way to add extra drainage for your Monstera Deliciosa.

 

Light

Bright indirect light is best. A couple of hours of direct sunlight in the morning is fine but be careful. Too much direct light can burn and thus damage the leaves. As you are dealing with a Variegated Monstera Deliciosa, your plant needs more light than the non-variegated green version.

Because of the white surface area, your Deliciosa has less chlorophyll in its leaves that can be used for photosynthesis. 

 

Watering

Water as you would water most of your houseplants. About once a week is sufficient in most conditions. Make sure that the water is draining quickly and keep it slightly damp. The Variegated Monstera Deliciosa does not like to stay wet for too long.

Wait for the soil to dry until you water again. Your plant will forgive you too much water once or twice but will develop root rot at some point if the roots stay too wet for too long. It is best to keep the soil slightly moist but never soggy. 

 

Temperature

The best temperature range for a Variegated Monstera Deliciosa is 65-80ºF (18-27ºC).  Temperatures below 50ºF (10ºC) for too long will damage your plant and stop its growth.

 

Humidity

The Variegated Monstera Deliciosa loves high humidity. Some people spray their plants every day. The Deliciosa definitely flourishes in high humidity but also tolerates it when you are not spraying your plant.

The humidity requirements for the variegated version is even higher than for the pure green variant.

 

Fertilizer

Fertilize once a month in Spring and Summer with a liquid houseplant fertilizer and use half of the proposed strength. Do not fertilize in winter and autumn, when the Variegated Monstera Deliciosa is not in growth mode.

 

Propagation

The Variegated Monstera Deliciosa is the perfect plant for propagation as it is fairly easy to do so. The most common method is taking stem cuttings.

This is also the only way to ensure that you are getting a perfect clone of your plant that is variegated. Propagation from seeds will in most cases not lead to variegated plants as the variegation is not passed on.

 

Growth

The Variegated Deliciosa is growing about 10 feet. The Monstera plants are producing air or aerial roots that are helping the plant to fixate on other plants and trees. If you are providing your Swiss cheese plant with a moss pole the leaves will grow bigger and the stems will grow thicker and higher.

The leaves of the Variegated Monstera Deliciosa are green with white or yellow variegation. The amount of variegation varies greatly among plants.

 

Mature Monster Deliciosa Borsigiana Variegata leaf with little variegation
Mature Monster Deliciosa Borsigiana Variegata leaf with little variegation

 

Some Monstera plants have very little white whilst others have big splashes that almost look like someone spilt a bucket of white paint on it.

If a Variegated Monstera Deliciosa has half white half green leaves it is called half-moon variegation and is considered to be even rarer than the already pretty rare and hard to find Variegated Monstera Deliciosa.

 

Monstera Deliciosa variegata growing as a houseplant in terracotta pot
Monstera Deliciosa variegata growing as a houseplant in terracotta pot

 

Potting: Use a pot with drainage. A drainage hole at the bottom of the pot is just fine as it will prevent soil from staying humid for too long. 

Variegated Monstera Deliciosa care is not too different from the care of other tropical houseplants. The biggest difference we would like to point out is the increased need for light due to the need for compensating for the lack of chlorophyll.

Dim light conditions are not recommended for the Variegated Monstera Deliciosa care.

 

Our Recommendations

 

The leaves of the Variegated Monstera Deliciosa 

The leaves of a mature Variegated Monstera Deliciosa are split with slits and holes. Young plants do not have this characteristic as they develop more and more slits and hole as they mature. T

he variegation is on the stem as well as on the leaves. It is possible for the plant to revert and turn entirely green again.

The opposite is also possible, namely that the Variegated Monstera Deliciosa is becoming whiter and whiter as it grows. Once it is producing fully white leaves called ghost leaves, it will need to be cut back as no leaves also mean no chlorophyll and no photosynthesis.

 

Semi-mature Monstera Deliciosa Variegata leaf with the typical Swiss Cheese plant slits
Semi-mature Monstera Deliciosa Variegata leaf with the typical Swiss Cheese plant slits

 

You can cut a Variegated Monstera Deliciosa once it is growing into the direction of either growing more white or more green in its leaves and stem. You just have to cut back to the point where stems and leaves had the right ratio.

Make sure that cuttings always have at least a node as this is needed to produce new plants from the cuttings you can propagate.

Lets now talk more in-depth about ways to propagate the Variegated Monstera Deliciosa:

 

Variegated Monstera Deliciosa Propagation

 

Monstera Deliciosa can be propagated from seeds or stem cuttings. However, Variegated Monstera Deliciosas are almost exclusively produced from stem cuttings as the propagation from seeds is not deemed to be successful.

The same applies for tissue culturing Variegated Monstera Deliciosa. This method does not work to produce variegated plants.

 

Stem Cuttings

Your best method to get variegated plants is to do stem cutting as this method will always produce an exact clone of the mother plant. Here are the steps for a successful stem propagation:

 

  1. Find a section you want to propagate on your Variegated Monstera Deliciosa
  2. Make sure that you have a section with at least one node as only these sections are able to produce viable plants
  3. Prepare a clean knife or scissors that you is free from pesticides and other contamination by using rubbing alcohol and by holding the blade under a hot flame for a few seconds. 
  4. Cut below the node and make sure that you have a section with at least 1-3 leaves. These cuttings will develop way quicker than a section without any leaves. Stems with nodes are also able to produce new plants but the production will need to go into producing leave and also roots and are starting off with no leaves that are able to produce energy by doing photosynthesis.
  5. Once you cut the stem, let it dry out for at least a couple of hours up to a day or two depending on the size of the stem. 
  6. Now that you snipped a section off your Variegated Monstera Deliciosa, it is time the next medium that will enable the cutting to grow roots and new leaves.
  7. You have the option to use one of the following mediums: soil, water, sphagnum moss, perlite.

 

 

Cutting of a Variegated Monstera Deliciosa Borsigiana propagated in water
Cutting of a Variegated Monstera Deliciosa Borsigiana propagated in water

 

 

Propagating Variegated Monstera Deliciosa in soil

The propagation in soil from our point of view can be the easiest but also the hardest method. For this propagation method, you are preparing a well-draining potting soil.  An exemplary mix could be houseplant soil, perlite and orchid bark.

Water it and make sure it is damp but not soaking wet. Use an instrument to poke a hole in it and then place your stem cutting in by slowly covering the stem in soil on the side. Make sure the node is in the soil and that the cutting is well-positioned.

That is essentially it. Water from time to time when the soil is dry and make sure it is never drying out. However, make sure that you are not overdoing it as your cutting has no roots at this stage to take up water.

Depending on the season it may take several weeks to a month for the first roots to grow. 

The best indicator that your cutting is actually growing into a new plant is when it is starting to produce a new leaf. A different method to check on your cutting is to try to gently pull it. If there is resistance, there is a good chance that it started to root.

As we have said we consider this method to be the hardest and easiest method. We consider it easy because you do not have much to do or to prepare as you are sticking your Variegated Monstera Deliciosa straight into the soil after the cutting had time to callous over (dry).

Some people recommend putting either honey or cinnamon on the cutting as they can act as disinfectants (at least the cinnamon)  and are said to promote root growth. 

We consider soil propagation to be the hardest method since you have no visibility on what is going on underneath. You need to be very good in reading the condition of your cutting as you will not see when your Variegated Monstera Deliciosa cutting is putting out roots.

In addition, if you are watering the soil too much the chances that the cutting is starting to rot is actually quite high.

 

Propagating Variegated Monstera Deliciosa in water

Water propagation is often considered to be the method for the plant propagation beginner. The biggest advantage for sure is that can see what is going on. If you are using a transparent container you can watch your cutting grow roots.

One thing to mention is that water roots are different from soil roots.

This is also the biggest disadvantage of water propagation. Water roots are not the same as soil roots. When you are putting the rooted Variegated Cheese plant into the soil the plant is in shock and has to produce soil roots first.

Water roots look different than soil roots. Water roots are white and look somewhat like pale spaghetti whereas soil roots are brown to black and often thicker and harder.

However, once the transition from water to soil has happened, the Monstera usually continues to grow without any hiccups or issues. In the next section, we are going to look at our preferred method of propagation. Propagation using sphagnum moss.

 

Monstera variegata growing roots in water and leca
Monstera variegata growing roots in water and leca

 

Propagating Variegated Monstera Deliciosa in sphagnum moss

Sphagnum Moss is the easiest method from our point of view and the one that produces the best roots the quickest. As Sphagnum Moss encourages soil roots there is no show when placing the rooted cuttings into the soil where they belong.

That is a big advantage over rooting Variegated Monsteras in water.

You can either use fresh living sphagnum moss or dried up moss. Both methods work. The best sphagnum moss is New Zealand long fibre sphagnum moss but basically any sphag. moss will do.

Before your place your cutting into the moss, water it thoroughly or let it soak in water. This specifically applies for dried up moss. Moss is said to take up 16 times its weight in water.

In addition, sphagnum moss is said to have antibacterial properties and can help to prevent root rot.  The perfect combination for propagation.

The trick with sphagnum moss is that it should not be too wet. If you keep your moss too wet, your cutting will remain in soaking wet conditions and will start to show signs of root rot.

At this point, it means downhill for your Variegated Monstera cutting and you will have to save it from rotting entirely. 

 

Propagating Variegated Monstera Deliciosa in perlite

A rather new method that we read about more and more is to do the propagation or rooting process in perlite. As perlite is inorganic there is the slimmest chance for rootings to produce rot as it is porous and well-draining allowing airflow.

These capabilities make sure humidity evaporates quickly before it allows rot to form. One thing to be aware of is that you need to transfer your cutting into soil once it starts to root. 

To use perlite for a monstera Deliciosa Variegata, make sure it is slightly moist but not entirely wet. Fill a container whilst placing perlite around your cutting and firmly press it against the stem.

Since perlite is lighter than soil, you will need to put your cutting a bit deeper than when you would put it into soil to enable it to stand upright.

Avoid too much sunlight or artificial light as the cuttings have no roots to take up water as of now. In addition, make sure that the temperature is not too hot in the area you place the cutting for the very same reason.

Mist from time to time to ensure that he perlite stays slightly moist. Hold back on watering and err on the side of caution as watering too much could cause root rot.

As said, once the cuttings have produced roots they have to be transferred to soil as the perlite contains little to no nutrients. 

 

Common Variegated Monstera Deliciosa Problems

Monstera Deliciosa Variegata quite quickly starts to look bad if your houseplant care is not at its best. These are the most common problems and remedies:

 

Browning leaves

 

Problem: Browning and also yellowing leaves can be an indicator of overwatering as well having the ratio between watering and light not in check. Specifically, the browning of the white variegation areas is caused by insufficient light and also humidity. Some people claim it to be normal but it can certainly be prevented as we guess you would love to keep the white parts on your precious variegata.

Solution: Reduce watering and make sure your Variegated Monstera Deliciosa Borsigiana gets enough light. Cut away the brown parts on the leave and white areas as this will help to reduce the chance for the browning to spread on the leaves.

 

Yellowing leaves

 

Problem: The most common cause of yellowing leaves on a Monstera Deliciosa Variegata is overwatering. Overwatering is so common with houseplants that most people will not even realize that they are overwatering. In addition, it doesn’t always mean that you are watering too much.

If your are using a pot with no drainage holes or potting soil that is too dense and not chunky enough roots will stay moist for too long and will not get enough oxygen. Your plant will tell you this by leaves turning yellow. 

A different reason for yellowing leaves is when old leaves are about to fall off. This is when mostly single leaves will first yellow and then wilt. 

Solution: Check the soil and also the roots of your plant. If your soil is still soaking wet a week after watering you need to change your soil mix/pot or both. If roots started to rot, you have to remove the rooted sections to prevent rotting to spread further. Water less essentially.

 

Brown leaf tips

 

Problem: The most common cause is not enough humidity and dry air. Pot bound plants can also cause leaf tips to brown.

Solution: Spray the leaves of your variegated Monstera Deliciosa plant daily. Use a pebble tray underneath the plant pot and fill it with water. In case of a Monstera being pot bound, switch to a bigger pot. 

 

Mites and Scale infection

Problem: Tiny animals on your Variegated Monstera Deliciosa.  Mites are nasty plant sap-sucking creatures that suck plant sap from the underside of plant leaves. These pests have the potential to destroy a plant if they occur in large populations. Look for drops and accumulations of tiny animals on the underside of your Variegated Monstera leaves.

Scale insects are easy to spot when mature. They are brown to black and also suck on sugar secret of the plant sap. Once they are mature they are quite easy to spot with your bare eyes due to their size. There are different types of scale. Another scale type is the white scale.

Solution: Spray your plant with a diluted soap or alcohol solution. Some people recommend neem oil. If nothing else works, think of using bug spray to prevent further spread to other plants.

 

Common Variegated Monstera Deliciosa Questions

 

Variegated Monstera Deliciosa
Variegated Monstera Deliciosa

 

How do I care for a variegated Monstera Deliciosa?

The Variegated Monstera Deliciosa care is similar to the care of a regular Monstera Deliciosa in terms of soil, temperature and watering needs. The biggest difference is that they need more light because the plants are variegated, and even more humidity to make sure that the white variegated parts are not browning.

 

What do I do if the white parts on a Variegated Monstera Deliciosa are browning? 

Increase the humidity in the room by either spraying water on the leaves of your Variegated Monstera daily, by putting a pebble tray below the pot or by using a humidifier. Make sure your Cheese plant is getting enough bright indirect light. Use scissors to remove the browning part on the leaves to prevent further browning. Make a cut following the natural shape of the leaves.

 

Can you grow variegated monstera from seed?

This is highly unlikely. Variegated Monstera deliciosa is not passing on this trait through seeds in most cases. A better way is to make stem cutting as they are exact clones of the mother plant.

 

Where can I buy a Variegated Monstera Deliciosa?

Although Variegated Monsteras are still rare, they are found more and more in garden centers in different countries. Your best sources to buy one are still: Etsy, eBay and Facebook as well as boutique online plant stores.

 

How much does a Variegated Monstera Deliciosa cost?

Prices range tremendously for these plants. The biggest factors seem to be where you are located. Countries, where you are paying a big premium, are New Zealand, Australia and the USA.

Specifically in the first two countries, it is not seldom to see prices between $300 – 600 for a mature specimen. Monstera Deliciosa Variegata is becoming more readily available in Europe but you are still paying between $50-$100 for just cutting with 1-3 leaves.

 

Will the price for a Variegated Monstera Deliciosa decrease over time?

As with almost everything else, economics apply also in the plant business. It is about supply and demand. The demand is still much higher than the supply.

The more people get a Variegated Monstera Deliciosa, the more cuttings will become available. But as you cannot produce variegation from seeds in most cases and you cannot tissue culture Variegated Monsteras it will take time for prices to fall.

 

Are there any true Variegated Monstera Deliciosa and not Borsigiana?

Yes, there are. The true Deliciosa form is a bigger plant with bigger leaves and certain differences such as ruffled stems where the stem meets the leaf. Although they are much more difficult to find, there are also variegated versions of the bigger brother, the true Monstera Deliciosa not Monstera Deliciosa Borsigiana.

 

DOWNLOAD THE FREE VARIEGATED MONSTERA DELICIOSA INFOGRAPHIC

 

Variegated-Monstera-Deliciosa-Care-1.png (29 downloads)

 

https://plantophiles.com/wp-content/uploads/dlm_uploads/2020/02/Variegated-Monstera-Deliciosa-Care-1.png
Variegated Monstera Deliciosa Care Infographic