Monstera Dubia vs. Scindapsus (Key Similarities and Differences)  

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Monstera dubia and Scindapsus are two popular plants that are often confused with each other due to their similar appearance. However, many distinct differences between the two houseplants can help tell the two apart.

Here, we explore some key similarities and differences between Monstera dubia and Scindapsus pictus.

Monstera Dubia Origin

Monstera Dubia

Monstera dubia, also called the shingle plant, is a tropical plant native to Central and South America, specifically to the countries of Costa Rica, Panama, Colombia, and Ecuador. It is a member of the Araceae family, which includes many other popular houseplants such as the Monstera deliciosa, Philodendron, and Anthurium.

In their natural habitat, Monstera dubia grow as an hemi-epiphyte in tropical rainforests. It often grows on trees or other support structures, climbing and reaching toward the light.

Monstera dubia was first described by the German botanist Heinrich Wilhelm Schott in 1858. The plant’s Latin name, Monstera, comes from the Latin word “monstrum,” meaning monster, which refers to the plant leaves’ unusual appearance. The specific epithet, dubia, means doubtful, uncertain, or obscure, possibly referring to the plant’s elusive nature in the wild, as the researchers were unaware of which species the plant belonged to.

Monstera dubia is a popular houseplant due to its unique appearance and easy care requirements. It is often grown as a climbing plant in a hanging basket or trained up a trellis or sphagnum moss pole.

With the right care and attention, Monstera dubia can thrive and provide a tropical touch to any indoor space.

Scindapsus Pictus Origin

Monstera Dubia vs. Scindapsus close up

Scindapsus pictus, also known as Silver Vine, is a tropical plant native to the Solomon Islands in the South Pacific. Like the Monstera dubia, the Scindapus also belong to the arum family Araceae and other plants of similar characteristics, such as the Monstera deliciosa.

In its natural habitat, Scindapsus pictus typically grows as an epiphyte in the understory of tropical rainforests. It is often found growing on forest trees or other support structures.

Scindapsus pictus was first brought to Europe by Dutch traders in the 1700s. The plant’s common name, Devil’s Ivy, comes from its ability to grow quickly and take over other plants or structures, much like the mythological devil tempting and ensnaring its victims.

Today, the Scindapsus pictus is a popular houseplant due to its easy care requirements and ability to thrive in various indoor conditions. It is often grown as a climbing plant in a hanging basket or trained up a trellis or sphagnum moss pole. With the right care and attention, Scindapsus pictus can provide a lush, tropical touch to any indoor space.

Monstera Dubia vs. Scindapsus: Similarities

Since the two plants belong to the same family, they share many characteristics and growing conditions that cause plant lovers to often confuse the two.

Below are some of the main similarities between Monstera dubia and Scindapsus.

Appearance

Monstera Dubia vs. Scindapsus leaf close up

One of the most noticeable similarities between Monstera dubia and Scindapsus pictus is their appearance.

Both plants have heart-shaped leaves with a similar texture and glossy finish. They also have aerial roots that allow them to climb and attach to support structures, such as moss poles or trellises.

The dark green leaves are small and alongside the stem in a vining growth. The leaves on the two plants are wider than they are longer, with the width increasing at the base and decreasing towards the apex.

Propagation

Monstera Dubia vs. Scindapsus propagation

Monstera dubia and Scindapsus pictus are similar in how you can propagate them. Both plants can be propagated by stem cuttings, allowing you to grow multiple plants from a single parent plant.

The stem cutting can be rooted in water or soil, making it easy to create new plants to share with friends or to add to your collection.

Toxicity

Another important similarity between these plants is their toxicity.

Both the Monstera dubia and Scindapsus are toxic for pets and humans. The plants contain calcium oxalate crystals, which can cause irritation and swelling of the mouth and throat if eaten. Symptoms of poisoning may include mouth irritation, swelling, and pain in the lips, tongue, and mouth. Additionally, affected pets may experience excessive drooling, vomiting, and difficulty swallowing.

If you have pets or small children in your home, you may want to keep them away from the Monstera dubia and Scindapsus pictus to ensure their safety.

Growth Requirements

Monstera dubia and Scindapsus pictus are relatively easy to care for and do not require much attention. You can grow the two plants together as Scindapsus, and Monstera dubia care conditions are similar.

Below are some similar care conditions of the Monstera dubia and the Scindapsus.

Bright Indirect Light

Monstera Dubia vs. Scindapsus variegation

The Monstera dubia and Scindapsus adapted to living below the forest canopy and surviving on the bright filtered light that passed the trees above.

As such, they prefer bright indirect light to grow well. You can put them in an area of your home with plenty of filtered direct light, such as near a west or east-facing window, to get some morning sun.

However, keep them away from direct sunlight, which could cause leaf scorching and dehydration.

Soil Mix

Monstera Dubia vs. Scindapsus repotting

The two plants prefer well-aerated soil to encourage root growth. Moreover, they do not do well in damp soil, requiring well-draining and slightly acidic soil to grow well.

You can use a commercial potting mix that contains nutrients to help the plant grow. Moreover, you can add peat moss, orchid bark, coco coir, and perlite to improve drainage.

Watering

Monstera Dubia vs. Scindapsus watering

The Monstera dubia and Scindapsus pictus require regular watering, almost once a week in the growing seasons and once every two or three weeks in the winter.

You must pay special attention to the plant’s watering needs. Overwatering the plant could lead to waterlogging and root rot, while underwatering could cause yellow leaving and wilting.

Before watering the plant, check if the soil is dry using your fingertip. You should also check the drainage holes to ensure you are not over-watering the plant.

Temperature and Humidity

Monstera Dubia vs. Scindapsus humidity

The Scindapsus is a tropical plant, like the Monstera dubia. They prefer warm climates with temperatures ranging from 65 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit.

Moreover, these plants are accustomed to high humidity in their natural environment. Therefore, you must ensure that they grow in humidity levels above 50%. You can use a pebble tray filled with water or mist the plants regularly. Alternatively, you could use a humidifier to ensure high relative humidity.

However, too much temperature and humidity could result in growth problems, such as wilting, brown leaves, and infections, such as root rot.

Fertilizer

While they don’t require fertilizer to grow well, it can speed up the plant’s growth. Generally, a well-balanced fertilizer can be good for plants.

However, only feed to Monstera dubia and Scindapsus pictus once a month during spring and summer and not at all in winter. Overfeeding could result in water logging and root blockage, causing the roots to suffocate.

Pruning and Repotting

Monstera Dubia vs. Scindapsus pruning

Both the Monstera dubia and Scindapsus need to be pruned or repotted frequently. Moreover, since the two plants are vining, it is good to regularly prune Monstera dubia and Scidapsus to control growth.

To repot the plant, use a terracotta or clay pot as a new pot with adequate drainage holes, as clay and terracotta have good water-retaining abilities.

Staking

Monstera Dubia vs. Scindapsus staking

As they are both climbing plants, you can give the Monstera dubia and Scindapsus some support to climb on. Generally, you can use a moss pole to help the plants climb.

Moss pole has excellent moisture and nutrient retaining abilities, and you can buy it online or make one yourself.

Alternatively, you can use a gardening trellis as support. However, a trellis will not help provide the plant with moisture like the moss poles.

Monstera Dubia vs. Scindapsus: Differences

Despite their similarities and the fact that they belong to the same plant family, the dubia and Scindapsus are two different species. As such, they have many different defining characteristics.

Below are some main differences between the Monstera dubia and Scindapsus pictus.

Taxonomy

As stated before, Monstera dubia and Scindapsus are different plant species.

Monstera dubia belongs to the genus Monstera which consists of more than 48 flowering plant species native to the tropical regions of South and Central America.

The silver vine belongs to the genus Scindapsus and is native to Southeast Asia and New Guinea.

Leaf Appearance

One of the most noticeable differences between Monstera dubia and Scindapsus pictus is the shape of their leaves.

While both plants have heart-shaped leaves, Monstera dubia has a unique leaf shape, and the Monstera dubia leaves are longer than broad.

On the other hand, the Scindapsus leaves are broader than they are long, with the width of the leaf remaining almost similar until the apex.

Leaf Size

Monstera dubia is smaller than Scindapsus, with leaves typically measuring 3-5 inches long.

On the other hand, Scindapsus can grow much larger and produce leaves around six to seven feet in length and around four to five feet in width.

Stem Structure and Aerial Root System

Another key difference between these plants is how they grow and attach to support structures.

The Monstera dubia stem is thicker and dark green. However, it is seldom visible under the leaves. On the other hand, the Scindapsus stem is thinner, with the nodes more spaced apart.

Monstera dubia has a more pronounced aerial root system than Scindapsus pictus, which allows it to climb and attach to supports more easily.

The aerial roots of Monstera dubia can be quite large and are a notable feature of this plant. Scindapsus pictus, on the other hand, has smaller and less visible aerial roots.

Plant Size

Monstera dubia is a relatively small plant, growing around three to four feet tall.

Scindapsus pictus, on the other hand, can grow up to 6-10 feet in length, making it ideal for training up tall supports or growing in hanging baskets.

If you have limited space or are looking for a smaller plant, Monstera dubia may be the better choice.

Leaf Texture

While the leaves of Monstera dubia and Scindapsus are similar in shape and color, they have distinct differences in texture.

The leaves of Monstera dubia are smoother and more glossy, while the leaves of Scindapsus are slightly rough.

Fenestrations

One of the main differences between Monstera dubia and Sincdapsus is their fenestrations.

The Monstera dubia, characteristic of the genus Monstera, develops small holes in the leaves near the midrib. While the holes are not as large or numerous as other Monstera species, they are easily visible. The Monstera developed these fenestrations to allow wind and light to pass through.

The Scindapsus has no fenestrations in its leaves, making it easier to differentiate the two plants. However, it might not be easy to do so in young plants, as juvenile plants do not develop fenestrations. You begin to see the holes appear in a mature Monstera dubia once it reaches a year to two of age.

Variegation

One of the key differences between the Monstera dubia and Scindapsus is variegation in the leaves, which refers to varying colors of green and yellow or white.

The Scindapsus develops variegated leaves, with patches of cream white on the dark green leaves. Moreover, the leaf blades are all white.

A true Monstera dubia does not show variegation. However, a genetic mutation can result in a lack of chlorophyll in the leaves, resulting in variegated leaves. However, a variegated Monstera dubia is extremely rare.

Growth Habit

While both plants are climbers, they have different growth habits. Monstera dubia tends to grow more vertically, while Scindapsus has a more sprawling growth habit.

Moreover, the Monstera dubia has a shingling growth, where the leaves attach to the tree or any support the plant is growing on. Due to its growth, the Monstera dubias is also called the shingle plant or the shingling plants.

Troubleshooting Scnidapsus and Monstera Dubia Care Problems

If you are growing Monstera dubia and Scindapsus indoors, you must know what problems to look out for. Like all plants, they can experience problems from time to time. Here are some common issues you may encounter with your Monstera plant and how to troubleshoot them:

Yellowing Leaves

Monstera Dubia vs. Scindapsus brown crispy edges

If your plant’s leaves turn yellow, it may be a sign of overwatering or underwatering. Check the soil moisture level by sticking an inch or two into the soil. If it feels dry, it’s time to water the plant. Hold off on watering for a few days if the soil feels wet or soggy.

Brown, Crispy Edges

Monstera Dubia vs. Scindapsus yellowing

If the edges of the Scindapsus or Monstera leaves turn brown and crispy, it may be due to low humidity levels or excessive direct sunlight. Try misting the leaves regularly or placing a humidifier nearby. Move the plant to a location with more indirect sunlight if necessary.

Drooping Leaves

If your plant’s leaves are drooping, it may be due to underwatering. Give the plant a thorough watering and check the soil moisture regularly to ensure it stays moist but not soggy.

Pests

Scindapsus and Monstera plants can be susceptible to pests like spider mites, mealybugs, and scale insects. Check the plant regularly for a tell-tale sign of pests, such as fine webbing, tiny insects, or sticky residue. If you notice any pests, remove them by gently wiping the leaves with a damp cloth or using insecticidal soap. You can add neem oil to prevent further infestation.

No New Growth

If your Monstera plant isn’t producing new leaves or growth, it may be due to insufficient light or nutrients. Move the plant to a location with more indirect sunlight, or consider fertilizing it with a balanced, water-soluble fertilizer.

Root rot

Overwatering can cause root rot, a condition in which the roots become damaged and can no longer absorb water properly. If you suspect root rot, carefully remove the plant from its pot and inspect the roots.

If they are brown, mushy, or have a foul odor, they may be damaged by root rot. Trim away damaged roots and repot the plant in fresh, well-draining soil.

To Conclude: Monstera Dubia vs. Scindapsus

While Monstera dubia and Scindapsus pictus share many similarities, they also have some key differences. Whether you choose Monstera dubia, Scindapsus pictus, or both, these plants will surely add beauty and natural charm to your home or office.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Monstera Dubia rare?

The Monstera dubia plant is a rare shingling aroid native to tropical regions of Central and South America and only grows in USDA regions 10 to 12.

Do Monstera Dubia plants grow fast?

Monstera Dubia vs. Scindapsus

In ideal conditions, Monstera dubia is a relatively fast-growing plant among its sister species in the Monstera genus. You must repot the plant and prune it regularly to control its growth. A Monstera dubia plant can grow about one to two feet a year after it reaches maturity, and its roots grow one inch long.

How do I identify a Monstera Dubia?

Monstera dubia produces dark green leaves that appear heart-shaped as Monstera deliciosa leaves, only smaller. One of the biggest defining features of the Monstera dubia plant is that the Monstera dubia leaves have tiny holes in them, and the plant exhibits a shingling growth, meaning the leaves lay flat on the surface it is growing on.