The Fascinating Biology Behind Plant Variegation

Whether it’s the coveted albo monstera deliciosa, philodendron pink princess, or a striking calathea, variegated tropicals are some of the most sought-after houseplants on the market.

Philodendron Pink Princess

Plant variegation is a naturally occurring genetic mutation that results in the appearance of differently colored or patterned areas on the leaves or other plant parts. This can include stripes, spots, or patches of white, cream, yellow, or pink, among other colors.

The underlying biology of variegation can vary depending on the specific plant species and the type of variegation present.

Calathea White Star

In some cases, variegation is caused by a lack of chlorophyll production in certain areas of the plant. Chlorophyll is the pigment responsible for giving plants their green color and is essential for photosynthesis, the process by which plants convert light into energy.

When chlorophyll production is disrupted, such as through a genetic mutation or environmental stress, the affected areas of the plant may appear lighter in color or lack color altogether. This is known as chlorophyll-deficient variegation.

Other types of variegation can be caused by a buildup of pigments in certain areas of the plant, such as carotenoids or anthocyanins. These pigments can give leaves a yellow, orange, or red hue, depending on the specific pigment and the concentration present.

Some variegated plants may also have a combination of different types of variegation, resulting in a more complex color pattern.

While variegation can be visually striking and desirable, it can also have implications for the plant’s growth and health. Leaves with reduced chlorophyll may have a lower photosynthetic capacity, which can impact the plant’s ability to produce energy and grow. Additionally, variegated plants may be more susceptible to damage from pests and diseases.

Overall, variegation is a fascinating and complex phenomenon that adds diversity and interest to the world of plants. Its underlying biology is still not fully understood, and researchers continue to study the genetic and molecular mechanisms that drive variegation in different plant species.

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Return Policy

Last Updated July 2, 2022

Thank you for your purchase. We hope you are happy with your products! However, if you are not completely satisfied with your purchase, you may be able to return it to us for a full refund or store credit. Please see below for more information on our return and exchange policy.


Plants: Plants are eligible for a full refund or exchange with returned within seven (7) days of the purchase date. All returned plants must be in their original nursery pots with tags intact and proof of purchase. Plants may be exchanged for another plant of equal or lesser value. We are not responsible for the death or damage of plants that have been removed from their original pots after purchase. 

Non-plant goods: Any non-plant goods (pottery, macrame, plant care products, etc.) can be returned in new, unused condition for a full refund or exchanged for another item of equal or lesser value within fourteen (14) days of purchase. Packaging may be opened, but the product must be unused and returned with all of its original, undamaged packaging. 

Return Process

To return an item, contact us by email at

For Plant returns/exchanges:

  • Title email “Return/exchange [your order #]”
  • please provide a detailed description of why you wish to return or exchange the plant, including any damage/pests/etc. 
  • Include a picture of the plant in its original pot.

For non-plant returns/exchanges:

  • Title email “Return/exchange [your order #]”
  • A brief description of why you wish to return the item
  • A photo of the unused item in its original packaging

All return requests will be responded to within 1-2 business days. If the return is appropriate, a pickup date and time will be arranged free of charge.


After we receive your returned item and inspect its condition, we will process your refund or exchange. Refunds will be sent to your original method of payment. Refunds might take 1-2 billing cycles to post to your credit card statement, depending on your bank. We will notify you by email when your return has been processed.


Plants that have been removed from their original nursery pots are not eligible for return or exchange.

Non-plant items that have been used or damaged (including any packaging) are not eligible for return or exchange.

All sales are final on discounted items, and they cannot be returned or exchanged.


Questions or concerns about our return policy? Please contact us at