Want to learn more about Plant Symptoms - Variegated Leaves Turn Green (Too Dark / Overfertilized)
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WHY DOES THIS HAPPEN
Variegated leaves make for attractive and eye-catching foliage, often forming unusual patterns that make for a great display piece.
However, plants that show the beauty of unique foliage patterning require some extra care in order to keep them healthy. This is because variegated leaf parts are more sensitive than 'normal' green leaf parts, and so can be more susceptible to damage.
This also means that if something is wrong with your variegated plant's environment or general wellbeing, the first warning signs will often appear on the plant's variegation.
Reversion - where normally variegated markings on a plant revert back to a typical green color - usually occurs as a result of not getting enough sunlight, although it may also be caused by excessive fertilization. Overfertilizing your plant can result in additional (and potentially more serious) health problems for your plant, so if you suspect this may be the cause then it is important that you take action.
Variegated leaves turn back to green in response to being kept somewhere too dark because variegation affects your plant's ability to photosynthesize.
The reason that variegated areas appear light in color is because they lack the green pigment chlorophyll, which is an integral part of the process of photosynthesis. This means that variegated plants are less efficient at photosynthesizing than green plants, and so they need extra light in order to stay healthy. Note though that it's still important to protect your plant from particularly harsh or hot sun - variegated leaves can be extra sensitive to burning. Try to provide plenty of bright, indirect light.
So essentially, if your variegated plant isn't getting enough light, it will start turning green again in order to increase its chances of survival. If it isn't then moved somewhere bright to help it recover, it will likely revert completely over time until there are no variegated parts left.
Note that some plants have chemically-induced variegation (i.e. their variegation does not occur naturally), which means that they eventually grow out of it. This is totally normal for these types of plants and doesn't affect their health - it just means your plant will look a bit different to when you first got it!