Monstera Dubia

Monstera Dubia green leaves

Monstera Dubia is a rare tropical plant that can provide exciting growth for homeowners but requires careful care and propagation strategies to keep it healthy and attractive.


Introduction

The Monstera Dubia can provide plant enthusiasts with a stunning plant with a distinct look and feel that will set their home apart from others.

Read on if you enjoy Monstera plants and want to learn more about how to care for one, get stem cuttings to generate more juvenile plants, or use Monstera Dubia leaves for decorating.


What Is a Monstera Dubia?

Monstera Dubia vine climbing on a tree

The Monstera Dubia is a creeping vine with small, heart-shaped leaves with light and dark green colors. Often called the shingle plant, this growth is unique among many tropical plants by being surprisingly easy to grow and maintain.

Other tropical plant types tend to struggle when transplanted to non-tropical environments, even other Monstera plants on the market. However, the shingle plant is a sturdy and tough option from which you can draw stem cuttings and create juvenile plants or more Monstera plants.

Likewise, you can grow this Monstera plant in your home and use it to focus on your general plant design. In this way, you can create fascinating looks with the shingle plant that other tropical plants on the market cannot reproduce. 


Where Does it Originate?

Monstera Dubia leaves climbing on a tree

The Monstera Dubia typically grows in South and Central America and other tropical environments in and around the equator. It's not uncommon to see this vine in various wet areas in Mexico or throughout much of Brazil's many rainforests.

The Monstera Dubia plant thrives in these areas and often resembles Monstera Deliciosa in the wild because of its ample light and dark green leaves and uncontrolled spread. However, the Monster Dubia plant can be controlled through frequent trimmings that minimize this rampant spread when grown indoors.

When seeking out a Monstera Dubia or even a Monstera Deliciosa for your home, you may need to find a special order company that can help. Unfortunately, Monstera plant species rarely show up in garden centers or nurseries, even those that specialize in tropical plants. Instead, you need to order any Monstera plant from online shops that focus on the Monstera Dubia plant or others like it. You may even find a Monstera Dubia plant when visiting South and Central American countries, as their plant shops may provide this unique and attractive Monstera plant.

Other Monstera plant options, like Monstera Adansonii, may also be available in this way, so make sure you find a plant that appeals to you.

Before you buy Monstera Dubia or the shingling plant, you need to make sure you understand its simple care methods. Surprisingly, the shingle plant is not as hard to care for you as you might imagine, though it does have some problems with root rot and pests when not adequately managed. Thankfully, we can help you learn more about this process and ensure you can handle it properly, and take other steps when addressing common issues.


How to Care for Monstera Dubia

When you buy Monstera Dubia for your home, you need to understand the perfect growing environment for this plant. The Monstera Dubia likes a variety of specific growth situations that you can balance to help them stay strong and healthy and minimize any potential growth issues.


Light Requirements

Indoor plants beside window with direct light

One nice thing about the Monstera Dubia is that it doesn't need a lot of direct light to stay healthy and to grow properly. In a way, it's a lot like a moss pole because it grows beneath the forest canopy and typically gets dappled or indirect light from the sun. As a result, you can provide bright indirect light for your plant by growing it near a window with blinds or by placing it behind other plants in your window and indirect sunlight.

Like with moss pole management, you need to keep these Monstera Dubia leaves from direct sunlight because they might get burned. When they get burned, they'll likely lose their dark green color or dark green variegation and develop various health issues. In a healthy Monster Dubia, the leaves lie flat. If you see them curling, you may have a direct sunlight issue that needs immediate management.


Water Requirements

Zinc watering can in the garden

Creating healthy growth with Monstera Dubias requires careful watering during the juvenile stage and throughout the plant's life. Careful watering helps provide the root system with plenty of moisture that helps when roots begin growing and expanding.

Typically, you wait until the soil dries before you water your Monsteria Dubias, though the exact time you water will vary depending on various factors. For example, you should water the Monstera Dubia plant when the top few inches of the potting soil is dry for the Monstera Dubia.

Stick your pointer finger into the dirt to gauge this dryness: if your finger comes up dry, water your Monster Dubia plant. While it is true that they can tolerate dry conditions for a while when the soil dries, you're putting strain on your Monstera Dubia plant, which may open it up to many common pests.


Soil Requirements

One hand holding soil

This plant's roots need specific soil that helps with this plant's growth and provides for maximum and proper root separation. Root separation is essential for this plant because it is used to well-draining soil in South America with plenty of growing room. As a result, you need a chunky soil mix designed for tropical aroid plants, one when orchid bark, peat moss, coco coir, and perlite. 

This soil mix uses just enough organic matter to create a growth habit perfect for your Monster Dubias and its growth. Avoid regular potting soil because it is far too dense and may damage the plant and its roots and cause serious problems with Monstera Dubia development. Instead, you can create well-draining soil for these large plants by mixing the ingredients above and adding some light organic matter, such as compost, to produce a high-quality soil mix for your Monster Dubia plant.


Humidity Requirements

Humidity monitor calibrated

South America is a pretty humid continent, and your Monstera Dubia will need some extra humidity to stay healthy. If your home tends towards dryness, you may need a humidifier near your plant that helps minimize the risk of brown scales that may develop on your heart-shaped leaves. However, you don't have to emulate South America ideally to create a strong growth habit for your Monstera Dubias.

Remember: these plants are pretty tough and can typically do well in various environments. Your plant probably only needs attention when you notice curling on your leaves. Leaves lie flat on this plant, and curling indicates a problem that high humidity may help improve. Humidity is essential when growing two plants, as they may compete for moisture and need more to stay healthy.

Pro tip: a pebble tray may work well for this situation! A pebble tray filled with water around your Monstera may provide the moisture it needs.


Feeding Requirements

Person writing a date of label of the plants

This Monstera is typically considered a medium feeder, which means it likes regular fertilizing. Now, regular fertilizing doesn't mean once a week for this Monstera plant. Too much fertilizer and water can create root rot problems that may affect your Monstera Dubia plant in many troubling ways. Instead, you can use a standard slow-release fertilizer three times a year to get great results that will help you propagate more growths later.

Use this fertilizer on fresh soil after using sterilized pruning sheers when doing a stem cutting on these unique and attractive Dubias. You may also use this fertilizer early in the growing season when the weather turns warm and just before the weather turns cold again. Doing so should help your plant thrive.

Pro tip: you can also use a low-strength, balanced fertilizer once a month during the prime, hot season, growing months to help keep your Dubia strong against pests like red spider mites.


Temperature Requirements

Black and white thermostat on a white backdrop

The Monstera Dubia's native habitat is tropical, and recreating a South American feel in your home will not be easy. However, that doesn't mean it's impossible or that you can't grow a great Monster Dubia. Instead, it would be best if you did what you could to keep your growing environment at about room temperatures or warmer to keep your Monstera Dubia healthy. Room temperatures are 70 degrees Fahrenheit or 21 degrees Celsius.

When placing your Monstera Dubia in your home, please keep it away from windows with heavy drafts and from any heating or cooling ducts. While your Monstera Dubia's native habitat is quite hot all year round, too much heat can cause your leaves to dry up and require stem cutting with sterilized pruning shears. Too much cold can cause the Dubia leaves to die and lose their dark green color. Even placing frost shields on your Monstera Dubia won't be enough to help keep it healthy in the frigid cold.


Growing Outdoors

Heart-shaped leaves of Monstera Dubia crawling on a tree

It is possible to grow Monstera Dubia outdoors if you live in a tropical area. For example, people in Southern California, Southern Texas, and throughout Florida may easily grow the Monstera Dubia outside. However, this does tend to introduce the plant's leaves to a higher risk of scale insects, including red spider mites and other pests that may seriously damage this plant. 

If you live in an area where the temperature regularly goes below room temperature, including northern regions with a high risk of frost, you shouldn't grow this plant outdoors. Instead, add it to your indoor houseplant collection and do what you can to keep it healthy.

Thankfully, you can also easily propagate this plant to produce more or even give some away to friends interested in this plant.


Propagating Monstera Dubia

Plant roots on a clear jar with water

By following these steps, you can propagate multiple types of Monstera Dubia from the same plant.


1. Sterilize Your Shears

Make sure you sterilize your cutting sheers with isopropyl alcohol, and then identify a leaf node that you can cut below: it should have two leaves and be between 4-7 inches long.


2. Cut the Stem

Use your shears to cut the stem at this point, and then cure the end by placing your Monstera Dubia in a warm area. This heat will help develop a callus on the branch that avoids severe damage.


3. Plant the Stem

Put your new stem about two-inch below the soil, with the callused end down, to help stimulate rooting. Tie the stem to a straw to keep it straight.


4. Care for the Stem

Water and fertilize your stem as you would a normal Monstera Dubia. Over time, the branch should root and grow into a new plant that you can use, give away, or even sell.


Common Pests and Diseases

Red spider mites climbing on a green leaf

Monstera Dubia is notorious for suffering from root rot but is also troubled by sap-sucking pests like red mites, the main pests that bother these growths. Fortunately, a little neem oil applied to your Monstera Dubia plant can keep it safe by reducing insect spread. By killing pests, neem oil may also help prevent brown spots.


Common Problems with the Monstera Dubia

Monstera Dubia typically grows very easily and rarely suffers any troubles. However, you may notice some frightening symptoms that your Monstera Dubia is suffering from some health issues.


Tips for an Unhappy Monstera Dubia

Pay attention to these tips below if your Monstera Dubia is unhappy. Doing so should help treat these problems simpler, more effectively, and minimize serious plant damage.


Your Monstera Dubia's Leaves are Yellow

Yellow leaves indicate that your plant needs fertilizer right away. You may have to start fertilizing your Monstera Dubia more often or avoid overwatering your plant.

Consider using Lomi by Pela to create healthy dirt to manage yellowing leaves for your Monstera Dubia, as you can choose whatever material you want for it.

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Your Monstera Dubia's Leaves are Wilting

Conversely, wilting leaves indicate that you aren't watering your plant enough. If the leaves droop, water them immediately. Remember: water at least once every 10 days or sooner and add a humidifier to the growing area.


Your Monstera Dubia's Leaves Have Brown Spots

Brown spots typically indicate root rot due to overwatering and poor soil management. Pull away some soil and look at your roots: if they smell bad and have turned dark, you need to trim away any damaged areas. If all the roots are rotted, your plant cannot be saved.


Other Varieties of Monstera

Monstera varieties include a broad range of plant options that you may pick instead of a Monstera Dubia. Each option has a slightly different feel and look and maybe a good choice if your Monstera Dubia plant doesn't thrive.


Monstera Deliciosa

Closeup of monstera deliciosa green leaves

This Monstera plant is a hybrid that includes albo variegata, which creates a slightly different look and feel. You can expect variegated leaves on this plant, with dark green and white spots. Some may even be all-white, creating a unique look that may fit many homes well and isn't too big that you can't grow it where you want.

One nice thing about this plant is that it doesn't get very big. It typically never gets bigger than the juvenile plants, meaning they're about as big as your head. This option may work best for those concerned about having enough room in their houseplant collection for a Monstera Dubia.


Monstera Obliqua

Person putting a pot of Monstera Obliqua on her head

How would you like a Monstera Dubia plant with surprisingly large leaf holes that appear nearly random in their appearance? If so, you will love this plant! It features a variety of "funky" leaf holes spread throughout the leaves that create an attractive and unexpected look with each plant.

This option gets about as big as the Monstera Dubia plant, meaning it should be fairly easy to keep under control, as long as you cut the stems and trim this Monstera plant from time to time. Other Monstera plants may grow larger, so before purchasing one, keep this fact in mind before choosing any Dubia growths.


Monstera Adansonii

Close up of Monstera Adansonii green leaves

We already mentioned this Monstera plant earlier but want to touch on it again. This Monstera typically has fairly dense plants spread in attractive and appealing ways. This look is particularly nice if you want a heavy reach throughout your home. In this way, they work well in large growing areas.

The leaves and the stems typically look pretty close to your average Monstera, meaning it shouldn't be too hard to get great results when growing one. Try to consider this plant if you need to fill some extra room in your growing area and want to produce an attractive and appealing plant.


Finding the Best Monstera Plant

By now, you should feel comfortable picking and growing most Monstera plant types. Ensure that you follow the propagating tips mentioned above, including using Lomi when composting your plants. Doing so will help keep them strong and healthy for many years to come.