Variegated Monstera Plant Care. Or Variegated Monstera Deliciosa. Swiss Cheese plant or ceriman, is a climbing evergreen from the tropics of Central America. The plant is known for its big leaves, can grow up to 3 feet long, and have an appearance like Swiss Cheese.
Alternate names of Variegated Monstera
Variegated Monstera or Monstera deliciosa or Variegated Monstera Deliciosa has many alternate names. Its common names are Ceriman, Swiss Cheese Plant, Monstera, Mexican Breadfruit, and Delicious Monster.
Types of Variegated Monstera Deliciosa
It is a species of flowering plant or houseplant native to southern Mexico and Panama, Monstera Deliciosa is hardy and easy to care for.
Monstera Deliciosa has beautiful holes that form naturally in the leaves. It is also easy to grow as a houseplant or outdoors.
There are few named Monstera varieties and there are numerous varieties with variegated leaves including ‘Variegata’, ‘Albovariegata’, and ‘Marmorata’.
Chimeral variegation is the most common caused by a genetic mutation. This is where two different types of chromosomal makeup get mixed up. The plant has some tissue that is able to produce chlorophyll and other is not.
The mutation caused a plant that has yellow or white zones intermixed with the solid green form. This plant is called a Chimera. Variegated Monstera Deliciosa is one such Chimera.
This Chimeral Variegation is spread out randomly around the plant. The spotted plant looks like as if they are splattered with paint. The leaves are green with some leaves emerge entirely white.
The green color of the leaves is caused by the content of plant cells or called chloroplasts. The plant cells are needed to carry out the chemical reaction known as photosynthesis.
The plants absorb water with their roots to make the chemical reaction to happen. Carbon dioxide enters through pores in the leaves into the plants.
Using light energy and water are used to produce water and sugar. Chloroplasts contain light-absorbing molecules called chlorophyll.
The molecule responds to light and absorbs blue and red light and reflects green. This is the reason why most plants appear green color.
How to grow a Variegated Monstera plant
Variegated Monstera thrives well in a humid and warm environment. The plant needed gentle sunlight and a decent amount of water.
Unfortunately, the white portion of the Variegated Monstera green and white leaves could not absorb light. The plant requires to do much harder work to photosynthesize.
The ideal spot is a bright ambient light condition that should keep the Variegated Monstera glad of the location.
Position the Variegated Monstera plant as much faraway from drafts and vents. This location can provide dry air and medium to bright indirect light.
Variegated Monstera grown in shade are a darker green and more aesthetically pleasing than those grown in full sun. Leaves grown in full sun has light green color and show signs of sunburn.
Keep away from other trees, plants, buildings and structures, and power lines. Select the warmest area of the location that does not flood after rainfall.
Variegated Monstera thrives well in well-draining soil. Preferably soil that is high in organic matter.
The type of soil including sandy type soils and the high-pH, calcareous soils. The Monstera plants are not tolerant of flooded or excessively wet soil conditions.
Practically the plant grows in any soil, including limestone but flourishes best in rich loam. The plant is not adapted to saline conditions.
The most recommended soil is a typical potting soil mix such as perlite, pumice or coarse horticultural sand. Other recommended mix is coco fiber or peat moss, small-grade orchid bark, and perlite.
It is recommended to start the plant in a 1-gallon pot for 2-3 months before moving it to a larger container. Use a pot or container with drainage holes.
After 3 months, a permanent home for a mature plant is about 10 gallons, but if pruned periodically it may be kept in a smaller pot.
The Variegated Monstera can grow almost anywhere you like. It can tolerate low light. It grows faster and becomes more exotic in a bright spot. Avoid strong and direct sunlight because it may burn the leaves.
Variegated Monstera grows best in tropical, humid and hot climates. It will grow well with its fruit in warm subtropical areas.
The plant is not tolerant of freezing temperatures. Leaves are damaged or killed at 30 to 32°F (-1.0 to 0°C) and stem at 26 to 28°F (-2 to -3°C). But in areas with cool temperatures, it grows better if lightly shaded in the winter months.
The Swiss Cheese plant is maybe raised from imported seed. Propagation of the Swiss Cheese plant or Variegated Monstera is by means of stem cuttings. The practice may be simply set in beds or pots in the ground where the plant is intended to grow.
Offshoots or suckers, without or with roots, can be separated from its parent plants and transplanted successfully.
It may take 4 to 6 years to come into bearing if plants generated from cuttings. Suckers begin fruit production in 2 to 4 years.
You may experience difficulties on slide out the plant from the container since the roots are adhesive and can glue themselves to the container. If this happens, water the soil and wait 30 minutes for it to soak in completely.
Try squeezing the sides and bottom of the container. After that, gently pull on the stem. If it still sticks, cut the pot apart with scissors or a box cutter blade. You must wear leather gloves, and be careful.
Planting in sandy soil
Many areas around the beach have sandy soil. Remove a 3 to 10 feet diameter ring of grass sod. Dig a hole about 3 times the diameter. Dig the hole 3 times as deep as the container where you get them.
The large holes will loosen the soil, making the roots easy to expand into the adjacent soil. It is not required to apply fertilizer, topsoil, or compost to the hole.
Backfill the hole with the excavated soil. Place the plant in the hole so that the top of the soil media from the container is level with the surrounding soil level.
Fill soil in around the roots. Compact slightly to remove air pockets. Water the soil around the roots right away.
Planting in Rockland Soil
If you have very shallow soil and several inches below the soil surface is the bedrock, remove a 3 to 10 feet diameter ring of grass sod. Make a hole 3 times the diameter of the current container and 3 times as deep as the current container.
Use a pick and digging bar to break up the rock or use augering equipment or a backhoe. Plant the plant as described for sandy soils.
Planting in Mound
If the area has occasional flooding after heavy rains, plant the Monstera on 3 feet high by 4 feet diameter mound of native soil. Dig a hole 4 times the diameter and 3 times as deep as the current container.
How to care for Variegated Monstera or Swiss Cheese Plant
For best results, fertilize the Swiss Cheese plant one time in a month during the spring months and summer months. The fertilizer will stimulate growth and root health. During the cold winter months, you do not need to fertilizer the Swiss Cheese plant and give it a rest during the cooler time of year.
Apply ¼ lb (113 g) of a complete dry fertilizer mix with a minimum of 20% to 30% of the nitrogen from organic sources. The best fertilizer for the Swiss Cheese plant is a complete mix that includes nitrogen, phosphate, potash, and magnesium (30-30-30 or 20-20-20 NPK formulation).
Do this again every 8 weeks for the first year. Increase the amount of fertilizer to 0.5 lb to 0.75 lb and 1.0 lb. Decrease the frequency to 3 times per year as the Swiss Cheese plant grow.
Micronutrient applications should be made 3 times per year, generally during its growing season. For the rocky soils and sandy soils with a high pH, use a chelated iron for high-pH soils.
Variegated monstera vines are commonly drought tolerant. When grown in the shade during drought, periodic watering will result in better growth and larger fruit.
Do periodical watering in the months of January to March and October to December.
Variegated Monstera as a houseplant is susceptible to stem injury. Commonly caused by lawnmowers and weed eaters.
To prevent this from happening, maintain a grass-free area at least 5 feet away from the stem of the Swiss Cheese plant. Never touch the stem with lawn mowing equipment and never use a weed eater near the stem.
Mechanical damage can cause dieback or kill the plant. Heavy fertilization of the lawn is not recommended because it may reduce fruit quality.
The use of lawn sprinkler systems on a timer may result in over watering and cause the Monstera plant to decline. Too much water causes root rot.
Mulching Swiss Cheese plant or Variegated Monstera as a houseplant helps retain soil moisture, reduces weed problems, and improves the soil near the surface. Mulch with a 2 to 6 inches layer of bark, wood chips, or similar mulch material.
The Swiss Cheese plant can grow more than 15 feet vertically and horizontally. You may prune the plant to cut it back to any size you wish. The pruning will form side shoots from below where you prune.
Their leaves may be held 3 to 4 feet high. The plant will grow into adjacent trees and structures if unpruned. It will grow easily and controlled by cutting the stem and pulling the shallow roots out of the ground.
Periodically, the Swiss Cheese plant should be pruned to maintain in an appropriate space. If left unpruned, the plant will take over a large part of the landscape.
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