The variegated Swiss cheese plant
Want to learn more about Monstera deliciosa ‘Albo Variegata’ Trivia
Get individual care schedule and reminders for your plant with our app Planta. Never kill a plant again!
The variegated Swiss cheese plant
Monstera deliciosa 'Albo Variegata' is the full scientific name for this white variegated form of the Swiss cheese plant. The variegation can be spontaneous and it might not spread to the new growth. The new growth can come out fully green as the variegation reverts. If this happen you can help your plant producing more variegation by pruning it back to above a node with variegation in the stem. The white parts of the leaves lacks chlorophyll. This means that the white areas won't photosynthesize as much as the green parts. This can result in the white areas turning brown and dying back and this can be difficult to prevent. Our best tips are to make sure your plant gets plenty of bright indirect light and is cared for properly. Increased humidity might also be beneficial.
The more variegation found on the stem the less risk of your plant reverting back to producing fully green leaves.
Variegated Swiss cheese plants can only be propagated by using vegetative parts. Seeds will unfortunately most likely turn into fully green plants. Mature Monsteras can be expensive to buy, especially variegated forms, but if you start out small and put the time and care into nurturing them, they will grow fast. Leaves and petioles cannot be used for propagation by themselves. Make sure you have a stem with at least one node to increase the chances of growing a healthy golden Swiss cheese plant.
The Monstera deliciosa (meaning 'delicious monster') is often called Swiss Cheese plant (like the Monstera adansonii) which can be a bit confusing but it's actually an accepted common name for both of them. The 'deliciosa' part comes from the fact that they can bear sweet fruit, although this fruit is toxic when unripened.
These holes in the leaves form through a process called 'fenestration'. The older the plant, the more holes it is likely to have. There are a few different theories as to why these holes develop, and although more research is needed, it is thought that it may be to help light reach the lower leaves as the monstera vines itself around trees in its native tropical environment.
Monsteras are fast-growing, and it's possible to replicate this vining if you provide it with a stake or trellis that it can cling to. Give it a few months and you'll have a beautiful plant display.
In the wild, they can grow up to 65 feet (20 meters) tall!
Swiss Cheese plants like to be kept in bright indirect light - if you think of their natural jungle environment, they're used to being partially shaded under the canopy of taller trees. Therefore, you should avoid placing them in direct sunlight, as this can lead to the leaves becoming burnt.
The variegated Swiss cheese plant is extra sensitive to lacking light or being exposed to too much direct sun. Make sure it gets plenty of bright but indirect light.
Additionally, they like to be kept in high humidity conditions, with their soil consistently moist (but not overly wet). If you have a brightly lit bathroom, then this is the ideal place to keep your Monstera! Otherwise, you can replicate this high humidity by, for example, placing it near a humidifier.
Young Swiss Cheese plants can look very different to their mature counterparts - they have small, heart-shaped leaves often with no holes in them at all. As they grow and matures, the leaves become larger and start to form holes.