Monstera Thai Constellation is a cultivar of Monstera deliciosa. It has some larger cream or yellow splotches of variegation, but the main feature is the small spots of variegation across most of the plant. These small spots resemble stars in the night sky, hence the “constellation” in the name.
|Botanical Name||Monstera deliciosa ‘Thai Constellation’|
|Common Name||Variegated Swiss Cheese Plant, Variegated Cheese Plant, Variegated Monstera|
|Size||Up to 8 feet in length|
|Pet Friendly||No. Toxic|
Monstera Thai Constellation Origin
This cultivar was created in a lab in Thailand. This is unusual for a houseplant because most variegated varieties are able to be created in multiple laboratories, which allows the plants to be more readily accessible. Monstera Thai Constellation is hard to find and extremely expensive because of its singular origin.
Since Monstera Thai Constellation is a cultivar of Monstera deliciosa, it has similar care requirements. For the most part, the goal is to recreate the tropical rainforests of Central America, where Monstera deliciosa originated. Both plants are epiphytes that produce climbing vines.
How to Care for Monstera Thai Constellation
The care requirements for Monstera Thai Constellation are almost identical to Monstera deliciosa. However, Monstera Thai Constellation grows slower and requires more sunlight due to the splotches of variegation that lack chlorophyll.
Light and Temperature
Photosynthesis requires chlorophyll to complete the process of creating energy for the plant. Since Monstera Thai Constellation has large portions of variegation that lack chlorophyll, this plant requires more sunlight than its parent plant.
Bright, indirect light is the best lighting situation for this plant. Depending on other factors, the plant can also be in a location where direct sunlight is filtered through a sheer curtain. If too little light is provided to the plant, new leaves will most likely be small and will not split as normal. The plant will not be able to grow at its normal speed.
If you do not have an optimal location for bright light in your home, you can successfully grow a Monstera Thai Constellation under a grow light. Depending on your grow light, you may need to experiment with the number of hours and distance from the plant.
Even as a cultivar, Monstera Thai Constellation is still a tropical plant. You should do your best to maintain warm temperatures for this plant. The ideal range is 65-80 degrees Fahrenheit. As long as the plant has appropriate humidity and lighting, it can usually survive in warmer temperatures. However, temperatures below 65 degrees can slow the growth of the plant and affect the plant’s overall health.
Water and Humidity
Monstera Thai Constellation loves moisture and humidity. Unfortunately, this can leave the plant susceptible to root rot and other fungal infections. It is important to maintain an appropriate watering schedule to mitigate these risks.
Check the soil of your Monstera Thai Constellation regularly. Water the plant when the top couple inches of soil are dry. Since this is such an expensive and rare plant, it would probably be a good investment to purchase a moisture meter, which can accurately tell you the amount of moisture in the soil.
Typically, you will need to water your plant once a week during the spring and summer. In the winter, your plant will slow down or stop growing, so you may only need to water it once a month. Monstera Thai Constellation is not drought-tolerant, so it is important not to go too long between waterings.
In order to keep a healthy plant, maintain a humidity level of 60% or higher for your Monstera Thai Constellation. Anything lower will cause the leaves to dry out and get brown edges. Mist your plant a couple times a week and avoid drafty areas to keep up the humidity level.
Soil and Container
The size of your pot will be determined by the size of your Monstera Thai Constellation. This plant does better when its roots fit snugly in the pot. Also, excess soil will hold unnecessary water that can increase the risk for root rot.
As your Monstera Thai Constellation grows larger, it can benefit from a moss pole or textured climbing structure. In nature, these plants use their aerial roots to grow up the sides of trees.
The most important factor when choosing soil for your Monstera Thai Constellation is good drainage. Sitting water is the enemy of healthy Monstera roots. You can add bark or perlite to an indoor potting mix to increase the drainage and aeration.
Including worm castings or compost in your potting mixture will add vital nutrients and hold moisture for your plant. However, these ingredients should be proportionate to the perlite or bark to make sure that the mix does not become too dense.
Since Monstera Thai Constellation is a slow-growing plant, it does not need large amounts of added nutrients. The best practice is to use a diluted liquid houseplant fertilizer once a month during the growing season. If your plant seems like it needs more fertilizer, you can increase the amount of applications to twice a month.
Monstera Thai Constellation (and the parent plant, Monstera deliciosa) produces small white spadix flowers surrounded by a spathe. These flowers are unimpressive and some hobbyists prefer to remove them before they bloom. This plant is prized for its foliage and growing flowers takes resources away from leaf growth.
Excessive pruning is not required with Monstera Thai Constellation, especially because most people want as many of these gorgeous leaves as possible. However, you can try to increase the amount of variegation on your plant by pruning back to a well-variegated leaf. In most cases, new growth after that leaf will have a similar amount of variegation.
This slow-grower will not need to be repotted frequently. For most plants, repotting is necessary every 2-4 years.
Always repot in the spring when the plant is primed for growth and will rebound from the transfer quicker. Use fresh soil because old soil has lost nutrients and does not hold water as well. The new pot size should only have a small amount of wiggle room around the root ball.
Once you have your Monstera Thai Constellation planted into the new pot, water it thoroughly and allow all the excess water to drain. Place the plant back in its usual location. To minimize transplant stress, try to maintain the same care parameters and schedule as you were before repotting. If your plant does experience some stress, it should pass within a couple of weeks.
Thrips are a common pest for Monstera Thai Constellation. These small white insects can blend into the variegation and delay detection. Thrips suck sap out of the leaves of the plant, leaving dry and discolored patches. To treat thrips, use neem oil or an insecticidal soap.
Fungus gnats are a pain for us, but thankfully, they usually don’t cause damage to the plant. The eggs and larvae of fungus gnats live in the top inch of soil and feed on the roots. They are very small and typically do not cause measurable damage to the roots. Adult fungus gnats can be caught using sticky traps and the larvae can be killed by treating the soil with an insecticide.
Mealybugs seem to be the enemy of anyone who has houseplants. These white, cottony insects tend to hide on the underside of leaves or near new growth. They reproduce quickly and can take over a small plant. Mealybugs are sap-suckers that remove necessary nutrients from the plant. A cotton swab dipped in rubbing alcohol can be used to kill adult mealybugs. Since the eggs are too small to see, you should also treat the plant with an insecticidal soap or oil.
Monstera Thai Constellation is extremely susceptible to root rot and every precaution should be taken to avoid it. Since root rot begins below the surface of the soil, it can often go undetected until the plant is too ill to recover. Signs of root rot that you can see include over declining health of the plant, limp leaves, and a mushy stem.
It is important to avoid overwatering your Monstera Thai Constellation. This is the number one contributor to root rot. Only water your plant once the top couple inches of soil are dry. Alternatively, using a moisture meter will give you the most accurate measure of how much water is in the soil.
How to Propagate Monstera Thai Constellation
To propagate Monstera Thai Constellation, you will need to begin by taking a stem cutting. Use sterilized scissors or garden shears to cut a portion of the stem that includes at least one leaf and one node.
There are a few different growing mediums that you can use to propagate your stem cutting. Place the cutting into water to watch as the roots grow. Once roots are 1-2 inches long, you can transplant the cutting into soil. Sphagnum moss is another option as a growing medium. Sphagnum moss holds moisture but also allows excess water to drain away. Finally, you can propagate your cutting directly into the usual potting mixture.
Regardless of what growing medium you choose, you’ll want to place your cutting with the node below the water, moss, or soil and the leaf above the surface. Place your cutting in a warm, bright location. Water the moss or soil as needed or change out the water every few days.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why is the Monstera Thai Constellation so expensive?
Since Monstera Thai Constellation was created in a single lab, they can control how many companies and people have access to the plant.
Costa Farms, a major seller of houseplants, will begin selling Monstera Thai Constellation to retailers in 2023. They have done a couple of test releases that have resulted in enthusiasts camping out overnight and fighting over available plants.
Hobbyists are hoping that if the Monstera Thai Constellation is widely released, it will drive down the price. Plants that are currently available online are selling for hundreds of dollars.
What is the difference between Monstera Thai Constellation and variegated Monstera?
Variegated is not a true variety, species, or cultivar of Monstera; it is just a name to describe plants that display an irregular color pattern. Typically, variegated Monstera or “Monstera variegata” refers to a variegated Monstera deliciosa plant. This can include Monstera Thai Constellation or M. deliciosa plants that have a random mutation for variegation.
What is the difference between Monstera Thai Constellation and Albo Borsigiana?
There is debate amongst botanists and houseplant enthusiasts about the relatedness of Monstera deliciosa and Monstera borsigiana. Some believe that they are two separate species, some believe that M. borsigiana is a subspecies of M. deliciosa, and some believe that they are actually the same species.
The most widely accepted answer seems to be that M. borsigiana is a subspecies of M. deliciosa, making its scientific name Monstera deliciosa borsigiana. This subspecies has a higher rate of the natural mutation that causes variegation. These variegated plants are referred to as ‘Albo.’
Even though Albo Borsigiana is a natural mutation and Thai Constellation is a lab-created mutation, neither of these plants can reproduce and create the same variegation. The only way to maintain the same coloration is through propagation (and even this is not 100% guaranteed.) Typically, the variegated portions of Albo Borsigiana are a cream or bright white color, where Thai Constellation usually has yellow tones of variegation.
If you can get your hands on a Monster Thai Constellation, it is important to take excellent care of such a rare and expensive plant. Hopefully in the next couple of years, this plant will be more readily available for everyone to enjoy.
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