Monsteras are among the trendiest houseplants available today. And variegated Monsteras, like the beautiful Monstera Albo are sought after by plant enthusiasts. These plants are more rare and expensive than the classic Monstera Deliciosa, and have different care needs. One key difference centers around Monstera Albo water needs.
What is a Monstera Albo?
The Albo Monstera is a rarer houseplant that’s incredibly popular with serious plant collectors. Like the common Monstera Deliciosa, the Albo is a gorgeous vining 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’: A majority 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.
How much water does a Albo Monstera need?
Albo Monsteras are hardy tropical plants that need a moderate amount of water. What does this mean? Keep your plant hydrated with a generous watering every 1-2 weeks when the top inch of soil is dry.
Your Monstera pot should have drainage holes in the bottom to let excess water run through safely, your plant isn’t sitting in standing water for prolonged periods. Watering in the sink will allow extra water to pass through and into the drain without causing water to leak on your table or shelf.
I enjoy watering in the kitchen sink since it allows me to water from the faucet. This not only provides hydration, but a good soaking encourages stronger root growth helping the plant stay strong. For plants that are too large to move, make sure they have a plastic or stone saucer below to catch any runoff water.
Despite common myths about tropical plants, Monsteras do not want to be kept overly moist. Constantly wet soil invites pests and fungus which can feed from your plant’s root system and stems, which leads to infection and root rot.
To avoid this, pay careful attention to your plant’s soil and water when the top layer feels dry to the touch. Your plant prefers periods of dryness than constant wet conditions. If you’re on the fence about watering, it’s best to wait an extra day or two. Albos are resilient enough to tolerate dryness, and prolonged moist periods may cause health issues.
In terms of timing, there isn’t a perfect guide or schedule for Monstera Albo watering. The unique characteristics of your home: the lighting, humidity and temperature – all play a role in the water needs of your plant. Instead, pay careful attention to your plant and its soil condition to understand when it’s the perfect time to water.
Water requirements: Monstera Albo vs. Monstera Deliciosa
Now that we’ve established that your Monstera Albo should only be watered when the top layer of soil is dry, the next lesson is to compare the Albo water needs with the more common Monstera Deliciosa.
If you own or are considering purchasing an Albo, the odds are that you’re familiar with a Monstera Deliciosa. This gives you a great head-start since they share many characteristics. But while these plants have similar care needs, the Albo requires less water than its all-green cousin. Why is this?
While the Albo is genetically identical to the Deliciosa, the beautiful creamy variegation sets the plants apart in significant ways. These splotches on the Albo are sections of the leaf lack any chlorophyll, meaning these creamy white areas cannot covert any light into energy for the plant.
Depending on the variation, this means that Albo leaves can photosynthesize 20% – 60% less energy than all-green Deliciosa leaves. And for Albo variants like the ‘Albo Borsigiana,’ less than 25% of the leaf may be capable of converting light into energy for your plant. While this has a direct impact on the lighting needs of your Albo, it directly impacts how to approach watering your plant.
How does this impact watering? Water needs and plant energy are directly related. Since Albos generate less energy, they require less water. This means if you water a Albo Monstera to meet the needs of a Deliciosa, you’ll likely end up with extra water run off. Worse, you could end up with stagnant water sitting near your Albo’s root system.
In containers with perfect drainage, this isn’t an issue. However, excess moisture can linger in the soil, which is why Albo Monsteras are much more susceptible to root rot compared to the Deliciosa. You can avoid this by paying attention to the specific watering needs of each individual plant. Your Albo plant should be kept dryer than the all-green Monstera Deliciosa since it requires less water thanks to its unique variegation patterns that synthesize less solar energy.
How to avoid under watering your Albo Monstera?
While Albo Monsteras prefer to stay on the dry side, like all tropicals, they require regular waterings to stay healthy. Paying attention to the dryness of your plant’s soil is the best indicator of when to water. While these plants can tolerate dryness, waiting too long between Albo Monstera water sessions may result in the browning of leaves and slower growth.
How do you avoid this? Check in on your plant regularly to ensure the conditions stay perfect to encourage growth and health.
How to avoid over watering your Albo Monstera?
The biggest Albo Monstera water issue to combat is root rot. Avoid over watering by observing the physical conditions of the soil and plant, and paying attention to your watering schedule.
Have you recently watered and notice the soil is damp? Wait a few more days before watering again. Prolonged over watering will lead to plant decline. Early signs start with yellowing leaf edges. If you notice this, immediately step back on your watering schedule.
Additionally, over watering attracts gnats, fungus and plant pests which can quickly spread to nearby plants. The easiest way to avoid this is to always lean on the side of keeping your soil dry and watering well once every week or two, instead of providing smaller amounts of water every few days.
What are the water drops on Monstera leaves?
The morning after a good watering, you may notice water drops at the tips of your Monstera leaves, especially on the newest leaves of your plant. Some call this behavior “crying” “weeping” or “sweating” and it’s a natural process found in all Monstera plants. The scientific term for this process is Guttation and is your plants natural way to flush excess hydration from the plant.
Guttation occurs as an invisible vapor, but when the plant has significant water, droplets form on the leaf edges.
Does guttation mean I’m overwatering my Monstera?
Don’t be alarmed if you first notice guttation drops on the edges of your Monstera. While it means the plant has plenty of moisture and does not need to be watered for several days, this is a common biological occurrence. However, if you notice your Monstera crying or weeping after waterings, your schedule is likely too frequent. Waiting a few more days between waterings should bring you plant to a better watering schedule.
The right Monstera Albo humidity
Monsteras thrive in high humidity conditions. Humidity levels around 60% encourage rapid growth, but this is somewhat higher than most common households. While Monsteras tolerate lower humidity levels down to 30%, you’ll notice slower growth, even with ideal lighting and watering. A simple solution is a small humidifier to provide a boost of humidity around your plants.
Monsteras will thrive outdoors during humid summer months, provided they are sheltered away from direct sunlight exposure that can quickly damage their leaves. A warm and humid shady spot outdoors will encourage your Monstera to quickly grow all summer long. Recreating these conditions indoors can promote growth all year long.
The best soil for Monstera watering
Soil plays one of the most important parts to keeping your plant hydrated in healthy. While plant enthusiasts grow their Monstera plants soil-free using LECA balls, a well-draining soil mixture can be just as successful. Many growers recommend a combination of potting soil, succulent mix and orchid mix.
I’ve had success growing Monsteras with equal parts succulent mix and orchid mix. This ensures your Albo Monstera water can pass through the soil medium and out of the container and drying faster, avoiding the issues that come with standing water in your plant container.
The best pots for Monstera watering
Because of their easy-going nature, Monsteras of all varieties can thrive in a variety of pots. Whether you want a plastic container, terracotta, or glazed pot, your plant will likely be happy as long as there is proper drainage at the bottom of the container to allow extra water to drain from the pot.
The best lighting for Monstera Albo plants
Lighting and watering go hand in hand for all-around plant health. While the rule of thumb is to provide as much indirect light as possible for your Monstera Albo, our comprehensive guide to Albo lighting will walk through the best lighting to encourage growth and leaf fenestrations.
Key Takeaways: Monstera Albo Water Needs
Perfecting the mix of watering, lighting and humidity will help your Monstera grow quickly and produce beautiful foliage. Despite common beliefs, Monsteras like to stay on the dry side. Too much water can lead to root rot and pests, which may lead to decline. Proper drainage and the right soil will go a long way to ensuring your plant stays hydrated and develops healthy roots for long-term plant health.