Monstera dubia or 'Shingles plant' is truly a unique and rare plant that is relatively easy to grow. Monstera dubia may be a lesser-known variety than the ever-popular Monstera deliciosa or Monstera adansonii. But it's uniquely variegated leaves and climbing growth habit makes this Monstera species a great addition to any Monstera lover's houseplant collection.
What Is A Monstera Dubia?
Monstera Dubia is one of the smaller Monstera plants, and this creeping vine can reach impressive heights while offering unusual foliage. In its native habitat in the jungles of Central and South America, this tropical plant will scale large trees and boast deep green leaves with large fenestrations and no variegation.
When the unique plant is grown indoors, it keeps the growth characteristics of its juvenile stage. This means it will have small heart-shaped leaves that lay flat against a post or a tree. Since the leaves lay flat, setting them apart from other Monstera plants. The mature leaves have elegant variegation of dark green and light green.
This unique plant surprisingly will develop into indistinguishably different forms during its life. The juvenile plants will feature 2 to 3 inches long oval leaves that offer a green base with silvery grey variegation and lack iconic slits during the juvenile stage.
As the leaves grow, they will start getting small holes until they reach maturity. As the plant ages about a foot long, the plant produces large, green, fenestrated mature leaves similar to Monstera deliciosa. When grown indoors as houseplants, Monstera dubia can grow up to 3 feet tall, about 10 feet tall outdoors.
Monstera Dubia Care Guide
Monstera dubias have similar care requirements to any other plants in the Monstera family.
A Monstera dubia likes abundant light but not direct sunlight. In their native habitat, they receive dappled, indirect sunlight all day long.
Find a place where the direct sun won't touch leaves as it can burn the leaves of young plants. It's helpful to check if your Monstera is casting a shadow. If there is, you'll need to move your plant. A north or east-facing window is the best location. If the sun is too bright, having a curtain will help.
Be sure to rotate the plant now and then to ensure each part of the plant gets the sun it needs.
If you are using artificial lights, move your plants a little further from the light, and it shouldn't be blaring down onto the plant.
Monstera dubia plant grows well in nearly any peaty soil as long as it is well-draining and has abundant organic matter. Avoid potting soil, as it may be too dense and suffocate the root system.
You can DIY a blend by mixing together equal parts of orchid bark, peat moss, and perlite. Sand can be used instead of perlite if needed. This mix is loose and won't suffocate the root system, and it will also help retain the perfect amount of moisture. Loose, well-draining soil is important, and be sure to choose a pot with drainage holes!
The pH of the soil should be between five to seven. If your soil needs more acidity, add some lime or wood ash. Add sphagnum peat, aluminum sulfate, acidifying fertilizer, or mulch to the soil if it has too much acid.
Like most other plants, you will harm your Monstera dubia more by overwatering it than forgetting to water it for a few weeks.
To determine if your plant needs water or not, stick your finger into the soil or if your plant pot is feeling light. If the top two inches of the soil is dry, give the plant a thorough soaking with a water can and let the excess water drain from the pot freely. Otherwise, wait a few days to water. Once in a while, you can let soil dries out completely, but not too often.
Monstera dubia typically only needs to be water once a week, and it needs less watering during the winter months than in warmer environments.
Monstera dubia is prone to root rot if it is kept too wet and can lead to the death of the plant. However, if your plant becomes dehydrated, it can also lead to the death of the plant.
Temperature and Humidity
Like all the tropical plants, Monstera dubia thrives in warm, humid environments. Be sure to bring your plant indoors during the winter months to avoid frost and freezing temperatures.
Your typical household temperature is likely adequate if it doesn't dip below 66 degrees Fahrenheit. The best room temperature for the plant is between 60 to 80F.
However, you'll probably need to boost your humidity levels as Monstera dubia likes high humidity. You can do that by either placing a humidifier nearby, misting the leaves regularly or placing a pebble tray filled with water underneath your Monstera dubia. The frequency of misting depends on the level of heat or dryness in your home. The ideal humidity level or moisture level should be above 50%.
Your "shingle plant" doesn't have as large of leaves as other Monsteras, but it will still do best with regular fertilizing. Monstera dubia is considered a medium feeder and will appreciate regular fertilizing.
Fertilizer will help establish your new Dubia Monstera, feed your plant and encourage strong growth.
Use a common slow-release fertilizer three times a year, a low-strength fertilizer three times a year, or sprinkle an inch of compost on top of your soil monthly, right before watering.
The Monstera dubia plant is a climbing vine, so it needs something to climb. While a moss pole works just fine, many plant owners like to use wider support, such as a plant or 2x4 board. This wider base will really showcase the unique growth characteristic of Monstera dubia leaves.
If you see roots growing out of the drainage holes, it's time to repot your plant. Rootbound will cause the plant to grow slowly. Since Monstera Dubia is a slow-growing plant, it shouldn't need to be repotted often, and Repotting once every 2-3 years should be sufficient enough.
Monstera dubia is known for being sensitive to repotting. Keep the whole process to a minimum and as gentle as possible. Avoid stress and damaging any roots, but you will want to inspect the root to look for any signs of disease or damage.
The best time to repot your Monstera dubia is during the growing season, Summer. This way, it will stand the best chance of recovering from any stress.
Monstera dubia is mildly toxic to humans and toxic to pets. Pain, swelling, excessive drooling, vomiting, and difficulty in swallowing can occur.
If someone or a pet has ingested monstera dubia, rinse out their mouth with milk to remove any plant pieces and help with the pain. The calcium in the milk bonds to the calcium in the oxalates to ease the pain. Based on the severity, you may need to seek professional help.
Monstera Dubia Propagation Methods
One of the fun parts of having a Monstera plant is propagating them into new plants. With the Monstera dubia plant, you have two ways to do this - stem cutting or root separation.
This stem-cutting method of propagation should only be done in the spring for the most healthy growth.
Using sterilized pruning shears, cut a stem between 4 and 7 inches long. It's best to sterilize with isopropyl alcohol. You need to cut it just below a leaf node. It will do best if the cutting has at least two leaves on it.
From here, you have two options. You can leave the cutting in the sun for a week until the end of the stem is calloused. Then, place that cut in fresh soil in a new pot so that about two inches of the stem is below the soil. Support the little plant with a small stick and string.
Alternatively, you can place your stem cutting directly into a jar of water, ensuring that the leaves are kept well out of the water. Place the cutting in a location that receives bright and indirect light, and change the water every 3-5 days.
In a few days or weeks, you'll start seeing roots begin to appear. Once they grow to about 1 inch, plant the stem cutting in soil. Keep the soil of your new Monstera dubia moist for the first few weeks so that it doesn't go into shock.
The root separation method of propagating isn't as simple but can still be easily done.
You'll carefully remove the entire Monster dubia plant from its pot and cut the roots into two sections. Repot them each in separate pots with good drainage. Keep the cutting warm and moist for a few days by covering it with a plastic bag but not completely close to allow air circulation.
Common Problems With Monstera Dubia
This is a sign of too much water or soil that doesn't properly drain. If the soil doesn't dry out in the next few days, carefully remove your Monstera dubia from its pot and let the roots dry out.
On the other hand, brown leaves mean that you haven't given your Monstera dubia enough water. Make sure you are giving it a good soaking through each watering.
Monstera dubia are susceptible to two main pests: spider mites and common brown scale.
These pests are attracted to excess moisture, so you should be fine if you make sure not to overwater your plant. Once you've got fungus gnats, however, they'll multiply quickly. Remove the top few inches of soil and replace it with clean soil mixed with diatomaceous earth.
Look for a pale white bug on the back of lower leaves or the bases of stems. Trim off the infested leaves, and treat the rest of the plant with neem oil. If left untreated, an infestation will occur, which will be difficult to get rid of.
This pest leaves little webs and tiny pinprick holes all over your plant. Rinse off your Monstera dubia with warm water, and treat the plant with neem oil weekly for a few weeks.
If you spot some, remove it manually with cotton swabs and treat it with neem oil or rubbing alcohol.
Monstera Dubia FAQ
Why haven't the leaves on my Monstera dubia split yet?
There could be several reasons why your Monstera dubia split.
- It's still young. If the Monstera dubia plant doesn't split, it could be that your plant is still fairly young and small and just needs time.
- Lack of light. In many cases, your Monstera leaves won't split due to lack of bright sunlight. Monstera dubia plant needs a lot of bright, indirect light.
- Insufficient watering and nutrients. Lastly, the Monstera leaves won't split with adequate watering and nutrients. If your plant is getting plenty of sunlight, make sure you are giving it the correct amount of water and fertilizer.
Why Are There Brown Spots On My Monstera Dubia plants?
Monstera dubia can get brown spots on its leaves, and there could be a few reasons why:
Strange brown spots on your Monstera Dubia most likely mean your plant has fungus due to the plant being too wet or over watered.
If you have fertilized your plant recently, it can be a sign of nutrient burn.
Monstera Dubia Have Wilting Leaves
If your Monstera dubia's leaves are wilting, it's either your plants need more water or humidity. Make sure your Monstera is getting enough moisture in the air.
Monstera Dubia Leaves Are Turning Yellow
When Monstera dubia's leaves turn yellow, it's often due to a lack of nutrients. You will need to fertilize the plant right away.
Another reason could be over-watering, and Overwatering can create problems and even kill your plant.