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Variegated Monstera are extremely beautiful, but come with a price tag a lot of us just aren’t willing or able to pay – especially if we’re not 100% sure how to care for monstera.
What’s most frustrating is that variegated monstera aren’t even rare – they’re just in such high demand that they command a high price tag. Not Monstera Obliqua high, but you know, high enough.
So why not buy variegated Monstera seeds? There seem to no end of kind hearted Etsy sellers willing to sell 100 variegated Monstera seeds for about £7. Even if only 10% of them germinate, you could end up making a hellish profit?
WHAT COULD GO WRONG??
Is it possible to grow variegated monstera from seed?
At least, it’s highly unlikely. Those Etsy sellers are scamming. The annoying thing is, it’s perfectly possible to grow Monstera deliciosa from seeds, but they’re not even selling those.
How to identify variegated monstera seeds
You can’t – chances are, you won’t know it’s variegated until it grows. Regular green Monstera seeds look like this:
By the way, seeds that have come from variegated Monstera will be variegated. That doesn’t mean that the plants they’ll produce are variegated.
The chances of a monstera seed producing a variegated plants are a good 100,000:1.
Those odds do not a commercially-viable business make.
If you’re interested in buying Monstera seeds (regular green ones, I’m afraid), these two Etsy shops seem legit:
If you click on those links you’ll see that it’s actually cheaper to buy a Monstera plant than it is to buy the seeds (though obvs if you buy 12 seeds for £15 you’ll end up with potentially 12 plants, but do you really need 12 Monstera?).
There aren’t that many Monstera seeds in circulation, because it’s more cost-effective to take cuttings rather than grow Monstera from seed, hence the high price compared to just…buying a Monstera plant.
Where can I buy variegated monstera seeds?
Well, you can spend a few quid on some cress or grass seeds labelled as variegated monstera.
You can’t get variegated monstera seeds. You can, however, buy monstera seeds. AND there’s a million to one chance you get a variegated one. And even if you managed to germinate a variegated one, it’d be a battle stopping it from reverting.
How long does it take to grow a Monstera from seed?
I don’t want you to think that you can’t grow a Monstera from seed – you absolutely can, and I have an article here on how to do it. I also think it’d be a really fun project. But don’t do it to save money. You can buy Monstera pretty cheap if you look in the right places.
Basically, you can go from having a seed to having something you could call a proper plant in a under a year. Not bad. This guy grows them in Texas though – I’m not sure I could achieve the same results in Yorkshire.
Will the variegated monstera seeds I buy from Etsy grow?
Absolutely – if you take the time to learn how to germinate them, keep them warm, and make sure they stay moist, your seeds should germinate pretty quickly.
Except they won’t grow into variegated Monstera.
I’ve heard reports of growing anything from grass, to carrots, to basil.
You’d be lucky to get a regular green Monstera, never mind a variegated one.
How do Etsy sellers get away with it?
- No one can be bothered to report
They probably bought the seeds on a whim (maybe late night shopping with a credit card in one hand a glass of wine in the other), planted them, then when grass grew, learned from their mistake and moved on. Etsy is unlikely to take the odd report seriously, and by the time they do, they scammers have moved on.
- Scammers set up shop, sell, and leave
By the time your variegated Monstera seeds have had chance to not grow, they’ve gone.
- People are buying them, and assuming they did it wrong
If nothing grows, the buyer assumed they either prepared everything incorrectly, or the seeds were duds. Since very few seeds have a 100% chance of germinating, they don’t bother seller.
After all, they weren’t that expensive.
What’s the cheapest way to buy a variegated Monstera?
Weirdly, I don’t like buying expensive plants online. I got my Monstera Thai Constellation from my local garden centre, and paid £89.99 for it. I just prefer to buy expensive plants in person.
If that isn’t an option for you, take comfort in the fact that Monstera generally travel well. I would opt to spend a little more on a plant, but if you can only afford a cutting, please use a reputable buyer.
Check out my Etsy list of plant sellers or use an online plant shop such as the Rare Plant Shop.
Make sure that the seller has good reviews, and see if you can see a picture of the acual plant you’re buying.
Kaylee Ellen (who wins the rare plant shop) has a great video of rehabbing plants that have been shipped.
What about Thai Constellation seeds?
Thai Constellation are tissue cultured, so they don’t revert like Monstera Albo. The genes have been changed, so it’s variegated through and through.
Surely, then, we can buy Thai Constellation seeds? They still produce fruit and seeds.
Whilst this is all true, Thai Constellation seeds are, at the time of publishing, sterile. All Thai constellations are clones of the original plant and it was fucked around with too much to be able to reproduce.
Or, as the conspiracy theorist/businessperson side of me suspects, it was purposefully sterilised to stop us from being able to grow our own. No, you’re crazy.
Final thoughts on growing variegated Monstera from seed
Please don’t be scammed. It’s basically impossible to buy variegated Monstera seeds. A lot of plants are grown in tissue culture in labs – seeds barely enter into the equation.
Variegated Monstera are currently extremely fashionable but either:
- The trend will die down (unlikely)
- More places will grow them using tissue culture, thus making them easier to produce in bigger quantities and driving the price down (likely – literally happening right now)
- Everyone who wants one will have them. Demand will fall, and so will prices (hmm, bit of a long shot)
Be patient and save up, or ask Santa nicely.
Or do what I did and develop a passion for Calathea instead.