As one of the most well-known rare plants, the Albo Monstera has beautiful variegation patterns across the signature fenestrated leaves all Monsteras are known for. Lighting plays one of the biggest factors to grow large plants and encourage leaves to develop complex fenestration patterns. These plants will reach their full potential with a full understanding of Monstera Albo lighting needs.
What is a Monstera Albo?
The Monstera Albo is a rarer houseplant that’s incredibly popular with serious plant collectors. Like the common Monstera Deliciosa, the Albo is a gorgeous member of the Monstera family that features creamy variegation throughout its leaves and stems. Where its cousin, the Thai Constellation Monstera, sports elaborate speckled patterns resembling the night sky, the Albo sports large and dramatic variegated patters that make them incredibly desirable.
Genetically identical to the Monstera Deliciosa, the Albo needs to be propagated by taking stem cuttings to keep it’s beautiful variegation, making it more challenging to mass produce, and the reason it’s harder to find and much more expensive compared to the Monstera Deliciosa.
Even within the Monstera Albo category, there are several sub-variants of this beautiful plant, each with a distinct leaf shape or variegation pattern:
- Monstera deliciosa ‘Albo Variegata’: Sports the signature deep green and cream coloration, not to be confused with the Thai Constellation Monstera
- Monstera adansonii ‘Albo Variegata’: A rarer variant with many fenestrated holes within its leaves
- Monstera deliciosa ‘Albo Borsigiana’: Most of this plant has creamy white leaves with smaller areas for dark green coloration
- Monstera adansonii f. variegata Variegated Laniata Albo: Blends light and dark green coloration with splotches of white across its glossy leaves
- Monstera Marbled Albo: Deeply fenestrated leaves sport signature white and deep green variegation patterns
Variegated Albo Monstera plants range in rarity and price but all follow somewhat similar care needs.
Do Albo Monsteras have special lighting needs?
All Monstera Albo variants need more lighting than their all-green cousins. While their creamy variegated leaves are beautiful, the complex white splotches lack chlorophyll which is needed to convert light rays into plant energy. The more variegated the leaves, the lower the surface area the plant has to photosynthesize, slowing energy production and growth.
More light for your Albo Monstera is required to overcome this shortfall. While kept indoors, these plants will be able to take all the bright indirect light you can provide – stopping short of direct outdoor sun exposure which can damage their leaves.
Additionally, artificial LED grow lights can help augment natural lighting to provide even more energy and growth potential for your Monsteras, which can be helpful if your windows provide less than ideal lighting.
Does window placement matter for Monstera lighting?
Different windows will expose your plants to varying levels of sunlight throughout the day. For the northern hemisphere, Monstera plants will do best with hours of stronger light provided by windows with southern or western exposures.
If you can only provide your plant with northern or eastern views, this isn’t a dealbreaker. Nearby lamps or dedicated grow lights can help give your plant hours of full-spectrum light to help your Albo Monstera thrive.
Monstera growth with bright indirect lighting
As long as your Monstera is grown indoors, it can take as much sunlight as you can provide. With 8 – 12 hours of strong western or southern exposure, your plant has the potential to quickly grow into a large and beautiful plant. Be sure to evaluate how much sunlight your windows provide throughout the year, as seasonal changes lead to fewer light hours with less intense sunlight during the cold winter months.
With maximum light, your plant will develop large new leaves with fenestrations – the finger-like patterns seen in older leaves. With enough light, your plant will also create secondary fenestrations, which are the circular cutouts between the primary fenestrations. Primary and secondary fenestrations require more mature plants, and leaves about 9” – 12” inches to develop with the 7th or 8th leaf for newer plants in ideal conditions.
Even if you have a new plant, providing enough light from the start will make your Albo grow as quickly as possible, and ensure you get beautiful leaves once your Albo Monstera reaches maturity.
Maximizing your Albo Monstera lighting becomes more important since any white patterns will not be able to convert any light into energy. By making your sure your plant gets hours of optimal lighting, you’ll keep it producing enough energy to send out beautiful new leaves throughout the year.
Monstera growth with medium indirect lighting
Not everyone has access to perfect sun exposures that provide hours of strong solar energy. If your windows don’t provide great sunlight, or you are in an area with cold, gray winters, you will need grow lights to provide additional energy for your Albo Monstera.
Since these plants can’t photosynthesize as efficiently due to their variegation, they’re at a disadvantage when it comes to converting light into energy. Inexpensive LED grow lights can be a great way to make up for this energy shortfall so your plant can stay healthy and grow. Given the premium price points Albo Monsteras command, investing in inexpensive lighting is one of the easiest ways to ensure your plant’s continued health.
Many of these lights are readily available, and come in a variety of formats, from simple LED rings, clamped tube lights, spotlights, or under-cabinet lighting. Look for lights that provide full-spectrum exposure and ideally have timer functionality to automate scheduling each day. This is the simplest way to ensure your plants get at least 12 hours of full-spectrum lighting each day without the need to manually switch your lights on and off.
While you might be tempted to keep their Albo Monstera in lower-lighting conditions, this may eventually lead to decline. And with the expensive investment these plants continue to be, a cheap grow light is a small investment to ensure the health of your Monstera collection.
Can Monsteras be grown in low light rooms?
If your room has low lighting conditions, it might be time to consider another plant instead of a Albo Monstera – or any Monstera variant. As plants like the Monstera Deliciosa may be marked to grow in all kinds of lighting conditions, the truth is that these plants will struggle to grow in low lighting.
Regular, non-variegated Monstera Deliciosa plants may survive low-light conditions, but their stems may get “stringy” as the plant sends out shoots with under-developed leaves desperate to find light. Your plant will have no chance of developing fenestrated leaves, and instead keep the small, underdeveloped heart-shaped foliage found in younger plants.
Sadly, Albos will likely die in low-light conditions. Responsible sellers may ask about your home conditions before selling you a plant to make sure your Monstera is set up for success.
Can Monsteras be grown in low light rooms? Only with the aid of a grow light that can be set on a 12 hour timer, and provides full spectrum exposure.
Signs that Monstera Albo lighting isn’t enough
Since Monsteras are good at storing excess energy, it may take your plants a few weeks to tell you that its lighting conditions aren’t ideal. This may be due to them using stored energy from their time in the nursery or growing center, where they likely had perfect lighting for weeks, if not months. Once your plant is settled at home, pay attention for prolonged periods of no growth on your plant after 1 – 2 months of it acclimating to your home, even if it’s the fall or winter “off” seasons.
Despite popular belief, all Monstera variants, including the Albo Monstera, can grow and produce new leaves during the winter months. If your plant has gone 1-2 months without producing a new leaf, it likely isn’t getting enough energy and is waiting for conditions to improve.
If your plant is producing new leaves, but they are smaller than previous leaves, or the leaves have fewer fenestrations, this is a sign that the plant is getting its basic needs met, but you plant is falling behind on its Monstera Albo lighting needs. A grow light would be a quick fix here.
Finally, if you see your plant produce new leaves that are far from your main stem, this is your plant desperately trying to crawl for sunlight. Help your plant immediately! Find a better, sunnier spot, or add in a grow light to nurse your plant back to health.
Healthy Monstera plants have chunky, compact stems with nodes and leaf shoots within 1” – 2” of each other. If your Monstera is starting to look like a stringy vine, it’s time to help your plant get the light it needs.
Signs that Monstera Albo is getting enough light
Monsteras will make it clear when they are happy with their lighting. You can expect regular new leaves every 1 – 2 months that are larger than the leaf they are replacing. For Albo Monsteras, these leaves should be full of beautiful variegation patterns.
Your plant may start to develop fenestrations if it’s at least a year old. If previous leaves are fenestrated, new leaves should continue this pattern. Incredibly happy plants will develop internal fenestrations, the beautiful oval cutouts on one or both sides of the leaf.
Finally, look at your Monstera Albo stem at the base of the plant. Are the nodes close together, or is it starting to get stringy? Happy plants will produce new nodes with petioles and leaves close together. This is your Monstera’s way of telling you that it’s getting plenty of light. Compact growth with nodes compact and close together demonstrates that your plant has plenty of energy to produce new leaves. This behavior is much healthier than a plant that feels like it needs to send out stringy leaves to “crawl” its way to a better source of sunlight.
Monstera Albo lighting takeaways
While there are a number of factors that go into plant care, perfecting your Monstera Albo lighting is one of the biggest factor impacting the development of your plant. With plenty of light energy, these plants will develop to their best potential and become large, beautiful plants. Now that you’ve completed our guide on Monstera Albo lighting, you may be interested in our deep-dive on Monstera Albo watering needs to ensure your plant can thrive.