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The Ultimate Rare Plant Care Guide: Monstera 'Thai Constellation'

Updated: Mar 11, 2023

Monstera ‘Thai Constellation’ is a famous Monstera in the rare plant community due to its incredibly unique appearance and popularity on social media.


It is a staple in any rare plant collector’s collection and is highly sought after and purchased by collectors due to the limited commercial availability and high price tag.


If you’re thinking of purchasing one to add to your personal rare plant collection or considering if this rare plant would be a good investment for your shop, then knowing how to care for them is essential. If not, you risk potentially losing your new investment and a significant amount of money.


In this article, I will be exploring the Monstera ‘Thai Constellation’’s creation, whether this rare plant is a good investment (in terms of ROI), care requirements and best propagation techniques.


Large Monstera 'Thai Constellation' rare houseplant.
Figure 1: My personal Monstera 'Thai Constellation' houseplant.

The History and classification of Monstera 'Thai Constellation'

The history of the Monstera ‘Thai Constellation’ is interesting as it differs from most of the other rare plants currently on the market.


It is a manufactured cultivar of Monstera deliciosa large form which was originally produced in laboratories in Thailand (hence the name) and grown from tissue culture - a propagation technique which grows fragments of plant tissue in an artificial medium (culture).


I am unable to find a clear creation date for this rare houseplant, but it noticeably first gained widespread awareness and demand in 2019. It has since been steadily released in batches by the creators in Asia to help to control the market price and avoid significant devaluation which can occur if the market if flooded with a rare plant too quickly.


Taxonomy

Domain: Eukaryota

Kingdom: Plantae

Phylum: Spermatophyta

Subphylum: Angiospermae

Class: Monocotyledonae

Order: Arales

Family: Araceae

Genus: Monstera

Species: Monstera deliciosa 'Thai Constellation'


Monstera 'Thai Constellation' Appearance

Monstera ‘Thai Constellation’ is a climbing aroid which begins on the ground and will use its aerial roots to latch onto support and climb structures - making it semi-epiphytic.


These rare Monstera have large, dark green leaves which can grow to around a metre across in size and length. The leaves are covered with cream variegation which appears both sectoral and splashed, earning the rare plant its name due to the likeness with a starry night sky.


Monstera 'Thai Constellation' full fenestrated leaf.
Figure 2: Monstera 'Thai Constellation' leaf with 2 fenestrations.

It has a bright green stem which will often contain lines of cream variegation too, with small internodal spacing.


is Monstera 'Thai Constellation' a good rare plant Investment?

For rare plant sellers looking to make an ROI on these rare rare houseplants, there are a few things to know about the Monstera ‘Thai Constellation’.

  • They grow very slowly - you’ll have to be patient here, as these rare plants are notoriously slow growers and it can take years for the rare plant to grow large enough for propagation.

  • They are tricky to take cuttings from - due to the small internodal spacing on these rare plants, it can be like performing heart surgery to take cuttings from this plant and you will often have to cut very close to the node. This is not for inexperienced propagators and sellers.

  • They rot very easily - cuttings of these rare plants are very susceptible to rotting, and combined with the tight cuts close to the node, you have very little leeway for error.

As the variegation on Monstera ‘Thai Constellation’ is stable and random, the level on a cutting has very little effect on the price. On the other hand, the size of the leaf and amount of fenestration will often influence the price, with the more mature cuttings having a higher value.


Looking at the rare plant market, their market value ppears to be in a slow decline as they become more accessible. Due to being difficult to propagate, these rare plants still maintain a higher price tag though compared to other rare Monstera and are often between £50-£100 for a rooted cutting/baby plant.


how do I care for Monstera 'Thai Constellation'?

Monstera ‘Thai Constellation’ are surprisingly easy to care for and are lower-maintenance than the majority of other rare Monstera. However, they don’t prove to be the hardiest so getting their care requirements rights is key to growing them well.


Light

It’s best to give these rare =plants as much light as possible, as the more light they receive, the faster they will grow!


Keep your rare plant within three metres of a large South/West facing window, or one metre of a small East/North facing window. Avoid putting them in intense direct sunlight as the variegated areas are very prone to burning (although it will be fine in very weak easy morning/evening sunlight).


Watering

Water these rare plants when the soil has completely dried out as they can easily develop root rot if not. Don’t keep the soil constantly moist constantly as you’ll experience rotting in the roots, leaf loss and even leaf browning.


I like to use filtered water for my rare plants to avoid any mineral/salt build-up in the soil but this is not essential.


Browning crispy patches on the cream variegation on my Monstera 'Thai Constellation' leaf from past overwatering.
Figure 3: Browning on the cream variegation from past overwatering.


Temperature

Monstera ‘Thai Constellation’ grows well in temperatures between 21-28 degrees Celsius, which I would recommend for the fastest growth. They are tropical plants and Amazon rainforest temperatures do not normally fall below 17 degrees Celsius, so I wouldn't recommend growing them in temperatures below this for long periods of time as they will not grow and may die.


Humidity

These rare Monsteras will happily grow natural household humidity which makes them perfect easy-care rare houseplants.


High humidity levels can be beneficial though as they encourage the growth of aerial roots which can be trained back into the soil or on a moss pole to add extra support to the plant as a climber.


A large aerial root on a Monstera Thai Constellation which has been trained back into the soil.
Figure 4: A large aerial root which i've trained back into the soil.


Best Substrate and Maintenance for Monstera 'Thai Constellation'

Monstera ‘Thai Constellation’ needs to have very well-draining soil as they are very prone to developing root rot.


Keeping the plant fairly rootbound in their pots enables the soil to dry out fast between waterings which helps to prevent rot.


Soil and fertiliser

I use my general aroid soil mix which is perfect for growing these! As an enthusiastic overwaterer, I designed my soil mix to be very well-draining in order to prevent my Syngonium from staying too wet and developing root rot.


I recommend you use the following 5 components in your substrate:


1. Coco coir

This provides the plant with key nutrients (including Phosphorus and Potassium) and is great for structure and water retention.


2. Perlite

This makes the soil well-draining and provides aeration which is essential for allowing the roots to 'breath' (they respire too!) and for helping to prevent the dreaded root rot.


3. Pine bark chips

These give the soil mix a chunkier composition and help with water retention. The roots absolutely love a chunky soil mix as this helps to encourage thick and strong root growth to support the plant and also helps to keep air pockets in the soil and aid drainage.


4. Ground charcoal

This acts as a filter to remove impurities from water, preventing mould from forming on top of your soil and this helps to absorb excess moisture in your soil mix.


5. Worm castings

These act as a natural organic fertiliser by slowly breaking down in the soil to release Nitrogen, Phosphates, Potash and 'live bacteria, fungi and microbes' (Willy Worms).


Repotting

When repotting, I recommend only increasing the pot size by one or two sizes larger. This allows the roots to adjust to the new space without being swamped by large amounts of empty soil (which holds excess moisture and often leads to root rot).


One of the easy mistakes to make with this plant is to repot it into a pot size too large - so only repot up one pot size at a time!


Depending on the growth speed of your Monstera ‘Thai Constellation’, I estimate repotting around once every 1-2 years. If you suspect your plant may need repotting, simply pull it out of the pot and check the roots.


how do I Propagation Monstera 'Thai Constellation'?

If you’re thinking of propagating your Monstera ‘Thai Constellation’ to sell and make your money back, in truth you may be waiting a while due to the slow growth rate of these plants.


These rare Monsteras are commonly trickier to propagate than other Monstera due to their close internodal spacing, so extra care needs to be taken when cutting these rare vplants up. Get too close to a node and you may damage it enough to kill the cutting or leave no allowance for any rot which occurs (as if the node rots the cutting will also die).


The stem of a Monstera 'Thai Constellation and the tight internodal spacing.
Figure 5: The main stem showing the internodal spacing.

The stem of these rare plants can easily rot, so I avidly avoid trying to propagate these in water. Instead, moss and perlite are commonly far more successful methods due to good aeration in these mediums, but make sure not to keep your moss/perlite on the drier side.


You can learn more about different propagation methods for rare houseplants such as Monstera in my blog post here.


To summarise...

Monstera ‘Thai Constellation’ is a stunning and unique-looking plant which, as it grows with time, will prove to be hugely rewarding for you.


With the right care, these rare plants can grow to be big and beautiful centre-piece plants and are highly worth the higher price tag.


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