Variegated Houseplants


Variegation can be a delightful sight in any home. This distinctive houseplant trait often results from genetic mutations and features white shapes or spots mixed with green on the leaves and stems of your houseplants.

Plants without chlorophyll must be gradually exposed to direct sunlight to avoid sunburn, and distilled water must be used since tap water contains minerals that may discolor white areas of their leaves.

Variegated Plants

Houseplant shoppers frequently opt for variegated plants because of their vibrant hues and leaf shapes, traits that typically remain stable through propagation and growth. But not all variegated plants are created equal. Understanding the different forms of variegation will allow you to select plants suitable for cultivation at home and purchase from nurseries or garden centers. Rainbows can take many forms, from giant white sections to delicate speckling or dotting patterns or random, known as “chimeral or “natural” variegation.”

Chimeric variegation occurs when specific cells in a growth point mutate to become incapable of producing chloroplasts. At the same time, others continue having green chloroplasts, creating two distinct colors on one leaf simultaneously.

Chimeral variegation may be rare, yet can occur naturally in certain plants. Calathea (Alocasia amazonica) can produce leaves with light green and white patterns, while variegated rubber plants (Mangifera indica ‘Variegata’) feature white and pink spots on their leaves.

Genetic or pattern-gene variegation is more frequently encountered in gardening than random or chimera variegation. It occurs when one consistent color pattern is present throughout a plant‘s leaves or stems. Examples include Pink Congo Philodendrons and Dracaena Star Canary variegated snake plants, which exhibit this form of variation; both contain it. Ultimately, genetic variegation provides more excellent reliability as its cause remains constant across its entirety compared to random mutations, which occur due to multiple genes within its entirety causing random or random changes within cells within leaves or stems than random variations caused by various genes across an entire plant’s entirety causing their variations chimera-generated mutations caused by multiple genes throughout.

Reverting is the natural phenomenon whereby variegated plants transition back to all-green leaves after being subject to mutation. Any branches that turn green as soon as they appear must be promptly pruned off by following your everyday pruning practices to prevent reverting.

Although many associate variegated plants with shade, many shrubs with variegated foliage can thrive in full sun. Famous examples are ‘Emerald Gaiety’ and ‘Moonshadow’ Euonymus, as well as Euonymus alatus, variegated snowball bush varieties, which lack pigment in some leaves and, therefore, are more vulnerable to sunburn but still grow well when given indirect bright lighting.

Variegated Plant Care

Houseplant lovers who appreciate green varieties like philodendrons and pothos may already own many houseplants; however, adding variegated ones makes a stunning statement in any collection. While these colorful houseplants require additional care for optimal color retention in their leaves, their care needs can still be managed quickly enough!

Remember that the color of a plant’s foliage depends heavily on its ability to absorb light. Variegated plants tend to be more susceptible to this problem than their green counterparts; their variegation makes it easy to develop dust layers on their leaves over time, preventing sunlight absorption and potentially resulting in faded or dull colors.

A fundamental way to address this problem is to keep variegated plants clean. Simply wipe their leaves down regularly with a damp cloth or sponge to eliminate dust and dirt accumulation, or use a mild liquid detergent designed explicitly for houseplants (be sure to rinse it afterward!).

Keep in mind that variegated plants require bright light but not direct sunlight. While some will tolerate brief morning and winter sunlight exposure, it is generally wiser to treat these like Vampires by keeping them away from direct sun exposure altogether for the best results. This is because the white parts of variegated leaves don’t contain chlorophyll and must work harder at absorbing sunrays to create energy for the rest of the plant.

Variegated plants are more sensitive than green varieties when it comes to temperature fluctuations, and sudden increases or drops may shock their colors and sheen. To minimize any surprises in their environment, ensure your variegated plants remain indoors in areas with more stable temperature environments and protect them from drafts, extreme heat, or cold.

Philodendron Pink Princess or Syngonium albo plants with variegation can produce new growth that contains fully green or completely white leaves, which should not cause concern; however, any stems growing all green should be pruned quickly as this indicates the plant has returned to its natural state and special care will need to be given to preserve the variegation effect.

Variegated Plant Varieties

Variegated plant foliage adds interest to gardens, and many cultivars are available. Plantain lilies (Hosta) come in shades of green, yellow, and white; the evergreen sedge grass Carex tricephalum has ‘Variegatum’ and ‘Painted Lady’ varieties. Other ornamental perennials with variegated leaves include ‘Patriot,’ ‘Gold Standard,’ and ‘El Nino’ types of Japanese maple trees (Acer palmatum) and various ferns and hostas. Gardeners also find a growing number of variegated shrubs and vines, including ‘Morelune hollyhocks, ‘Variegata’ periwinkle (Vinca minor), and ‘Faelan’s First’ or ‘Painted Lady’ variegated ‘Freckles’ roses (Rosa multiflora).

One exciting twist about variegation is that the color patterns found on a given plant may change as the leaves age. For example, the foliage on the bicolored Asian dogwood tree (Cornus alternifolia ‘Golden Shadows’ or ‘Wolf Eyes’) is pinkish in spring and green in summer, then reverts to a solid green in fall.

The most common type of variegation is caused by a cellular mutation that stops some cells from producing chlorophyll, the pigment that gives plants their green color. This results in white or yellow shapes and splotches that appear mixed with the green on leaves and stems. Monstera deliciosa, arrowhead plant Syngonium podophyllum, and marble queen pothos are examples of plants with this variegation.

Other forms of leaf variegation are less common but can be just as striking. One is reflective variegation, which occurs when tiny air pockets within the leaf reflect light and creates a silvery shine (the satin pothos is an example). Blister variegation is similar but more subtle, with small blisters that give the leaves a speckled appearance.

A more unusual form of variegation is chimeral, a condition where the individual cells in a leaf produce chlorophyll but are different from those in another cell; this can result in different zones of color on the same leaf. For this reason, chimeral plants are usually hard to find in nurseries because they cannot be propagated successfully from seeds or by sowing seedlings. They must be multiplied by grafting or by using a method such as leaf and bud cuttings that preserve the two kinds of tissue.

Variegated Plant Collections

Variegated plants offer undeniable allure for any greenery enthusiast or collector, whether experienced or newcomer. Their distinct variegation offers striking appeal and adds a splash of botanical character to any space, drawing the eye from across any room with hand-painted leaves that captivate. Unfortunately, variegated specimens come at a higher cost and typically need more care than their solid green counterparts. If you’re searching for stunning houseplants to add variety and dimension to your indoor garden, we offer attractive variegation houseplants suitable for every style!

Variegation occurs due to mutations in a leaf’s pigments, known as chloroplasts. Chloroplasts enable photosynthesis and give plants their green hue. Still, when mutations occur, some sections lack pigments and appear white or pink, creating beautiful patterns from large areas to fine speckling and dotting effects.

Few plants display naturally occurring variegation. One example is Pilea involucrata ‘Moon Valley’ with silver reflective variegation on velvety heart-shaped leaves and Dracaena sanderiana ‘Emerald Gaiety’ featuring striking mahogany stripes across its wavy leaves.

Chemical treatments may allow us to cause variegation in plants temporarily, but its effects usually only last temporarily before eventually returning to its usual green state due to extreme temperatures or poor lighting. One effective strategy to combat this reversion is by actively pruning any branches that have started turning green as soon as you notice them – an approach that could prevent this reversion from occurring again!

Are you searching for beautiful plants with natural variegation to add to your collection? Look no further! Our Monstera variegata collection provides intricate patterns of white and green that add drama to indoor gardens. Pair this assortment with one of our stylish planters, so they have everything they need to thrive!