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Rare & Unusual Variegated Plants: 15 Varieties With Pictures

Rare & Unusual Variegated Plants: 15 Varieties With Pictures

Houseplants are usually identified by having all-green leaves with a uniform color. Nevertheless, there are specific types of houseplants that deviate from this standard.

Due to wonderfully odd mutations in their genetic makeup, many are missing the rich-green pigment in their cells – resulting in slower growth but surprising color palettes and patterns.

Some even have natural holes in their leaves – propelling these varieties to the top of many a collector’s wish list. Here are 15 rare and ravishing variegated plants!

1. Rhaphidophora tetrasperma ‘Minima’

Often mistaken for the larger Monstera species due to its hugely similar leaf shaping, the R. tetrasperma ‘Minima’ has the same glossy fenestrated leaves of emerald to light green, but unlike its larger doppelgänger, the foliage grows in a more compact form.

The vines grow out sideways, and the leaves develop in dense layers – making them perfect for shelves or hanging baskets.

  • Common Name: Mini Split-leaf
  • Average Price: $25-30
  • Average Size: 10-12 inch spread, 8 inches tall
  • Key Features: Glossy, fenestrated leaves; lush, green color; horizontal vine habit

2. Monstera obliqua Peruvian Form

Lacy leaf of Monstera obliqua Peru.

A veritable Fabergé egg of the plant world, this is the rarest Monstera variety around due to its dramatic leaf fenestration and incredibly delicate texture.

Its medium-green, oval leaves are paper thin and feature several large gaping holes.

If you’re able to obtain one outside of a private seller, you’ve likely been sold an M. adansonii which features fewer holes and thicker leaves.

  • Common Name: Monstera Obliqua ‘Peru’
  • Average Price: $800+ (root cutting), $7,000-23,000 (whole plant)
  • Average Size: 3-4 feet tall
  • Key Features: Deep leaf fenestration; fragile, paper-thin foliage

3. Syngonium podophyllum ‘Red Spot’

Up-close look at the leaves of Syngonium podophyllum ‘Red Spot'.

This magnificent climbing plant originating from Brazil and Mexico features large arrow-shaped leaves in a vivid tricolor pattern of deep green, cream, and pink!

The green is beautifully interrupted by flecks and blotches of creamy-white here and there while solid sections of the leaf blade are overrun with bright candy-pink tones, creating the most stunning effect.

  • Common Name: Tricolor Arrowhead Plant
  • Average Price: $200-260
  • Average Size: 1.6-2 feet tall
  • Key Features: Tricolor pattern of green, pink, and white; broad arrow-shaped foliage

4. Philodendron bipennifolium ‘Variegata’

This intriguing and hard-to-source three-leaf plant features leathery, glossy leaves that are shaped like an elongated fiddle.

Its leaves are mostly dark green with attractive speckles of pale green and yellow, though one or two leaves can have large, solid blocks of yellow.

Interestingly, the young leaves begin completely ovular but develop their irregular lobes as they mature.

  • Common Name: Variegated ‘Fiddle Leaf’ Philodendron
  • Average Price: $1,000-1,600
  • Average Size: 4-5 feet tall
  • Key Features: Fiddle-shaped foliage; yellow, pale-green variegation

5. Monstera deliciosa ‘Thai Constellation’

A single leaf of the Monstera deliciosa ‘Thai Constellation’ plant on a black background.

Created in a lab in Thailand, this breathtaking Monstera variety has gigantic fenestrated leaves with marbled dashes of cream and pale yellow intermingled with the medium green, creating the appearance of a star-filled night sky.

This is a slow grower and needs a patient plant owner to keep its dramatic foliage in good shape.

  • Common Name: Thai Constellation Monstera
  • Average Price: $700-1,000
  • Average Size: 9-12 feet tall
  • Key Features: Speckled cream-and-yellow pattern, large fenestrated leaves

6. Calathea warscewiczii

Calathea warscewiczii leaves close up.

Hailing from the rainforests of Costa Rica, this demanding but divine Calathea plant has large paddle-shaped leaves with a velvety touch and a striking fishtail pattern in both its leaf ribbing and color variation.

The middle of its dark green leaves are splashed evenly with lighter bright green sections while the undersides provide a wonderfully contrasted deep maroon.

  • Common Name: Calathea Jungle Velvet
  • Average Price: $40-60
  • Average Size: 3-4 feet tall
  • Key Features: Dark and bright-green fishtail pattern, maroon undersides

7. Philodendron billietiae ‘Variegata’

Cultivated from the Brazilian native P. billetiae, this super-rare climbing vine features burnt orange stems, but you’re unlikely to spot that for the odd and colorful foliage.

Its deep-green leaves are the shape of a slender, stretched-out heart and are scattered with flecks and patches of yellow and lighter green.

With great care, expect these leaves to exceed 4 feet in length!

  • Common Name: Variegated Philodendron Billietiae
  • Average Price: $10,000-13,000
  • Average Size: 4-5 feet tall
  • Key Features: Elongated heart-shaped foliage, yellow and pale-green color pattern, reddish-orange stems

8. Monstera deliciosa ‘Albo Variegata’

An up-close look at the leaf of the rare and expensive Monstera Albo plant.

The extreme chlorophyll reduction in this gorgeous Monstera cultivar results in entire halves of each large split leaf turning almost fully white, creating a stunning contrast to the regular dark-green shade, hence its nickname “Half-moon.”

The leaf fenestrations and patches of creamy-white color take their time to develop, making this rare find a joy to nurture.

  • Common Name: Half-Moon Monstera
  • Average Price: $3,000-8,000
  • Average Size: 12-13 feet tall
  • Key Features: Bold white-and-green color contrast; white specks; large, fenestrated leaves

9. Syngonium podophyllum ‘Milk Confetti’

The leaves of the rare Syngonium podophyllum Milk Confetti.

This small but eye-catching cultivar features pale-green, ovular leaves that develop into more of an arrowhead shape as they mature with split lobes at the base.

As they grow, the leaves produce faint specks of pink before becoming stained with larger pink dots, resulting in pretty confetti-sprinkled foliage. Some leaves can even turn entirely rose pink!

  • Common Name: Syngonium ‘Confetti Milk’
  • Average Price: $40-50
  • Average Size: 7-8 inches tall
  • Key Features: Pale-green and dotted pink foliage, arrowhead-shaped leaves

10. Calathea lietzei ‘White Fusion’

The leaves of a Calathea White Fusion plant.

Much like a painting, the captivating detail on the leaves of this Calathea cultivar is something to behold every time you revisit it.

The delicate marbled shades of green and white with hints of light gray almost appear like watercolor brush strokes.

Add to this the lilac undersides and subtle pink blush that appears on the top of the leaves, and this is a very decorative houseplant indeed.

  • Common Name: Calathea ‘Fusion White’
  • Average Price: $60-90
  • Average Size: 1-1.5 feet tall
  • Key Features: Soft, marbled green, white-and-gray variation; pink blush; purple leaf undersides

11. Monstera adansonii ‘Variegata Archipelago’

Often confused with the thinner and more delicate M. obliqua, the M. adansonii plant features much thicker and sturdier leaves with fewer holes, and this beautiful variation on the regular adansonii species includes striking white variegation alongside its dark-green leaves.

This white coloring can appear in clean halves or entire leaves, affecting its price and rarity.

  • Common Name: Variegated Monstera ‘Monkey Leaf’
  • Average Price: $800-900
  • Average Size: 3-6 feet tall
  • Key Features: Bold, white variegation in part/whole leaves; thick, fenestrated foliage

12. Monstera deliciosa ‘Sport Variegata’

This ultra-rare Monstera is a super-sized climbing variety that delights with multiple shades of green in its colossal, glossy leaves.

As it ages, the leaves transform from their juvenile solid green color and heart-shaped form to deeply fenestrated foliage with subtle streaks of yellowy green and vivid emerald to darker green shades.

Even the stems are affected by this pretty green variegation!

  • Common Name: Monstera Deliciosa ‘Sport Green’
  • Average Price: $1,000-1,200
  • Average Size: 6-10 feet tall
  • Key Features: Multiple green shades; giant, fenestrated leaves

13. Philodendron ‘Florida Beauty’

A Philodendron Florida Beauty Green plant with three healthy leaves.

This odd hybrid Philodendron catches the eye straight away with its multi-lobed leaf structure – it begins with long paddle-shaped leaves in its youth before dividing into upper and lower lobes as it matures, almost creating the shape of a little green person with a head, arms, and legs!

The glossy deep green leaves also grow from salmon-pink stems.

  • Common Name: Florida Beauty Philodendron
  • Average Price: $40-55
  • Average Size: 6-8 feet tall
  • Key Features: Quirky, multi-lobed leaf shape; deep-green leaves on pink stems

14. Philodendron erubescens ‘White Princess’

This fast-growing climber originating in the rainforests of Columbia has sheeny teardrop-shaped leaves of dark green with attractive specks and patches of bright white and green, which often create beautiful gray streaks in the crossover.

Its leaves grow to be around 8 inches long and will maintain their satin sheen with optimum humidity.

  • Common Name: Philodendron White Princess
  • Average Price: $300-450
  • Average Size: 8 feet tall
  • Key Features: White, lighter green, and gray variegation; sleek texture

15. Syngonium podophyllum ‘Albo Variegatum’

Native to Bolivia and Brazil, this distinctive cultivar features elongated arrowhead-shaped leaves with slightly ruffled edges and a gorgeous creamy-white and pale-green variegation.

Large block sections of white pop against the dark green, but there are also gentle marbled white and lighter green flecks.

Adding a little extra interest are the wonderfully contrasted pink stems too.

  • Common Name: Variegated Arrowhead Plant
  • Average Price: $80-100
  • Average Size: 12-14 inches tall
  • Key Features: White and lighter green variegation; arrowhead leaf shaping; pink stems

That’s a Wrap! 

To sum up, variegated plants are slow growers due to their lack of chlorophyll, so they’re in need of a little more TLC than your regular houseplant.

Plus, since many of the above come in at a pretty eye-watering price tag, it’s important to consider how appropriate your indoor space is in terms of airflow, light conditions, humidity, etc. before investing in one so you can closely imitate their native environment and prolong their elegant foliage patterns for as long as possible!

Image credit: Paul Gellatly, Garden’s House by the Sea, Reynel Solen