A native in South and Central America, the Monstera dubia plant is an incredibly beautiful and effortless climber that requires only a few things to survive and grow wonderfully. It is, therefore, a great inclusion in your houseplant collection.
Learn about the easy-to-grow Monstera Dubia plant through this article.
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About the Monstera dubia Plant
Monstera dubia is a plant that can be classified as a creeping vine capable of climbing large plants and trees. When the Monsteras are still in the juvenile stage, it will have small leaves that are generally heart-shaped.
You can expect its leaves to lie flat against anything that they grow on. In addition, they come with dark green and light green variegation.
The Monstera dubia plant is also closely related to the Monstera deliciosa. The reason is that upon reaching the mature phase, this plant has a close resemblance with the Monstera deliciosa that has large fenestrations without any variegation. Unlike the plant’s juvenile leaves, though, the mature ones can be seen hanging from the vines.
Unique Features and Structure of the Monstera dubia Plant
Also called the shingle plant, Monstera dubia has features and structures that make it unique. You can easily differentiate the shingle plant or Monstera dubia from the others with the following features:
Step and Foliage
When the plant is still a sapling, it will have small leaves that are about 2-3 inches and shaped like an oval. The leaves will also hold different shades of green as well as silvery gray variegation.
Upon maturity, you will notice its leaves growing up to a foot long, the time when fenestration, or the stage wherein small holes or pores on the leaves, occur.
Structure and Height
The vine’s spread and length will greatly depend on the available space and present growing conditions. If you grow this Monstera plant in an open space or nature, then expect it to grow by as much as 25 meters long and spread.
If growing indoors, expect the Monstera to require frequent trimming. That said, it is likely for the Monstera dubia to stay below five to six feet.
The flowers of the shingle plant are often salmon-colored and non-showy. Most of them also bloom once the earliest leaves during the juvenile stage mature.
One thing to note about this plant, though, is that it is rare for you to see it bloom. This is especially true if you are growing it indoors. To ensure proper blooming and flowering, it is crucial for the Monstera plant to gain proper support on a totem.
One thing to remember about the Monstera dubia is that it is naturally toxic. With that said, make sure that you exercise caution when caring for this vine and ensure that pets and kids do not come near this plant.
Even if Monstera dubia Monstera is not as common as the Monstera Adasonii and Monstera deliciosa, take note that caring for all the mentioned species is almost the same. Every Monstera plant actually enjoys climbing on support or totem. Monstera dubia, however, requires such support for it to survive.
Note that the heart-shaped leaves of this plant tend to lie so flat. It is the reason why those who are growing the Monstera dubia indoors mount it on a wood plank as a means of demonstrating this distinctive feature.
Overall, though, the process of caring for this Monstera dubia plant is quite straightforward. Just keep in mind that it is also classified as a tropical plant. With that said, note that just like other tropical plants, Monstera requires specific conditions in order for it to survive.
While the Monstera dubia needs plenty of light, keep in mind that what we refer to here is not direct sunlight. It requires indirect light just like when it is still in its native habitat. This means exposing it to bright indirect light, especially if you intend to grow the Monstera dubia inside.
A wise tip is to avoid letting the sunlight touch the plant’s leaves. The sun should not cast a shadow on the plant, too. Your goal is to prevent the Monstera plant from getting exposed to direct sunlight for too long as it may burn its heart-shaped leaves, especially when it is still young.
As for the soil, take note that the Monstera dubia is one of those plants that tend to grow and survive well when grown in moist and loose but adequately draining potting mixes. The soil needs to have plenty of organic matter, too.
It would be best to use a chunky soil mix, which is specifically made for aroids, as this soil is the one that seems to work well for tropical plants. You can easily make this soil mix at home. Just mix equal parts of perlite, coco coir or peat moss, and orchid mark.
You can expect this specific soil mixture to work well with the Monstera dubia due to the fact that it is rich in organic matter and it is loose. It is also capable of retaining sufficient amounts of water – that is without the risk of keeping the plant waterlogged.
Do not make the mistake of using the typical potting soil for this plant. The reason is that it is too dense, causing the root system to get suffocated.
As for the temperature, note that the Monstera wants to remain warm, so a temperature of around 65 to 85 degrees is great for them. Never let the temperature go below 55 degrees as it may only cause the plant to become dormant.
Monstera dubia also requires high levels of humidity for it to maximize its growth potential. That said, ensure that the level of humidity is at least 50%. You may want to use a warm-air humidifier, one that will never cause the Monstera to get drenched while retaining enough humidity for its health.
As far as watering is concerned, check whether the potting medium’s top few inches are already dry. Water well and let any excess drain properly from the pot. The good thing about this Monstera is that it is capable of tolerating slight neglect in terms of water.
This means that the Monsteras will not die in case the soil completely dries out occasionally, particularly in the winter. However, you should still prevent the soil from becoming too dry frequently.
Just like other plants, the Monstera dubia also needs to be fed with the right fertilizer. This aroid is a medium feeder, which requires the regular use of fertilizer. The best fertilizer that you can use is the slow-release variety, which you have to apply three times annually.
You can also use the low-strength balanced variety once every month when the plant is in its growing stage. The reason is that this fertilizer can stimulate strong and healthy growth.
Monstera Dubia Propagation
If it is time to propagate the Monstera Dubia, then take note that the entire process is not that difficult at all. There are two methods that you can use to propagate the Monstera – through root separation and stem cuttings.
The propagation of this Monstera dubia plant using its cuttings is actually easy. Here’s how:
Cut the stem first. Do the cut below a node. Put the new cutting in water, submerging the node and stem without including the leaves.
Put this submerged cutting in a spot that lets it absorb bright yet indirect light.
Wait for a while until the Monstera roots get to around one inch long before you transfer the cutting to the soil. This process should take a week or two.
Once you have transferred the stem cutting to the soil mix, make sure that the soil has enough moisture during the first two weeks. This will let the plant adjust to its new environment.
Though not as simple as when doing the propagation with the help of stem cuttings, root separation is still something you can do. Just carefully take the plant away from the soil. You can do so by using pruning shears (sterilized) so you can cut the plant’s roots into a couple of equal parts.
Once done, plant the roots in another pot. You should then provide the new plants with as much care as they need.
Best Time to Repot the Plant
Repotting should be done once you notice the roots of the Monsteras starting to grow away from the drain holes. You may also need to repot the plant if it begins to appear stunted. You can do this process by removing the plant carefully then cleaning up the soil starting from the roots.
Transfer it into a bigger pot, around a couple of sizes bigger, that contains fresh soil. Ensure that you provide the plant some water during repotting.
Possible Problems to Watch Out For
Even when you give your Monstera dubia proper care and attention, it still has a high chance of showing problems eventually. A couple of potential problems to watch out for in your Monsteras are:
Yellowing leaves may indicate that the plant receives excessive amounts of water. It also means that the soil is not draining properly.
Apart from yellowing, the mentioned triggers may also lead to soil fungus, brown spots, and the inability of the water to dry.
Observe the drainage and soil when the leaves turn yellow. It may be necessary for you to take the plant out to dry its roots in case it still has moisture even after several days.
This problem may happen if you incorrectly water the plant or when its soil becomes excessively compact to the point that it waterlogs the roots. You can resolve this problem by providing the plant with a chunky and loose potting mix.
Brown Scale and Red Spider Mites
The plant is also prone to get infested by pests, like brown scales and red spider mites. Both pests can suck sap so observe the plant every now and then to know if it is infested.
It is possible to treat the mentioned infestations with the help of neem oil or rubbing alcohol spray. Just apply them to the affected spots.
Dried and Brownish Leaves
This problem may mean that the plant does not receive sufficient water. It may cause the leaves to fall off. It could be because the draining is too rapid, thereby preventing the roots from having sufficient time to absorb the water.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What is the ideal place for the Monstera dubia?
When growing this plant indoors, note that the perfect spot for it is a window facing the east or the north. Letting it face the east or the north is the key to letting it receive soft and bright morning sun while avoiding indirect sunlight the remaining parts of the day.
In case the plant is placed close to a window, then you can divert the sun by using a curtain.
Can I grow the Monstera dubia indoors?
It is advisable to avoid leaving this plant outdoors if you are staying in a tropical place that belongs to zones 10 through 14. However, note that even when your location is in any of the mentioned zones, you still have to be extra careful when growing the plant indoors.
The reason is that you may have a difficult time controlling the moisture, soil, and sunlight outdoors, which is necessary for the plant’s growth.
Where to buy Monstera dubia?
The Monstera dubia falls under tropical plants. One thing to note about this tropical aroid, though, is that it is not easily accessible from nurseries and garden centers. This means that you may need to buy it from specialty shops offering Monstera plants or from online sellers.
Be extra careful when planning to buy from online sellers, though. Ensure that you go for one that already earned an excellent reputation. Read reviews and check the ratings of certain online sellers before buying.
Also, remember that Monstera plants are not that common, which is why there may be limited supply. Their prices may be quite high, too, but it is worth it because of the beauty of this tropical plant.
Is the Monstera dubia expensive?
Since this plant is rare, it is no longer surprising to see it being sold by sellers at a high price. Also, it may become costly depending on its size and variegation pattern.
How do I know if the plant is healthy?
You have an assurance that this plant is healthy and happy if it shows green and bright foliage. It should have light to dark green variegation. If the leaves become yellowish or if they curl, then such may indicate that the leaves are in distress triggered by inadequate and poor soil moisture.
Is Monstera dubia a philodendron?
No, Monstera and Philodendron are two different species, although you may have a hard time differentiating them if you do not observe them really closely. The reason is that they have several similarities.
The two even belong to the arum family. Still, note that the Monstera dubia is not similar to the split-leaf philodendron despite the fact that the two appear like their leaves have holes.
Monstera often features easily recognizable dramatic and large leaves while the ones from Philodendron are much smaller with more textured colors. The leaves of Monstera, on the other hand, hold more solid green shades.
How do I root Monstera dubia?
You can root and grow more of the Monstera dubia through propagation – the easiest method of which is through the use of stem cutting that we mentioned earlier. Just make sure to do it once the spring season comes. The reason is that the spring lets the plant recover fast and begin growing again.
You may also want to repot it particularly once it starts outgrowing the pot or container. A sign that the Monstera needs repotting is when its roots begin to come out of the holes of the pot.
Note, though, that since it is slow-growing, repotting does not have to be too frequent. You can do it once every two to three years or once the sign that it requires repotting comes out.
Despite the somewhat costly price of Monstera dubia, it is still worth investing in, especially if you love to collect rare houseplants. Caring for these plants is also very satisfying considering how beautiful they turn out to be, including their light and dark green heart-shaped leaves and overall foliage and structure.