If you are looking to get a variegated Monstera plant, you have probably already noticed that these are extremely expensive plants to buy, even if you only buy a small one. Why on Earth do these plants cost so much just for a cutting?
There are quite a few things that bump up the asking price for variegated Monstera plants, including:
- They are rare
- They are in very high demand
- They grow slowly
- They need careful handling and expert care
All four of these factors combine to create a very pricey plant, no matter where you get it from or how small it is.
How Much Do Variegated Monstera Plants Cost?
Variegated Monstera plants sell for very different amounts of money. The price that they fetch will depend upon many factors, such as the size and health of the plant, the attractiveness of its foliage, the type, and the interest of the buyers.
The highest price a variegated Monstera has currently fetched is almost $5000. This was for a large, established plant, not a cutting, and it had particularly beautiful and unusual leaves. Obviously, it was very sought after.
Many people sell cuttings for more than $100, and you should be aware that a cutting will take a long time to grow into a full plant that you can enjoy in the living room.
What Are The Factors That Make These Plants So Expensive?
The price of a variegated Monstera is based on four factors – rarity, demand, slow growth, and the requirement for expert care. We’ll break down each of these sections below.
A variegated Monstera is not a common plant to find because it is not a species of plant at all. It is a genetic mutation, in which the plant does not produce chlorophyll as it should. This leads to the white pattern that appears across the foliage because chlorophyll is responsible for the greenness of the leaves.
However, because this is a genetic mutation, the only reliable way to reproduce it is to take cuttings from a Monstera that carries this genetic mutation. Seeds from a variegated Monstera will not produce variegated Monsteras.
Of course, the occasional seed will carry the same genetic mutation, but this is incredibly unlikely, and the odds are so low that it is not worth trying. It is better to buy a cutting from a plant if you want one.
So, rarity is the first factor that affects the price. There is no easy way for people to flood the market with these plants – they can only take a few cuttings at a time to sell.
The more demand there is for something, the higher the price goes – especially when plants are sold at auction. Fierce competition leads to prices rocketing, and the higher the prices go, the more people are prepared to pay for them.
Overall, variegated Monsteras have become very popular in recent years, partly because they have been featured in fashion magazines and on Instagram accounts as the “in” thing to have in your home.
There is no denying that these plants are stunningly beautiful, and the fact that they are rare only adds to their appeal; everyone wants them because so few people have them. The more the demand grows, the rarer these plants become – they are almost a collector’s item of the plant world.
Another reason variegated Monstera plants are so expensive is that they grow very slowly. This is because the leaves lack the chlorophyll they need to photosynthesize effectively, and therefore the plant cannot produce nearly as much energy as a standard Monstera plant.
Growers will have to wait a very long time for cuttings to get established and start growing into large plants. The slow growth results in having to put more time and energy into caring for the plants and looking after them, and this pushes up the price because of the working hours involved.
It is also something that you should be aware of if you opt to buy a cutting. Because the plants do not grow quickly, you should be prepared to wait a good while before you have a large plant in your living room.
If you want a full variegated Monstera, you will need to spend hundreds of dollars, and you will probably face hot competition from others who want to bring this stunning plant to their homes without having to wait years and care for a delicate specimen. This leads to the next factor in their price.
Need For Expertise
Because these plants are variegated, they tend to be a little more fragile than their green counterparts. This means that the person growing the plant has a more difficult job and a higher risk of losing the plant.
It is another reason why buyers tend to want established plants, rather than cuttings – a cutting has the risk that you will pay a hundred dollars or so and then find that you have accidentally killed the plant by not looking after it properly.
This increases the variegated Monstera plant’s rarity and again pushes the price even higher, especially for the large plants. These have an additional cost of shipping and packaging, too, so unless you can buy one locally, a large plant may cost you a lot of money.
How Can I Get A Cheap Variegated Monstera?
The short answer to this question is that unless you know somebody who owns a variegated Monstera, you are almost definitely not going to get one cheaply. If you do know someone, they may be willing to take a cutting of the plant for you, but you should be aware that these are valuable, so they may not want to do it.
Many people prefer to browse variegated Monstera plants in person. These plants vary a lot in terms of their aesthetic, and being able to handle and inspect the specimen closely is better than just having a few pictures to look at online.
Buying online also carries the risk of the plant being damaged in the post, or of the plant not being as healthy as the one pictured. There are further risks, such as lost mail, falsely advertised goods, etc.
If you do buy a variegated Monstera online, make sure that there are lots of pictures of both the plant/cutting and the mother plant (the one it has been taken from). Do not buy a variegated Monstera plant if the seller has not listed pictures of the plant and described its size/condition. You may end up disappointed.
Surprisingly, some people do find variegated Monsteras in stores among normal Monstera plants. However, this is very uncommon, and you shouldn’t expect it to happen to you. It might be rather like winning the lottery.
Should I Buy Seeds For A Variegated Monstera?
No, you should not buy Monstera seeds that are advertised as variegated. These may well have come from a variegated Monstera plant, but because the variegation is just a genetic mutation, the seeds will not carry it.
Do not trust any source that claims to be selling this kind of seeds as they will not produce a variegated Monstera.
Often, people find that they have bought seeds that are not even Monstera seeds, which produce completely different plants. By the time the plant has sprouted and the buyer becomes aware of this, the seller will have disappeared.
If you want a variegated Monstera plant you must buy a cutting.
I Have Sourced A Cheap Variegated Monstera; Should I Buy It?
Probably not. If a variegated Monstera is being sold very cheaply, there is likely a good reason for this. Either the plant is sick, or there is some sort of scam going on.
You should always check a seller’s feedback before purchasing something expensive like a variegated Monstera. If the seller does not have any feedback, do not buy from them, because you probably will not get the plant you’re expecting.
Ask for pictures of the plant that you will receive, as well. Some only list a generic picture, and as variegated Monsteras come in an enormous range of shapes, sizes, and color patterns, it is crucial that you see pictures of the one that you will receive.
If you are buying a cutting, you should also ask for pictures of the mother plant so that you can see what the variegation looks like at the full size. This will give you an idea of what the plant should look like when it grows larger.
Since the aesthetics of the plant are the main reason why people want to own it, it’s very important to know what to expect, so you can buy one accordingly. Don’t rush to grab the first variegated Monstera that you see; it is better to choose carefully.
Some sellers will not agree to send out pictures, because it is a bit more work for them, but it’s a good idea to ask because it does make a big difference to the plant that you will get.
What Should I Look For In A Variegated Monstera Plant?
When you are choosing a variegated Monstera, it’s a good idea to look at the stem as well as the plant’s leaves. Ideally, you want some light patches on the stem as well as the foliage. An even mix of white and green is particularly ideal.
However, the plant should not have too much white on it, or it will not be able to grow. If a plant has no chlorophyll or a very minimal amount, it will be extremely delicate and it may not establish itself properly. You will have to provide it with extremely tender care.
How Can I Get A Variegated Monstera Plant?
The best way to grab one of these plants is to follow lots of growers online. They will post notifications when they have cuttings available, and this is often a great way to get a particularly beautiful specimen. However, you should be aware that these will get snapped up extremely quickly, and you’ll have to be fast to buy one.
It is a good idea to spend a bit of time browsing before you buy one, even if you miss out on a few plants that you like in the meantime. This will give you time to establish what attracts you and what you are less keen on.
Look at leaf shape as well as leaf coloration, and decide how big a plant you can afford. Once you have done these things, you can start trying to get a plant, with a good idea of what you want.
If possible, you should also browse local stores and look at their selection. Even if you don’t buy one, this will help you to expand your knowledge about these plants, and ensure that you get one that is perfect for you.
Because the plants are so expensive, it’s really important not to rush your purchase, but to take your time and get one that you truly love.
Can I Take Cuttings From My Variegated Monstera?
Once your plant is large enough, yes, you can take and sell cuttings. However, you should not bank on this being an instant payback, as the plants grow so slowly, it may be a good few years before you have the option to propagate them.
Remember that these plants are delicate, and this means they will not appreciate you taking cuttings too often!
Variegated Monstera plants are expensive for many different reasons, including the fact that they are rare and in high demand. Over time, as the hype about these plants dissolves, they may become a little cheaper, but because they are not common, they will probably remain expensive.