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Variegated houseplants types and care

The hype about variegated houseplants is unreal, people. Although millennials are reluctantly introducing plants within their home (to help the environment apparently), they cannot settle for mere green ordinary plants (huh, so typical of us). The rage for change has resulted in a surge in the popularity of variegated houseplants.

Variegated plants are the ones that have more than one color in them i.e. they have green and different other color zones in them. Variegated houseplants are exceptional species, they are the ones that will improve the aesthetic appeal of your house without fail.

Since no two houseplants with variegated leaves are the same, we have (meticulously) compiled the best variegated houseplants for you to add to your indoor plant collection.

Variegated Monstera

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Botanical Name: Monstera deliciosa ‘albo variegata’

The highlight of variegated houseplants, this Monstera deliciosa is one of the best variegated houseplants you can get your hands on. This feature plant has mesmerizing green and pure white variegation on its foliage.

Its large, fenestrated leaves are enough to capture your heart. This is why high-end brands and magazines use this spectacular plant for home-decor suggestions and much more!

Pro Tip: Do you want to create a trending Instagram post related to home decor?
Then immediately buy variegated Monstera as a centerpiece for your living room. You will never regret your decision, we promise!

However, there is a slight hitch.
It’s pricey.
Like bad-ass expensive. And rare too.
Finding it can be a pain in the ass sometimes.

But once you acquire it, caring for it is absolutely essential. Place it in a brightly lit space with indirect light. Water it frequently and make sure the soil is moist and well-draining. Humidity works in favor of this variegated houseplant too.

Note: Have you got fur babies in your house? Make sure they do not have access to this plant at all. Monstera deliciosa is extremely toxic to both cats and dogs.

Philodendron Birkin

This small round leaf variegated houseplant is worth every penny! If you are looking to add unique variegated tropical houseplants to your collection, Philodendron Birkin will be ideal for you.

It belongs to the family Araceae and has green round leaves that are heavily embellished by pin-stripe white lines on its entire surface. It gives off the image as if someone has painted each leaf by hand!

The slow-growing ability makes this small plant ideal for your compact space. All you need is a filtered bright light source (mimicking the tropical rainforest y’all) and a warm and humid environment.

We know. We know.
You must be baffled about how to increase humidity in your ‘dry as a desert’ home.
The easiest thing to do is to add a water-filled pebble tray near your plant. Investing in a humidifier is a good option too. (Improved humidity level indoors will help you with your maddening dry skin too bruh)

Polka dot plant

Botanical Name: Hypoestes phyllostachya

This acclaimed variegated pink houseplant will surely leave you speechless. The most common type of polka dot plant has a pink base color with green spots (It’s lit!)

It also comes in shades of purple, red, and other deeper colors that make this plant stand out even more.

This variegated houseplant is not at all invasive, thrives well in warm humid conditions, and produces pink or purple flowers in spring.

Pro Tip: Pinch these flowers out so that the entire energy of the plant is directed to its foliage.

Stromanthe Triostar

Botanical Name: Stromanthe sanguinea ‘Tricolor’

Want to kill two birds with a stone? Buy this premium member of the variegated tall houseplants category that has very interesting features to note.

Triostar is also regarded as a variegated pink house plant due to its pastel striped light green and pink colors (It also has hints of white color in between).

(Psst) There is also a surprise for you here!
When Triostar folds its leaves, like a prayer plant in the evening, you will be hooked to see its bright pink to maroon foliage color underneath!

This variegated houseplant with narrow leaves requires moderate humidity and ample filtered sunlight. Under the right conditions, it will grow up to 5 feet tall (almost the size of Danny DeVito- the famous actor of Twin)

Rubber plant

Botanical Name: Ficus Elastica ‘Tineke’

You cannot list all the variegated tall houseplants while leaving this one behind. The home-grown rubber plant can grow 2 to 10 feet (Depends entirely on how much you pamper your plant babies: better care, better growth). Its leaves have a distinct green color with white or pinkish hues at the margins.

Rubber plants are classic variegated tropical house plants, place them in a cold and dry area of the house and they die (Yes, both internally and externally. All they wish is for a person to love them. Nothing more, nothing less.)
You need to allot a well-lit space in your house for these plants. Make sure it is away from air conditioners and heaters.

Heartleaf Philodendron

Botanical Name: Philodendron hederaceum

What’s a better choice than Heartleaf Philodendron for the variegated vine houseplants category?
Their large leaves, with the fusion of light green and dark green, are an epitome of beauty to observe. The unrealistic perfection of this plant will always make your friends and family inquire about the specs of this heart stealer!

The trending cultivars of this houseplant with variegated foliage are

  • Micans
  • Brasil

A modestly growing vine, even a naive millennial with no plant experience (ehm, us) can grow this plant easily. Moderate light exposure is best for this vine.

Silver queen

Botanical Name: Aglaonema ‘Silver Queen’
The royal color pattern of this Aglaonema is unlike anything else. The silvery green marbled, lance-shaped leaves are hard to keep your eyes away from. An esteemed member of the low light variegated houseplant category, a Silver queen can be ideally placed on office desks or poorly lit corners.

It also comes by the name of Chinese evergreen, thus do not get confused if someone describes them with their common name. You need to water this perennial regularly to keep it fresh and healthy.

Wax plant

Botanical Name: Hoya Carnosa ‘Albomarginata’

The Wax plant is made up of all the things you love: long flowing vines, thick and pink shaded waxy leaves, and remarkable pale pink flowers.

Variegated vine houseplants of this type are quite adaptable. Their semi-succulent leaves can tolerate your forgetful nature i.e. erratic watering schedule. However, overwatering is a death sentence for them. Give your wax plant super humid conditions and lots of dappled sunlight to make this ‘dream plant‘ flourish in your home!

(Now then, don’t you secretly wish to add pink variegated houseplants to your space? Place these subtly shaded vines in your indoor space for an elegant pink touch.)

Calathea Orbifolia

If this variegated houseplant doesn’t sweep you off your feet, we don’t know what will…

Calathea Orbifolia has round green leaves that are evenly marked with white lines along the whole surface. (The evenly spaced lines make it look as if someone has used a scale to measure the gap while marking these lines!)

The mature plants have huge leaves, making them the best variegated houseplant to make a bold statement in your living room. Dappled light, moist and well-draining soil, and a lot of humidity are the things that Calathea loves.

Note: Do you want to show your kids how some plants slowly uncurl their newly-produced tightly curled leaves? Then choose Calathea Orbifolia, a challenging yet stunning plant that is worth all your effort.

Golden Pothos

Botanical Name: Epipremnum Aureum

A common house plant with variegated leaves, Golden Pothos is the holy grail of variegated houseplants for beginners.

It’s quite hardy.
You will have a tough time killing this one.
It will fight till its last breath for survival. (Literally.)

It is also regarded as a low-light variegated houseplant due to its tendency to survive in relatively dark places. It loves humidity and a warm environment. The best place you can hang this vine is in your bathroom. (It ticks all the right boxes for our suggested place.)

Note: The thing about low light variegated houseplants is that they can change color to all green if continuously placed in low light regions. This adaptation for survival requires producing excess chlorophyll so that they can use all the light they can get to live on.

Spider plant

Botanical Name: Chlorophytum comosum

Spider plant gets its name from the superfluous foliage growth resembling spiders’ legs (However, unlike the long dangling legs of a spider, this plant’s leaves won’t scare the shit out of you)

It’s a quite common houseplant with variegated leaves, mainly due to its easy to care nature and widespread adaptability.

Spider plants can survive poor lighting and moderately low temperatures, thus gaining them the reputation of low light variegated houseplants. But beware! Continuous stress can cause browning of the leaf tips and wilt.

Note: Not only is it appealing for its green and pale white ribbon-like leaves, but its air-purifying abilities also make it a favorite variegated houseplant to place on tabletops.

Wandering Jew

Botanical Name:Tradescantia zebrina

This trailing variegated houseplant is one of its kind.
Don’t mind its name. (It’s hilarious, we know. No offense to any religion but who in their right mind would name a plant THAT?)

Wandering Jew has the most amazing color pattern on its leaves. The combo of green and purple stripes on the top and deep magenta on the underside of leaves is breathtaking!
This easy-to-care house plant with variegated foliage does not fuss when you forget to water it.

However, doing this regularly will affect its lush growth (Take responsibility, bruh. That’s adulthood.)

Provide it with ample dampened light and watch it conquer your space with its resilient vines.

Moon Valley

Botanical Name: Pilea involucrata

Its common name comes from its deeply textured and dimpled leaves. They resemble the uneven, characteristic blistered surface of the moon.

Did you know? This plant is also known as friendship plant- making them a perfect gift for your new friends on any occasion!

Its purple-veined apple green leaves will keep you fixated. The corrugated texture is what makes this variegated houseplant stand out of the ordinary!

To make it thrive, place it in rich organic soil, water it when the soil becomes dry, and place it in an indirectly-lit bright space.

And oh, provide it with LOTS of humidity.

Swallowtail Plant

Botanical Name: Christia obcordata

Do you know what grabs attention in this iconic plant?
Its wing-shaped leaves!

The unique triangular leaves, resembling the wings of butterflies, are lined with mahogany stripes along their entire surface. You will have to look twice to confirm whether it’s a real butterfly or not (The camouflage is dope, guys!)

Butterfly plants can grow up to 3 feet tall, making it an ideal variegated tall houseplant to add to the corner of your room. Since they prefer partial shade, indirect light exposure is not going to be a problem for both of you.

Note: Swallowtail plant, also known as Butterfly plant, is deadly for humans. Keep your intrigued toddlers at an arm’s length from them!

Party Time ‘Alternanthera’

Botanical Name: Alternanthera ficoidea

All the variegated houseplants mentioned above either are low-light plants or require filtered sunlight. But don’t worry fam, we have got something for everyone!

Party Time ‘Alternanthera’ is a houseplant of variegated foliage that shows its full colors only when it is placed in bright direct light! (Besides, what a witty name it has for a plant! It’s truly a party time with this dazzling houseplant)

The pigments of leaves are green, bright pink or magenta, and/or gold. The beautiful amalgamation of colors is a sight to see. Some leaves are completely green or completely pink, depending on the location of the plant.

It doesn’t require much water and is (surprisingly!) frost-hardy.
Not bad for a variegated houseplant, eh?

Note: Low light exposure can cause this houseplant to produce less variegated foliage. More light = better colors!

About Author

Abeer Anwar

A biotechnologist by profession and a writer at heart. I have always been an avid reader of books related to nature, health, lifestyle and much more. Nowadays, I passionately write about the topics of my interest(after extensive research) to help everyone around the world.

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