Thai Constellation Monstera
Thai Constellation Monstera are one of the most sought after indoor plant species. This special variety of variegated Monstera Deliciosa descends from a single tissue culture laboratory in Thailand, thus its fitting name. In this guide we will go through all the basics on caring for Thai Constellation Monstera.
Due to it’s lineage transcending from a singular location, supply has become a big issue for this ever increasing in popularity plant.
The lack of supply and high demand has caused the prices of Thai Constellations to soar. It is not uncommon for young plants to start upwards of $250 AUD ($190 USD) and mature plants greater than $1000 AUD ($750 USD). The degree of variegation also plays a factor in pricing, with higher variegation bringing higher prices.
It’s beautiful deep green, high fenestration leaves are littered with white patches of variegation. The foliage resembles that of a night sky filled with stars (constellations).
Monstera Deliciosa ‘Thai Constellation‘ a.k.a Variegated Monstera
Thai Constellation Quick Overview
|Full Size||8 foot high|
|Light||Bright indirect light|
When kept indoors with proper care you can expect your Thai Constellation to reach up to 8 feet in length (2.5M) with the leaves reaching 3 – 12 inches (7cm – 30cm) wide.
This plant is quite a slow grower and it can take up to 1-2 years to fully develop. Its faster growing cousin Monstera Deliciosa can grow up to 60 feet or more in the wild. You should provide your plant with a moss pole to climb up and encourage those larger leaves.
Thai Constellation prefer to be positioned in bright indirect light for best growth and require this to thrive. Unlike normal Monstera Deliciosa plants, the variegation on the Thai Constellation leaves can’t absorb light meaning the plant needs to work harder to photosynthesize so low light conditions aren’t recommended.
A sign your Thai Constellation is not getting enough light is slow growth, leaf discolouration or mature leaves growing without splits. Moving your plant to a spot where it will receive brighter light will help keep it happy and healthy. You should keep your Thai Constellation out of direct sunlight as it can cause damage to the leaves.
If your plant is housed in a spot where it receives direct sunlight, adding a blind or curtain to your window will help to defuse the harsh sunlight to avoid burning the plants foliage. Alternatively, if you can’t seem to find that perfect spot in your home, you can always use grow lights.
Just like direct sunlight, if your plant is sitting too close to the grow lights, they will burn the foliage. Keeping a safe distance of at least 60cm between your plant and the light will avoid any trouble.
Thai Constellation will grow best when in an area which maintains a temperature of 64-86˚F (18-30˚C). This plant doesn’t tolerate cold temperatures and should be moved to a warmer spot during the winter. If temperatures drop below 50ºF (10ºC), your Monstera Thai Constellation will stop growing. Being kept outside of this temperate range for prolonged periods of time can lead to poor plant health.
Maintaining a medium to high humidity (above 60%) will assist in keeping your Thai Constellation happy and healthy. Being primarily raised in a laboratory and closed environment they are use to high levels of humidity, especially as young plants.
If your Monstera is housed in a spot with a humidity level consistently outside of this range it can lead to health issues and damaged leaves. A sign that the air is too dry for your Thai Constellation is browning tips and edges on the foliage.
Providing a high humidity for your plants will encourage bigger and healthier growth. There are a few thing you can do that can help bump up the humidity in your home. The things you can try are:
- Misting your plants
- Pebble trays
- Grouping plants together
Greenhouses are also a great way to gain better control over environmental conditions, you can read more about growing indoor plants in greenhouses here.
You can expect your Thai Constellation to require water at least once a week. This will change during the cooler months when the temperature and amount of sunlight changes. Before watering, check the top 2 inches of soil with your finger to feel if the soil is still moist.
If the soil feels dry, you can give your plant some water. When watering your Monstera, be sure to water thoroughly allowing water to drain completely. A sign that your Monstera Thai Constellation needs water is wilting leaves.
You should ensure that all water is drained completely and that your plant isn’t left sitting in water. Excess water to the soil can cause it to become waterlogged which can start rotting the roots. Rotted roots can’t take in any water or nutrients for the plant.
Over-watering your plant can result in fungus issues, black leaves, pest problems and root rot. A sign that your Monstera Thai Constellation has been over-watered is if the leaves are turning pale in colour and/or yellowing.
Your Thai Constellation should be fertilised monthly during the growing months (Spring/ Summer). You should use a balanced all purpose fertiliser diluted to half strength. Liquid indoor plant fertilisers are a great way to easily provide your plant the nutrients it needs.
Fertilising your plants gives them the essential nutrients they need for promoting and maintaining new and healthy growth. Applying fertiliser when the plant isn’t actively using up the nutrients in the soil can cause salt build up and root burn.
During the colder months your Thai Constellation will enter a period of slow growth/ dormancy. In this time the amount of nutrients it requires drops as it is not actively pushing new growth. Avoid fertilising during this time as it is not necessary and can lead to health issues.
A sign you have over-fertilised your Monstera Thai Constellation is burnt foliage, wilting leaves and stunted growth. For more information on fertilising houseplants make sure to see our guide to fertilising indoor plants.
Monstera Thai Constellation like to be in a well draining soil that is rich in organic matter. They like to be kept in a moist but not soggy soil. To achieve a well draining soil, you can add orchid bark, perlite and peat moss to a potting soil to help create drainage and aeration.
Air flow is important in potting soil as it allows the plants roots to breath. Not having enough oxygen to the roots can cause them to eventually start rotting.
You can add other organic materials such as coco coir, mulch chunks and coconut husk to the soil to help restrain moisture. Thai Constellation like to be kept in a moist soil so it’s important to use ingredients that will help keep moisture in the soil without making it soggy. Adding garden compost will add more richness to the soil which this plant will love.
Diseases & Pests
The most common pests that you can encounter whilst caring for your Thai Constellation are spider mites, scale, thrips and mealy bugs. The most common diseases are root-rot and fungus issues.
For a majority of the mentioned pests the best prevention is keeping a strong, healthy plant as this gives it the best fighting chance and immune system. For more information on identifying and treating common houseplant pests click here.
The best thing you can do when it comes to pests on houseplants is to try and avoid any pest infestations from starting. There are a few things you can do that will assist in preventing any pest infestations and these things are:
- Checking new plants for pests or isolating new plants for up to a week.
- Check your plants every few days for pests.
- Trim off any dead or dying leaves.
- Wipe down leaves if you notice them getting dusty.
- Keeping your plants healthy. A healthy plant will be able to handle an infestation better than those that aren’t as happy.
- Isolate any plants that have pests.
Following this will assist in keeping pests away as well as catch them early on before any severe infestations are able to start. Keeping plants healthy and in the correct living environments can help to deter any pests from invading your plants.
For a wider range of information on combating indoor plant diseases and pests click here to see our pests and diseases page.
Thai Constellation are considered to be toxic to humans and pets if ingested. Consumption of the plant (especially in large quantities) can cause symptoms including; burning of the lips, throat and mouth, difficulty breathing or swallowing, nausea and vomiting/ diarrhoea. If these symptoms occur make sure to seek the appropriate medical attention.
Thai Constellation Monstera are also toxic to pets, especially cats and dogs. Due to their smaller size, less of the plant is needed to be consumed to cause an adverse effect. ‘Signs that your pet may have chewed on or ingested part of your Fruit Salad Plant include intense burning or irritation of the mouth, tongue or lips, excessive drooling, vomiting and also difficulty swallowing.’ (Pet Circle)
The sap of Monstera Deliciosa Thai Constellation is also known to cause minor skin irritation. We recommend wearing gloves when handling fresh cuttings.