How to Grow and Care for Monstera Albo

Closeup of monstera albo leaves

Huy Phan / Pexels

Monstera albo (Monstera deliciosa 'Albo Borsigiana') is a rare and elusive plant that many plant collectors love and adore. This variegated monstera is at the top of many wish lists around the world thanks to its stunning variegation and prestige reputation—with small plants often selling for several hundred dollars. It is a subspecies of the popular Monstera deliciosa, characterized by large patches of white, naturally occurring variegation on split leaves. Note that it is toxic to pets.

Botanical Name  Monstera deliciosa ‘Albo Borsigiana’ 
Common Name  Monstera albo, variegated monstera 
Family  Araceae 
Plant Type  Perennial 
Mature Size  10 ft. tall, 3 ft. wide (indoors) 30 ft. tall, 5 ft. wide (outdoors) 
Sun Exposure  Partial 
Soil Type  Moist but well-draining 
Soil pH  Acidic, neutral 
Bloom Time  Spring, summer 
Flower Color  Green 
Hardiness Zones  9-11 (USDA) 
Native Area  Central America 
Toxicity  Toxic to pets 

Monstera Albo Care

Native to the tropical rainforests of Central America, these popular, showy houseplants grow well in most indoor conditions. If you’ve cared for a Monstera deliciosa before, then you already have a great head start since caring for the albo is pretty similar. Monstera albo are known for being a bit high-maintenance, so there are a few differences to keep in mind.

Encourage your monstera albo to grow large, healthy leaves by providing it with a moss pole. These vining plants climb trees in their natural environment and do well when given a moss pole to climb indoors.

Closeup of a monstera albo leaf

Huy Phan / Pexels

Monstera albo plant with large and variegated Swiss cheese-shaped leaf

The Spruce / Phoebe Cheong

Monstera albo plant with large white and green variegated leaves on moss pole

The Spruce / Phoebe Cheong

Monstera albo leaf with white and green variegation closeup

The Spruce / Phoebe Cheong


To keep its variegation bright and plentiful, provide your monstera albo with lots of bright, indirect light. At least six to seven hours of filtered light is recommended. It is important to keep these plants out of direct sunlight as the variegated parts of their leaves are extra sensitive to sunburn. If monstera albos do not get enough light, they will start to lose their variegation, so they are not good low-light plants. 


A rich, well-draining soil mix is important. A combination of equal parts perlite, orchid bark, coco peat, and coco coir will provide the drainage and nutrients that monstera albos require. Mixing in some natural fertilizers like worm castings is also a good idea and will provide an extra boost. 


These tropical plants are susceptible to root rot if overwatered, so it's important to let the soil dry slightly between waterings. Allow the top 1 to 2 inches of soil to dry and then water well, allowing the excess water to drain from the pot’s drainage holes.

Temperature and Humidity

As with other plants in the Monstera genus, the albo does best in warm temperatures, ideally between 65 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit. This makes it well-suited to indoor growing, although it can also be grown outdoors during the summer or year-round in USDA zones 9 to 11

They do best with at least 60 percent humidity which is generally higher than most household humidity levels. That means you will likely need to provide added humidity, which can be done by placing a humidifier nearby, grouping it with other plants, or moving it to a naturally humid room like a bathroom or kitchen.


To produce their variegated foliage albos require more diligent feeding than regular Monstera deliciosas. That being said, these monsteras are also susceptible to over-fertilizing, so getting it just right is important. In addition to a potting mix that is enriched with natural fertilizers, feed your plant once a month with a balanced liquid fertilizer, following product label instructions. Stop feeding altogether during the fall and winter months when the plant is no longer actively growing. 

Types of Monstera Albo

If you can't find one type of Monstera albo, try others, each with their own unique silhouette and variegated patterns.

  • Monstera deliciosa 'Albo Variegata': Deep green and cream leaves
  • Monstera adansonii 'Albo Variegata': Very rare with many holes per each cream and green split leaf
  • Monstera deliciosa 'Albo Borsigiana': Large, mostly white leaves with some green
  • Monstera adansonii f. variegata Variegated Laniata Albo: Tri-colored dark green, light green, and white leaves, some with a glossy finish
  • Monstera Marbled Albo: Rarest with distinct splotches of white and green with deeply split leaves

Propagating Monstera Albo

Since their stunning white variegation is naturally occurring, propagating monstera albo is the only way to produce more of these amazing plants and is very popular as a result. It is pretty simple to do and is nearly identical to propagating regular Monstera deliciosa. However, propagating variegated monsteras takes much longer than regular monsteras, so be patient. It is also common to purchase these variegated monsteras as new or established stem cuttings, so if you are looking for tips on how to care for your new monstera albo cutting, you can also follow these steps. 

Before you begin, it’s important to note that monstera albo are propagated by stem cuttings only. To succeed, the stem cutting must have at least one node on the stem, preferably more. 

  1. Using a pair of sterilized sharp pruning shears or scissors, take a stem cutting from a healthy monstera albo. Ideally, the stem cutting should contain at least one to three nodes along the stem with at least as many leaves. 
  2. Remove the bottom one to two leaves from the cutting to expose the nodes at the bottom of the stem, leave at least one leaf at the top of the cutting. 
  3. Next, you will need to decide which medium you will root your cutting in. You can choose sphagnum moss, water, leca (lightweight expanded clay aggregate), or perlite.
  4. Prepare a small container with your chosen medium. Note that sphagnum moss, leca, and perlite should all be pre-moistened and remain consistently damp throughout the whole rooting process.
  5. Add your cutting to your prepared medium, ensuring that the exposed nodes at the bottom of the cutting are submerged in the medium and the remaining leaves are not. 
  6. Place your cutting in a location that receives bright, indirect light. Roots should begin to start growing over the next few weeks. Keep your rooting medium consistently moist, or if you are rooting in water, change the water once a week. 
  7. Once roots are at least 2 to 3 inches long you can transfer your rooted cutting to a rich and well-draining potting mix. Pre-moisten the soil and plant your cutting. 
  8. Return your potted cutting to bright, indirect light and keep the soil evenly moist for the first one to two weeks to help the plant acclimate.

Potting and Repotting Monstera Albo

These monsteras are slow-growing and will likely only need to be repotted every two to three years. It is best to repot your monstera albo in the early to late spring, or in the summer. Avoid repotting in the fall or winter months as the plant enters dormancy. Choose a pot that is one size larger than the previous pot, or 2 to 3 inches larger in diameter. 

The first step is to carefully remove the plant from its old pot and loosen the rootball as much as you can without breaking any roots. You want to remove as much of the old soil as possible. Next, place the root ball of the plant in the new pot and cover it with fresh potting mix, and then water it well. Return it to its original location and resume its regular watering schedule.

Common Pests & Plant Diseases

Keep an eye out for common houseplant pests like spider mites, scale, mealybugs, fungus gnats, and thrips. Regularly inspecting your plant is the best way to catch any potential infestations early. You can also regularly apply insecticide to the plant as a preventative measure.

How to Get Monstera Albo to Bloom

Even rarer than the plant itself is the tubular greenish flower (spadix) of 4 to 6 inches surrounded by a white spathe that makes the occasional appearance. It is uncommon to see a flower when the monstera albo is grown indoors and its bloom is relatively insignificant compared to its magnificent foliage. In addition, if a monstera albo is going to bloom, it can take a few years until it reaches maturity for it to do so.

If you are up for the challenge, encourage the plant to bloom by growing it in a climate-controlled greenhouse. Without a greenhouse, you can grow it in bright light (direct sunlight in the winter), warm air temperatures between around 79 to 86 degrees Fahrenheit, and high humidity of 60 to 80 percent.

Common Problems With Monstera Albo

Monstera albo are generally easy to care for, especially if you have experience growing other types of monsteras. However, as with any houseplant, there are a few common issues that you may run into while growing these tropical plants indoors. 

Drooping Leaves

If your monstera albo is displaying limp, drooping leaves, there are a few possible reasons. First, the plant may be in shock, especially if you just brought it home. Sensitive to changes in their environment, it may take a while to acclimate to a new space. Provide it with plenty of humidity and warm temperatures, which is likely what it's accustomed to. If your plant is established in your home and is still exhibiting signs of drooping leaves, then it may be underwatered, or has developed root rot

Yellow Leaves

Yellow leaves are an indication that something in your plant’s growing environment is not right. Usually, it is a sign of overwatering, underwatering, lack of light, or improper fertilization. You will need to assess your plant’s growing environment to find the most likely cause.

Losing Variegation

If you notice that your plant is losing variegation, it is likely not receiving enough light. Give it at least six to seven hours of bright, indirect light. Consider adding a grow light to your setup if you cannot provide your albo with adequate natural light.

Brown Leaves

The most common causes of browning leaves are lack of humidity, underwatering, and sunburn. Monstera albo are particularly susceptible to brown patches on their leaves compared to the all-green Monstera deliciosa, especially in their white variegation.

  • Why are monstera albos so expensive?

    These monsteras are rare, hard to come by, slow to propagate, and extremely popular—all of which have increased their prices to nearly astronomical levels. To put it simply, it's an issue of supply and demand—and these trendy plants are certainly in demand.

  • What’s the difference between a monstera albo and monstera Thai constellation?

    Both of these monsteras are variegated, but the main difference between the two is that the albo’s variegation is naturally occurring while the Thai constellation is lab-created. In addition, their variegation patterns are different. The albo is characterized by large patches of stark white variegation while the Thai constellation is characterized by smaller splatters of white/cream variegation.

  • How quickly do monstera albos grow?

    Due to the variegation on its leaves which impacts photosynthesis, the monstera albo is slow-growing, especially compared to the regular Monstera deliciosa.

  • Should I mist my monstera albo?

    Misting is always suggested for monstera plants, including this one. Mist it once a week, but if you see a bit of crinkling on the leaves, the air in your home is dry and you can bump misting up to twice a week. Don't mist too much or too often or it can cause fungal and pest problems.

  • How long do monsteras live?

    Indoor monstera plants that are well-cared for can live up to about 40 years.

Article Sources
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  1. Cutleaf Philodendron. ASPCA.