Plant lovers have been obsessing over the Monstera Albo for years. These plants share the oversized and fenestrated leaves as the readily available Monstera Deliciosa. What sets the Albo apart is its stunning variegation with splotches of creamy marbled patterns compared to their all-green Deliciosa cousins. When people see that these plants can range from one hundred to several thousand dollars, the first question asked: Why are Monstera Albos so expensive?
- What is a Monstera Albo?
- Why are Albos so expensive?
- Finding Albos from online resellers
- 2023 Albo supply and demand
- Are Albos Worth Buying in 2023?
- Will Albos ever get cheaper?
- What’s a fair price to pay for a Monstera Albo today?
- Are Monstera Albos Really Worth the Money?
- Should you really buy a Monstera Albo?
But the Albo’s beauty has also come with a price tag that is out of this world. It hasn’t been uncommon to see Monstera Albo plants listed for hundreds or thousands of dollars.
Even small stem cuttings can command asking prices over $100. Why is this? And will the price ever come down? Let’s break down the brief history of the Monstera Albo to understand it’s high cost and what the future holds for this beautiful plant.
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 equally rare and expensive 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. The different varieties and challenges to propogate them with live cuttings help explain exactly why are Monstera Albos so expensive.
Why are Monstera Albos so expensive?
The high prices for Albo plants are a classic case of supply and demand. To get the beautiful variation, Albos can only be propagated by live tissue culture, dramatically reducing their availability. This means that plants can’t be grown at scale as seeds. Instead, live stem cuttings need to be manually propagated in order to make new plants. The simple lack of supply has dramatically contributed to the sky-high prices of variegated Monstera plants.
The dark green Monstera Deliciosa is genetically identical to the Albo, but because it can be grown from seeds, it’s easy for large-scale growers to grow thousands of these plants at once, compared to the slow-going approach of taking individual node or stem cuttings and propagating each specific Monstera Albo variation.
Due to the slow nature of propagation and challenges growing the plants at scale, Albos will likely command a high price for months or years to come, although they are becoming more affordable since the early 2020’s thanks to smaller scale growers producing more live tissue cultures.
Finding Monstera Albo deals from resellers online
If you desire one of these gorgeous plants, you may find local plants available in limited supply from your local nursery network or online from sites like Facebook Marketplace, Etsy or EBay.
Be incredibly cautious going this route to see the seller reviews, photos of the actual plants being sold, shipping preparations and return policy if anything goes wrong in case your plant is lost or damaged in transit.
Buying locally will always be easier and will help avoid costly shipping fees and the trauma the plant will experience during shipping, especially if you’re looking to purchase during the cold winter months which add extra danger to the plant.
Reputable sellers may charge a premium for winter shipping which may turn off buyers. However, these costs should include premium shipping to keep the plant safe and heat packs to provide days of warmth. It’s always helpful to ask about a seller’s policies for winter shipping.
Be weary of sellers with few posted reviews or who lack any details on the plant descriptions or shipping details – even if the listings dramatically undercut other, more credible listings. Remember: in the realm of online shopping: if a deal seems too good to be true, it probably is. The rarity and delicate nature of the plants, matched with additional care to ship these plants safely are added factors on why are Monstera Albos so expensive to buy online.
2023 Monstera Albo supply and demand
It’s a fair question worth asking if Albos will ever be easily available at your local nursery for a reasonable cost. While prices have dropped as more resellers are making cuttings more available, Albos are likely still a few years away from picking up at your local nursery for a comparable price point to the Monstera Deliciosa – if this ever happens at all.
With that said, more plant distributors have seemed to secure supplies of Albos. While not being produced in mass quantities, resellers have began to drop prices. In the U.S. at the end of 2022, Albo cuttings have shipped for less than $100. This is the first time this has ever been possible, and prices may continue to drop as more resellers continue to drive up competition.
Are Monstera Albos worth buying in 2023?
While this will vary depending on situation, there are a few questions to see if Albos are right for you to purchase soon. First, will this be your first Monstera plant? If so, it may be best to learn their nature with a lower-cost Monstera Deliciosa “starter plant” before springing $100+ for a Albo.
Secondly, if you pay a premium for a plant today, will you be upset 1-2 years if prices drop? If you’ll be happy with your more mature Albo while others may be starting out at a lower price point, it may be a worthwhile investment.
Finally, would you consider selling any cutting from your Albo once it’s mature? Even at lower prices, this could help offset your original cost. Taking a moment to think of these answers will help gauge whether buying a Albo in today’s market is the right decision. And remember: plants will only become more readily available given enough time. This can help not only answer the question, “Why are Monstera Albos so expensive,” but also if price changes will add to their affordability in the future, or whether or not selling your own plants could help offset the initial cost.
Will Monstera Albos ever get cheaper?
Prices have slid from their highs around 2020, so this is already happening. But until larger growers produce the plants at scale, it’s unlikely that we’ll see 10”-12” plants – which today command $400 – $750 – drop below $100. Again, this may happen, but we’re likely years from this reality.
What’s a fair price to pay for a Monstera Albo?
At the time of writing in early 2023, it’s not unusual to see small 2-3 leaf Albo clippings available to purchase online for around $100, depending on the specific variegated leaf patterns with larger plants reaching several hundred dollars depending on size, variegation, and leaf quality.
Are Albo Monsteras Worth the Money?
We think these beautiful plants is worth the money! This answer will vary from person to person, and depend on budgets, but the gorgeous coloration and the ease of propagating mature Monsteras can not only make these a great plant to take home, you may eventually make a profit from caring for this stunning plant.
Should you buy a Monstera Albo?
Albo Monstera plants are absolutely beautiful, so it’s no surprise that so many people desire them. A perfect storm of these plants being impossible to propagate from seed, challenges growing at scale, and difficulty finding great resellers has kept these plants out of reach for most growers who want one of these stunning Monsteras. While we all hope for mass availability soon, it will likely still be years before you can find these at your local nursery at reasonable prices. Hopefully after learning more about the background of these beautiful plants, you can better answer the question, “Why are Albos so expensive?”