Variegated Indoor Plants
There are several types of variegated indoor houseplants, and understanding these various types and the reason behind their variegation is essential both to their care and why most of them are rare and difficult to find.
Types of Variegated Indoor Plants
There are many distinct types of variegation that seem pretty unique, with totally different causes. Check below!
Chimeral variegation is a common type of all variegations. It happens due to a genetic mutation, and in this variegation type, the plant displays two distinct chromosomal make-ups in one plant, where a few tissues can develop chlorophyll and others cannot. The resulting plant featuring yellow or white zones blended with a solid green form, this type of plant is known as a chimera. An example of one such chimera is Variegated Monstera deliciosa.
Often, chimeral variegation randomly spreads out around your plant. For example, that’s the case with your Variegated Monstera, where you notice yellow or white dots and patches splashed around the plant’s leaves like they’re sprayed with paint, while few leaves develop completely white and others fully green. On the other hand, sometimes chimeral variegation stays constant throughout the plant, with some symmetrical leaf patterns.
They are often known as Natural or Pigmented Variegation. Few variegated plants are not genetically mutants but instead are entirely naturally patterned. Some gorgeous, variegated houseplants are patterned, and luckily, unlike chimera, such variegation is printed into the DNA of the cultivar or species run from generation to generation.
For instance, Calathea lancifolia (Rattlesnake Calathea), featuring pigmented variegation, has regular patterning of stunning purple dots on their lanceolated beautiful green leaves. Similarly, Fishbone Prayer Plant (Ctenanthe Burle-marxii) and other Marantaceae family members feature Pattern-Gene variegation.
Reflective or Blister Variegation
Another type of variegation typically seen in some stunning indoor houseplants is popular as either reflective variegation or blister variegation. Tiny air pockets develop between the lower pigmented layer and an upper unpigmented layer of the leaves in such plants. When sunlight strikes these transparent air pockets, it’s reflected, causing their leaves to feature a silvery display.
Watermelon Peperomia (Peperomia argyreia) is among indoor plants that feature this type of reflective variegation. This plant had its name because of the silver stripes it contains, and they are, in fact, strips of these reflective air pockets. That type of plant variegation doesn’t always look so symmetrically, though; for instance, the random dots on the leaves of beautiful Scindapsus pictus (also called Satin Pothos) are also due to the blister variegation.
One type of reflective variegation that seems especially very appealing is when it happens along the plant’s entire veins. It is sometimes seen in some aroid houseplants such as Alocasias, Anthuriums, and Philodendrons.
Some variegation types on leaves are due to some viruses, for instance, the Mosaic virus. Though not very usual, the result of variegation caused by a virus is desirable and can also be reproduced. Also not an indoor houseplant. Some Hosta cultivars are one variegated plant where such a type of viral variegation is seen.