Houseplants forum: Is everyone crazy about variegated plants?

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Name: Sabine
New Mexico
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Rynoa
Sep 28, 2020 3:28 PM CST
Hi everyone,

just a little chit-chat thread out of boredom Smiling

I've seen a lot of hype about variegated plants. It seems everyone wants the variegated form of whatever and is willing to pay a lot more for it - sometimes insane amounts IMO.

Naturally, everyone should get what brings them joy. I'm just puzzled because, aside from very few exceptions, I like the "default" green plants much better. We're trying to get some nature into our living spaces and in nature variegation is very rare. It also weakens the plant, doesn't it?!

Am I the only one? Is there something wrong with me? Confused Thinking

Which do you prefer and why?
[Last edited by Rynoa - Sep 28, 2020 3:50 PM (+)]
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Name: Sabine
New Mexico
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Rynoa
Sep 28, 2020 3:33 PM CST
EDIT: I'm refering mainly to the chimeral variegation. I do like many of the "gene/natural variegation" as seen in many prayer plants. There's just something about the green/white chimeral variegation seen in monstera, pothos, etc that looks off to me.
[Last edited by Rynoa - Sep 28, 2020 4:01 PM (+)]
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Name: Gina
Florida (Zone 9a)
Tropical plant collector 35 years
Region: Florida Tropicals Aroids
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Gina1960
Sep 28, 2020 5:07 PM CST
I grow mainly species aroids, orchids, all sorts of plants all tropical. I belong to the International Aroid Society, and have been collecting plants for over 35 years. I don't really see what the attraction is. The plain green form is a perfectly acceptable form. I think that like everything else, its a fad and will eventually burn itself out.

I do grow some hybrids. I have the Philo called Strawberry Shake, and the one called White Wizard. I have been offered $600 for a cutting of my (very variegated) Wizard. I turned it down. Why? because the same meristem that produced that one also produced 2 totally green offshoots. In other words, the variegation may seem stable, but over time, it may not be. (And I just really don;t want to cut my plant, it was a trade from a pretty famous Aroidist back in the day 15 or so years ago).

The single variegated Strawberry Shake I have came from a stand of 15 year old reverted Strawberry Shakes (reverted SS = Red Erubescens). Again, I have been offered hundreds of dollars. I said, no. Strawberry Shake reverts with demonic regularity. And for the same reason, it was a trade from the same person.

All the variegated adansoniis that are selling for over $1000 for a teensy plant are only a few leaves away from a potential mutation that can cause them to produce all green leaves again, just like all variegated Monsteras are also in that category. The one referred to as Thai Constellation (which is really just an Albo-variegata with very a diffuse variegation pattern IMO and in the opinion of a lot of other OLD, as in I am older than god and so are my plants, collectors who have watched their plants change variegation patterns several times over the course of 15+ years) seems more stable, but it too can start producing less and less 'speckled' leaves. People say it does not revert...that is not true. It can also start producing highly sectional variegation a la 'albo' if it really wants to LOL.

To add to the plot, a lot of these hugely overpriced plants are being imported by people who do not grow them for very long, if at all, and really have no real experience growing them. They are flipping them for 2-5X what they paid for them, and many sale forums have started banning people that they can tell are flipping. They are also largely unlicensed and uninspected by the USDA in their states, may be sending out pests on these imported plants, and its harder to hold them accountable for a 'bad sale' without calling the USDA and finding out of they have a license to sell, and filing a complaint whether they do or not (the USDA WILL investigate these complaints).

So variegated plants can be fun, but not when they cost the equivalent of many people's mortgage payment.
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Name: Sally
central Maryland
Seriously addicted to kettle chips.
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sallyg
Sep 29, 2020 5:37 AM CST
there's an Epipremnum out there these days with distinct white patches, .. maybe it's N Joy, whatever it is, just isn't pretty to me.
Poinsettia, with their all green leaves, somehow look very attractive, just their shape and position.
..come into the peace of wild things..-Wendell Berry
Life is a buffet (anon)
[Last edited by sallyg - Sep 29, 2020 5:39 AM (+)]
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Name: Gina
Florida (Zone 9a)
Tropical plant collector 35 years
Region: Florida Tropicals Aroids
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Gina1960
Sep 29, 2020 5:52 AM CST
I am not a fan of NJoy either (at least in its juvenile form). What I think would be really interesting is to grow some of these cultivars up to the adult pinnate stage. I have a Neon which I have let climb up the GH wall to about 8 feet. The leaves are big, but no pinnation yet...but as to has gotten larger leaves, the distinct 'neon' coloration has tended to fade. It would be interesting to see what the others would do...there are VERY FEW photos of these different cultivars (besides the Marble Queen) that have reached the pinnate stage
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Northern NJ (Zone 6b)
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LorettaNJ
Sep 30, 2020 11:12 AM CST
I do find variegations to be either beautiful, neutral or often sickly. It depends. I also like nonvariegated plants. I like them all!
Also, I would never pay that kind of money for a plant. There are too many to love out there that aren't expensive and I am too cheap.
Name: Sabine
New Mexico
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Rynoa
Sep 30, 2020 4:18 PM CST
@Gina1960
Very interesting insight, thanks. What does "pinnate stage" exactly mean? How does the plant change with age?

Would you post a picture of your two variegated goldmines? I'm just curious. For $600, I'd have been tempted but I can't understand why someone would pay that much for a plant ...
[Last edited by Rynoa - Sep 30, 2020 4:19 PM (+)]
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Name: Sabine
New Mexico
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Rynoa
Sep 30, 2020 4:20 PM CST
@sallyg
Do you mean the Poinsettia that has some variegation in the red or just the "plain" one?
Name: Sabine
New Mexico
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Rynoa
Sep 30, 2020 4:22 PM CST
@LorettaNJ
I agree. I can't see myself ever paying that much for a plant. Unless I had so much money I didn't know what to do with it and it was a beautiful mature tree that's decades old.
Name: Gina
Florida (Zone 9a)
Tropical plant collector 35 years
Region: Florida Tropicals Aroids
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Gina1960
Sep 30, 2020 4:23 PM CST
This is the pinnate stage of plain green Epipremnum
Thumb of 2020-09-30/Gina1960/ec1043

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Name: Sabine
New Mexico
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Rynoa
Sep 30, 2020 4:26 PM CST
Gina1960 said:This is the pinnate stage of plain green Epipremnum
Thumb of 2020-09-30/Gina1960/ec1043



Wow, that's a pothos????? Blinking Blinking Blinking
How long does it take to reach that stage?
Name: Gina
Florida (Zone 9a)
Tropical plant collector 35 years
Region: Florida Tropicals Aroids
Image
Gina1960
Sep 30, 2020 4:26 PM CST
Rynoa said:@Gina1960
Very interesting insight, thanks. What does "pinnate stage" exactly mean? How does the plant change with age?

Would you post a picture of your two variegated goldmines? I'm just curious. For $600, I'd have been tempted but I can't understand why someone would pay that much for a plant ...


White Wizard
Thumb of 2020-09-30/Gina1960/d5b093

Don't have one of SS
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Name: Gina
Florida (Zone 9a)
Tropical plant collector 35 years
Region: Florida Tropicals Aroids
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Gina1960
Sep 30, 2020 4:29 PM CST
This is the pinnate stage of Epipremnum aureum the yellow variegated form, the one you see in every box store in the country
Thumb of 2020-09-30/Gina1960/26f1fd

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Name: Sabine
New Mexico
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Rynoa
Sep 30, 2020 4:38 PM CST
Gina1960 said:

White Wizard
Thumb of 2020-09-30/Gina1960/d5b093

Don't have one of SS


This one is very pretty. The "blocky, stripe shaped" variegations are neat and make it one of the "exceptions" for me. Similarily, the monstera "half moon" (I think that's what they call it - though I realize they're all the same) varieties look neat too ... but I'd never pay what they're going for right now. Maybe once Costa Farms is selling theirs and I still have room by then.

I think what could potentially look good is mixing variegated and "plain" plants. Usually, you buy a pot with several plants in them anyway. If there was one variegated plant among them, the variegation would be speckled in between, but the plant would be mostly lush green. For me, having the variegation all over is just too much, even for the ones I like in principle.
Name: Sabine
New Mexico
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Rynoa
Sep 30, 2020 4:46 PM CST
Blinking Blinking Blinking Blinking Blinking Blinking Blinking Blinking Blinking

https://www.etsy.com/listing/8...

https://www.etsy.com/listing/8...

This is nuts.

Free shipping though Rolling on the floor laughing
[Last edited by Rynoa - Sep 30, 2020 4:49 PM (+)]
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Northern NJ (Zone 6b)
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LorettaNJ
Sep 30, 2020 5:36 PM CST
Absolutely nuts. Just a day or two ago there was someone on the classified here with $1,000 plant they were trying to sell. I think that post is gone.
Name: Sally
central Maryland
Seriously addicted to kettle chips.
Charter ATP Member Houseplants Butterflies Keeper of Poultry Vegetable Grower Region: Maryland
Composter Region: Mid-Atlantic Native Plants and Wildflowers Organic Gardener Region: United States of America Dog Lover
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sallyg
Sep 30, 2020 5:52 PM CST
@Rynoa

Didn't mean to mix apples and oranges, about poinsettia, I just meant that leaf shape and other traits can make some things pretty with no variegation needed- which we here know.

Good luck to somebody selling those $$$$ plants. If they can get it, more power to them. I bet a nickel that many are bought by people who know almost nothing about plants. Whistling
..come into the peace of wild things..-Wendell Berry
Life is a buffet (anon)
Name: Gina
Florida (Zone 9a)
Tropical plant collector 35 years
Region: Florida Tropicals Aroids
Image
Gina1960
Sep 30, 2020 7:38 PM CST
@sallyg you are absolutely correct. I belong to a lot of plant pages on FB and you would be AMAZED how many people will spend $500 on an overpriced plant then say, "So, how's the best way to grow this? How should I pot it? What soil should I use?" etc etc etc. It's ridiculous.

I didn't buy the over 1000 plants in my collection over the past almost 40 years to sell them to dweebs. Its true I do sell plants. No often. I sell a lot more Anthurium berries than plants. But, I sell propagations of plants. Not my original. And not for thousands of dollars. And if I have a plant that I don;t want to propagate to sell, well, I don't.

But you have to remember I don't grow in a house either, I grow in a greenhouse. Its a bit different. So all my plants are all growing very chaotically together, variegated, non-variegated, vining, terrestrial, flowering, foliage...its total Chaos at Chaos House and I wouldn;t have it any other way
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Rhode Island
jdongg
Sep 30, 2020 7:45 PM CST
It seems like there's really two separate questions being asked here: do you prefer variegated or non-variegated plants, and do you think they're worth the amount of money people are asking for them right now?

Personally, I like the way some of the variegated plants look (e.g. Thai Constellation monstera) but prefer non-variegated versions of others (e.g. zz plant). Would never shell out hundreds for the rare variegated versions though.
Name: Gina
Florida (Zone 9a)
Tropical plant collector 35 years
Region: Florida Tropicals Aroids
Image
Gina1960
Sep 30, 2020 7:48 PM CST
I think one questions leads into another. Mainly because of the plant market as it is today. There are variegated versions of a lot of plants now that were not available even 5 years ago. And there is a whole new sort of plant 'collector' now than there was 5 years ago. One that seems to have unlimited cash, and no impulse control
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