These days exotic plants are no longer just a decoration but a passionate collector’s item. In this article, I will tell you about two very popular varieties of monstera.
The main difference between Monstera Albo and Monstera Thai Constellation is the foliage. Monstera Thai Constellation has more stable variegation than Monstera Albo. In addition, Monstera Thai Constellation can be yellow-green or white-green, while Monstera Albo is almost always white-green.
The first difference between the leaves of these two plants is variegation. On Monstera Thai Constellation, the yellow color is evenly scattered on the green in the form of spots or stripes. Also, the variegation is more consistent, which means it does not turn completely green or yellow.
Monstera Albo on the other hand has huge white spots on the leaves. Sometimes half the leaf can be white, but some of the neighboring leaves can be solid green. This means that this variety has floating variegation, meaning that some leaves can be completely white or completely green.
This is definitely a disadvantage because you have to cut out the green leaves. Otherwise, they will dominate and the whole plant will turn green. On the other hand, if the plant is left with only white leaves, it can die from a lack of chlorophyll.
A second difference is the size of the leaves. Monstera Thai Constellation has larger leaves. They can easily reach two feet long or more. At the same time, Monstera Albo leaves usually do not exceed 12 inches in length.
And finally, the color, the leaves of Monstera Thai Constellation are colored white and green. The white can be replaced by cream or even yellow. Monstera Albo leaves are always green and white. Its white color rarely changes and remains pure or snowy white.
Size and shape
The size and shape of both plants are also slightly different. Monstera Thai Constellation has short internodes, which makes it more squat and bushy. But thanks to the large leaves, the bush looks spread out.
The distance between the nodes of Monstera Albo is 6 inches, which is a lot. As a result, the plant has a more elongated shape. Monstera Albo can definitely be called a climbing plant.
If you like big and voluminous plants then Monstera Thai Constellation is definitely for you. But it will need a little more space. You can easily control its size by pruning, the main thing is to always use sterile and sharp tools.
Monstera Albo is more suitable for lovers of vine plants. It is less wide but grows upwards more vigorously. You will need a moss pole to grow it successfully in the house.
The price and availability of both plants have some differences at the moment. Perhaps in the future, everything will change, but for now, everything is as it is.
Monstera Thai Constellation has more stable variegation and can be propagated much easier. Almost every cutting can be rooted to produce a new plant. In addition, this variety is quite often propagated by tissue culture. All this makes the number of plants available for sale much greater and therefore the price is lower.
Monstera Albo, on the other hand, is much more difficult to propagate. Completely green cuttings will not produce a variegated plant, and completely white cuttings will not be viable. Also, this variety is rarely propagated by tissue culture. All this has resulted in the rarity and relative expensiveness of the plant.
But it may also be an advantage for you. By growing and propagating Monstera Albo you will get rare and high-priced specimens that you can sell at a profit.
The watering needs of both plants are very similar. In their native habitat, monsteras get plenty of water, but their roots are never in wet soil for long periods of time. This is because most of the root system is above ground level.
For your monstera to thrive, water it when the potting soil is half dry. During the winter months, let the soil dry out almost completely. Water with plenty of water to make sure all of the soil is soaked. The pot should have holes in the bottom.
Use your fingers to check if the potting soil is wet. Or you can install a moisture meter in the monstera pot.
If you water the monstera very often, the roots can rot and you may lose the plant. To cure the root rot you will have to clean the roots of dirt and remove the dead tissue. The healing process can take months.
On the other hand, monsteras do not tolerate drought. If the soil in the pot dries out completely, after a while the leaves can become crispy around the edges or can split. So do not force the plant to suffer from dehydration, this is especially important in the heat of summer.
As for feeding, Monstera Albo and Monstera Thai Constellation have a lot in common. They are quite vigorous plants with a relatively fast growth rate. But they may not get enough nutrients in the pot, so they need to be fertilized regularly.
Fertilize the Monstera once every 1.5 to 2 months with liquid fertilizer with equal amounts of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium. Also, sometimes the soil may be deficient in iron, zinc, and magnesium. As a result, the leaves may turn yellow but the veins will remain green. If this happens to your plant, apply these elements additionally.
Avoid fertilizing the monstera more than once a month as this can burn the roots. You will have to repot the plant to fix this.
Also do not fertilize any of these plants in the autumn and winter because they are hibernating or preparing for it. Fertilizing during this period can encourage the monstera to grow vigorously, causing it to become severely depleted.
Monstera Albo and Monstera Thai Constellation have common lighting requirements. They need 6 or more hours of indirect but very bright sunlight per day. These are the conditions present in their native habitat.
A suitable location would be an east or west room. But not near a window but a little in the back of the room. If you give these plants direct sun they will simply burn. Symptoms are large brown spots on the leaves or a brown edge.
It is also possible to place them in a southern or northern room. In the south room, you need to install a window shade or place the monstera in the back of the room.
You will definitely need artificial light in the north room. Because even near a window, there may not be enough light and the plant will stretch out and weaken. Such a monstera can very easily get sick and die.
Both monstras need to recreate the native soil. This means that the soil should be light and loose. It should also be quick-draining as the roots of these plants absolutely do not tolerate stagnant water.
The easiest way to get the right substrate is to buy aroids growing medium. There are lots of good products on the market. You can also make your own substrate by mixing half the common potting soil with half the pure compost. But make sure that the substrate is at least a little acidic because monstera will not grow well in alkaline soil.
Also, remember to transplant the monstera every 1 to 2 years to give the roots room to develop. When transplanting, use a pot that is only 1 to 2 inches larger than the previous pot and make sure it has drainage holes.
After transplanting, the plant may experience a transplant shock. The leaves may droop slightly. Nothing much needs to be done, just water the plant extra and provide a little more shade. When you see that it is alright, return it to its original location.
Temperature and humidity
Both plants need a temperature of 65-85 °F to thrive. If the temperature drops below 55 °F, the plants may slow down or even suffer. For this reason, do not take monstera outdoors in the summer if the nights are cold.
Also, avoid placing it near a refrigerator or other cold-generating device and eliminate all cold drafts in the house. The same goes for heating devices.
Humidity is also an important condition for growing monstera. You should be able to reach a humidity level of 60-70%. If the air is too dry, the leaves may get dry patches or may crack.
To get the right humidity, install a pebble tray or humidifier near the monstera. Also, if several plants are placed next to each other, the air around them is usually more humid.
The first problem you will encounter when growing monstera is pests. The most typical ones are aphids and spider mites. These insects feed on the sap of the plant and it slowly begins to wilt. To get rid of them you need to spray the monstera with an aqueous solution of neem oil.
A second challenge is a disease. In most cases, the monstera has a root rot or leaf spot. To cure the rot, you will need to avoid overwatering and make sure the substrate and pot are well-drained.
Leaf spot is a fungal disease that can be caused by various pathogens. To avoid this, ensure good ventilation around the plant and humidity of no more than 90%. If there are leaf spots, spray the plants with a copper fungicide.