Everything you wanted to know about Variegated Plants

I'm obsessed with variegated plants and a collector for sure. My recent favourite because variegated string of pearls. I had a few questions about variegated plants as some varieties such as Variegated Monstera come at monster prices. Here's where my research took me:

Q. Why are some plants variegated?

A. Variation in leaf colour occurs because of a lack of the green pigment chlorophyll in some of the plant cells. It is usually the result of a cell mutation.

Q. Can I propagate a variegated plant?

A. The plants variegation can be inherited (genetic) or occur randomly (chimeric). If genetic, the colour change is stable, this means that if you propagate a green shoot from a plant with colored leaves or sow its seed, the colouring will reappear in the new plant. 

Q. Why does variegation sometimes revert?

A. Variegated plants can revert or turn green for a number of reasons. It can be a reaction to extremes of hot and cold or a reaction to low-light levels.  Some say it could also be caused as a survival technique, as the plant is stronger when it has more chlorophyll. When this happens, the best thing to do is prune out the affected leaves because if you don't, the plain green can actually take over the plant because it's got more chlorophyll and vigour than the variegated foliage.

Q. Can I create a variegated plant from a normal plant?

A. Variegation is not easily induced and can't be done so at home. Best to get a cutting of a variegated plant from a friend or pass your's on in order to keep the variegated plant love flowing. 

Bianca Lambert1 Comment