Plant Doctor Christopher Satch
Monstera deliciosa v. borsigiana ‘Albo’ is one of the current “it” plants right now. It’s a cultivar of a species within the Aroid Family, Araceae, and hails from Central American tropical forests. There are several color variants of this species, with ‘Albo’ being one of them. There’s also an aurea (gold variegated) form and a more speckled form, often referred to as Monstera deliciosa ‘Thai Constellation’.
Monstera start off life at the forest floor, and like other aroids, have juvenile spade-shaped leaves. As they grow upwards and get larger and older, they will start to form the classic fenestrations in their leaves that we know as a “typical” monstera leaf. These tropical vines can be trained up just about anything.
New world / Neotropical; Central America; Mexico through Panama.
What are some interesting things to know about Monstera ‘Albo’?
Variegation is tricky to maintain, but plants will be more variegated with more light and more heat. If there is a vine-branch that reverts to green, but another part of the vine remains variegated, the green will support the white variegation, as white variegated parts cannot support themselves or make food through photosynthesis. They instead make other metabolites for the plant.
Browning of the white parts of the ‘Albo’ leaves are either from a fungus or from letting the plant get too dry between waterings. Usually, it’s a fungus.
How do I take care of an Albo Monstera?
Monstera are considered weeds where they are natively found, and invasive tropical weeds elsewhere. They do not care much what they are planted in, but the more rich the soil, the better. I plant mine in 100% potting soil.
As the plant gets larger, it will need more light to sustain its size. Monstera ideally should receive between 1-4h of direct sunbeams indoors, placed in an East, West, or South-facing window. I know that they are often sold as a “low light” plant, but this couldn’t be farther from the truth. They literally climb up trees to search for more light, so help your plant out by giving it some direct sun indoors.
Allow the media to dry completely between waterings. If the media is still moist, then do not water. When you do water, saturate the soil, and let it sit in its own flow-through for a full day, then dump the tray of water. Yes, this implies that you should probably have drainage, but if you are a master grower, you can choose a non-draining pot, and just give it 1/3 of the pot’s volume at watering time.
Does not care about humidity.
Temperature tolerant, favoring hot temperatures. 65°F-90°F (18°C-32°C). It’s best not to let it go below 50°F (10°C).
Keep leaves dry. May get spider mites and mealybugs. Treat spider mites and mealybugs as soon as they appear with weekly sprays of insecticidal soap until the problem resolves.
SYMPTOM: Leaves not forming holes.
CAUSE: Totally normal, and indicates that the plant is not receiving enough light. Increase light and heat.
SYMPTOM: Wrinkling and curling leaves coupled with dry potting mix.
CAUSE: Underwatered, thirsty plant
SYMPTOM: Yellowing, possible black stems, mushiness, falling apart/collapsing.
CAUSE: Roots rotting; overwatering; could also just be an old leaf if it’s the lowest leaf
For a more complete guide, please see the main article on Aroids.
Irritating to cats, dogs, and humans if consumed, but probably not lethal. Best practice is always to keep houseplants out of reach of small children and pets. Aroids are not particularly hard to grow, and are tolerant of many conditions. Just be mindful of the environment in which you place them, and be aware of the seasons, indoors and outdoors.
Have any questions about a monstera? You should message me @botanictonic on instagram or firstname.lastname@example.org ! If you like what I am writing, please leave me a tip on Venmo! @C-Sat (if it asks for a number, it’s 9898)