Variegated plants have taken over the plant world and everyday a new variegated version of a plant is created. Variegated foliage is a fun and easy way to add variety to your indoor jungle. With striking green and white leaves, or green and cream leaves, it's no wonder why variegated foliage is such a huge hit.
Variegated plants come in all shapes, sizes, and species. Some variegated plants come with a hefty price tag and extremely specific care while others can be found at your local big box store. Usually the more expensive, the more hard to care it may be. Variegated plants also have the added stress of keeping the leaves variegated. These indoor plants often have a chance of reverting, where the green and white leaves start growing in completely green. If this is ever the case for your variegated indoor plants, slowly introduce it to brighter light.
Philodendron Florida Ghost, with all white leaf, growing on Treleaf wooden trellis
Another method you can try to bring back variegation is to cut the plant. If your plant completely reverts, cut the plant back to its most recent variegated leaf. This is one hack many people try to bring back those green and white leaves. Unfortunately, the unvariegated version won't grow new white leaves, but you can propagate it and add a new plant to your indoor plant collection.
Here's a list of 10 common and not so common variegated plants.
Monstera deliciosa ‘Albo variegata'
Monstera deliciosa albo is the variegated version of the, oh so classic, Monstera deliciosa. This beauty has green and white leaves. The variegation can grow in sectoral patterns, splashes of white, or even come in as a whole white leaf.
Another fun and relatively common Monstera with variegated foliage, is the Monstera deliciosa Thai Constellation. This plant often has more yellow, or creamy white color foliage rather than the pure white you see on a Monstera deliciosa albo.
Half moon, varigeated leaf on a variegated Monstera
These plants, in general, are easy to care for. I treat them like I treat my regular Monstera. Plant them in well draining soil and leave them in bright indirect light. For the more white variegated foliage, keep out of direct sunlight to prevent the foliage from burning too fast.
Keep in mind, the whiter the leaves, the more quickly it will brown and fall off. The all white leaves lack the chlorophyll needed to sustain itself long term. So enjoy the beauty while it last and don't worry when it browns and falls off.
Click here to learn about pruning plants.
Aglaonema Silver Bay
Aglaonema Silver Bay is a beautiful, shade tolerant Chinese evergreen. The most common form has a silver middle with dark green edges. Over time, the Aglaonema silver bay will grow more dense and tall. It can be made into a floor plant or cut and propagated into a smaller plant.
These plants are often found in any big box stores and they make great plants of first time plant parents or even someone that doesn't have time to water plants constantly. The Aglaonema is extemely easy to care for, can handle a few missed waterings, doesn't require specific amount of humidity and can even last a while under florescent lighting.
Philodendron birkin is a variegated, upright Philodendron. This plant has glossy, green leaves with white stripes running down the leaves. This plant can be a little tricky since it grows mostly green leaves as a juvenile plant. As it slowly starts to mature, you'll see those creamy white stripes slowly coming in. Sometimes those creamy sections may even come in slightly red.
This Philodendron makes a great beginner plant because it's fairly low maintenance. Plant them in well draining soil and wait for the soil to almost completely dry out before watering again. They prefer indirect sunlight, but if you notice the mature leaves losing variegation, slowly introduce it to bright light.
Click here to read about Philodendron as houseplants
White ghost euphorbia
White ghost euphorbia is a beautiful variegated desert dwelling euphorbia. This euphorbia can have thick stripes of white and green growing down the stalks. It can also have little green and white leaves. The best part about growing this variegated plant, is its ease of care. Euphorbia don't require frequent waterings and thrive in bright light. One of the more underrated, variegated plants but a true stunner.
Domino Peace Lily
The Peace lily is a forever classic house plant. The one your grand mother most likely had and the one you see in every restaurant and doctors office. But, if you want a nice spin on the Peace lily, the Domino Peace lily might be right up your alley. It has the beloved large, glossy dark green leaves like the regular Peace lily but has variegated foliage. This Peace lily has splashes of white through out the leaves. It's a great way to add a pop of color to your indoor jungle.
Silver Satin Pothos
Silver Satin pothos, or the Scindapsus pictus, is a trailing plant with silver variegated foliage. My favorite variety of the Silver Satin, is the Exotica. The Exotica leaves grow big, fairly easily, and look stunning trailing along any wall or cascading down a shelf.
Silver Satin potho growing on wooden Monstrella trellis from Treleaf
Silver Satin pothos like indirect light and do fairly well in lower light. Once this plant is established, they can handle some neglect and some missed waterings. However, when freshly propagated, or as a baby plant, require moist soil and higher humidity. The Scindapsus is notorious for being a slow grower. However, with some time to adjust, they'll start to grow at a rapid speed.
Click here to read more about propagating houseplants.
Marble Queen Pothos
The Marble Queen pothos is the variegated version of the common Pothos plant. The Marble Queen pothos is a trailing plant with green and white leaves. Many times, this plant will have mostly white on the leaves with splashes of green. And unlike other plants with high variegated foliage, this plant will keep its white leaves. And it has the added bonus of being easy to care just like a regular pothos.
If you find your Marble Queen reverting or throwing out more green leaves than white and green leaves, introduce it to more bright light. Light is a great first step into bringing more variegation to any house plant.
Calathea orbifolia is a popular houseplant with large, light green leaves with white stripes running through out the leaves. Calathea orbifolia, in true Calathea form, can be a diva. It requires a certain amount of humidity, light and a correct watering schedule to grow beautifully. But, once you make sure to give it the ideal growing conditions, these leaves can grow huge. It's a stunner in its mature form.
Close up of Calathea Orbifolia leaves
Syngonium podophyllum albo variegata
Syngonium podophyllum albo variegata is the variegated version of the vining Syngonium. The Syngonium, also known as the Arrowhead vine, is a vining plant that has an arrowhead shape in its juvenile form. The Syngonium albo is known for its green and white leaves and adorable arrowhead shape.
Syngonium is a fairly easy plant to grow. It needs humidity levels of about 40% to truly thrive. To keep it's beautiful variegated foliage, you need to expose it to the right amount to light. Start growing this plant in bright indirect light and if you notice your plant is reverting, slowly introduce it to more bright light. And to enjoy the true, natural nature of this plant, grow it on a support, like a wooden plank or moss pole. The leaves will start to mature and slowly morph into a new shape.
Epipremnum pinnatum 'Albo variegata'
Epipremnum pinnatum 'Albo variegata' is a gorgeous variegated pothos with striking green and white leaves. Epipremnum pinnatum is also known as the Cebu Blue pothos. The juvenile leaves are small and slightly oval shape. But, when given the proper support, the leaves will easily, and quickly, start to mature. The mature leaves will double in size and start growing beautiful splits and fenestrations.
Epipremnum pinnatum 'Albo variegata' is one of my personal favorite variegated plants. It's relatively easy to find online and the price has drastically decreased since it first hit the plant market. Once this plant has been established to its growing environment, it's low maintenance. It can handle a missed watering, although may wilt, similar to a thirsty Peace lily. However, the best part about growing this white and green pothos, is the ease in maturing the leaves. As soon as you give it proper support, it'll start showing mature leaves in 1-2 new leaves. The mature leaves with that variegated foliage, is truly remarkable.