If you have ever gone shopping for houseplants, their price tags have probably left you confused and even shocked. It might feel like the out-of-this-world prices don’t make sense. However, there is a good reason and explanation behind the process of plants that make them so expensive. Monstera plants, in particular, are among the priciest plants in the world, with price tags going as high as $5,000 depending on the specific variety in question.
Now, you might be wondering why Monstera Albo is expensive. You might be thinking that for such an amount of money, you can buy so many things than just a single houseplant alone. It might seem somewhat unreasonable but there is a good reason behind the prices of this plant that cost an arm and a leg.
The Monstera Albo is a very hot commodity in the world of houseplants due to the stunning variegation that occurs on its leaves. In the case of the Monstera Albo, the variegation comes from the natural mutation affecting the amount of green or chlorophyll present in the leaves.
This variegation can be sectoral or large patches of light, marbling or blended patterns of green and light sections, or a combination of these two.
The Monstera Albo is expensive since its coloration is the result of a natural mutation that is not reliably genetically passed down through the seeds. Even cuttings don’t have 100% success in recreating similar variegation. The plant is also expensive because of its slow growth rate, limited supply, and high demand.
Stunning variegation of yellow or white is highly valued in houseplants. But this coloration happens to be a source of stress for these plants.
The absence of chlorophyll in these portions of the plant’s leaves means that photosynthesis cannot occur. Photosynthesis is the process that produces energy for plants.
It means that the very reason why Monstera Albo is so valued is also part of what makes the plant hard to maintain and grow.
Why is Monstera ‘Albo Variegata’ So Expensive?
The Monstera Albo is also known in several different names such as M. deliciosa ‘Albo’, M. deliciosa ‘Albo Variegata’, M. deliciosa borsigiana ‘Albo’, M. deliciosa borsigiana ‘Variegata’, and M. deliciosa ‘Variegata’.
All of these names refer to just one plant that uses the common or popular names albo monstera or variegated monstera.
Monstera delicisiosa is the parent plant of the variegated monstera that boasts of large leaves with iconic fenestration.
Here are the most common reasons why Monstera Albo is expensive:
The houseplant world values variegation, making Monstera plants very popular. The combination of popularity and value is the reason why all enthusiasts want to have a Monstera Albo as a part of their collection. This is why it is not a surprise that collectors quickly snatch up Monstera Albo plants that are available for purchase.
Slow Growth Rates
The Monstera Albo tends to have a slow growth due to the absence of chlorophyll in its leaves, resulting in a lesser occurrence of photosynthesis. The photosynthesis process produces the vital energy that the plant requires for growth. Since Monstera Albo doesn’t produce as much energy as fully green leaves, the growth of the plant is notably slower than other plants.
Not Possible to Grow Reliably from Seed
The Monstera Albo features variegation that is the result of a natural mutation. As such, it may take thousands and thousands of seeds before you can find a mutated plant. Although the mutation affects the plant’s genetic material, it, unfortunately, doesn’t get passed down to its seeds.
Propagation Requires Skill
Monstera plants, in general, can be easily propagated using stem cuttings. But the variegation of Monstera Albo only means that the plants don’t grow as fast as the rest of the varieties. It means that the cuttings might die even before they get the chance to grow their new roots.
White Leaves Often Die Sooner Resulting in Fewer Leaves for Cuttings
The Monstera Albo becomes more valuable when its leaves have more white. But if most of the leaf is white, this leaf will die fast since it cannot produce sufficient energy for the plant. Also, since these leaves are not viable, it is not possible to use these as stem cuttings for propagation.
The number of areas with light patches may vary from one leaf to another since the mutated cells responsible for the variegation are not equally found all over the plant. It results in variation in the number of leaves that you can propagate from every plant and still create a desirable coloration.
Very Limited Availability
The combination of unpredictable variegation following propagation and slow growth means that there will be a limited number of plants or cuttings available for purchase. The basic rule of supply and demand applies here. Prices will be higher if there are only fewer plants to choose from.
What are the Average Prices of Monstera Albo?
A single cutting from a Monstera Albo can have a minimal cost of $100. You can expect to spend thousands of dollars for a mature plant that boasts of multiple variegated leaves.
Is Monstera ‘Albo’ Stable?
When you speak of stability, it pertains to whether the plant’s variegation can get lost, whether as the result of the environment or as a natural occurrence.
Since the Monstera Albo features variegation that is the result of a natural mutation, the plant is categorized as unstable. There are also many instances when these plants revert to their all-green coloration.
Wrapping It Up
While there is no denying that the Monstera Albo is a gorgeous plant to add to your plant collection or use as home décor, you have to brace yourself for the high amount you will have to pay just to get one.
Botanists may discover a better method to reproduce these multicolored beauties in the future but until then, expect that the Monstera Albo will continue to be a rare and expensive plant, prized and valued for its unique characteristics.