In this article, we will tell you everything there is to know about Monstera Dubia.
Keep reading to discover:
- Genus and Origin
- Common and Botanical Names
- Variegated Monstera Dubia
- Care Guidelines, Common Problems (w/Solutions)
- Where to Buy and Price Ranges
- Plant’s Toxicity to People and Pets
- Plants Similar to Monstera Dubia
- Frequently Asked Questions
Let’s get started!
Monstera Dubia Genus
Native to Central and South America, Monstera Dubia is a member of the genus Monstera, which comprises approximately sixty beautiful plant species.
The Latin term “Monstera,” which means “abnormal” or “large,” was the inspiration for the name of this particular family of plants that has enormous leaves with holes and patterns.
Believe it or not, one aspect of houseplants that plant parents absolutely adore is the space for quirky names. Sneezewort, sticky willy, and kangaroo paws are just a few examples.
Targeted ads with these weird names sometimes confuse people buying plants at local garden centers or when the plant grows to the point where these names no longer make sense.
Like other Monstera species, the Monstera Dubia plant has already become quite popular in the houseplant market in the United States and worldwide, so they are not new to this name game.
Thanks to its similarity to the Rhaphidophora Cryptantha and Monstera Deliciosa, during its juvenile stage (leaves of juvenile plants create a flat layer against the bark of the host tree), the Monstera Dubia is sometimes referred to as a “Shingle Plant.”
A botanical name is the official scientific name given to a plant species adhering to the rules of the botanical nomenclature system outlined in the International Code of Nomenclature.
According to the record derived from the World Checklist of Selected Plant Families (WCSP), (Kunth) Engl. & K.Krause are the accepted names for the Monstera Dubia plant.
Read next: Monstera Types List
Origin of Monstera Dubia
Due to the obscurity surrounding Dubia’s name, it might be difficult to trace its origins. Many individuals have different beliefs about this plant with heart-shaped leaves.
Indigenous to South and Central America, one may find Monstera Dubia growing on the rainforest floor in these regions, with large fenestrations covering the uniformly green leaf.
The young version attaches itself to the trunk or branch of nearby large plants and continues to grow upward in the direction of the sun.
The leaves begin to transform into their mature shape as soon as the plant reaches the canopy and receives dappled sunlight. Adult leaves develop enormous fenestrations covering an otherwise evenly green leaf surface, like those of most other Monstera plants.
Monstera Dubia Variegation
Beloved for its shingling healthy growth and stunningly artistic dark green variegation, it’s easy to understand why this plant is so sought-after by Monstera fans worldwide.
Monstera Dubia has a variegated variety like other Monstera plants but doesn’t have a specific name. Dark green variegation is often caused by other pigments, such as anthocyanins.
Surprisingly, Monstera Dubia’s trip to maturity is distinguished by two unique development periods, evident in its outward look. As a juvenile, it has tiny leaves marbled and shaped like hearts that adhere to surfaces. Simply put, the leaves lay flat against mature plants.
As it matures, the creeping vine eventually takes on the distinctive fenestrations and longer, hanging stems while undergoing a transformation in color, shape, and growth pattern.
Monstera Dubia Care Guidelines
Monstera Dubia is among the lesser-known varieties of Monstera compared to the renowned Monstera Adansonii and Monstera Obliqua. However, its stunning variegation and unusual growth pattern make it an excellent addition to any houseplant collection.
As discussed above, Dubia is a creeping vine that climbs trees and huge plants in its natural environment, located in the tropical regions of South and Central America.
This tropical aroid, also known as the shingle plant, is not readily available in most garden stores or nurseries; therefore, you will most likely have to make your purchase online.
Beware of scam artists who supply artificial seeds in the name of Monstera Dubia or shingle plant.
Make it a habit to buy only from trusted vendors whenever possible.
Even though it might be challenging to track down Monstera Dubia, it is a remarkably low-maintenance houseplant that performs well in various interior settings with indirect light, water, and soil mix, unlike other species with variegated leaves in the Monstera genus.
Since Dubia is recognized as a slow-growing plant, it will not likely overwhelm the area where it’s planted (we’re looking at you, Monstera Deliciosa).
However, here are a few plant care tips to help you take care of your plant.
Monstera Dubia is mostly found in their native habitat, growing below the forest canopy, where the plants are exposed to dappled sunlight throughout the day.
While Dubia requires bright indirect light, it is necessary to ensure that the heart-shaped leaves are not exposed to direct sunlight; however, the plant should also not be fully shaded.
Keeping them away from areas that receive direct sunlight is the best course of action since Monstera Dubia’s light and dark green leaves may quickly become sunburned and scorched.
Simply put, pick a spot (a foot or two away from a window) where your Dubia can receive 6-8 hours of indirect sunlight each day so the leaves don’t get scorched and ultimately die.
The fact that this Monstera Dubia can survive with just a moderate amount of watering is one of the plant’s many appreciated characteristics.
This ensures that even if the soil entirely dries up occasionally, especially during the winter, the Monstera Dubia plant will not die.
However, since Dubia is prone to developing root rot if overwatered, allowing the chunky soil mix to get slightly dry in between waterings is essential.
Initially, the whole process of watering may seem a bit complicated, but once you get into the right routine, it’s not hard at all.
When deciding whether or not to water the Monstera Dubia plants, the best thing to do is determine how dry their soil is.
If the top layer of the soil is dry, water the Monstera plant well and let any extra liquid drain out of the pot through the drainage holes.
Additionally, check to see if the roots of the tropical plant are not sitting in water. If the saucer is below the pot, empty it immediately after adding fresh soil and water to the plant.
Temperature and Humidity
Since Monstera Dubia is native to tropical rainforests, it thrives in warm and humid conditions; therefore, you must pay attention during winters when the air tends to become dry.
Temperatures in the warm range, preferably between 65 and 85F, are optimal, while humidity between 40-50% is ideal, just as they are for other plants in the genus Monstera.
Making any special adjustments to the temperature or humidity levels is not essential; nevertheless, avoid placing them close to any drafty windows or heating and cooling vents.
By any chance, if the leaves on your plant begin to curl off the stem or the edges start to look crispy, this might be a sign that your Monstera Dubia plant requires more humidity.
If this is the case, you may need to add more humidity by setting a warm-air humidifier close by or placing a water-filled pebble tray below the Monstera Dubia plant.
This aroid is a medium feeder; thus, it needs consistent fertilizer applications to thrive. To promote robust growth, use a typical slow-release fertilizer three times per year and a low-strength balanced fertilizer once per month when the plant is actively developing.
You should refrain from over-fertilization since it may lead to a buildup of salt in the soil, causing the Monstera Dubia plant to starve, wilt, and ultimately die.
If you find it challenging to track when and how often to fertilize your Monstera Dubia plant, purchase a specifically formulated feed to be applied to the plant each time it is watered.
If you fail to water and feed the plant on time, it probably won’t die, but its development will likely be stunted, generating yellowing leaves due to a shortage of nutrients.
Soil Mix Recommendations
Most Monstera Dubia varieties grow in loose, wet, and well-drained potting mix rich in organic matter; however, these plants do best in chunky soil explicitly formulated for aroids.
The ideal soil may be made by combining fresh garden soil with equal parts of peat moss for organic matter, coco coir and orchid bark for extra texture, and perlite for drainage.
Avoid using standard potting soil for your Monstera Dubia plant since there is a good chance for the ground to be excessively thick and choke the plant’s root system.
Finally, when it comes to the pH level for the Monstera Dubia plant, the range is between 5 and 7.5, slightly on the naturally neutral or acidic side.
Pot Types and Sizes
Regarding pot types, it’s best to grow Monstera Dubia in a container with good drainage. To be more specific, a large-sized plastic, terracotta, or clay basket is all you need.
This plant is also a climber, so if you want to stimulate its development, you can provide it with support in the form of a moss pole, wet stick, plant supporters, or bamboo stakes.
The appropriate Monstera pot size selection is the second essential factor to consider. Start with a 6-inch pot if you are using stem cuttings or have recently propagated them.
However, when repotting Dubia, it is generally recommended that you only go up one size (for example, from a pot that is 6 inches in diameter to one that is 8 inches in diameter).
If you see the roots of Dubia growing through the drainage holes, repot it immediately. Due to the slow growth rate, we suggest repotting it into one size bigger pot every 2-3 years.
To ensure sufficient room for the root ball, choose a pot at least a couple of inches deeper and broader than the one it is now housed in (not more than the sizes mentioned above).
The lack of a well-draining system, which may result in root rot, is one of the most common reasons Monstera plants die. Therefore, always look for pots with proper drainage holes.
Additionally, to give your Monstera Dubia nutrient boost while repotting, combine parts of perlite, fresh garden soil, peat moss, coco coir, and organic materials—and you’re good to go.
Ideal Growing Zones
Native to Central and South America, mostly all Monstera plants, including Monstera Dubia, can survive in USDA zones 9-11 and do best in warm and humid conditions year-round.
These plants cannot resist temperatures below freezing since they are not frost-hardy; therefore, only individuals living in these zones can cultivate them outside.
In the United States, Florida, California, and Hawaii are among the selected areas where cultivating Monstera Dubia as an outdoor plant is ideal—the rest may grow them indoors.
Dubia may also be grown outside of the United States in tropical rainforests, as well as warm temperate zones that do not experience frost or temperatures below freezing.
When planting outside, choose a spot that gets indirect sunlight. If the soil in your area is naturally salty, you should either transfer it to a patio or bring it indoors.
Stem cutting is an effective method for rapid Monstera Dubia propagation.
This method may also be used to propagate other vining aroids, such as pothos and philodendron, in addition to other species of Monstera, such as Monstera Deliciosa and Monstera Adansonii.
Before you begin, it is essential to remember that the only way to grow Dubia is by stem cutting.
For the best results, the stem cutting has to have at least one node, preferably more.
- Use a sharp knife to cut the tip of a healthy plant stem, just below the node.
- Lay the Monstera Dubia cutting in water, covering the stem and the node (not leaves).
- Put this submerged Monstera Dubia cutting in a spot where it can absorb indirect light.
- Wait for a while (a week or two) before you transfer the cutting to the soil.
- Plant the cutting 2-3 inches deep in a pot with well-draining soil.
- Once transferred, make sure that the soil has enough moisture.
- Keep the pot in bright indirect light and water it every two weeks.
- Wait about 3-4 weeks to see the nodes thriving with healthy leaves.
Root separation is another method for Monstera Dubia propagation; however, it is not as easy as propagating the plant with the assistance of stem cuttings.
Simply lift the Monstera Dubia out of the dirt. Using sterilized pruning shears, you can divide the plant’s roots into a few equal sections.
When finished, transplant the roots of the young plant into a new container—and you’re done.
Common Problems and How to Fix Them
In general, Monstera Dubia demands little attention and plant care as opposed to other members of the Monstera family.
However, growing these tropical plants indoors might present you with the following challenges. Don’t worry; just like every problem, they have an easy solution.
Pests and Diseases
Dubia is susceptible to attacks from many pests and diseases, the most common being red spider mites and scale insects and scale infestation, causing the plant to lose nutrients.
In any case, as soon as you see red spider mites, be sure to spray the plant with insecticidal soap or neem oil.
Getting rid of these pests may take around three to four weeks; therefore, you must be consistent.
In addition to spider mites, root rot is another issue Monstera Dubia constantly faces. Common symptoms include yellow leaves, thinned growth, and a quick overall decline in the plant’s health.
The good news is that root rot may be treated, provided it is addressed on time. Remove all the moldy and mushy parts of the plant, and then apply an anti-fungal solution or neem oil.
After removing the rotten roots from the plant, reconsider your watering schedule. Never let the roots grow in wet soil; instead, use well-draining pots with holes on the bottom.
Foliage & Leaf Shapes
This shingling Aroid, sometimes known as Monstera Dubia, has spherical, heart-shaped leaves variegated with silver on the young plants.
As the plant ages, the foliage undergoes a dramatic transition, with the leaves losing their variegation and generating fenestrations.
On the other hand, if you let this plant climb, the foliage that develops over time has the potential to become enormous.
When this happens, its leaves develop fenestrations comparable to those of other Monstera plants.
Even if the silver patterns disappear from the mature leaf, the stunning appearance of the adult leaves can never be ignored.
Growth and Maturation
When given the proper attention and growing circumstances, a mature Monstera Dubia plant has the potential to reach a height of 10 feet.
Unlike other plants, the light and dark green leaves with silvery sheen are spaced around 5 centimeters (about 2 inches) apart, while matured Monstera Dubia plant leaves may grow between three feet and 10 feet in height.
Where to Buy & Price
Are you ready to add the stunning shingle plant to your houseplant collection?
You can buy it from NSE Tropicals, Logee’s, Steve’s Leaves, The Sill, Canopy Plant Co., Bloomscape, Rare Plant Fairy,and Rooted.
If you prefer homegrown varieties, you can try Etsy to buy Monstera Dubia plant or other Monstera varieties. Shingle plants can cost anywhere from a few dollars to several hundred, depending on whether you’re buying stem cuttings with several leaf nodes or a mature plant. However, Dubia can set you back several thousand dollars depending on rarity.
Toxicity to People & Pets
Even though the Monstera Dubia is undeniably a visual treat, aroids like this tend to contain calcium oxalate crystals, which makes them mildly poisonous/toxic to pets and humans.
Monsteras are typically safe for humans, but their toxic properties can make them dangerous to the well-being of dogs and cats. If pets come into contact with these plants, they may exhibit various symptoms, such as mouth irritation, swelling, and discomfort in the lips, tongue, and mouth. Moreover, affected animals may also suffer from excessive drooling, vomiting, and difficulty with swallowing.
It should come as no surprise that individuals often mistake the tropical shingling plants Monstera Dubia and the Rhaphidophora Cryptantha during the juvenile stage as they both look almost similar.
They do particularly well in environments with characteristics similar to rainforests, such as high humidity, warm temperatures, and wet soil.
Even though these plants have the same external features, they develop in quite diverse ways. The shingling leaves of the Dubia eventually develop holes and slits as the plant develops from the juvenile to maturity stage.
The Rhaphidophora Cryptantha, on the other hand, retains its distinctive tiny, shingling form throughout its existence.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why Does Monstera Dubia Need a Moss Pole?
Monstera Dubia requires a moss pole covered in sphagnum moss or a support structure to mimic its habitat in the wild. Without one, the roots begin to fall over.
Are Monstera Dubia Care Guidelines Similar to Other Plant Care?
Monstera Dubia is among the lesser-known varieties of the Monstera genus; however, the care guidelines for the Monstera Dubia plant are similar to other Monstera plants.
What Happens if Monstera Dubia Gets Direct Sunlight?
Prolonged exposure to the sun may be detrimental to Dubia, causing the leaves of young plants to get scorched. It is best to keep them in a bright room with many windows.
Should You Water Monstera Dubia Plant Regularly?
In the late autumn and early winter, water Monstera Dubia about once every two weeks. Water the plant’s leaves about once a week in the early spring and late summer.
Should Monstera Soil Dry Out?
The primary indication that the plant needs watering is dry soil. Although allowing the soil to dry in between waterings is vital, the plant should not be kept in arid circumstances.
My name is Daniel Elrod, and I have been houseplant love ever since I was 17. I love how much joy they bring to any room in the home. I’ve always been amazed at how a few pots of flowing leaves can turn a drab and sterile office into an inviting place where people love to work at.