Why are Thai Constellations so expensive?

Plant lovers have been obsessing over the Monstera Thai Constellation since their initial availability in 2020. These plants share the oversized and fenestrated leaves as the Monstera Deliciosa. What sets them apart is their stunning creamy starry patterns that appear splattered across the leaves, giving this plant its signature name. When people see that these plants can range from one hundred to several thousand dollars, the first question most people ask: Why are Thai Constellations so expensive?

But the Thai Constellation’s beauty has also come with a price tag that is out of this world. It hasn’t been uncommon to see Thai Constellation 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 Thai Constellation to understand it’s high cost and what the future holds for this beautiful plant.

Why are Monstera Thai Constellations so expensive?

The high prices for Thai Constellation plants are a classic case of supply and demand. To get the beautiful variation, Thai Constellations can only be propagated by live tissue culture, dramatically reducing their availability.

The dark green Monstera Deliciosa is genetically identical to the Thai Constellation, 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 node or stem cuttings and propagating Thai Constellations. Even worse, Costa Farms, the wholesale nursery looking to release the Thai Constellation Monstera for mass availability, experienced a major setback in early 2021 that resulted in a substantial loss of crop, further adding to this plant’s scarcity.

In fact, Costa Farms was hoping to release Thai Constellation Monstera plants to customers in 2022, only to put out a press release calling for a further delay which could be well into 2023 or beyond. Unfortunately, due to the slow nature of propagation and challenges growing the plants at scale, Thai Constellations will likely command a high price for months or years to come.

Finding Thai Constellations deals from resellers online

If you truly want 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, actual plant photos, 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.

2023 Thai Constellation supply and demand

With all of this, it’s worth asking if Thai Constellations 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, Thai Constellations are likely still a few years away from picking up at your local nursery for a comparable price point to the Monstera Deliciosa.

With that said, more plant distributors have seemed to secure supplies of Thai Constellations. While not being produced in mass quantities, it seems like resellers have began to drop prices. In the U.S. at the end of 2022, it seems easy to get a Thai Constellation cutting 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 Thai Constellations worth buying in 2023?

Closeup on Thai Constellation Monstera leaf
While this will vary depending on situation, there are a few questions to see if Thai Constellations 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 Thai Constellation.

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 Thai Constellation while others may be just starting out at a lower price point, it may be a worthwhile investment.

Finally, would you consider selling any cutting from your Thai Constellation once it’s mature? Even at lower prices, this could help offset your original cost, if your plant survives to maturity. Taking a moment to think of these answers will help gauge whether buying a Thai Constellation in today’s market is the right decision. And remember: plants will only become more readily available given enough time.

Will Thai Constellations ever get cheaper?

We’ve already seen prices slide from their truly astronomical amounts from 2020, so this is already happening. But until growers like Costa Farms are able to 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 Thai Constellation?

At the time of writing at the end of 2022, it’s not unusual to see small 2-3 leaf Thai Constellation clippings available to purchase online for $75 – $125 depend on the specific variegated leaf patterns with larger plants reaching several hundred dollars depending on size, variegation, and leaf quality.

Should you really buy a Monstera Thai Constellation?

Thai Constellation 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 Thai Constellations so expensive?”

Did you recently purchase a Thai Constellation Monstera or hope to soon? Be sure to read our Monstera Thai Constellation care guide to keep your plant happy and beautiful.

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