Monstera ‘Albo’: 7 Reasons Why It Is Expensive And More Information

House plants are kept inside homes due to their aesthetic appeal. Aside from the fact that they are easy to grow and easy to manage plants, they add a lively, natural vibe to homes. In addition, these house plants sometimes have special features that can act as an ornament to make your home more stunning and unique. In this article, let’s find out why is Monstera albo expensive.

why is Monstera albo expensive

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The variegated monstera plants, commonly known as the variegated Monstera ‘Albo’, are among these popular aesthetic plants due to their fascinating variegation. This feature is prominent in the plant’s leaves, but sometimes their stems have this distinct feature. 

Due to this mutation, Monstera’ Albo’ swiss cheese plant is considered a hard-to-grow plant. This is because these mutated patches lack chlorophyll which inhibits photosynthesis. But despite the high hurdle for growth, it is also considered a crowd favorite. With this, Monstera ‘Albo’ may fetch a large sum on plant markets.

Related: Monstera deliciosa vs Monstera borsigiana: Similarities and Differences of The Two Monstera Houseplants

What Is Monstera Variegation?

What is Monstera Variegation?

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Variegation refers to the differences in the coloration of the plant’s leaves. This is due to a mutation that varies the chlorophyll found in these areas.

Variegation can also exist in different forms. For example, marble variegation pertains to a pattern that mixes two colored sections in a leaf. Meanwhile, sectoral variegation pertains to a type with patches of light-colored leaf areas. Finally, a cross of these two variegation forms may also exist.

What Makes It Very Pricey?

If you have encountered it before, maybe you are wondering what makes Monstera albo so expensive. For starters, this plant comes in many names: Monstera deliciosa borsigiana ‘Variegata’, Monstera albo borsigiana, and Monstera deliciosa ‘Albo Variegata’. Yet, names such as variegated Monstera were also used in markets. This may make buyers familiar with the plant, and it is easier to pronounce and remember.

Monstera ‘Albo’ came from a parent plant named Monstera deliciosa. This plant possesses a specialized feature in its leaves that increases its value. The appearance of its leaves is the reason why plant connoisseurs love this rare plant. 

Below are other reasons why Monstera’ Albo’ is valuable despite being expensive plants.

Rarity Behind Its Genetic Construction

Rare Monstera Albo

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As stated above, the variegation was due to a mutation in its genes. Mutation poses a very steep chance of obtaining one through seed development. With this, plant breeders may not opt to use seeds in breeding these plants. Yet, you are wondering, “how about obtaining a seed from a mutated plant?”

Mutations are rare quirks that affect a plant through physical or physiological means. This occurrence depends on its implication for the plant. Altering the DNA of the plant is usually limited. Therefore, carrying over these changes towards the seeds it produces is impossible. 

This only means that a mutated Monstera is also considered a rare possession. The main reason is the probability of these plants suffering from a mutation.

Related: How to Care for Monstera Plants? All the Answers and More!

High Skill Mastery In Propagation

why is Monstera albo expensive

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Propagation may refer to the process of how plants were grown using several sources. These sources may include seeds, cuttings, or utilizing other plant parts. Since mutations affect the plant’s seeds, there are different ways to generate new plants.

For example, propagating Monstera ‘Albo’ through the use of stem cuttings. However, this mutation also affects its growth since the chloroplast is the affected organelle. This is due to the impairment in the plant’s food manufacturing system.

The hurdles of mutation also affect the cuttings, killing them before producing roots. These roots get nutrients from the soil and are then used by the plant. Lack of knowledge and mastery in propagation may kill the plant. Handling the cuttings well may make propagation possible for the plant. Also, stem cuttings need optimal environmental conditions for root production.

Related: The Best and Proven Ways of Propagating Monstera Deliciosa Plant

Growth Rate Of Monstera ‘Albo’

Growth Rate of Monstera 'Albo’

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Photosynthesis pertains to the process by which plants create and manufacture food. This process is vital for their survival and growth. It is also responsible for rebuilding damaged plant cells. Both rebuilding and maintenance need energy and by-products of photosynthesis. It is further aided by the plant’s chlorophyll, a green pigment a major player in photosynthesis which causes green leaves.

The mutations found in the plant interfere with its capability to manufacture food. This makes it susceptible to the damages incurred by external factors. At the same time, the effect on the growth rate of the plant due to the lack of chlorophyll may incur damage to the plant. 

With this, it does not only put the plant in a slower growth process but also slower cell regeneration. With this, propagation can become harder for the plant.

Imbalanced Levels Of Demand And Supply

why is Monstera albo expensive

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Since Monstera’ Albo’ came from Monstera deliciosa, it possesses a unique leaf appearance. This feature makes it a favored plant in the market. The genus Monstera is also a popular plant among plant breeders. The features that it has made it a remarkable ornamental plant in the market. 

Aside from this, the Monstera ‘Albo’ has another trait that differentiates it from the rest. Its variegation, a result of mutation, has made it unique among other plants. This is also one of the reasons why you should include this plant in your collection.

The rare traits of Monstera’ Albo’ are not available to all plant markets. This makes it a quick commodity bought by plant connoisseurs. Its genetic makeup also affects the economic standing of this plant. Its rarity explains its low supply, and its attributes count for its high demand. This can also become the reason behind its high cost.

Availability In Plant Markets

Availability in Plant Markets

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The implications of variegation also affect the supply of Monstera’ Albo’. Its variegation, found in the plant’s leaves, affects both photosynthesis and cell recovery. With this, propagation may prove to be difficult. This difficulty also affects the quantity of Monstera’ Albo’ produced. 

The reduction in its photosynthetic activity may also affect the cutting’s conditions. The stem cuttings of the plant are sensitive to changes in the plant’s environment. With this, it may die before planting its roots in the potting soil and stabilizing itself as a new plant.

A mutation is also rare since the seeds of the plant cannot inherit these traits. Stem cuttings are the only viable way to reproduce plants afflicted by the mutation. With this, the probability of producing a mutated plant is very low. 

Also, due to the effects of the mutation, stem cuttings may be hard to grow. With this difficulty in propagation, the plant’s availability in the market is scarce, hence, it also suffers from a significant price increase.

Variations In Variegation

Variegation is an uncontrolled mutation that occurs within the Monstera ‘Albo’. This mutation results in a physical manifestation expressed by the plant. This produces light-colored areas that are not expected by a plant breeder. The mutated cells found in the plant’s leaves are usually unequally distributed. Also, the design that it makes due to various patterns have made this plant unique. Variations are also differentiated between plants, incorporating a unique appearance in each plant.

Apart from the pattern created through variegation, light-colored patches that can be seen on the Monstera ‘Albo’ leaf may come in different colors, such as yellow and white. This increases the variation among Monstera’ Albo’ plants and, hereby, increases their uniqueness. 

The complexity produced by both patterns and patch colors makes it an original variegated plant, resulting in a more desirable plant that is sought after by plant collectors. And again, with high demand and low supply, the price significantly increases.

Limited Organs For Food And Energy Production

Looking back in elementary days, it was taught that leaves are plant organs responsible for food and energy production, which can be used by the plant to prolong its life. The leaves contain green pigments, known as chlorophyll which act as an important component in photosynthesis. In the case of Monstera’ Albo’, due to the variated distribution of discoloration found in the leaves, the process of photosynthesis tends to become slower compared to fully pigmented plants.

Also, the value of Monstera’ Albo’ depends on the number of white leaves that are present on the plant. If most of the leaves that can be found in a Monstera ‘Albo’ plant are colored white, it means that it would not have enough organs which the plant can utilize for food and energy production, resulting in the plant’s death. 

The number of white leaves present also determines the sections that can be used in stem cuttings. If most of the leaves found in these cuttings turned out to be white, propagation might not become successful since root formation may not take place.

What Is The Price Range For A Monstera ‘Albo’?

If you have not yet encountered a Monstera ‘Albo’ in plant markets, maybe you are wondering how much this plant would cost or what is the price range in selling these mutated plants. A single cutting from a Monstera ‘Albo’ can cost you a hundred dollars due to its rarity and the amount of effort and input needed to keep the cutting alive.

On the other hand, if you are looking for a full-grown plant that has multiple variegations or a plant that is readily available to be used as a display in your house, obtaining one may cost you a thousand dollars or even more, depending on how rare these variations are, and the number of efforts administered to keep the plant alive.

Difference Between Monstera’ Albo’ And ‘Thai Constellation’

Difference Between Monstera' Albo’ and 'Thai Constellation'

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While Monstera’ Albo’ is a variegated plant with indefinite patterns and patch colors that were created by natural mutation, the Monstera ‘Thai Constellation’ is a different variety of Monstera which was subjected to different conditions, producing leaves that look like a starry sky.

The variegated Monstera ‘Thai Constellation’ has uniform variegations due to being exposed to artificial mutation done in laboratories. Since the present technology has the means to artificially create a mutation in a plant, the physical manifestation of this mutation can be regarded as stable, which means a permanent change in the plant’s coloration.

 This variety is also a well-sought plant due to its aesthetic appeal and stability brought by artificial mutation. You do not need to worry about your Thai monstera reverting to a green, normal, Monstera plant.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) 

Does Monstera ‘Albo’ revert to its normal green coloration?

The appearance of Monstera’ Albo’ was caused by a mutation that affects the green pigment found in these plants. Natural mutation is considered unstable, which may affect variegation as compared to the ‘Thai Constellation’ that was subjected to artificial mutation. 

Unstable variegations may turn your Monstera ‘Albo’ from a variegated plant to a non-variegated Monstera.

What is the most uncommon Monstera plant?

The variegations found in Monstera’ Albo’ is one of the factors why this plant was considered uncommon and limited among plant breeders. However, it is more uncommon compared to this variety. The Monstera obliqua is the most uncommon Monstera due to its delicateness, making it hard to ship across different locations.

 Due to the complexity of this plant, it is also rarely seen in the wild. Therefore, if you are going to find one in plant markets, make sure that you are obtaining a Monstera obliqua. Do not confuse it with a Monstera adansonii due to the similarities in their appearance.

Conclusion

Variegations found in Monstera’ Albo’ is a mutation that is rare to find and obtain by different plant breeders. If you are going to get your hands on one of these variegated plants, surely, it will be a rare addition to any collection or home decorations, although, in exchange for a hefty sum of money. 

It will be a no-brainer that future scientific discoveries and interventions may find an easier way to propagate these variegated monsteras. However, while we are still waiting for that day to come, the rarity and the value of Monstera’ Albo’ is here to stay and will not change any sooner.

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Morgan Daniels

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